Benedictine abbey on the River Enns in Styria, Austria. It was founded in the mid-11th century by Bishop Gebhard from Salzburg, endowed by St Henna von Gurk, Gräfin von Friessach (d 1045), and settled by Benedictine monks from St Peter’s, Salzburg under Abbot Isingrin. The Romanesque minster (consecrated 1074), which was dedicated to St Blaise, was famous for its marble columns and was rebuilt after a fire in 1152; a Gothic choir was added in 1276–86. The present church incorporates Romanesque side doors as well as other fragments. The abbey became an important cultural centre with a renowned scriptorium. Amongst the many famous scholars there was Abbot Engelbert of Admont (reg 1297–1327). From 1121 to the 16th century a convent was attached to the abbey. Under the abbots Mathias Preininger (reg 1615–28) and Urban Weber (reg 1628–59) the whole establishment was transformed in the Baroque style, and the church was rebuilt (...
Southern-most region of mainland Portugal. Its name is derived from ‘the West’ in Arabic. This region has relatively few medieval buildings: devastating earthquakes in 1722 and 1755 contributed to these losses, though many buildings were deliberately destroyed during the Middle Ages. For example, in the 12th century the Almoravids likely razed a pilgrimage church, described in Arabic sources, at the tip of the cape of S Vicente. Mosques at Faro, Silves and Tavira, among others, appear to have been levelled to make room for church construction after the Reconquest of the region, completed in 1249. Further excavations could shed much light on this history.
Highlights in the Algarve include remains at Milreu of a villa with elaborate mosaics that rank among the most substantial Roman sites in the region. The site further preserves foundations of a basilica, likely constructed in the 5th century, and traces of what may be a baptistery, perhaps added during the period of Byzantine occupation in the 6th and 7th centuries. The period of Islamic rule, from the 8th century through to the 13th, witnessed the construction of many fortifications, including examples at Aljezur, Loulé and Salir, which were mostly levelled by earthquakes. Silves, a city with origins in the Bronze Age, preserves a substantial concentration of relatively well-preserved Islamic monuments. These include a bridge, carved inscriptions, a castle, cistern and fortified walls, along which numerous ceramics have been excavated. Most extant medieval churches in Algarve date to the period after the Reconquest. These tend to be modest in design and small in scale, such as the 13th-century Vera Cruz de Marmelar, built over Visigothic or Mozarabic foundations. The relatively large cathedrals at Silves and at Faro preserve substantial portions dating to the 13th century, as well as fabric from subsequent medieval campaigns. Renaissance and Baroque churches and ecclesiastical furnishings can be found throughout Algarve....
Former Benedictine convent of nuns, dedicated to St Saviour, in Alsace, France. Founded in the 9th century, it was suppressed at the Revolution in 1789. The west tower and the nave with tribunes were rebuilt in the 17th century, but the crypt and western block survive and contain important Romanesque remains. The sculptural decoration, executed in sandstone from the Vosges, is concentrated on the façade block.
The finest work is found on the portal, which is abundantly decorated with low-relief sculpture. The door-frame belongs to the 11th-century church, but the sculptures are contemporary with the construction of the westwork in 1140. Their iconography is linked to the theme of paradise, a term used in medieval times to denote both the parvis in front of a church and the entrance porch. Standing out in the centre of the tympanum, Christ confers a key on St Peter and a book on St Paul. The scene takes place in a celestial garden, reminiscent of Early Christian decorative backgrounds, but here the trees are emphasized and the traditional scheme is combined with other allegorical subjects: the climbing of a heavenly tree and bird-hunting. On the lintel is the story of Adam and Eve, from the Creation of Eve to the Expulsion. The Lamentation of Adam and Eve, represented on the extreme right, is exceptional in the region and is derived from Byzantine iconography. Each of the pilasters flanking the jambs bears five superimposed niches, sheltering Abbey benefactors and their spouses, designated by name. The lowest niches are supported by atlas figures. Over the porch arch are three groups in high relief: the keystone bears Christ treading a dragon under his feet, flanked by Samson opening the lion’s mouth (right) and David victorious over Goliath (left)....
P. Cornelius Claussen
(fl second half of the 12th century).
Italian architect and sculptor. He was probably a member of the Paulus family of Roman marble workers (see Cosmati) and a son of Angelo de Paolo. His authenticated work lies partly outside the traditional marble-working fields of furnishing and decorating church interiors and includes building. The tower doorway of Gaeta Cathedral, Lazio, bears his signature on the keystone, set on either side of a relief of a flying eagle, the symbol of St John the Evangelist. The monumental architecture of the entrance arch is articulated by rich columns and capitals, retrieved from an earlier building; its details show familiarity both with the Antique and with contemporary Campanian sculpture. The tower was begun after 1148, and probably even after 1160.
There is evidence from drawings (e.g. G. Ciampini: De sacris aedificiis, Rome, 1693) that Nicolaus de Angelo signed the portico (destr. 1732) that once stood against the main façade of ...
Italian sculptor and architect. After Wiligelmo and Nicholaus, Antelami was the last of the great northern Italian sculptors working in the cities of the central Po Valley in the 12th century. Although he is referred to in the inscriptions as a sculptor, it is probable that he was also an architect, and that he belonged originally, as his name implies, to the guild of civic builders known as the ‘Magistri Antelami’, active in the region of Como. He worked mainly in Parma and its surroundings, although his influence was widespread.
His earliest recorded commission is the signed and dated Deposition relief (1178), now set in the south transept of Parma Cathedral, which may originally have formed part of a choir-screen. Other fragments (a badly preserved relief showing Christ in Majesty, several capitals, atlantes and column-supporting lions) are located in the cathedral and in the Galleria Nazionale, Parma. The ...
János M. Bak
Modern term for the dynasty that ruled Hungary until 1301. Their name is derived from the chief of the Magyar tribal alliance, Prince Árpád (reg 896–907). During the four centuries of their reign (which included 5 princes and 21 kings, half of whom were buried in the now destroyed basilica at Székesfehérvár), the country became a Christian kingdom with a social and political order similar to its western neighbours. The art and architecture of the age was influenced mainly by Italian and French models with some Byzantine elements. The castle (after 1241, archiepiscopal palace) in Esztergom has significant remains from the 10th to 12th centuries. It was excavated and partly restored in the early 21st century. The west door, the porta speciosa of Esztergom Cathedral is decorated with marble intarsia in a French-influenced, Byzantine style (c. 1190) and is one of the few surviving figural monuments (now in the Esztergom Castle Museum). After the Mongol invasion of ...
[Gr. Panagia Phorbiotissa: ‘Our Lady of the Pastures’]
Byzantine church in Cyprus, situated on the west side of the island, 4 km south-west of the village of Vizakia. The church was originally part of the monastery of the Phorbia (destr.), and a marginal note in a synaxarion copied in Cyprus or Palestine in 1063 indicates that the manuscript once belonged to this monastery. The church is renowned for its well-preserved cycles of wall paintings and painted inscriptions, two of which attribute the foundation and decoration of the church to Nicephoros Ischyrios, the Magistros, in 1105–6. A third, damaged inscription mentions a certain ‘Theophilos’ and ‘the people’, who were probably responsible for a programme of redecoration in 1332–3. The wall paintings were cleaned and restored in 1965–8 by Ernest Hawkins and David Winfield under the auspices of the Center for Byzantine Studies at Dumbarton Oaks, Washington, DC.
The church is a single-aisle structure with a semicircular apse and barrel-vaulted nave supported by transverse ribs and engaged piers, forming three blind niches in the north and south walls. In plan it resembles the parekklesion of the Cypriot monastery of St John Chrysosthomos, but it does not have a dome. Although the original walls were of stone mortared with mud, probably in the late 12th century, yellow sandstone of better quality was used for the construction of a domed narthex with north and south absidioles; this arrangement is found elsewhere in Cyprus, at the monasteries of St John Chrysosthomos, and the Panagia Apsinthiotissa. The church was later given a secondary steeply pitched wooden roof of a type common among the Cypriot mountain churches....
Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.
Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....
M. T. Camus
Church in Saintonge, western France, situated on the old pilgrimage road between Poitiers and Saintes. Towards the middle of the 11th century the church was in the possession of the Benedictine abbey of St Cyprien in Poitiers. It passed to the canons of Poitiers Cathedral between 1119 and 1122, when the decision to rebuild it was probably made. The church was restored in the 15th century (façade strengthened with buttresses) and in the 18th and 19th centuries (masonry repairs by Paul Abadie). Built of limestone, St Pierre has a five-bay aisled nave, a transept with apsidal chapels and a deep apsidal choir. It has slightly pointed barrel vaults. There is no clerestory, the nave and aisles being united under a single roof, which, with the raised aisle walls, results in a triangular west façade. The crossing is surmounted by a beautiful bell-tower.
St Pierre houses Romanesque sculpture of great interest, synthesizing the characteristics of Poitou and Saintonge. Inside, sculptured capitals are confined to the nave and crossing. Carved in deep relief, capitals decorated with masks, animals and monsters alternate with a variety of foliate compositions; there seems to be no clear limit between the real and the fantastic world. One capital carries the inscription ...
Thomas W. Lyman
Former Cluniac monastery in south-western France. The wealthy abbey was founded in
[Coquet Castle; Arab. Kawkab al-Hawā, Kaukab el Hawā; now Heb. Kôkhov ha-Yardēn, Kokhav Hayarden]
Crusader castle in Israel built by the Knights Hospitaller c. 1168 and occupied until 1219. It is situated c. 12 km south of the Sea of Galilee, on the eastern edge of a plateau from where it overlooks the Jordan Valley and the site of what in the 12th century would have been the principal river crossings between the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and its Muslim neighbours. Some form of castle already occupied the site before April 1168, when it was sold to the Hospital of St John. All trace of this early structure, however, seems to have been removed by the Hospitallers, who almost at once began to build there the ‘very strong and spacious castle’ recorded by the pilgrim Theodoric in his Libellus de locis sanctis around 1172, and which William of Tyre described in 1182 in his Chronicon as a ‘new castle, whose name today is Belueir’....
Italian town in Campania, c. 70 km north-east of Naples. It became a Roman colony in 268 BC and was an important centre during the Roman Empire, being sited at the junction of the Via Appia with other Roman roads. Benevento contains one of the best-preserved Roman triumphal arches, the Arch of Trajan (Porta Aurea), built of Greek marble in AD 114. The arch, built across the Via Appia, features a single opening flanked by engaged Composite columns with an attic above, and it has reliefs glorifying the triumphs of Trajan together with an inscription in the attic. Other ancient remains include those of a Roman theatre built under Emperor Hadrian (reg AD 117–38) and later extended.
In the 6th century AD Benevento became the first independent Lombard duchy, and it retained its autonomy until passing to the Church in the 11th century; it was part of the Papal States until ...
Former Cluniac priory chapel in Burgundy, France. The two-storey chapel, constructed in the early 12th century, is situated south of its mother house, Cluny Abbey. In 1887 important wall paintings were uncovered in the upper chapel, which comprises a single-cell nave (l. 7.50 m) with a slightly pointed barrel vault, a short choir (l. 2.70 m), and a semicircular apse. The paintings in the nave, including an Entry into Jerusalem and decorative bands imitating transverse arches, are fragmentary, but those in the apse are well preserved. The semi-dome contains a Traditio legis. Christ in Majesty is depicted enthroned in a blue mandorla below the Hand of God and flanked on either side by six Apostles: he hands an unfurled scroll to St Peter on the right and blesses St Paul on the left). Also flanking the mandorla are SS Lawrence and Vincent and two bishop-saints. Below the semi-dome are five arches, the central three of which are lit. In the spandrels are busts of female saints that closely resemble the mosaics of S Vitale, Ravenna, and in the blind arches, to the left and right respectively, are the ...
Italian sculptor and architect. He is first recorded in an inscription of 1195 set to the right of the main portal of S Silvestro, Bevagna (Umbria). With Rodulfus he signed the portal on the more important church of S Michele in the same square in Bevagna, but the inscription is undated. The portals on both churches have an archivolt with rich foliate decoration, but that at S Michele is further enriched by an inlaid marble guilloche on the outer order and large impost blocks bearing reliefs of flying angels. The portal of the north façade of Foligno Cathedral, which is dated 1201, is still more refined and is again signed by both Binellus and Rodulfus, the last work that can be firmly associated with these sculptors. The portal bears foliate decoration on the archivolt and an inlaid marble motif on the outer order, but it is also decorated with couchant lions at the base of each column, beautifully carved inhabited scroll-work on the jambs and an inner archivolt with panels bearing the Signs of the Zodiac on the outer face and Symbols of the Evangelists, carved almost in the round, projecting from the soffit; reliefs of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I (‘Barbarossa’) and Bishop Anselm are set on the inner face of the doorposts. The intricately rendered foliate and figurative relief-carving on these portals seems to be derived from such Umbrian sources as the leaf-carving on the portals of S Salvatore, Spoleto, while the inlaid marble patterns are characteristic of Roman marble-work (...
Monastery in Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Approximately 50 km south of Piacenza in the Apennines, it was founded c.
(fl Pisa, c. 1064–1110).
Italian architect. According to the inscription on his tomb (now set in the northernmost arch of the cathedral façade), he was responsible for the construction of Pisa Cathedral. The verses celebrate his art and technical ability, comparing them with those of the mythical Ulysses and Daedalus, and praise the expertise with which he organized the dangerous transport of the enormous columns by sea and by land, avoiding hostile ambushes and using machines of his own invention that could even be operated by two young girls.
Two documents, dated 1104 and 1110, mention Buschetto as one of the Operai (administrators) of Pisa Cathedral. He is considered responsible for its original plan, however, and he must have been active by 1064, when construction work began. The cathedral shows at least two building phases. The eastern sections of the building are built mainly of dark marble, but the walls to the west of the breaks are largely of white stone. Since Buschetto’s epigraph refers to a ‘temple of white marble’, at least some of these walls must have been executed under his direction. He was therefore probably responsible for the modification of the west end and the widening of the new façade, which was executed by ...
Former Cistercian abbey dedicated to Notre-Dame de la Nativité, in Périgord, France. The abbey is particularly famous for its cloister. Cadouin, on the River Dordogne, fell under the control of the Cistercians directly after its foundation in 1115. The acquisition of a famous relic (the ‘Saint Suaire’ or Holy Shroud) led to the establishment of a flourishing pilgrimage to the site. The church dates from the 12th century, but the monastic complex, heavily damaged in the Hundred Years War, was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries. The cloister, a relatively small structure (six bays by five; 19×16 m), was begun under Abbot Pierre V de Gaing (1455–75). During the troubled period of the wars the relic of the Holy Shroud was alienated and went to Toulouse, but Pierre de Gaing re-established possession of it and regained many of the lost domaines of the monastery. He initiated major campaigns of construction on the cloister, building the north, south, and east walks. It was completed in the early 16th century....
Alison Manges Nogueira
Monumental, marble paschal Candlestick of the late 12th to early 13th century with reliefs signed by Nicolaus de Angelo and Vassallettus now in S Paolo fuori le Mura, Rome. The imposing column (h. 5.6 m), adorned with six registers of reliefs and surmounted by a fluted candle holder, rests upon a base of sculpted lions, sphinxes, rams and female figures. The upper and lower reliefs bear vegetal and ornamental patterns while the three central registers portray Christ before Caiaphas, the Mocking of Christ, Christ before Pilate, Pilate Washing his Hands, the Crucifixion, the Resurrection and the Ascension. The culminating Easter scenes reflect the paschal candle’s function during the Easter season as a symbol of Christ resurrected, as evoked in an inscription on the base. A second fragmentary inscription refers to the unidentifiable patron’s desire for commemoration. A third inscription identifies Nicolaus de Angelo as the master sculptor and Petrus Vassallettus as playing a secondary role. Both were active in the second half of the 12th to the early 13th century and came from leading families of Roman sculptors: the Vassalletti and Cosmati (Nicolaus’s family). The candlestick is the only work signed by and securely attributed to Nicolaus and the scope of his contribution remains uncertain. A plausible theory attributes the base and first register to Petrus, based upon similarities to works signed by him and ascribed to his family, such as the cloister of S Giovanni in Laterano in Rome and the narthex of S Lorenzo fuori le Mura in Rome. Nicolaus probably executed the Christological scenes, distinguishable for their more dynamic, expressive figures and decorative chisel work, and appropriate for the master sculptor because of their centrality and significance. Early Christian sarcophagi and Carolingian ivories may have provided models for the figural types. This form of paschal candlestick was probably inspired by Roman columnar monuments carved with triumphal scenes....
Medieval fortified town in Languedoc, southern France. Situated on a plateau dominating the plain of the Aude, the walled town of Carcassonne is roughly rectangular in shape, up to 525 m long and 250 m wide (see fig.). It is still surrounded by its medieval double enclosure wall: the inner curtain is c. 1245 m in length, with 29 towers, while the outer has 18 towers and is c. 1320 m long. Amongst the medieval remains are the Château Comtal, and the former cathedral of St Nazaire, and the churches of St Michel (14th century) and St Vincent (15th century) also survive.
The site was occupied as early as the 6th century ...
[Cashel of the Kings]
Fortified ecclesiastical site in Co. Tipperary, Ireland. The rock of Cashel, surmounted by its cluster of medieval buildings, rises high above the surrounding plain. The limestone outcrop was a natural fortress, occupied from the 4th century
The earliest building is the Round Tower (27.94 m high), evidently erected shortly after 1101, a date that accords with its well-dressed sandstone masonry (there is no evidence to support traditional claims for a date in the 9th or 10th century). Originally free-standing, the tower heralded the new religious status of the rock. Doorways in round towers usually point towards the main church, and at Cashel this indicates that the first cathedral was located at the east end of the later Gothic chancel. The first cathedral was replaced by a second in ...