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The limits and restraints imposed on builders in medieval times, thanks to materials, cost and technology have produced a series of iconic architecture styles that have developed into staples of what we consider a “medieval” example of architecture. Typically features of European history – stone, timber, straw and daub used to construct houses in large quantity, with angled rooves to resist the rain and snow, and thick walls to keep in the warm in the winter.

Norman Architecture

Castles and keeps were similarly iconic, with varying military styles influencing the architecture that developed through the Middle Ages. The Norman architectural style, a style which carried through the military architecture that flooded England with the style with the military prowess of William the Conqueror, established the norm of thick stone walls, impossibly high fortresses with small defensible windows, and decorative arches with a characteristic “point” to the top.

As displayed in the build to the left, the small cross-shaped windows lined the walls of highly square and rectangular towers, framed with arched holes which held pointed tips. The style also carries through into many old features of London, such as the Tower Bridge, with the small windows and rounded pillars framing each tower.

 

Sleepless Night Lions Castle submodels

Lego Tower Bridge 10214

Gothic Architecture

Moving into the 12th century, the gothic architectural style swept across France during a period of growth and prosperity, and the grand and lavish styles that came with it were evident in the buildings produced in this time. The marks of the Gothic style were pinnacles at the peaks of towers, contours and edgings that lined the surfaces to give depth and character, and large, circular windows.

The “flamboyant” gothic architecture included high pointed arches, detailed walls and windows, and huge stained class windows. The most iconic example of this style is the Notre Dame, the iconic Paris cathedral built between 1163 and 1345.

MOC-29962 Modular Cathedral-Medievalbrick

As we can see, these two structures captured in lego form display authentically the gothic features mentioned. The large powerful arches, the depth through the contours and towers, and huge pointed towers stretching up high

Rise of Timber

In many parts of Europe during the middle ages, timber was regularly used as a building material, the most visually iconic and lasting of which found in town houses and large halls. The decorative qualities of timber was exploited through the 15th and 16th century, leading to the rise of the architectural style of half-timbering, constructing walls from cut timber and daub – the white material commonly seen on the upper “boxes” of medieval houses. This is typically the most famous architectural style of “rustic” medieval houses, sporting deep brown frames which line the structure of the building and the rooves.

Lego medieval blacksmith 21325

As seen above, the building potential of bricks allows these features to be excellently displayed with the beauty of the angles and curves, as well as the striking whites that go contrast with the brown. These styles remain today in many surviving buildings found in towns and cities across Europe, and will likely continue to inspire builders and creators with their majesty and awe.

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