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Holy Roman Empire – Late Middle Ages

By |2017-08-03T12:01:04+00:00August 3rd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II was only two years old when his father died in 1197 AD. So there were several civil wars over who held power while he grew up. Once he did grow up, Frederick II ruled both Germany and Italy for a long time. Like his father and grandfather, he was [...]

Who was Charlemagne? Early Middle Ages

By |2018-06-18T12:57:00+00:00August 2nd, 2017|History, Medieval|

Who was Charlemagne? This is Charlemagne, or possibly his grandson (now in the Louvre Museum) What's Charlemagne's real name? Charlemagne's name is really Charles le Magne, or Charles the Great. In German they call him Karl der Grosse, which also means Charles the Great. How did Charlemagne get into power? Charlemagne's father, Pippin, left Charlemagne his [...]

Romanesque Architecture – Medieval Europe

By |2018-04-10T22:48:55+00:00July 31st, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Façade of Pisa's Duomo We call this kind of building Romanesque because it is a little like Roman architecture, with its columns and round arches. But people built Romanesque buildings around 1000-1200 AD instead of during the Roman Empire. The fall of the Roman Empire, about 500 AD, made everybody in the empire poorer than they were before. But the people [...]

Florence Baptistery – Romanesque architecture in Italy

By |2018-05-13T18:25:01+00:00July 30th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Florence baptistery: the Romanesque baptistery in Florence, Italy Earlier Florence baptistery (700 AD) Probably people had built an earlier, smaller octagonal baptistery here around 700 AD.  This is where Catholic priests baptized Christian babies in medieval Florence. It's also called San Giovanni, the Baptistery of St. John. That's because Christians believed John the Baptist was the holy [...]

Aachen – Palatine Chapel – Charlemagne

By |2017-07-29T18:08:15+00:00July 29th, 2017|Architecture, Medieval|

Aachen cathedral (begun 792 AD) One of the first ambitious buildings in Western Europe after the fall of Rome was Charlemagne's chapel at his capital of Aachen (now in northern Germany) about 792 AD. Charlemagne thought of himself as re-creating the Roman Empire. He wanted to build an impressive church that would show that he was a very [...]