Thousands of years before the Christian era, the builders of ancient high cultures started to write architectural history with this type of stone, initially dried in the sun, later burned.
The Romans introduced these bricks in Germania. However, apart from a few isolated cases (=> see the Einhard-Basilika in Michelstadt-Steinbach)), the art of brick and tile production died out with the Romans' departure during the fifth century.
Only the ingenious Bishop Bernward of Hildesheim, around the turn of the millennium, had roof tiles burned on a larger scale.
The twelfth century saw the beginning of the high period of the inconspicuous bricks in Northern Europe, around the Baltic Sea. Initially, structures were built in Romanesque style, but only for a short period (see Jerichow Monastery). Then, over the course of three centuries, the master builders created a unique type of architecture - Brick Gothic.
With millions and millions of these inconspicuous clay artificial stones, both profane and ecclesiastic masterpieces were created. It is estimated that 4.5 million bricks and tiles were used for the Marienburg of the Crusaders in former East Prussia alone.
Many of the buildings were lavishly decorated with glazes and an abundance of friezes, tracery and terracotta reliefs, mainly as a result of the demands of the urban patriciate.