300 AD – 600 AD/ Early Christian Italy

Christians in Rome used some places that not great designed for rituals and religious ceremonies. As similar, after Emperor Constantine accepted the Christianity as the main religion and also it still maintain a low profile. Early Christian church’s exterior nor designed as much as the interior. We cannot understand easily the interior of the structure from the exterior. They gave importance to the interior design because rituals were done inside the church so it encourages the people to give importance to the interior architecture of churches. In addition, the emperors lived cities that have strategical means. In this ambiguity that is the division of Rome, they also used Roman magnificent building and its technical and architectural systems. Therefore, they did not totally abandon the Roman culture.

Diocletian, he is an emperor, builds his retirement palace to Spalato which was organized on a cross-axis inside the great square walls. At the west, there are three gates. North and East side of palace flanked by octagonal towers. Palace was divided from two cross streets into quarters. Collonaded system used for carrying a series of arches at the exterior part of the palace. Outdoor hall is passed by north- south axis and it finished in a porch supported by four colossal columns.

Generally, because of the importance of the interior design for the Christians, they use many design tactics that intricacy, mosaic. Also as I mentioned the first paragraph, they used Romans’ architecture design techniques such as gigantic scale, large bath houses also in Lebanon they built atrium which comes from Roman. As an another cultural representation is that pediment and arch come from Eastern culture.

Hagia Sophia, the central space is covered by dorm and two semi-domes. Ideologically it means that you open a sphere. It is different from Parthenon, dome standing like overhead the construction. In Parthenon dome touch the ground. But in Hagia Sophia, dome sat on columns.


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