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By Edward Bleiberg

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As late as 1178 when William of Sens, architect of the new choir at Canterbury Cathedral, was seriously injured after falling from scaffolding, he attempted to supervise construction by having himself carried to the building site on a stretcher. Although William had supplied templates or patterns for architectural details, there apparently were no drawings that could keep the project on course in his absence. Numerous full-scale drawings survive from the thirteenth century onwards. Incised into floors, on walls, or on plaster surfaces, the extant engravings encompass preliminary sketches and finished representations of building parts such as windows, piers, gables, portals, and flying buttresses.

Of the many stages involved in the construction of a medieval Symbolic Interpretations For the Templars, the various versions of the Holy Sepulchre that sprang up in their monastic houses throughout Europe during the twelfth century—for example, at London and Paris—all represented their charge to defend and maintain the sites of the Holy Land. Emphasizing a somewhat different interpretation, in the Baptistery of Pisa of 1153, the quotation of the circular plan, the dimensions, the exotic multicolored masonry, and the steep conical roof of the Holy Sepulchre created a symbolic link between the rite of baptism that would take place there and the death and resurrection of Christ.

The usual model contained a long hall or nave, an entry portico on the west side, and an apse (usually semicircular in form, but sometimes polygonal or square) in the east, which usually contained the altar area. The entry and altar were almost always on the short sides of the rectangular configuration, with the altar facing the city of Jerusalem. A large open courtyard or atrium, a feature eliminated in the later Middle Ages, and an entry Arts and Humanities Through the Eras: Medieval Europe (814–1450) Architecture and Design Keep: The multi-storied tower that combined living quarters and defensive features in a medieval castle.

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