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What are the Styles of Ancient Castles in Germany?

During the development of the architectural art of the castle, there are mainly two representative styles: Romanesque and Gothic.

Romanesque architecture


The most important feature of Romanesque architecture is its semicircle and barrel vault inherited from the ancient Romans. The barrel arch is the representative of the architecture of this period, and it is generally applied crosswise to the pilasters and closed arcades, which are both strong and artistic. There are also circular towers, making the towers less vulnerable to destruction. Other architectural features include the use of narrow windows, semicircular arches, low cupolas, and door frames picked out layer by layer for decoration. Due to the extensive use of columns and vaults of various shapes, the whole building achieves a solid, heavy, balanced, stable, and saturated aesthetic effect. The narrow windows form a strong contrast with the vast interior space, making the interior of the castle dim and deep. Extremely deep, giving people a sense of mystery and darkness.

Romanesque architecture

Cathedral of Pisa

Roman History Museum MOC

To give you an intuitive understanding, the castle in the game “ico” is a typical Roman castle, to be exact, a Norman castle in Scotland. I believe that those who have played will still remember the solid, steady, mysterious and deep beauty of the Roman-style castle.

Romanesque architecture in Germany

Speyerer Dom is located on the banks of the Rhine in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is the largest existing Romanesque church in the world and an important relic of the Holy Roman Empire. It is a milestone in the history of Romanesque architecture. It was recognized by UNESCO in 1981. Inscribed on the World Heritage List.

The Speyer Cathedral was built by the German king of the Salian dynasty and the Holy Roman Emperor Konrad II in 1030. It took about 30 years to build, and the inauguration ceremony was held in 1061. His goal was to build the largest cathedral in Europe, with the intention of demonstrating the power and majesty of the royal family with the size and grandeur of Speyer Cathedral.

Speyer Cathedral is the cathedral of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Speyer and a famous symbol of the city of Speyer. The whole church is made of red sandstone. The bottom plan is roughly rectangular, and the east and west sides are symmetrical. Four equally symmetrical towers surround the main building in the shape of a cross. It is the first church in Europe that uses vaults completely. Structure and architectural space had a significant and far-reaching influence on the development of Romanesque architecture in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

The main plane of the church is Latin cross, but it is more slender than previous Latin cross, and the semicircular apse is wider, which is also a feature of Romanesque. Above the main plane is the “Four Gathering Tower”. The interior of the tower is empty, and the interior of the octagonal dome can be seen, creating the tallest space in the whole church.

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Gothic architecture

Gothic architecture gives people a feeling of rising upwards. The architect used the sagittal hair curls and cross arches that had appeared in Romanesque architecture to improve, and produced a ribbed arch as a skeleton, which made him extend upwards, and the use of pointed arches allowed him to design the size of his span at will.

There are almost no walls in the whole building, and there is a tall and large window between the main faces of the skeleton. The internal skeleton structure of this kind of building is nakedly exposed with vertical lines and pointed volumes, making its interior wide and high. And bright; the exterior also adopts a bare structure, and the combination of vertical pier columns and overhead flying buttresses, buttress forest small spiers and huge window holes also gives people a sense of ascension.


Regarding the Gothic sense of ascension, the research of modern psychologists believes that: tall and straight visual objects can make people feel a strange feeling of reverence psychologically, just like people see rugged mountains and waterfalls flying straight down. As well as the high tide, it will create a sense of spiritual impact and piety. This is very conducive to the performance of religious themes, so it is widely used by churches, and the use of Gothic architectural style in castles is entirely due to its exquisiteness.

Gothic architecture​ In Germany

Cologne Cathedral is the largest church in Germany and the most famous and perfect cathedral in Europe and even in the world. It is majestic, majestic, cold and towering, light and elegant. It is a masterpiece of European Gothic architectural art in the Middle Ages and a landmark building in Cologne. It is listed as a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO.

Cologne Cathedral is the pinnacle of German Gothic architecture. The original site was a temple in the Roman era, which was later changed to the main church. The official name of Cologne Cathedral is “St. Peter and Mary’s Cathedral”. It is the largest church in Germany with an area equivalent to a football field. Its twin towers are the tallest church towers in the world. The north tower is 159.38 meters high and the south tower is 157.31 meters high. It is also the longest built church in the world.

The Cologne Cathedral is made up of 160,000 tons of stones. It is a typical Gothic architectural style. It has almost no walls except doors and windows. The large windows, brilliant and mysterious, make people feel as if they have entered the holy land of heaven. The whole building is towering, light, rich and splendid, full of decorations of carvings and paintings, just like an exquisite handicraft.

Cologne Cathedral stands on a hill beside the Rhine, with a total area of 8,400 square meters. The plane is in the shape of a Latin cross, 83.8 meters wide from north to south, and 142.6 meters long from east to west. There are 10 chapels inside. Cologne Cathedral was modeled after Amiens Cathedral in France, but it also has many of its own characteristics. The long hall of the cathedral is divided into 5 parts instead of the usual 3 parts. The left and right side halls are each divided into two spans, and the width is equal to that of the central hall. The nave is 14.6 meters wide and 46 meters high. The ratio of width to height is about 1:4. It is the narrowest of all cathedrals. This makes the space appear more slender and the upward momentum is more obvious, creating a Otherworldly effects.

Cologne Cathedral fully embodies the architect’s understanding of the Gothic spirit, shows the imagination of the outstanding spatial structure, and creatively reveals the essence of Gothic architecture. Whether it is the clusters of thin columns rising from the ground on both sides of the central hall, the vaults ending at the tip, and the tall and slender side windows, they are all straight lines, without any transverse column caps and moldings to interrupt them. The exterior of the entire church is run through by vertical lines, and all modeling parts and decorative details are based on pointed arches, pointed coupons, and spires. All the arches, the mountain flowers on the door openings, the canopies on the alcoves, and the ridge decorations on the buttresses are all pointed. All the towers, buttresses, and walls were also topped with spires that pierced into the sky. Moreover, the whole building becomes more delicate and exquisite as it goes up. All the details of the building are covered with flowing stone-made hollow patterns, which are bright and smooth, delicate and ethereal, full of supernatural, ascending, light and elegant. dynamism and momentum.


Walking into the cathedral, there is a large chapel in the center. There are all kinds of historical relics of metalworking, masonry and carpentry displayed in the hall, all of which are exquisite and splendid. Among them, the Three Kings Altar, which is composed of gold, gemstones and rare ornaments, is a treasure among treasures. Cologne Cathedral also has many stained glass stories about the “Three Saints”, all of which have extremely high artistic value.

Inside the cathedral is the largest altar in medieval Germany. A huge cross stands on the altar, which is said to be the oldest and most famous treasure among large-scale sculptures in Europe. There are 104 wooden seats for believers to sit on both sides of the altar, all of which are made of thick giant wood. After thousands of years of use, they all reveal luminous wood grain. Next to it is a radioactive corridor. Above the four walls of the church, there are windows with a total area of more than 10,000 square meters, inlaid with glass depicting characters in the Bible. They are colorful and shining under the reflection of the sun. They are magnificent and colorful, which is breathtaking. The internal structure of the Cologne Church is unique, all framed and almost exposed skeleton coupons, and the walls originally made of a large number of stones are replaced by stained glass walls. 

The lightness and transparency represented by glass make people’s minds more ethereal, and they can feel more deeply the vast sky and the boundless universe, which embodies the religious spirit of Christianity’s sacred selflessness. Compared with the Gothic churches in France, the decoration of Cologne Cathedral is relatively sparse and cold, even without sculptures and murals.

Circling up along the 509 steps, you can climb to the height of 97.25 meters of the church, leaning on the railing, you can have a panoramic view of the beautiful scenery of Cologne and the Rhine.

Cologne Cathedral is the most outstanding representative of German architectural art and a perfect example of Gothic architecture. It is towering and majestic, clear and cold, full of upward force, showing a majestic atmosphere, making people meditate and awe-inspiring. It is an unparalleled masterpiece in the history of world architecture.

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