Style History- Cistercian architecture

7 Jun
Cistercian architecture is a style of architecture headed by Abbot Bernard of Clairvaux, France, who in the year 1124 led the Cistercians to a specific reaction of architectural construction:

Cistercian churches were constructed far from any human intercourse with large groups of people or cities, and so were built mostly in desolate valleys near streams. Cistercian Architecture was skeptical of the pursuit of scholarly or artistic spur, including that of pressed knowledge, literature, or art. No statues or pictures were allowed in or near the church.

They used water as a source for power, with the nearby streams, laid the church on the North side of the site, with monasteries and cloisters to the South.

Buildings were made only of smooth, pale, stone. Columns, pillars and windows fell at the same base level, plastering was kept extremely simple or not done at all. The sanctuary kept a simple style of proportion of 1:2 at both elevation and floor levels.

To keep the church looking important, and not secular (since no distinct religious items were allowed], building construction techniques had to keep to a strict perfection and beautification of building: stone were cut and saddened perfectly.

The best example of a Cistercian church is Fontenay, in France, built in 1139.

Abbey church of Santa Maria Arabona, Italy.
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