Byzantine Architecture
Byzantine Architecture

Byzantine stood on seven hills. At the junction of Europe and Asia, that square measure is divided by a slim strip of water. this provides the commanding and central position for the presidency to expand the empire. It absolutely was additionally at the intersection of 2 nice roads of commerce- the water highway between the Black Sea and sea and also the trade route between Europe and Asia. Istanbul had no sensible building stone therefore native material like clay for bricks and junk for concrete had to be foreign. Also, marble from quarries within the island and on the shores of eastern Mediterranean Istanbul.

About Byzantine Architecture


The empire was established too huge to manipulate. In 286 AD, it absolutely was divided into East and West. Which reunited shortly beneath the rule of Constantine (306-337 AD), World Health Organization in 330 AD transferred the capital from Rome to Byzantium. That was a touch Greek port and renamed Istanbul, or its fashionable name Istanbul. when the death of Constantine, the empire was broken up once more. Eventually, the western part of the empire was overrun by barbarians in 476 AD. The east part of the empire survived till 1453, a couple of thousand years later, once it absolutely was defeated by the Turks. However, the surviving eastern empire is known as The Byzantine Empire.

Byzantine Architecture

Geological condition

The use of lime concrete started in the Roman amount that continues by the Byzantines. Also, the factory-made bricks that they used for the development of domes. In addition, marble was foreign from alternative components and used for decorative work.

Climatic condition of Byzantine Architecture

However, Byzantines adopted the system of building to suit their desires. Thus flat roofs with tiny openings adopted in places of weather and protected arcades enclosed the open curtilage. Also, these with the oriental dome as a logo of religion became the chief options of this vogue

Social condition

Constantine’s impact upon the planet was outstanding. He declared Christianity because of the State faith of the empire in 324 A.D., and based “Constantinople”. Therefore, the biggest church Hagia Sophia‟ became the middle of the Byzantine world, culturally Greek, juridical Roman, formally and stormily Christian.

Religious condition of Byzantine Architecture

In 313, Constantine issued leadership at city granting to Christians and to everyone the free power to follow the faith of their alternative. The results seen at associate early date in Palestine wherever as per the would like of Constantine, several churches were designed. Within the starting they were of Roman building Christian sort however later dome became the prevailing motif of the Byzantine Church. before long there have been variations and disputes within the mode of construction of churches between jap and Western Europe. 

Jap Emperor Catholic Pope (717-741) created a strict prohibition of go to any human or animal sort of sculpture. Since no statues allowed, painted figures supplemented as an ornamental feature all told the jap churches. These spiritual variations have greatly affected Byzantine Church design from Western Europe. It remained unchanged in its doctrines and religious rites. Byzantine architecture additionally became stereotyped in its construction.

Religious of Byzantine Architecture

The basic characteristics of an ideal Byzantine church

The attributes of the ideal church included- For example,

  • The use of a centralized church plan
  • Use of surrounding isles
  • The use of pendentives and dome on pendentives
  • And the use of a complex program of interior structure, lighting and decoration to create fascinating interiors
Byzantine Architecture
The plan
interior of the Byzantine church
Byzantine Architecture
The interior

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Domes And Domes on Pedentives of Byzantine Architecture

  • Byzantine design gave America the pendentive domes and also the dome on pendentives
  • The pendentive dome and also the dome on pendentives provided the byzantine architects with a novel approach of adjusting the circular sort of a dome roof to a sq. or plane figure arrange.
  • This sort of dome fancied by the roman also seldom utilized by them
  • The byzantine builders World Health Organization used it to make dramatic interiors
  • In the pantheon in rome, the dome roof had to support by a circular arrange
  • The pendentive dome springs by trimming the edges of an everyday dome over a sq. arrange as shown in a very.
  • The pendentive dome allows the transfer the entire load of the
  • Dome to the four corners of a building, that means that solely the
  • Four corners have to compell to strengthen
  • This permits the dome roof to tailor for a sq. building
  • Additionally, the highest of the pendentive dome is trim to
  • Introduce another dome on prime of it as shown in c
  • The extra dome will any be raised to introduce a cylinder between the pendentive dome 
  • Windows will then be introduced within the cylinder sanctioning architects to making dazzling interior lightweight effects.
Domes on Pedentives of Byzantine Architecture
Byzantine Architecture
Domes on Pedentives of Byzantine Architecture

Materials Used in Construction of Byzantine Architecture

  • The system of construction in concrete and masonry introduced by the romans that adopted American state the byzantines.
  • The carcass of concrete and masonry , the primary complted and allowed to settle before the surface overlay of unyielding marble slabs was supplementary . And this independence of element components is characteristic of byzantine construction.
  • Also, brickwork, what is more Lententide itself outwardly to ornamental patterns and stripe , and internally it absolutely was appropriate for covering with marble, mosaic and fresco decoration.
  • The normal brick that like the roman , concerning an in. and a 0.5 comprehensive , and also arranged on brick bedsof mortar.
  • Brickwork necessiated special care in creating mortar . That was mixure of lime and sand with crushed pottery tiles or brick and far of it remains as laborious as that within the best buildings of rome , whereas the core of the wall was typically of concrete , as within the roman amount.
  • The ornamental character of external facades depends mostly on the arrangement of bricks.
  • Entry was additionally created to ornament the rough brick exteriors by the utilization of stone bands and ornamental arches.
  • Walls were sheeted internally with marble and vaults and domes with colored glass mosaics on a golden background.

Details of Byzantine Architecture


Within the earlier buildings, these were taken from ancient structures, that not being therefore various within the East as, within the neighborhood of Rome, the provision was sooner exhausted; Associate in Nursingd, therefore, there was an incentive to style contemporary ones. Capitals generally took a type derived from the Roman Ionic or Corinthian varieties.


These are created of brick. In addition, all the oriental love of magnificence was developed, marble casing and mosaic being applied to the walls. Thus a flat treatment and absence of moldings prevailed. Outwardly the buildings left relatively plain. Though the façade was generally mitigated by alternate rows of stone and brick, in various colors.


Doors and windows area unit semi-circular headed, however, segmental and horseshoe/ arched openings area unit generally seen. Also, the windows area unit is tiny and classified along with parts of the windows area unit often crammed with skinny slabs of clear marble.

Byzantine Architecture
Byzantine Capitals and Interior Decoration (use of marble and mosaics)

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Hagia Sophia- the ‘Church of Holy Wisdom‘ example of Byzantine Architecture

Firstly, Hagia Sophia is one of the foremost vital monuments of world design. Each byzantine emperor of any importance has associated his name with the history of the monument. Also, dedicated to divine wisdom.

Is a former Orthodox patricentric basilica later a place of worship and a depository and currently a day mosque in Istanbul, Turkey “Church of Holy Wisdom”, the chief church in the urban center restored by Justinian the Great between A.D. 532-537 once Constantine’s original burnt down in riot.

On July ten 2020, a Turkish court annulled the 1934 decree by Ataturk Atatürk that turned the place of worship into a depository. Also, this paved the manner for president Erdoğan to order the conversion of the historic Hagia Sophia, a United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage website, back to a place of worship. He thus signed a decree to transfer the management of the positioning from the Ministry of Culture to the Presidency of Religious Affairs. On Friday, July 24 it will open its doors for prayers.

Hagia Sophia- the ‘Church of Holy Wisdom
  • Location : Istanbul , Turkey
  • Dimensions : 82 x 73 x 55 m
  • Style of construction : Byzantine
  • King const. : Justinian

The History of the Building

Haghia Sophia (‘Holy Wisdom’ in Greek) was inaugurated in 537 AD, nearly 1500 years agone, by Emperor Justinian the Great a colossal total was accustomed build the church. However, it marks the start of the style of architecture. For several years it absolutely was the foremost celebrated church altogether of body. Once the autumn of an urban center, it absolutely was reborn into a place of worship with the additions of minarets in 1458. Ever since it’s thought and a model for several of the Moslem mosques. Moreover, it is one of the oldest buildings in continuous use nowadays for nearly 1500 years.

Byzantine Architecture
History of Hagia Sophia

The Architectural Achievement and Plan

Moreover, the previous beaux-arts drawback is to suit a circular dome over an sq. set up. Also, an ideal answer to the matter is that the use of a pendentive, a curve triangular vault. So these were incorporated into the development of Hagia Sophia.

The architecture of Hagia Sophia
Byzantine Architecture
Plan of Hagia Sophia

That was created for Justinian the Great by 2 genius architects Anthemius of Tralles and Isadora’s of Miletus. In addition, the design of the church was within the sort of Greek cross 91.5m by 99m with the high of the dome at 54.8m from the bottom. Also, the central house of 32.6m sq. with four large stone piers 7.6m by 18.3m perforated by arches to create aisles and galleries.

Firstly, the stone piers support four semi-circular arches forming a spherical pendentive, on that rests the dome 32.6m in diameter. However, the arcuate surface of the dome produces extraordinary effects of resonance. Also, on each ends area unit 2 giant hemicycle coated with semi-domes, forming an Associate in Nursing oval area 68.6m long and 32.6m wide. Also, the hemicycle area unit flank by exedrae coated with semi-domes, that act as buttresses to the central dome. In addition, the dome folded thanks to the Associate in Nursing earthquake in 558 A.D.

Section of Hagia Sophia

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The Interior

The most spectacular feature is that the size of the building, the large interior house that it encloses. However, the dome is 31m across and aiming at a height of 56m. The house underneath the dome that extended by a series of rounded areas, pushing the walls any out, till the dome seems to be hanging within the air. Also, on the bottom of the dome -a row of forty windows. However, giant windows area unit opened on all the encircling walls.

These windows illuminate the inside from all sides and from on top of, making a bearing of sunshine and a lighthouse at intervals the church. Abundant of the inside treasures as well as the alter was empty by the crusader in 1204 and loots were carried back to Venezia as trophies. Weakened by the crusader, the sole Christian empire of the orient was finally fell to the Turks in 1453. Moslem decorations were another to the inside.

Byzantine Architecture
Close view of the intricately carved columns of the tympanum (side walls). There are 104 columns like this
Uncovered mosaics in Hagia Sophia (various periods, not all early)
Byzantine Architecture
The Interior

Early Christian Vs. Byzantine Architecture

Early ChristianByzantine
Where in EuropeWestEast
Relationship between church and state:The separation between church and stateThe union between church and state
Type of ChristianityCatholicOrthodox
Art:Catacomb paintings, mosaicsMosaics, icons
Architecture:Basilica plan churchCentral plan church
Roof support:Post and lintelPendentives
Example:Basilica of RomeHaga Sophia, turkey
Time:3 to 7-century CE330-1453 CE

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