Early Christian & Byzantine

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HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE

EARLY CHRISTIAN AND BYZANTINEARCHITECTURE

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF EARLY CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE

Early Christian is the term that applies to the art and architecture of the Roman Catholic Church from the 3rd to the 5th century of the Christian era. Politically it is called as Christian Architecture in the Late Roman Empire. The Roman Empire rose in the sixth century BC, to its division into eastern and western components beginning in the fourth century AD, and its fall in 476,

EVOLUTION OF CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTUREEARLY CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE BEFORE 313 AD (BEFORE THE 3RD CENT) EARLY CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE AFTER THE 3RD CENTURY UNTIL THE 5TH CENTURY (THE BASILICA ARCHITECTURE) CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE FROM THE 4TH CENTURY (BYZANTINE ARCHITECTURE) ROMANESQUE ARCHITECTURE GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE RENAISSANCE ARCHITECTURE

BACKGROUND OF CHRISTIANITY IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE

Before Christianity, there were Paganism. The early history of Christianity is a story of struggles beginning with persecution, tolerance and finally acceptance. The period of Persecution 34 A.D. to 313 A.D. Period of Recognition: Edict of Milan in 313 A.D. beginning the reign of Emperor Constantine

EARLY CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE BEFORE 313 AD The early Christians tried to congregate discreetly, usually meeting in: one anothers houses (House Church) or in the catacombs Example of the House Church is located in Dura Europus, a place on the upper Euphrates River.

EARLY CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE house churchChristian house-church, Dura Europos, Syria, 230 AD

THE CATACOMBSAre underground burial chambers for Christians. It is more expensive to bury on the ground than to dig underground and the Roman forbade the burial of Christians above ground. Besides the Roman practised cremation. Later became place of gathering for ritual purposes. Construction began in the 2nd cent.

CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTURE AFTER 313 AD/BASILICA ARHITECTURE

Emperor Constantine accepted Christian officially as religion for the empire in 380 AD but the development of early Christian Architecture began immediately after the Edict of Milan when Constantine assigned architects to create places of worship for Christians as a sign of his generosity and gratitude Also termed as Basilica Architecture Two main building types : 1) the Basilica church/place of worship 2) the Martyrium resting place for Christians

EARLY CHRISTIAN ARCHITECTUREIs essentially Architecture for the House of Worship

Precedents used: Greek temple Roman public building (the Basilica) Private Roman house

THE BASILICA CHURCHCHURTH E BASILIC A CH

Typical Plan of Basilica 1. 2. 3. 4. Nave (congregation hall) the roof above the center Nave was higher the roof above the side Aisles. Aisles Clerestory window was put in place to allow light into the interior of the Nave Apses (space for Bishop & clergy) Entrances

APSE A semicircular projection from a wall with a vaulted ceiling. The Altar was placed in it. To frame the apse and separated it from the main building, they built a great arch, which is called triumphal arch.

EXAMPLES OF THE BASILICAN CHURCH(326 AD) (1) OLD SAINT PETER, SAN PIETRO, ROME

Built by Emperor Constantine to house the shrine of St. Peter. The architect was Zenobius. This church doubles as a congregational place and a martyrium. It became a ruin, and was finally torn down in 1506 to make way for the present Saint Peter by Pope Julius.

The Old St. Peters plan has the same characteristic of a typical basilica but had an additional space for crowds to gather near the shrine This space is called the Transept and is a transverse from the apse (40,000 people) The apse had a special vaulted ceiling called the triumphal arch

OLD SAINT PETER

The nave is 200 ft long

2) SAINT APOLLINAIRE IN CLASSE, RAVENNA, ITALY (530-540 AD) This church has 2 unique features: 1) It has rooms either side of the apse 2) It also possessed a Bell tower or Campanile.

INTERIOR OF THE CHURCHESChurch interiors were richly decorated unlike the exterior It has colourful paintings and carving, and the emission of light from the clerestory windows. the clerestory were put so high that they give no views of the outside world, except the sky. The use of light from practicality turned spiritual as it symbolises transcendence/enlightenment Rich materials: marbles, mosaics (small cubes of stones or glass), gold and silver linings, timber carvings. Colourful glass were later used for windows (stained glass)

Interior of Santa Sabina, Rome

ST APOLLINAIRE ( INTERIOR

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BASILICA1. 2. Have large space for congregation (the Nave) Light is entered from the clerestory window above instead of the side walls windows. Skillful use of light for enlightenment A space for the bishop and clergy (the Apses) at the end of the nave The nave later terminated at the transept, a gathering space for the altar at the apse An atrium or open courtyard at the entrance to the building usually with a fountain for purification Simple unadorned exterior Tall central nave is flanked by aisles (one or two rows) on the sides. Nave is taller than the aisles. Richly decorated interiors use of mosaics, marbles, fresco, gold and silver linings, stones and brick with timber roof; carvings of Christian themes

3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

THE MARTYRIUM/ MAUSOLEAIs a memorial burial place for Christians. It is a centralized planned building based on a circle, polygon or octagonal. It is usually connected to an apse or narthex as this spaces becomes a space for congregation to honour the dead.

INTRODUCTION TO BYZANTINECivil war led to the division of the Roman Empire into two by the year 500: the eastern and western empire Byzantine refers to the eastern part of the Roman Empire that established its own identity, separate from the west. Byzantine era is considered the 3rd phase of the Greek culture. The first being the Classical age and the 2nd, the Hellenistic age. The Byzantine religious architecture reflect the political difference between the eastern and western components of the Roman Empire.

POLITICAL SITUATIONIn the west, the emperors began to lose his power with internal conflict and German invasion. The Pope and the Roman Catholic Church assumed greater control. In the east, however, the emperor remained in control of both the church and the statea condition often described by the historical term as caesaropapism or divine kingship Constantine established the eastern empire when he left Rome in 330 AD and established a new capitol at the Greek city of Byzantium. The Byzantium city was renamed Constantinople (now Istanbul) The eastern empire capital was Constantinople The western empire capital was Rome

The Eastern empire, called the Byzantine empire, was strongly Christian. Because of its prosperity and strength under Emperor Constantine and later Justinian, was able to build richer, structurally more complex buildings. Byzantine architecture Church the Byzantine dome and the use of bricks and mortar

The Eastern Roman Empire / Byzantine Empire c 476

Blue indicates the conquest of Justinian I.

The Eastern Roman Empire / Byzantine Empire c 717

BYZANTINE CHURCHCharacteristics: centralised plan, with the central dome as its main feature (depict the unison of emperor and religion) has many smaller domes around the main dome Does not have long nave and aisles (plan almost a square) It has no transept

BYZANTINE CHURCHSome of the most important Byzantine churches are in Italy, in or near Venice Greatest development under Emperor Justinian (527-565 the 6th cent). The adoption of the centralized plan different from the western style church plan /basilica church

THE BYZANTINE DOME The Byzantine dome is different from the Romans dome as it rests on a square plan or hexagon. The dome rest on four arches supported by four huge piers called the Pendentive (curved triangle spanning between arches).

pendentive

Form originated from Aegean and Syrian architecture

EXAMPLES OF BYZANTINE ARCHITECTURE SANTA SOPHIA (HAGIA SOPHIA), CONSTANTINOPLE (532-537 AD) Santa Sophia means divine wisdom. Considered the greatest monument of Byzantine architecture Built by Emperor Justinian on a site of a ruined Basilican church of the same name. It was designed by two experts in physics and mathematics (engineers): Isodore of Miletus and Athemios of Tralles. It was a dedication to Christ. The church also known as Megale Ecclesia (Great Church). Now it is called Hagia Sophia. So the Hagia Sophia became the model for the Byzantine church because it was an architectural style that fit with the type of worship the Orthodox church wanted to emphasize

The Hagia Sophia has a fusion of two domes: A central dome double-shell domes The main body of the church is enclosed within a rectangle almost 70m (230) wide and 75m (245) long, with a projecting apse at the east end and double narthexes preceded by an Atrium at the west end. In the center, a square with 4 sides measures exactly 100 feet. (31.2m) Four great piers stand at the corners of the square. The 4 piers linked by semi-circular arches which in turn support a hemispherical dome.

This longitudinal section of the church shows how the half-domes of the apse flow outward from the central dome, both to carve out the liturgical space and support the main dome.

Architecturally, Santa Sophia represented a complete departure from the Basilica type of church. Its concept based on the circular shaped, represent the all powerful union of emperor and priesthood at the focal point with the common people hidden in the semi darkness about the circumference.

View of the entrance. Note the visual effect of the building's recession toward the dome.

(2) SAN VITALE, RAVENNA, ITALY (548 AD)

It was built by Emperor Justinian to celebrate the recapture of Ravenna (Western empire). It was financed by a wealthy banker, Julianus. It was the emperors church in the western empire, just as the Santa Sophia was in the eastern Empire.

The Eastern Roman Empire / Byzantine Empire c 520

San Vitale , Ravenna, Italy, 548 ADSan Vitale was built in honor of Saint Vitalis. Considered the greatest western building of the 6th-century its design echoes - with variations - the Constantinople church of St. Sergius & Bacchus.

The church was built on the basis of a centralized plan composed of 2 co-centric octagons surrounded by aisles and vaulted galleries. The dimension of the inner octagon is 54 9 and is enclosed by an outer octagon 115. The sanctuary open directly from one of the inner octagon and there are 7 arches enclosing the remaining. The 7 arches are placed on a half circle carrying the galleries (Mantroneum) on top.

SAN VITALE, RAVENNA, ITALY

Mosaic line the vault of the sanctuary. The column capitals are elaborately curved. The eight piers of the inner octagon support the dome top.

THE END