A horseshoe arch is a circular arch that narrows at the base. It appears occasionally in imperial Roman architecture of the second century A.D., for example, at Villa degli Setti Bassi (Ashby, 1907,p. 99, pl. 7), but is otherwise very rare. There are a few early Christian examples from Asia Minor and Syria (Hauschild and Schlunk, 1978, pp. 92-93). It is found in the early Middle Ages in Umayyad architecture in North Africa and the Mozarabic architecture disseminated from it in Spain. The Church of al-Hayz in al-Bahariyyah Oasis (Fakhry, 1950, pp. 55-60) is an example of an Egyptian church that contains several horseshoe arches.
- Ashby, T. “The Classical Topography of the Roman Campagna.”
- Papers of the British School at Rome 4 (1907):3-153.
- Fakhry, A. Baharia Oasis. Cairo, 1950.
- Hauschild, T., and H. Schlunk. Hispania Antiqua. Mainz, 1978.