Stone and brick are one of the oldest construction materials in the world. They are known for their durability and strength against external elements and their ability to withstand the testament of time. However, there’s so much more to brick buildings than just bricks and mortar.
Architects have long used this material for its symmetrical design to create a piece of art with the help of skillful masons. This material has been used to build churches, monuments, buildings, homes, etc, some of which have stood firm for more than a hundred years.
Today, we’ll look at some famous old brick buildings that still inspire us with their design and ingenuity. Read on to learn more:
St Anne’s Church In Vilnius, Lithuania
This church has been admired all around the world and it has seen much history unfold over 5 centuries.
In 1914, on orders of the King of Poland, the church was burned down and then rebuilt in 1500 in brick construction. This great church was built between 1495 and 1500 as a chapel for Anna, the Grand Duchess of Lithuania.
There are many legends about who built the church and one of them states that it was built by two architects, Vaitiekus and Jonas. The elderly master and his apprentice started the work together. However, Jonas carried the work forward after the death of his master and contributed to the design of the elegant towers that we admire so much on the roof of the church.
This architecture is an example of Gothic architecture that uses a symmetrical façade with brick construction, dramatic archways, and ornate pillars for a unique aesthetic. And it’s said that even Napoleon Bonaparte fell in love with the church and wished to carry it home to Paris.
The brick architecture of this church can still be admired today and it stands strong even after 500 years.
Raztberg Cathedral In Germany
This is one of the oldest brick churches in Germany which was founded in 1154. The church is a basilica with three knaves. It’s built in the form of a cross and is witnessed from above with supporting arches and pillars. It was last restored in 1966 with many elements kept from the original design.
The Archbishop of Hamburg, Duke of Hartwich I and Saxony, and Henry the Lion played a pivotal role in founding this church as the episcopal seat of Ratzberg. At this point, Evermodus became its first Bishop.
If you wish to see the marvels of brick architecture, this church is one of the oldest examples. You can visit the cloistered yard that’s open to the public.
Linkopings Cathedral In Sweden
This cathedral is one of the oldest and most impressive buildings in Sweden. It has been around since medieval times with its towering spires and Gothic architecture. The cathedral was built in 1230 and its main building was completed in 1520. The belfry and the west façade were later added in 1885.
The current structure is about 800 years old. It was built to be the seat of the Bishop in the church of Sweden Diocese of Linkoping.
In 1546 and 1567, the roof of the church caught fire, leading to damage to the structure. However, Hugo Zettervall rebuilt the church between 1747 and 1758 and again in 1877 and 1886. And later the structure was restored in 1967 with the original shape of the roof from the 17th century. The roof has copper plating and due to corrosion, it has taken on a copper green color.
It’s a marvel to witness in person and is a great historical location to visit while in Sweden.
Lublin Caste In Poland
Lublin castle is one of the oldest surviving structures with its dominating courtyard and Romanesque round tower. This castle has been restored many times. It was first built in the 1200s and now the only surviving feature is its hallmark round tower with brickwork at the top and limestone finish at the bottom. And now it serves as the local church of the Holy Trinity and houses a museum featuring local art and weaponry. This location is famous because it was here when Lithuania and Poland signed their union in 1569.
The architecture of the building includes nods to Russian and Byzantium designs with artistic frescoes that were painted in 1418.
An interesting fact about this building is that it served as a prison under the control of the German army in World War 2. Its dungeons held around forty thousand inmates. However, the Nazis put three hundred prisoners to death when the Soviet army came to liberate the inmates in 1994, July.
The Castle today is a relic of the past that has seen wars and ravages of time yet still stands strong to witness history as it comes to pass.
The Jerichow Monastery In Germany
This cloister is the oldest brick building on the east of the Elbe River. It should be on top of your list if you’re a brick architecture enthusiast. The church affords Romanesque architecture that has inspired many regional buildings and foundations in the brick industry in the region. This structure is easily accessible from Magdeburg and Berlin.
The monastery was founded as Premonstratensian Abbey in 1144 in Germany. And at the time, it was the edge of civilization on the East River. The construction of the Basilica began in 1149 with the triple knave basilica being completed in 1172 while maintaining its Romanesque appearance.
It was later restored in 1685 for Huguenot refugees. The building is a marvel to witness from the courtyard. It has towering spires, brick facades, and a bright red aesthetic that’s a signature aesthetic for old brick buildings.
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