Isn’t it beautiful?

The rhythms of Romanesque architecture are often the product of what I like to refer to as deep harmonies and deep symmetries. These are architectural features that are not necessarily visible to the eye at first glance, but of which the eye gradually grows aware and even more gradually appreciates.

There were rhythmic expressions even in the earliest manifestations of this Romanesque world, as can be seen in this 10th Century church of Saint Etienne in Vignory.

In this shot we can see the progression of the low nave arcades, followed by doubled tribunes arches, and then surmounted by a single large corresponding clerestory window. This rhythmic arrangement gives a stately view of the distant apse.

As the church building style developed, these rhythms became more sophisticated and generated more complex visual effects. By the time the 12th Century pilgrimage church of Conques was built, we can see this clearly.

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