adjacent groined vaults
- chris cambré
In a groined vault forces are concentrated unto the supporting piers on the corners of the vault.
An additional advantage of groined vaults are the flat surfaces on the 4 sides of the vault. This raised the idea of replacing the barrel vault by adjacent groined vaults. As a result the side walls of the church became higher, with more and larger windows to guarantee a better illumination.
the Sainte-Marie-Madeleine in Vézelay
An absolut highlight in romaesque architecture is the Sainte-Marie-Madelaine in Vézelay. The nave got finished in 1140 and with its length of 62 m the church is even longer langer than the Notre-Dame (60 m) in Paris and the cathedral of Amiens (54 m). By using adjacent groined vaults the church is unusually open and bright. Already during the 13th century the walls had to be supported by additional flying butresses. It's a miracle the church is still standing. In the church gotic style is already present to. After the collaps of the romanesque choir it was rebuilt between 1185 and 1190. Form and structure of this new choir are clearly gotic. The Sainte-Marie-Madeleine in Vézelay illustrates how the growing knowledge of construction techniques was a continuous proces in time, while later on we distinguished romanesque and gothic as separated style periods.