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History of Architecture

From Greece to the 21st Century

American architect Ludwig

Rohe rightly said
Architecture is the will of an
epoch translated into space.

Ancient Greece
The Parthenon is a temple of

the Greek goddess Athena,

built in the 5th century BC on
the Athenian Acropolis. It is the
most important surviving
building of Classical Greece,
generally considered to be the
culmination of the development
of the Doric order. Its
decorative sculptures are
considered one of the high
points of Greek art. The
Parthenon is regarded as an
enduring symbol of ancient
Greece and of Athenian
democracy, and one of the
world's greatest cultural

Greek Orders

Roman Architecture
Rounded Arches
replaced the post and
Lintel system.
Use of concrete
Use of Barrel Arches

Examples of Important Roman


Key Terms
Rounded Arch
Barrel Vault

Early Christian and Byzantine Art

Earliest art forms found in the catacombs,

underground passageways.
Basilicas were built throughout the Roman
Empire to accommodate the large numbers of
Christian worshipers.
Technical advances from Roman architecture
made making larger structures possible.
Christian churches were seen as retreats from
the real world as a spiritual experience seen in
these churches.

Plain Exterior but Ornate Interior

The Basilica was design with a large
central aisle called a nave. At the end,
there was a semi-circular area called the

Sant Apollinare in Classe.

Ravenna, Italy AD 533-49


Byzantine Architecture
Hagia Sophia built sixth century AD by the emperor Justinian.
Considered the greatest centrally planned churches.
Hagia Sophia is a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, now a

museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Famous in particular for its massive

dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. It was
the largest cathedral ever built in the world for nearly a thousand
years, until the completion of the Seville Cathedral in 1520. The
current building was originally constructed as a church between A.D.
532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, and
was in fact the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site
(the previous two had both been destroyed by riots). It was
designed by two architects, Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of
Tralles. The Church contained a large collection of holy relics and
featured, among other things, a 50 foot (15 m) silver iconostasis. It
was the patriarchal church of the Patriarch of Constantinople and
the religious focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly
1000 years.

Hagia Sophias dome rests on four hug piers, massive vertical pillars,
that support arches made of cut stone.

Islamic Architecture

Romanesque Architecture
11th-12th Century
Combining features of contemporary Western Roman

and Byzantine buildings, Romanesque architecture is

known by its massive quality, its thick walls, round
arches, sturdy piers, groin vaults, large towers and
decorative arcading. Each building has clearly defined
forms and they are frequently of very regular,
symmetrical plan so that the overall appearance is one
of simplicity when compared with the Gothic buildings
that were to follow. The style can be identified right
across Europe, despite regional characteristics and
different materials.

Groin Vaults
A groin vault or groined vault (also sometimes known

as a double barrel vault or cross vault) is produced by

the intersection at right angles of two barrel vaults. The
word groin refers to the edge between the intersecting
vaults; cf. ribbed vault. Sometimes the arches of groin
vaults are pointed instead of round. In comparison with a
barrel vault, a groin vault provides good economies of
material and labour. The thrust is concentrated along the
groins or arrises (the four diagonal edges formed along
the points where the barrel vaults intersect), so the vault
need only be abutted at its four corners.

Examples of Romanesque

Gothic Art
13th and 14th Century
Gothic is a term used to identify a period
that began around the middle of the 12 th
century and lasted to the end of the 15 th
century and in some places, the 16 th
Romanesque style paved the way to the
Gothic style

Gothic Art
Pointed arches rather
than rounded arches
Use of flying
A buttress is a
support or brace that
counteracts the
outward thrust of an
arch or vault

Flying Buttreess
Flying Buttress is a
support structure that
reach the side aisles
of the church that
created a thrustcounterthrust system
that supports the

Stain Glass
Many stories of bible, Jesus, the Virgin

Mary, etc. Colored Illuminations

Size- huge areas in cathedrals were
dedicated to these windows.
Color-artisans added minerals to the glass
while it was molten to color the glass
Design-small pieces of stained glass were
joined with lead-strips and reinforced with
iron bars.