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Byzantine and Christian Architecture


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Byzantine and Christian Architecture

  1. 1. Early  Christian  Architecture   `      Towards  Byzantine  architecture   `      Special  features  of  Byzantine  Architecture    
  2. 2. •  Parts  of  an  Early  Chris0an  Basilica  
  3. 3. •  1)  Propylaeum-­‐  the  entrance  building   of  a  sacred  precinct,  whether  church   or  imperial  palace.   •  2)  Atrium-­‐  in  early  Chris=an,   Byzan=ne,  and  medieval   architecture,  the  forecourt  of  a   church;  as  a  rule  enveloped  by  four   colonnaded  por=coes.   •  3)  Narthex-­‐  the  entrance  hall  or   porch  proceding  the  nave  of  a   church.   •  4)  Nave-­‐  the  great  central  space  in  a   church.  In  longitudinal  churches,  it   extends  from  the  entrance  to  the   apse  (or  only  to  the  crossing  if  the   church  has  one)  and  is  usually   flanked  by  side  aisles.   •  5)  Side  Aisle-­‐  one  of  the  corridors   running  parallel  to  the  nave  of  a   church  and  separated  from  it  by  an   arcade  or  colonnade.  
  4. 4. •  6)  Crossing-­‐  the  area  in  a  church   where  the  transept  and  the  nave   intersect.   •  7)  Transept-­‐  in  a  cruciform  church,  the   whole  arm  set  at  right  angles  to  the   nave.  Note  that  the  transept  appears   infrequently  in  Early  Chris=an   churches.  Old  St.  Peter's  is  one  of  the   few  example  of  a  basilica  with  a   transept  from  this  period.  The  transept   would  not  become  a  standard   component  of  the  Chris=an  church   un=l  the  Carolingian  period.   •  8)  Apse-­‐  a  recess,  some=mes   rectangular  but  usually  semicircular,  in   the  wall  at  the  end  of  a  Roman  basilica   or  Chris=an  church.  The  apse  in  the   Roman  basilica  frequently  contained   an  image  of  the  Emperor  and  was   where  the  magistrate  dispensed  laws.   In  the  Early  Chris=an  basilica,  the   apses  contained  the  "cathedra"  or   throne  of  the  bishop  and  the  altar.  
  5. 5. •  9)  Nave  eleva<on-­‐  term  which  refers  to  the  division  of  the  nave  wall  into  various  levels.   In  the  Early  Chris=an  basilica  the  nave  eleva=on  usually  is  composed  of  a  nave  colonnade   or  arcade  and  clerestory.   •  10)  Clerestory-­‐  a  clear  story,  i.e.  a  row  of  windows  in  the  upper  part  of  a  wall.  In   churches,  the  clerestory  windows  above  the  roofs  of  the  side  aisles  permit  direct   illumina=on  of  the  nave.  
  6. 6. Historical  Background   Location     The  Early  Christian  and  Byzantine   architecture  started  in  two  prominent   locations  centered  at  Rome  and   Byzantium  or  Constantinople       •Early  Christian  architecture  occurred   in  Rome  and  in  areas  around  Rome       •Byzantine  architecture  was  centered   at  Byzantium       •From  the  two  focal  points  Early   Christian  and  Byzantine  Architecture   spread  to  other  areas  in  the  European   and  Asian  region    
  7. 7. •  Social  Characteris0cs  &   Beliefs   •  The  Roman  Empire  and   the  Chris=an   •  Religion   •  The  single  most  important   social  phenomenon  of  the   early  Chris0an  and   Byzan0ne  period  was  the   spread  and  acceptance  of   the  Chris0an  religion–   Early   •   During  the  period  from   the  first  century  to  the   third  century  a>er  the   death  of  Jesus,   Chris0anity  was  a  secret   society   •   It  was  considered   dangerous  and  subversive   by  the  government  
  8. 8. •  Architecture  of  the  Period   –  With  Chris=anity  widely  accepted  as  a  state  religion  in  Rome  it  was  necessary  for   architecture  to  respond  to  the  demands  of  the  religion  for  worship  space   –  Mode  of  worship  was  the  most  important  determinant  of  the  form  of  the  church   –  Requirement  for  church  design  was  centered  on  worship  and  burial   The  requirements  include:   •  A  path  for  processional  entry  and  exit  of  the  clergy   •  An  alter  area,  where  the  clergy  celebrate  mass   •  A  space  for  the  segrega0on  of  the  clergy  from  the  congrega0on  during  procession  and   communion   •  Burial  space      
  9. 9. •  Architecture  of  the  Period   –  The  focus  of  both  Early  Chris0an  and  Byzan0ne  architecture  is  on  the   Chris0an  church   –  Before  the  legal  recogni=on  of  the  new  faith,  Chris0an  places  of  worship   were  of  necessity  inconspicuous  with  no  fixed  architectural  form   –  A_erward,  however,  imposing  cult  edifices  were  erected  in  many  parts  of   the  Roman  Empire,  especially  in  its  major  ci0es   –  Early  Chris0an  builders  adapted  structures  that  had  been  used  in  the   Roman  world  
  10. 10. •  Architecture  of  the  Period   –  The  basilica,  consis0ng  of  a  nave  flanked  by  lower  aisles  and  terminated  by   an  apse,  was  adopted  as  the  standard  structure  in  Chris0an  congrega0onal   worship   –  This  was  not  however  the  only  form  adopted   –  More  centralized  plans  which  were  of  round,  polygonal,  or  cruciform   shapes  were  adopted  occasionally   –Martyria  were  erected  on  sites  connected  with  certain  events  in  the  life  of   Jesus  and  other  places  held  to  be  sanc=fied  by  the  sacrifice  of  the  martyrs    
  11. 11. •  Architecture  of  the  Period   –  In  such  buildings  the  martyrium  structure  and  basilica  were  combined,   crea0ng  a  new  formal  synthesis  of  great  significance  for  Chris0an  religious   architecture   –  Development  of  the  Chris0an  church  con0nued  during  the  Byzan0ne  era   –  In  the  Byzan0ne  period  focus  shi>ed  from  the  rituals  or  prac0ces  of   worship  to  the  building  as  an  embodiment  or  symbols  of  the  majesty  of  the   faith   –  Innova0ve  structure  was  combined  with  light  and  decora0on  to  create   fascina0ng  interiors  
  12. 12. Early  Chris0an  Architecture   Introduc0on   The  term  early  Chris=an  architecture   refers  to  the  architecture  of  the  early   Chris=an  churches  of  the  roman  era   •This  is  further  divided  into  two   types;  the  basilica  church  and  the   alterna0ve  church  plans   •With  Chris0anity  accepted  as  a  state   religion  in  Rome  and  expanding  in   influence,  it  became  necessary  for   architecture  to  respond  to  the  space   demands  of  the  new  religion   •A  building  used  for  Chris0an  worship   had  to  provide  a  path  for  the   processional  entry  and  exit  of  the   clergy,  an  alter  area,  where  the  clergy   celebrated  mass,  a  space  for  the   segrega0on  of  the  clergy  from   congrega0on  during  the  procession   and  communion  
  13. 13. •  Basilica  Church  Type     •  Apart  from  administering  to  the   spiritual  needs  of  the  living,  some   churches  also  provided  burial   spaces  for  the  dead   •The  early  churches  were  generally   simple  and  func0onal  in  their   design   •The  emphasis  was  centered  on  the   act  of  Chris0an  worship     •The  architecture  of  the  church   that  developed  was  not  a   completely  new  style,  but  the  use   of  available  Roman  forms  to  sa0sfy   a  new  program  need   •The  form  chosen  for  the  early   church  was  the  Roman  basilica  
  14. 14. It  was  suitable  for  use  as  a  church  with  no  serious  modifica=on  and  it  could  be  easily  and   rapidly  built  at  low  cost   •The  Basilica  was  also  preferred  because  of  the  emphasis  on  par0cipa0on  in  mass.   •The  most  common  form  of  the  early  churches  had  a  rectangular  hall  with  a  0mber  trussed   roof   •It  also  had  one  or  two  isles  on  each  side  of  a  central  nave  and  an  apse  at  one  end  facing   the  principal  entrance  located  at  the  other  end  
  15. 15. Apart  from  administering  to  the  spiritual  needs  of  the  living,  some  churches  also  provided  burial   spaces  for  the  dead   •The  early  churches  were  generally  simple  and  func0onal  in  their  design   •The  emphasis  was  centered  on  the  act  of  Chris0an  worship   •The  architecture  of  the  church  that  developed  was  not  a  completely  new  style,  but  the  use  of   available  Roman  forms  to  sa0sfy  a  new  program  need   •The  form  chosen  for  the  early  church  was  the  Roman  basilica  
  16. 16. It  was  suitable  for  use  as  a  church  with  no  serious  modifica=on  and  it  could  be  easily  and  rapidly   built  at  low  cost   •The  Basilica  was  also  preferred  because  of  the  emphasis  on  par0cipa0on  in  mass.   •The  most  common  form  of  the  early  churches  had  a  rectangular  hall  with  a  0mber  trussed  roof   •It  also  had  one  or  two  isles  on  each  side  of  a  central  nave  and  an  apse  at  one  end  facing  the   principal  entrance  located  at  the  other  end   The  apse  of  the  basilica  was  used  as  a  loca0on  for  the  alter   •The  nave  was  used  as  a  siRng  for  the  clergy   •Common  people  sat  in  the  isles   •The  early  churches  may  have  a  courtyard  or  atrium  in  front  of  it   •A  fountain  is  usually  located  in  the  center  of  such  an  atrium;  This  was  used  for  bap0sm    
  17. 17. •  Most  of  the  early  churches  had  clerestory  ligh=ng   •Clerestory  windows  were  developed  to  give  light  to  the  central  part  of  the  interior     •Gradually,  the  clerestory  windows  became  a  symbol  of  the  transcendence  and  grace  of   god   •Varia0ons  in  the  character  of  the  early  church  reflected  differences  in  local  resources  and   tradi0ons  
  18. 18. S  PETER’S  ROME,333   St  Peter  was  the  most  important  of   the  basilica  churches  built  by   Constan=ne   •The  church  has  a  triple  entrance   gate  leading  to  an  atrium   •The  church  like  S.  Giovanni   discussed  earlier  is  a  five  isles   church   •The  Basilica  had  a  wooden  roof  of   interlocking  ra>ers   •The  nave  did  not  lead  directly  to   the  apse  but  instead  ends  in  a   transverse  space  that  is  as  high  as   the  nave  
  19. 19. The  nave  terminated  in  a  triumphal  arch  that  framed  the  curve  of  the  apse   •Some  of  the  early  churches  were  built  over  the  tomb  of  martyrs  and  are   known  as  martyrium   •St  Peters  is  one  of  the  earliest  and  most  important  of  the  matyrium   churches   •It  was  built  over  what  was  believed  to  be  the  tomb  of  Saint  Peter  who  was   a  disciple  of  Jesus  
  20. 20. EARLY  CHRISTIAN  ARCHITECTURE   Alterna0ve  Church  Form   The  rectangular  basilica  was  not  the  only  form   adopted  for  the  early  church   •Alterna0ve  more  centralized  plans,  with  a  focus   on  a  central  ver0cal  axis  rather  than  a   longitudinal  horizontal  one  were  also  adopted   occasionally   •The  reasons  for  their  adop0on  is  not  very  clear   •The  centralized  churches  were  of  two  broad   types   •There  were  the  completely  circular  churches   •These  had  a  circular  or  octagonal  space   surrounded  by  an  ambulatory   •Examples  of  these  include  Saint  Constanza   Rome,  the  lateran  Bap0stery  Rome  and  Saint   Stefano  Rotondo    
  21. 21. ALTERNATIVE  CHURCH  FORM   The  second  type  of  centralized  church  was  the  lobed  or  four-­‐lobed  form  set   within  an  overall  pentagon  or  square   •Examples  of  this  include  Holy  Apostle  Milan  and  St  Lorenzo  Milan   •In  the  early  years  of  Chris0anity,  the  alterna0ve  form  was  common  both  in   the  Eastern  and  Western  Roman  Empires,  but  later  the  Basilica  Become   more  popular  in  the  West  and  the  centralized  alterna0ve  form  more  popular   in  the  Eastern  Empire  
  22. 22. Round  Alterna<ve  Form   St  Constanza   This  was  a  church  originally  designed  as  a   mausoleum  for  Emperor  Constan=ne’s  daughter   •It  was  designed  as  a  centralized  monument   It  is  symmetrical  in  plan  with  a  domed  central   space   •The  domed  central  space  was  ringed  by  an   arcade  with  12  pairs  of  double  colonnade   •Beyond  the  arcade  is  an  encircling  ambulatory   •A  barrel  vault  is  used  to  roof  the  ambulatory  
  23. 23. Round  Alterna<ve  Form       Lateran  Bap<stery     The  lateran  Bap=stery  was  built  by   Emperor  Constan=ne  in  A.D.  315     •It  was  designed  to  mirror   S.Constanza     •The  circular  scheme  of   S.Constanza  was  in  this  church   changed  to  two  octagonal  rings   •A  ring  of  trabeated  colonnade   defined  the  central  space  
  24. 24. Round  Alterna<ve  form       St  Stefano  Rotondo    It  was  built  in  A.D.  468  and  was   the  first  circular  church  in  Rome   •It  is  the  largest  circular  church,   having  diameter  of  about  36   meters   •The  plan  of  the  church  blends   the  cruciform  with  a  circular  plan   •It  has  a  huge  central  nave  .The   central  nave  is  encircled  by  ionic   columns  and  is  lit  by  22  clerestory   windows   •An  ambulatory  surrounds  the   colonnade  of  the  nave  and  opens   to  four  chapels  used  to  define  a   cruciform  shape   •     
  25. 25. Lobed    Alterna<ve  form       Holy  Apostle,  Milan  AD  370     This  is  basically  a  square  form  church  with  a  central  plan   •It  was  built  as  the  church  of  the  imperial  palace,  when  the  capital  of  the  Western  Empire  moved   to  Milan   •It  had  a  square  central  space  23.5  meters  wide  extending  in  all  four  direc0ons   •The  central  space  was  defined  by  a   2-­‐storey  columnar  screen  suppor0ng  some  half  dome     •Several  subsidiary  octagonal  structures  are  grouped  around  the  main  church  
  26. 26. •  THANK  YOU