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Early Christian Architecture

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Alexa Alcorano

on 19 September 2013

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Transcript of Early Christian Architecture

Christianity had it birth in Judea, Eastern province of the Roman Empire. Early Christian Architecture was influenced by the exsisting Roman Art.
Geographical Influence
Geological Influence
The ruin of Roman building provided quarry where materials were obtain. This influences of style of construction, decoration for columns and other architectural features as well as fine sculptures and Mosiac from older building which were turn to a Basilican Churches of new faith.
Early Christian Architecture
Climatic Influence
The climatic condition of Roman where Christianity was established. Naturally modified the style. The fiercer the sun and the hotter necessitated small windows and eastern features
Religious Influence
Christianity spread out rapidly and was an important factor in the development of early Christian Architecture and inspired some of the greatest Architectural monuments. Constantine and Licinus issued their celebrated Adict of Milan giving Christianity equal rights with other religions and Constantine made it the official religion.
Historical Influences
The final phase of Roman Architecture from 4th to 6th century, primarily but executed it through
Social and Political Influences
Constantine was the prime character that was not proclaimed as emperor. He removed his empire from Rome to Byzantine and developed a new of Architecture.
Simplicity in design
Coarseness in execution
1. The contributed in the development of "Ribbed vaulting and timber trussed roof".

3. They had either closely spaced columns carrying the entablature (trabeated) or more widely spaced columns carrying semi-circular arches known as "archivolt"
4. They were usually with 3-5 aisles covered by a simple trussed roof.

5. An "arch of triumph" (transaction thru death to life eternal) gave entrance to sanctuary with the high altar at the corner.


2. They used bell tower or "campanile" in their exterior.

The Santo Tomás parish church in Haro, La Rioja has anexconjuratory in its bell tower

Shafer tower at ball state university
A molded band carried around an arch.

Basilican Church
A. Chief Churches
In the construction of a basilica church, there is a rule that it should be built right over the burial place of the saint to whom the church was dedicated. and over this uria place, " CRYPT" or confessio was the high altar covered by a tabernacle or baldachino".

1. ATRIUM-open rectangular forecourt, surrouded by arcades which formed as the approach to the church w/ a fountain at the center, cntaining water ised for "ablution".(a form of cleaning).
2. NARTHEX- covered area between the atrium and the church and which was assigned to the penitents.


4. SANCTUARY- preceded by the "Arch of Triumph " with a high altar in the center standing free under its " baldachino " upheld by marbles columns.

3. Nave and The Aisle- the nave is the central aisle usually lighted by a clear storey of small windows, w/ an aisle on either side usually half the width of the nave.

5. CHOIR- placed in front of the & was enclosed by a low screen walls known as " cancelli " ( hence chancel ) & was provider w/ a pulpit or " ambo " on either side use for reading the epistle and gospel.

6. APSE- terminal of the church, where " sanctuary " is located and bishop took the center space. Apse orientation at the east, while the entrance, at the west.

St. Paolo Fuori Le Mura, Rome- largest and most impressive among all Basilica Churches.

Church of Nativity, Bethlehem - founded by Constantine, built over the tradition birth of Christ.
The Baptistery of Constantine, Rome -by Sixtus III, dedicated to Constantine, oldest among the Italian Baptisteries.

The Basilica Church of St. Peter- dedicated to the martyrdom of St. Peter.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem - founded by Constantine, built over the reputed tomb of Christ.
Tomb of Galla Placidia, Ravenna - earliest building of " Cructform " plan.
- an upper stage in the church w/ windows. above the adjustment roof.
- priest with the religious elders.
- a raised flat form reserve for the seating of speakers or dignitaries.
- a small private chapel furnished w/ an altar and crucifix
- an ornamental screen or wall at the back of an altar.
- a passageway around the apse of church.
Ante podium
- a seat behind the choir reserved for the clergy.
- a stage reserved for the clergy.
- the apse, ambulatory, & radiating terminal of a church
- the portion of the church crossing the main axis at the right angle & forming a cruciform plan.
- a sligthly elevated flatform or Dais for the speaker.
- roof over the aisles below the clerestorey.
- a tomb or a receptacles for relics espeacialy in a Christian Altar.
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