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Article

Lars-Olof Albertson

[Aakirkeby] [Aa church]

Romanesque church in the village of Åkirkeby on the island Bornholm, Denmark. The church, dedicated to St Hans, was constructed in the second half of the 12th century and is the largest church on Bornholm. The oldest parts are the apse, the choir, and the lowest part of the nave. The upper part of the nave and the tower were later additions. The porch dates from the first half of the 13th century and is one of the oldest in Denmark. A greenish sandstone and brownish slate were used for the walls. The nave was constructed with two arcade walls, one running in the middle of the nave from the triumph wall to the tower wall, the other one running from the south entrance to the north entrance. Both were removed during restoration in 1874. In the Middle Ages the church belonged to the chapter at Lund Cathedral and was the seat for one of the canons and was also known as ‘Kapitalskirken’ or the Chapter Church....

Article

Mary Gough

[Koca Kalesi]

Early Christian monastery on the southern slopes of the Taurus Mountains in Isauria, part of the Roman province of Cilicia in south-western Turkey. It is some 300 m above the main road between Silifke (anc. Seleucia) and Konya (anc. Iconium), 21 km north of Mut (anc. Claudiopolis). From two funerary inscriptions, pottery and coins, the monastery may be securely dated to the reigns of two Isaurian emperors, Leo (reg ad 457–74) and Zeno (reg 474–91).

The monastery was originally founded in a series of caves in a limestone outcrop at the west end of a narrow mountain ledge. The largest of these caves contained two rock-cut churches. The ledge was later enlarged by quarrying to the north and by the construction of a retaining wall to the south. The earliest building, immediately to the east of the caves, was the three-aisled Basilica. It was originally lavishly decorated, both inside and out, with architectural sculpture in a flowing naturalistic style, including plant forms, birds and fishes; figures occur only on the jambs and lintel of the main doorway between the narthex and the central aisle. On the west side of the lintel is a head of Christ set in a circle supported by angels, and at each end of the lintel and on the doorposts are four busts in high relief, possibly of the Evangelists. On the inner faces of the jambs are full-length figures of the archangels Michael and Gabriel in flat relief, while on the underside of the lintel is a remarkable relief of the four ...

Article

F. B. Sear and Zilah Quezado Deckker

Building or precinct with tiers of seats surrounding a central space used for public spectacles.

F. B. Sear

The Roman amphitheatre differs from a theatre in that it is elliptical in shape, has seats all round the arena and was used either for gladiatorial games or for contests between men and beasts. Under the arena floor were cages for the animals, and rooms and movable platforms for the props and scenery. Spectators were protected from the sun by a canvas awning suspended on ropes that were attached to masts around the top of the outer wall and secured to bollards at ground-level.

During the earlier Republican period gladiatorial games at Rome were held either in the Circus Maximus or in the Forum Romanum, with the spectators seated on temporary wooden benches. The senatorial ban on permanent theatres also applied to amphitheatres, with the result that even during the late Republic only temporary amphitheatres were erected at Rome, such as the one built by the senator ...

Article

Robert Will

Former Benedictine convent of nuns, dedicated to St Saviour, in Alsace, France. Founded in the 9th century, it was suppressed at the Revolution in 1789. The west tower and the nave with tribunes were rebuilt in the 17th century, but the crypt and western block survive and contain important Romanesque remains. The sculptural decoration, executed in sandstone from the Vosges, is concentrated on the façade block.

The finest work is found on the portal, which is abundantly decorated with low-relief sculpture. The door-frame belongs to the 11th-century church, but the sculptures are contemporary with the construction of the westwork in 1140. Their iconography is linked to the theme of paradise, a term used in medieval times to denote both the parvis in front of a church and the entrance porch. Standing out in the centre of the tympanum, Christ confers a key on St Peter and a book on St Paul. The scene takes place in a celestial garden, reminiscent of Early Christian decorative backgrounds, but here the trees are emphasized and the traditional scheme is combined with other allegorical subjects: the climbing of a heavenly tree and bird-hunting. On the lintel is the story of Adam and Eve, from the Creation of Eve to the Expulsion. The Lamentation of Adam and Eve, represented on the extreme right, is exceptional in the region and is derived from Byzantine iconography. Each of the pilasters flanking the jambs bears five superimposed niches, sheltering Abbey benefactors and their spouses, designated by name. The lowest niches are supported by atlas figures. Over the porch arch are three groups in high relief: the keystone bears Christ treading a dragon under his feet, flanked by Samson opening the lion’s mouth (right) and David victorious over Goliath (left)....

Article

J. J. Martín González

Spanish palace that stands beside the rivers Tagus and Jarama in the province of Madrid, 47 km south of the capital. It was intended as a spring and summer residence for the royal family and is renowned for its gardens and fountains. The summer residence built at Aranjuez in 1387 by Lorenzo Suárez de Figueroa, Grand Master of the Order of Santiago, became royal property under Ferdinand II, King of Aragon, and Isabella, Queen of Castile and León. In the reign of Charles V improvements were carried out by Luis de Vega (from c. 1537) and the palace was extensively enlarged by Philip II. The chapel was designed by Juan Bautista de Toledo and completed by Jerónimo Gili and Juan de Herrera. It was built in a combination of white stone from Colmenar de Oreja and brick, giving a two-toned effect that was adopted for the rest of the palace. In ...

Article

Arsenal  

Building or group of buildings for the manufacture and storage of warships, weapons or ammunition. The term (from the Arabic dar accina‛ah: ‘workshop’) was first used at the Arsenale in Venice, where both the military and the commercial ships of the Venetian Republic were built. According to tradition, the Arsenale at Venice was founded in 1104, although recent research has suggested a later date at the beginning of the 13th century. As Venetian maritime power increased, the Arsenale grew in size, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries, eventually occupying 46 ha, surrounded by walls and canals (see Venice, fig.). The Arsenale’s importance was emphasized by its monumental architecture, including one of the city’s first Renaissance buildings, the Great Gateway (1460), attributed to Antonio Gambello, which is in the form of a triumphal arch. Despite the scale of the Arsenale at Venice, Venetian naval power was successfully challenged by the Ottoman Empire, whose own ...

Article

Jurgis Elisonas

Japanese castle in Azuchi-chō, Shiga Prefecture. It was the prototype of the sumptuous residential castles of the Momoyama period (1568–1600) of Japanese history (often called the Azuchi–Momoyama period, taking its name from the castle). This palatial citadel was built as the visible sign of the new order imposed on Japan by Oda Nobunaga, chief unifier of the country after a century of military conflict and political disorder. Begun in February 1576 and inaugurated as Nobunaga’s official residence on 5 June 1579, Azuchi Castle was burnt down by marauding soldiery on 4 July 1582, 13 days after Nobunaga was assassinated in Kyoto. Apart from the tiles, fragments of ceramic vessels and metal fittings uncovered in the course of archaeological surveys, stoneworks are all that remain.

The citadel was composed of the lord’s main castle, which was divided into three enceintes, and a number of separately enclosed outbuildings, the residences of Nobunaga’s principal vassals. Its grounds occupied ...

Article

Tania Velmans

Monastery situated on a wooded hill 11 km south of Asenovgrad in Bulgaria. It was founded in 1081 ad by the Georgian donors Grigori and Apazi Pakuriani after they had been granted control over extensive lands in the Rodopi Planina mountains by the Byzantine emperor Alexios Komnenos (reg 1081–1118). The two buildings of art-historical interest are the church of the Holy Archangels and the charnel-house, which lies 400 m east of and below the monastery. The church of the Holy Archangels is a single-nave structure with a dome and an elaborately divided interior. The walls are built of alternating bands of brick and stone, articulated with single-step niches, and there is an elaborate frieze of brickwork meander around the top of the dome’s drum. Numerous restorations have obliterated the original plan of the charnel-house (18×7 m), which has two storeys of single naves with eastern apses and western narthexes. Inside is a series of paintings mostly dated to the late 11th century and signed by ...

Article

A. G. Gertsen

[Turk. Baghče sarǎy: ‘Garden palace’]

Ukrainian city in the Crimea, 35 km north-east of Sevastopol, which was the capital of the Tatar in the Crimea throughout the rule of the Giray dynasty (c. 1423–1783). It developed from an important burial ground of the Giray khans, but the Garden Palace (1503–19), founded by Khan Mengli Giray I (reg 1466–1514 with interruptions) and covering over 4 ha in the valley of the River Churuk-Su, represents the historical core of the city. The earliest structure is the Demirkap (‘Iron gate’) with an inscription referring to Mengli Giray and the date 1503. It is thought to be by the Italian architect Aleviz Novy or Aloisio (fl early 16th century), builder of the cathedral of the Archangel Michael (wooden church, 1333; rebuilt 1505–8) in the Moscow Kremlin. Little is known of the layout of the palace in the 16th and 17th centuries as it was badly damaged by fire in ...

Article

Annabel Jane Wharton

Building used for the rite of baptism into the Christian Church. In late antiquity the term baptisterium or baptisterion (Lat. baptizare: ‘to dip under water’), which designated a swimming bath (e.g. Pliny the younger: Letters II.xvii.11), was applied to the baptismal piscina or font and then to the whole structure in which baptism took place. With the Eucharist, baptism was a central sacrament in the Early Christian Church. The ritual was prescribed by Christ (John 3:5; Matthew 28:19) and modelled after his own baptism by St John the Baptist. The meaning of baptism was established by St Paul: by participating in Christ’s death and resurrection through baptism, the believer was cleansed of his sins and admitted to the body of the Church (1 Corinthians 6:11, 12:13; Romans 6:4). By the 4th century ad the main features of the rite had become remarkably consistent throughout the Roman Empire: Easter eve was recognized as the most appropriate moment, although baptism might take place at Pentecost or if the candidate were ...

Article

Fikret K. Yegül, Paul Gendrop and Madeline McLeod

Building designed for communal bathing. The activity of communal bathing has been an important aspect of the social, hygienic and even ritual life of many cultures, and in some cases continued to be so even after the introduction of domestic plumbing in the 20th century. This article discusses three distinctive types of bath building: the Greek and Roman bathhouse, the hammam used in the Islamic lands and the Mesoamerican sweatbath.

The history of baths in antiquity begins with the Greek Gymnasium. By incorporating bathing facilities into its regular athletic programme the gymnasium created the social and architectural context for communal bathing in the Roman world. Bathing facilities in Greek gymnasia appeared in the 4th century bc. The washroom (loutron) had rows of raised marble basins supplied with cold water through lion-headed spouts. Although Vitruvius described more advanced hot-water bathing facilities in the gymnasium’s palaestra (On Architecture V.xi.2), no actual examples survive before the Imperial era. Vitruvius’ description and terminology doubtless reflect the advances in heating and bathing technology of his own day (late 1st century ...

Article

Former Cluniac monastery in south-western France. The wealthy abbey was founded in ad 855 and reformed by Cluny under Géraud II towards 1097. It had the privileges confirmed by Paschal II in 1103 and received a donation from the Bishop of Cahors in 1112. The church, which is set between the Limousin, Rouergue, and Quercy regions, comprises a choir surrounded by an ambulatory with three radiating chapels, a projecting transept, and an aisled nave of four bays, a scheme related to such Limousin churches as Le Dorat and St Robert. It is best known for the enormous portal embrasure carved in porous limestone on the south side of the nave. On the tympanum Christ is enthroned in front of the cross and other instruments of the Passion and appears between angels sounding trumpets. Below are seven beasts. This victorious Last Judgement is witnessed by Daniel and seven other figures, as well as by souls emerging from their tombs. The representation evokes St Matthew’s Gospel (19; 24), didactic drama, commentaries on Revelation 1 and other contemporary theological issues. The tympanum is supported by a lintel carved with rosettes and by a cusped trumeau bearing atlas figures. SS Peter and Paul appear on the jambs. On the flanking walls are didactic compositions under twin arches: ...

Article

Denys Pringle

[Coquet Castle; Arab. Kawkab al-Hawā, Kaukab el Hawā; now Heb. Kôkhov ha-Yardēn, Kokhav Hayarden]

Crusader castle in Israel built by the Knights Hospitaller c. 1168 and occupied until 1219. It is situated c. 12 km south of the Sea of Galilee, on the eastern edge of a plateau from where it overlooks the Jordan Valley and the site of what in the 12th century would have been the principal river crossings between the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem and its Muslim neighbours. Some form of castle already occupied the site before April 1168, when it was sold to the Hospital of St John. All trace of this early structure, however, seems to have been removed by the Hospitallers, who almost at once began to build there the ‘very strong and spacious castle’ recorded by the pilgrim Theodoric in his Libellus de locis sanctis around 1172, and which William of Tyre described in 1182 in his Chronicon as a ‘new castle, whose name today is Belueir’....

Article

Mark Whittow

[Turk.: ‘The Thousand and One Churches’]

Group of late Roman and Byzantine sites on the Karadağ, an isolated mountain in the plain north of the Taurus Mountains in the modern province of Karaman in south-central Turkey (Roman and Byzantine Lykaonia). The mountain has been convincingly identified as the site of Barata, a minor city attested as a bishopric from the 4th century ad to the 12th. On the mountain there are the remains of over 40 churches and associated buildings. These are concentrated in two groups: a lower settlement now known as Maden Șehir and an upper settlement called Değler. There are also numerous other remains on the Karadağ, including some Hittite rock carvings, several churches built on the peaks of the mountain and several medieval fortifications.

Although known to scholars since 1826, the first and only survey of the Karadağ was that carried out by Sir William Ramsay (1851–1939) and Gertrude Bell in ...

Article

Carola Hicks

English country house near Woodstock, Oxon, designed by John Vanbrugh for John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough. It was begun in 1705 and completed c. 1725. The gardens, initially laid out by Vanbrugh and Henry Wise, were largely redesigned in 1764–74 by ‘Capability’ Brown. Blenheim Palace is regarded as one of the finest examples of English Baroque architecture. It was a gift to the Duke from a grateful Crown and nation to commemorate his victory in 1704 over the French and Bavarians at Blenheim (now Blindheim) during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14). The intention was to create a public monument symbolizing the glory of Britain and a palace fit for a hero, rather than a building on a domestic scale. This is reflected in Vanbrugh’s dramatic and monumental design, inspired by both English and French architecture, which developed the style he had begun to formulate in his earlier work at Castle Howard, N. Yorks. In both undertakings he was assisted by ...

Article

K. A. Ottenheym

Castle in Breda, north Brabant, Netherlands. It is one of the first examples of monumental Renaissance architecture in the Netherlands, constructed at a time (1530s) when large buildings there were still dominated by the Late Gothic style from Brabant. A fortress had stood on the site since the 13th century. In 1515–21 Count Henry III of Nassau (1483–1538) commissioned a gallery on the curtain wall and a portal, both with ornate pediments (destr.), which was the first known piece of Renaissance architecture in the Netherlands. In 1536 Henry initiated more thoroughgoing alterations, with the intention of replacing the Gothic castle with a modern palace. The design comprised a rectangular layout around a large courtyard overlooked by an arcade. From the courtyard a stately, covered double staircase led to the double-height great hall on the first floor, which occupied the entire west wing. The ground floor below this hall was originally an open hall of columns. This design was finally completed in ...

Article

Church of the former Benedictine monastery in Northamptonshire, England. It is one of the most substantial Anglo-Saxon buildings to remain largely intact above ground-level. The present structure is not necessarily the first to be built on the site: results of excavations carried out in 1981–2 suggest an 8th-century date. It is referred to in the early 12th-century Peterborough chronicle of Hugo Candidus, which implies that a monastery was founded there after c. 675. The first monks probably came from Peterborough, as in the case of the parallel foundation at Breedon on the Hill in Leicestershire, which other documents confirm was established by 690. Brixworth may have been identical with Clofesho, an otherwise unidentified Mercian royal monastery at which councils were held in the 8th and 9th centuries. At Domesday the manor belonged to the king and one priest is recorded, which may imply that the church had declined to parochial status. Nevertheless its former rank and the survival of its endowments are suggested by the fact that it was given as a prebend by Henry I to the Chancellor of Sarum in the early 12th century. A 14th-century stone reliquary with its relic have survived in the church and have been associated with a cult of St Boniface, attested from ...

Article

Catherine Legros

Former Benedictine priory church, dedicated to St Nicholas of Tolentino, near Bourg-en-Bresse, Burgundy, France. Situated on an important road linking the northern provinces with Italy, the church was built by Margaret of Austria (see Habsburg, House of family, §I, (4)) after the death of her third husband Philibert the Fair, Duke of Savoy, in 1504. Earlier, in 1480, Margaret’s mother-in-law Margaret of Bourbon had undertaken to transform the small priory of Brou into a larger monastery if her husband Philippe, Comte de Bresse, survived a hunting accident, but despite his recovery the vow was not fulfilled. Margaret of Austria saw Philibert’s death, the result of another hunting accident, as divine retribution, and she immediately decided to initiate the work, securing the services of artists from the south Netherlands, Burgundy, Italy, and France. She spared no expense on the church’s embellishment, realizing that the monastery was fast becoming, in the eyes of her contemporaries, a testimony to her economic and political power and wishing to rival her sister-in-law Louise of Savoy (...

Article

Christian F. Otto

German palace in the town of Bruchsal, situated c. 25 km south of Speyer between Heidelberg and Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg. When Damian Hugo Schönborn was elected Prince–Bishop of Speyer in 1719, he initially intended to rebuild the destroyed bishop’s palace that was attached to the north flank of Speyer Cathedral, but the project brought him into conflict with the Protestant municipal authorities. He then decided to construct a new Residenz on the northern edge of Bruchsal, which had been part of the bishopric of Speyer since the 11th century. As war could be expected at any time in the area, the Residenz complex was to consist of individual buildings separated from one another and grouped around courtyards, an arrangement that would help to control the spread of fire. Plans were procured from Maximilian von Welsch, the architect of Damian Hugo’s uncle, Lothar Franz, Elector of Mainz. Von Welsch’s scheme for Schloss Bruchsal is lost, but his ability to arrange larger groups of buildings effectively on a site suggests that he devised the layout of free-standing buildings and interlocked axes. The tall, rectangular block of the palace was placed on an axis formed by a tree-lined avenue and gardens on one side and on the other by a symmetrical arrangement of buildings and a large courtyard that extended over the adjoining Bergstrasse (now Schönbornstrasse). The street was straddled by the Damian Gate at one end, and at the other it was bracketed by long rows of buildings. Work began first on the flanking blocks, to the designs of ...

Article

Christian F. Otto

[Augustusburg]

German Electoral castle, c. 8 km west of the Rhine, halfway between Bonn and Cologne. The medieval castle, a massive rectangular building containing a court and surrounded by a moat, was extensively destroyed by Louis XIV’s troops in 1689. Elector Joseph Clemens of Cologne decided to rebuild the ruin, and in 1715 his architectural adviser, the Parisian court architect Robert de Cotte, submitted plans for the project. No work had begun, however, when Joseph Clemens died in 1723. His nephew and successor, Clemens August, immediately took over the project, employing an experienced local architect, Johann Conrad Schlaun. In his scheme Schlaun incorporated much of the existing fabric. He duplicated the existing north-west tower with another in the south-west and retained the moat around the whole site, creating a C-shaped building that was open to the east. Construction of the two-storey elevation, set on a one-storey base and capped by a mansard roof, was complete by ...