Architecture, Designs, and Clothing of the Medieval Lifestyle
The Medieval period, also known as the Middle Ages, lasted from the 5th to 15th century in Europe between the fall of the Roman Empire and the birth of the Renaissance period. Art and architecture incorporated a Romanesque style that shifted to a Gothic style later in the Middle Ages.
Clothing varied depending on a person’s wealth and status in society, which was based on a feudal system. Clergy and nobles were at the top of the system, while scientists, merchants and craftsmen were in the middle, and peasants who worked the land were at the bottom. Laws even restricted what people could wear based on their class.
Peasants wore very simple clothing of wool tunics and cloaks, while the wealthy could wear fashionable clothing with gems, lace, and embroidery. Common costumes used today to represent Medieval life include long dresses, knightly armor, furs, and robes. View the links below to learn more about Medieval culture and lifestyle.
Château de Foix, constructed in the late 10th Century
- Medieval Architecture: Get a glimpse of examples of medieval architecture in France on this website, with panoramic views of specific buildings available.
- Early Medieval Architecture: The Palace Chapel of Charlemagne in Aachen serves as an ideal example of Romanesque architecture.
- Glossary of Medieval Art and Architecture: A glossary defines common medieval art and architecture terms to enhance understanding of this type of architecture.
- A Digital Archive of Architecture: Pictures of examples of medieval architecture show common features of these structures.
- Theology Library: Architecture: Explore this resource list with links to websites featuring pictures and descriptions of medieval architecture.
- Architecture of Gothic Medieval Cathedral: A picture shows an example of ornamentation in medieval architecture, which was added to structures to glorify God.
- Building the Medieval World: Architecture in Illuminated Manuscripts: The J. Paul Getty Museum displays illuminated manuscripts of medieval buildings.
- Number Symbolism in the Middle Ages: Medieval architects attached power and significance to numbers, so numbers and geometry are prevalent in the design of these structures.
- Medieval Architects: A professor at the University of Houston discusses the extraordinary achievements of medieval architects building their structures without modern technology.
- Building the Great Cathedrals: PBS presents a program called “Building the Great Cathedrals,” which details the engineering and construction of these structures.
- Medieval Architecture: Review the rise of medieval architecture throughout Europe, with additional links discussing specific types of architecture, cathedrals, and castles.
- Church Architecture: Medieval Era: The Khan Academy offers pictures and descriptions of medieval churches to show examples of this craftsmanship.
- English Medieval Architecture: A Model For Design Process Analysis: An associate professor with the University of Virginia School of Architecture discusses English medieval architecture and the use of fabric in design.
- Overview of Medieval Architecture: The Saylor Foundation presents a detailed overview of medieval architecture in this report.
- Medieval Architecture: View pictures and read fascinating history presented by the Cathedral and Abbey Church of Saint Alban.
- In Medieval Architecture, Signs of Advanced Math: Medieval Islamic architecture also features designs and patterns that incorporate advanced mathematics.
- Architecture of Castles in the Middle Ages: Explore how architecture advanced and progressed through the Middle Ages, influenced largely by the Crusades.
- Researching the History of Castles: Defense and protection were important features of castles in the Middle Ages, and architecture featured these designs predominantly.
- Middle Ages for Kids Medieval Castles: Medieval castles served as important defensive protection for noblemen during the Middle Ages.
- The Middle Ages: Explore the Middle Ages, including the art and architecture that was prevalent during this era. Grand cathedrals were the way to display devotion to the church, so the bigger the better.
- Early Medieval Survivors: The Guardian looks at early British architecture and how only stone structures endured to be studied today.
The Effects of Good Government, a fresco painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in 1338
- Gothic Art: The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers a detailed timeline of Gothic art and architecture.
- Medieval Artists: The artwork of the medieval era includes sculptures, stained glass, tapestry, and fine paintings.
- 3-D Medieval Art and Architectural History: Watch videos and computer modeling that shows three-dimensional examples of medieval art.
- Medieval Art: The Cleveland Museum of Art presents an overview of its medieval art collection with images and descriptions of items on display.
- Medieval Europe: The Walters Art Museum offers information about the Middle Ages in Europe, with pictures and descriptions of examples of medieval art.
- Medieval Art: Explore medieval art and information about the evolution of common architectural styles of this era, as presented by an artist and educator.
- Taking a Magnifying Glass to the Brown Faces in Medieval Art: NPR presents an interview with an art expert, exploring the history of medieval art.
- Late Medieval Period: Art: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art offers insight about the Islamic influence on medieval art.
- The Illusion of the Renaissance: A lesson plan designed for high school students presents information about medieval and renaissance art.
- Painting in the Middle Ages: Learn about painting techniques common in the Middle Ages and view examples of paintings.
- Medieval Europe: The British Museum presents information about the medieval period and the art produced during this time.
- Medieval Collection: The Glencairn Museum has a medieval collection on display featuring sculptures and stained-glass items.
- Looking to the Medieval to Understand Modern Art: Explore a review of the book “Medieval Modern,” which discusses how medieval art has impacted modern art.
- Early Medieval Art: View examples of medieval art and learn about the middle ages in this short overview.
An illustration of a commoner’s dress; c. 1250
- Medieval Clothing – history for kids describes what was popular clothing for medieval times throughout Europe.
- Middle Ages Clothing – Broken down by different classes, this in depth article describes all the different styles of clothing from Kings, knights, peasants and monks!
- Castle Life: Medieval Clothing for the Wealthy: An in depth look at what clothing and lifestyles were like for those of a wealthy background.