Dome – Architectural Elements Of Churches


A dome is an evenly curved vault (see below) over a circular base. It may be a complete hemisphere or only part of one or pointed. In traditional architecture it is made of rows of stone blocks or bricks. The Arabic term qubbah means both “dome” and the room beneath it. Thus it is applied to different areas of a church covered by a dome, such as the apse and khurus (Ibn Sabba‘, 1922, chap. 27) and the baldachinlike superstructure over the altar normally called a ciborium (Graf, 1954, p. 57). Finally, the term applies to domed tomb constructions.


  • Graf, G. Verzeichnis arabischer kirchlicher Termini, p. 87. Louvain, 1954.
  • Ibn Sabba‘, Yuhanna ibn Abi Zakariyya. La Perle précieuse, ed. J. Péier. In PO 16. Paris, 1922.


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