DESIGN > PLANNING > ARCHITECTURE > medieval
c. 1000 – 14th century
Western Europe — Influences: Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking including Norman and Romanesque heavy stone fortification architecture
The Middle Ages were marked by instability and violence in a strongly militarized Feudal society. Builders built seemingly impregnable structures of massive scale and simple geometry.
In the Middle Ages between the 11th and 14th centuries, builders in Western Europe worked to recreate the engineering feats of their Roman predecessors with which they had since lost touch. The Romanesque style is characterized by simple construction, small windows, barrel-vaulted ceilings, rounded arches, and strong columns and buttresses. Late Romanesque began to apply quadripartite groin vaults, clerestory windows, and arcades.
Austere and functional, sturdy Norman architecture was built to impress strength and dignity with simple geometry, groin vaults, small window openings, and massive walls.
Medieval Fortification, Europe
Castles and cities created barriers built with thick stone walls for sheer strength and self-defense. Medieval features include crenelated curtain walls carved with battlements and arrow slits and projecting corner lookout towers.