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Middle Ages : the British connection. ITCT A. Bordoni PV Classe 3tB a.s. 2013/14. Middle Ages. 476 A.D .: Fall of the R oman empire Poverty and Unsafety 622 A.D.: Beginning of the Islam expansion 673 A.D.: Siege of Costantinople Inventions : Greek fire and stirrups

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middle ages the british connection

Middle Ages:the British connection

ITCT A. Bordoni PV

Classe 3tB

a.s. 2013/14

middle ages
Middle Ages
  • 476 A.D.: Fall of the Roman empire

Poverty and Unsafety

  • 622 A.D.: Beginning of the Islam expansion
  • 673 A.D.: Siege of Costantinople

Inventions: Greekfire and stirrups

  • 700 A.D.: Viking invasion ; Irish monksdiscoverIreland

800 A.D.: Charlemagnepromotes science and education for all (even for a fewwomen), schools are founded in monasteries. The lessons are in

Grammar, logic, rhetoric,geometry, arithmetic , astronomy and music

  • Meanwhile in the east a new progress: universities, discovery of chemicalelements, Indiannumerals, kerosene, new canons in medicine and optometry
  • 1096 A.D.: The crusades

1139 A.D.: new inventions: the crossbow

Translation of Greekworksinto Latin

  • 1216 A.D.: first univerisities in Europe: Bologna, Paris,Oxford,Pavia.

New inventions:



The silkroad:MarcoPolo travelledthroughout Asia.


1350 A.D.: the plague.

  • 1436 A.D.: new invention: printing press
  • 1492 A.D.: Columbus discovers America.
  • 1500 A.D.: The renaissance with Leonardo Da Vinci.

The Via Francigena is the common name of an ancient road and pilgrim route running from France to Rome, though it is usually considered to have its starting point much further away, in the English cathedral city of Canterbury. As such, the route passes through England, France, Switzerland and Italy. The route was known in Italy as the "Via Francigena" ("the road that comes from France"). In mediaeval times it was an important road and pilgrimage route for those wishing to visit the Holy See and the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul.

  • The Via Francigena was not a single road, like a Roman road, paved with stone blocks and provided at intervals with a change of horses for official travellers. Rather, it comprised several possible routes that changed over the centuries as trade and pilgrimage changed. After all, all roads lead to Rome. Depending on the time of year, the political situation, and the relative popularity of the shrines of the saints situated along the route, travellers may have used any of three or four crossings of the Alps and the Appennines. The Lombards financed the maintenance and security of the section of road through their territories as a trading route to Rome, avoiding enemy-held cities such as Florence. Another important point is that, unlike Roman roads, the Via Francigena did not connect cities, but relied more on abbeys.
  • Today some pilgrims still follow in Sigeric's ancient footsteps and travel on foot, on horseback or by bicycle on the Via Francigena, although there are far fewer pilgrims on this route than on the Way of St. James pilgrims' route to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.[10]Roughly only 1,200 pilgrims were estimated to have walked the VF in 2012. One reason for this is a lack of infrastructure and suitable support facilities. Affordable pilgrims' accommodation and other facilities can be hard to come by for those travelling along the route.
romanesque style

Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque architecture, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 10th century. It developed in the 12th century into the Gothic style, marked by pointed arches. Examples of Romanesque architecture can be found across the continent, making it the first pan-European architectural style since Imperial Roman Architecture. The Romanesque style in England is traditionally referred to as Norman architecture.



  • Walls: The walls of Romanesque buildings are often of massive thickness with few and comparatively small openings. The building stone was often used in comparatively small and irregular pieces, bedded in thick mortar.
  • Buttresses: Romanesque buttresses are generally of flat square profile and do not project a great deal beyond the wall. In the case of aisled churches, barrel vaults, or half-barrel vaults over the aisles helped to buttress the nave, if it was vaulted.
  • In the cases where half-barrel vaults were used, they effectively became like flying buttresses. Often aisles extended through two storeys, rather than the one usual in Gothic architecture, so as to better support the weight of a vaulted nave. In the case of Durham Cathedral, flying buttresses have been employed but are hidden inside the triforium gallery.
  • Arcades: An arcade is a row of arches, supported on piers or columns. They occur in the interior of large churches, separating the nave from the aisles, and in large secular interior spaces, such as the great hall of a castle, supporting the timbers of a roof or upper floor. Arcades also occur in cloisters and atriums, enclosing an open space.
  • Columns: Columns are an important structural feature of Romanesque architecture. Colonnettes and attached shafts are also used structurally and for decoration. Monolithic columns cut from a single piece of stone were frequently used in Italy, as they had been in Roman and Early Christian architecture. They were also used, particularly in Germany, when they alternated between more massive piers.


A first churchdevotedto St. Michael Archangelwasbuilt on the location of the Lombard Palace chapel, butitwasdestroyed by a fire in 1004. The currentconstructionwasbegun in the late 10th century and wascompletedby 1155. The basilica was the seatofnumerousimportantevents, including the coronationsof Louis III (900) and Frederick Barbarossa (1155), among the others.



San Michele Maggiore can beconsidered the prototypeofotherimportantmedievalchurches in Pavia suchas San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro and San Teodoro. However, itdifferentiates from the others in the use of sandstoneinstead of bricks, and for the Latin cross plan with a nave and twoaisles and a muchextendedtransept.

The façadehasfive double and two single mullioned windows  and a cross, which are a 19th-century reconstruction of whatwasthought to be the originalscheme. Basreliefs in horizontalbandsportrayhuman, animal and fantasticfigures.

The façadeisdecorated by numeroussandstonesculptures of religious or profane themes; they are howevernowmuchdeteriorated.

The crypt, with a nave and twoaisles, islocatedimmediately under the altar: ithousesbeautifullydecoratedcapitals and the monumentof the Blessed Martino Salimbene.

santa maria in betlem church
Santa Maria in Betlem Church

Thischurchwasbuilt in the secondhalfof the 12° centurytoaccommodate the Ultraticino Hospital, especiallymeantfor the pilgrimsto the HolyLand, and forthisreason the church and the hospital werededicatedto the Virgin ofBetlem. The pilgrimswhocameherewerehoused and treatedifnecessary to help themresumetheirjourney. Onlyanoriginalporchof the south side of the façadeof the old hospital stillexists.

TheFaçadeismadeofredbricks in the shapeof a hutwhichisdivided in threepartsseparatedbybuttresseswithsandstonecarvings.

Around the slopingroofthere are blindgalleries and interwovenarcs. In the centre the sandstoneportaliscoveredwithvines, animals and dragons.A double lancetwindow, two “oeil-de-boeuf”, a cross and a simplelancetwindow are the only openings in the façade.

Santa Maria in Betlem Church, Pavia.


The Interiorisdivided in threenaveswithvaultsupportedbypillars. At the end of the central nave thereis a dome in Lombard style. The central and right apsewererebuilt in 1953.

In the leftapsethereisalso a fresco of the Virgin Mary sitting on a throne with the Saints and Alessandro Momoli and hiswife a herfeetdating back to 1623.

In the first chapel on the leftthereis a precious altar of the 18° century, where a rare groupofwoodensculpturesissituated. Thisgrouprepresent the Virgin Mary sitting on the throne and holding the InfantJesus. Withhis right handheisblessing, whilewith the otherheisshowingan open book with the famouswords “Ego sum lux mundi”. The Virgin of the Star isrenowned and worshipped for hernumerosmiracles and the churchisvisited by a lot of pilgrimsstilltoday.


Durham Cathedral is the greatest Norman building in England. It was constructed between 1093 and 1133 in the Romanesque style. It was founded as a monastic cathedral and it is cherished not only for its architecture but also for its incomparable setting.

The Norman conquest of England in 1066 and its influence on the country contributed to the birth of the Anglo-Norman style. The culture impact is found everywhere.


The building is notable for the ribbed vault of the nave roof, with transverse arches supported by slender piers alternated with massive columns. These features appear to be precursors of the Gothic architecture of Northern France a few decades later, doubtless due to the Normans, although the building is considered Romanesque. Buttressing made it possible to build taller buildings and open up the intervening wall spaces to create stained glass windows.

Saint Cuthbert's tomb lies at the East in the Cathedral and it remains a place of pilgrimage.

tower of london

TheTower of Londonis a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, England. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history.

The Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public records office, and the home of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom. The White Tower was built by William the Conqueror in 1078, and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite.

The architecture is Gothic-Norman.

imperial state crown
Imperial State Crown

The Imperial State Crown is one of the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom and symbolises the sovereignity of the monarch. The crown has existed in several versions since the 15th century. The modern version of the Imperial State Crown is of a design somewhat similar to that of St Edward's Crown, but shorter and encrusted with jewels: it includes a base of four crosses, above which are four half-arches surmounted by a cross. Inside there is a purple velvet cap with an ermine border. The Imperial State Crown includes many precious gems, including 2,868 diamonds: pearls, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies.

The crown includes several famous jewels and Queen Elizabeth’s Pearls.

When it is not in use, it is kept with the other Crown Jewels on display at the Jewel House in the Tower of London.


Abbiati Giada

Autelitano Lucia

Bargiggia Michela

Bergonzi Sara

Botto Noemi

Di Dedda Egle

Ferrari Veronica

Francavilla Gaia

Ghisio Irene

Missurini Rebecca

Munari Gianluca

Rando Daniele

Ravelli Daniela

Rocca Clara

Rosario Amanda

Rosti Federica

Sotropa Alexandra

Vanelli Alex

Zacconati Mattia