The pointed arch, one of the defining attributes of Gothic, was earlier incorporated into Islamic architecture following the Islamic conquests of Roman Syria and the Sassanid Empire in the 7th century.
It begins to appear throughout the Islamic world in close succession after its adoption in the late Umayyad or early Abbasid period.
David Talbot Rice points out that, "The pointed arch had already been used in Syria, but in the mosque of Ibn Tulun we have one of the earliest examples of its use on an extensive scale, some centuries before it was exploited in the West by the Gothic architects. Romanesque architecture By the 12th century, Romanesque architecturetermed Norman Gothic in England was established throughout Europe and provided the basic architectural forms and units that were to remain in evolution throughout the Medieval period.
The important categories of building: Many architectural features that are associated with Gothic architecture had been developed and used by the architects of Romanesque buildings, but not fully exploited.
The technological change permitted a stylistic change which broke the tradition of massive masonry and solid walls penetrated by small openings, replacing it with a style where light appears to triumph over substance.
With its use came the development of many other architectural devices, previously put to the test in scattered buildings and then called into service to meet the structural, aesthetic and ideological needs of the new style. These include the flying buttresses, pinnacles and traceried windows which typify Gothic ecclesiastical architecture.
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While barrel vaults and groin vaults are typical of Romanesque architecture, ribbed vaults were used in many later Romanesque churches. The first examples of the ribbed vault, atop the thick walls of the Romanesque church, appeared at the same time in Sicily, Normandy and England at Durham Cathedral from beforeWinchesterPeterborough and Gloucesterthe choir and transept of Lessay AbbeyDuclair and Church of Saint Paul in Rouen.
The Abbey of Notre Dame de Morienval in Valois is one such example, with vaulting covering trapezoidal around an ambulatorylightened supports and vaulting that would be copied at Sens Cathedral and Suger's Basilica of Saint-Denis. While Norman architects would also participate in this development, the Romanesque in the Holy Roman Empire and Lombardy would remain the same with only little experimentation with vaulting.
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