HoMe PaGe

Dome

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Bulbous domes bulge out beyond their base diameters, offering a profile greater than a hemisphere. An onion dome is a greater than hemispherical dome with a pointed top in an ogee profile. They are found in the Near East, Middle East, Persia, and India and may not have had a single point of origin. Their appearance in northern Russian architecture predates the Tatar occupation of Russia and so is not easily explained as the result of that influence. They became popular in the second half of the 15th century in the Low Countries of Northern Europe, possibly inspired by the finials of minarets in Egypt and Syria, and developed in the 16th and 17th centuries in the Netherlands before spreading to Germany, becoming a popular element of the baroque architecture of Central Europe. German bulbous domes were also influenced by Russian and Eastern European domes. The examples found in various European architectural styles are typically wooden. Examples include Kazan Church in Kolomenskoye and the Brighton Pavilion by John Nash. In Islamic architecture, they are typically made of masonry, rather than timber, with the thick and heavy bulging portion serving to buttress against the tendency of masonry domes to spread at their bases. The Taj Mahal is a famous example.

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