Spiers Cathedral

Spiers Cathedral
Spiers Cathedral

It can be said that German Romanesque style architecture0 had its epicenter in the Rhineland region, and in a way it is a reflection of the Carolingian and Ottonian artistic tradition.

spire cathedral

Spiers Cathedral

Within that German Romanesque art one of the most outstanding buildings was this Cathedral of Speyer, which began to be built towards the year 1030 and was completed approximately a century later. Although today part of that Romanesque temple is covered by a more modern building.

Originally it had a large façade on the western side, while on the eastern side there was a cross tower and two other twins. This scheme is a kind of influence from the Italian region of Lombardy, a territory that had always been desired by the Germanic people. And if we look at it in general terms, without a doubt, the church has many more Lombard airs than Norman ones, for example.

However, the size and proportions are more Northern European. In fact, to get an idea, we can compare it with another great contemporary temple: the great Durham Cathedral. And if we compare them, the temple at Speyer has a nave that is a third taller and wider than the huge British church.

This nave at the beginning of the 12th century, still in Romanesque times, was divided into square sections and covered with heavy groin vaults.Whereas until then the roof of the temple had been made of wood.

In this construction it is the first time in which the walls of a nave are articulated by a series of large arches, which in turn include prominent arcades and very high windows. A composition that makes it possible to raise it so much, which is further enhanced by the use of composite pillars.

These composite pillars are quadrangular in shape. In this way they have a semi-column towards the lateral naves to receive the thrust of the groin vaults that cover it, while on the side of the central nave, this column rises to the level of the upper windows to receive the blind arches that cover them. frame

Over time, this type of quadrangular pillars would gradually gain importance, and not only from a structural and architectural point of view, but also to house the monumental sculpture of the time, which was I was totally subservient to the churches and I was looking for places to appear, and here I was going to find a good support for the figures.

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