42 thoughts on “Blog Exercise Two

  1. Baroque cities are the embodiment of power. The period originated in the late sixteen to mid eighteen centuries and represented a large reconfiguration of European cities and public spaces. The term Baroque itself means “extravagant, opulence” and Rome is accredited as the birth of such movement with the Roman Catholic Church as the backbone of this movement.
    The height of the structures made humans feel more connected to the cosmos and almost equaled them to the deities believed to preside over human affairs. Great domes and columns reaching into the skies for the world to see. Making the statement that the Pope or Monarchy were the direct link between the divine and the mundane.
    Baroque focused in grand structures with impressive facades, staircases, halls, height defying domes and elaborate ornamentation. Magnificent palaces and governmental buildings were constructed to denote absolute power and control. The reconfiguration required massive amounts of money, labor and organization only attainable to those in power. Cities like Rome and Paris, countries like Germany, Austria, Russia, saw a revitalization and beautification that was copied and envied by others at the time: “The bigger and opulent we build it the better than you we are”.
    Large avenues, parks, plazas, monuments, gridded urban areas, fountains, all added to the sense of opulence and greatness of the city. All leading to or set around a focal point: a palace, a castle, a monument, university, or a church/basilica/cathedral.
    The success of Baroque extended beyond borders and across oceans. When planning the nation’s capital the newly established United States of America utilized Baroque style and grid to build Washington D. C. Although the original plan was modified several times, the result is a city that utilizes elements of European Baroque Cities and expanded/improved upon them to created a more cohesive and organized lay out. Rome, Paris, London, and other old world cities had limitations when reconfiguring their cities: they had to build and work on an existing and sometimes millennia old settlements. Washington D.C. was mapped out and built on untouched virgin ground.
    Churches and Palaces became the poster children of the Baroque period. The exceeding amount of ornamentation and use of precious metals, linens, woods, and stone work foreign to the area signified the totalitarian and undisputed authority of the Monarch, King/Queen, or Pope, which in returns sent out the message of absolute control over the masses to do as pleased.
    There is only one problem I see with Baroque style cities: they are limited by their original reconfiguration. Once one has exited the outer most layer of the reconfiguration then things get confusing. New developments may or may not follow the design confining the expansion of the city and creating new issues.
    Baroque focused in the parts of the city that represent order and authority. Churches, the middle point between deity and humans became as exaggerated in size and importance as the royal palace or government headquarters. The city lines were directed towards either the center of religion or the center of power. Gardens and Plazas became the symbols of pride for the cities while enhancing the carefully pre-planned and strategically placed points-de-veu.
    St. Peter’s Square, Versailles, St. Petersburg, Belvedere Palace, Le Champs Elysees, St. Paul’s cathedral…all good examples of baroque opulence and planning.

  2. Reblogged this on notenoughtimeintheworld and commented:

    jmsuarez2014

    Baroque cities are the embodiment of power. The period originated in the late sixteen to mid eighteen centuries and represented a large reconfiguration of European cities and public spaces. The term Baroque itself means “extravagant, opulence” and Rome is accredited as the birth of such movement with the Roman Catholic Church as the backbone of this movement.
    The height of the structures made humans feel more connected to the cosmos and almost equaled them to the deities believed to preside over human affairs. Great domes and columns reaching into the skies for the world to see. Making the statement that the Pope or Monarchy were the direct link between the divine and the mundane.
    Baroque focused in grand structures with impressive facades, staircases, halls, height defying domes and elaborate ornamentation. Magnificent palaces and governmental buildings were constructed to denote absolute power and control. The reconfiguration required massive amounts of money, labor and organization only attainable to those in power. Cities like Rome and Paris, countries like Germany, Austria, Russia, saw a revitalization and beautification that was copied and envied by others at the time: “The bigger and opulent we build it the better than you we are”.
    Large avenues, parks, plazas, monuments, gridded urban areas, fountains, all added to the sense of opulence and greatness of the city. All leading to or set around a focal point: a palace, a castle, a monument, university, or a church/basilica/cathedral.
    The success of Baroque extended beyond borders and across oceans. When planning the nation’s capital the newly established United States of America utilized Baroque style and grid to build Washington D. C. Although the original plan was modified several times, the result is a city that utilizes elements of European Baroque Cities and expanded/improved upon them to created a more cohesive and organized lay out. Rome, Paris, London, and other old world cities had limitations when reconfiguring their cities: they had to build and work on an existing and sometimes millennia old settlements. Washington D.C. was mapped out and built on untouched virgin ground.
    Churches and Palaces became the poster children of the Baroque period. The exceeding amount of ornamentation and use of precious metals, linens, woods, and stone work foreign to the area signified the totalitarian and undisputed authority of the Monarch, King/Queen, or Pope, which in returns sent out the message of absolute control over the masses to do as pleased.
    There is only one problem I see with Baroque style cities: they are limited by their original reconfiguration. Once one has exited the outer most layer of the reconfiguration then things get confusing. New developments may or may not follow the design confining the expansion of the city and creating new issues.
    Baroque focused in the parts of the city that represent order and authority. Churches, the middle point between deity and humans became as exaggerated in size and importance as the royal palace or government headquarters. The city lines were directed towards either the center of religion or the center of power. Gardens and Plazas became the symbols of pride for the cities while enhancing the carefully pre-planned and strategically placed points-de-veu.
    St. Peter’s Square, Versailles, St. Petersburg, Belvedere Palace, Le Champs Elysees, St. Paul’s cathedral…all good examples of baroque opulence and planning.

  3. The series of images describe the urban planning and design strategies employed during the baroque

    period in Europe. To understand the baroque interventions throughout Europe, and particularly in the

    depicted cities of Paris and Rome, it is important to understand the social and political changes through

    the renaissance and middle ages. Urban morphological changes in the baroque period are a result and

    response to these societal shifts. Following the decline of the Roman Empire and with it roads and

    economic/trade output, the political and social environments shifted to the feudal system. This led to

    smaller, introverted city types. Cities were walled and largely organized (vertically) by occupation and

    wealth. These cities were often very dense and unsanitary leading to disease and plague. The high

    middle ages brought with it the regrowth of a system of cities working together. The Hanseatic League

    and Venetian empire are two of the main drivers behind this resurgence of production and trade. The

    modern banking system was developed during this time and groups of families started to become the

    wealthiest and most powerful people in the society. This shift of power into the hands of a few, coupled

    with The Black Death, began to break down the Feudal system. After feudalism Europe moved into the

    Renaissance period. In northern Italy banking and trade propelled family such as the Medicis into a very

    powerful position because of their wealth. These families began investing in science and art. Here the

    Italians rediscover the writings of the ancient Roman Vitruvius and the classical orders are re-
    implemented into architecture and design. And so here Europe was – through the fall of Rome, the life

    and death of the Feudal system, the return of agricultural surplus, production, and trade, the invention

    of modern banking, and rediscovery and investment in science and art – with wealth and power. Enter

    baroque city making. During the baroque period, cities were out to display their wealth through their

    physical structure. Thus, as see in the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and the Piazza del Popolo in Rome,

    straight paths were carved through the (medieval) city fabric to connect monumental points in the city.

    To use the terminology of Kevin Lynch, these paths often connected nodes, were marked with (vertical)

    landmarks and allowed visitors to more easily travel between neighborhoods and districts. This is

    definitely the case in Rome with Sixtus the Fifth’s plan. The plan was implemented to re-establish Rome

    as the center of the religious world by encouraging pilgrimages to the various monuments. (The most

    interesting image for me is the one showing the first arm of the trivium extending from Piazza del

    Popolo up the Spanish Steps and onward to the Santa Maria Maggiore.) This phenomenon of the grand

    boulevard in the baroque period was an amazing transformation of the highly nuanced medieval fabrics

    that existed in many of the cities. This practice of massive destruction in the name of better city

    organization will be revisited in the future as will the baroque practice of connecting monuments

    through paths will inform planning practices. Washington D.C. was planned with baroque principles and

    places like New York will experience the same type of razing for the purpose of better infrastructure.

  4. Reblogged this on All for class and commented:
    The Baroque period, a style detailed to produce tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, and architecture… The word Baroque was derived from a Portuguess word meaning “a pearl of irregular shap.” “The word was initially used to imply strangeness, abnormality and extravagance…” (http://library.thinkquest.org) The baroque period started in the early 17th century and lasted through the mid-19th century (Fargis, Paul (1998). The New York Public Library Desk Reference). This period was inspired by the Roman Catholic Church in response to Protestant Reform. One of the main purposes of using the baroque style was to impress outsiders. The unique and grand architecture was meant to express triumph and power. It was all about opulence and grandeur. It was about who can make it more elaborate. This is easily seen in the architecture; building facades, the supporting columns, grand staircases, and the fountains in and around palaces or cathedrals. Buildings were also being constructed higher than ever before. Many believe this had a direct relation to religion, a closer connection to God.
    During the Baroque period we also start to see what we call now the “city beautiful movement.” Each city during this period wanted to standout above all the others. They did this by constructing magnificent public building. Located in the center of the city public buildings were meant to be seen by all and the city wanted it to its image to be envied by others. They did this by building taller buildings, sidewalks, parks, religious monuments, and straight large roads. All of this of course cost large amounts of money. The Baroque period to course mostly before the industrial era and cities each had their specialty. Almost all successful cities during this time where located near major water ways for transportation purposes. A cities specialty could be, agriculture, timber, mineral, or trade based. Many cities flourished during this time and it made them wealthy. The need for large hinterlands started to go down because of increasing imports. This freed up men to work in other trades such as masonry. A very large work force was absolutely necessary during the Baroque period. Even today the Baroque style of architecture can be seen in the United States. Almost every State capitol and even Washington DC is modeled after the Baroque period.
    The Baroque period isn’t entirely known for its grand style in architecture. It had one of the most prominent art movements in history. Art during this period truly changed urbanism. During this time the mass majority of a city’s population was illiterate. Religious art exploded during this time, each piece meant to tell a story. That is why cathedrals and churches during this era depicted astonishing mosaics and paints of scenes from the bible. The priest would literally act as a tour guide through the cathedral telling stories from the bible using the art as a guide. This caused large amounts of people to seek employment in the cities, to be closer to the church and closer to God. It is interesting to see how religion can influence a city’s urban design concept. The Baroque style had a large impact in Europe but had little effect in the Middle East; all do to a difference in religion…

    • Nice work – good discussion of the economics of the Baroque – although the City Beautiful Movement is technically a term used only for the 19th/20th century movement

  5. Reblogged this on Neverending Wanderlust and commented:
    These images all reveal elements of the Baroque city that emerged in the late Renaissance period as a counterpoint to the secular and humanist ideals of the Renaissance itself. Instead of serving as expressions of wonder at mankind’s own abilities, Baroque architecture and Baroque cities served as a method of reinforcing the power of absolute rulers and of God. The Baroque city projected an image of absolute stability and power over the masses through the use of a set of specific architectural elements. At the time, many European leaders added Baroque elements to their cities to show off their wealth and power to their rivals and to impose fear upon citizens who might consider rebelling. Paris and Rome both have many examples of Baroque elements.

    In Paris, one encounters a plethora of polyvia – nearly every street leads to a plaza with many other streets branching off of it. The polyvium is one of the most basic examples of a Baroque element within a city. When one stands at the middle of the plaza, it is possible to see for long distances down each street. These sight lines often allow the viewing of monuments from a great distance. From the Arc de Triomphe, for example, one can see down twelve different streets. Looking down the Champs Elysees from the Arc de Triomphe, one could see the Luxor Obelisk at the next major plaza (Google maps). Additionally in Paris, the Eiffel Tower serves as another reminder of power with both its massive height and exposed metal structure.

    In Rome, Baroque elements are also highly visible. The Piazza del Popolo is a polyvium, with one street leading off of it to the Spanish Steps, and another street leads to the Altare della Patria (or as I heard it called in Rome, the “wedding cake”) at Piazza Venezia. St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City also encompasses the ideals of the Baroque city. The massive colonnade surrounding the square undoubtedly conveys a sense of the enormous power of the Roman Catholic Church on Earth. The dome on St. Peter’s Basilica at one end of the square reflects the Catholic Church’s power in the spiritual world.

    Not to be outdone by the Europeans they had been so eager to split from, the Americans utilized Baroque elements in the plan that Pierre L’Enfant created for Washington, DC. Like Paris and Rome, Washington features many polyvia with sight lines to important monuments, like the White House, the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, etc. The National Mall further enhances the Baroque idea of sight lines by ensuring a view free of obstructions to both the buildings that are most important to the U.S. government and memorials to the most important presidents. While it may seem ironic that the American capital city embraces the same Baroque ideas that European autocrats utilized, early Americans wanted to ensure popular confidence in their government after the Revolution. The Baroque style of Washington DC projected an image of stability and power – exactly the kind of image a newborn country wants to portray.

  6. Reblogged this on dobbyslittlesock and commented:

    The following images are that of the Baroque city. Baroque cities were developed in the 17th and 18th centuries after the Catholic Church re-establishes its power over much of Europe. Baroque cities are developed in a time of great artistic, architectural, and intellectual development.
    In the 17th century Europe was in turmoil. Czechoslovakia, Germany, and Sweden were fighting at the time while Rome and most of Italy remained out of isolated from the conflicts. However Rome was dealing with internal conflicts of its own. Protestant reforms challenged the power of the Catholic Church. When the reform was over and the Catholic Church gained power again the church began redesigning Rome in a new, monumental style. In an effort of the church to re-establish its great power over the city, great monuments are built. In plan, the city in not your typical grid with central downtowns but a series of interconnection roads that not only lead to monumental structures but frame the view of these great monuments. The grid can be seen underneath the grand boulevards that disregard the grid and take you straight to a grand monument. Great sculptures, painters, and architects are brought in for the re-designing of the new, baroque Rome in order to construct new monuments to display the power of the Catholic Church. The built grand cathedrals, elaborate fountains, grand boulevards, and other monumental structures.
    The Catholic Church was in reality, when constructing these grand monuments, showing you that they are so powerful. The entire plan of the city no longer belongs to the city but the church itself. The grid, while being only the most efficient way to set up a city, is disregarded as the church lays its new display of wealth and power over it. The baroque city is really the city that is under control of a great religious power.
    This new model for a city then spreads throughout Europe. Rome becomes the precedent from which European cities and the United States capital get its city plan.
    The United States capital is designed much like a 17th to 18th century baroque city. Many grand monuments connected by elaborate courtyards with fountains and boulevards that frame a perfect view of the monuments. The reason we see this baroque style city in the United States capital and not anywhere else in the US is because Washington DC is not a state in the United States. It is able to do whatever it wants because it is its own independent district distinct from other states. This allows it free rain into what it wants to do. It is really the only realistic place that something like a baroque city might exist. Much like the Catholic Church in rom the United States government district defiantly shows the governments power in the same ways the European baroque cities do.
    Baroque cities in the end are a series of connected monumental architecture. However their assertion and focus is on these monuments alone – theses monuments that display the wealth and power of those in control.
    Mohan, Meryl. “Meryl Mohan.” Meryl Mohan. Tumblr, 2004. Web. 02 Feb. 2014.

  7. Extravagance, wealth, and power: these and many other similar terms describe the Baroque style of architecture, which originated in the sixteenth century in Italy as a “Counter-Reformation” movement aimed to win Protestant converts back to the Roman Catholic Church (h-net.org). “Baroque,” a term derived from the Portuguese word barroco, literally means “imperfect pearl” (Jackie Craven, architecture.about.com). During the Baroque period massive skyscraping cathedrals, broad streets and staircases, and entire city structures were designed and constructed. Churches with increasingly high ceilings and domes (many with beautiful paintings to tell Biblical stories) were designed to make people inside look up toward the heavens—the buildings served as the middle ground between paradise and earth. They also were built with a purpose to exalt the Pope as the mediator between God and man. This period of time spanned three centuries (1600-1830) and the far-reaching style is found in many of Europe’s most famous buildings and largest cities. The Baroque was also an age of fierce competition in which cities strove to be and build the best; they constructed bigger churches and more extravagant city layouts so they could be envied by other cities, much like the modern skyscraper race (beginning in the late nineteenth century and ongoing today) in which cities have been building structures and office towers taller and taller to lay down bragging rights. All this construction required a large labor force, and methods like taxation were needed to pay the workers. With this came a large influx of people into urban areas, which resulted in the need for more services, such as doctors and lawyers. As aforementioned, Baroque-style architecture was far-reaching, as evident in Washington, D.C., the “epitome of absolutism.” The new capital city of the United States was designed by Pierre Charles L’Enfant and built on fresh, empty property (unlike other US cities which developed on previous urban sites) and included governmental buildings and monuments made to iterate power. The large-domed Capitol building served as a model for state capitols elsewhere in America. The city’s gridded layout featured junctions of numerous wide streets; each had a focal point to which all could see. Another feature of Washington is that there are practically no tall buildings/office towers in the center of the city—most of the skyscrapers are found in the outer zones, much like Paris. Along with breathtaking church domes and grand stairways, Craven lists other features of Baroque architecture, including complicated shapes, large curved forms, and twisted columns. Among the great masterpieces of the era, the Palace of Versailles near Paris was originally built as a hunting lodge, but later became the grand estate of the French monarchy. The giant complex, especially the Hall of Mirrors, was in every way extravagant and even served as blueprint for other buildings and cities. According to Craven, “Russian aristocrats were impressed by Versailles…and incorporated Baroque ideas in the building of St. Petersburg” (architecture.about.com). Baroque architecture majorly affected urban planning and construction, majorly because of the element of competition. The battling between cities to have the best buildings was (in my opinion) paralleled with the imperial race between countries to have the most territory and resources.

  8. Reblogged this on crainer2014 Urban Geography and commented:
    The rise of the Baroque period city was a confluence of the expressions of patronage for the sciences, humanism, and architecture, but this period also brought to the forefront an expression of the power and wealth of autocracy displayed through the organization and structure of these cities basked in grandeur. In this grandeur some of the most iconic architecture and city planning endure to this day and still inspire contemporary thought and urban planning, even influencing grand locations of power such as our nation’s capital, whose design still beckons to the Baroque grandeur of the past while being surrounded by the bustle and urban degradation of the modern metropolis. The iconic Eiffel Tower centered in the landscape of modern Paris, emphasizes the Baroque influences that surround this marvel of the 19th century, in that if one were to scale this Parisian tourist site an unobstructed view, bereft of modern skyscrapers and accompanying accoutrement could be seen for some distance in all directions. The view seen would also display the height of Baroque secular and religious culture, with the perceived centers of power, such as churches, monuments, and palaces or official buildings, acting as structural nodes for further organization and development of the urban landscape. In the image provided, the Arc de Triumphe can be easily seen as such a structural node with boulevards emanating from the monument, towering over the surrounding structures. Though the monument was constructed post-Baroque period, the structural node remains relevant in describing the organizational techniques of Baroque city planning and the enduring influences that remains in such a cultural heritage as the city of Paris. The bird’s eye images provided all focus on a central node that provides a centering point from which radial streets emerge, again emphasizing the origin point which would have been a perceived center of power during the Baroque period. This design differs from the previous city planning developed by the Greeks and expanded by the Romans in its obvious non-gridded structure, but also exhibits a less egalitarian design that displays the triumphs of power and wealth, which as in Paris and France during the Baroque period, were epitomized by the absolute monarchs of the day. Though the urban planning seems to be more organic in its design as compared to preceding classical city planning, the avenues and intersections seem to be carefully designed to accentuate the focal point of a building or monument of some significance, as seen in the illustrated city which focuses on a large open space with a monument centered and the more intricate illustration which shows the grand extent of Baroque city planning. The fountain displayed typifies the grandeur of the Baroque period, which served as a means of expressing cultural achievement but also served as a means of expressing power, wealth, triumph, and control by the aristocracy over their society. Ultimately, the Baroque period saw the progression of urban planning into a form of cultural expression of power and wealth, emphasizing monuments and buildings of grandeur that exist to this day, but the extant struggle between the aristocracy and everyone else for control seemed to be a significant driver for this cultural progress whose contributions to modern society should not be overlooked but whose motives should be examined.

  9. Pingback: Blog Exercise Two | parymayne

  10. Reblogged this on esobrien and commented:
    The end of the Renaissance period brought on a time period of physical expansion of many European nations, as well as the expansion of the mind of the individual. This new time of imagination and questioning the world was encouraged, until the people in power began to realize that could lead to their downfall. Therefore, many major cities began to actively think about how their streets were laid out and how they could use that to secure their own authority. Major cities, such as Rome and Paris after a while, carefully redid their urban planning to best play on their own power. Thus, the baroque style of urban planning formed as a display of full authority and control over the people.
    This style had a few major components to it. First the planners made laid out the main city boulevards to revolve around central parts of the city that were planted by the government or rulers. These ranged from grand monuments to Capitol buildings or important government offices. Paris for example, when it was redesigned in the mid-19th century in order to regain full power over the people after various attempts at revolution, gives a very clear picture of distinct baroque style. The Arc de Triomphe stands at the center of the Place de l’Étoile, where twelve avenues all come together in a very large roundabout, much larger than any that are located in the United States. For the citizens of Paris, as well as any visitors to the city, that means that on those twelve roads in particular the power and authority of the central government is the central focus point; and that’s just in one part of the city. Even the Eiffel Tower, in its great height and wonder, towers over the city, its presence alone displaying the grandeur of the people running the shots behind the scenes in the city.
    Also, these very straight and clearly directed boulevards were often times made to be very wide. This was not simply to show the government had power to make use of as much road space as possible, either; they were specifically made wide enough for the power source to be able to march down the boulevard with its army in tow, able to have an entire military troop show up at one’s doorstep and demand respect and control. If any citizen in particular was acting out of line in a way the government did not fully agree with, they could show up with force and change that person’s mind and get them back in line. The concept in general was enough to make the people behave.
    Another major concept of the baroque urban planning was the beauty put back into the city. The city planners paid more attention to the inclusion of parks in the city layout, as a way of making the citizens not as resistant to their power and control. With this increased control of the people, they eventually took on more responsibility and began to take care of basic needs for the people, one of those needs being green space. This was especially the case in Washington D.C., being one of the only fully baroque cities in the United States, when the layout was mixed with the timing of the City Beautiful Movement. The government, although it initially was a way to exert full authority over the people, eventually began to provide for the people, coming, in a roundabout way, to fulfill its initial purpose in society.

  11. Reblogged this on maybeokay and commented:
    The Baroque period lasted from 1600 to 1750 and is associated with new styles of art, music, and architecture as well as city planning. It is characterized by naturalism, emotion, and richness in art (and much of this concerning religious figures) and new drama and complexity in music. Baroque architecture followed similar trends, tending towards ornate exteriors, dramatic and luxurious shapes (larger buildings, taller spires and domes), new uses of contrast and color, and a synthesis between architecture and art through the use of extensive frescos, sculptures (free standing and in relief on buildings), and optical illusions. It was a style that sought to awe, to submerge the viewer in its opulence.
    The Baroque period has perhaps two critical initiating factors. The first is the Counter-Reformation movement in the 1500’s as “the Roman Catholic Church fought to uphold itself against the attacks of the Protestant Reformation” in part by pursuing “a style of design and architecture that evoked religious tendencies, inspiring both piety and emotion” (Bussell). The resultant Baroque-style buildings include St. Peter’s Basilica and Santa Susanna in the Vatican City and Rome respectively, and open spaces such as St. Peter’s square and the Palazzo dei Senatory, and the Piazza di Spagna.
    The second factor is European absolutism—the growth of wealthy and powerful monarchies, in many cases due to the profits of colonization, and the desire of such monarchies to display their control and power. Thus places like Spain, England, France, the Netherlands, and Russia began to implement Baroque techniques (with local flair) in architecture and art incorporation as the style diffused from its Italian hearth. Churches remained important displays of Baroque style, but palaces took precedence—Peterhof Palace in St. Petersburg, Royal Palace of Madrid in Spain, Versailles in France—often at the center of squares where many streets met.
    In regards to urban planning, Baroque resulted in distinctive city arrangements with “long avenues, radial street networks, monumental squares, geometric parks and garden” being characteristic (Ellis). As in the preceding Renaissance period, order, symmetry, and unity were preferred, but Baroque cities made greater use of curved lines—circular plazas, domes—and exterior artwork/statues/sculptures to punctuate long avenues. Thus Renaissance cities like Palmanova, Italy with its snowflake-like precision gave way to the more sinuous and effect-oriented cities like Val di Noto, Sicily and more contemporary applications such as Paris and Washington D.C.
    A not-to-be-underestimated determinant of Baroque city design is control—absolutism—and its means of expression is (to me) the most fascinating thing about such cities. Streets were wide and straight, giving extended views of landmarks, sculptures, and often the palace, reinforcing the sense of grandeur and control. Order was a key word: the perfect, ornate building facades down the length of avenues were not, for instance, happenstance but orchestrated, predetermined by monarchies—individual, business, or tenant preferences be damned. In France in particular, exacting order went beyond arranging stones and on to subduing the natural environment—lining the streets with trees and, of course, installing extensive and ornate gardens. Important buildings were often elevated, both actually—as at the top of steps or mad-made slight slopes—and optically—as with the choice and placement of statues. The careful choice of measurements and ratios similarly made buildings and open spaces seem larger and deeper (flanking important buildings with other shorter but longer buildings, for instance). The attempt of absolute monarchs to communicate power and control via such city planning and architecture was admittedly effective; 500 years later and we are still awed by St. Peter’s Basilica and Versailles.

    Sources:
    Bussel, Mirle. “History of Urban Planning and Design.”Baroque Architecture: Rome, Paris, and Prague. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Feb 2014. .

    Ellis, Cliff. “History of Cities and City Planning.” Art.Net. N.p.. Web. 2 Feb 2014. .

  12. Reblogged this on meshari86 and commented:
    These following pictures remind me when I was in Paris two years ago. I spent my summer vacation over there and I saw a lot of things that made me shocked and impressive about the Architecture and the city’s planning. According to my major that I am a geographer, I paid attention about the roads systems and designs but I couldn’t understand what the relationships between the Architecture and urban planning in Paris until I studied Baroque urban development in Urban Geography class. The Baroque is a period of artistic style that represents the culture of nations clearly. It is easily interpreted detail to produce grandeur in sculpture, painting, architecture, literature, designing of roads, and planning. The style began around 1600 in Rome, Italy and spread to most of Europe. The popularity and success of the Baroque style was supported and encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church, in response from the Protestant Reformation that the arts should communicate religious themes.

    Based on the ancient nations in the past, Paris was one of the best areas to live. Paris has a strategic location where is located on the banks of the Seine River in the northern part of the country in the heart of the Ile-de-France. So Paris offers the basics of life such as nature resources and trade between Europe cities. Also, it was a target of many tribes and religious groups to live, so Paris has had a large population since ancient times. Furthermore, many of ancients and Empires had lived in Paris, so the buildings, roads, and museums represent that now. Paris is the city of various arts from different nations and cultures. However, Paris was one of the largest industrial and urban cities that had large percentages of population growth in Europe because the number of workers increased depending on the city’s development industrially and socially.

    According to the map of urban planning that could see and figure out where the center of Paris was. And we can know where the locations of factories were because they supposed to be away from the center of city and nearby from the river. Furthermore, began major development operations in Paris with the Industrial Revolution, creating a sophisticated network of railways. Then, this growth has led to an increased number of immigrants to the city in an unprecedented manner. Paris has evolved dramatically in the era of the French Second Empire under Napoleon III.

    After that, the Baron Haussmann was developed Paris. He removed the narrow streets of Paris, winding medieval component of the vast network of roads and interfaces modern classic that is still a big part of modern Paris, which gave the city a special elegance. However, this expansion has not led to beautify the city, but also increased the effectiveness of the army and facilitated the use of artillery in order to cope with any revolution may occur in the future. On the other hand, increased importance of Paris in the late nineteenth century until it became a center of technology, trade and tourism, architecture, where the Eiffel Tower is that the tallest buildings of the world remained almost until 1930.

  13. Reblogged this on jennnyp123 and commented:
    When walking down the streets of cities like Rome and Paris it is hard not to feel an overwhelming sense of grandeur and an an eminence of wealth, power and order which the cities were actually created to convey. These cities, among many others, were designed under the inspiration of the baroque period. Originating in late sixteenth century Europe, baroque style was in large part a response to the aftermath of the protestant reformation and the rebirth of the Catholic church. The counter reformation and extreme application of catholicism to daily life led to a major shift in architecture, art and culture of the time. Typical baroque style includes elements such as very large structures with impressive ornamentation and monuments, government buildings, and cathedrals as a focal points with clear vantage. Baroque style is meant to demonstrate order, structure, and power and appeal to emotions through elaborate decoration. Dominance could even be asserted physically with the common inclusion of very wide avenues to facilitate the marching of troops and make it impossible for citizens to barricade the streets. Baroque cities are a product of the areas social and political institutions and their desire to reflect their absolute power through the landscape. In the case of Rome, for example, this power belonged to the Catholic church.

    For centuries Rome has been a front runner in european art and has inspired both the culture and design of cities all over the globe. By the seventeenth century Rome has established itself as a triumph of catholicism and the arts which can be clearly seen in the design of the city. Under the orders of the papacy the expansion of Rome from the traditional gridded city to one of exceptional extravagance was under way. Under the vision of pope Sixtus V the city was to be reconfigured into a star shape allowing vast avenues to link grand basilicas and other monuments (metmuseum.org). Many palaces, elaborate sculptures, and other monuments such as bridges were also commissioned during the Roman baroque period. Elements such as numerous giant columns, the massive dome on the St. Petersburg basilica and large ornamental facades are reflective of baroque style and convey the power and dominance of the catholic church.

    The french also began to design their cities according to the baroque spirit as a result of the crowns desire to assert its power. One of the most obvious examples of baroque architecture and style is the place of versailles which is famous for its hugely extravagant beauty. The city of Paris shares a great deal of baroque elements with Rome with huge avenues connecting plazas and providing a clear view and focus of monuments such as the arc de triomphe and the Eiffle tower. Even independently these structures convey an overwhelming sense of power and wealth, a staple of the baroque era.

    In class we discussed the development of Washington DC in the aftermath of industrialization and urbanization. The area was developed in the baroque tradition and can be easily linked to Paris and Rome. Because Washington DC is not a state but under the direct control of the federal government it was exempt from democracy and was laid out as an expression of power. The city is essentially on a gridded system and has seen fluctuations in upkeep yet was designed to be a display city and draws its inspiration from baroque cities such as Rome and Paris. Elements such as wide avenues connecting monuments and important buildings were borrowed from baroque architecture as a way from the US to assert its new found independence and political dominance.

  14. Reblogged this on The Urban World and commented:
    The Baroque period brings to mind dynamic art, ornate decoration, and, in architecture, above all else, the expression of absolute power held by the ruling powers, both secular and ecclesiastical. The ornate statuary in civic monuments shown represent powerful triumphs; these victories are shown to enforce the idea that the ruling body is in their rightful place in the minds of the populace. However, occasionally, such propaganda is eschewed in favor of massive monuments to simply overwhelm the viewer with a sense of grandeur. Such is the case with the Eiffel Tower. While it does serve other, more practical purposes, such as broadcasting various kinds of radio waves, when originally built in 1889 as the entrance arch to the World’s Fair, its main goal was as an expression of French might in the face of visiting foreign dignitaries. Of course, while it is visible from all over Paris with an impressive height over a thousand feet, for most Baroque civic works that are, by necessity, quite a bit smaller, civic engineers designed the streets to accommodate many lines of sight to the various works celebrating the state, as well as major government buildings, to ensure that at a glance, from nearly any major thoroughfare, one could be reminded easily of the supreme majesty of the state and the controlling power. Nations all over Europe flocked to these ideals, at first encouraged by the Roman Catholic Church, but later, even Russia, ever looking to Paris as a model of the height of civilization, and dominated by the Russian Orthodox Church, began heavily incorporating the Baroque style into the cities to express the supremacy of Tsar Peter the Great, as can be seen in the street layout of the map of St. Petersburg. Those streets, with the basic grid, and cut across with diagonals at every juncture, provide with a stunning view of the many architectural feats, civic monuments, and statues commemorating the glory of Tsar Peter. Of course, as to whether one should be by the grandeur, or the fact that massive amounts of resources were allocated to such projects while public sector services to the population were largely a fantasy as best, is up to the individual viewing. Once upon a time, during the heyday of the Roman Empire, providing a high quality of life via engineering had been of much higher importance, but with the Baroque, as previously mentioned, Rome, dominated by the Catholic Church, pushed forward with projects to elevate their glory with such works as making a piazza more symmetrical with an extra Neptune statue in a fountain, or with beautifying a piazza to make more visible the various architectural achievements of the city. This extravagant spending on what, by and large, could be construed as ornate frippery, even reached the British Isles, as seen in the Old Royal Naval College on the Thames in Greenwich. While built originally as a hospital, there is little doubt that the doctors of the time would have preferred the money spent in beautifying the building be instead used in valuable supplies, as well as funding research and training more staff. And that, ultimately, is the lesson of the Baroque: that sweeping vistas, awe-inspiring monuments, ornate statues, art, and architecture all seem superficial in the face of the most basic monstrosity a ruler can engage in, to neglect the basic needs of their citizens.

  15. Reblogged this on urban geographical issues and commented:
    Baroque was a style in the arts and architecture popular in Europe, which also gave rise to other splendid relational forms such as the French and English’s Rococo and the Spanish Churrigueresque architectural styles . Baroque originally meant “irregular, contorted, or grotesque.” While other will say that it simply means “misshapen pearl”
    The Baroque architecture was a symbol of a nation’s power, especially those countries that had expanded it domains during the colonial period. They sought to display their power and wealth through architecture. The origins of the Baroque movement has its roots during the Italian Renaissance during the 1600s. Baroque was dominant for most of 17th century Europe but often it’s influenced was also extended to the first half of the 18th century
    Much of the inspirations comes from the Catholic counterreformation and its dominance on the world stage though the colonialist catholic nations. Very early Baroque architects sought to change the style to appeal to the masses by “emotional and sensory appeal.”
    Italy was a perfect breeding ground for this new movement in architecture style that based itself primarily religious art and in Classical Roman principles. Furthermore, Italy was the epicenter of culture and learning that sought to reinvent itself. The Catholic church commissioned much of the early works. Therefore, Rome became the ideal city to mimic and the Late Roman building Saint Peter’s Basilica as the standard on the Baroque architecture movement. Baroque sought to employed the extravagant decorations, sculptures, paintings and color. In addition, the Baroque desire to express the dramatic form through sensory achieving this by the enhancement of space and playing with lighting effects on buildings. First examples of Baroque could be seen on Michael Angelo’s Laueretian Library in Florence. The two most important architects of the Italian Baroque were Bernini and Borromini whom had a great emphasized in incorporating sculptures into architecture. With the declined of the influence of the papacy and Italian aristocracy and the rise of other European powers, the Baroque movement reach other European nations.
    In France with the French aristocracy commissioning much of the architecture we start to see a shift to secular works and city planning deviating itself from early religious forms. This movement was employed in residential design such as the Louis LeVau’s chateau at Vaux-le-Vicomte.
    In France you also saw the rise of the new Baroque form referred as Late Baroque mostly by patronage by Louis XIV. This form became better known as Rococo a softer architecture which sought a more lavish form and extended to design in furniture, silver and ceramics. Rococo can be seen in Germany, Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe.
    Baroque in England saw its beginnings after the fire of 1666. The person credited for bringing early Baroque was architect Christopher Wren after helping rebuild the city and completing St. Paul Cathedral. (http://www.cathedralquest.com/baroque_architecture.htm). Other famous Baroque buildings in England was Blenheim Palace which was influenced by Bernini’s Piazza San Pietro.
    England also saw the rise of Late Baroque. The British innovated the Late Baroque form in which emphasis on more realistic details by way of the French illustrator Hubert Gravelot.
    Like Italy, Spain was the second center of Catholicism, therefore, much of Early Baroque style entered the country via Italy between the 1500s and lasted until the 1700s. Like it’s Italian neighbors, the Spanish employed the Baroque to appeal to the masses by the used of religious themes. Baroque ideas spread from architecture to the other arts. As growing world power, the Baroque also became a symbol of absolutism and dominance of Catholic Spain in both Europe and the Americas. In Madrid, you saw the growth of Baroque style after being destroyed by Napoleon. There you saw the appearance of Churrigueresque form that was employed by the Churriguera family. The form employed magnificent sculptures, columns, central elements and obelisks and was highly influenced by Classical Roman and Moorish styles. Spanish builders took this form to its colonies in Mexico and South America.

    Sources:
    1. (http://www.all-art.org/Architecture/17.htm).
    2. (http://www.cathedralquest.com/baroque_architecture.htm)
    3. (www.powderham.co.uk)
    4. ( http://www.britannica.com/)
    5. (http://www.learn.columbia.edu/ha/html/baroque.html)
    6. (http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/s/style-guide-rococo/)
    7. (http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-spanish-baroque.htm )

  16. Reblogged this on carlylb and commented:
    These representations of the Baroque period of European urban development relate to our lectures from this week in multiple ways. Baroque art originated in cities during the late 16th century in Europe, and it manifested itself in different ways throughout Europe. Though the architecture and city layout of Washington D.C. was decided in 1796, after the war for American independence, the capital was still purposefully designed to have much in common with European cities such as Paris. The designer, Pierre Charles L’Enfant was actually French born, and the city was designed to emulate the power of Paris through its architectural appearance and city plan. Both Paris and Washington D.C. were planned in advance to be expressions of power. In Europe, the primary form of Baroque art was architecture, though the public display of art through sculpture and painting was also quite prevalent. Baroque art emulated power in its grandness, extravagance, and organizational aspects. Throughout much of history, the architecture of a city has represented its level of success and power. The Eiffel tower, constructed of iron lattice, acted as an architectural structure as well as a sculpture. It was created for the World’s Fair of 1889 to represent the identity of France as powerful in its innovativeness with advanced technology and design. The power emulated is specifically the power of those in authority, that is to say, those in control of the country. For Washington D.C. this power was to reside with the government. Similarly, the power in France resided with the absolute monarchs of France. In Rome, Baroque architecture symbolized the power of the Roman Catholic Church. However, unlike European countries, the United States was a democracy which meant that the federal government was more limited in its power. The only reason the federal government was able to make Washington D.C. a Baroque city was because it not a part of a state, nor a state itself, but a separate district that is completely under the control of the federal government. Washington D.C. is the only place where the United States federal government has complete control over its land. The Washington D.C. city plan itself seems to relate to Paris more than any other city. Both have uninterrupted wide boulevards that cut horizontally, vertically and diagonally through the entire city, all of which extend out from polluviums that are located on focal points of the city. Focal points of both cities include monuments and political buildings. The unobstructed boulevards create a line of site and allow for fields of view that always direct the eye to structures that signify the political power. In Paris, the boulevards were intentionally made extra wide to allow the army to easily assert control over the city, and to prevent citizens from blockading the streets. Having narrower streets would have made it easier for citizens to blockade them, and harder for armies to break through the blockades. Haussmann’s plan for the renovation of Paris, commissioned by Napoleon III, cut through large chunks the city, removing housing against the will of the masses to put in grand boulevards. The architectural style of the buildings are also the same in both cities, with the white symmetrical facades, domes, and rows of columns.

  17. These representations of the Baroque period of European urban development relate to our lectures from this week in multiple ways. Baroque art originated in cities during the late 16th century in Europe, and it manifested itself in different ways throughout Europe. Though the architecture and city layout of Washington D.C. was decided in 1796, after the war for American independence, the capital was still purposefully designed to have much in common with European cities such as Paris. The designer, Pierre Charles L’Enfant was actually French born, and the city was designed to emulate the power of Paris through its architectural appearance and city plan. Both Paris and Washington D.C. were planned in advance to be expressions of power. In Europe, the primary form of Baroque art was architecture, though the public display of art through sculpture and painting was also quite prevalent. Baroque art emulated power in its grandness, extravagance, and organizational aspects. Throughout much of history, the architecture of a city has represented its level of success and power. The Eiffel tower, constructed of iron lattice, acted as an architectural structure as well as a sculpture. It was created for the World’s Fair of 1889 to represent the identity of France as powerful in its innovativeness with advanced technology and design. The power emulated is specifically the power of those in authority, that is to say, those in control of the country. For Washington D.C. this power was to reside with the government. Similarly, the power in France resided with the absolute monarchs of France. In Rome, Baroque architecture symbolized the power of the Roman Catholic Church. However, unlike European countries, the United States was a democracy which meant that the federal government was more limited in its power. The only reason the federal government was able to make Washington D.C. a Baroque city was because it not a part of a state, nor a state itself, but a separate district that is completely under the control of the federal government. Washington D.C. is the only place where the United States federal government has complete control over its land. The Washington D.C. city plan itself seems to relate to Paris more than any other city. Both have uninterrupted wide boulevards that cut horizontally, vertically and diagonally through the entire city, all of which extend out from polluviums that are located on focal points of the city. Focal points of both cities include monuments and political buildings. The unobstructed boulevards create a line of site and allow for fields of view that always direct the eye to structures that signify the political power. In Paris, the boulevards were intentionally made extra wide to allow the army to easily assert control over the city, and to prevent citizens from blockading the streets. Having narrower streets would have made it easier for citizens to blockade them, and harder for armies to break through the blockades. Haussmann’s plan for the renovation of Paris, commissioned by Napoleon III, cut through large chunks the city, removing housing against the will of the masses to put in grand boulevards. The architectural style of the buildings are also the same in both cities, with the white symmetrical facades, domes, and rows of columns. The last picture of the blog is a plan of St. Petersburg, Russia. This city, like Washington D.C. is located on the river, which is representative of most cites formed in early America and in Europe at that time because of the use of rivers as the main form of transportation as well as for simple access to water.

  18. Our discussion of the baroque city of necessity described the urban morphological trend that informed urban design from the late 17th century into the early 19th century specifically. The baroque city,I had not realized, however, was merely an extension of a larger-scale artistic phenomena–the Baroque period which had closely followed the Renaissance–and though the etymology doesn’t lend itself very well to understand the modern usage, baroque implies ornateness or something having been stylized to excess. It would not be unfair to describe many of the examples of baroque cities in this way. The baroque city appears to have emphasized beauty over and beyond being simply utilitarian; the city plan dramatizes its monuments even at times at the expense of its grid.

    For my part the most interesting tidbit by far in the development of baroque architecture and city design was the 15th century “rediscovery” of Vitruvius’ work, which appears to have originally informed this trend in Europe, specifically in northern Italy. If Baroque cities were thought to have been the architectural expressions of power, as has been discussed especially in the case of Washington, D.C., how then did they interpret power from these urban layouts and monuments? On account of the Italian renaissance, underway as it was, it appears that these urban forms were one of many ways to hearken back to and possibly channel the power and magnificence of ancient Rome through its architectural models. This translation of ancient Rome was apparent in Paris, London, St Petersburg, Berlin and finally and most recently, as if having been handed the baton, to the United States in Washington, D.C. at the end of the eighteenth century (which mostly translated the plan of Paris).

    When we discussed features characteristic of the baroque city, we have seen on more than one occasion the polyvia encircling and demarcating monuments within the city; among their functions one was to create lines of sight through the city which served to further emphasize these monuments. Especially from the aerial images of those included in this collage, these polyvia cut a deliberate path through the otherwise orderly city plan, as if the polyvia are there in spite of the order. If allowed to muse for a moment on how these specific features contribute to the notion of the “city plan as an exercise of power”, the imposing statues one often finds at the source of these polyvia are commonly of historic, often military, figures either affecting powerful poses or on horseback. It might even appear almost as if these lines of sight created are less for the pedestrians making their way through the cities on horse-driven carts and eventually being inconvenienced by automobiles than for the immortalized, motionless figures themselves set to survey the entire city in perpetuity. Each rotation around these monuments made in my little Corolla, as a former Washington, D.C. resident battling the traffic, felt as if it were a reluctant but obligatory homage to John A. Logan or Samuel Francis Du Pont, a reinforcement of power, as if I were orbiting the Kaaba at Mecca. But this seems to be the overstated point of the baroque city itself: a celebration of achievement the insistence made upon onlookers to appreciate its magnitude.

  19. Reblogged this on archaeogisci and commented:
    Our discussion of the baroque city of necessity described the urban morphological trend that informed urban design from the late 17th century into the early 19th century specifically. The baroque city,I had not realized, however, was merely an extension of a larger-scale artistic phenomena–the Baroque period which had closely followed the Renaissance–and though the etymology doesn’t lend itself very well to understand the modern usage, baroque implies ornateness or something having been stylized to excess. It would not be unfair to describe many of the examples of baroque cities in this way. The baroque city appears to have emphasized beauty over and beyond being simply utilitarian; the city plan dramatizes its monuments even at times at the expense of its grid.

    For my part the most interesting tidbit by far in the development of baroque architecture and city design was the 15th century “rediscovery” of Vitruvius’ work, which appears to have originally informed this trend in Europe, specifically in northern Italy. If Baroque cities were thought to have been the architectural expressions of power, as has been discussed especially in the case of Washington, D.C., how then did they interpret power from these urban layouts and monuments? On account of the Italian renaissance, underway as it was, it appears that these urban forms were one of many ways to hearken back to and possibly channel the power and magnificence of ancient Rome through its architectural models. This translation of ancient Rome was apparent in Paris, London, St Petersburg, Berlin and finally and most recently, as if having been handed the baton, to the United States in Washington, D.C. at the end of the eighteenth century (which mostly translated the plan of Paris).

    When we discussed features characteristic of the baroque city, we have seen on more than one occasion the polyvia encircling and demarcating monuments within the city; among their functions one was to create lines of sight through the city which served to further emphasize these monuments. Especially from the aerial images of those included in this collage, these polyvia cut a deliberate path through the otherwise orderly city plan, as if the polyvia are there in spite of the order. If allowed to muse for a moment on how these specific features contribute to the notion of the “city plan as an exercise of power”, the imposing statues one often finds at the source of these polyvia are commonly of historic, often military, figures either affecting powerful poses or on horseback. It might even appear almost as if these lines of sight created are less for the pedestrians making their way through the cities on horse-driven carts and eventually being inconvenienced by automobiles than for the immortalized, motionless figures themselves set to survey the entire city in perpetuity. Each rotation around these monuments made in my little Corolla, as a former Washington, D.C. resident battling the traffic, felt as if it were a reluctant but obligatory homage to John A. Logan or Samuel Francis Du Pont, a reinforcement of power, as if I were orbiting the Kaaba at Mecca. But this seems to be the overstated point of the baroque city itself: a celebration of achievement the insistence made upon onlookers to appreciate its magnitude.

  20. Reblogged this on Uncharted and commented:
    The Baroque period started off with the in Rome during the Renaissance Period around 1600. It emphasized an artistic detail and mostly an artistic period for everything. The Baroque way spread like fire throughout Europe and made it into the America. In architecture and urban planning we can still see the use in the cities today. The main purpose of the way that the cities were laid out was to emphasis the cities power and strength. They did this with monuments being centered around an axis towards what would be the main government building of the city or country. This center of this plan would be of commercial and public and where most of the important tasks take place. We see this layout in many cities across the globe. The only one we see set up like this in America is Washington D.C. Pierre L’Enfant planned this city in 1971. The only reason this city was able to be laid out in this manner was because of it is exempted from bureaucracy. With the capitol are the center and the axis running along, one side the Washington Monument, the other is the White House. Now with this layout you can see at least two of these structures because the grid system involved. Even though there are parallel and perpendicular streets with plots in between, there are also diagonal streets that run through these making an eye view to the capitol. These make radial views. Now within the Baroque style layout of a city there are green spaces that are public for people to use, as we had found out in Manhattan Island. They had planned out the whole city without any type of green space, this lead to people hanging out in the cemeteries for their fun outside time, this lead to the reservation of land for Central Park, which is still around today. This form of layout is a very hierarchy of space, and in some ways economy. The more middle class is found towards the middle of the city whereas the poor are on the outer skirts and the rich are more towards the center. Also the space available depletes as you get further away from the city. Another city that adopted this layout would be France. We see this style of architecture in the amazing and detailed churches. The architecture during this time was supposed to represent power and boldness, therefore the elaborate detail was enhanced throughout the buildings made in this period of time. Columns started to get more and more detailed rather than the Doric Columns now the Corinthian Columns were in place. Architects now were noticing the light and shade aspects and how it would contribute to the overall statement the building would put out on the city. They also used color schemes to enhance this ability. We see this style all throughout Europe today and still being preserved to their natural buildings. In my opinion this period of building are some of the most beautiful to date.

    • Good discussion of Washington DC, although the reason it is baroque and no other US city is, is that DC is exempt from democracy (not bureaucracy)> Also France is not a city, I think you mean Paris. However your discussion of power and architecture is very good

  21. Pingback: Blog Exercise Two | My Thoughts About Urban Geography

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