Medieval Europe & the Byzantine Empire: c. 400 – 1300

The Middle Ages lasted nearly 1000 years. The era began when persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire ended with the Emperor Constantine in the early fourth century. Early Christian churches, tombs and catacombs from this period can still be visited in Rome. Constantine also established a new capital for the Empire far from Rome in the city of Constantinople (now Istanbul). The Empire after this time is known as the Byzantine Empire and is the last phase of the Roman Empire. The Byzantine Empire was Christian and lasted for a thousand years. Byzantine art is known for its ethereal mosaics, ivories, and metalwork. In Western Europe, extraordinary art was made by the Anglo-Saxons, under Charlemagne, and during the periods known as Romanesque and Gothic.

convent tomar
Originally designed as a monument symbolizing the Reconquest, the Convent of the Knights Templar of Tomar came to symbolize the opening up of Portugal to other civilizations.

Convent of Christ, Tomar

The development in the 12th century of Mudejar art in Aragon resulted from the particular political, social and cultural conditions that prevailed in Spain after the Reconquista.

Teruel, mudéjar architecture of Aragon

Acre Israel
Acre is a historic walled port-city with continuous settlement from the Phoenician period.


Linked to all the most important historical and political events in Russia since the 13th century, the Kremlin was the residence of the Great Prince and also a religious center

Kremlin and Red Square, Moscow

Krak des Chevaliers
These two castles represent the most significant examples illustrating the exchange of influences and documenting the evolution of fortified architecture in the Near East during the time of the Crusades

Krak des Chevaliers

vikings urnes grid
The wooden church of Urnes (the stavkirke) stands in the natural setting of Sogn og Fjordane

Urnes Stave Church

Drawing from both Christian and Islamic artistic traditions, the Norman King Roger II built the Cappella Palatina to be his dazzling palace chapel and royal ceremonial hall

The Cappella Palatina