Early Medieval Europe: The Ideal of Rome and Feudalism
This book traces the development of architecture in the territories of those who saw themselves as heirs to the Romans: Charlemagne in the west, and the Russian Czars in the east. Each developed their inheritance in parallel with the attempt to develop their empires. In the west, church planning conformed to the typical early-Christian basilican formula. Development culminated in the idea of heaven as a palace, prefigured here on earth by the church, with God as supreme architect. The conception of the church door as triumphal arch presided over by Christ the Judge is perhaps the most powerful theme of Romanesque art.
In the Russian empire the late-Byzantine formula for planning was most commonly followed: the type is represented by a string of impressive buildings from Kiev to Moscow. The influence of the east led to the development of characteristic forms, and nowhere is the synthesis of the oriental and occidental more bizarre than in the Cathedral of the Intercession in Moscow, the pre-eminent symbol of the third Rome.