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This is a list of Roman domes. The Romans were the first builders in the history of architecture to realize the potential of domes for the creation of large and well-defined interior spaces. Domes were introduced in a number of Roman building types such as temples, thermae, palaces, mausolea and later also church. Half-domes also became a favoured architectural element and were adopted as apses in Christian sacred architecture.

Monumental domes began to appear in the 1st century BC in Romemarker and the provinces around the Mediterraneanmarker. Along with vault, they gradually replaced the traditional post and lintel construction which makes use of the column and architrave. The construction of domes was greatly facilitated by the invention of concrete, a process which has been termed the Roman Architectural Revolution. Their enormous dimensions remained unsurpassed until the introduction of structural steel frames in the late 19th century (see List of the world's largest domes).

Domes

All diameters are clear span in m. For polygonal domes applies the in-circle diameter. Main source is Jürgen Rasch's study of Roman domes (1985).

Diameter  Name,

Part
Location Built Shape of dome,

Ground plan
Material,

Roof construction
Shell

thickness (ST)

ST to 
Curtain wall

thickness (CWT)

CWT to 
Diameter Oculus (DO)

DO to 
Comments/

Other characteristics
Pantheonmarker Romemarker 2nd c. Rotunda Concrete,

Lead plate roofing
~ 1.35

1:32
~ 5.93

1:7.3
8.95

1:4.9
Largest dome of the world until 1881; largest unreinforced solid concrete dome in the world till present; archetype of Western dome construction to this day
Lake Avernusmarker 1st c.
Baths of Caracallamarker,

Caldarium
Romemarker 3rd c. Amphoras Eight pillars; largest dome of the world out of ceramic hollowware
Baiaemarker 2nd c. 1.20

1:25
~ 5,70

1:5.2
Baiaemarker 2nd c. - ~ 2.90

1:9.1
Outer wall pillars
Mausoleum of Maxentius Romemarker 4th c.
Baths of Agrippamarker,

'Arco della Ciambella'
Romemarker Rotunda First Thermae in Rome with central dome; largest dome of the world
Rotunda of St. Georgemarker Thessalonikimarker 4th c. Brick ~ 1

1:24
6.00

1:4
Largest brick dome of the world
Sanctuary of Asclepius Pergamon 2nd c. Brick - 3.35

1:7.1
Earliest monumental brick dome; largest brick dome of the world
to

~ 19.80
St. Gereon's Basilicamarker Cologne 4th c. Oval with eight niches and apse Later medieval structure with Roman building fabric largest occidental dome between Hagia Sophiamarker and Florence Cathedralmarker
Romemarker 4th c. Decagon Concrete with brick rips 0.56

1:42
~ 2.60

1:9.1
Outer wall pillars
Baths of Antoninus Carthagemarker 2nd c. Polygon Seven domes with diameters between 17 and 22 m
Rotunda at the Hippodromemarker Constantinoplemarker 5th c. Rotunda with ten niches
Baths of Diocletian,

San Bernardo
Romemarker ~ 300 Concrete with brick rips
or

21.25
Baths of Diocletian,

'Planetarium'
Romemarker ~ 300 Umbrella dome,

Octagon
Concrete with inner brick covering 4.20

1:5.1
Baiaemarker Concrete 3.65

1:5.9
Earliest monumental dome; largest dome of the world
Mausoleum of Helena Romemarker 4th c. Ceramic amphora incorporated into dome's base 0.90

1:22
2.40

1:8.4
Baths of Caracallamarker,
Side building
Romemarker 3rd c. Octagon Preliminary form of the pendentive dome
Baths of Bacucco 4th c. Umbrella dome,

Octagon
Baths of Diocletian,

Tepidarium
Romemarker ~ 300 3.68

1:5.2
Ostiamarker 3rd c. - 1.98

1:9.3
Church of Euphemia Constantinoplemarker 5th c. Hexagon
Hadrian's Villamarker,

'Serapeum'
Tivolimarker 2nd c. Umbrella dome Concrete Hollow space system
Imperial Baths,

Tepidarium
Triermarker 4th c. Concrete
Basilica of San Vitalemarker Ravennamarker 6th c. Clay pipe,

Wooden roof construction
Nymphaeum in Albano ? 1st c. Concrete 2.08

1:7.6
Earliest evidence for hollow spaces at dome's base for reduction in weight
to

~13.00
Southern baths Bostramarker 3rd-4th c. Octagon Concrete
Western baths Gerasamarker 2nd c. Square Voussoir One of the earliest stone domes with square plan; largest stone dome of the world
Romemarker 4th c. Lead plate roofing 0.90

1:16
~ 1.80

1:8.2
3,70

1:4.0
Portomarker ~ 3rd c. Concrete with inner brick covering - ~ 2.20

1:6.6
Mausoleum of Tor de' Schiavi Via Prenestina 4th c. 0.60

1:23
2.60

1:5.3
Four openings at dome's base
Domus Aureamarker Romemarker 1st c. Cloister vault,

Octagon
Concrete 5.99

1:2.3
First dome with octagonal plan; earliest in palace architecture
Mausoleum of Diocletian Splitmarker ~ 300 Brick,

Tiled roof
0.68

1:20
3.40

1:3.9
Double-walled dome
Chapel of Saint Aquilino Milanmarker 4th c. Brick
Tivolimarker 4th c. Concrete with brick rips 1.30

1:9
2.08

1:5.9
2.10

1:5.9
Hadrian's Villamarker,

Summer Triclinium (Exedra)
Tivolimarker 2nd c. Concrete with inner brick covering
Baths of Aquae Flavianae El Hammam 3rd c. Clay pipes Largest dome of the world out of ceramic hollowware
Church of Hodegetria Constantinoplemarker 5th c. Hexagon
Skeuophylakion Constantinoplemarker ~ 5th c. Dodecagon
Baptistery Nocera,

Campania
6th c. Eight rectangular dome windows
Hadrian's Villamarker,

'Heliocaminus'
Tivolimarker 2nd c. Double-walled dome with spacing for ceiling heating
Pergamon ~ 2nd c. Brick Two Rotunda; largest brick dome of the world
Santa Costanzamarker Romemarker 4th c. Concrete with brick rips,

Tiled roof directly resting on dome shell
~ 0.70

1:16
1.45

1:7.9
Tambour
Mor Gabriel Monasterymarker Tur Abdinmarker 6th c. Brick yes
Praetorium Cologne 4th c. Octagon - 2.00

1:5.7
Gordian's Villa Romemarker,

Via Prenestina
3rd c. Octagon - ~ 1.35

1:8.2
Preliminary form of the pendentive dome; eight openings at dome's base
Therme d’Allance ? ?
Mausoleum of Gallien Romemarker,

Via Appia
3rd c. Rotunda with six niches - ~ 1.60

1:6.8
Centcelles,

near Tarragonamarker
4th c. Brick and stone ~ 0.40

1:27
~ 1.90

1:5.6
to

~ 9.40
Hadrian's Villamarker,

small baths
Tivolimarker 2nd c. Elliptical dome with wavelike rim
Gordian's Villa,

Hall
Via Prenestina ~ 2nd c.
Via Latina 2nd c. Ceramic amphora at dome's base Earliest known use of amphora at dome's base
Cathedral,

Baptistery
Ravennamarker 5th c.
Hadrian's Villamarker,

Piazza d'Oro (vestibule)
Tivolimarker 2nd c. Umbrella dome ~ 1,90

1:5.0
Praetextat catacomb,

'Calventier tomb'
Romemarker 3rd c. Rotunda with six niches
Capito Thermae,

Laconicum
Miletusmarker 1st c. Concrete
Small Roundtemple Baalbekmarker 3rd c.
Domus Augustana Romemarker 1st c. Cloister vault,

Octagon
One of the earliest cloister vaults with octagonal curtain walls
Romemarker,

Via Appia
~ 4th c. ~ 0.90

1:9
2,30

1:3.5
~ 1.50

1:5.4
Baths of Maxentius Romemarker 4th c. Umbrella dome,

Octagon
Domus Flavia Romemarker 1st c.
to

~ 6.20
Hadrian's Villamarker,
'Heliocaminus'
? 2nd c. Cloister vault,

Uneven octagon
Nymphaeum Riza,

Epirus
~ 250-350 Dodecagon
Baiaemarker 2nd c. Flat umbrella dome,

Octagon
Hall of Thermae Pisa ? ~ 2nd c. Cloister vault with eight windows,

Octagon
2.00

1:3.3
Stabian Thermae,

Laconicum
Pompeiimarker Cone vault (early form of the dome) Concrete yes Oldest known concrete domes
Hunting Thermae Leptis Magnamarker ~ 200 Cloister vault with eight windows
Arch of Marcus Aurelius Tripolimarker ? Cloister vault Voussoir
Water Castellum Pompeiimarker -
14 AD
Flat dome
Octagon near 'Temple of Mercury' Baiaemarker 2nd c. Umbrella dome,

Octagon
San Vitale,

Stair towers
Ravennamarker 6th c. Brick
Romemarker,

Via Nomentana
2nd c. Square
Tabularium Romemarker Cloister vault,

Square
Earliest cloister vault
Baiaemarker 2nd c. Umbrella dome above circular ground plan 0.59

1:7.5
Ravennamarker 5th c. Tiled roof
Tomb at Casal de' Pazzi Romemarker,

Via Nomentana
2nd c. In-circle dome,

Square
Concrete Preform of pendentive dome; hollow space system
Pompeiimarker Cone vault (early form of the dome) Brick and clay (upper calotte) Concrete wall shell
Mausoleum of Constantine at the Church of the Holy Apostlesmarker Constantinoplemarker 4th c. Presumably Rotunda with twelve niches


Half-domes

Diameter  Name,

Part
Location Built Shape of dome,

Ground plan
Material,

Roof construction
Shell

thickness (ST)

ST to 
Curtain wall

thickness (CWT)

CWT to 
Comments/

Other characteristics
Baths of Trajanmarker Romemarker Largest dome of the world
Baths of Diocletian,
Two apse halls
Romemarker
Trajan's Forummarker Romemarker
Santi Cosma e Damianomarker,
Apse
Romemarker
Nymphaeum Jerashmarker Concrete
Basilica,
Apse
Bostramarker Concrete, inside covered with ashlar
Cathedral,
Annex rooms
Bostramarker Concrete
Pantheonmarker,
Front niches
Romemarker


See also



References



Sources

Main sourceFurther sources

External links




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