European Baroque Architecture

European Baroque: 1590’s-1750
Finally, we are beginning to see a cohesive balance between the exterior and interior of buildings. Design characteristics focus on monumental scale, movement, seemingly limitless space, center emphasis, and complex forms and plans. The two biggest influences to the European Baroque are the expansive world of the Church and the goal of self-promotion of its rulers. Mainly I am refering to the Baroque period’s leader at the start: Pope Sixtus V. He innitiated the completion of the dome, piazzo and the facade of the St. Peter’s Bacilica.

Here are some key notes to remember of European Baroque architecture:
1. took place in Italy, Spain, Germany, Holland and Austria
2. building types include: churches, palaces, country residences and towns.
3. churches are known for projecting into surrounding space or enclosing around space.
4. large churches have “basilica plans” or in other words, the Latin cross floor plan
5. they experimented with dome, oval and elliptical plans
6. starting from the top of a traditional European Baroque church you will have: layers of architectural features which create advancing and receding planes, a massive dome to portico, columns decorated with designs in relief, a temple portico, round arch, symmetrical emphasis, and the church would be the focus of the city square
7. materials: brick or stone, glazed tiles, or red brick
8. facades are just plain crazy…they show up on multiple levels, they undulate and project into space, they are curved and they are straight, …a little bit of everything
9. windows: rectangular or curvilinear with circular or triangular pediments.
10: doors: impressive in scale and decoration, emphasize entrance doorways, made of paneled wood or heavy carving
11. ceilings: gabled, domed crossings, chapels, flat roofs for dwellings

Below I have gathered photos of: the Palazzo Pisaro in Venice, the St. Charles Church in Austria, the Saint Peter’s Basilica in Italy, The Trevi Fountain also in Italy, and the Uppper Belvedere in Austria.

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