Since the 5th century AD henceforth, the Roman Empire disintegrated due to pressure from the barbarian tribes.
In 395 CE, after the death of Theodosius, the empire was divided into Eastern and Western Roman Empire.
In 410 CE, the Visigoths sacked Rome and then moved west to Spain and North Africa. Finally in 476 CE the western Roman Empire disappears, while in the east it is maintained and developed, with its center in Constantinople (until 1453).
The construction of Roman public buildings was practically paralyzed in the 5th century CE.


What was left of the Roman Empire became Christianized.Churches and other religious buiding became the only important architecture.

The glory of pagan imerial Rome was lost and the new Christian empire was established in the East.

With this pictorial aculptural and constructive techniques were lost ,as well as everything that was not relatedor justifiable in the new religion.

The classical language of architecture developed from the architectures of Greece and Rome vanished between the 5th and 15th centuries in the Middle Ages, but then continued in later stages, from the Renaissance (15th century in Italy) to the
Modern Age.


6th Century.

Byzantine architecture is preemintly religious with an emphasis on the interior,being the exteriors very discreet. The only architectural ensemble of relevance is the Great palace of constantiople a citadel fortfied with imperial palaces.


As a result of the poliferation of charitable activities , there was also a demand to construct buildings for such purposes,such of them large enought to accomodate between 100 and 200 beds.

Catholic History in Less Than Five Minutes: The "Dark Century"of the Papacy. Mystery of History Volume 2, Lesson 41 #MOHII41


Justinian ,Byzantine emperor whose rule Hagia Sophia was built. During this period the most important churches were built.

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The oldest known remains of stained glass windows come from the city of Philippi in N Greece - colored glass fragments carefully cut into different shapes & found in association with strips of lead in the ruins of 6th century basilica. Justinian's Roman Empire

Hagia Sophia represents the union between the empire and the church a cube tropped by a dome .

Opinion | The Hagia Sophia Was a Cathedral, a Mosque and a Museum. It’s Converting Again. - The New York Times

When the dome was being built, large cracks appeared, so it was reinforced with buttresses.
The dome is placed on four triangular concave pendentives that serve as a transition between the circular shape of the dome and its rectangular base.
In the interior it was intended to create a mystical image of heaven that would be as opposite as possible to the everyday world. The use of mosaics that clad the domes with dim and trembling light, tried to recreate the heaven on earth.
Byzantine architecture is the architecture of heaven, full of symbolism.

Hagia Sophia


The dimensions of existong cities tend to shrink and new cities develop in very small areas in order to concetrate resources.In this way a deefnsive lifestyle is acquired especially in the peripheries of the empire.The distrivution of the water were of great importance.

Aerial view of Josefov fortress in Jaromer. Josefov is a large historic  defence complex of 18th century military architecture. Famous fortress from  above. Czech republic, European union. foto de Stock | Adobe

The Byzantines brought different novelties to the military architsture killers in the patrol paths from where to throw on the attackers all kinds of proyectiles blinds to defend the accesses.

Reuse of an old military construction Atelierf Switzerland. | Livegreenblog

Justian began a systematic progrm of reinforcement of the cities restoring the ancient walls and adding large number fortifield


The previous system of fidelity to a remote government is transformed by a pyre¡amidal system of vassalage and control of territory that focuses on the kingdoms ,countries…with their associate territories.In pre-romanesque architectures castles were developed ,this typology arises towards the 8th century and extens throughout Europe.


THE LOMBARDS(6-8th century)

They were Romanized and convert to crhistianity.With almost no architectural tradition with stone constructions due to theit nomadic character they acquire a uniform style which is based on the ideological and conscious use of the plundered elements of roman buildings,which are used with a greater symbolic use and well integrated with th new elements of good quality.

The Longobards in Italy, Places of Power, 568 - 774 A.D. comprises seven groups of important buildings (including fortresses, churches, and monasteries) throughout the Italian Peninsula. They testify to the high achievement of the Lombards, who migrated from northern Europe and developed their own specific culture in Italy where they ruled over vast territories in the 6th to 8th centuries

They had a great training in goldsmithing, that’s why it is believed that many items had applications of stained glass pastes and colored stones as if they were jewelry. The activity carried out in northern Italy has been almost completely lost due to the continuous reconstructions and modifications of buildings



They are characterized by the disire to reaffirm classical art in order to emulate the Roman Empire ,the religion is fundamental for the construction of monasteries throughout europe.For the first time monumental buildings such palaces,cathedrals… are built again .A significant contribution ti western was the introduction of the westwerk in attempt to create a monumental façade.

Westwerk Corvey

THE SAXONS (OTONIANS)holy roman empire (9-10thcentury)

The otonials collected the Carolingial stylistic and cultural reminiscences to confirm the existence of a link with the cr¡hristian emperors.They construct religious buildings such as abbeys and cathedrals inspired by roman basilicas and olso using the westwerk and doubles apses.Ainnovation is the use of galleries ,tribunes,and the alternation of supports .

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Islamic culture and architecture developed in most of Iberian Peninsula betwwen the 8th and 15th centuries .There are still traces of many fortresses as well as the urban layout of cities and towns.

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Towers are defensive elements but also viewpoints over the landscape.In the gardens they desing water routes and introduce different aromatic plants.


Islamic architecture produce new architectural types such as mosques and baths for hygenic and religious purposes. The ornamentation serves to create an atmosphere trough plays of light and color.The decorarive motifs are based on the repetition of geometric motifs .Techniques such as ceramics and plaster are used.

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ROMANESQUE (10th-12th century)

Romanesquqe is associates with the art of the Normans who in these centuries experienced their peak and maximum diffusion.Romanesque architecture mantained basic characteristics similar to roman architecture.Due to the political inestability the feudal lord usually the cities and palaces that become castles.


Due to the evangelization of religious orders crusades and pilgrimages ,the romanesque is spread throughout europe . Presence of monasteries abbeys hospitals…

The Christian religion increased, to such an extent that architecture and art are loaded with symbolism (paintings, reliefs, geometries …) and lose realism. This symbolism appears especially on the delicately sculpted capitals.

Majestas Domini with Evangelists and Saints (detail) c. 1123 Fresco Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona

Religious buildings are books made of stone characterized by large masses and heavy proportions.It based on the use of teh semicircular arch and roman vaults .

The order of cluny contributes to the spread of romanesque architecture among its new foundations .They give a special emphasis on prayer and liturgical offices to the detriment of manual work.Three successive churches were built to accommodate a growing community. The last of these, Cluny III, became the largest temple in Christendom.

Monasterio de Cluny
Cluny, post 1600

GOTHIC (12th-15th-16th cnetury)

It sperad mainly in the territories furthest from the classical context and therefore more distant from their cultuee considered as well as the art of the barbarians .The emergence of an artisan and commercial middle class makes a new type of city flourish : the burgs.This will become a promoter of art and architecture.

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The Norman builders began to test a novel system consisting of reinforcing the Roman vault with diagonal ribs that allowed the resulting panels to be lightened with different materials. Walls then opened and temples became full of light. It is understood that absorbing weight vertically is easier than absorbing lateral forces. In addition, the semicircular arch limited the height by its 1:2 ratio. Hence the invention of the pointed or ogival arch, which is the great innovation of this style. Unlike Classical architecture, Gothic architecture was able to express the play of forces acting in the building in a condition of dynamic balance. Form, dimension and material of each element respond to the structural needs in a coherent way.

The Cathedral of Saint Peter of Beauvais, France A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method by Sir Banister Fletche


The cathedral was the house of god hence the need to reach great hights that reduce the humam scale.They were great testing ground for architectural experimentation including improvements as pointed arches and ribbed vaults.

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Habitual plan follows the basilical tradition ,the transept moves towards the centre increasing the development of the ambulatory ,radial chapels ans apses

Historic illustration of Cologne Cathedral, a Gothic cathedral, western facade and a floor plan.

There is an external shoring system (buttresses) for the arches of the central naves as well as a system of stabilisation of the structure by means of pinnacles and needles, which also increase the effect of verticality

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The decorations are usually very fine frescoes directly on the stone or on altarpieces, with religious motifs, starry skies and sometimes feigned stone or brick. Sculpture returns once again to naturalistic realism, in order to be more convincing in its educational purpose.

Category:Life of the Virgin frescos in the Spoleto Cathedral - Wikimedia Commons


There is a multitude of civil buildings an expression of the new bourgeois social class and its new demands .At this moment town halls stately palaces universities ,fortresses , bastions ,bridges, bell towers shipyards are being built…

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Thanks to the flourishing of commerce and crafts ,there is an abundance of commercial markets and buildings for professional guils.

The stately places were the symbolic nd administrative place of powe.The Ducal Palace of Venice is considered the masterpiece of the venetian civil gothic,much more ornate than the rest with large coutyards,model windows,tracery on façade and a lo of colour.


City councils are also built in cities that are gaining economic and political autonomy. As in Bruges, an expression of the Brabantine Gothic looks like a reliquary designed in stone, due to the large number of pinnacles and niches decorated with saints and representatives of the local nobility and aristocracy.

RENAISSANCE(15th-16th century)

The church suffers a great crisis that leads to the schism of the West.In the 15th an iportant urban culture emerged,so merchants and bankers became protectors of art (Patronge) and ordered buildings for them or for the city.

The man trust in his intellectual capacities ,and think that the man have a lot of importance more than god.This was a a philosophy that emphasize the importance of human values.

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The interest in the recovery of Romanity arose in Italy and then spread to Europe, with the idea of matching the intellectual and artistic achievements of classical antiquity. Plato’s ideal figures are recovered: the circle, square and equilateral triangle. Hence symmetry and proportion were basic to the project and the system of ideal proportions are in the human body. Francesco di Giorgio Martini The ideal city (Piero della Francesca? Luciano Laurana? Francesco di Giorgio Martini? The new architecture had to be rationally understandable, formed by planes and spaces organized according to clear and decipherable numerical proportions.

1456 CE Basilica of Santa Maria Novella – Chronology of Architecture


He rediscovered the laws of perspective by formulating the bases of mathematical perspective and applying it to architecture, constructing space in an intellectual and rational way.

He revolutionizes the medieval collegiate way of projecting (artisan corporations)


One of the great architects in both theory and practice.

Its building are full of demonstrative intentions and subtle formal resources oriented to proportion, wich is the essence of Architecture.

«Beauty is the harmony between all the parts of the whole according to a certain norm so that it is not possible to remove, put, or change anything without the whole becoming more imperfect»

Leon Battista Alberti – Mery Alfi Osorio Gómez


He began worrking as a stonemason at the age 13 and prospered in the bricklayer´s guild.

The bulk of his work consists of more than 40 contry villas that he built in the vicinity of Venice and Vicenza for the Venetian nobility. Based on his music studies, he designed his villas using
numerical systems of proportionality for the rooms, devising a
variety of types characterised by the simplicity of the floor plan,
the compositional proportion and the functionality .



One of the greatest artists: sculptor, painter and architect.

His work was developed in Florence and Rome, his patrons were the Medici family and other Roman popes.

Michelangelo illustrates the transition between Renaissance and Mannerism, with very important works where it is seen that he uses the classical elements transforming them or manipulating them and transgressing the classical design.

He created the trapezoidal space that reinforces the axis of the great staircase. In the centre there is an oval, creating great dynamism between the opposing oval and trapeze.


BAROQUE PERIOD (17th-18th Century)

Derived from the term barrueco (imperfect pearl).

Linked to the monarchy, the aristocracy and the Church, it emerged as propaganda and glorification power, in the formation of national states and the reaffirmation of the counter-reform church.


The baroque is the spatial liberation of the rules of the treatists, of conventions, of elementary geometry and of everything static that had already begun with the mannerists.

The structure took a back seat .The focus was on the
visual effect and decoration. The dividing line between reality and illusion is blurred, with decorations that rise towards the sky that frame the scenes.

It is an artistic expression in which fantasy, mutability, the multiplication of scenographic effects, asymmetry, the use of lights, water and the movement of space intervene.

One of Baroque architecture details in Vienna. Baroque Period was a time when the dramatic arts and the powers of religion prevailed (in 16-17th century), started in Italy and had spread to France, Belgium, Netherlands.

Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680)

Italian architect, sculptor and painter. He is the heir to Michelangelo´s sculptural strengh and the main model pf architectural Baroque in Europe.

Its architecture pursues the emotional impact. He uses warm, shimmering color tones and plays with the contrast between dark and light to accentuate the focal point of the composition towards the Saint.


Architecture merges into painting and sculpture to recreate art. The zenithal light directed from a hidden window of yellow glass materializes in the rays.

He marks the main axes with two fountains in the focal points of the ellipse and an obelisk in the middle. Bernini also worked at the baldaquino, in the centre of the church, the composition for the Chair of Saint Peter, and a design for two towers that had to be put on the top of both extremes of the Madernos’ façade.

Blog sobre Arquitectura y Arte: Frases y citas célebres: Gian Lorenzo Bernini
Baldaquin et chœur de Gian Lorenzo Bernini - Basilique St-Pierre - Vatican (1) - Escultura en bronce - Wikipedia, la enciclopedia libre

Francesco Borromini (1599-1667)

His work was always based on simple geometric elements, triangles, ciercles and ellipses whose translation and spatial manipulation, by means of prisms, cylinders and spherical caps, was later greatly admired in architecture.

The façade of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane is sinuous
and concave with the idea of welcoming the visitor and
integrating with the exterior urban space.

San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane en Roma | Francesco Borromini | Planta + sección + axonometría
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In San Ivo alla Sapienza, he uses equilateral circles and
triangles, organised on a single star of David to form a
space with a central floor plan and integrated side

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In the Palazzo Spada he created the false perspective in
the gallery, in which rows of smaller and smaller columns
and the sloping floor create the optical illusion of a
gallery 37 metres long, when it measures only 8 m, with
a life-size sculpture behind, only 60 centimetres tall


ROCOCO(18th century )

More than a current, it is an artistic fashion born in the French courtly environments.

It is distinguished by the frivolity and superficiality of a decoration faithful to themselves, with the aim of surprising and ostentation. It begins as fashion in the warm and dreamy interior spaces, wich contrast with the conditions of dirt and unhealthy exteriors.

Convent Church of Rottenbuch | German Rococo interior | Rottenbuch Abbey church | My woodcarving blog PINTEREST: @ecclesiasticalsewing


(18-19th Century)

The 18th century, called the Age of the Enlightenment, with the support of the academies, spread a regulated and neo-classical taste: Vitruvius was once again a fashionable author, althought the new classicism was not strictly Roman.

The neoclassical style (Theoretical N.) was linked to the idea of public service and educational functions of the buildings, as well as the Greek agora that was configured by STOAS, large and elongated public buildings with arcades to encourage meetings…

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It was in the context that the museum was born with a didactic funtion: the functions were studied and a ratoinal floor was designed to serve these with areas dedicated to painting and sculpture.


19th Century

The architecture of industrialisation is related to new construction typologies.

New construction materials provided by industry appeared: cast
iron and glass. Polytechnic schools and international exhibitions are founded, experimenting with new materials and shapes.

In rejection of the new industrial spirit that generated alienation and anguish, a desire to evade reality and a desire for past times spread, giving rise to historicism and exoticism or a mixture of styles (Eclecticism).

Germany at the end of the 19th century / before WWII (historical photos) | Page 128 | SkyscraperCity
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20th Century

Under the optimistic spirit of the end of the century fostered by the well-being of the industrial bourgeoisie (Belle Époque) an aesthetic taste was developed that broke with historicism to follow new and modern ideas. It is characterized by clean lines, curves and undulating inspired by nature (Organicism) and oriental art, with geometric formal simplification towards two-dimensionality (Geometric trend).
In spite of the rupture with the past, the formal expression is nourished by Japanism and romantic symbolism; as well as the handcrafted production promoted by Ruskin and Morris do with medievalism.


Art Nouveau, Modernism, Liberty, Jugendstyle

Under the optimistic spirit of the end of the century forested by the well-being of the industrial bourgeoisie an aesthetic taste was developed that broke with historicism to follow new and modern ideas.

It is characterized by clean lines, curves and undulating inspired by nature (Organicism) and oriental art, with geometric formal simplification towards two-dimensionality (Geometric trend).

The avant grade:

The openness to other cultures and civilizations leads to a reflection on the conventionality of artistic expressions in history in order to propose new points of view: the Avant-grade(Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism).

After the First World War, the avant-grade movement moved further away from the crude reality of the world and nature, seeking the provocation and ridicule of Western culture.