Oleksandra Kolomiiets

Oleksandra Kolomiiets

2-year master's student at the Faculty of History

of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5998-4353

DОІ: 10.17721/2522-4611.2022.46.2


In this article, based on archaeological, written and visualsources, the features of constructive solutions in the middle and late Byzantine temples of the capital and provincial architectural schools were studied. The author focused on the construction of ceiling vaults, domes, arches, their construction technologies (namely, with or without formwork), the masonry technique (in particular, the so-called «opus mixtum» and its variations found in a certain style in different regions), the possibility of using in the process of construction of spolia (i.e., secondary materials). Preserved monuments or archeological finds confirm the use of this or that technique. 

The study found that the metropolitan and provincial architectural schools had different approaches to the construction of vaults. In the case of the temples of Constantinople, this is manifested in the use of brick and limestone masonry; in provincial temples, stonework was preferred. In addition, a feature (common to both schools) was found that brick masonry was used in the construction of the arches, as it forms a strong monolith. 

The main types of vaults in Byzantine temple architecture were considered (in particular, cylindrical, box, cruciform, sailing, domed, cross-domed), vaulted vaults (primarily hemispherical, pumpkin-shaped, ribbed), arched naves,horseshoe-shaped, segment-like); their frequency of use, masonry techniques, features of construction and advantages when choosing a certain type. 

Particular emphasis in the study was placed on the role of formwork in the construction of vaults and arches, because during construction it was necessary to somehow strengthen the structure while the lime mortar hardened. It was discovered that the Byzantine vaults could be erected with or without formwork; the main criterion for the use of this auxiliary structure was the size of the building. Masonry was built in such a way as to tie rows of bricks (the technique of sloping rows or horizontal masonry). The vaults of small domes (pumpkin-shaped and ribbed in particular), as well as niches and conch apses, could be built without formwork (or with minimal use). The construction of arches with formwork was more popular than without it. 

Key words: Byzantium, temple, construction, vault, arch, dome, formwork.

Received by the editorial board: 4.02.2022



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