Stuff You Should Know: 4 Basic Styles of Architecture

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On one of my other blogs I wrote a post about educational travel.  The main focus was architecture.  This is a subject that I find very important to the aspiring renaissance man.  So here is part of the post outlining some basic architectural styles.  You’ll be a regular Ted Mosby before you know it!

Overview of Popular Types of Architecture:


As the name might suggest, this type of architecture looks and is of Ancient Rome. Obviously, some of the structures that fall under this guideline is The Coliseum or some of the Roman Churches.  The thing to look for in this style of architecture is the Arches.  Romans where famous for their use of arches because they were the first society master the arch.  Look for something old with arches, especially in Italy, and it is probably Romanesque.


Gothic was the Architecture style most popular in the Medieval times.  Most of the famous cathedrals throughout Europe default to the Gothic style.  The tells that help you know you’re dealing with Gothic Architecture are: 1) Pointed Arches; 2) ribbed vault in the ceiling; and 3) the flying buttress.  These sound fancy and confusing but click the links…  You’ve probably seen these features many times before.


Renaissance was very popular and followed the Gothic style.  It borrowed a lot from the previous styles.  The emphasis of Renaissance architecture has to do with symmetry and arrangement of features, making it more difficult to spot front the other styles.  Tip: look for domes.  Domes were a big part of the Renaissance Style and are present in many of the famous structures such as the Cathedral of Florence and St. Peter’s Basilica.


At this point, the architecture bubble busts wide open.  Odds are the building you are reading this in falls under the umbrella of modern architecture.  That being said, the modern architecture is still phenomenal.  The Einstein Tower, an observatory in Germany, The Glass Palace, a modern building in the Netherlands, and the Goetheanum in Switzerland are just a few of the fantastic modern buildings in Europe.

What are your feelings on architecture?  What are some of your favorite buildings?


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