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GERMAN ROMANESQUE]
405
ARCHITECTURE
monastery. It contains features which are peculiar to the early German churches and are rarely found elsewhere, and is therefore of considerable interest, suggesting that some of the accessories of a monastery, supposed to have been the result of subsequent development, were all clearly set forth at this early period. The plan shows an eastern apse with a crypt, and a choir in front; a western apse, nave and aisles, with a series of altars down the latter; and on the west side, but detached from the apse, two circular towers with staircases in them. Unfortunately there are no churches remaining of the same date from which we might judge how far these arrangements were followed; but there are three early churches in the island of Reichenau on the Lake of Constance, in one of which, Mittelzell, is a western apse with staircases (here built up into a central tower), nave, and aisles with altars at the side between every window. The eastern portion has been rebuilt. At Oberzell, at the south end of the island, is a vaulted crypt, which dates from the end of the 10th century. In the third and much smaller church, Unterzell, there was no crypt, but three eastern apses and a western apse, which was destroyed when the present nave was built. At Gernrode in the Harz is a church with western and eastern apses with vaulted crypts underneath (one of which dates from 960 when the church was founded), and circular towers with staircases in them on either side of the western apse. The church was completed about a century later. In the arcade between the nave and aisles piers alternate with the columns. Alternating piers are found also in Quedlinburg (the crypt of which dates from 936 and the church above about 1030) and many other early churches. Western apses exist at Drübeck, Ilbenstadt, Trèves, Huyseberg, St Michael and St Godehard at Hildesheim, Mainz, the Obermünster at Regensburg, Laach, Worms, and at a later date at Naumberg and Bamberg, showing that it was a feature generally accepted in early and late periods. It has, however, one great defect, that of depriving the west end of the church of those magnificent porches which are the glory of the churches of France; the cathedral of Spires (Speyer), the church at Limburg near Dürkheim, the cathedrals of Erfurt and Regensburg, being the few examples where a dignified entrance is given; and further, that on entering the church from the side, one is distracted by the rivalry of the two apses, and it is only when turning the back on one or the other that one is able to judge of the monumental effect of the interior.


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Fig. 45.—Plan of Cathedral at Mainz.Fig. 46.—Plan of Cathedral at Worms.


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Fig. 47.—Plan of Cathedral in Spires.

The greater number of the churches above mentioned were covered over with open timber roofs or flat ceilings; but the problem to be solved in Germany, as well as in Italy, was that of vaulting over the nave, and the cathedrals of Spires, Worms and Mainz (fig. 45) are the three most important churches in which this was accomplished. The dates of their vaults have never been quite settled; that of Spires would seem to have been the earliest built, probably after 1162, when the church was seriously damaged by a conflagration, and the vault is groined only. In Worms (fig. 46) and Mainz there are diagonal moulded ribs, which suggest a later date. Although of great height and width, the absence of a triforium gallery in these cathedrals is a serious defect, as it deprives the interior of that scale which the smaller arcades in such a gallery give to the nave arcade below and the clerestory above, and of those horizontal lines given by string courses which are entirely wanting in these churches. Seeing that in some of the earlier churches, as at Gernrode, St Ursula (Cologne), and Nieder-Lahnstein, the triforium had already been introduced, and that it was repeated in the later examples at Limburg on the Lahn, Bacharach, Andernach, Bonn, Sinzig, and St Gereon (Cologne), it is difficult to understand why, in the three great typical German Romanesque churches, they should have been omitted. Externally the design is extremely fine, owing to the grouping of the many towers at the west and on either side of the transept or choir. In this respect the cathedral of Mainz is the most superb structure in Germany, and to the cathedral of Spires with its fine entrance porch (fig. 47) must be given the second place.
One of the most perfect examples of the Rhenish-Romanesque styles is the church of the abbey of Laach, completed shortly after the middle of the 12th century. The eastern part of the church resembles the ordinary type, but at the west end there is a narrow transept flanked by circular towers, and a western apse enclosed in an atrium with cloisters round, which forms the entrance to the church. The sculptures in the capitals of the atrium are of the finest description and represent the perfected type of the German Romanesque style. In addition to the two circular towers flanking the west transept, a square tower rises in the centre of the west front, two square towers flank the choir and a crystal lantern crowns the crossing of the main transept, and the grouping of all these features is very fine and picturesque in effect. A small church at Rosheim in Alsace is quite Lombardic in its exterior design, the pilaster strips and arched corbel tables being almost identical. The same applies to the church at Marmoutier, but the towers flanking the main front and the square tower on the crossing of the western transept produce a composition which one looks for in vain in the greater number of the churches in Italy.
In describing the Lombardic churches of North Italy, reference has been made to the probable origin of the eaves-gallery, best represented in the eastern apse of Santa Maria Maggiore, Bergamo. This feature was largely adopted throughout the Rhine churches, and in the Apostles’ church and St Martin’s at Cologne receives its fullest development, being in addition to the eastern apse carried round the apses of the north and south transepts, which in these two churches and in St-Mary-in-the-Capitol, also in Cologne, constitute a special treatment. In the Apostles’ church, where round towers are built at the junction of the three apses, the effect is extremely pleasing. In the church at Bonn, the single apse is flanked by two lofty towers which give great importance to the east front.
The steeples of the same period have a character of their own. They are either square or octangular in plan, arcaded or pierced with windows, and roofed with gables or with spires rising out of the gables.
One peculiarity found in some of the German churches, and specially those in the north-east, is that the nave and aisles are of the same height. To these the term Hallenkirchen is given. This type of design is very grand internally, owing to the vast height of the piers and arches. It also dispenses with the necessity for flying buttresses, as the aisles, which are only half the width of the nave, carry the thrust of the vault direct to the external buttresses. The nave, however, is not so well lighted, though the aisle windows are sometimes of stupendous height. The principal examples are those of the church of St Stephen, Vienna, where both nave and aisles are carried over with one vast roof; at Münster, the Wiesenkirche at Soest; St Lawrence, Nuremberg; St Martin’s, Landshut; Munich cathedral, and others.
St Gereon (1200-1227) and St Cunibert (1205-1248), in Cologne, besides churches at Naumburg, Limburg and Gelnhausen, in which the pointed arch is employed, are almost the only transitional examples in Germany, and respond to work of a century earlier in France. Toward the end of the 13th century the Romanesque style was supplanted by a style which in no way grew out of it, but was