Semi-dome

conchsemi-domessemidomeConch (architecture)conch of the altar apseconch" for a semi-domeconch-headedconchshalf-domesemi-domical
In architecture, a semi-dome (or half-dome) is a half dome that covers a semi-circular area in a building.wikipedia
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Dome

domesfalse domesaucer dome
In architecture, a semi-dome (or half-dome) is a half dome that covers a semi-circular area in a building.
A half-dome or semi-dome is a semi-circular shape often used, especially in apses.

Apse

apsidalchevetchancel
Semi-domes are a common feature of apses in Ancient Roman and traditional church architecture, and in mosques and iwans in Islamic architecture.
In architecture, an apse (plural apses; from Latin absis: "arch, vault" from Greek ἀψίς apsis "arch"; sometimes written apsis, plural apsides) is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome, also known as an exedra.

Exedra

exedraeexhedraEsedra
Found in many Ancient Greek exedras, the semi-dome became a common feature of the apse at the end of Ancient Roman secular basilicas, which was adopted in Early Christian architecture as the commonest shape for churches, becoming the focal point for decoration.
An exedra (plural: exedras or exedrae) is a semicircular architectural recess, often crowned by a semi-dome, which is sometimes set into a building's façade or is free-standing.

Mosaic

mosaicsmosaicistByzantine mosaic
Islamic examples may use muqarnas decorative corbelling, while in Late Antique, Byzantine and medieval church architecture the semi-dome is the classic location for a focal mosaic, or later fresco.
A rare example of surviving Carolingian mosaics is the apse semi-dome decoration of the oratory of Germigny-des-Prés built in 805–806 by Theodulf, bishop of Orléans, a leading figure of the Carolingian renaissance.

Byzantine architecture

ByzantineByzantine styleByzantine church
Islamic examples may use muqarnas decorative corbelling, while in Late Antique, Byzantine and medieval church architecture the semi-dome is the classic location for a focal mosaic, or later fresco. In buildings like Hagia Sophia in Byzantine architecture, apsidal openings or exhedras from the central nave appear in several directions, not just to the liturgical east.
Above the conchs of the small apses rise the two great semi-domes which cover the hemicycles, and between these bursts out the vast dome over the central square.

Tetraconch

triconchthree apsestri-apsidal room
The tetraconch, triconch and cross-in-square are other typically Eastern Christian church plans that produce several semi-domes.
In these types the semi-dome of the apse usually starts directly from the central domed space.

Hagia Sophia

Haghia SophiaHagia Sophia MosqueAyasofya
In buildings like Hagia Sophia in Byzantine architecture, apsidal openings or exhedras from the central nave appear in several directions, not just to the liturgical east.
At the western entrance side and eastern liturgical side, there are arched openings extended by half domes of identical diameter to the central dome, carried on smaller semi-domed exedras; a hierarchy of dome-headed elements built up to create a vast oblong interior crowned by the central dome, with a clear span of 76.2 m.

Mimar Sinan

SinanKoca Mimar Sinan AghaKodja Sinan
The buildings of Mimar Sinan and his pupil Sedefkar Mehmed Agha are the masterpieces of this style.
This Iskele Mosque (or Jetty mosque) already shows several hallmarks of Sinan's mature style: a spacious, high-vaulted basement, slender minarets, single-domed baldacchino, flanked by three semi-domes ending in three exedrae and a broad double portico.

Cincinnati Union Terminal

Union TerminalCincinnati, OhioCincinnati
Cincinnati Union Terminal in Cincinnati, Ohio features the largest semi-dome in the Western hemisphere, measuring 180 feet wide and 106 feet high.
The Rotunda features the largest semi-dome in the western hemisphere, measuring 180 ft wide and 106 ft high (about ten stories in height).

Sedefkar Mehmed Agha

Mehmed AgaSedefkar Mehmed AgaSedefkar Mehmet Aga
The buildings of Mimar Sinan and his pupil Sedefkar Mehmed Agha are the masterpieces of this style.
The design of the mosque is perfectly symmetrical, with a great central dome buttressed by four semi-domes and surrounded by a number of smaller exedrae.

Architecture

architecturalarchitectarchitecturally
In architecture, a semi-dome (or half-dome) is a half dome that covers a semi-circular area in a building.

Building

buildingsedificepublic buildings
In architecture, a semi-dome (or half-dome) is a half dome that covers a semi-circular area in a building.

Ancient Roman architecture

RomanRoman architecturearchitecture
Semi-domes are a common feature of apses in Ancient Roman and traditional church architecture, and in mosques and iwans in Islamic architecture.

Mosque

mosquesmasjidMasjids
Semi-domes are a common feature of apses in Ancient Roman and traditional church architecture, and in mosques and iwans in Islamic architecture.

Iwan

pishtaqiwanseyvan
Semi-domes are a common feature of apses in Ancient Roman and traditional church architecture, and in mosques and iwans in Islamic architecture.

Islamic architecture

IslamicarchitectureArabic
Semi-domes are a common feature of apses in Ancient Roman and traditional church architecture, and in mosques and iwans in Islamic architecture.

Scallop

Pectinidaescallopsscallop shell
A semi-dome, or the whole apse, may also be called a conch after the scallop shell often carved as decoration of the semi-dome (all shells were conches in Ancient Greek), though this is usually used for subsidiary semi-domes, rather than the one over the main apse.

Conch

conch shellconch shellsconch-shell
A semi-dome, or the whole apse, may also be called a conch after the scallop shell often carved as decoration of the semi-dome (all shells were conches in Ancient Greek), though this is usually used for subsidiary semi-domes, rather than the one over the main apse.

Ancient Greek

GreekClassical GreekGr.
A semi-dome, or the whole apse, may also be called a conch after the scallop shell often carved as decoration of the semi-dome (all shells were conches in Ancient Greek), though this is usually used for subsidiary semi-domes, rather than the one over the main apse.

Piero della Francesca

della Francescadella Francesca, PieroFrescoes
Small semi-domes have been often decorated in a shell shape from ancient times, as in Piero della Francesca's Throned Madonna with saints and Federigo da Montefeltro, and the example in the gallery below.

Muqarnas

muqarnamocárabeMuqarnas vault
Islamic examples may use muqarnas decorative corbelling, while in Late Antique, Byzantine and medieval church architecture the semi-dome is the classic location for a focal mosaic, or later fresco.

Late antiquity

Late Antiqueancientantiquity
Islamic examples may use muqarnas decorative corbelling, while in Late Antique, Byzantine and medieval church architecture the semi-dome is the classic location for a focal mosaic, or later fresco.

Church architecture

churchecclesiastical architecturechurches
Islamic examples may use muqarnas decorative corbelling, while in Late Antique, Byzantine and medieval church architecture the semi-dome is the classic location for a focal mosaic, or later fresco.

Fresco

frescoesfrescosfresco painting
Islamic examples may use muqarnas decorative corbelling, while in Late Antique, Byzantine and medieval church architecture the semi-dome is the classic location for a focal mosaic, or later fresco.

Basilica

basilicasminor basilicabasilican
Found in many Ancient Greek exedras, the semi-dome became a common feature of the apse at the end of Ancient Roman secular basilicas, which was adopted in Early Christian architecture as the commonest shape for churches, becoming the focal point for decoration.