Romanesque architecture means, quite literally, architecture descended from Roman times. Romanesque architecture was the style of Europe in the Middle Ages, inspired by the classical civilizations of antiquity, and which would bloom into the Gothic style in 12th century France. Characteristics of Romanesque architecture feature a blending of Roman and Byzantine styles, wide massive walls, mighty towers, round arches, ornate colonnades, cross vaults and solid piers. Buildings constructed in the Romanesque style are simple and symmetrical.