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    • #7515
      jlchamberlain
      Keymaster

      Discuss the importance of the pilgrimage during the Romanesque period. How did church design change to accommodate these travelers?

    • #7690
      Raven Shaw
      Participant

      A pilgrimage was a little like the use of yoga to purify the body and spirit, in that it was a physical act of prayer. It also reminds me of the hippie trails that popped up in the 70’s, where young people were seeking enlightenment through travel. The Romanesque pilgrimage, like the hippie trails, allowed people from different classes to mingle as equals.

      Pilgrimage churches popped up along the way to Spain, in which travelers could see holy relics. Relics were body parts of saints, or former possessions, housed in elaborate containers called reliquaries. Reliquaries were ofter made from gold and encrusted with jewels to legitimize the holy status of the object and to give it a feeling of eternal existence (which may be true if we can still visit these objects in a museum today).

      The internal layout of a church was setup to allow pilgrims to view the objects in large groups that could be shunted through like field-trip groups in a museum. Like modern tourists, the pilgrims became a source of income for the towns surrounding the churches.

      External artwork, such as the Last Judgement Tympanum, reminded the pilgrims why they were on their journey. The image shows souls entering into Heaven or Hell based on how they had lived. The image acts as a teaching tool to people who couldn’t read, and encourages them to go out and convert nonbelievers on their journey.

      • #7702
        Laura Barber
        Participant

        Re: Raven
        Great post! I really enjoyed your analogy of the pilgrimage to yoga. They are indeed both more corporeal ways to express religious devotion. It is interesting to learn that it was this movement that created the rather popular design of wide sides and a centered Mass for churches in Europe.

      • #7787
        Bob Hook
        Participant

        Raven: I think you raise a great point about the pilgrims’ travels. I can see how “spiritual tourism” developed into a commercial venture. Complete with food and lodging, travel arrangements, tour guides, and souvenirs. I have never thought to equate these modern concepts to prior times.

      • #7801
        Gabe
        Participant

        Raven, that’s a cool analogy you drew to yoga and the hippie trials. I personally practice yoga regularly, and there is a huge difference between talking and thinking about a philosophy or perspective, and actually physically engaging in some action in pursuit of an experience. I’m sure the action of taking a pilgrimage played into the metaphorical significance of the art and scriptures. I’m also curious whether the physical effects of a long journey such as endorphins would enhance the religious experience that pilgrims achieved 🙂

      • #7807
        ckocsis
        Participant

        Raven-
        I love the analogies. Both your posts have been interesting and informative this week, so thank you! I like how you pointed out that the external artwork was to remind people why they were on their journey. I would probably need some reminding after hiking for who knows how long.:)

      • #7821
        Miranda Johansson
        Participant

        Raven – you have hit the nail on the head with this one. I really like how you liken pilgrimages to yoga, and the purpose of the two. Pilgrimages were indeed physical acts of prayer, and in a sense a method of placing yourself in a scene without distractions to be able to focus on the contemplation of God and one’s self.

    • #7701
      Laura Barber
      Participant

      The pilgrimage was a journey to a sacred place, completed by devotees either as a display of devotion, a way to repent, or simply as a means to travel. The practice gained popularity in the Romanesque period, perhaps due to the fear of the apocalypse. The pilgrimage turned into a way for people to express their gratitude that the end of days had not come after all, in addition to serving as a way for the common folk to travel and see new lands/cultures. The Santiago de Compostela in Spain enabled Europeans to complete a pilgrimage without having to go all the way to Jerusalem. The churches of this time were then altered accordingly in order to accommodate the numerous pilgrims. They were designed with wide, open sides so that large quantities of people could get in and out to see the artifacts without disturbing the Mass in the center of the church.

      • #7737
        Miranda Jackovich
        Participant

        To Laura Barber
        I thought you had great examples explaining what motivated people to go on pilgrimages. Do you think that those who went on pilgrimages were factors in how Medieval culture/art developed?

      • #7753
        Raven Shaw
        Participant

        Good point about the pilgrimage serving as simply a means to travel, if not for religious reasons. Traveling with a group of pious people was probably safer than traveling alone. It’s funny to think about people back then just traveling for fun, it doesn’t fit into our modern idea of the Dark Ages. I wonder if our modern tourist industry is actually catering to our soul’s deep need for a pilgrimage?

    • #7738
      Miranda Jackovich
      Participant

      Pilgrimage opened the door for all walks of life to practice and take place in church. Even those who weren’t welcomed locally could travel elsewhere to continue practicing their beliefs. ‘The Abbey of Notre Dame, Fontenay’ architecture was built by the monks who lived there. The abbey was made specifically for prayer, created with a simple design in mind because decoration would be considered distracting. They practiced living a simple life, the monks all slept in one dormitory with one set of clothes and straw hay for beds. ‘The Santiago de Compostela’ was constructed with double aisles surrounding the center where Mass would take place. This was done to avoid disturbing service so visitors could see the holy relics quickly and quietly. The architecture that was planned not only served as a religious symbol but incorporated functionality.

      • #7856
        rdnelson4
        Participant

        Miranda,
        I love the point that shunned individuals could demonstrate their devotion to God through pilgrimages if they were not normally allowed to participate in the usually religious services. The was definitely a time of “Christian and Gentile’ where ethnicity, race, and socioeconomic upbringing were judged on the harshest of levels. Those deemed “undesirable’ may have been excluded from regular religious ceremony in their society.

    • #7742
      Aubri Stogsdill
      Participant

      It was a widely held belief that going on a pilgrimage would cause believers to have favor with God and help them to have a better chance of getting into heaven. These pilgrimages took individuals of all economic status on long natural and spiritual journeys. The goal was for the individual to visit various different churches and experience relics. Relics were items that held significant value to the people because of the items’ religious affiliation. Many of the churches has a cruciform plan that helped to direct the pilgrims through the building in an orderly fashion. At the end of the church would be a apse that directed the people back around and out of the building. While I am sure that these pilgrimages would have been significant to the individuals who took them, it is clear that the church took advance of these people. Pilgrimages generated a lot of revenue for churches and for the cities the churches were in.

      • #7780
        Aalieyah Creach
        Participant

        Aubri,
        I like how you talked about the pilgrimage was used as some sort of way to have a favor with God and help them to have a better chance at getting into heaven. I have personally never thought about things of this matter and never looked at it that way. I understood the spiritual aspect of it and trying to get closer to God but never to get into heaven. I really enjoyed reading your post!

    • #7743
      Aubri Stogsdill
      Participant

      RE: Raven

      Really interesting point! It seems like the spiritual ‘cleansing’ that takes place during these pilgrimages caused them to be popular in other religions and spiritual practices. It is a way for people to show their devotion to their belief. Very interesting concept!

    • #7747
      Kaitlyn
      Participant

      The Pilgrimage held many purposes and meanings. It may have been a way to declare gratitude since doomsday had not occurred, and/or to ensure salvation if doomsday were to come. A pilgrimage may been taken to purify the soul or produce healing benefits. Or for an everyday person to see the world, or mingle with people from different social classes. Criminals would even take pilgrimages for repentance. In the peoples journey to visit these sacred places they could grow weary, with this in mind church created images to encourage the weary travelers. The Last Judgement is very often depicted. The churches also designed the architecture in such a way to make it easier and more subtle for the pilgrims to walk through the church without disturbing mass. Its actually very interesting the design tactics they used to accommodate the travelers.

      • #7845
        tmbergan
        Participant

        Kaitlyn, great points with the doomsday part! I like that you mentioned the images made for weary travelers as well. It’s almost like a reward for them; they traveled so far to be greeted with the images telling them that they’re doing great.

    • #7748
      Kaitlyn
      Participant

      Raven I loved your examples of yoga and field-trip groups. You explained everything very clearly, great post!

    • #7763
      Lacey Miller
      Participant

      A pilgrimage was a means of purifying the soul & induce healing. Additionally, it enabled people to travel, see new lands, meet new people.
      Pilgrimage churches would have large amounts of seating, double aisle, as to get visitors in and out without much disruption to mass. They were large and accommodating to many. See an example plan at https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/medieval-world/romanesque1/a/pilgrimage-routes-and-the-cult-of-the-relic

      • #7872
        csayreswoody
        Participant

        Great point and way to put what most people are in search for these places. also thanks for sharing your experiences and the website as well.

    • #7764
      Lacey Miller
      Participant

      Kaitlyn-
      I sure wish I could just travel to repent haha I’m really sorry but I must go see the world.

    • #7775
      Lucas Warthen
      Participant

      Church design accommodated pilgrims by placing churches in remote places “away from any sort of hubbub.” A perfect example of this is the Fontenay Abbey, which was originally located “on a site of old hermitage.” Additionally, the Cistercian abbeys like the Fontenay Abbey had dormitories for sleep amongst many other things that travelling groups might make use of. These amenities along with their locations was what made them so valuable and accommodating for travelers such as pilgrims.

    • #7779
      Aalieyah Creach
      Participant

      Pilgrimage was a journey that showed a Christians devotion as they traveled through Europe to Spain, “Way of James” to Santiago de Compostela. They made these trips so often that they placed churches throughout the main routes in Le Puy, Arles, Paris and Vezelay. Completing this journey was said to purify the travelers souls giving them some type of healing benefits. The churches accommodated the travelers by creating churches that had aisles wide enough for travelers to walk in and out to observe relics and walk out without disturbing the Mass that would be taking place in the center.

    • #7785
      Kaitlyn
      Participant

      RE: Lacey
      Haha! that would be great

    • #7786
      Bob Hook
      Participant

      The Church of Sainte-Foy, Conques, France c. 1050-1139C.E. is an excellent example of how the design of the church controls not only the traffic but the narrative. It is a pilgrimage church on the route to Santiago de Compostela. It was designed with a cruciform plan with pilgrims entering through the west portal and stylistically through the bottom of the cross. Pilgrims would circumnavigate through the church and would eventually arrive the apse ant the eastern end. The pilgrim passed several radiating chapels and the Reliquary statue of Saint-Foy (Saint Faith) and out the transept or crossing at the south entrance to the church. The church represented just another affirmation of their faith on the pilgrim’s journey for spiritual purification.

    • #7799
      Maggie May
      Participant

      Churches during the Romanesque period changed to accommodate pilgrims, or those on spiritual journeys. They would often have separate, easily accessible, large areas for viewing relics in reliquaries that would be accessible to large numbers of pilgrims without disturbing the Mass.
      I have seen churches set up like this in my travels, so it is neat to learn more about this shift. When I visited Lithunia (where my grandfather lived) we visited many churches with seperate areas containing reliquaries, sometimes even containing the bodies of saints. It was really fascinating.

      • #7846
        tmbergan
        Participant

        Maggie, that’s really interesting that some would have the bodies of the saints. Getting to travel and see churches with similar architecture and artwork inside of them would be an incredible experience.

    • #7802
      Jessi Willeto
      Participant

      Pilgrimage was something very important in Europe. It was meant to travel and visit many churches and important religious points. The churches utilized these paths and were all along a specific pilgrimage travel play (in a sense) which helped the pilgrims travel in a cohesive manner to see these specific points. It was a way to show devotion to God and to have his blessings, but was also a means to repent or visit some interesting points during travel. In a way, it was like another baptism. During this time I imagine it was a lot like tourism, and the churches and surrounding points would benefit economically from this pilgrimage boom.

    • #7803
      Jessi Willeto
      Participant

      RE: Maggie May
      Oh, that sounds really neat. I hear Lithuania has some really beautiful architecture. It’s really interesting to me that the way the churches set up pilgrimage actually worked in a tourism fashion.

    • #7804
      Jessi Willeto
      Participant

      RE: Kaitlyn
      Oh, I didn’t know that about the doomsday thing! I enjoyed readying your response; it was very thorough and concise.

    • #7808
      ckocsis
      Participant

      During the Romanesque period, churches were built to allow people on pilgrimages to view relics or walk through the church without disrupting Mass. Some churches even had separate areas built that contained the relics so that people could circumvent the church, as to avoid disruption, but still view the religious relics.

    • #7809
      Valene
      Participant

      To take a pilgrimage was an important part of the Christian faith in this time period. It was said it was “an expression of Christian devotion and it was believed that it could purify the soul and perhaps even produce miraculous healing benefits.’ Due to the end-time teachings that many followers believe in, when the end-time had not occurred many felt the pilgrimage would show gratitude and reverence for their faith and honoring it until the end time occurred. Church design changed to accommodate these pilgrimage people by keeping the center of the church for the local worshipers and an outer area for relics and pilgrimage people to visit and not disturb each other. The church of Santiago de Compostela was one of the very popular pilgrimage options that was affordable to most and easy to accomplish.

    • #7816
      Tamara Toy
      Participant

      The effect the pilgrimages had on the construction and designs of the churches was for several reasons. First of all, they were built in order to easily display holy objects. As well, the windows were on display as well, since most of them were stained glass depictions of the Bible. They were built with size in mind, as there would need to be room for the regular churchgoers, as well as the pilgrims. This massive size of some of the churches also enforces the presence of a holy being, which would reinforce the site’s position as an important site.

      • #7822
        Miranda Johansson
        Participant

        Tamara – yes! You have a really good point about holy objects being displayed in a way that church goers would easily be able to see them. What is also interesting is the construction and layout of churches also intended to regulate a good flow of church goers through the church.

    • #7819
      Gabe
      Participant

      So the most obvious effect of Romanesque period pilgrimages was that there were more people traveling to and visiting churches. Naturally this meant that churches had to grow larger and more sophisticated to accommodate them. To accomplish this however wasn’t so simple. Architecture in Europe had been largely stagnant since the fall of Rome, but the need to construct new Churches that could meet the needs of the Romanesque Pilgrim Period meant that techniques such as sweeping arches and huge domes had to be rediscovered and applied. Pilgrims were travelers, so many churches built wings with beds for the pilgrims. The layout of Romanesque churches with an ambulatory and radiating chapels with reliquaries was designed so that pilgrims could move through, stopping and praying at each relic in turn, without getting in each other’s way.

    • #7823
      Miranda Johansson
      Participant

      Pilgrimage during the Romanesque period was important because it displayed a belief in salvation and a longing for saving and even sometimes a cure of illness. Many people would go on pilgrimages because it was encouraged as something that would increase chances of salvation. Other would go on a pilgrimage in hopes of being cured of an illness. A pilgrimage was an act of belief, one would separate one’s self from their normal day to day surroundings in order to fully focus on God and His meaning. This was a way of seeking closeness spiritually and cleanse one’s self of sins.

      Churches would accommodate this to pilgrims through a layout that helped regulate the traffic and flow of people walking through the church and having shrines for worship set on the side for individuals who wished to visit these. Artwork and objects were also displayed in a way were they were easy to see from many angles, to accommodate many people walking through and trying to visit and see the art/objects.

    • #7847
      tmbergan
      Participant

      Pilgrimages became largely important during the Romanesque period as travelers believed it could heal the person and their soul. Along with that, it was also a way to go and socialize with new people in different classes as well as different cities or countries. To accommodate the large crowds, churches were designed to be bigger with double aisles to allow the travelers to move around the outskirts of the church as to not disturb the Mass that would occur in the center. The Church of Saint Foy is an example of this, with a layout so the pilgrims could enter through one side and go around the church to an area with smaller chapels that held shrines for saints. They would go through these chapels and then exit through another area to help with traffic.

      • #7857
        rdnelson4
        Participant

        I hadn’t heard that it was believed pilgrimages had healings power. It makes it easier to understand why so many people would travel such great distances on foot, and how much harder would it be for those who were infirm. I certainly hope that those who made the long journey received what they sought at the end!

    • #7855
      rdnelson4
      Participant

      During the 11th and 12th centuries, pilgrimages were of the utmost importance. Making the long journey to these holy sites were a means to get closer to God on Earth, which in turn were hopefully a means to remain closer to God in the next life as well.

      The layout of churches changed to accommodate the many pilgrims who made their way to sacred places. The cruciform plan takes the symbolic form of the cross but also created an organized flow of pilgrims so the crowds would not become chaotic. Pilgrims would enter the western portal and move through the church to the apse on the eastern end (these sometimes contained radiating chapels that housed shrines to the saints). After, pilgrims could go through the ambulatory and out the transept or crossing. Although it is debated whether its design was actually effective, pilgrimages literally changed the design of churches in the Romanesque period.

      • #7858
        Lucas Warthen
        Participant

        rdnelson,

        It’s interesting to look at the layout of churches as the accommodating factor for pilgrims and pilgrimages. A lot changed in this time period and something as simple as the layout of a church helped affect those pilgrimages too – it is weird to think about. Although it is hard to tell if the designs were actually effective… I think it is safe to say that they were due to the many churches that used the same design and assume that pilgrims followed the assumed flow inside the church.

    • #7863
      Sam Saccomen
      Participant

      Due to the belief that the world would end in 1000, pilgrimages took over during the Romanesque period. Large quantities of various people started to move from church to church traveling mile after mile. The main reason for the start of the pilgrimage was to become closer to God and ensure their spots in heaven. These churches were open for people of all class and allowed large masses of people to join them in their services. People enjoyed making these pilgrimages because they got to travel, save their souls, and finally socialize. Many people were use to being segregated by class in their community and pilgrimages gave them the opportunity to be equal among those around them and gave them the option to socialize. During the Romanesque period churches started making aisles twice as big to allow these individuals to move freely throughout the church without interrupting the Mass. These pilgrimages brought lots of revenue for the churches and many believe this was the many reasoning for opening these churches along the way. The design change was very effective and gave the church a system to go by so that all individuals could learn about religion.

    • #7864
      Sam Saccomen
      Participant

      Raven, I enjoyed your examples relating to our lives today. Although you gave great examples and explained pilgrimages fully, there is little information on the changes the churches made to accommodate for these pilgrimages. Great post however I would just include more information on the structural changes made during this time.

    • #7868
      Valene
      Participant

      Re sjsaccomen: I didn’t catch that it was believed that some of these pilgrimage churches were made for the revenue they could bring. Seems sad if that was the reason to build a church. The idea of socialization was an interested point of these pilgrimaged too, crazy to think you had to travel long distances to socialize.

    • #7871
      csayreswoody
      Participant

      A pilgrimage is a journey or search of moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine or other location of importance to a person’s beliefs and faith, although sometimes it can be a metaphorical journey into someone’s own beliefs.

      Churches changed to may these travelers by making adding more seating and quiet areas where travelers came visit during their Mass hours etc and wouldn’t distract the services that is going on. Most of these travels ore either visiting learning about different cultures or they are on a solitary trip where they want to get away on get on another spiritual level with their higher power. Or some go to these churches looking for healing and conformation on something that had already came to them.

    • #7958
      Jess
      Participant

      A pilgrimage was extremely important during the Romanesque period and is even still very important to this day. People went on a pilgrimage for many different reasons. Some went to become closer to god while others believed that good fortune would come upon them once they completed the pilgrimage. The churches would often times have an oversized isle so that visitors could come and go without disturbing a session of mass as well as having isles on the outside under pillars that one could stand under without drawing attention to themselves. Many of the churches also had arches as a way to welcome travelers.

    • #7969
      Guy Gaswint
      Participant

      Pilgrimage of Compostela which is called The Camino de Santiago today is a pilgrimage route that is still used today. The route leads to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela where it is said that the remains of St. James are enshrined. A pilgrimage is believed to be a way to get closer to god, today many people walk or cycle this route to become closer with their own inner self and nature. During stops along the way people have a chance to meet other people from different parts of the world and social classes. The churches helped to support pilgrims by making the church more accessible for visitors during periods of mass or prayer. The church undoubtedly received considerable revenue from the pilgrims when the visited.

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