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( Continued .) 



I N T It 0 D U C T 0 R Y. 


Jt is perhaps not too much to assert that during the middle ages 
Architecture was practised in England with even greater success than 
among any of the contemporary nations. In beauty of detail and 
elegance of proportion the English cathedrals generally surpass their 
Continental rivals. It is only in dimensions and mechanical construc¬ 
tion that they are sometimes inferior. So lovingly did the people of 
the country adhere to the Art, that the Gothic forms clung to the soil 
long after they had been superseded on the Continent by the classical 
Renaissance; and the English returned to their old love long before 
other nations had got over their contempt for the rude barbarism of 
their ancestors. It is now more than a century since Horace Walpole 
conceived the idea of reproducing the beauties of York Minster and 
Westminster Abbey in a lath-and-plaster villa at Strawberry Jlill. 
.1 ho attempt, as we now know, was ridiculous enough ; but the result 
on the Arts of the country most important. From that day to this, 
Gothic villas, Gothic lodges, and Gothio Churches have been the 
fashion—at first timidly, and wonderfully misunderstood, but now 
the rage, and with an almost perfect power of imitation. The result 
of this revived feeling for Medieval art which interests us most in 
us place is, that ’every Gothic building in the country has been 

B 2 



examined and its peculiarities noted. All tlie more importer! 
/havo been drawn and published; their dates and historieb 
ied as far as possible, and the whole subject rendered complete 
and intelligible. The only difficulty that remains is, that the works in 
which the illustrations of English art are contained range over 70 or 
80 years—the early ones published before the subject was properly 
understood; and that they are in all shapes and sizes, from the most 
ponderous folios to the most diminutive of duodecimos. Their number 
too is legion, and they therefore often go over the same ground. Tho 
one book that now seems wanted to complete the series of publica¬ 
tions on the subject, is a clear and concise, but complete, narrative 
of the rise and progress of the style, with just a sufficient amount 
of illustration to render it intelligible. Two volumes in 8vo., of 500 
pages each, might suffice for the distillation of all that is contained in 
the 1001 volumes above alluded to; and 1000 illustrations, if well 
selected, would render tho forms and peculiarities of the style suffi¬ 
ciently clear. 1 But less would certainly not suffice. 

Under these circumstances it will be easily understood that nothing 
of the sort can he attempted in this Work. With only one-tenth of the 
requisite space available, and less than that proportion of illustration, 
all that can he proposed is to sketch the great leading features of the 
subject, to estimate the value of the practice of the English architects 
as compared with those on the Continent, and to ptfint out the differ- 
ences which arose between their methods and ours, in consequence of 
either the local or social peculiarities of the various nationalities. 

This compression is hardly to he regretted in the present instance, 
since any one may with very little trouble master the main features of 
the history in some of the many popular works which have been pub¬ 
lished on tho subject, and all have access to the buildings themselves. 
It need hardly be added, that these are far better and truer exponents of 
the feelings and aspirations of those who erected them than all the hooks 
that ever were written. Unless a man learns to read the lessons these 
stone books so vividly convey, by an earnest personal investigation 
of the monuments themselves, of one style at least, he will hardly 
ever he able to understand the subject; hut for the purpose of such a 
study the English mediaeval architecture is perhaps fhe most complete 
and perfect. Nowhere else can all the gradations of change he so easily 
traced ; and in no other style was there so little interference from 
extraneous causes. Throughout, the English sought only to erect the 
building then most suitable to its destination, with the host materials 
available for the purpose; and the result is therefore generally more 
satisfactory and more harmonious than elsewhere. 

1 From hi* complete knowledge of the subject, Professor Willis could supply this 
desideratum, with very little trouble to himself and certain profit to his publishers. 

n. Cu. f. 







of style. 

Dotuirture of 
Romans . . 

Arthur . 

To establish¬ 
ment. of Hep 

To Conquest 
William 1. 
William II. 
Henry I. 
Henry II. 

Henry IT. 
Richard I. 


Henry HI. 

J- 400 | 

1 480 to ! 
"( 542 { 







300 l Megalithlu or Celtic. 

(Eulv round-arched, 
3b6| G1 - 

or Saxon style. 

Round-arched style. 

1 “ 

j Early pointed Lan- 
7 { cet, or PLmtagenet 



of style. 

Edward 1. . 
El ward II. 
1>1 ward ItL 
Richard 11. 

Henry IV. . 
Henry V. . 
Henry VI. 
Edward IV. 
Edward V. 
Richard III. 

Henry VII. 
H-mry VIIL 
Edward VI. 
Mary . . 

Elizabeth . 
To . . . 















15 r >7 


[Perfected pointed 
105 { Decora ted or 

Edwardian style. 

I Jjaha pointetl Per- 
1 poodicular, or 
S Luncastrhui sty le 

I Fan-vaulted Tran- 
( sitlonal, or Tudor 

After the departure of the Romans, the various tribes that inhabited 
the island were left so feebly organised, and so unequally balanced, 
that they could find no better occupation for their time than that of 
cutting each other’s throats; in which they were afterwards so ably 
seconded by the Saxons and Danes, that it is in vain to look for any 
development of the arts of peace among them. They were equal to 
the erection of a Stonehenge or an Avebury in honour of those who 
fell in the struggles against their foreign invaders; but beyond this 
their architectural aspirations do not seem to have reached. 

With the establishment of the Heptarchy, and more especially after 
Alfred’s glorious reign, we might oxpeet something better. The 
country was then converted to Christianity. Churches were wanted : 
and there were Italian priests to be found who could tell the inha¬ 
bitants what was being done at Rome and elsewhere on the Continent. 
But against this we have the knowledge that the dominant race 
was Saxon or Danish—Aryan pur sang— and art had consequently no 
place in their affections. Their churches were probably small and 
rude, just sufficient for their purposes, and no more; and designed, like 
railway stations, to last only till increasing accommodation should 
compel an alteration. Most probably, too, the greater number wore 
built of wood; and for the true Saxon style we ought perhaps to look 
to the Norwegian wooden churches, described in the last book- us 
types of the style—rather than to the towers erected, probably, as addi¬ 
tions to tlie original wooden churches. Of these towers many still 
remain in our island; but in almost every case the wooden nave has 
been superseded by one of stone in the pointed-arched style of archi ¬ 

With tlie Norman Conquest a new state of things was inaugurated. 
Great tracts of country and great part of the wealth of the conquered 

Part jfL 

of the spoil tnjr 
the laity. Bin 
that a French 

Hierarchy vowed to celibacy would be able to find no better'way of 
employing their easily acquired wealth than in the display of archi¬ 
tectural magnificence. During the century which succeeded the Con¬ 
quest, the Saxon cathedrals, with scarcely an exception, were swept 
away to make room for nobler buildings designed by foreign architects, 
and all the larger abbey churches were likewise rebuilt. All this 
was done with such grandeur of conception, and so just an appreciation 
of the true principles of architectural effect, that even now the Norman 
nave, in spite of its rudeness, is frequently a more impressive specimen 
of art than the more polished productions of the succeeding centuries. 

The impulse once so nobly given, the good work proceeded steadily 
hut rapidly. During the three centuries which succeeded the Conquest 
all the artistic intellect of the nation seems to have been concentrated 
on this one art. Poetry hardly existed, and Painting and Sculpture 
were only employed as the handmaids of architecture. But year by 
year new and improved forms of construction were invented and uni¬ 
versally adopted. New mouldings, and new applications of carvings 
and foliage were introduced ; and painting on opaque substances and 
even on glass was carried to an astonishing degree of perfection. 
All this was done without borrowing and without extraneous aid, but 
by steadily progressing to a well understood object with a definite aim. 
It is true that occasionally, as at Westminster Abbey, we detect the 
influence of French arrangements; but even there the design is carried 
out in so essentially English a manner, with details so purely English, 
as to make us feel even more strongly how essentially native the style 
had become. 

The Ethnic combination which led to the marvellous perfection of 
Gothic art during the Edwardian period was as fortunate as can well 
be conceived. It was a Celtic hierarchy and noblesse steadied by a 
Saxon people ; with the substratum of an earlier Celtic race, held m 
absolute subjection by the Saxons, hut rising again, at least partially, 
to the surface, under the Norman domination. It was something like 
what happened in Athens when a Dorian race was superimposed on one of 
Pelasgic origin ; and, although the condi tions were here reversed and the 
field far more limited, the result was still most successful. Within the 
limits of a 'century the French had jumped from the tentative example 
of St Denis (1144) to the perfection of the Sainto ( hapelle (D44). 
Our St. Stephen’s Chapel was not-finished till a century afterwards; 
but while the French hardly over went beyond their great 13th cen 
tury effort, in the I6t,h century we were building the lloyal Chapels 

at Windsor, Westminster, and Cambridge. 

The French wars and the wars of the KoWs seem to havo altered 


eated to the Conqueror, and in the division 
rn to have been even more fortunate than 
this were, it will be easily understood 


original state of affairs to a very considerable extent. The ! 

ility were decimated—almost, indeed, destroyed—and anofclieA_ 

of society came gradually to the surface, but this time certainly 
not Celtic. On the walls of the churches of the Lancastrian period we 
read—faintly, it must bo confessed—the great Saxon motto, “ The 
greatest possible amount of accommodation at the least possible expendi¬ 
ture of money and thought.” During this period, too, the cathedral 
and conventual hierarchies were yielding before the development of 
the parochial system. It may he wrong to assert that the Deformation 
began as early as 1400, but it is true' that the seeds were then sown 
which afterwards ripened into the explosion of the Commonwealth. 
Some very grand churches were no doubt erected during the Lan¬ 
castrian period, and some beautiful additions made to existing edifices; 
but they were hard and mechanical as compared with that which 
preceded them. They were the work of accomplished masons, not 
wrought out with the feelings of educated gentlemen ; and, though we 
may admire, we cannot quite adore even the best and noblest produc¬ 
tions of their age. 

Under the Tudors the style went out in a blaze of glory. Nothing 
can be more gorgeous and fascinating than the three royal chapels, and 
the other contemporary fan-roofed buildings; but they are like the 
fabled dying hues of the dolphin—bright and brilliant, but unnatural 
and fleeting. It was the last spasmodic effort of an expiring style, 
and soon passed away. 

After the Reformation was complete there was no longer any want 
of new churches, and the great incentive of making a house worthy of 
the service of God was taken away; so that during Elizabeth's reign 
architecture was almost wholly occupied in providing new and more 
extensive mansions for the nobility and landed gentry. Spacious rooms, 
well-lighted galleries, comfortable chambers, and good accommodation 
for servants were the demands of the time, with sufficient stateliness, 
but at the least possible outlay. Comfort and economy are the inherent 
antitheses of architectural offect; and then, as now, brought the 
art down from its exalted pedestal almost to the level of a mere useful 
art. But the Bodleian Library and other buildings in our Universities 
show that the art lingered even in the 17th century, and that men still 
looked upon nmllions and pinnacles as objects on which a little money 
might be advantageously spent. But it was no longer the old art 
that, was struck down on the battlefield of Towton in 1401, only to 
wuds tlal ‘ y galvanuied into life at Bosworth, twenty-four years after • 

Although Gothic architecture continued to he employed in the 
Universities and m remote corners of the land long after it had ceased 
to be practised abroad, it must not therefore be assumed that the people 
ot England generally regarded it with admiration. To them i t was the 


a superstition from whose influence they gloried in escapi^T^ 
tiblem of a feudal tyranny from which they were just emerging 
ter partial freedom. During Elizabeth’s reign the struggle was hardly 
over; the wounds of the combatants were still fresh and bleeding, the 
anger of the contest had by no means subsided, and they looked with 
hate and abhorrence on whate ver recalled the stern realities of the past. 
W e can now afford to look on the Middle Ages with far different 
feelings; our wounds have long since been healed, and hardly a scar 
remains. Time has thrown its veil of poetry over what was then a 
mere prosaic matter of fact, hiding those features which were once 
so repulsive, and softening much which even now it is impossible to 
forget. They shrunk from what they felt as a reality, we cherish it 
because it has faded into a dream. 

Bearing in mind the prevalence of these feelings, we should not be 
surprised that so soon as classical art was presented to them the people 
rushed to it with avidity. The world was then ringing with the praise 
of the newly disseminated poetry of Vigil, the eloquence of Cicero, and 
the glorious narratives of Livy. A new light was dawning, and the 
cry arose on all sides, “ Away with the Middle Ages, with their super¬ 
stition and their tyranny. Roman greatness, Roman literature, and 
Roman arc aro to regenerate the world l ” Wo are now convinced that 
the Classical Renaissance was not successful; hut is it quite clear that 
a Mediaeval revival will not prove even a greater and more disastrous 
mistake ? 

Be this as it may, in the whole range of artistic history it would 
be difficult to find any single monograph so complete in itself, or all. 
the details of which are so well known, as that of Mediaeval art in 
England. We know its birth and parentage ; we can follow it through 
youth to the bloom of manhood. We can admire it in the staid 
maturity of its power, and in the expiring efforts of its failing strength; 
and we know the causes of its decay and death. To those who are 
able to grasp it, no story can be more interesting; while to those who 
desire to understand what architecture really is, how it can be culti¬ 
vated so as to insure success, and by what agencies it is sure to decay 
and finally to die, no subject is capable of being more instructively 

T*l NlSTfty. 




So few and indistinct are the traces of architectural art in England 
before the Norman Conquest, that for a long time it was a moot point 
among antiquaries whether or not any such thing existed as true 
Saxon architecture. The question may now he considered as settled 
in the affirmative. In his last edition, Rickman enumerates twenty ; 
churches in which fragments are found which certainly belong to the ; 

pre-Norman period, though no com¬ 
plete example can he pointed to as 
illustrating the style then preva¬ 
lent. Since Rickman’s death ten or 
twelve more specimens have been dis¬ 
covered. Generally they are towers 
or crypts, as St. Winifred’s at Ripon, 
or the pillars of a chancel arch, as 
at Reculver. Sometimes it is a door¬ 
way, at others only a piece of rude 
walling. On a review of the whole, 
it is evident that architecture in Eng¬ 
land was certainly ruder and less de¬ 
veloped than that on the Continent 
at the same age, and differed from it 
in one curious peculiarity. Both 
were, of course, based on the Roman 
art which preceded them; but the 
Saxon in its ornamentation showed 
a tendency to wooden forms which 
we do not find in the Others. In 
Lycia, in India and Egypt, we are 
able to trace a wooden architecture 
gradually developing itself out of one 
of stone; hut here we can almost 
certainly detect a stone architecture 
becoming wooden from the two ma- 

„ 536. Tow<?r oCEarl’B Barton Church. From 

teriais being constantly employed ■ Britton’s Architectural Amiquitio.’ 

in juxtaposition, the moaner being generally predominant 

Although interesting to English antiquaries, tho Hpoehnms of Saxon 
art are so insignificant as hardly to deserve much nqtico in u universal 
history of the art, and one example will suffice Jo explain the peeu- 


Part II 


Windows, Earl’s Barton. 

^‘es/Jf/the style. The tower of Earl’s Barton in Northamptonshir 
ha itself more undoubted Saxon characteristics than any other 
ecirh&n yet described: its angles, as shown in woodcut No. 53d, are 
constructed with that peculiar form of quoin known as “long and 
short,” while its faces are ornamented by long pilaster-like slips con¬ 
nected by semicircular arches, or more frequently by straight-lined 
cross-lxracing very wooden in its character. The windows (woodcut 
No. 537) are formed by gouty balusters, looking very much as if they 
" were of wood turned in a lathe, and 

the whole arrangements bear out 
that character. There is neither 
grace nor beauty in any feature of 
the style, nor an approach to gran¬ 
deur of dimensions in any example 
which has been spared to the present 

Had any great conventual church 
or cathedral survived we might per- 
WMl * haps be forced to modify this opi¬ 

nion ; but the only one of which we know anything is that which was 
erected at Canterbury by Archbishop Odo in the years 940-960, to 
replace the older church of St. Augustine. 1 Even this, however, we 
only know from the description of Edmer the singer, who saw it before 
it was destroyed by fire in 1067. Like the German churches of that 
age, it seems to have had two apses. The principal one towards the east 
was appropriated to the clergy ; while the western one belonged to the 
laity, or, as we should now say, was devoted to parochial purposes. 

Its walls and structure probably resembled the nave of Mortier en 
Per (woodcut No. 349), or the Basse (Euvre at Beauvais (woodcut 
No. 347)—plain piers supporting round arches below, and small 
circular-headed windows in a plain wall above. 

Outside the original church of St. Augustine to the eastward— 
at what distance we unfortunately are not told—Cuthbert, the second 
archbishop, about the year 750 erected a circular church, “ as a bap¬ 
tistery, and in order that it might serve as the burying-place of future 
archbishops 2 thus combining the two rites in a ceremonial church 
apart from the Basilica, exactly as was done in Italy during the 
Romanesque age. It is by no means improbable that the eastern 
termination of the present cathedral known as Beckot s Crow n stands 
on tho site of this old baptistery, and retains its dimensions; but it is 

t This has been restored, as far as the hoiiore Beati Johannis Baptistte fabrienvit; 
materials admit, by Professor Willis, in his ut et Baptisteria efc examinationes Judicio- 
4 Architectural History of Canterbury Ca- 'mm, &c.—et Archiepiscoporum corpora in 
thedral," publisher! in 1845. ‘ ea sepolirentur/’—‘ Anglia Sacra/ vol. ii. 

2 , M Qui ecclesiam in orientali parte ma- p. 75. 
joris eeelesiso eidem pene contiguain in 


/difficult to prove this, so completely have all the features of th^Mildi 
/been altered by subsequent rebuildings. 

From what we know of Saxon MSS. and other indications, it would 
seem that painting was a favourite inode of decoration among the 
Saxons; and if so, then interiors may have been more successful as 
works of art than their external architecture would lead us to expect. 
But as no specimen of Saxon painted mural decoration has come down 
to our time, it is hardly safe to assume much with regard to this. 

Plans of English Cathedral Churches. 

The most remarkable and universal peculiarity in the arrangement 

Plan of Norwich Cathedral. 

Scale J00 ft. to 1 in. 

of English churches, when compared with those 01 
their extraordinary length in proportion to their 



^ey seem to stand alone when compared with any building 
other P arts of the world. The ancients affected a double 
epari< in other words, their temples were generally twice as long as 
they were broad. In the middle ages, on the Continent, this- proportion 
was generally doubled. Practically the internal width was multiplied 
b\ 4 for the length, i his at least seems to have been the proportion 

generally aimed at, though, of course, 
it was often modified by circumstances. 
In England the larger churches generally 
reached the proportion of 0 times their 
width for their length. Most of our 
cathedrals have been so altered and 
modified by subsequent additions that 
| it is difficult now to trace their original 
Jk arrangements; but Norwich exists in 
plan almost exactly as originally erected 
* 1096-1135), as will be seen from 

the plan (woodcut No. 538). The nave 
■ to the west of the intersection is more 
than 4 times its width (70 x 295). 

\ The rectangular part of the choir is 
more than a square, and with, the apse 
and its aisle, exclusive of the chapels, 
£r makes altogether a length of 4J0 ft. in- 
£r, ternally, or nearly 6 squares. At Peter¬ 
borough and Ely the proportion seems 
|i to have been as 5 to I to the centre of 

p the apse ; but if there was a circum¬ 

scribing aisle or chapel, the longer pro¬ 
portion would obtain. At Canterbury 
and Winchester, and generally in the 
south-eastern cathedrals, as built more 
immediately under French influence, 
the original proportion was som^hat 
shorter; but so impressed were the 
English architects with the feeling that 
length was the true mode of giving 
effect, that eventually tire two cathe¬ 
drals last named surpassed it. Canter¬ 
bury (woodcut No. 539) attained ah 
i- internal length of 518 ft., while the 
width of the nave is only 72, or as 
(woodcut No. 542) these dimensions are 
less than 7 to 1, owing to the greater width 

530. Plan of Canterbury Cathedral. 

Scale 100 ft. r in. 

f f. frfr^AirSF 

ft is extremely difficult to assign a satisfactory reason fo\^i| 
^ciiiiarity of English plans. It arises so suddenly, however, irk 
:;:3&glish churches of the Norman age that it must have pre-existed 
in those of the Saxons; though why they should have adopted it is 
by no means clear. If these churches had wooden roofs, which was 
almost certainly the case, their naves might easily have been wider, 
and it can hardly have arisen from any aesthetic motive. As we 
now judge them, these early naves 
were badly proportioned for hear¬ 
ing an address from the bishop or 
prior, and as ill adapted for a 
multitude to see what was pass¬ 
ing at the altar; but for pictorial 
effect they surpass everything 
erected on the Continent, unless 
with greatly increased dimensions 
of height or width. Whether, 
therefore, it were hit upon by ac¬ 
cident or by design, its beauty 
was immediately appreciated, and 
formed the governing principle in 
the design of all the English 
cathedrals. It was a discovery 
which has added more to the 
sublimity of effect which charac¬ 
terises most of our cathedrals 
than any other principle intro¬ 
duced during the middle ages. 

All the cathedrals above enu¬ 
merated, all indeed which wore de¬ 
signed by Norman prelates during 
the 1 st century after the Conquest, 
were erected on very nearly the 
same^ plan as that at Norwich. 

Durham (1095- 1133) was the 
first to show any marked devia¬ 
tion from the type 1 (woodcut 
No. 540). The nave and choir 
became nearly proportioned to one 
another, and for the first time we 
see a distinct determination from 

540. Han of Durham Cathedral. From Btlllncs 
Scale mo ft. to 1 in. 

the first that the building should he vaulted. All this involved 

as? 0 ** «■*** ■* 




641. Plan of Salisbury Cathedral. Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 



design and contrivance which entirely emancipated ns fr< 
tal type, and may be considered as laying the foundation 

to what was doing at Durham there prevailed an extra¬ 
ordinary activity in church-building in the North of England during 
the whole of the 12th century, owing to the erection of the great 
abbeys whose gigantic fossils still adorn every main valley in York¬ 
shire. As this part of the country was more remote from foreign 
influence than the South, the style developed itself there with a vigour 
and originality not found elsewhere; but its effect was appreciated, 

and when Lincoln was re¬ 
built, about the year 1200, 
the English style was per¬ 
fected in all essential parts. 
This is even more remark ¬ 
ably shown, however, at 
Salisbury, commenced in 
1 220 and completed in 1258. 

In this church we have 
a plan not only extremely 
beautiful but perfectly origi¬ 
nal. There is scarcely a 
trace of French or foreign 
influence; everything is the 
result of the native elabo¬ 
ration during the previous 
century and a half. The 
internal dimensions, accord¬ 
ing to Britton, are 450 ft. 
by 78, a little under the 
English standard, hut suf¬ 
ficiently long for effect. 
The apsidal arrangement, 
so universal in Norman 
cathedrals, has disappeared 
never to return, except in 
Westminster Abbey (1245— 
1209), and in some readjust¬ 
ments, as at Tewkesbury ; 
and the square eastern 
termination may henceforth 
he considered as established 
in this country—the early symbol of that independence which even 
tually ltd to the Reformation, 

Once the Salisbury plan came to be considered the true English 


ii; Trxfxssns or Jiixvitiiiori o'axmdishtjB. 

;he Norman cathedrals were gradually modified to assi 
rrangem exits to 
Jt^The nave and tran¬ 
sept of Winchester 
were already too ex¬ 
tensive to admit of a 
second transept, but 
the choir was rebuilt 
on the new model; 
and when afterwards 
the nave was remo¬ 
delled by William of 
Wykeham it became 
one of the most beau¬ 
tiful, as it continued 
to be the longest 
English cathedrals 
(556 ft. over all). 

About the same 
time Ely had a choir 
and presbytery added 
to it in lieu of the old 
Norman choir, which 
raised it to the very 
first rank among Eng¬ 
lish churches; 1 and 
when, in 1322, by a 
fortunate accident the 
old Norman tower fell 
the intersection was 
rebuilt in a manner 
that rendered it ex- 
ceptionably pre-emi¬ 
nent among its rivals. 

There is perhaps no 
feature in the whole 
range of Gothic archi¬ 
tecture either here or 

of Winchester Cathedral. From Britton 
Scale loo ft. to 1 in. 

1 The proper effect of this part of Ely 
Cathedral lias been seriously marred by 
the erection of the new reredos. In itself 
a fair specimen of modem Gothic, it is 
placed so far from the choir as to loso its 
proper effect. Tt is painfully dwarfed by 
the large plain area in front of it, But 
worse than this, it cuts up and destroys 
the most beautiful presbytery in England, 

after the Angel Choir at Lincoln. Tho 
architects of Wulsingham’s time glazed 
two compartments of tho triforium to 
throw light- upon the principal object in 
tho choir, which was intended to stand 
two bays further forward. It would have 
been well if the I9th century restorers hail 
taken the hint. 

Plan of Ely Cathedral. From Dngdnle. 
Scale J.00 ft. to l hi. 



! outinent more beautiful than the octagon of Ely (woocfcft'l 
, as rebuilt by Alan of Walsmgham, the sacrist at the tir^ 
er fell. He, and he alone of all northern architects, seems to 

have conceived the idea of 
abolishing what was in 
fact the bathos of tho style 
—the narrow tall open¬ 
ing of the central tower, 
which, though possessing 
exaggerated height, gave 
neither space nor dignity 
internally to the central 
feature of the design. On 
the other hand, the ne¬ 
cessity of stronger sup¬ 
ports to carry the tower 
frequently contracted still 
more the one spot where, 
according to architectural 
propriety, an extended 
area was of vital import¬ 
ance to the due harmony 
of the design. 

In the present instance 
the architect took far the 
base of his design the 
whole width of the nave 
and aisles, constructing 
in it an octagon, the sides 
of which are respectively 
25 and 30 feet, and the 
diameter 65 in one direc¬ 
tion, east arid west, and 
70 ft, transversely. By 
this arrangement a cen¬ 
tral area was obtained 
more than three times 
the extent of that origi¬ 
nally existing, and, more 
than this, propriety and poetry of design which aro not to he found 
elsewhere. All this too was carried out with the exquisite details o' 
the best age of English Gothic, and the effect in consequence is sur¬ 
passingly beautiful. Unfortunately, either for want of funds, or of 
confidence in tlieir ability to execute it, the vault, like that of York, is 
only in wood, though, from the immense strength of the supports, and 

%heii| arrangement, it is evident tliat a stone vault was originally 
Tlie very careless—one might almost say ugly—way in 
thi> lantern was finished externally, shews unmistakably that it was 

Octagon <it Ely Cathedral. From Murray's • Cathedral Handbook. 

to last long in its present form. Be that as it may, this 
reality the only true Gothic dome in existence; and the 
iat being once suggested, any cathedral was over after- 
itliout. it. Its dimensions ought not to have alarmed 


r/xvixjomrr TTKciixrjro^ 


► had access to the domes of the Byzantines or Italians, 
rhght to have struck them as it does us. Perhaps the trije 
aftion lies in the fact that it was invented late in the style. 
New cathedrals or great churches were very rarely commenced after 
the death of Edward the Third ; and when they were, it was by 
masons, not by educated gentlemen, that they weie designed. 

After this, very little novelty was introduced into the design of 
English cathedrals. York, however, was almost entirely rebuilt in the 
form towards which the architects were tending during the whole of 
the middle ages, and it may consequently he considered as the type at 
which they were aiming, though hardly the one to which we can give 
the most unqualified praise. The nave was erected between the years 
1291 and 1381, the choir between 1361 and 1405; the length internally 
is 486 ft.; the width of the choir, 100 ft.; of the nave, 106 ft.; both 
these last were, unfortunately, dimensions which the architects did 
not feel themselves equal to grappling wi th, so that the roof, like the 
lantern at Ely, was constructed of wood, in imitation of a stone vault, 
and remains so to this day. 

Owing to the great width attempted for the nave, York has not the 
usual proportion of height affected by other English cathedrals, and 
loses in effect accordingly. Its great peculiarity is the simplicity and 
squareness of its plan, so unlike what is found anywhere abroad. The 
church is divided into two equal parte; one devoted to the laity, one 
to the clergy. There are no apsidal or other chapels. Three altars 
stood against the eastern wall, and it may be 3 or 4 in the transept. 
Beyond this nothing. There is none of that wealth of private chapels 
which distinguishes Continental cathedrals and churches, or even Can¬ 
terbury, the most foreign of our English examples. The worship even 
at that early period was designed to be massive and congregational, not 
frittered away in private devotion or scattered services, and marks a 
departure from Continental practices well worthy the attention of 
those who desire to trace the gradual development of the feelings of a 
people as expressed in their architecture, and the architecture only. 

The abbey church at Westminster is exceptional among English 
examples, and is certainly, in so far at least as the east end is concerned, 
an adaptation of a French design. The nave, however, is essentially 
English in plan and detail, and one of the most beautiful examples of 
its class to be found anywhere. So too are the widespreading tran¬ 
septs ■ but eastward of these the form is decidedly that of a French 
cathedral. Henry VIJ.’s Chapel now occupies the space formerly occu¬ 
pied by the Lady Chapel; hut before it was pulled down the circlet of 
apsidal chapels was as completely and as essentially French as any 
to be found in the country where that feature was invented. In the 
choir, however, the architects betrayed their want of familiarity with 
the form of termination they had selected. The angle at which the 

Uh: II.-TX7VIN S tfiTTOfGrtiXbll. 

>se meet is far from pleasing, and there is 
transition, which tends to detract from the 
very charming design. 

j\.h mo cnoir was sepulchral, to accommodate the shrine of the Con- 
feasor, the design was appropriate, and its introduction in this instance 
cannot be regretted; but, 
on the whole, there is 
nothing in the church of 
Westminster to make us 
wish that this feature had 
become more common on 
this s i de of the Chann el, 

Notwithstanding the 
beauty of the result, it may 
still be considered as open 
to discussion whether the 
English architects were 
always correct in adhering 
to length in preference to 
height as the modulus of 
their designs. When, how¬ 
ever, we reflect how im¬ 
mensely the difficulties of 
constructing a stone roof 
are increased by every 
addition to the width or 
height of the vault, we 
cannot but acknowledge 
their wisdom in stopping 
at that point where suffi¬ 
cient spaciousness was at¬ 
tained, without increasing 
constructive difficulties, 

Nowhere in English ca¬ 
thedrals are we offended 
by mechanical tours de 
force. Everywhere there 
is sufficient solidity for 
security, and a consequent 
feeling oi repose most con¬ 
ducive to true architec¬ 
tural effect. 

It may also be remarked that the strain of turning the head up¬ 
wards detracts considerably from the pleasure of contemplating til 
interiors, while the eye likes to dwell on long-drawn vistas which can 

c 2 

545. Plan of Westminster Abbey. Scab 105 ft. to l in. 


jred in a natural position. But, perhaps, the greatest advanl 
dderate dimensions in section is that they do not dwarf either tfe 
worshippers or the furniture of the church. Everything in an English 
cathedral is in just proportion, which is certainly not the case in many 
Continental examples; and there is a variety and a play of light and 
shade in the long aisles of our churches which is wholly wanting in the 
one great hall of French and German examples. 

Another point on which a difference of opinion may fairly exist is, 
whether the square termination of our cathedrals is or is not more 
beautiful than the apsidal arrangements so universal abroad. 

When, as at Salisbury, or Wells, or Exeter, there is a screen of open 
arches below the east window, it may safely be asserted that a poly¬ 
gonal termination would have been more pleasing; but when, as at 
York, or Gloucester, or Carlisle, the whole eastern wall is a screen 
of painted glass, divided by mullions and tracery of most exquisite 
design, judgment will probably go the other way. Such a window as 
that at York, 33 ft. in width by 80 ft. in height, is a marvellous 
creation, which few architectural developments in any part of the 
world can rival or even approach. On the whole, perhaps, the true 
answer to the question is that, where a number of smaller chapels are 
wanted, the chevet form is the best and most artistic termination for 
a church; where these are not required, the square form is the most 
beautiful, because it is the most appropriate, and, like everything appro¬ 
priate, capable of being made beautiful in the hands of a true artist. 


Whatever opinion may bo formed as to the proportions of English 
cathedrals, or the arrangement of their plans, there can be no dispute 
as to the superiority of their vaults over those of all their Continental 
rivals. The reasons for this are various, and not very recondite. The 
most obvious is the facility of construction which arose from the 
moderation just pointed out in the section of our churches. 

The English always worked within their strength, instead of going 
to the very verge of it, like the French; and they thus obtained the 
power of subordinating constructive necessities to architectural beauty. 
Thus the English architects never attempted a vault of any magnitude 
till they were sufficiently skilled in construction to do it with facility. 
hi a former chapter it has been pointed out how various and painful 
were the steps by which the French arrived at their system of vaulting 
—first by pointed tunnel-vaults and a system of domes, then by a,com¬ 
bination of quadripartite and hexapartite intersecting vaults, of every 
conceivable form and variety, but always with a tendency to domes, 
and to the union of all pre-existing systems. This experimentalizing, 
added to the groat height of their roofs and the slenderness of their 





•tones, never left them sufficiently free to admit of their stu^ 
tic effects in this part of the construction. 

A second reason Was, that, for 150 years alter the Conquest, our 
architects were content with wooden roofs for their naves. One of the 
earliest vaults we possess is that at Durham, commenced by Iiior 
Melsonby, 1233. Long before that time the French architects had 
been trying all those expedients, detailed at pp. 466, 467 of Vol. I., and 
had thus succeeded in vaulting their central aisles a century before we 
attempted it. In doing so, however, their eyes got accustomed to 
mechanical deformities which we never tolerated, and they were after¬ 
wards quite satisfied if the vault would stand, without caring much 
whether its form were beautiful or not. 

A third cause of the perfection of English vaults arose from the 
constant use of ornamental wooden roofs throughout the middle ages. 
The typical example of this form now remaining to us is that of West¬ 
minster Hall. But St. Stephen’s Royal Chapel had one of the same 
class, and there is reason to believe that they were much more common 
than is usually supposed. 1 AH these were elaborately framed and 
richly carved and ornamented, often more beautiful than a stone vault, 
and quite as costly; and it seems impossible that a people who were 
familiar with this exquisite mode of roofing could be content with the 
lean twisted vaults of the Continental architects. The English alone 
succeeded in constructing ornamental wooden roofs, and, as a corollary, 
alone appreciated the value of a vault constructed on truly artistic 
principles and richly ornamented. Their eyes being accustomed to the 
depth and boldness of timber construction could never tolerate the thin 
weak lines of the French ogive, just sufficient for strength, hut sadly 
deficient in expression and in play of light and shade. 

Although it is, perhaps, safe to assert that there is not,, and never 
was, a Saxon vault in existence; and that, during the purely Norman 
period, though the side-aisles of great churches were generally vaulted, 
the central aisle was always ceiled with wood; yet, from a study of their 
plans, we are led to conclude that their architects always intended that 
they should, or at least might, he ornamented with stone roofs. 

In the first place, the area of their piers is enormous, and such 
as could never have been- intended to support wooden roofs. Even 
making every allowance for the badness of the masonry, one-tenth of 
the sectional area would have sufficed, and not more was employed co- 
temporaneously in Germany when it was intended to employ wooden 
roofs. There is also generally some variation in the design of the 
alternate piers, as if a hexapartito arrangement were- contemplated. 
But the evidence is not conclusive, for the vaulting shafts are usually 

1 The roofs here alluded to must not be architects are so fond of copying, but 
confounded with the barn-like roots of; such roofs as that of St. Stephen's Chapel, 
remote village churches which modern and many of those of the Lancastrian cm! 


in all instances run from the ground through the 
miniate with the copings of the wall, so that, in 
they could only he meant to support the main timber ol 
It may be that it was intended to cut them away down to 
the string-course of the clerestory, as was actually done at Norwich in 

fVwtk/lf f *JMt 

Nave of Peterborough Cathedral. 1 C. Hb. 

i was vaulted ; but at present we 
at the architects were content w 


|hat) df Peterborough (woodcut No. 546), which is the oldest and f^ 
It is very beautiful, but not the class of roof these massj 
piers were designed to support. 

on. ^Nuve ofUuculn Cathechal. 0. Hb. 

Though we may hesitate with regard to the intention of the builders 
of Norwich, Ely, or Peterborough, thero can be no doubt, from the 
alternate piers and pillars, that when Durham was commenced it was 

v.r'i'i tmcmwmTm t onr,. 

NrtVu ot Jitdblielti Oitbedral. C. Hb. 

and, by the introduction of a bracket in the nave, and after- 
iiilting shaft in t he choir, a vault of the usual quadrilateral 
icessfully carried out between the years 1233 and 1284. 

JL.OU5TX.. •. . VAULTS. ' .7. ~V’ 

is probably to St. Hugh of Lincoln that we owe the first p 
.yin England. Coming from Burgundy he must have been fami 
. the great vaults which had been constructed in his country long 


i lp j 1 ; • 

Choir of Gloucester Cathedral. C. Ilb. 

before the year 1200, when he encouraged his now followers to under- 
take one not necessarily in the Burgundian stylo, hut in that form with 
which they wore conversant from their practice in erecting smaller 



ltnrrir/tM-i Aitcitirrrcc i o — « >, 

alts. He built and roofed the choir of Lincoln, imniediatl 
lich (1209^-1235) tlie nave (woodcut No. 547) was undertake^ 
^h of Wells, and its roof may be taken as a type of the first 
fected form of English vaulting. It is very simple and beautiful; 
but it cannot be denied—and this is felt still more at Exeter—that the 
great inverted pyramidal blocks of the roof are too heavy for the light 
piers and pierced walls which support them. Another defect is, that 
the lines of the clerestory windows do not accord with the lines of the 
“severeys” of the vault. This defect was remedied at Lichfield, but 
nowhere else, until the invention of the four-centred arch and of fan- 
tracery. At Lichfield (woodcut No. 548) the triangular form of the 
clerestory windows afforded a perfect solution of the difficulty, and 
gave a stability and propriety to the whole arrangement that never 
was surpassed, and never might have been relinquished had not their 
fatal fondness for painted glass forced the architects in this, as in other 
instances, to forego constructive propriety for indulgence in that fasci¬ 
nating mode of decoration. 

Beautiful as these simple early roofs were felt to be, the great mass 
of the “ severeys,” or inverted pyramids, formed a very obvious defect. 
It was; however, easily remedied when once perceived. The earliest 

example of its successful re¬ 
moval is probably in the roof 
of the choir at Gloucester 
(133 7-1377, woodcut, No. 551). 
In this instance the roof 
is almost a tunnel-vault with 
the window spaces cutting 
into it, so as to leave nearly 
one-third of the space un¬ 
broken ; and. as the whole is 
covered with rich and appro¬ 
priate tracery, the effect is 
highly pleasing. The same 
principle was afterwards car¬ 
ried to its utmost perfection 
in the roof of St. George’s 
Chapel at Windsor. In that 
case a fiat band was intro¬ 
duced as a separate construc¬ 
tive compartment in the 
centre, supported by the seve¬ 
reys, and as the roof is orna¬ 
mented with ribbings of the 
Diagrams? of Vaulting. most exquisite design, it 

forms perhaps the most beautiful vault ever designed by a Gothic 






Roof of Cloister, Gloucester. 


L e great invention of the English architects in vaulting 
usually known as fan-tracery. It is so beautiful in itself, ai] 
usively English, that it may, perhaps, be worth while to retrace 
the steps by which it was arrived at. Though this may lead to a 
little repetition, the stone vault is so essentially the governing modulus 
of the style that its principles cannot be made too clear. 

The original form of the intersecting vault is that of two halves of 
a hollow-sided square pyramid placed opposite one another in an 
inverted position. 1 One half of such a vault is shown at a and a a 
(woodcut No. 550, fig. 1). The English seem early to have tired of the 
endless repetition of these forms, and, after trying every mode of con¬ 
cealing their sameness by covering them with tracery, they hit on the 
happy expedient of cutting off their angles, aft shown at b and bb. 
This left a flat square space in the centre, which would have been 
awkward in the central vault, though in a side-aisle it was easily got 
over, and its flatness concealed by ornament. Arrived at this stage, it 
was easy to see that by again dividing each face into two, as at c, fig. 1, 
the principal original lines were restored, and the central space could 
be subdivided by constructive lines, to any extent required. By this 


1 This has already been explained in the chapters on French architecture in Vol 1 
especially at pages 467 and 520. 



w paw nr 

tjie square pyramid had become a polygonal cone of 24 side 
practically so near a circle that it was impossible to resist 
ingestion of making it one, which was accordingly done, as shown 
at i) and i> n, fig. 1. 

So far all was easy, but the fact of the fiat central space resting on 
the four cones was still felt to he a defect, as indeed is apparent in such 
a vault as that of the cloisters at Gloucester (woodcut No. 551), whore 
a segment is used nearly equal to an equilateral spherical triangle. In 
this case they did not dare to employ a constructive decoration, but 
covered the space with circles so as to confuse and deceive the eye. At 
Windsor (woodcut No. 552) the defect was obviated by using a low 
four-centred,arch invented for the purpose, so that the outer tangent of 
the Conoid was nearly flat, and the principal transverse rib was carried 
to the centre without being broken,—as the others might have been, 
had that mode of decoration been deemed expedient. This may he con¬ 
sidered the perfection of this kind of vaulting, and is perhaps the most 
beautiful method ever invented. At Westminster (as shown in wood- 
cut No. 553) the difficulty was got over by reversing the curve by the 
introduction of pendants. This was a clever expedient, and produced 

a startling effect, but 
is so evidently a tour 
de force that the result 
is never quite satisfac¬ 
tory ; though on a small 
scale admissible. 

These devices all 
answered perfectly so 
long as the space to be 
roofed was square, or 
nearly so; but when 
this mode of vaulting 
came to he applied to 
the bays of the central 
nave, which were twice as long in one direction as in the other, the 
difficulties seemed insuperable. By cutting off the angle as in the 
former instance (as at b, fig. 2, woodcut No. 550), you may get either 
a small diamond shaped space in the centre or a square, but in both 
cases the pyramid becomes very awkward; and by carrying on the 
system as before, you never arrive at a circle, but at an elliptical 
section, as shown at P, fig. 2 (woodcut No. 550). 

The builders of King’s College Chapel strove to obviate the drffi-. 
culty by continuing the conoid to the centre, and then cutting off 
what was redundant at the sides, as in e, fig. 2. 

The richness of the ornaments, and the loftiness and elegance of 
the whole, lead us to overlook these defects at Cambridge, but nothing 
can be less constructive or less pleasing than the abruptness of the 

Vault of Able at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor. 


v mv t;t©. 

piece of ingenuity very 
unworthy of English 
art. By far the most 
satisfactory of these 
roofs is that at Wind¬ 
sor, whore a broad flat 
band is introduced in 
the centre of the roof, 
throughout the whole 
length of the chapel. 
This is ornamented by 
panelling of the most 
exquisite design, and 
relieved by pendants 
of slight projection, the 
whole being in such 
good taste as to make 
it one of the richest 
and probably the most 
beautiful vault ever 
constructed. It has 

factions so obtained. In the central aisle of Henry VII/s Chi 
oided by a bold series of pendants supported by internal 
.^^Jesses, producing a surprising degree of complexity, and such .... 
exhibition of mechanical dexterity as never fails to astonish, and gene¬ 
rally to please; though it must be confessed that it is at best a mere 

653. Aisle in Henry VI 17b Chapel, Westminster. 

not the loftiness of that at Cambridge, being only 62 ft. high, instead of 
78, nor is it of the same extent, and consequently it does not so imme¬ 
diately strike observers, but on examination it is far more satisfactory. 

The truth of the matter seems to be that, after all their experience, 
the architects had got back to precisely the point from which they 
started, namely, the necessity of a square space for the erection of 
a satisfactory intersecting vault. The Romans saw this, and never 
swerved trom it. The side-aisles of all cathedrals and all cloisters 
adhered to it throughout; and, when it was departed from in the 
wider central aisles, it always led to an awkwardness that was hardly 
evei success!ully conquered. In some instances, as in the retro-choir at 
Peterborough (1438-1628), two windows are boldly but awkwardly 
included in one bay (woodcut No. 554), and the compartments are so 
nearly square that the difficulty is not very apparent, but it is suffi¬ 
cient to injure considerably the effect of what would otherwise be a 
very beautiful roof. 

In Henry \ II/s Clmpel the difficulty was palliated, not conquered 
by thrusting forward the great pendants of the roof and treating them 
as essential parts of the construction, and as if they were supported by 

IfSfars’ from the floor instead of by brackets from the wall. By At 
me roof was divided into rectangles more nearly approachir^ 
sqaateS than was otherwise attainable; but it is most false in prin¬ 
ciple, and, in spite of all its beauty of detail, cannot bo considered 

Itutrodioir, Peterborough Cathedral C. Hb. 

[ it may appear from its date, the most satisfactory roof 
is that erected by Cardinal Wolsey in the beginning of 
ary over the choir of Oxford Cathedral. In this instance 
are thrust so far forward and made so important that the 
of the roof is practically quadripartite. The remaining 
obviated by abandoning the circular horizontal outline of 

trjuljfan-tracery, and adopting a polygonal form instead. As the \gde|is 
doifys in a constructive manner and with appropriate detail, this W3A- 
except in size—is one of the host and most remarkable ever executed. 

The true solution of the difficulty, in so far as the roof was con¬ 
cerned, would have been to include two bays of the side-aisles in one of 
the centre ; but this would have necessitated a rearrangement of both 
plan and exterior to an extent the architects were not then prepared to 

Choi r Arches of Oxford Cai hedral. C. 11b. 

the'rlwloifr^ T atte r pted ’ ' excc 'P t P erha P« in the instance of 
tne ictro-cnon at Peterborongh (woodcut No. 554') TT-..1 ;+ in. i 

in King’s College Chapel ,t Cambridge (woodont No. 580) it'ivou” 

L^TCnT* 7 1 -*—«■ « 

was attempted, except perhaps in the 
(woodcut No. 554). Had i 



siderably diminished; and the variety introduced by 
tonld have relieved its monotony without detracting from anj^ 
Excellent points of design it now possesses. 

Tho English architects never attempted such vaults as those of 
Toulouse and Alby, 63 and 58 ft. respectively, still less such as that 
of Gerona in Spain, which is 72 ft. clear width. 1 With our present 
mechanical knowledge, we could probably construct wider vaults still. 
Even the mediaeval architects in England might have done more in 
this direction than they actually accomplished had they tried. On the 
whole, however, it seems that they exercised a wise discretion in limit¬ 
ing themselves to moderate dimensions. More poetry of design and 
greater apparent size is attainable by the introduction of pillars on the 
floor, and with far less mechanical effort. Unless everything is in¬ 
creased in even a greater ratio, the dwarfing effect of a great vault 
never fails to make itself painfully apparent. We may regret that 
they did not vary their vaults by such an expedient as the lantern at 
Ely, hut hardly that they confined them to the dimensions they gene¬ 
rally adopted. 

Pier Archer 

Although the principles adopted by the English architects did not 
materially differ from those of their Continental confreres with regard 
to the arrangement of pier arches and the proportions of triforia and 
clerestories, still their practice was generally so sound and the results so 
satisfactory, that this seems the best place to point out what the mediaeval 
architects aimed at in the arrangement of their wall surfaces. 

In the Norman cathedrals the general scheme seems to have been 
to divide the height into three equal parts, and to allot one to the 
pier arch, another to the triforium or great gallery, and the third to 
the clerestory. In all tho examples we now have, the upper is the 
smallest division; but I cannot help fancying that seine arrangement 
of the timbers of the roof gave tho additional height required It 
is generally supposed that the roof at Peterborough (woodcut No. 54b) 
was originally Hat. This, however, is by no means clear, nor that it 
started °so low; hut, be that as it may, the woodcut (No. 556) will 
explain the usual arrangement, as well as the changes afterwards intro¬ 
duced. At Winchester the two lower divisions are practically equal, 
the upper somewhat less, and the alternate arrangement of the piers 
hints at a hexapartite vault, if such should ever come to he executed. 
When William of Wykeham undertook to remodel the style of the 
nave, he first throw the two lower compartments into one, as shown on 

! T i 1M o dimensions ore taken from prohaWy more correct than thosei quoted 
limit's ‘Gothic Architecture in Spain.’ ; iu my lirst volume of this work, which am 
Vs he measured them himself, they are taken from plans. 


~~- piEB ARCHES. 

aft-liand side of the cut. He then divided the whole hej 
as the masonry would allow him, into two equal parts, allij 
(to the pier arches, and apportioning the upper as nearly as he could 
by giving two-thirds to the clerestory and one third to the triforium. 


5 5«. Transformation of the Nave, Winchester Cathedral. C. Hb. 

With pointed arches this was the most pleasing and satisfactory arrange¬ 
ment adopted during the middle ages ; but when something very like 
it was attempted in the nave of Gloucester (woodcut No. 549) with 
round arches, the effect, was most unpleasing. Before the architects, 

VOL. If. n 


settled down to this proportion, a variety of 
ed. One of the most successful was the nave of 


No. 548). Here the 
whole height is di¬ 
vided equally, one 
half is given to the 
arches, and the other 
divided equally be¬ 
tween the clerestory 
and triforium. If 
the latter had been 
glazed externally, as 
was the case at West¬ 
minster Abbey and 
elsewhere, and made 
to look like part of 
the church, the whole 
might, be considered 
as satisfactory. As 
it is, the area of 
the clerestory is so 
much less than that 
of the triforium, that 
the proportion is 
not quite agreeable, 
though the solidity 
and repose which this 
arrangement gives to 
the roof is above all 

All these objec¬ 
tions were obviated 
in the three bays of 
the choir at Ely, 
which were rebuilt 
by Walsingham at 
the same time as the 
octagon. Here the 
triforium and clere¬ 
story are equal; but 
the upper window is 
so spread out, and so much is made of it, that it looks equal to the 
compartment below. The pier arch below is also subdued to less than 
half the whole height, so as to give value to the upper division. These 


Cbolv of E!y Cathedral. C. Hb. 

Wt. Ch. Il window tracery. 

portion^ are derived- from the very beautiful Early Imglish^g^J 
* :y beyond; but. they are here used with such exquisite tast^^J^J 
singular beauty of detail that there is perhaps no single portion 
of any Gothic building in the world which can vie with this part of the 
choir of Ely for poetry of design or beauty of detail. 

The perfection of proportion, as of many other things, was reached 

in Westminster Abbey (1245- 
1269). Here the whole height 
is divided into two equal parts, 
and the upper subdivided into 
three, of which, one is allotted 
to the triforium, and two to 
the clerestory. It is true this 
involves the necessity of spring¬ 
ing the vault from a point; 
half way .down the clerestory 
windows, and thus the lines of 
the severeys do not. quite accord 

558. Two Bays of tbc Nave of Westminster 

559. One Bay of Cathedral 
at Exeter. 

with those of the lights; hut at best it is a choice of difficulties, and the 
happy medium seems to have been reached here more successfully than 
elsewhere. The proportion of the width of a bay to its height is hero 
also mast pleasing; it is as 1 to 5J. 1 Sometimes, as at Exeter, it sinks 

1 In woodcut. No. 558 the right-hand hay is that of the nave generally, the left-hand 
bay is adapted to the greater width of the aisle of the transept, and is less plenHingly 
proportioned in consequence. Woodcuts Nos. 558 and 559 ere drawn to the sn.bfof 
25 ft. to 1 in., or double that usually employed for elevations in this work. 

i> 2 



IffiMw aid in 3, but the whole effect of the building is very mu< 

1 /$&/by the change. 

tly after this, as in the choir at Lichfield (1250-1325) or at 
Exeter (1308-1369), the mania for the display of painted glass upset 
all these arrangements—generally at the expense of the triforium. 
This feature was never entirely omitted: nor was it ever glazed in¬ 
ternally, as was frequently the case on the Continent; but it was 
reduced to the most insignificant proportions—sometimes not pierced 
—and, with the wider spacing just alluded to, deprived the English 
side screen of much of that vigour and beauty which characterised its 
earlier examples. 


The date of the introduction of the pointed arch in England—for it 
may be considered as established that it was introduced —is a question 
which has been much discussed, but is by no means settled. The 
general impression is that it was at the rebuilding of the cathedral of 
Canterbury after the fire of 1174 that the style was first fairly tried. 

The architect who superin¬ 
tended that work for the first 
five years was William of 
Sens ; and the details and all 
the arrangements are so essen¬ 
tially French, and so different 
from anything else of the same 
age in England, that his influ¬ 
ence on the style of the build¬ 
ing can hardly be doubted. 
Of course it is not meant to 
assert that no earlier specimens 
exist; indeed, we can scarcely 
suppose that they did not, 
when we recollect that the 
pointed arch was used currently 
in France for more than a, cen¬ 
tury before this time, and that 
the pointed style was inau¬ 
gurated at St. Denis at least 

Five Sisters, York. From Britton. 

thirty years before. Still this is probably the first instance of the style 
being carried out in anything like completeness, not only in the pioi ai ches 
and openings, but in the vaults also, which is far more characteristic. 

Even after this elate the*struggle was long, and the innovation most 
unwillingly received by the English, so that even clown to the year 
1200 the round arch was currently employed, in conjunction with 

Window Tracery. 



Ely Cathedral, East End. C. lib. 

showed considerable 

originality m design, tliongli inspired by the same 
sobriety which characterises all their works. It cannot bo said that 
they invented the lancet form of window, numberless examples of small 
windows with pointed heads existing on the Continent, but they did 
invent what may ho called the lancet style of fenestration. Nowhere 


(g&Iuj Continent are such combinations to be found as the Five Sis&Sl 
«4#woodcut No. 560), or the east end of Ely (woodcut No. 561^* 
a group as that which terminates the east end of Hereford 
(woodcut No. 562). Tracery it can hardly be called, but it is as essen¬ 
tially one design as any of the great east windows that afterwards 
came into fashion; and until painted glass became all-important, such 
an arrangement was constructively better than a screen of mullions, 
and as used in this country is capable of very beautiful combinations. 

Lancet Window, Hereford Cathedral, C. Hb. 

So, at least, the English architects of the 13th century seem to have 
thought, for they continued to practise their lancet stylo, as in the 
mneh-qnoted example of Salisbury Cathedral, long'after the French had 
perfected the geometric forms; which may bo seen from the contemporary 
cathedral in Amiens. In France, as was pointed out in a. previous 
chapter (vol. i. p. 514 et seq.), we can trace every step by which the 
geometric forms were invented. In England this cannot be done, and 

11. WINDOW TlWiWV ^ 

iv'hpil iwe do find a rudimentary combination of two lancets with a 
fy/m/more frequently a harking back to previous forms than step&nfc] 
d^rwards toward a new invention. 

When, however, painted glass became an indispensable part ol 
church decoration, it was impossible to resist the influence of the 
French invention. Like many other Continental forms it seems first to 
have been systematically employed at Westminster, when the choir was 
rebuilt by Henry III, a.d. 1245-69, but even then it was used timidly 

Oust J'Jiul ui L.nculu Cathedral. From Wild's * Lincoln. 

and unscientifically as compared with the Saint© Chapolle at Paris, which 
was commenced 1244, and completed long before the English choir. 
Once, however, it was fairly introduced, the English architects employed 
it with great success. It is seen in perfection in the Angel Choir at 
Lincoln (1270-1282), in the nave of York (1291-1330), or hotter, in such 
abbeys as Tintern or Gainsborough. Tn tho chapter-house at York 
(woodcut ’No. 504) tho style had already begun to deviate from the 
French pattern, and before the end of the loth century the English 


Part LL>- 

nal f’oVa^T 

oroughly assimilated it that hardly a trace of its original fo 
The chapel at Merton College, Oxford, is perhaps the moi 
eaufiful example remaining of that exquisite form of English tracery, 
but St. Stephen’s Chapel, Westminster, was the typical example; and 
specimens of it are found in all our cathedrals. One at St. Anselm’s 

Chapel at Canterbury (woodcut No. 5G5) is perhaps as characteristic as 
any. When tracery had reached this stage, it seemed capable of any 
amount of development, and was applicable to any form of opening. 
All the difficulties of fitting circles into spherical triangles which had 


Window In St. Angelin’* Chapel, Can t<n bury. 


so Muzzled the early builders were conquered, 1 and the range 
-pgn seemed unlimited. But 
-during the Edwardian period 
there prevailed a restless de¬ 
sire for new inventions, and 
an amount of intellectual 
activity applied to architec¬ 
ture. which nothing could 
resist; so that these beauti¬ 
ful geometric forms in their 
turn were forced to give way 
after being employed for lit¬ 
tle more than half a century, 
and were superseded by the 
fashion of flowing tracery, 
which lasted, however, for 
even a shorter period than 
the' style which preceded it. 

f>G6. Fast Window, Carlyle Cat* eiral. From a drawing 
by R. W. Killings. 

. South Transept Window, Lincoln Cathedral. C 

1 It is nut necessary to repeat l.ero wlmt was sui.t OIl t l, 
I reach tracery, vol. i. p, 513, to which the i„„ler is „ | 


B i| 1 11 J. 

mgmjij H 



jif f 'll 

llfliPar$ 1 > I 


'mB? "x! JIM 1 ' !' • 

1 1 1 Mlttflll: 

if ’* Ki. 

: ? mim 


'J-T'j iRswr'il!®®. ‘ESnfeii 



tune the invention seems to have been English; for thoughVa 

_timt feel quite certain when the first specimen of flowing tracdhy 

w^lfintroduced in France, the Flamboyant style was adopted by the 
French only after the English wars, whereas the Perpendicular style 
had superseded this and all other Decorated forms in England before 
the death of Edward III. 

North Transept Window, Lincoln Cathedral. C. Ill), 

During the time that flowing forms were used in England they gave 
rise to some of the most beautiful creations in window tracery that are 
anywhere to be found. The East window at Carlisle (woodcut No. 566) 
is one of the finest examples, and illustrates the peculiarity of the style 
as adopted in this country. Though the forms are flowing, and con¬ 
sequently, as lithic forms, weak, Ihe pails are so exquisitely balanced 
by the stronger ribs introduced and by the arrangement of the whole, 
that, so far from any weakness being felt, the whole is quite aa 
stable as the purposes to which it is applied would seem to require. 
Another equally constructive and equally beautiful example is the 
south transept window at Lincoln (woodcut No. 567), where the 
segmental lines introduced give the strength required. Though almost 
all its lines are flowing, it looks stronger and more constructively 

m n. 


than the North transept window (woodcut No. 568), whi' 
made up of circular forms, and is in itself one of the 
pies of the earlier form of English geometric tracery. Circular 
windows were not, however, the forte of English architects: they very 
rarely used them in their West fronts, not always in their transepts, 
and generally indeed may he said to have preferred the ordinary 
Pointed forms, in which, as in most matters, they probably exercised 
a wise discretion. 

It may not be quite clear whether William of Wykeham (1366- 
1404) invented perpendicular tracery, but certain it is that the admira¬ 
tion excited by his works in this 
style at W inchester, Oxford, and 
elsewhere, gave a death-blow to 
the Decorated forms previously 
in fashion. Although every 
lover of true art must regret 
the change, there was a great 
deal to he said in favour of the 
new style. It was pre-emi¬ 
nently constructive and reason¬ 
able. Nothing in a masonic 
point of view could be better 
than the straight lines running 
through from bottom to top of 
the window, strengthened by 

transoms when requisite for support, and doubled in the upper division. 
The ornaments, too, were all appropriate, and, externally at least, the 
whole harmonized perfectly with the lines of the building. Internally, 
the architects were more studious to prepare forms suitable by their 
dimensions and arrangements for the display of painted glass, than to 
spend much thought on the form of the frames themselves. The poetry 
of tracery was gone, but it was not only in this respect that we miss 
the poetic feeling of earlier days. The mat on was gradually taking 
the guidance of the work out of the hands of the educated classes, 
and applying the square and the rule to replace the poetic inspira¬ 
tions of enthusiasts and the delicate imaginings by which they were 

It is curious to observe how different the course of events was in 
France. "While Saxon common sense was gradually coming to the 
surface in this country and curbing every fancy for which a good 
economic reason could not he given, the Celtic ianey of our neighbours 
broke loose in all the playful vagaries of the Flamboyant style. Their 
tracery became so delicate and so miconstruetive that it is a wonder 
it ever stood, and no wonder that half the windows of that date are 
now without tracery at all. They were framed, too, with foliage so 

569. Perpendicular Tracery, Winchester Cathedral. 


iidte that, it ought to have been executed in metal and never attem 
stone—in wonderful contrast to the plain deep mouldings which* 
(nd most of our windows of that period. 

External Proportj om. 

If the sobriety of proportion which characterized the design of 
English architects led to satisfactory results internally, its influence 
was still more favourable on the external appearance of their churches. 
An English cathedral is always a part of a great group of buildings 
—the most important and most dignified part, it is true, but always 
coinciding and harmonizing with its chapter-house, its cloister and 
conventual buildings, its bishop’s palace or abbot’s lodging*. In 
France the cathedral is generally like a giant among pigmies—nothing 
can exist in its neighbourhood. The town itself is dwarfed by the 
immense incubus that stands in its centre, and in almost no instance 
can the subordinate buildings be said to form part of the same design— 
both consequently suffering from their quasi-accidental juxtaposition. 

This effect is even more apparent when we come to examine the sky¬ 
line of the buildings. Their moderate internal dimensions enabled the 
English architects to keep the roofs low so as to give full effect to the 
height of the towers, and to project their transepts so boldly as to vary 
in perspective the long lines of the roofs from whatever point the 
building was viewed. Their greatest gain, however, was that they 
were able to place their tallest and most important feature in the 
centre of their buildings, and so to give a unity and harmony to the 
whole design which is generally wanting in Continental examples. 
One of the few cases in which this feature is successfully carried out 
in France is the church of St. Semin at Toulouse (woodcut No. 317), 
but there the body of the building is low and long like the English 
type, and a tower of the same height as those of the facade at Amiens 
suffices to give dignity to the whole. That church, however, wants 
the western towers to complete the composition. In this respect it is 
the reverse of what generally happens in French cathedrals, where the 
western facades are rich and beautifully proportioned in themselves 
but too often overpowered by the building in the rear, and unsupported 
by any central object. In Germany they took their revenge, and in 
many instances kill the building to which they are attached. In Eng¬ 
land the group of three towers or spires—the typical arrangement ot 
our architects-—was always pleasing, and very frequently surpasses in 
grace and appropriateness anything to be found on the Continent* 
Even when, as at Norwich or at Chichester, the spire is unsupported 
by any western towers, the same effect of dignity is produced as at 
Toulouse; the design is pyramidal, and from whatever point it is viewed 
it is felt to be well balanced, which is seldom the ease when the greatest 
elevation is at one end. 


ijL Tm /cathedral at Salisbury (woodcut No. 570), though, like th(\A|tf> 
Igst^ramed, it has no western towers, still possesses so noble a spirkiL 
•t/Her"centre, and. two transepts so boldly projecting, that when -viewed 
from any point east of the great transept it displays one of the best 
proportioned and at the same time most poetic designs of the middle 

Salisbury Cathedral, from the N.E. 

ages, it is quite true that the spire is an afterthought of the 
14th century, and that those who added it ought to have completed 
the design by erecting also two western towers, but, like St. Semin’s 
it is complete as it is, and very beautiful. The fleche at Amiens 
is 20 It., higher than the spire at Salisbury, being 424 ft. as against 


404'ft. T(ot tho one is among the most imposing objects ofVsM' j; 
Gothic architecture can boast, the other an insignificant pidnareft- 
0at hardly suffices to relieve the monotony of the roof on which it 

Lichfield (woodcut No. 571), though one of the smallest of English 
cathedrals, is one of the most pleasing fro ijjj having all its three spires 

571 Y'lcw of Lichfield Cathedral. From Britton** ‘Cathedral Antiquities/ 

complete, and in the proportion originally designed for the building and 
for each other. The height of the nave internally is only 58 ft., and 
of the roof externally only 80ft.; yet with these diminutive dimensions 
great dignity is obtained and great beauty of composition, certainly at 
less than one-fourth the expenditure in materials and money it would 

MINI Styy 

Lincolu Cathedral. 

their foims into beauty as they proceeded. 1\ ifh true Gothic feeling 
they believed in progress, and it never occurred to them but that their 
successors would surpass them in their art, in the manner they felt 
they were excelling those who preceded them. 

The three-towered cathedrals are not less beautiful and characteristic 
of England than those with three spires. Nothing can exceed the beauty 

—~lHl--' . 

purism, only the ugly temporary arrange¬ 
ment was made new. It looked’venerable 
before the recent repairs; now that it is 
quite new again, it is most unpleasing. 

’ A splendid chance of trying the effect 
of this occurred a few years ago, when it 
was determined to restore the lantern, as a 
memorial to Doan Peacock. In a fit of 

ii. IT. 

i»uus«roaE»ai«M^ i 



• to produce a like effect among the tall, heavy-roofed cathe 

the octagon at Ely been completed externally, 1 even in wood, 
it would probably have been superior to the spire at Salisbury both 
in height and design. As, before mentioned, it was left with only a 
temporary lantern externally, and, as was always the case in England, 
no drawing—no written specifications of the designer have been left. 
The masons on the Continent'"were careful to preserve the drawings 
of unfinished parts' of their designs. The gentlemen architects of 
England seem to have trusted to inspiration to enable them to mould 


outline of Lincoln as it stands on its uim iuut< 
clout No. 572) ; though tho erection of a scre< 
rn towers cuts them off from the ground, and 
effect when seen close at hand. York perhaps possesses 

573. View of the Chapter House and A ngel Tower, Canterbury. C. Mb. 

of the class in England, both as regards proportion and detail. The 
height of the towers to the top of the pinnacles is under two hundred 
feet (196), but this is quite sufficient for the nave they terminate, or the 
central tower with which they group. At Amiens the western towers 


Sre respectively 224 and 205 ft. in height, but they are utterly lost 
@10 rb6f of the cathedral, and fail to give any dignity to the designj^J 
^>For poetry of design and beauty of proportion, both in itself and 
in the building of which it forms a part, perhaps the Angel Tower at 
Canterbury is the best in England, and is superior to any of the same 
class of towers to be/ound elsewhere. It is difficult, however, among so 
many beautiful objects to decide which is the best. Though the highest 
tower at Wells is only 165 feet from the ground to the top of the pinna¬ 
cle, it is quite sufficient for its 
position, and groups beauti¬ 
fully with the western towers. 1 

Though of different ages, the ^ II 

three towers at Durham group S, r ll 

beautifully together, and the f*#;# Jjffl $ 


single tower at Gloucester |j]|S 

crowns nobly the central point , % Ik MM 

of that cathedral. But t!m 

same is true of all. The cen- |L ft ||1 'M 
tral tower or spire is the ' dB - : h jw/SPifc-i jjfjp 1 
distinguishing feature of the »m®|P Ml 

external design of English ca- : -£§? iMIillSil PNI 

thedrals, and possessing it they $S\! 1 

surpass all their rivals. 4i Mra I 

The western facades of Eng- M W fiSm Iffln • ■’I MP 
lisli cathedrals, on the contrary , tfljifP 

are generally inferior to those 
on the Continent. Wo have 
none of those deeply recessed 

triple portals covered -with '' 

sculpture which give such dig- ® 
nity and meaning to the fa- 
yaivs <»r i’ans, Amimi:,. flu inis, 

Chartres, and other French ca- If~ : 

thedrals. Beautiful as is the •* v '4'P. 

sculptured fe^de of Wells, its H4 ‘ 

outline is hard, and its portals 

mean. Salisbury is worse. Winchester, Exeter, Canterbury, ( 
indeed most of our cathedrals, have mean western entrances 
cipal mode of access to the building being a side door of 
1 eterborough alone has a facade at once original and beautiful, 
hut the portico of a classic temple can surpass! the majesty of 
great arches of the facade of this church. The effect is a" lit 
by the chapel thrust in between the central piers; but, tal 
all, it is one of the most beautiful inventions of the middle a 
Such a screen would have been better had the arches be 


nore important towers than those which now adorn t 
k),* /but unless the piers of the central tower were sufficient 
much more important feature in the centre, the architects 
showed only their usual discretion in refusing to dwarf the rest of the 
cathedral by an exaggerated facade. 

It may sound like the indulgence of national predilection to say so; 
but it does seem that the English architects seized the true doctrine of 
proportion to a greater extent than their contemporaries on the Conti¬ 
nent, and applied it more successfully. It will he easily understood that 
in so complicated and constructive a machine as a Gothic cathedral, 
unless every part is in proportion the whole will not unite. It is as if 
in a watch or any delicate piece of machinery, °ne wheel or one par fc 
were made stronger, or larger in proportion to all the rest. It may bo 
quite true that it would be better if all were as strong or as large as 
this one part; but perfection in all the arts is attained only by balance 
and proportion. Whenever any one part gets too large for the rest the 
harmony is' destroyed. This the English architects perfectly under¬ 
stood. They kept their cathedrals narrow, that they might appear 
long; they kept them low, that they might not appear too narrow. 
They broke up the length with transepts, that it might not fatigue by 
monotony. Externally the)' kept their roofs low. that with little expen¬ 
diture they might obtain a varied and dignified sky-line, and they 
balanced every part against every other so as to get the greatest value 
out of each without interfering with the whole. A Gothic cathedral, 
however, is so, complicated, there are so many parts and so. many 
things to think of, that none can be said to be perfect. A pyramid may 
be so, or a towtfr, or a Greek temple, or any very simple form of building, 
whatever its size; hut a Gothic cathedral hardly can be made so-at 
least has not yet, though perhaps it might now he; hut in the mean¬ 
while the English, considering the limited dimensions ot their build¬ 
ings, seem to have approached a perfect ideal moro nearly than any 
other nation during the middle ages. 

Diversity of Style. 

There is still another consideration which must not ho lost sight 
of in attempting to estimate the relative merit of Continental and 
English cathedrals: which is, the extraordinary diversity ot style 
which generally prevails in the same building m this country as com¬ 
pared with those abroad. All the great French cathedrals-such as 
Paris, Kheims, Chartres, Bruges, and Amiens-are singularly unifoim 
throughout. Internally it requires a very keen perception of style to 
appreciate the difference, and externally the variations are generally n 
,ho towers, or in unessential adjuncts which hardly interfere with the 
V general design. In this country we have scarcely a cathedral, except 

Ml toSTfiy 

hat N orwicl l 

. mils up to |l 

S V^.. ' , ; 4j^ght; but the whole of the vaulting is of the loth century, and the 




windows are all filled with tracery of the same date. At Ely, a Norman 
nave leads up to the octagon and choir of the 14th century, and we 
then pass on to the presbytery of the 13tli. At Canterbury and V\ in- 
chester the anomalies are still greater; and at Gloucester, owing to 
the perpendicular tracery being spread over the Norman skeleton, they 
become absolutely bewildering. 

In some, as Wells or York, it must bo confessed the increase in 
richness from the western entrance to Lady Chapel is appropriate, and 
adds to the effect of the church more than if the whole were uniform 
throughout. This is particularly felt at Lincoln, where the simplicity 
of the early English nave and choir blossoms at last into the chaste 
beauty of the Angel Choir at the east end. It follows so immediately 
after the rest as not to produce any want of harmony, while it gives 
such a degree of enrichment, as is suitable to the sanctity of the altar 
and the localities which surround it. 

Even, however, when this is not the case, the historical interest 
attaching to these examples of the different ages of English architec¬ 
ture, goes far to compensate for the want of architectural symmetry, 
and in this respect the English cathedrals excel all others. That 
history which on the Continent must be learnt from the examination 
of fifty different examples, may frequently bo found in England 
written complete in a single cathedral. The difficulty as to discri¬ 
minate how much of the feeling thus excited is due to Archaeology, 
and how much to Architecture. In so far as the last-named art°is 
concerned, it must probably be confessed that our churches do suffer 
from the various changes they have undergone, which, when architec¬ 
ture alone is considered, frequently turn the balance against them 
when compared with their Continental rivals. 


Whatever conclusion may be arrived at with regard to some of the 
points mooted in the above section, there can he no doubt that in 
beauty of situation and pleasing arrangement of the entourage the 
English cathedrals surpass all others. On the Continent the cathedral 
is generally situated in the market-place, and frequently encumbered 
by shops and domestic buildings, not stuck up against it in barbarous 

rimAfi Tvnf _ ... _ n . , , . 

B 2 



orst times of Anne and the Georges, when men chiselled a\^ 
exquisite Gothic canopies to sot up wooden classical altakcJ 
, they spared the trees and cherished the grass; and it is to this 
that our cathedrals owe half their charm. There can be no greater 
mistake than to suppose that the architect’s mission ceases with heaping 
stone cm stone, or arranging interiors for convenience and effect. The 
situation is the first thing he should study; the arrangement of the 
accessories, though the last, is still amongst the most important of his 

Durham owes half its charm to its situation, and Lincoln much of 
its grandeur. Without its park the cathedral at Ely would lose much 
of its beauty; and Wells, lying in its well wooded and watered vale, 
forms a picture which may challenge comparison with anything of its 
class. Even when situated in towns, as Canterbury, Winchester, or 
Gloucester, a sufficient space is left for a little greenery to keep oft* 
the hum ancl movement of the busy world. York, among our great 
cathedrals,'is about the most unfortunate in this respect, and suffers 
accordingly. But in order to appreciate how essentially the love of 
Nature mingled with the taste for architectural beauty during the 
middle ages, it is necessary to visit some of the ruined abbeys whose 
ruins still sanctify the green valleys or the banks of placid streams in 
every corner of England. 

Even if it should be decided that in some respects the archi¬ 
tects of England must yield the palm to those of the Continent as 
regards the mechanical perfection of their designs, it must at least be 
conceded, that in combining the beauties of Art with those of Nature 
they were trorivalled. Their buildings are always well fitted to the 
position in which they are placed. The subsidiary edifices are always 
properly subordinated, never too crowded nor too widely spaced, and 
always allowing when possible for a considerable admixture of natural 
objects. Too frequently in modern times—even in England—this has 
been neglected; but it is one of Ike most important functions of the 
architect, and the means by which in many instances most agreeable 
effects have been produced. 


The chapter-house is too important and too beautiful an adjunct to 
he passed over in any sketch, however slight, of English architecture. 
It also is almost exclusively national. There are, it is true, some 
“ galles Capitulates ” attached to Continental cathedrals or conventual 
establishments, but they are little more than large vestry-rooms, with 
none of that dignity or special ordinance that belongs to the English 
examples. One cause of the small importance attached to this feature 
on the Continent was that, in the original Basilica, the apse was the 


. Ch. II. 

5JW V^-- 


0mjbly-place, where the Bishop sat in the centre of his 
regulated the affairs of the church. In Italy this arrange' 

On tinned till late in the middle ages. In France it never seems to 
have had any real existence, though figuratively it always prevailed. 
In England we find the Bishop’s throne still existing in the choir at 
Norwich ; and at Canterbury, and doubtless in all the apsidal Norman 
cathedrals, this form of consistory originally existed. Such an arrange¬ 
ment was well suited for the delivery of an allocution or pastoral 
address by the Bishop to his Clergy, and was all that was required in 
a despotic hierarchy like the French Church; hut it was by no means 
in accordance with the Anglo-Saxon idea of a deliberative assembly 
which should discuss every question as a necessary preliminary to its 
being promulgated as a law. 

In consequence of this, we find in England chapter-houses at¬ 
tached to cathedrals even in early Norman times. These were generally 
rectangular rooms, 25 or 30 ft. wide by about twice that extent in 
length. We can still trace their format Canterbury and Winchester. 
They exist at Gloucester and Bristol and elsewhere. So convenient 
and appropriate does this original form appear, that it is difficult to 
understand why it was abandoned, unless it was that the reson¬ 
ance was intolerable. The earliest innovation seems to have been at 
Durham, where, in 1133, a chapter-house was commenced with its inner 
end semicircular; hut shortly after this, at Worcester, a circular 
chamber with a central pillar was erected, and the design was so much 
approved of, that it became the typical form of the English chapter¬ 
house ever afterwards. Next, apparently, in date came Lincoln, and 
shortly afterwards the two beautiful edifices at Westminster and 
Salisbury. The former, commenced about the year 1250, became, with¬ 
out any apparent incongruity, the Parliament house of the nation, 
instead of the council chamber of a monastic establishment; and all the 
parliaments of the kingdom were held within its walls till the dissolu¬ 
tion of the religious orders placed the more convenient rectangular 
chapel of St. Stephen at their disposal. 

Salisbury chapter-house (woodcut No. 575) was erected shortly 
afterwards; and, though its original beauties have been to a great 
extent washed out by modern restorations, it still affords a very perfect 
type of an English chapter-house of the 13th century, at a time when 
the French geometric tracery was most in vogue. That at Wells 
(1293-1302, woodcut No. 576), however, is more beautiful and more 
essentially English in all its details. The tracery of the windows, the 
stalls below them, and the ornaments of the roof, are all of that perfect 
type which prevailed in this country about the year 1300. I ts central 
pillar may perhaps bo considered a little too massive for the utilitarian 
purpose of the building, but as au architectural feature its proportions 
are perfect. Still the existence of the pillar was a defect that it was 



[lit expedient to remove, if possible ; and it was at last acc 
ay in the chapter house at York, the most perfect example of 
existing, as its boasting inscription testifies,— 

“ Ut Rosa floy florum, 

Sic ista Donut* Xtaoioruin.” 

Chapter-Hous<e, Salisbury. 0. Hb. 

Like all the rest of them, its diameter is 57 or 58 ft.—as has been 
suggested, an octagon inscribed in a circle of GO ft. diameter. In this 
instance alone has a perfect Gothic dome been accomplished. It is 
12 ft. less in diameter than the lantern at lily, and much less in 
height ; but it is oxtremoly beautiful both in design and detail, and 


r \nvrTd(ii,-srr2 


ns regret more and more that, having gone so far, the 
ots did not follow out this invention to its legitimate ConClu^oJJ 
the time, however, that York chapter-house was complete, all 
the great cathedrals and monastic establishments had been provided 
with this indispensable adjunct to their ecclesiastical arrangements, 
and none were erected either in the Lancastrian or Tudor periods of 

576. Chapter-House, Wells. C. Hb. 

the art, so that we can hardly guess what might have been done had 
a monastic parliament-house been attempted at a later date. 1 

1 The central octagon of the Parliament houses is G5 feet in diameter, ami is the 
best specimen of a modem Gothic dome which 1ms been attempted. 

English AiimrTwmm: 

very beautiful, and only wants increased dimensions to 
\ of asublime specimen of Gothic art; but the English examf 

more elegant. All the parts are better balanced, and altogether 
it was a far more satisfactory example than its more ambitious rival, of 
the highest qualities to which the art of the middle ages coidd attain. 

Interior View of King's College Chapel, Cambridge. 

We have an excellent means of ascertaining how fir St. Stephen’s 
Chapel would have been damaged by a vaulted roof, by comparing it 
with the nearly contemporary chapel at Ely (1321-1349)* erected 

On. II. 


the superi ntendence of t he same Alan de Wal sing ham" 
fed the octagon of the church* Its internal dimensions are 101 
by 43 wide, and 60 high. The details of the Screen of niches 
which form a dado round the whole chapel are perhaps, without excep¬ 
tion, the most exquisite specimens of decorative carving that survive 
from the middle ages. The details of the side windows are also good, 
but the end windows are bad in design, and neither externally nor 
internally fit the spaces in which they are placed. With painted glass 
this might be remedied, internally at least; but the whole design is 
thrown out of harmony by its stone roof. As a vault its width is 
too great for its length; the height insufficient for its other dimen¬ 
sions; and altogether, though its details are beyond all praise, it leaves 
a more unsatisfactory impression on the mind than almost any other 
building of its class. 

Kings College Chapel at Cambridge (1479—1515) errs in exactly 
the opposite direction. It is too long for its width, but has height 
sufficient to redeem the length, though at the expense of exaggerating 
its narrowness. These, however, are ail errors in the direction of 
sublimity of effect; and though greater balance would have been more 
satisfactory, the chapel is internally so beautiful that it is impossible 
not to overlook them. It is more sublime than the Sain to Chapelle, 
though, from its late age, wanting the beauty of detail of that building. 

Henry VII.’s chapel (1502-1515) differs from all previous examples, 
in having a circumscribing aisle and a clerestory. Its proportions 
are not, however, pleasing, but it makes up in richness of detail for any 
defects of design. 

Of the three royal chapels, that at W indsor (1475-1521) is perhaps 
on the whole the most satisfactory. Being a chapel, it has no westorn 
or central towers to break its sky-line and give it external dignity; but 
internally it is a small cathedral, and, notwithstanding the lateness of 
some of its details (part of the vault was finished in the reign of 
Henry VIII.). is so elegant and so appropriate in every part as to be 
certainly,one" of the most beautiful Gothic buildings in existence ; for 
its size, perhaps, the most beautiful. Considering that these three 
last-named chapels were being erected contemporaneously with St. 
Peter’s at Home, it is wonderful how little trace of classic feeling they 
betray; and how completely not only Gothic details but true Gothic 
feeling still prevailed in this country almost up to the outbreak of the 

Parish Churchks. 

'Were it possible in a work like this to attempt anything approach¬ 
ing an exhaustive enumeration of the various objects of interest, pro¬ 
duced during the middle ages, it would be impossible to escape a very 
long chapter on the parish churches of England. They are not so 
magnificent as her cathedrals, nor so riel, as her chapels; but for bcantV 



111 me aiiecnon oi me people ot tins country than oi any 
ether. Especially in the T4th and 15th centuries the 
parishioners took great pride in their churches, and 
jPLJk those then erected are consequently more numerous as 
we ^ as more ornamental than at any other time. 
iCV b J t M Strange to say, considering how common the cir- 
cular form was in the countries from which our fore¬ 
fathers arc said to have emigrated, it never took root 
khMB in England. The round churches at Cambridge, 
58 ciiurch 0 ^'Little Northampton, and London, were certainly sepulchral, 
sSStt i in. or orecte d in imitation of the church at Jerusalem. 

The one known example of a village church with a 
circular nave is that at Little Maplestead, in Essex. It is of the pure 
German or Scandinavian type 1 —a little St. Gereon, standing alone 

r>32. Spire of Great Leighs Church, Essex. 5H3. Tower of Little Saxham Church, Suffollc. 

in this fonn in England ; but a curious modification of it occurs in 
the eastern counties, in which this church is situated, which points 
very distinctly to the origin of a great deal of the architecture of that 
country. There are in Norfolk and Suffolk some forty or fifty churches 


Svitlji fround western towers, whicli seem undoubtedly to be mere Wj|- 
^c^tions of the western round nave of the Scandinavian churches. 
thjiSirst volume, Laderbro Church (woodcut No. 532) was pointed out 
as an example of a circular nave attenuated into a steeple, and there are 
no doubt many others of the same class in Scandinavia. It was, how¬ 
ever, in England, where rectangular naves were common, that the 
compromise found in this country became fashionable. These Norfolk 
churches with round towers may consequently be looked upon as safe 
indexes of the existence of Scandinavian influences in the eastern 
counties, and also as interesting examples of the mode in which a 
compromise is frequently hit upon between the feelings of intrusive 
races and the habits of the previous inhabitants. 

It can scarcely be doubted that round-naved and round-towered 
churches existed in the eastern counties anterior to the Norman Con¬ 
quest ; but if any still remain they have not been described. The earliest 
that are known were erected during the Norman period, and extend cer¬ 
tainly down to the end of the Edwardian period. Some of the towers 
have perpendicular details, but these seem insertions, and consequently 
do not indicate the date of the essential part of the structure. 

As a rule, the English parish church is never vaulted, that species 
of magnificence being reserved, after the Norman times at least, for 

Koof at Trifnch Church. 

:msmmsm mmm;j 

us aiul collegiate churches; but. 

on the other hand, Mjr 

||^<W roofs are always appropriate, and frequently of great 
7S^ds4)ntial does the vault appear to have been to Gothic architecture 
both abroad and in this country, that it is at first sight difficult to 
admit that any other form of covering can be as beautiful. But some 
of the roofs in English churches go far to refute the idea. Even, 
however, if they, are not in themselves so monumental and so grand, 
they had at least this advantage that the absence of the vault allowed 
the architect to play with the substructure. He was enabled to lighten 
the pillars of the nave to any extent he thought consistent with dignity, 
and to glaze his clerestory in a maimer which must have given extreme 
brilliancy to the interior when the whole was filled with painted glass. 
Generally with a wooden roof there were two windows in the clerestory 
for one in the aisles: with a vaulted roof the tendency was the other 
way. Had they dared, they would have put one above for two below. 
But the great merit of a wooden roof was, that it enabled the architect 
to dispense with all flying buttresses, exaggerated pinnacles, and me¬ 
chanical expedients, which were necessary to support a vault, but 
which often sadly hampered and crowded his designs. 

So various were the forms these wooden roofs took that they almost 
defy classification. The earlier and best type was a reminiscence, 
rather than an imitation, of the roof of St. Stephen’s Chapel or 
Westminster Hall, but seldom so deeply framed. That at Trunch 

, i Church, Norfolk (woodcut 
.;.i , J,| No. 584), may be taken 

t . ..v as a fair average speci- 

■, VM men of the form adopted 

> . f^|j| for the larger spans, and 

;C V ,. ' that at New Walsingham 

.• the mode adopted for 

aisles. Some, of 
course, are simpler, but 
1; many much more elabo- 
1 rate. In later periods 
\ they became flatter, and 

niore the panelled 

|W 1 (filing of a hall or cham- 

her; but they were always 
»; : ' ;r ‘^ perfectly ti uthful in con- 

il ' ' ' ; "'|F struct ion, and the lead 

fi was laid directly on the 

boarded framing. They 

5 x 5 . Roof of Aisle in New WaUingham Clmrch. , i 

thus avoided the double 
roof which was so inherent a detect in the vaulted forms, where the 

s: it: 


g so many examples it is difficult to select one which s| 
t the class, but the annexed plan of Walpole St, Peter’s, KoifoJ 
Office to explain the typical arrangement 
of an English parish church. Jn almost every 
instance the nave had aisles, and was lighted by 
a clerestory. The chancel was narrow and deep, 
without aisles, and with a square termination. 

There was one tower, with a belfry, generally, 
but not always, at the west end ; and the prin¬ 
cipal entrance was by a south door, usually 
covered by a porch of more or less magnificence, 
frequently, as in this instance, vaulted, and with 
a muniment room or library chamber over it. 

Often, as at Coventry, Boston, and other 
places, these churches with the above described 
arrangements almost reached the dimensions of 
small cathedrals, the towers and spires matching 
those of the proudest ecclesiastical edifices; and 
in many instances the details of their tracery and the beauty of their 
sculptured ornaments are quite equal to anything to be found in the 
cathedral of the diocese. 

58*3. Flan of Church of Walpole 
St. Peter's, Norfolk, Scale 
100 ft. to 1 in. 


When wo consider the brilliancy of invention displayed in the 
decorative details of French ecclesiastical buildings, the play of fancy 
and the delicacy of execution, it must perhaps be admitted thut in this 
respect the French architects of the middle ages far excelled those of 
any other nation. This was, no doubt, due in a great measure to the 
reminiscences of classical art that remained in the country, especially 
in the south, where the barbarian influence never really made itself 
felt, and whence the feeling gradually spread northwards; and may be 
traced in the quasi-classieal details of the best French examples of the, 
13th century, even in the Isle de France. More also should perhaps 
he ascribed to the Celtic feeling for art, which still characterizes the 
French nation, and has influenced it ever since its people became 

Though the English must yield the palm to the French in this 
respect, there is still a solidity and appropriateness of pnrposo in their 
details which goes far to compensate for any want of fancy. There is 
also in this country a depth of cutting and a richness of form, arising 
from the details being so often imitated from wood-carving, which is 
architecturall f ) r more valuable than the more delicate exuberance of 
French examples. 

These remarks apply with almost equal force to figure-sculpture 

Staircase at Canterbury Cathedral. 



mode of decoration. Neither in Germany nor in this conn! 
filing to be found at all comparable with the great sculptii 
Bibles of Kheims, Chartres, Bruges, arid other great cathedrals of 
France: even such as Poitiers, Arles, St. Gilles, are richer in this 
respect than many of our largest churches. It is true that the sculptures 
of the facade at W ells, or of tiie Angel Choir at Lincoln, arc quite equal 
in merit to anything of the same period on the Continent; and, had 
there been the same demand, we might have done as well or better 
than any other nation. Whether it arose from a latent feeling of 
respect for the Second Commandment, or a cropping out of Saxon 
feeling, certain it is that figuro-sculpture gradually died out in Eng¬ 
land. In the 14th century it was not essential; in the 15th and Kith 
it was subordinate to the architectural details, and in this respect the 
people became Protestant long;before they thought of protesting against 
the pope and the papist form of worship. 

As already hinted at, it is probable that a great deal of the richness 
of English decorative carving is due to the employment, in early times, 
of wood as a building material in preference to stone. It is difficult, 


for instance, to understand how such a form of decorative arch as that 
on the old staircase at Canterbury could have arisen from any exigency 
of stone construction; but it displays all that freedom of form and 
richness of carving that might easily arise from the employment of 

The same remarks apply, though in a less degree, to the Norman 
gateway at Bristol (woodcut No. 588); which may he regarded as a 
typical specimen of the style—sober, and constructive, yet rich 
without a vestige of animal life, hut with such forms as an ivory or 
wood carver might easily invent, and would certainly adopt. 

The great defect of such a style of decoration as this was its extreme 

It was almost impossible to carry out a large buib^ML 
®e4>part of which should be worked up to the same key-note as tlksj 
aSd^ if it had been done, it" would have been felt that tbe effect was 
not commensurate with the labour bestowed upon it. W hat the 
architects therefore set to work to invent was some mode of decora¬ 
tion which should be effective with a less expenditure of labour. 
This they soon discovered in the deep-cut mouldings of the Gothic 


SS 9 , Capitals, &c., of Doorway leading to the Choir Aisles, Lincoln. C. lib. 

r The west doorway at Lichfield (a.d. 1275, woodcut No. 590) shows 
the style in its highest degree of perfection. There is just that ad 
mixture of architectural moulding with decorative foliage which is 
necessary to harmonize the constructive necessities of the building with 
the decorative purposes to which it was to he applied, combined with a 
feeling of elegance which could only have proceeded from a thoroughly 
cultivated and refined class of intellect. 

Everything in England of the same age hears the same impress, so 
that it is difficult- to go wiafg in selecting examples, though hopeless 
to expect with any reasonable amount of illustration to explain its 
beauties. The niches at the back of the altar-screen at Winchester are 
among the best examples of that combination of constructive lines and 
decorative details which, when properly balanced, make up the per¬ 
fection of architectural decoration; or perhaps even better than these 

X/n i Xti i:i 

tough', somewhat earlier, displays the same playful combinati< 
juvhutional foliage with architectural details. 

West Doorway, Lichfield Cathedral. C. Hb. 

After the year 1300, however, 


Tomb of Bishop Marshall, Exeter Cathedral. (?. T(b. 



ik dropped as years went on, 

In Prior do Estria’s screen 
y Cathedral, for instance (woodcut No. 593), though all tlk 
of earlier times is retained, the principal features avo mcehani 

592. Triple Canopy, Heckinglou Church, Lincolnshire. 

cal, and the decoration much more subdued than in the examples just 
quoted. The celebrated doorway loading to the chapter-house at Ro¬ 
chester (woodcut No. 594) is a still more striking example of this. It 

Prior de Kgtria’s Screen, Canterbury Cathedral. C. Ht>. 






ity'', Vv‘ V ;'"■■■ 

d Ijj yyy/ ' 


vpAcSIM'- ■ m / 
LI) n[■{&'£]/ y(' 

y^R’wi " 




SiP ; 


A jI __m 

mjff) 1 I 

m , 1 i 

i; ^ > 1 


WTr l.i 1 

LJl 13 

1"' P ill 


■ j , |,v 



4s Iridh even to excess; but the larger part of its decoration cmjmdi 
\dy-Od ;naments which could he drawn with instruments. Of free^uji^ 
frying there is comparatively little; and though the whole effect is 
very satisfactory there is so evident a tendency towards the mere 
mechanical arrangement of the Perpendicular style that it does not 


Doorway of ChapU r« House, Rochester Cathedral. 0 . lib. 



ong the more beautiful objects of decorative art with which 
our churches were adorned during the middle ages are the canopies or 
shrines erected over the burying-plaees of kings or prelates, or as ceno¬ 
taphs in honour of their memory. Simple slabs, with a figure upon 
them, seem to have been all that was attempted during the Norman 
period; but the pomp of sepulchral magnificence gradually developed 
itself, so that by the end of the 13th or beginning of the 14th century 

we have some of the most splendid 
specimens existing, and the practice 
lasted down almost to the Renaissance, 
as exemplified in Bishop West’s tomb 
at Ely (1515-1534), or Bishop Gar¬ 
diner’s at Winchester (1531-1555). 

At first the tomb-builders were 
content with a simple wooden tester, 
like that which covers the tomb of the 
Black Prince at Canterbury; but this 
became one of great beauty when ap¬ 
plied, as in Westminster Abbey, to the 
tomb of Edward III. (woodcut No. 596), 
where its appropriateness and beauty 
of detail distinguish it from many 
more ambitious shrines in stone. 

In general design these two monu¬ 
ments are similar to one another, and 
must have been erected very nearly at 
the same time — the difference being 
in the superior richness and elabora¬ 
tion of the Regal as compared with tlio 
Princely tomb. 

Although this form of wooden tester 
was the most usual in monuments of the 
age, stone canopies were also frequently 
employed, as in the well-known monu¬ 
ment of Aymer de Valence (died 1324) 
in Westminster Abbey. But all pre¬ 
vious examples were excelled by the 
beautiful shrine which the monks of 
Gloucester erected over the burying-place of the unfortunate Edward 11. 
(woodcut No, 597). In its class there is nothing in English archi¬ 
tecture more beautiful than this. It belongs to the very best age of 
the style, and is carried out with a degree of propriety and elegance 
which has not been surpassed by any example now remaining. If the 

„— _^ - 

595. Tomb of tho Black Prince, Canterbury 
Cathedral. C, Hb. 

UiVIN KJZ Xl'JlJ xvaxwui 

Atiies with which, it was once adorned could now be replacel^S 
JS)idcl*y^onvcy a more correct idea of the style of the Edwardian perjTw^ 
tSatvcan be obtained from larger examples. 

It seems to have been as much admired then as now; for we find 
its form repeated, with more or less correctness of outline and detail, at 
Winchester, at Tewkesbury, and St. Alban’s, #s well as elsewhere, the 
whole forming a series of architectural illustrations' unmatched in their 
class by anything on the continent of Europe. 

69tJ ‘ Tomb of Edward III. in Westminster Abbey, 

As a fine specimen of the form taken by a multitude of these tombs 
during the last period of Gothic art wo may select that of Bishop Red¬ 
man at Ely (1501-1506). Though so late in date, there is nothing 
offensive either in its form or detail. On the contrary, it is well pro¬ 
portioned and appropriate; and though there is a little display of over- 

Fakt II, 

riiA cu. ion x\ norm it&nx KE 

in making the three arches of the canopy sustain tliemselvW 
ntormediate supports, this is excusable from its position 
wo massive piers. It is doing in stone what had been done 

597, Tomb of Edward II. Id Gloucester Cathedral. C. Hb. 

in wood over Edward III.'s tomb at Westminster, and is one of many 
instances which might be quoted of the interchangeableness of wooden 
and stone forms during tlie whole of the middle ages in this country, 
and a proof of the influence the one always had on the other. 

■ f ji'lL .iff'fi 

| ! ] ,;| 

§jH W-^\] :|ap|j 

|j{: I' <r |; ;'j 


fSf Aniftg tlie most beautiful monuments of a quasi-sepulchral 
•jSStet; 'existing in this country are the crosses erected by Edward^Tj 
oirthe spots at which the body of his queen Eleanor rested on its way 

598, Tomb of Bishop Redman in Ely Cathedral. C. Hb. 

from Nottinghamshire to London. Originally, it is 
fifteen of these, all different in design. Three only r 
near Northampton, one at Geddington, and a thi 





Though greatly dilapidated, enough remains\j| 
show what was tli^ 
original design. While 
extremely varied both 
in outline and detail, 
every part is elegant, 
and worthy of the best 
age of English archi¬ 

Had it not been 
the custom in those 
days to bury the illus¬ 
trious dead within the 
walls of the churches, 
this is probably the 
form which sepulchral 
monuments would ge¬ 
nerally have taken. If 
wo may judge from 
the examples left us, 
we can have little 
doubt but that with 
more experience and 
somewhat increased di¬ 
mensions, these monu¬ 
ments would have sur¬ 
passed the spires of our 
cathedrals or parish 
churches in every re¬ 
spect, as architectural 
designs. Being entirely 
free from utilitarian 
exigences, the archi¬ 
tect had only to con¬ 
sult the rules of his 
art in order to produce 
what would he most 
pleasing and most ap¬ 
propriate. We can only 
therefore regret that 
jpulchral design began and ended with 


Waltham Cross (restored). 

so purely English a form of sej 
this act of conjugal devotion. 




J!j Civil and Domestic Architecture. 

the most remarkable characteristics of English architecture, 
though but a negative one, is the almost total absence of any municipal 
buildings during the whole period of the middle ages. The Guildhall 
of London is a late specimen, and even insignificant, considering the 
importance of the city. There are also some corporation buildings at 
Bristol, and one or two unimportant town-halls in other cities; but 
there we stop. Nothing can more vividly express how completely 
the country was Frenchified by the result of the Battle of Hastings, 
than this absence of municipal architecture. Till a veiy recent period 
the king, the baron, and the bishop, were the estates of the realm. 
The people were nowhere, and neither municipalities nor guilds could 
assert an independent existence. 

On the other hand, in proportion to her population, England is rich 
in castles beyond any other country in Europe especially of the 
Norman or Bound-arched Gothic age. Germany, as already pointed 
out, lias some fine examples of the Hohenstaufen period. France has 
scarcely any, and neither France nor Germany can match such castlos 
as those of London, Rochester, Norwich, Rising, &e. Ihe Welsh castles' 
of the Edwardian period form an unrivalled group of themselves; and 
are infinitely superior, both in extent and architectural magnificence, 
to the much-landed robber-dens of the Bhine-land ; while such casties 
as Raglan, Chepstow, Kenilworth, Warwick, or Windsor, are lor pic¬ 
turesque beauty and elegance of detail quite unmatched, except by one 
or two ruined strongholds in the north of France. The discussion of 
their merits, however, would more properly come under the head of 
military architecture, which is excluded from this work, and cannot 
therefore he entered on here. 

It is difficult, however, to draw the lino exactly between the castle 
and the castellated mansion, the moated grange, and lastly the 
mansion or manor-house, which, towards the end of the Gothic period 
had become so numerous in England, and forms so beautiful and so 
peculiarly English an architectural form. 

Taken altogether, there is perhaps no class of buildings to which an 
Englishman may turn with more pride than the educational establish¬ 
ments which the middle ages have left him. Though in some cases 
entirely rebuilt and no doubt very much altered, still the colleges 
of Oxford and Cambridge retain much *of their original features, and 
are unrivalled in their kind. None of them, it is true, are very ancient 
as we now see them. With the exception of some of the earlier 
buildings at Merton, the greater number owe their magnificence 
to the days of Wykeham (ob. 1426) and Waynflete (ob. I486). 
It was during the reign of Henry VI. (1422-1470) that the great 
impulse was given, not only within the limits of the Universities, but 

• ^ i 



Section of Westminster Hall. 
Scale 5i) ft. to i in. 

600. Plan of Westminster Hull. 
Scale loo ft. to i in. 


foundation of Eton and Winchester and other great sehoo! 
belong to the 15th century. But the building of Gothii 

quasi-Gothic educational establishments was 
..continued till the death of queen Elizabeth 

Tn most respects, these colleges resembled 
the monastic establishments which, to a cer¬ 
tain extent, they may ho considered as super¬ 
seding. The principal difference was that 
the church became subdued into a chapel. 
In all these establishments, whether palaces 
or colleges, castles or manor-houses, the prin¬ 
cipal apartment was the hall, in some cases 
subordinate to the chapel only. It was on 
the halls that the architects lavished their 
art, and, generally speaking, these alone are 
entitled to be considered as architectural 
features. Even now there are in England 
at least a hundred of these halls, either 
entire and in use, or sufficiently perfect to 
render their restoration easy. All have 
deeply and beautifully framed roofs of tim¬ 
ber. In this respect they stand alone, no wooden roofs on the Con¬ 
tinent being comparable with them. 

Among them the largest and grandest is, as it ought to be, the ball 
of the King’s Palace at Westminster, as rebuilt by Kichard II. Inter¬ 
nally it is 239 ft. long by 68 ft. 
in width, covering about 23,000 
superficial feet. The hall at Padua 
is larger, and so may some others 
he, but none have a' roof at all 
approaching* this either in beauty 
of design or mechanical cleverness 
of execution. In this respect it 
stands quite alone and unrivalled, 
and, with the smaller roof of St. 
Stephen’s chapel adjoining, seems 
to have formed the type on which 
^ most of the subsequent roofs were 

The roof of the lmll at Eltham 
(woodcut JSo. 602 ), which belongs to the reign of Henry IV., is inferior 
both in dimensions and design to that at Westminster, hut still displays 
clearly the characteristics of the style. It woukl have been better if 
the trusses had sprung from a line level with, the cilia of the windows, 


fiVTTTT' “ urVIL AlSflT13D]SrES r riC UllfUHlTEUT'U KE. 

Jtle arched frame had been less flat; but that was the tendeii 
age, which soon became so exaggerated as to destroy construct! 

60 ‘“* Hall of Palace at Eltham. 

Wo are not able to trace the gradual steps by which the ham¬ 
mer-beam truss was perfected, but we can follow it from the date 
ot the hall at Westminster (1397), to Wolsey’s halls at Hampton 
( ouj f. and Oxford, till it passed into the Jacobian abominations of 
Lambeth or the Inner Temple. Among all these, that of Kenilworth, 
though small (86 ft. x 43 ft.), must have been one of tho most beau¬ 
tiful. It belongs to an age when the style adopted for halls had reached 
rts acme of perfection (middle of 15th century), when tho details of 
carpentry had been mastered, but before there was any tendency to 
tame the deep framing down to tho flatness of a coiling. The wooden 
roofs of churches were generally flatter and less deeply framed than those 
ol the halls, which may have arisen from their being smaller in span, and 
being placed over clerestories with little abutment to resist a thrust • but 
whether from this or any other cause, they are generally less beautiful! 

. ler ® a f° few Matures of mediaeval art in this country to which atten- 
tum could be more profitably directed than the roof; for, whether applied 


sular or ecclesiastical buildings, the framed and carved woodl 
ntially English in execution and application, and is one 
beautiful and appropriate manifestations of our national art. 

Did space admit of it, it would be easy to extend these remarks, 
and in so doing to explain and prove a great deal which in the previous 
pages it has heen necessary to advance as mere assertion. The subject 
is, in fact, practically inexhaustible; as will be easily understood when 
it is remembered that for more than five centuries all the best intellects 
of the nation were more or less directed towards perfecting this great 
art. Priests and laymen worked with masons, painters, and sculptors; 
and all were bent on producing the best possible building, and im¬ 
proving every part and every detail, till the amount of thought and 
contrivance accumulated in any single great structure is almost incom¬ 
prehensible. If any one man were to devote a lifetime to the study 
of one of our great cathedrals—assuming it to be complete in all its 
mediaeval arrangements—it is questionable whether he would master 
all its details, and fathom all the reasonings and experiments which 
led to the glorious result before him. And when we consider that not 
in the great cities alone, but in every convent and every parish, 
thoughtful professional men were trying to excel what had been done 
and was doing, by their predecessors and their fellows, we shall under¬ 
stand what an amount of thought is built into the walls of our 
churches, castles, colleges, and dwelling-houses. If anyone thinks he 
can master and reproduce all this, he can hardly fail to bo mistaken. 
My own impression is that not one-tenth part of it has been reproduced 
in all the works written on tho subject up to this day, and much of it 
is probably lost and never again to be recovered by any means we are 
aware of. 

Comparative Table op English Cathedrals. 1 




Western ■ 
Towers. | 


















j ratio of 
Height to 
| Width. 










York. . . 










1 to 2 

Lincoln . . 










1 2 

Winchester , 







1 2*43 








1 3 

Ely ... 









1 2’ 1 

Canterbury . 










1 2*4 

*1 O 









Durham . 









1 2*3 









1 2 

1 Of 

Wells . " . 








1 A 

Norwich. . 







1 2*8 

Worcester . 







1 2*45 

Exeter . . 






1 2*1 









1 2 

1 It is not pretended that this Table is quite correct in all details, but it is sufficiently so to presen , n 
a glance, a comparative view oi the 14 principal churches of England, and to show at least their rein ive 





Affinities of Style —Early Specimens — Cathedral of Glasgow — Elgin — Melrose — 
Other Churches — Monasteries. 

Malcolm Canmorc. Accession 
David 1. „ 

William the Lion „ 

John Baliol „ 

Robert Bruce » 

There are few countries in the world in respect to whose architecture 
it is so difficult to write anything like a connected narrative as it is 
regarding that of Scotland. The difficulty does not arise from the pau¬ 
city of examples, or from their not having been sufficiently examined 
or edited, hut from the circumstance of the art not being indigenous. 
No one who knows anything of the ethnography of art would suspect 
the people who now inhabit the lowlands of Scotland of inventing any 
form of architecture, or of feeling much sympathy with it when intro¬ 
duced from abroad. It may have been that the Celtic element was 
more predominant in the country during the middle ages, and that the 
Teutonic race only came to the surface with the Reformation, when 
they showed their national characteristic in their readiness to destroy 
what they could not build. If this were not so, it must have been 
that their priests were strangers, who brought their arts with them 
and practised them for their own satisfaction, in despite of the feelings 
of their flocks. 

Briefly, the outline of Scotland’s architectural story seems to ho 
this. Till the time of the Avars of the Edwards, the boundary line 
between the styles on either side of the border cannot be very clearly 
defined. In Scotland the forms wore rudor and bolder than in the 
South, hut Avere still the same in all essential respects. 

After the days of Wallace and of Bruce, hatred of the English 
threw the Scotch into the arms of France. Instead of the Perpen¬ 
dicular style of the South, we find an increasing tendency to copy the 
Flamboyant and other contemporary styles of France, till at last, just 
as the style was expiring, both churches and mansions are almost 



. . a.d. 1057 I David II. Accession . . . a.d. 1320 

. . . 1124 | Robert II., Stuart „ .... 1371 

, . . 1165 , James I. >, .... 1406 

. . . 1292 ; Mary Queen of Scots „ .... 1542 

. . . 1306| 

AKUXilTEC/TOlfE of Scotland: 

copies of French designs. But, in addition to these, ai 5 
t is strongly felt: at Iona and throughout the West, extei 
exceptional cases—to the East, as at Brechin and Abcrnethy. It 
can also be traced in the Lothians in the chapels and smaller edifices 
of the 11th and 12th centuries, and seems to be the ingredient which 
distinguishes the early Bound-arched Gothic of Scotland from the 
Norman of England. Besides these three, a Scandinavian element 
.makes itself felt in the Orkneys, and as far south as Morayshire; and 
even Spain is said to have contributed the design to Koslyn Chapel, 
and made her influence felt elsewhere. 

All these foreign elements, imported into a country where a great 
mass of the people belonged to an art-hating race, tended to produce 
an entanglement of history very difficult to unravel. With leisure and 
space, however, it might be accomplished; and, if properly completed, 
would form a singularly interesting illustration, not only of the ethno¬ 
graphy of Scotland, "but of art in general. 

The buildings of David I. (1124-1165) gave an immense impulse to 
the Bound-arched style, which continued for nearly a century after his 
time, and long after the pointed arch had been currently used in the 
South. It is true we find pointed arches mixed up with it, as at 
Jedburgh, but the pillars and capitals are those of the earlier orders; 
and the circular arch continued to be used from predilection wherever 
the constructive necessities of the building did not suggest the employ¬ 
ment of the pointed form. 

The feature of English art which the Scotch seem to have best 
appreciated was the lancet window, which suited their simple style so 
completely that they clung to it long after its use had been abandoned 
in England. This circumstance has given rise to much confusion in 
the dates of Scottish buildings, antiquaries being unwilling to believe 
that the lancet windows of Elgin and other churches really belong 
to the middle of the 14th century, after England had passed through 
the phases of circle and flowing tracery, and was settling down to the 
sober constructiveness of the perpendicular. 

Circle tracery is, in fact, very little known in the North, and English 
flowing tracery hardly to be found in all Scotland. It is true that a 
class of flowing tracery occurs everywhere in Scotland, but it is, both 
in form and age, much more closely allied to French flamboyant than 
to anything English. It was used currently during the whole period 
between the 2nd and 3rd Bichards, and even during the Tudor period 
of England. 

The one great exception to what has been said is the east window 
of tho border monastery of Melrose; but even hero it is not English 
perpendicular, but an original mode of treating an English idea, found 
only in this one instance, and mixed up with the flowing tracery of 
the period. 


JL 04 Tudor architecture there is no trace in Scotland; neithe\jLe 
OTLir-centred low arch nor fan-vaulting are to be found there, lc3L 
.tfejfopeculiar class of perpendicular tracery which distinguished the 
10th and 17th centuries in the South. At that period the Scotch still 
adhered to their flamboyant style, and such attempts as they did make 
at perpendicular work were so clumsy and unconstructive that it is little 
wonder that, like the French, they soon abandoned it. 

Window, Leuchara. From a Drawing by R, W. Billing.*.* 

1 The illustrations in this chapter being 
taken from the beautiful work by ft. W. 
Billings, entitled ‘ The Baronial and Ec¬ 
clesiastical Antiquities of Scotland,’ the 
source of each will not be specified, ex¬ 
cept when it forms an exception to this 

rule. Mr. Billings’ work is certainly the 
most correct and beautiful that has yet 
appeared on the subject, and if completed 
with the necessary plans and architectural 
details, would be unrivalled as a mono¬ 
graph of an architectural province. 

'r'i;: ■' 


rl%i in iso masterly a manner that the beauty of the art i 
My the smallness of dimensions, and renders it one of the 
cresting churches in Scotland. 

I’icr Arclj, Jedburgh. 

David I. seems to have been the first king who gave an impulse to 
the monastic establishments and to the building of larger churches. 
His endowment of the great border abbeys, and bis general patronage 
of the monks, enabled them to undertake buildings on a greatly ex¬ 
tended scale. The churches of Jedburgh and Kelso, as we now find 
them, belong either to the veiy end of the 12th or beginning of the 
13th century. They display all the rode magnificence of the Norman 
period, nsed in this instance not experimentally, as was too often the 
case in England, but as a well-understood style, whose features were 
fully perfected. So far from striving after novelty, the Scotch archi¬ 
tects were looking backwards, and culling the beauties of a long- 
established style. The great arch under the tower of Kelso is certainly 
a well-understood, example of the pointed-arched architecture of the 
13th century, while around it and above it nothing is to be seen but 



SSAiy'PfBB • ) 

Arches in Kelso Abl> 

-headed openings, combined generally with the beaded 
foliage of the Early English period. The whole is used 
simplicity and boldness which is very remarkable. Sometimes, 
it must be confessed, this independence of constraint is carried a little 
too far, as in the pier-arches at Jedburgh (woodcut No. 604), which 
are thrown across between the circular pillars without any subordinate 
shaft or apparent support. This was a favourite trick of the later 
Gothic architects of Germany, though seldom found at this early period. 
Here the excessive strength of the arch in great measure excuses it. 

Besides the general grandeur of their designs, a great deal of the 
detail of these abbeys is of the richest and best class of the age. The 
favourite form, as at Leucliars, is that of circular arches intersecting 
one another so as to form pointed sub-arches, and these arc generally 
ornamented with all the elaborate intricacy of the period, such as is 
shown in woodcut No. 605, taken from Kelso Abbey Church. 

While those great abbeys were being erected in the southern ex¬ 
tremity of the kingdom, the cathedral of St. Magnus was founded at 
the other extremity, at Kirkwall in the Orkneys. This buildino- was 
commenced 1137, and carried on with vigour for some time. The first 
three arches of the choir (woodcut No. 606) are all that can certainly 
be identified as belonging to that period. The arch of the lower 
belongs probably to the 14th century, and the vaulting can hardly bo 



larlier. Tlie three arches beyond this are still circular, til! 
ouldings of a late period. It is said that these were not 
t!d till the 16 th century. 

—, 1 1 ' ' ' 1 & ' ' ‘ 

Three Bays of Cathedral at Kirkwall. 

Farther south, arches of this late age could not have been built in 
such an ancient style, but we can believe that in that remote corner 
the old familiar modes were retained in Spit© of changing fashions; 
and the consequence is that, though the building of this cathedral was 
carried on at intervals during 400 years, it is at first sight singularly 



bishopric was founded by David I.. but it was not till 
destructions by fire that the present building was common 
bably about the year 1240. The crypt and the whole of the choir 
belong to the latter part of the 13th century, the nave to the 14th, the 
tower and spire-to the 15th. The central aisle never having been 
intended to be vaulted, tho architect has been enabled to dispense with 
all pinnacles, flying buttresses, and such expedients, and thus to give 
the whole outline a degree of solidity and repose which is extremely 
beautiful, and accords perfectly with the simple lancet openings which 
prevail throughout. 

1. Plan of Glasgow Cathedral. 

2. Plan of Crypt, Glasgow Cathedral. 

Scale 100 ft to l in 


pi'' : jiv; 



>’:> 1 

wi iy 

' I. 

i : 

i; 1 


; \-Pv j 

: : 




i. • 

From J Collie a Description of this Church. 

The whole length of the building externally, exclusive of the 
western towers, one of which has recently been pulled down, is 300 
feet, the breadth 73, and the area about 26,400 feet, so that it is far 
from being a large building; but its situation is so good, and its design 
and proportions so appropriate and satisfactory throughout, that it is 
more imposing than many others of twice its dimensions. The spire, 
which is 219 feet in height from the floor of tho church, is in perfect 
proportion to the rest of the building, both in dimension and outline, 
and aids very much the general effect of the whole. 


Birr / / v 

Hr -—-^r.nnrnjiii! 

UIJ4SUWV UZI1 xusx/n^rrj.- 

'he glory of this cathedral is its crypt, which 
in, and indeed perhaps in Europe. Almost all the 
nd in England were built during the Norman period, 
early in the pointed style. That at Glasgow, however, belongs 
the perfected style of the Kith century, and as the ground falls ra¬ 
pidly towards the west, the architect was enabled to give it all the 
height required, and tc light it with perfect ease. Here the crypt 
actually extends under and beyond the whole choir. Had there been 

View in Crypt of Glasgow Cathedral, 

an opening in the centre of the vault (and it is by no means clear that 
one was not originally intended), it would he more like a German 
double church than anything found in England. There is a solidity 
in its architecture, a richness in its vaulting, and a variety of per¬ 
spective in the spacing of its pillars, which make it one of the most, 
perfect pieces of architecture in these islands. 

In the crypt and lower par# of the church tlio windows are gene- 

611 . Clerestory Window, Glasgow Cathedral. 

Crypt of Cathedral at Glasgow. 



1 ‘otH 


1 UBpli 1 

IT®!" i 







GtA mm OA^tfEMAE. 

y, single or double lancet, united by an 
gy/sometimes take the form of three lancets, united, 
ndcut No. 611, by an imperfect kind of tracery, more in accordance 
with the simplicity of the building than the more complex form pre¬ 
valent in England at the same period. In the south transept, and some 
of the later additions, there is tracery of considerable elaboration and 
beauty of design. 

6l2 * Enst End of Glasgow Cathedral. 

The most beautiful building iu Scotland is, or was, the cathedral of 
l.lgin. !,s situation in the province of Moray was so remote that it 
seems to have been comparatively undisturbed by the English wars, 
and the greater part of the building was erected during the Edwardian 
period, with all the beautiful details of that age. The seat of the see 
was removed from Spynie to Elgin in the year 1223, and the cathedral 
commenced contemporaneously with those of Amiens and Salisbury. 

a titfh rri^rrrjRE op SOStt-and; 

JJuj. thi# nhw ^remains of this period is tlio fragment of the south tra\J 
/ivp(xlcut. No. 614), where we see the round arch reappearing ovei 
"the; }>ofiited, at a period when its use was entirely discontinued in the 


to tlie first conflagration, and escaped the 
first sight to belong to the lancet style 
used with the details and tracery of the 
wardian period, and with a degree of beauty hardly surpassed any¬ 
where. As compared with English cathedrals, that at Elgin must he 
considered as a small church, being only 253 ft. in length internally, 
and 82 wide across the 5 aisles of the nave. It is very beautifully 

arranged, and on the whole is perhaps 
more elegant in plan than any of the 
Southern examples. As a mechanical 
design, its worst fault is that the piers 
supporting the central tower want 
strength and accentuation. As will he 
the plan, an attempt was made 
the weight of the tower on the 
transept walls, which are built solid for 
this purpose; but this was artistically a 
mistake, while mechanically it caused the 
destruction of the tower at the beginning 
of the last century. The choir (see rvood- 
t No. 613), is terminated by what is 
virtually a great east window, but with 
piers between the compartments instead 
of mullions. As an architectural object 
this is a far more stable and appropriate 
design than a great mnllioned window like 
that of York and others in England. But 
the latter must be judged of as frames 
for glass pictures, which Elgin is by no means so well suited to dis¬ 
play. Its details, however, are exquisite, and the whole design very 
rich and beautiful. 

The north and south aisles of the nave and the chapter-house were 
rebuilt after the last destruction, and belong to the 15th century. 
These parts, though very charming, display generally the faults of the 
(Scotch flamboyant style, and show a certain amount of heaviness and 
clumsiness mixed with the flowing and uneonstructive lines of this 
class of tracery, which nothing can redeem but the grace and elegance 
with which the French always used it. 

Next in beauty to Elgin Cathedral is‘the well-known abbey at Mel¬ 
rose. This, though founded contemporaneously with Jedburgh and 
Kelso, was entirely rebuilt during the Lancastrian period, and, owing 
to Its situation near the border, shows much more affinity to the Eng¬ 
lish style than the building last described. The nave, as may be seen 
from the view of its aisle (woodcut No. 617), is of a bold, solid style of 
architecture, with a vault of considerable richness. The window of the 


•ansepfc is the most elegant specimen of flowing tracery 
m Scotland, and its great east window (woodcut No. 6 
remarked, is almost the only example of the perpendicula 
in the North, and is equal to anything of the kind on this side 

Few of the architectural antiquities of Scotland are so well known, 
or have been so much admired, as the chapel at Boslyn ( woodcut No. 
619), which William St. Clair caused to be erected in the year 1446. 
For this purpose he did not employ his countrymen, but “ brought 
artificers from other regions and forraigne kingdomes,” 1 and employed 
them to erect a building very unlike anything else to be found in Great 

617. Aisle in Melrose Abbey. 

Our present knowledge of styles enables us to pronounce with little 
doubt that his architects came from the Spanish peninsula. In fact, 
there is no detail or ornament in the whole building which may not 
be traced hack to Burgos or Belem; though there is a certain clumsi- 

1 Britton’s 4 Architectural Antiquities,’ voJ. xiv. p. 81. 


fSI>ss jSoth in the carving and construction that betrays the \fcCt 
of persons not too familiar with the task that they 
^eraphjyed upon. The building, however, thus perhaps exhibits the 
“greatest affinity of detail to the chapel at Belem on the Tagus, opposite 
Lisbon (woodcut No. 702). Nothing, in fact, can well be more similar 

Lisbon (woodcut No. 702). Nothing, 

than the two are. That at Koslyn is ,_ __,_ VV4At _ 

menced in 1440. Belem, begun in 1498, was finished apparently 

in 1511, at which 
date the Scottish ex¬ 
ample hardly appears 
to have been com¬ 
plete. Koslyn chapel 
is small, only 08 ft. 
by 35 ft, internally. 
The central aisle is 
but 15 ft. wide, and 
has the southern pe¬ 
culiarity of a tun¬ 
nel-vault with only 
transverse ribs; such 
as is found at Fon- 
tifroide (woodcut No. 
292), and in almost all 
the old churches of 
the south of France. 
The ornaments be¬ 
tween these, which 
wore painted in the 
earlier examples, are 
at Koslyn carved in 
relief. The vault, as 
in the south, is a true 
roof, the covering 
slabs being laid di¬ 
rectly on the extrados 
or outside of it, with¬ 
out the intervention 
of any wood-work, 
a circumstance to 
which the chapel 
owes its preservation 

to the present day. Beyond the upper chapel is a sub-chapel (woodcut 
No. 620), displaying the same mode of vaulting in a simpler form, but 
equally foreign and unlike the usual form of vaults in Scotland. 

Another very interesting chapel of the same class is that now used 

East Window, Melrose. 

Umler Chapel. ] 

t m$r$y 


church at Both well, near Glasgow. Like Boslvn, it lif) 
Mrity unknown in England, thougli common in the South. ofFrai 
unnel-vault with a stone roof resting directly upon it. It is not 
•rge, measuring only 53 feet by 22, internally. The beauty of its 
details, however—late in the 14th century—and the simplicity of 
its outline, combined with the solidity of its stone roof, impart to the 
whole an air of grandeur far greater than its dimensions would justify. 

Had it been constructed 
with a timber roof, as usual 
in churches of its date, it 
would hardly be consi¬ 
dered remarkable, but it 
is redeemed both inter 
nally and externally by its 
stone roof. As will be seen 
from woodcut No. 622, the 
arrangement of the stones 
forming the roof is very 
elegant, and gave rise to 
a form of battlement fre¬ 
quently found afterwards 
in Scotland, though gene¬ 
rally used only as an orna¬ 
ment. 1 

The chapel attached to 
the palace at Holy rood is 
of a very different character 
from that at Hoslyn ; being 
infinitely more beautiful, 
though not nearly so cu¬ 
rious. The building was 
originally founded by Da¬ 
vid I. in 1128, but what 
now remains belongs to the 
latter end of the 13th or 
beginning of the 14th cen¬ 
tury, and has all the elegance of the Edwardian style joined to a mas¬ 
siveness which in England would indicate a far earlier period. Some 
of its details (as that shown, woodcut No. 623) are of a beautiful tran¬ 
sitional character, though not so early as might be suspected, and others 
(such as woodcut No. 624) have the rich but foreign aspect that gene¬ 
rally characterises the architecture of Scotland. 

The nave of the cathedral of Aberdeen is still sufficiently entire to 
be used as a church, and with its twin western spires of bold castellated 

1 For the drawings and information regarding Bothwell Church, I am indebted to 
Mr. John Honey m an, jun., architect, of Glasgow. 

621. Stone Hoof of Both well Church From a Drawing 
l*y J. Money man, jun. 

622 . Exterior of Roof of Bothwell Church. 




Ornamental Arcade from Holy rood,. 


625. Interior of Porch, Dunfermline. 

Besides these there are in Scotland many ruined monastic establish¬ 
ments, all evincing more or less beauty of design and detail. One of 
the most remarkable of these is Dunfermline, whose nave is of a bold, 
round-arched style, very like what Durham Cathedral would have been 
had it been intended (as this .was) for a wooden roof. The other parts 
display that intermixture of styles so usual in monastic buildings; 
hold billeted arches, as in woodcut No. 025, being surmounted by 
vaults of a much later date. But Scotch vaulting was in general so mas- 

~WW'$r$ y 

Doorway, Linlithgow. 

Window at Punkeld (restored). 




Ia; | 

■P , :| 

id rich that it requires the eye of an archaeologist to dl 
Terence that is neve]* offensive to the true artist. Among tl 
riing* specimens are Dumhlane, Aberbrotliook, Arbroath, and 
hmkeld, a window of which (woodcut No. (126) is a fine specimen of 
the Scotch flamboyant, identical in design with one still existing in 
Linlithgow parish church, and very similar to many found elsewhere. 

I he west doorway in the last-named church is a pleasing specimen of 

the half Continental 1 

62 *. 

Doorway, St. Giles's, Edinburgh. 

manner in which that 
feature was usually 
treated in Scotland. 

It has already 
been hinted that the 
Scotch unwillingly 
abandoned the cir¬ 
cular archway, espe¬ 
cially as a decorative 
feature, and that they 
indeed retain it occa¬ 
sion ally throughou t 
the whole of the 
middle ages, though 
with the details of 
the period. The door¬ 
way illustrated in 
woodcut No. 628, 
from Saint Giles’s, 
Edinburgh, is a fine 
specimen of this mode 
of treatment, and so 
is the next illustra¬ 
tion,from Pluscardine 
Abbey. Similar door¬ 
ways occur at Melrose 
and elsewhere. For 
canopies of tombs and 

such like purposes, the circular arch is almost as common as the pointed. 
Other examples aie found at Iona, though there the buildings are nearly 
as exceptional and Continental in design as Roslyn itself—the circular 
pier-arch is used with the mouldings of the 13th century, and the 
pointed aich is placed on a capital uf intertwined dragons, more worthy 

i The same class of tracery is found in the Lomherti Kirche at Munster, and generally 
in Westphalia; some specimens being almost absolutely identical with the Scotch 


Ttoorway. FMnscardine Abbey. 

W itulow in Tower, Ion A, 

Ml HlSTffy 


jAt j fRunib cross or tombstone than a Gothic edifice. The towpi\j>^. I 
|# te fiUed with qnatrefoil tracery (woodcut No. 630), in a maOJ 
unusual, • and a mode of construction is adopted which does not 
perhaps exist anywhere else in Britain. The whole group, in fact, is 
as exceptional as its situation, and as remote from the usual modes of 
architecture on the mainland. 

631 ■ Aisle in Trinity Church, Edinburgh. 

Ihe early Scotch vaults, as already mentioned, were singularly hold 
and massive, and all their mouldings were characterised by strength 
and vigour, as shown in the examples taken from Glasgow and 
Dunfermline (woodcuts Kos. 610, 625). At a later period, however, 
when the English were using perpendicular tracery, and when the 
invention of fan-vaulting was beginning to be introduced, the Scotch, 
with tho flamboyant tracery of the French, adopted also their weak and 
unconstruetive inodes ot vaulting. It is riot uncommon to find as poor a 
vault as that of the lately destroyed Trinity Col lege Church, Edinburgh 
(woodcut No. 631), erected contemporaneously with the elaborate vault¬ 
ing of the royal chapels in England; and not only in this but in every 

;,Ch. ill. 



J lipect it is to the Continent, and not to their nearest neighl 
{^1 must at this late period look for analogies with the architect 

.He Scotch. ; < t . 

Scotland is, generally speaking, very deficient in objects of civil 
or domestic) architecture belonging to the middle ages. Of her palaces, 
Holyrood was almost rebuilt in the reign of Charles I., and Edinburgh 
Castle entirely remodelled. Stirling still retains some fragments of 
ancient art, and Falkland seems on the verge of the Eenaissanoe. Lin¬ 
lithgow perhaps alone remains in its original state, a fine specimen 
of a fortified palace, with hold flanking towers .externally, and a noble 
court-yard in the centre. 

There are, besides these, numberless square towers and fortalices 
scattered over fclie country, which were the residences of the turbulent 
barons of Scotland during the middle ages: but none of these can pro¬ 
perly ho called objects of architecture. 

The baronial edifices of the succeeding age give the impression of 
belonging to an. earlier style, retained in this wild country long after 
it had been laid aside elsewhere. They are as remarkable as any class 
of buildings erected after the liAddle ages, both for originality and 
picturesqueness. But they were, with scarcely an exception, built 
after the accession of Elizabeth to the throne of England, and all, when 
closely examined, display features belonging to the Renaissance style. 
Their description would therefore be more appropriate in a subse¬ 
quent volume than in a chapter devoted to the Gothic architecture 
of Scotland. 

juivun:mrvm of Ireland. 




Oratories Round Towers — Domical Dwellings — Domestic Architecture - 

I he history of architecture in Ireland forms as distinct a contrast to 
that of Scotland as it is possible to conceive. At a very early period 
the Irish showed themselves not only capable of inventing a style 
tor themselves, but perfectly competent to carry it to a successful 
issue, had an opportunity ever been afforded them. But this has not 
yet happened. Before the English conquest (1109) the country seems 
to have been divided into a number of small states, whose chieftains 
occupied the scant leisure left them between the incursions of the Danes 
and other Northmen, in little wars among themselves. These were 
never of such importance as to yield glory to either party, though 
amply sufficient to retard the increase of population and to banish that 
peace and sense of security which are indispensable for the cultivation 
of the softer arts. Yet during that poriod tlie Irish built round towers 
and oratories of a beauty of form and with an elegance of detail that 
charms even at the present day. Their metal work showed a true ap¬ 
preciation of the nature of the material, and an artistic feeling equal in 
kind, if not in degree, to anything in the host ages of Greece or Italy; 
and their manuscripts and paintings exhibit an amount of taste which 
was evidently capable of anything. 

After the conquest, the English introduced their own pointed archi¬ 
tecture, and built two churches in Dublin which, in dimensions and 
detail, differ very little from English parish churches. But beyond 
the Pale their influence was hardly felt. Whatever was done was 
stamped with a character so distinctly Irish as to show how strong the 
feeling of the people was; and sufficient to prove, with our knowledge 
o i their antecedents, how earnestly and how successfully they would 
have laboured in the field of art had circumstances been favourable to 
its development. I or seven centuries, however, the two races have 
lived together, hating and hated, and neither capable of comprehending 
the motives or appreciating the feelings of the other. It was not that 
the Saxon was tyrannical or unjust, but that he was prosaic among 

1. On. IV. 


l( |,plo whose imagination too often supplied the place of reasj 
f lie was strong among those who could not combine for any i 
rpose. His real crime was that, like the leopard, he could not change 
his spots. He belonged to a different-race, and the Irish have always 
chosen to cherish the idea of vengeance and suffer the derangement 
consequent on it, rather than enjoy peace and prosperity under those 
they hated. Art is a plant too tender to flourish in the garden of 
hatred, and it has consequently been long banished from Irish soil, 
though, under gentler influences, it is probable that it might he more 
easily revived and more successfully cultivated there than in any other 
part of the British Isles. 

Whatever may be the fate of art in Ireland for the future, the 
history of the past is sufficiently discouraging. 

The cathedral of .Dublin must always have been a second-class 
edifice for a metropolitan church, and those of Cashel and Kildare, 
which are as celebrated and as important as any in Ireland, are neither 
so large nor so richly ornamented as many English parish churches. 
The cathedral of Lismore has entirely disappeared; and generally it 
may be asserted that, throughout the country, there is not one cathedral 
church remarkable for architectural beauty or magnificence, though 
many are interesting from their associations, and picturesque from the 
state of ivy-elad ruin in ‘which they appear. 

The same is true with regard to the monasteries—they are nume¬ 
rous ; and many, though small, are rich in detail. One of the most ela¬ 
borate is that of the Ploly Cross near Cashel, erected in the 15th cen¬ 
tury. This, like every other building of the Gothic period in Ireland, 
shows a strong affinity to the styles of the Continent, and a clearly 
marked difference from those of this country. 

Some of the monasteries still retain their cloisters, which, in all 
instances, have so foreign an aspect as to he quite startling. That at 
Muckross (KiLlarney) retains the round arch on two sides with the 
details of the 15th century. That at Kilconnel (woodcut No. 632) 1 
looks more like a cloister in Sicily or Spain than anything in the 
British islands. None of them seem large. The last-named is only 
48 ft. square, though, if more extensive, it would be out of place com¬ 
pared with the rest of the establishment. 

There is scarcely a singlo parish church of any importance which 
was built in Ireland beyond the limits of the Pale during the middle 
ages, nor, indeed, could it be expected that there should he. The 
parochial system is singularly unsuited to the Celtic mind at all 
times, and, during the Gothic period, the state of Ireland was espe¬ 
cially unfavourable to its development, even if any desire for it had 

1 The woodcuts in this chapter are, with one exception, borrowed from Wilkinson’s 
‘ Ancient Architecture and Geology of Ireland/ 


Wliat the Celt desiderates 

; hierarchy who will take\g* 

^puJ|Wof his spiritual cares off his hands, and a retreat to which he <JuJ 
y&tit^ior repose when the excitement of imagination no longer suffices 
to supply his daily intellectual wants. These may lead to a considerable 
development of cathedral and monastic establishments, but not to that 
self-governing parish system which is so congenial to the Saxon mind 

Cloister, Kilconnel Abbey 

View it as we will, the study of Gothic architecture in Ireland is a 
melancholy one, and only too truly confirms what we know from other 
sources. It does not even help us to answer the question whether or 
not Ireland could successfully have governed herself if left alone. All 
it docs tell us is that, from the accidental juxtaposition of two anta¬ 
gonistic races, one of them has certainly failed hitherto in fulfilling 
the artistic mission which, under favourable circumstances, it seems 
eminently qualified to perforin. 

From these causes, the Gothic antiquities of Ireland would not 
deserve much notice in a work not specially devoted to that one 
subject, were it not that, besides these, Ireland possesses what may 
properly be called a Celtic style of architecture, which is as interesting 
in itself as any of the minor local styles of any part of the world, and, 
so far as at present known, is quite peculiar to the island. None of 
the buildings of this style are large, though the ornaments on many 
of them are of great beauty aud oleganee. Their chief interest lies in 
their singularly local character, and in their age, which probably 
extends from the 5th or 6th century to the time of the English con¬ 
quest in 1176. They consist principally of churches and round towers, 
together with crosses and a number of other antiquities hardly coming 
within the scope of this work. 


VI. Ch. IV. 


o Irish church of that period now remaining is perhaps evS 
ngth, and generally they are very much smaller, the most cd 
intensions being from 20 to 40 ft. long. Increase of magnificence 
was sought to be attained more by extending the number of churches 
than by augmenting their size. The favourite number for a complete 
ecclesiastical establishment was 7, as in Greece and Asia Minor, this 
number being identical with that of the 7 Apocalyptic churches of Asia. 
Thus, there are 7 at Glendalough and 7 at Cashel; the same sacred 
number is found in several other places, 1 and generally two or three at 
least are found grouped together. 

As in Greece, too, the smallness of the churches is remarkable. 
They were not places for the assembly of large congregations of wor¬ 
shippers, but were oratories, where the priest could celebrate the divine 
mysteries for tho benefit of the laity. In fact, no chnrch is known to 
have existed in Ireland before the Norman Conquest that can be called 
a basilica, none of them being divided into aisles either by stone or 
wooden pillars, or possessing an apse, and no circular church has yet 
been found: nothing, in short, that would lead us to believe that 
Ireland obtained her architecture direct from Home; while everything, 
on tho contrary, tends to confirm the belief of an intimate connexion 
with tho farther East, and that her earlier Chiustianity and religious 
forms were derived from tho East, by some of the more southerly com¬ 
mercial routes which at that period seem to have touched on Ireland. 

A good deal of uncertainty and even of ridicule has been thro wn on 
the subject of the Eastern origin of the Irish Church by the extreme 
enthusiasm ol its advocates, but there seems to be no reasonable ground 
lor doubting the fact. At all events, it may safely be asserted that 
the Christian religion did not reach Ireland across Great Britain, or 
by any of the ordinary channels through the Continent. As a corollary 
to this, we must not look for the origin of her architectural styles 
either in England or in France, but in some more remote locality 
whose antiquities have not yet been so investigated as to enable us to 
point it out as the source whence they were derived. 

The Irish Celtic churches are generally rectangular apartments, a 
little longer than they are broad, like the small one on the island of 
Innisfallen on the lake of Killarney (woodcut No. 633). To the larger 
churches a smaller apartment of the same proportions is added to the 
eastward, forming a chancel, with an ornamental arch between the two 

The most remarkable of these now existing is that known as 
Oormac’s Chapel, on tho rock at Cashel (woodcut No. 634), which 
was consecrated in the year 1134. It is a small building, 55 ft W 
over all externally. The chancei is 12 ft. square internally, cowed 

1 Seven churches are also fbrukt at Scat- I Donegal lWe ,n 7 ri r i , • 

tery aud Innis Ottltra in C'Uuc, Tory Wm „, | 


vtp^^TjrtmsroF ike land. 

intersecting vault; the 

18 ft. by 29, and covered 

nave is 18 It. by 29, and covered $ 
gp^l^ault with transverse ribs, very like those found in the Soi 
P_rt ! yaii c e. Externally, as shown in the view, it has two square tow 
attached to it at the juncture of the nave and chancel, and is riel 
ornamented by a panelling of small arches. 

In almost all cases the principal entrance to these churches is from 
the west, opposite to the altar. The chapel at Cashel is, however, an 
exception, since it has both a north and a south entrance. That on the 
north is the principal, and very richly ornamented. The same is the 
case at Ardmore, where the whole of the west end is taken up by a 
bas-relief rudely representing scenes from the Bible, and the entrance 
is on the north side of the nave. On these principal entrances all the 
resources oi art were brought to bear, the windows generally being 


very small, and apparently never glazed. There is a dooij 

Ertfshford in Kilkenny, and another at Aghadoe near Killamey, 

fpr elegance of del ail will bear 

comparison with anything in 

England or on the Continent, of 

the same age. ^ </ j&W* 

One of the peculiarities of tyffZ, JmB'A r Wslmb'ir* 
these churches is, that they 

were \ v • 

nearly all designed to have stone 
roofs, no wood being used in their W0$ 

construction. The annexed sec- 

tion (woodcut Xo. 635) of the rrij 

old church at Killaloe, belonging p;- H >«i V// 

probably to the 10th century, te£J -f v: \m$ 

will explain how this was gene- C || 3 | dL 

rally managed. The nave was -r* , *' -i****' z * 

roofed with a tunnel-vault of the 

ordinary form; over this is a fmlfai 

chamber formed by a pointed 635 - Section of cimpoi, Kiiiaioe. 

arch, and on the outside of these 

two, the roofing slabs were laid. Sometimes, instead of being con¬ 
tinuous, the upper vault was cut into ribs, and the roof built up straight 
externally, with horizontal courses resting on these ribs. This mode 
of double looting was, perhaps, a complication, and no improvement on 

St. Kevin’s Kitchen, Glendalougli. 

misr R y 

^ixjriiinKjYxrisrrTwniTEtEKKD: . 

I f&opted in the South of France in the same age (woodeu 

2$2), hut it enabled the Irish to make the roof steeper than __ 

Aected with a single vault, and in so rainy a climate this may have 
been of the first importance. 

The roof of the Cashel Chapel is of this double construction; so is 
the building called “ St. Kevin’s Kitchen ” at Glendalough (woodcut 
No. 630), which apparently belongs to the 7th century. There is 
another very similar at Kells, and several others in various parts of 
Ireland, all displaying the same peculiarity. 

Had the Irish been allowed to persevere in the elaboration of their 
own style, they would probably have applied this expedient to the 
roofing of larger buildings than they ever attempted, and might, in 
so doing, have avoided the greatest fault of Gothic architecture. 
Without more experience, it is impossible to pronounce to what extent 
the method might have been carried with safety, or to say whether the 
Irish double vault is a better constructive form than the single Komanee 
pointed'arch. It was certainly an improvement on the wooden roof of 
the true Gothic style, and its early abandonment is consequently much 
to be regretted. 

Bound Towers and Oratories. 

The round towers which accompany these ancient churches have 
long proved a stumbling-block to antiquaries, not only in Ireland but 
in this country; and more lias been written about them, and more 
theories proposed to account for their peculiarities, than about any 
other objects of then- class in Europe. 

The controversy has been, to a considerable extent, set at rest by 
the late Mr. George Petrie. 1 He has proved beyond all cavil that the 
greater number of the towers now existing were built by Christians, 
and for Christian purposes, between the 5th and 13th centuries ; and has 
shown that there is no reasonable ground for supposing the remainder 
to be either of a different age or erected for different uses. 

Another step has recently been made by Mr. Hodder Westrop, who 
has pointed out their similarity with the Fanal de Cimetiere, so fre¬ 
quently found in France, 2 and even in Austria (woodcut No. 503). 

To anyone who is familiar with the Eastern practice of lighting 
lamps at night in cemeteries or in the tombs of saints, this suggestion 
seems singularly plausible when coupled with the knowledge that the 
custom did prevail on the Continent in the middle ages. It is, how¬ 
ever, tar from being a complete explanation, since many of these towers 
have only one or two very small openings in their upper storey ; and 
there is also the staggering fact that this use is not mentioned in any 

1 * The Ecclesiastical Architecture of Ireland anterior to the Anglo-Norman Inva¬ 
sion.* Dublin, 1845. 

- See Viollet le Due, * Dictionnaire d’Architecture/ sub voce. 


/tours u itmjvnD. 

or written account of them which lias come down t< 

)n the other hand, they are frequently described as bell-to 
as treasuries and places of refuge, and seem even better adapi 
to these purposes than to that of displaying lights. 

That they may have been applied to all these purposes seems clear, 
but a knowledge of their use does not explain their origin, it only 
removes the difficulty a step farther back, ho attempt has been made 
to show whence the Irish obtained this very remarkable form of tower, 
or why they persevered so long in its use, with peculiarities not found 
either in the contemporary churches or in any other of their buildings. 
No one imagines it to have been invented by the rude, builders of 
the early churches, and no theory yet proposed accounts for the per¬ 
severance of the Irish in its employment, at a time when the practice 
of all the other nations of 
Europe was so widely dif¬ 
ferent. It must have been 
a sacred and time-honoured 
form somewhere, and with 
some people, previous to its 
current adoption in Ire¬ 
land; but the place and the 
time at which it was so, still 
remain to he determined. 

Although, therefore, 

Mr. Petrie’s writings and 
recent investigations have 
considerably narrowed the 
grounds of the inquiry, 
they cannot be said to have 
set the question at rest, and 
anyone who has seen the 
towers must feel that there 
is still room for any amount 
of speculation regarding 
such peculiar monuments. 

In nine cases out of ten they are placed unsymmetrically at some 
little distance from the churches to which they belong, and are gene¬ 
rally of a different age and different style of masonry. Their openings 

Round Tower and Chancel Arch of Fineans Clmpel, 
Clonmacnoise . 1 * * 

1 All amusing instance of the way an 
error may be propagated occurred with 

reference to this tower. By an oversight 

it was designated, in my ‘Handbook of 
Architecture/ as the Round Tower at 

4 Roscrea.’ Ktigler, in his 4 Geschiclite der 
Baukunst/ vol. ii. p. 293, repeats the error, 

and amplifies my description ; Liibke falls 
into the sainetrap in his 4 Gesch. der Archi¬ 
tects ; ' both professing to have taken the 
cut from Wilkinson, whose work they never 
could have seen, or they would not have 
made the same mistake that I did. 

:x xxxjxxvx- xA&rxj-xxvji or mflijAiN U. 

in all cases, from the oldest to the most modern, sloping{ 

oU are very rare in the churches, being only found in the earliejf _ 

es. Their doorways are always at a height of 7, 10, or 13 ft, from 
;round, while the church doors arc, it need hardly be said, always on 
the ground level. But more than all this, there is an unfamiliar aspect 
about eveiy detail of the towers which is never observed in the churches. 
The latter may be rude, or may be highly finished, hut they never have 
the strange and foreign appearance which the towers always present. 

Notwithstanding this, the proof of their Christian origin is in most 
cases easy. Woodcut No. 636, for instance, shows a round tower placed 

upon what is, undoubtedly, a Christian cha¬ 
pel, and which must consequently be either 
coeval with the tower or more ancient. At 
Clonmacnoise (woodcut No. 637) the masonry 
of the tower is bonded with the walls of the 
church, and evidently coeval therewith, the 
chancel arch being undoubtedly Christian 
round Gothic of the 10th or 11th century. 
At Kildare the doorway of the tower (wood- 
cut No. 638) is likewise of unquestionable 
Christian art, and an integral part of the 
design, though it may be somewhat earlier 
than the foregoing ; and at Timahoo the 
doorway of the tower is richer and more 
elaborate, but at the same time of a style so 
closely resembling that of Cormac’s Chapel 
as to leave no doubt of their being nearly 
of the same age. The only remarkable dif¬ 
ference is that the jambs of the doorway of 
the tower slope considerably inwards, while 
all those of the chapel are perfectly perpen¬ 
dicular. Another proof of their age is, that 
many of the doorways have Christian em¬ 
blems carved in relief on their lintels, as in 
the example from the tower at Donough- 
more(woodcut No. 639), or that from Antrim 
(woodcut No. 640), or on the round tower at 
Brechin in Scotland,—emblems which, from 
their position, and the fact of their being in relief, cannot have been 
added, and must therefore be considered as original. YV hen we find 
that the towers which have not these indications differ in no other 
respect from those that have, it is impossible to resist the conclusion 
that they too are of Christian origin; the positive evidence of a few 
being sufficient to overbalance the mere absence of proof in a far 
greater number. 


638. Ttoorway in Tower, Kildare. 

‘TOtflnr rowg i r 

ries have enumerated 118 of these monuments as 
Ireland; of these some 20 are perfect, or nearly so, vai) 

6n9. Doorway in Tower, Donouglmiore, Meath. 

« ifl. Doorway iti Tower, Antrim. 

Tower, Devenish 

lower, Kilree, Kilkenny. 

TM Fir: 

tmitfmmm'm* fmnm: • 

acnoise‘(woodcut No. 037), though not often constructed 
>*-bone masonry there shown. 

013. Tower, Keneith, Cork. 

Tower, A i d more. 

The tower of Devenish (woodcut No. 041) may be taken as a 
typical example of the class. It is 82 ft. high, with a conical cap, and 
its doorway and windows are all of the form and in the position most 
usually found in monuments of this class. The conical cap is frequently 

omitted and its place supplied by a 'bat- 
y j tlpincnted crown; this is the ease at 
^^ K^dare, and also at Kilreo (woodcut 
No. 042). In one instance, and, 1 be¬ 
lli lieve, one only, the base of the tower is 
jjtl octagonal. This is found at Keneith, 
||| county Cork (woodcut No. 043).’ 
fffel One of the most beautiful and most 
perfect is that of Ardmore (woodcut 
No. 044). It is of excellent ashlar 
masonry throughout, and is divided externally into 4 storeys by string¬ 
courses, which do not, however, mark the position of the floors inside. 
Its mouldings and details lead to the presumption that it is nearly 
coeval with Cormae’s Chapel, Cashel, and that consequently it must 
belong to the 12th century. It stands within the precincts of the rude 

1 Compare this with the contemporary tower at Cazni, further on, in the chapter 
on Saracenic Architecture in India. 

C45. Floor iii Tower, Keneith. 

Windows in Hound Towers. 

6-H>. Window, OieM&ljpugh. 



(rch mentioned above, and when explored not long.ago the s 
two persons were found below its foundations, placed in su 
mariner as to lead to tbe inevitable conclusion that it was a place of 
Christian burial before the foundations of the tower were laid. 

Tlio floors which divide tho tower into storeys are generally of 
wood, but sometimes of masonry, constructed as that at Iveneith (wood- 
cut No. 645). There are no stairs, but ladders are used to pass from 
one storey to the next. 

Several instances of doorways have been quoted above. Of these 
no two are exactly alike, though all show the same general charac¬ 
teristics. That at Monasterboice, for instance (woodcut No. 646), Iras 
an arch cut out of a horizontal lintel extending tho whole way across, 
while that at Kilctdlen (woodcut No. 647) has the arch cut out of two 
stones, -which is by far the most usual arrangement. 

610. Doorway, Alona^ertolcie 

Doorway, Ivilcullen, Kildare. 

The windows are generally headed with two stones meeting at 
the apex, as in the three examples given below (woodcut No. 648) ; 
bat sometimes the window-head is either a flat lintel or a single stone 
cut into the form of an arch, as at Glenda!ongh (woodcut No. 640). 

Though these remarkable towers are of extremely various forms, 
differing according to their age and locality, almost all exhibit that 
peculiar Cyclopean character of masonry which has led to such strange, 

i 2 



fthotigh often• plausible, speculations; for though neither their 
or, their masonry would excite remark if found at Nor ha in LatiujJIjqi 
^uEniadm in Acarnania, yet here they stand alone and exceptional, to 
everything around them. 

Whatever may have been their origin, there can he no doubt as to 
the uses to which they were applied by the Christians—they were 
symbols of power and marks of dignity. They were also bell-towers, 
and lamps were possibly lighted in them in honour of the doad. 
But perhaps their most important use was that of keeps or fortalices; 
to which, in troubled times, the church plate and other articles of 
value could be removed and kept in safety till danger was past. 

As architectural objects these towers are singularly pleasing. 
Their outline is always graceful, and the simplicity of their form is 
such as to give the utmost value to their dimensions. Few can 
believe that they are hardly larger than the pillars of many porticoes, 
and that it is to their design alone that they owe that appearance 
of size they all present. No one can see them without admiring 
them for these qualities, though the peculiar fascination they pos¬ 
sess is no doubt in great measure owing to the mystery which still 
hangs round their origin, and to the association of localitv. In almost 
every instance the tower stands alone and erect beside the ruins 
of an ancient but deserted church, and among the mouldering tomb¬ 
stones of a neglected or desecrated graveyard. In a town or amid 

yj|l > ’ v ' ’Ki ri• | 11 iB<> in Ireland. 

older perhaps than 

• even these round 

towers, and certain- 
]y older than the 

Gullerus. From Petrie’s • Ancient Architecture of Ireland.* churches to which 

they are attached. 

the circular domical dwellings found in the west of the island, 
1 of loose stones in horizontal layers approaching one another 
eet at the apex, like the old so-called treasuries of the Greeks, 
res of the Jains in India. Numbers of these are still to be 
’emote parts, sometimes accompanied by what are properly 

Tower, Jerpoint Abbey 


IJfeflj oratories, like that shown in woodcut No. 650, taken' 
etrie’s valuable work. It is certainly one of the oldest pla< 

^ ' Avtobip in these islands, belonging probably to the age of St. Patrick; 
and it is also one of the smallest, being externally only 23 ft. by 10. 
It shows the strange 
Cyclopean masonry, 
the sloping doorway, 
the stone roof, and 
many of the elemen ts 
of the subsequent 
style, and it is at 
the same time so like \ 
some things in Lycia \ IS, 
and in India, and so 
unlike almost any t 4 " • t'¬ 
other building in 
Europe, that it is % •' 
not to be wondered ^ 
at that antiquaries * 7 

should indulge in 

somewhat speculative fancies in endeavouring to account for such re¬ 
markable phen omena. 

Ireland is not rich in specimens of domestic architecture of the 
middle ages, but such fragments as do exist show marked variations 
from the contemporary style in England. Such battlements for instance 
as those which crown the tower of Jerpoint Abbey are identical with 
many found in the north of Italy, but very unlike anything either in 
England or Scotland, and give a foreign look to the whole building 
which is very striking. 

House, Galway. 



4'iy «ainc may be said of the next example (woodcut No. 652)V®^ij 
in Galway. Its architecture might be Spanish, but its oO-J 
.luetital. details look like a reminiscence of the entwined decoration of 
a Kunic cross. I rom whatever source they are derived, it. certainly 
was not England, 

Ballyrornney Court, illustrated in woodcut No. $53, is perhaps the 

milyromupy Court, Cork. 

most usual form of an Irish mansion in the last age of Gothic. After 
its time the Elizabethan became the prevalent style. All individuality 
vanished with the more complete subjection of the country in the reign 
of that queen. This is, no doubt, to be regretted; but, as before re¬ 
marked, Ireland is interesting, not for her Gothic so much as for her 
Celtic antiquities, the epoch of which closed as nearly as maybe with 
the English conquest in 1170. 

Cross at Kels. 







A.D. 1085 

Si *aim is one ot those countries regarding the architecture of which it 
is almost as difficult to write anything consecutive as regarding that 
oi Scotland. This does not arise from the paucity of examples nor 
from their not having been examined and described, but from the same 
cause as was insisted upon in speaking of Scotch art, that the style was 
not indigenous, but borrowed from other nations, and consequently 
practised far more capriciously than if it had befcn elaborated by the 
Spaniards themselves. 

In the very early ages of their architectural history we do find the 
inhabitants of the Peninsula making rude attempts to provide them¬ 
selves with churches. These, however, were so unsuited for their 
purposes that so soon, as returning prosperity put the Spaniards in 

Gothic conquest—Athuuir .... 
Moorish conquest . . . . . 

Kingdoms of Navarre and Aragon esta 

Wished, about. .. 

Saneho L, King of Castillu . . . . 
Alphonso VI. unites ail Northern Spain 

into one kingdom. 

Henry do Besanvon—foundation of king 
dom of Portugal. 

Alpkohao 111.—conquest of Toledo 

Conquest of Cordova .. 

i, „ Valencia .... 

„ Seville and Murcia . 
Ferdinand el Santo died . . . 

Alonso el Sabio . . . . 

i Pedro the Cruel . . . . . . 

Ferdinand and IsaMla. , . . 

' Conquest of Granada ... . 


AD. 411 




on to erect larger edifices, they at once fell into the arJ 
ench architects, who had advanced far beyond them in 
ation of classical materials to Christian purposes* When tired 
of the French styles, they enlisted the Germans to assist them in 
supplying their wants, and Italy also contributed her influence, though 
less directly than the other two* In the mean time the Moors were 
more steadily elaborating their very ornate hut rather flimsy style of 
art in the southern part of the Peninsula, and occasionally contributed 
workmen and ideas whose influence may be traced almost to the foot of 
the Pyrenees. \\ hen all this passed away with the middle ages, they 
borrowed the Renaissance style of the Italians, but used its Doric 
and Corinthian details more literally and with loss adaptation than 
any other nation. With these classical materials they erected churches 
which were larger and more gorgeous than those of the previous 
styles, and admired them with the same unreasoning devotion they 
had bestowed on their predecessors. 

So far as we at present know, this peculiarity is unique in the his¬ 
tory of architecture. Some nations are content to worship in barns, 
or to dispense with temples altogether. It is not, therefore, surprising 
that they should have no architecture, or should throw it aside as the 
Scotch did the moment they could shake off its trammels. But the 
Spaniards loved art. They delighted in tho display of architectural 
magnificence, and indulged in pomp and ceremonial observances beyond 
any other people on the Continent. 

The singularity is, that though endowed with the love of architec¬ 
ture, and an intense desire to possess its products, nature seems to have 
denied to the Spaniard the inventive faculty necessary to enable him 
to supply himself with the productions so indispensable to his intel¬ 
lectual nature. We can perfectly understand how, among so Teutonic a 
people as the Scotch, architecture should be found planted in an uncon¬ 
genial soil and perish with the first blast of winter; but what seems 
unique is that, planted where both the soil and climate seem so 
thoroughly congenial as they do in Spain, it should still remain exotic 
and refuse to be acclimatized. 

If we knew who the Spaniards wore we might be able to explain 
these phenomena, but we know so little of the ethnography of Spain 
that at present this source of information is not available. I lie term 
“ Iberian” hardly conveys a distinct idea to the mind. The first im¬ 
pulse is to say they must have been Turanian; but, if so, where are their 
toiilW ? Do any tumuli, or dolmens or cromlechs exist in Spain ? or any 
traces 1 of sepulchral rites or ancestral worship ? If so, they certainly 
have not been described : and unless they exist or have existed, we are 
safe in asserting that no Turanian people lived in historic times in 
Spain. From history we know that the Phoenicians occupied the coast¬ 
line at least all round the southern part of the Peninsula, and theii 

Oh. I 


ents probably penetrated some way into the interior, 
with which the Moors conquered and colonised the count 
tself sufficient to prove that a people of cognate race had occupied 
the land long before they came there; but this hardly helps us, for 
neither the Phoenicians nor any of the Semitic races were ever builders, 
and we look in vain in Spain or at Carthage, or at Tyre or Sidon, 
for anything to tell us what their architecture may have been. The 
Goths who invaded Spain in the beginning of the 5th century must 
have been of Teutonic race, Aryans pur sancj , for they have not left a 
building or a tradition of one, and they therefore can hardly have in¬ 
fluenced the style of their successors in the Peninsula. Even the 
Moors were scarcely an architectural people in the proper sense of the 
term. Their mosques were, so far as we know them, made up of frag¬ 
ments of classical temples arranged without art or design. Their 
palaces were ornamented with plaster work of the most admired com¬ 
plexity of design, coloured with the most exquisite harmony; but all 
this was the work of the ornamental]st, hardly of the architect. It 
was perfectly suited to the wants of an elegant and refined Oriental 
nice, but most ill adapted to the wants of a hardy race of mountaineers 
struggling for freedom against the invaders of their birthright. The 
Celtic element must have been the one wanting in this “ olla pod rid a” 
of nations to fuse the whole together, and to give the arts that impulse 
which in Spain was always wanting. All the other elements they seem 
to have possessed, but the absence of this single one prevented them 
from attaining that unity which would enable us to follow their story 
with the same interest which we feel in tracing the development of the 
arts in France or England. Notwithstanding this, however, it must 
bo confessed that the result, in Spain is frequently grand, and even 
gorgeous, though never quite satisfactory. 

The periods of Gothic architecture in Spain coincide in age very 
nearly with those in this country, far more nearly than with France 
or Italy, or any other nation. Before the era of the Cid (1060-1099), 
which was coincident with that of William the Conquoror, there ex¬ 
isted a style similar in importance and character to our Saxon style. 
This the Spaniards call “ obras de los Godos,” and the term may bo 
practically correct, but it would confuse our nomenclature to call it 
the “Gothic” of Spain. “Asturian” or “Catalonian” might nearly 
describe it, but for the present some such indefinite description as 
“ Early Spanish ” must suffice. 

In the latter half of the 11th century it was overwhelmed, as in 
this country, by a wholesale importation of French designs. These 
continued to be employed, as if no Pyrenees existed, for about a century, 
with the round arch in all the decorative features, but with an occa¬ 
sional tendency to employ the pointed arch in construction. 


j degrees this round-arched style grew into an early }H 
&b» which, like our own lancet, is more national and more clA 
than any other phase of the art, and, like it, seems to hay© 
been more cherished and for a longer time. In the beginning of the 
13th century a new set of French patterns were introduced ; but while 
French cathedrals with geometric tracery were being erected at Toledo, 
Burgos, and Leon, in the provinces they continued to adhere to the 
simpler and. more solid forms of the earlier style. 

During the 14th century the French style reigned supreme, with 
only a slight touch of local feeling and a slight infusion of Moorish 
details in parts, till in the 15th it broke away from its prototype into 
a style half German, half Spanish, with all the masonic cleverness so 
fatal to the style in Southern Germany, and more than German exu¬ 
berance of detail, and complexity of vaulting expedients. With these 
the style continued to he used for churches as late as in England, 
and long after the classical styles had become universal in Italy and 
fashionable in France. 

The Gothic stylo was hot entirely disused in Spain till after the 
middle of the 16th century, but there its history ends, no attempt at a 
Gothic revival having yet been perpetrated among that inartistic race. 
It may come, however; but they would adopt Mexican or Chinese 
with equal readiness, if either of these styles would provide them with 
places of worship as gorgeous and as suited to their purposes as those 
they now possess. 1 

i So much of the information regarding 
Spanish architecture which is contained 
in the following pages, is derived from Mr. 
Streets beautiful work, entitled ‘Gothic 
Architecture in Spain,’ published last year, 
that it lias not been thought necessary 
to refer specially to that work in the text. 
With one or two exceptions, all the plans 
are reduced from those in Mr. Street's book, 

and many of the woodcuts are also his. If 
anyone will take the trouble of comparing 
the very meagre account of Spanish archi¬ 
tecture' contained in the * Handbook/ with 
what is said in this work, they will at once 
perceive my obligations to Mr. Street. His 
work is a model of its class, and has quite 
revolutionised our knowledge of the sub¬ 

H UKOH.ES of the Asturias 



Kouud-archetl Gothic. Churches at Naranco, Rodu, and Leon —Early Spaukh Gothic. 
Churches at Santiago, Zamora, Toro, Avila, Salamanca, and Tarragona. — Middle 
pointed style. Churches at Toledo, Burgos, Leon, Barcelona, Mauresa, Gerona, 
Seville — Lute Gothic style. Churches at Segoviu, Villena — Morcsco style. 
Churches at Toledo, Ilfcscna, and Sarugoz u 

Early Spanish Round-arched Gothic. 

As might be expected from what we know of tbe history of Spain, 
the only specimens of this style which are' known to exist in the 
country are to ho found in the Asturias or in the recesses of that 
mountain range which extends from Corunna to Barcelona. Tt was 
in these regions alone that the Spanish Christians found refuge during 
the supremacy of the Moslems in the Peninsula, and were free to exercise 
their religious forms without molestation. 

Four or five examples of the style have been described in sufficient 
detail to enable us to see what its leading features were. The 
earliest appears to he that of Santa Maria de Naranco, near Oviedo, 
said to he erected a.d. 848. 1 Another is S. Miguel de Lino, which 
appears to be nearly as old. A third, San Salvador de Val de Dios, 2 
is less important than tho other two, and, though peculiar, more like 
an Irish or French oratory than the others. A fourth is Santa Cristina 
do Lino. 3 San Pablo, Barcelona, 4 may be of about the same age as these ; 
and no doubt there are many others which have escaped notice from 
their insignificant dimensions. 

Among these tho most interesting is that first named, which stands at 
Naranco. As will he seen from the plan (woodcut No. 056), it is unlike 
any contemporary example we are acquainted with. Practically it is 
a Roman tetrastylo amphiprostvle temple, if such terms can be applied 
to a Christian edifice; and, so far as we can understand, the altar was 
placed originally in one of the porticos, and the worship was conse¬ 
quently probably external. The great difference seems to have been 
that there was a lateral entrance, and some of the communicants at 
least must have been accommodated in the interior. The ornamenta¬ 
tion of the interior differs from classical models more than the plan. 
The columns are spirally fluted—a classical form—but the capitals are 
angular, and made to support arches. On the walls also there are 

1 Parecrisa, ‘Recuerdos y BelLzas do Esyana.’ — Astorfas, p. 78. 

2 ‘ Monumentoa ArehitectonicofC 3 ibid, i ibid, * 

View of Church at Naranco. From Parer r is,r 

The chief interest of this building, however, lies in the fact that 
it exhibits the Spaniards in the middle of the 9th century trying to 
adapt a Pagan temple to Christian purposes, as if the Boinans had left 

„__ no basilicas in the land, and as if the Goths had been 

unable to elaborate any kind of “ ecclesia ” in which 
; they might assemble for worship. San Miguel and 

! V S. Cristina are adapted for internal worship, but 

(i50. 1’lnn of Church at 

Seal® 50 ft. to l in. 

'll' iMiiiil 1 
iiil viiiuii | 




Mil (woodcuts Nos. 288, 289) or Elne (woodcut 
%}i$y nts a complete Gothic style, rich and elegant 
badly fused together, and 
not well proportioned either to 
each other or to the work they 
have to do. Still the-combi- 

G57. Plan of S. Pablb. From ‘Mon. Arch.’ 

nations are so picturesque, and 
the details so elegant, that it 
is not without regret that we 
find the style of A let and ltoda passing away into so mething more me¬ 
chanically perfect, but without their quasi-classical refinement. 

Detail of S. Pablo. From ‘ Mon. Arch. 

Cburch at JUnla. From Parwrisa. 


'©wards the other extremity of the architectural 

province weLfcict 
* >anteon ol * £h° chu||h of San at Leon (a.d. lOWQJ^ 
porary example, exhibiting a marked difference of style. At 
the time when this and the church at Eoda were erected, Catalonia 
belonged architecturally to Aquitaine, and Leon to Anjou, or some 
more completely Gothieiscd province of France. In consequence, we 
find the style at Leon much more complete in principle, hut very much 
ruder in detail. The eastern province was in the hands of a Latin 
people, the inhabitants of the western must have been far more essen¬ 
tially Gothic in blood, and their style is strongly marked with the 

Panteon of St. Isklovo, Leon. From Parccriwi. 

Early Spanish Gothic. 

After three centuries of more or less complete supremacy over the 
whole of Spain with the exception of the northern mountain fastnesses, 
the tide of fortune at length turned against the Moors. During the 
course of the U th century the Castilles and all to the north of them 
were freed for ever from their power. Their favourite capital, Toledo, 
fell into the bands of the Christians in 1085, and from that time the 
Christians had nothing to fear from the Moors, but on the contrary 
had the prospect of recovering the whole of their country from their 
grasp. It was consequently a period of great and legitimate exultation, 
greater than that which followed the fall of the last stronghold of the 
Infidels before the conquering arms of Ferdinand and Isabella (a.i>. 1492) 


■'TOTfrnr ^msmrr rrcrrvnxx- 

f0? —ai| Went that ended the drama of the middle ages in Spain, »fcjJ*l| 
EgkW epnquost of Toledo had commenced. It is l>etween these two e^cmjj 
“^T the history of Gothic art in Spain is practically included. 

f or present purposes it may suffice to divide this history into three 
groat chapters. 

1. Early Spanish Gothic commencing about 1060, and lasting for 
two centuries. A plain and simple, hut hold and effective st}de, first 
borrowed from the French, but latterly assuming a local character. 
Kound-arched when first introduced, but adopting the pointed form 
in its later development, though still retaining the rounded form in 
many of its details till a very late period of the style. 

2. Middle or perfect Pointed Gothic. Introduced from France about 
the year 1220, when Amiens and Salisbury were founded ; and used in 
the plans of Toledo, 

Burgos, and Leon. It 

consequently overlaps JL ' 

the other to some ex- C 

tent, though its actual 

development as we now || \\ | ^ -J§w '. rij " X ^ Wy | 

see it (except-in plans) | | ? 

from the latte/part, of ^ f ° “ ^ f “ ® f fl : 

(be 13th century Jt % |,© S-kv. M ^ m O m O & J ; 

may be said to have ' -Wk ^ 

lasted for more than \r v ^ I f ^ 

200 years, though it' is | || | |i I ^ ''ll’ 

extremely difficult to ill r pdf 

draw a line between 

it and the' j# o ■ © ‘.L 

3rd period of Late Pi.'&J 

Gothic style, the dura ’if’ v® ■’/.$$ 

tion of which was pro- § ® " ^ ’jfe 

bably liardly more than ° 

one century. Theca- j yr y y> ; '/ 

tliedral at Salamanca tst*! V'*'nSl 

was founded 1513, and I J* ^ || 

that at Segovia 1525; ~~.t 

and these are the two P'OrWW 

typical examples of the 
style, which in minor 
examples continued to 

bo practised till nearly the end of the 16th cei 
considerable admixture of Renaissance details. 

One of the earliest examples of a comph 
that of Compostella, commenced in 1078 and c 

Plan .of Santiago «li (^omjiostolla. From Street 
Scale 100 ft. to l in. 


J All 1. .11. 

! ^^leViunflation. As will be seen by the plan, it is a complete fI 
V^^^itpedTal in every respect, very nearly identical with that of St. Serjl^j 
^^^^mxlouse (woodcut No. 311), possessing only three aisles instead of 

Santiago Cathedral. Interior of South Transept, looking .Noith-East. 

five in the nave, though otherwise very similar to it in arrangement 
and general dimensions. 

I ts internal structure is also that of the French cathedral, and 

kaki;y-sfsiv''ism iromn. 

. r 

Interior of S. lsidoro, Leon. From Street. 

.an instructive point of comparison with our English exam 
Line age. Up to the string-course above the triforium the Spa__^_ 
mch, and English examples are much alike, except that the section of 
the piers in England is nearly double that of the others. Above this, at 
Toulouse and Compostella, there is a bold tunnel-vault with transverse 
ribs; at Ely, Norwich anti Peterborough a clerestory with a flat wooden 
roof. These differences in the treatment of the upper part no doubt 
arose to some extent 
from the difference of 
latitude, sufficient light 
being attainable in the 
South without a clere¬ 
story, though the 
gloom of such a design 
could never be tole¬ 
rated in Normandy, 
and much less in Eng¬ 

VY hat is most strik¬ 
ing, however, at Com¬ 
postella is the com¬ 
pleteness of the style. 

The piers are not 
only judiciously pro¬ 
portioned to the work 
they have to perform, 
but are as perfect in 
their details as any 
of the contemporary 
churches in Auvergne; 
and, though in what 
may be called a Doric 
style, this church is 
as complete in itself as 
any of the florid Co¬ 
rinthian Gothics that 
succeeded it. 

The •same may bo 

said of the church of San lsidoro at Loon, which though probably 
somewhat later—the church seems to have been completed about 1140 
- presents the same simple style in the same degree of well understood 
completeness, all the lines running through without confusion, and 

Z?JT I t0 tLe 0tter - The foliation of the tran- 

s pt arch may be a peculiarity borrowed from the Moors, but, as used 
here it * simple and appropriate, and perhaps better than a roll 


ru'AiN imt iCKCtm ro mu . 

%oulfling, which would have been the mode of treatment on th* ^ujel 
^nyPjrenees. lijrJ 

^^he interior of Zamora Cathedral, which seems to have been erected 
about the year 1174 , though wholly in the pointed-arch style, is as 
plain and as little ornamented as that last described. Even the interior 
of the dome is plain when compared with its exterior, which is varied 
in outline and rich in decoration like nmst of those of that age in Spain. 

Cathedral at Zamora. From Villa A mil. 

As iri the fagade, the round arch is employed in the cimbono almost to 
the exclusion of the pointed arch as a decorative feature, though in the 
lower part of the facade and under the dome all the arches are pointed. 

It is possible that these interiors, which now look so plain, were, or 
were intended to be, plastered and painted; though, had the intention 
been carried out, it is hardly probable but that traces of this mode 
of decoration would have remained to this day, which does not seem 

665. Collegiate Church at Toro. From Villa Amil. 

In this last example, the doorway has been covered by a porch of 
14th or 15th century work ; but occasionally the Spaniards seem to 
have attempted a porch on the scale of Peterborough, as in the church 
of San Vincente at Avila (woodcut No. 667 ), In this instance we have 
only one arch between two flanking towers; but, though limited in 
extent, it forms a very noble feature, and gives a dignity to the un¬ 
it 2 


jmitn . srmm'cirjrmt;. 

the case. Still it is difficult to understand why they shoii]h|jai\ 
ed a facade so rich as that of Zamora Cathedral (woodcut 
if it were to lead to an interior infinitely plainer than the exterior 
would lead one to expect. In all the countries of Europe during the 
Round-arch Gothic period the extornal doorways were the features 
on which the architects lavished all their art, and Spain was certainly 
not behind the others in this respect. That at Zamora is excelled in 
richness by that at Toro (woodcut. No. 665), though the rest of 
the facade is not so well worked up to its key-note as in the last 
example. Among a hundred, one of those at Lerida (woodcut No. 
666 ), borrowed from Mr. Street’s work, will illustrate their beauty, 
and seems to force on us the conviction that so much labour would not 
have been bestowed on them if they were not intended to herald a 
greater richness within. 

P too often wanting in Gothic design. Its date is unoertaM^- 
ly the end of the 12th century—hut, strange as it may appkgJL 
bly carved doorway within, though round-arched, seems to be an 
insertion either of the same age, or subsequent to the Pointed-arch 
architecture which surrounds it. 

Beautiful as are these-details, the great feature of the Early Spanish 
style is the Cimborio, or dome, which generally occurs at the intersec¬ 
tion of the nave with the transepts. Something very similar is to be 
found in France, especially in Auvergne and Anjou; but the Spaniards 
seized upon it with avidity, and worked it out more completely than 
any other nation; and with their wide naves it afterwards assumed an 
importance almost equal to the octagon at Ely. One of the most perfect 
examples in the early style, is that which crowns the old Cathedral at 
Salamanca (woodcut No. 068), and dates about 1200. As will be ob¬ 
served from the view of the 
exterior, every detail belongs 
to the Bound - arched style, 
and in Franco would cer¬ 
tainly be quoted as belonging 
to that date, or earlier; but 
when we turn to the interior 
(woodcut No. 669), we find 
that the whole substructure 
is of Pointed architecture. 
True it is the old simple early 
Spanish style, yet still such 
as rather to upset our ideas 
of architectural chronology 
in this respect. The internal 
diameter of the dome is only 
*28 feet; yet it is a most effec¬ 
tive feature both internally 
and externally, and gives 
great dignity to what other¬ 
wise would bo a very plain 

A it bout going beyond 
the limits of the style, the 

Door of South Porch. 

dome at Tarragona (woodcut 
No. 672) illustrates the form usually taken by Gothic domes when 
resting on square bases. There is a little awkwardness in the form 
of the pendentives, which do not fit the main arches below them, 
though at that age the Spaniards might have learned from the Saracens 
how to manage this feature. At Salamanca the mode in which the 
square base was worked up into a circle was by pendentives of Byzan- 

666. Lerida Old Cathedral. 


mmrr srimsii acmxw. 



rm, the bourses of masonry simply projecting beyond one a: 
e transition was effected, but without that accentuation 
^thought so essential in Gothic art. Above the pendentives, how¬ 
ever, at Tarragona, the form of the dome is perfect. The windows are 

667 . 

Sun Vicente, Avila. Interior of Western Porch. From Street. 

alternately of 3 and 4 lights, and the whole is fitted together with ex¬ 
quisite propriety and taste. 

Although, borrowing their style in the first instance inqp-diatcly 
from the French, the Spaniards developed it with such a variety of 

MIN ISffiy 

Spanish auch rfEcruBi' 

ms ind details, 

... f ^ . own roH 

^^S^e/freeh importation of French designs in the beginning of t&e 
^d.^^dentu ry . liefore these came in, however, they had very frequently 

668. Exterior of Lantern, Salamanca Old Cathedral. From Street. 

in their churches adopted a form of external portico which was singu¬ 
larly suited to the climate and produced very original and pleasing 
effects. In the annexed plan of St Millan at Segovia (woodcut No. 

VTTTCVrT[!r MHt ^l!^^ r rt'fb 

'67yp they form fourth and fifth aisles 

opening externally instlafl'IoF 
internally; these, witn^fcJ 
windows over them andthe 
shadow they afford, break up 
the monotony of the sides of 
the church most pleasingly. 1 
Sometimes the aisles are car¬ 
ried round the church, so as 
to form a portico at the west 
end as well as at the sides. 
Sometimes they are on one 
side or the other as the situa¬ 
tion demands; but wherever 
used they are always pleasing 
and appropriate. 

The round form of church 
does not seem ever to have 
been a favourite in Spain. 
There are some examples, it 
is true, but they seem, like 
that at Segovia (woodcut No. 
671), to have been built by 
the Templars in imitation of 
the church at Jerusalem, and 
The idea of a circular ceremonial church 

669. Section of Cimborio At -.Salamanca. From ‘ Mon. 
Arch. d’Ks{>amt.' Soul } 50 It. to i in. 

used by them, and them only, 
attached to a rectangular 
“ ecciesia,” does not appear 
to have entered into Spanish 
arrangements. As before re 
marked, the sepulchres of the 

St. Miikn, Segovia. 

Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

1 These external porticos would 
be admirably adapted for imitation 
in the climate of India. 

Church of the Templars at Segovia No scale. 

fvj | J ! tjl£- 






672 . Tarragona Cathedral. View uciuss Transepts. From Street. 

original people of Spain do not seem to have been sufficiently im¬ 
portant to lead to any considerable development ol this form in the 
Christian times. 

Middle Pointed Spanish Style. 

While the early style described in the last chapter was gradually 
working itself into something original and national, its course was 
turned aside by a fresh importation of .French designs in the beginning 
of the 13th century. Before the Germans had made up their minds 



felding the Cathedral of Cologne to surpass the grandest dd 
French architects, the Spaniards had already planned a cathei 
scale larger than any attempted even in France. The great 
church at Toledo was commenced in 1227, seven years after Amiens 
and Salisbury cathedrals had been determined upon. The plan is 
certainly of that date; the present superstructure may rather be taken 
as representing the style of the end of the 13th century, tllough it 
does not seem to 
be known when 
the church was 
first consecrated. 

The church 
which Toledo Ca¬ 
thedral most re¬ 
sembles in plan is 
that at llourges 
(woodcut IN o. 379). 

The length is 
about the same, 
but the French 
example is only 
130 feet in width 
across the 5 aisles, 
while the Spanish 
church is 178 ft., so 
that its area is con¬ 
siderably in ex¬ 
cess. It is not easy 
to say what the 
area of Toledo Ca¬ 
thedral really was, 
as we cannot quite 
determine which 
of the excrescences 
belong to the ori¬ 
ginal design; but 
we shall not pro¬ 
bably be far wrong 
in estimating it 
as under 75,000 ft. 

Lt is leas therefore than Seville, Milan, or Cologne. It covers rather 
more ground than York Cathedral, but considerably exceeds Chartres 
(68,000 ft.), or any of the French cathedrals. 

The church at Toledo possesses the same defect in plan that we 
remarked on in describing that at Cologne: it is too short for its 

073. Plan of Cathedral at Toledo. From ‘ Monument** Arehitectoricos 
<1 kspana. Seale 100 ft. to l in. 



When the French architect at Bourges found 


more pleasing 
than Bourges, or 
any other five- 
aisled cathedral. 
So thoroughly 
French is the de¬ 
sign, that there is 
no attempt at a 
cimborio or dome 
of any sort at the 

ter dimensions, 

674. View in t.he Choir of the Cathedral at Toledo. From Villa Amil. 


676. Plan of Burgos Cathedral. From Street. 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 


of the nave and transepts; but, on the other hand\l^e I 
of the choir is essentially Spanish, and the screen 
it among the most gorgeous in Spain, and one of the most 
beautiful parts of the cathedral. 

The origin of the Spanish arrangement of the choir will be under¬ 
stood by referring to the plan of San Clemente at Rome (woodcut 
No. 246). The higher clergy were in the early days of the church ac¬ 
commodated on the bema in the presbytery. The singers, readers, Ac., 
were in an enclosed choir in the nave. The place for the laity was 
around the choir outside. So long as the enclosing wall of the choir 
was kept as low as it was at 
Rome (about 3 ft.), this arrange¬ 
ment was unobjectionable: but 
when it came to he used as in 
Spain, it was singularly destruc¬ 
tive of internal e (Feet. In France 
the stalls of the clergy were in 
the choir beyond tlio transept, 
and all to the eastward of the 
intersection was reserved for 
them, the nave being wholly 
appropriated to the laity. This 
was an intelligible and artistic 
arrangement of the space; but 
in Spain the stalls of the clergy 
wore projected into the nave, 
blocking up the perspective in 
every direction and destroying 
its uselulness as a congrega¬ 
tional space, where the laity 
could assemble or be addressed 
by the bishop or clergy. Worse 
than this, it separated the clergy 
from the high altar and Capilla 
Maior, in which it was situated, 
so that a railed gangway had 
f5 be kept open to allow them 
to pass to and fro. 1 When 
the Spaniards determined that 

this was the proper liturgical arrangement for a church, had they 
been an arttetic people they would have invented an appropriate 

lno Spanish. arrangement has recently been -wW, v i w . v . . 

more by accident than design - with an effc -t i rli n * Westminster Abbey, 

apparently as little felt. ° ’ ' ' l t ^ : as an >' tl ' ln g Jn Spain, and 



l it; but to put.such an arrangement into a pMjcll 
mistake that notliing could redeem; not even 
ss of the exterior of the choir at Toledo—perhaps the 

''vrr&£3? ’*.-r <r' ‘ s? 

670 . West Front of Burgos Cathedral. From Chaptty, * Moyen Age Monumental/ 

richest specimen of its class in Europe, and betraying in certain parts 
of its ornamentation the influence of Moorish taste which still lingered 
in the soil in spite of persecution and every attempt to eradicate it 

* external appearance of this church is very much less beat! 
at of the interior. It is, however, so encumbered, that a 

can hardly be obtained, and what is seen has been so much 
altered as to have lost its original character. The north-western tower 
of the facade is fine, though late (1425-1479) and hardly worthy of so 
grand a building. Its companion was terminated with an Italian dome 
in the last century, and both in height and design is quite incongruous 
with the rest. 

If at Toledo we find a noble interior encased in an indifferent 
husk, the contrary is the case at Burgos. Although very much smaller, 
being only originally designed 
to be 90 ft. wide by about 310 ft. 
long, and all its dimensions re¬ 
duced in proportion, still exter¬ 
nally it is as picturesque and 
effective a design as can be found 
anywhere in Europe (woodcut 
No. 076). The western facade 
(1442)—a German design, ori¬ 
ginally consisting of three por¬ 
tals deeply recessed and richly 
sculptured, and still crowned 
with two spires of open work 
—is exquisitely proportioned to 
the size of the building, though 
its details are open to criticism. 

It is well supported by the eim- 
borio or dome at the in tersection, 
though this is even later, having 
been erected to replace the old 
dome which fell 1539, and seems 
not to have been completed till 
1567. Beyond this again, to 
the extreme east, rises the chapel 

of the Connestabae, erected about 1487, and though this also is impure 
in detail it. is beautiful in outline, and groups pleasingly with the other 
features of the design. The effect of the interior is very much injured 
by the four great masses of masonry which were introduced as piers to 
support the cimborio when it was rebuilt; and which, with the “ Coro ” 
thrust as usual into the nave, greatly destroy the appearance of the 
building. On the other hand, the richness of the details of the Capilla 
Maior and of the Connestabile chapel, together with the variety and 
elaborateness of the other chapels, make up an interior so poetic and 
so picturesque, that the critic is disarmed, and must admit that Burgos 
merits the title of a romance in stone if any church does. 


Plan of Leon Cathedral. From Street. 
Scale. 100 ft. to 1 in. 

a third 13th century church, the design of which Mu* 
have been imported from France. The exact date oJ^I 
mt is not known. Mr. Street thinks it about 1250-68, 
, l!; which seems very probable, and 

i ^ ma y have been practically com- 

\\\% pieced about 1305. Its dimensions 

(woodcut No. 077) are not unlike 
^bose of Burgos; but it has been 
WMjj. I very much less altered, and may be 

67S>. Compartment of Nave, Burgos Cathedral. 

taken as the type of a 3-aisled basi¬ 
lica as imported into Spain in the 
13th century. In the arrangement 
of the pier-arches it very much 
resembles Beauvais, and in the ex¬ 
tent of the clerestory it is more 
essentially French than almost any other church in Spain. Burgos on 
the contrary (woodcut No. 079) possesses features not to be found in 
France, such as the round-arched head to the t.rifomun, and the rounded 

678. Bay of Choir, Leon'Cathedral. From Street. 


rmj<|fthe clerestory intersecting vault.. The tracery of,the cleres! 

is also peculiar in such a situation, and altogether there 11 
rn feeling about the whole design which wc miss at Leon 
Oviedo is another example of the same class, and generally it may be 
said that the Spanish cathedrals which were commenced in the first 
half of the lotlx century are all more or less distinctly French in 
design. But again the Spaniards wore working themselves free from 
their masters, and towards the end of the century and during the next 
erected a class of churches with wide naves and widely spaced piers 
which were very unlike anything to be found in France; and, if they 
cannot be considered as original, their affinities must bo looked for 
rather in Italy than to the north of the Pyrenees. 

Among these churches the most remarkable group is that still exist¬ 
ing in Barcelona. That city seems during the 14th century to have 
had a season of great prosperity, 
when the cathedral and other 
churches were rebuilt on a scale 
of great magnificence, and with 
especial reference to the con¬ 
venience of the laity as con¬ 
tradistinguished from the litur¬ 
gical wants of the clergy. The 
cathedral seems to have been 
commenced about 1298 and been 
tolerably far advanced in 1329, 

Its internal length is about 
300 ft., its width, exclusive of 
the side-chapels, about 85 ft., so 
that it is not a large church, 
but is remarkable for tho light¬ 
ness and wide spacing of its 
piers, and generally for the 
elegance of its details. Looked 
at from a purely aesthetic point 
of view, it has neither the 
grandeur nor solemnity of tho 
older and more solid style; but 
gloom and grandeur are not necessary accompaniments of a city church 
and where cheerfulness combined with elegance aro considered appro¬ 
priate, few examples more fully meet these conditions than this church 
Considerable effect is obtained by tho buttresses of the nave being 
originally designed, as was so frequently the case in the south of France 
as internal features, and the windows being small are not seen in the 
general perspective. This supplies the requisite appearance of strength 
1,1 vvhlch * ho ccntral P>«™ are rather deficient, while the repetition of 

Plan of Cathedral tit Barcelona. 
Scale 100 ft. to l in. 

From Street* 

ide-chapels, two in each bay, gives that perspecti ve whi<\VjJil 
spacing of the central supports fails to supply. AltogethekjJlJ 

more satisfactory 

M$rgn seems very carefully studied, and tlie result 
than in most Spanish churches. 

The system which was introduced in this cathedral was carried a 
step further in Sta. Maria del Mar (1328- 
13S3). There the central vault was made 
as was frequently 
the vault of the aisles 
on exactly the contrary principle to 

square and quadripartite, 
the case in Italy 

that adopted in the north of Europe. Again, 
however, the equilibrium is to some extent 
restored by each bay containing three side- 
chapels, though the effect would have been 
better if these had been deeper and more 
important. Such a design is inappropriate 
when a choir is necessarily introduced to 
separate the clergy from the laity, but for a 
congregational church it is superior to most 
other designs of the middle ages. 

A third church, Sta. Maria del Pi (1329- 
1353), carries this principle one step further 
—this time, however, evidently borrowed 
from such churches as those of A1 by (woodcut 
No. 307) or Toulouse (woodcut No. 308). It 
has been carried ■ out with the utmost sim¬ 
plicity. The clear internal length is nearly 
200 ft., the clear width upwards of 50 ft. 
Such a church would easily contain 2000 
worshippers seated where all could see and 
hear all that was going on. Though it may 
he deficient in some of those poetic elements 
which charm so much in our northern 
churches, there is a simple grandeur in the 
design which compensates for the loss. 

The Collegiate Church at Manresa is very 
similar in design to Shi. Maria del Mar, only 
carried a step further, and in the wrong 
direction. From wall to wall it is 100 ft. 
wide, and 200 ft, Ion&\ and is thus so com¬ 

es r Sta. Maria del Mar, Barcelona. 
From Street. Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

682. Sta. Maria del Pi, Barcelona. 
From Street. Scule 1 in. 


no|)fe, place of assembly for a congregation. There is, at th< 
pip©/ a simplicity and propriety about its details and the arranj 
.pf/its apse which have seldom been surpassed, while, at the sani 
they are characteristic of Spain. 

|r' • ' 

683 > * Interior of the Collegiate Church, Manresa. From Street. 

The Spaniards having once grasped the idea of 
vaulted halls, and found out the means of construe 
carried the principle far beyond anything on this side 


if) most successful effort in this direction was at Gerona. 
of a church of the usual French pattern had been erected the^ 

the beginning of the 14th century (1312?), 
but it had remained unfinished till 1416, 
when after much consultation it was deter¬ 
mined to carry out the design of a certain 
Guillermo Boffiy, who proposed to add a 
nave without pillars, of the same breadth 
as the centre and side*aisles of the choir. As 
will be seen from the plan, it consists of a 
hall practically of two squares, the clear 
width being 73 ft. the length 160 ft. Con¬ 
sidering that 40 ft. is about the normal width 
of the naves of the largest French and Eng¬ 
lish cathedrals, such a span is gigantic, though 
with the internal buttresses of the side cha¬ 
pels it presented no great difficulty of con¬ 
struction. Indeed, when we remember that 
in their vaulted halls the Homans had adopted 
80 ft. (vol. i. p. 294) as the normal span of 
their intersecting vaults, it is not its novelty 
or mechanical boldness that should surprise 
us so much as its appropriateness for Chris¬ 
tian worship. As might be expected, there is a little awkwardness in 
the junction,vpf the two designs. It is easy to see what an opportunity 
the eastern end of the great nave offered to a true artist, and how a 
Northern architect would have availed himself of it, and by canopies 
and statues or painting have made it a masterpiece of decoration. It 
is too much to expect this in Spain; but it probably was originally 
painted, or at least intended to be. Otherwise it is almost impossible 
to understand tbe absence of string-courses or architectural framings 
throughout. But, such as it stands, the church at Gerona must be 
looked upon as one of the most successful designs of the middle 
ages, and one of the most original in Spain. 

The Cimborio had somewhat gone out of fashion in the North of 
Spain in the loth century, and with these very wide naves had become 
not only difficult to construct, but somewhat inappropriate. 

Still there are examples, such as that at Valencia (woodcut ho. 686), 
which, externally at least, are very noble objects. Tbe church at 
Valencia seems to have been erected in 1404, and probably it was 
originally intended to have added a spire or external root of some sort 
to the octagon. So completed, the tower would have been a noble 
central feature to any church, though hardly so perfect in design as 
that of the old cathedral at Salamanca ( woodcut No. 668). 

Of about the same age (1401) is the great cathedral ot Seville, the 

684. Plan of Cathedral at Gerona. 
From Street. Scale 100 ft. to l in. 


rlat and in some respects the grandest of mediaeval cathd®Ls| 
plan can, however, hardly be said to be Gothic, as it was erdotleP 
the site of tho mosque which was cleared away to make room 



^10b|000 ft.), which, next to Seville, is the largest of mediaevalV»-| 
itkjW The central aisle is 56 ft. wide from centre to centre 
&ehinms, the side-aisles 40 ft., in the exact proportion of 7 to 10, or 
of the side of an isosceles right angled triangle to the hypothennse. 

yseem/ to be in as pleasing proportion to it in height as they 
pl&p, so that, though different from the usually received notions^uf 
^tfhat a Gothic design should be, it is an invention that would well 
bear to Lave been followed further. Perhaps it might have been had 
it not come so late. The cathedral was only finished about 1520, when 
St. Peter's at Pome was well advanced. 

Plan of Cathedral at Seville. Scale loo ft to 1 in. 

The architect of this noble building is not known, but he was 
probably a German acting under Spanish inspiration, as at Milan we 
find a Gorman carrying out an Italian design with just that admixture 
of foreign feeling which seems to prevail at Seville. \\ hen, however, we 
consider what was done at Barcelona so shortly before, or at Segovia 
so soon afterwards, we need hardly be surprised if a Spanish archi- 
tect really built this cathedral also. Those features which to us have 
a foreign aspect may really be peculiarities forced upon him by having 

mi msr/fy 

W 1 fuilyhifl church to the lines of a mosque, atid there may be formlA^ 
^adalAusian architecture derived from Moorish examples with whierf 
.■Vfi&^re not so familiar as with those which the Northern provinces 
derived from France. But, be this as it may, Spain may well feel 
pride in possessing a cathedral which is certainly the largest of those 
of the middle ages, as well as far more original in design than Toledo 
or any that were built under French influence. These remarks apply 
only to the interior. Externally it never was completed, and those 
parts which are finished were erected so late in the style that their 
details are far from pleasing in form or constructively appropriate. 

L AT B S I’A NISH G Of H10. 

The last stage of Spanish Gothic was not less remarkable than those 

_ which preceded it, and 

perhaps more original. 
>v At the time when 

Mf' other Continental na- 

JpUijr V > tions were turning their 

A .\\‘ c A* a attention to the intro- 

Q" y '..r—.^r J . ; k :**'v 5 (luction of the (‘la 

Wf i 1 ' . ‘ ' j ‘ “ • J styles, Spain still clung 

jLL* • ^ to the old traditionS) 

: : ^ i w' and actually commenced 

• I Gothic cathedrals in the 

16th century. A new 
fteffT--' ; 5v cathedral was designed 

te\/ [ ■ ' :li \|>< in the year 1513, for 

i^^rry^ \ - | Salamanca, to supersede 

ijjl < I A 1 ' | j • j \ Y the old one; and another 

J very similar both in di- 

m< nsious and st y lc was 

| f j commenced at Segovia 

HR,!:' in 1523/ Both these 

tfa ’-v.jjjjf h' churches are practically 

jH&W vV five-aisled, hut as they 

yjfc- m i' :- i | tiBki' have three free aisles 

and two ranges of cha- 

6Sa . Man of Catbfiirftl at Segovia. From Street. pels between the inter- 

Scale ioo ft. to i in. nal buttresses, maki ng a 

total internal width of 100 ft. with an internal length of twice that 
dimension, no fault is to he found with their internal proportions. 

those of the Spanish examples, tlio details 
ol‘ the French church are far more essen¬ 
tially Renaissance throughout; 

* The church of St. Eustaehe at Paris 
was commenced ns late as 1532, and, 
although its plan is almost as Gothic as 

Ti.Tiii: ri: 

late 'span lafTTJOTHuu 

their details want that purity and subordination so character 
He earlier styles. 

Their great peculiarity, however, consists in the extreme richness 
and elaboration of their vaults. In this respect they more resemble 
St. Jacques, Liege (woodcut No. 419), and some of the late German 
churches, than anything to be found nearer home. But, wherever de¬ 
rived from, the practice of thus ornamenting the vaults at this late date 
contrasts singularly with what was done in earlier stages of the style. 

One of the defects of Spanish architecture, after the earliest ex¬ 
amples in the round-arched forms, is the poverty of its vaults. Gene¬ 
rally they are like those of the French; but owing to the vast extent 
they attained at Gerona, Manresa, and elsewhere, the one lean rib in 
the centre and the absence of any ridge-rib make themselves more 
painfully felt than even in the French examples. When in the Kith 
century the architects tried to obviate this defect; it was not done as in 
England by constructive lines representing the arches, but by waving 
curved lines spread capriciously over the vault, which was thus cer¬ 
tainly enriched, but can hardly be said to have been adorned. 

In one or two instances, the late Gothic architects aimed at the 
introduction of new principles, not perhaps in the best taste, but still so 
striking as to merit attention. In 
the church at Yillena (1498-1511), 
for instance, all the columns are 
ornamented with spiral flu tings so 
boldly executed as to ho very effec¬ 
tive ; and as this spiral ornament 
is consistently carried throughout 
the design, and the parts are suffi¬ 
ciently massive not to look weak¬ 
ened in consequence, the whole de¬ 
sign must he admitted to be both 
pleasing and original. 

The exteriors of these 16th-century churches have a much more 
modern look than their interiors. From the buttresses being internal, 
the external walls are perfectly flat, generally terminating upwards 
by a cornice more or less classical in design. The windows are fre¬ 
quently without tracery, and are ornamented with balconies, and 
Renaissance ornaments are often intermixed with those of Gothic 
form in a manner moro picturesque than constructive. x\t times, how¬ 
ever, they exhibit such a gorgeous exuberance of fancy that it is im¬ 
possible to avoid admiring, though we feel at the same time that it 
would be heresy to the principles of correct criticism to say that such 
a style was legitimate. 

Among the minor examples of the age, perhaps the most remarkable 
is the church or chapel of San Juan de los Reyes at Toledo, built by 

Section of Church at Villena. From ‘ Mon. 
Arch. li’Ebpana.’ Scale 50 ft. to L in. 



and and Isabella as a sepulchral chapel for themselves, thoi 
pd for that purpose. It is thus the exact counterpart of ok; 

\ I P’s chapel, and of the church at Brou in Bresse. As its 
founders were at the time of its erection among the richest and most 
prosperous sovereigns in Europe, all that- wealth could do was lavished 
on its ornamentation. It is as rich as our example, and richer than 
the French one. But, on the whole, the palm must be awarded the 
English architect. There is more constructive skill, and the con-’ 
struction is better expressed, at Westminster, than either at Toledo or 
Brou; though it is difficult not to feel that the money in all these cases 
might, have been better expended on a larger and purer style of art. 

Some parts of the church of San Miguel at Xeres exceed even this 
in richness and elaborateness of ornament, and suipass anything found 
in Northern cathedrals, unless it be the tabernacle-work of some tombs, 
or the screens of some chapels. In these it is always applied to 
small and merely ornamental parts. In Spain it is frequently spread 
over a whole church, and thus, what in a mere subordinate detail 
would he beautiful, on such a scale becomes fatiguing, and is decidedly 
in very bad taste. 

It would be tedious to attempt to enumerate or describe the other 
cathedrals of Spain, or the numerous conventual or collegiate churches, 
many of which are still in use, with their cloisters and conventual 
buildings nearly complete. In this respect Spain is nearly as rich as 
France; while she possesses, in proportion to her population, a larger 
number of important parochial churches than that country, though 
inferior in that respect to England. The laity seem during the middle 
ages to have been of more importance in the Spanish Church than 
they were north of the Pyrenees, and the tendency of the architecture 
therefore was to provide for their accommodation. If, however, any 
such feeling then existed, it was carefully stamped out by the Inqui¬ 
sition after the fall of Granada. It would be interesting, however, 
to trace it back, and try to ascertain the cause whence it arose. Was it 
that the Aryan blood of the Goths was then more prevalent, and that 
the Iberian race has since become more dominant? Whatever the 
cause, it is one of those problems on which architecture may hope to 
throw some light, and to which, consequently, it is most desirable 
that the attention of architects should be turned. 

Moresco Style. 

While Gothic churches were being erected under French influence 
in the north and centre of Spain, another style was developing itself 
under Moorish influence in the south, which in the hands of a more 
artistic people than the Spaniards might have become as beautiful as 
any other in Europe. It failed, however, to attain anything like com- 

!. Cm. II. 

~ 11 } 3T 


:ss, primarily because the Spaniards were incapable of elabor 
a/tistic forms, but also perhaps because the two races camej 
haleone another, and the dominant people to abhor whatever belonged 
to those they were so cruelly persecuting. 

If we knew more of the ethnic relations of the Moors, who con¬ 
quered Spain in the 8th century, we might perhaps be able to pre¬ 
dicate whether it were possible for such dissimilar parents to produce 
a fertile hybrid. It seems certain, however, that the Moors did not 
belong to any Turanian race, or traces of their tombs would be found; 
but none such exist. Nor did they belong to any of the great building 
races, for during the whole of their sojourn in Spain they showed no 
constructive ability, no skill in arrangement of plans, and no desire for 
architectural magnificence. But they were a rich, luxurious, and refined 
people, possessing an innate knowledge of colour and an exquisite per¬ 
ception of the beauty of form and detail. They'were, in fact, among 
the most perfect ornamen tists we are acquainted with, but they were 
not architects. Had the inhabitants of Toledo from the 11th century 
been French, or any Celtic race, the combination of their constructive 
skill with the taste in detail of the Moors could hardly have failed to 
produce the happiest results. As it was, after a few feeble efforts the 
style died out, but not without leaving some very remarkable speci¬ 
mens of architectural art, though on a small scale. They were also 
only in perishable plaster, which, though well suited to the style of 
the Moors, is a material which no architectural people ever would have 

As might be expected, the principal examples of this style are to he 
found in or about Toledo, hut specimens exist in almost every province 
of Spain up to the very roots of the Pyrenees, and its influence is often 
felt in the extreme richness of ornamentation into which the architects 
of Spain were often betrayed, even when 
expressing themselves in Gothic or Re¬ 
naissance details. 

Among the examples at Toledo the 
two best interiors seem to be the church of 
Sta. Maria la Blanca and that of Nuestra 
Senora del Transito, both originally built 
as synagogues, though afterwards ap¬ 
propriated to Christian purposes. The 
first is said to have been erected in 
the 12th century, and was appropriated 
by the Christians in 1405. As will be 
seen by the plan, it is an irregular 
quadrangle, about 87 ft. by 65 in width 
across the centre, and divided into five 
aisles by octagonal piers supporting horse-shoe arches. Above these 

6A0. Sta. Maria la Blanca. From 
‘ Mon. Arch.’ Scale 50 feet to 1 in. 

.. praiyirtri - ai tc m 1 jE uroKB .".—-- I'AMun. 

MoWi Inns what may he called a blind clerestory, though it appeJUjl 
tfiVky were originally admitted through it, by counter-sinkings infcp 
suggested by the hypmthron of Greek temples (woodcuts Nos. 143, 
Tf6). The objects are so dissimilar that it is difficult to institute a very 
distinct comparison between the synagogue and a contemporary Gothic 
church of the same dimensions; but it may safely be said that if the 
northern style is grander in conception, this is far more elegant in 
detail: the essential difference lying in the fact that the Gothic stylo 
always had, or aimed at having, a vault, and consequently forced the 

Sfca. Maria la Blanca. From Villa A mil. 

architects to work and think—the very difficulty of the task being thus 
the cause of its success. The Saracens in Spain, on the contrary, never 
attempted either a vault or a dome, hut were always content with an 
easily-constructed wooden roof, calling for no ingenuity to design, and 
no thought how to convert its mechanical exigences into artistic 
beauties. The Moorish architects could play with their style, and con¬ 
sequently produced fascinating elegances of detail; the Gothic architects, 
on the contrary, were forced to work like men, and their result appeals 
to our higher intellectual wants; though in doing so they frequently 


m/tJtiG semi-Asiatic art ox tne ooiitii 
^The other synagogue—del Tra: 
1366. It is merely a large 
room, of pleasing proportion, 
the walls of which are plain ^§1| 
and solid np to about three- JB| 
fourths of their height. 

Above this a clerestory ad- fm t 
mits the light in a manner SH 
singularly agreeable in a BB i 
hot climate. The ro6f is of || B| 
wood, of the form called Ar- 
temnado in Spain, from its , 
being something in the form 
of an invoiced trough—with jR' 

coupled tie-beams across, so 
that, though elegant in de- ........ 

tail, it has no constructive fi92 * 
merit, and the whole depends 
for its effect, 1 like all Moorish work in 

Apse of St. Bartolomeo. From 4 Mon. Arch. 
Scale 25 feet to 1 in. 

in, on its ornamental detail 

Chapel at Ilumanejos. From Villa Amit. 

HitllT if 

rj|sj;l 1 jf 


1 1 1 If 1 




1 The room called Pamnimfo in the University of Alcala (see woodcut 87 voUiii) 
is of precisely similar design to this, only carried out with Renaissance instead'of 
Moorish detail. 

fjA])L|iie churches we know of in tins style date within the peiWL 
between the fall of Toledo (1085) and that of Granada* 
(1491^ During that time the Moors were still sufficiently powerful 
to be respected and their art tolerated. After their expulsion from 
their last stronghold, fear being removed, bigotry became triumphant, 
and persecution followed, not only of the people and their religion, 
but of everything that recalled either to remembrance. 

It is possible that some larger and more important churches than 
those we now find were erected during this period in this style ; hut if 

so, they have perished. 
W One of the largest at To¬ 
ll ledo, San Bartolomeo, 

m No. 692), little more than 

Jfililk d0 ft. across over all, and 

others, such as Santa Fe, 
Santa Leocadia, San Eu- 
genio, or Santa Isabel, 
are sma ^ er ) St. Ursula 

' alone being of about the 

pm same 4 "*'-dimensions with 

| || i . St. Baflolomeo. The de- 

BQHHrnif coration of the apse of 


Tower at llescas. From Villa Amil. 


s is oven more the case in a beautiful chapel in the mon; 

Hue!gas, near Burgos, which, were it not for some Gothic foli 
e 14th century, introduced where it can hardly be observed, might 
easily pass for a fragment of the Alhambra. The same is true of many 
parts of the churches at Seville. That of La Feria, for instance, and 
the apse of the church of the Dominicans at Calatayud, are purely in 
this style, and most beautiful and elaborate specimens of their class. 

Very pleasing examples, of the adaptation of Moorish art to Chris¬ 
tian purposes are to be 
found in various churches 
throughout Spain. That 
of St. Roman at Toledo 1 
is a very pleasing and 
pure example of the style, 
but neither so picturesque 
nor so characteristic as 
that at Jlescas (wood- 
cut No. (>94), not far 
from Madrid, which, 
though differing essen¬ 
tially from any Gothic 
steeple, is still in every 
part appropriately de¬ 
signed, and, notwith¬ 
standing its strongly 
marked horizontal lines, 
by no means deficient in 
that aspiring character 
so admirable in Gothic 

Another remarkable 
example is the tower and 
roof of the church of St. 

Paul, Saragoza. It is so 
unlike anything else in 
Europe, that it might 
pass for a church in the 
Crimea or the steppes of 
Tartary. As if to acid to 
its foreign aspect, the tiles 
rendering the contrast with Gothic art stronger than even that pre¬ 
sented in the details and forms of the architecture. 

1 An engraving of this tower is given in Street's ' Gothic* Architecture in Spain,’ 
page 225, accompanied with a very complete enumeration of all the examples of the 
style to be found in Toledo. 


■ church of St. Thom£ at Toledo has a tower so perfectly Mol 
\t. its details, that but for its form it might as well be classed amu) 

the specimens of Moorish as of 
Mozarabic architecture. Through¬ 
out Spain there are many of the 
same class, which were undoubtedly 
erected by the Christians. Both 
in this country and in Sicily it is 
never safe to assume that because 
the style of a building is Moorish, 
even purely so, the structure must 
belong to the time when the Moors 
possessed the country, or to a happy 
interval, if any such existed, when a 
more than usually tolerant reign 
permitted them to erect edifices for 
themselves under the rule of their 
Christian conquerors. 

Sometimes we find Moorish de¬ 
tails mixed up with those, of Gothic 
architecture in a manner elsewhere 
unknown, as for instance in the door¬ 
way, in woodcut No. 096, from the 
house of the Ablala at Valencia. The 
wood-work is of purely Moorish de¬ 
sign, the stone-work of the bad nn- 

rtOt;. Doorway from Valencia. From Chopity, 

constructive Gothic of the late Spanish architects, altogether making 
up a combination more picturesque than beautiful, at least in an 
architectural point of view. 

LVLUiN ADl'lU 15U I liOXlN 



Monastic Buildings — Municipal Buildings 


As already mentioned, to 
there were attached mo¬ 
nastic establishments on a 
scale commensurate with 
them in dignity, and orna¬ 
mented in an equal degree. 

Most of these, too, had 
chapter-houses, generally 
square vaulted apart¬ 
ments, not equal in ori¬ 
ginality or magnificence 
with those of England, but 
very superior to anything 
found in France, The most 
,ornamental part of these 
is generally the screen of 
triple arches by which 
they open on the cloister. 

Internally they are now 
generally plain, but they 
may have been adorned 
with wooden stalls and 
furniture, which have 
since disappeared. 

More important than 
these are the cloisters to 
which they were attached 
— th q patio of the convent, 
which in such a climate 
as that of Spain was an 
indispensable adjunct, and 
much more appropriate 

than a covered arcade ever was or could be in our northern climate. 

691 . Cloister of Iho Huelgas, near Burgos. From Villa Amil, 

r i *1 i on iii ton 11 ftu ro k r: 

Cloister, Tarazonn. From Street. 

M UN iuital 13 u imjijs u». 

/ 7 Municipal Buildings. L/J 

A/. - ■ K a v> 

Spain does not seem to have possessed, during the middle ages, any 
municipalities of sufficient importance to require buildings of an im¬ 
portant or permanent character for their accommodation. There are, 

Spanish MmvmmniK 


tstc,l columns similar to those at Villena (woodcut No. cV 
ro buildings are said to have been designed by the saL-~ 
teot, but the columns in this instance are much more attenuated 
than in the church. The exterior has at least the merit of expressing 
the internal arrangements. On one side of the central tower is the 
great hall, on the other the public rooms, and above these an upper 
storey with an open arcade. The last is a feature very frequently 
found in Spain, not only in Mediaeval palaces, but in those of the 
Renaissance period, and wherever it exists it is one of the most 
pleasing* that can be found; it gives all the shadow of a cornice, 
without its inconvenient and useless projection, and crowns the whole 
design in an appropriate and pleasing manner. 


One example must suffice to recall attention to the fact of the 
existence of “ Chateaux en Espagne.” On the plains of Castille they 
are not only numerous, but of great magnificence, erected apparently 
before the fear of inroads from the Moors of Granada had passed 
away, or at all events when a military aristocracy was indispensable 
to save the nation from reconquest by these dreaded enemies. Of 
these the Kasr at Segovia is one of the best known and most frequently 
drawn. It has the advantage of being still inhabited, and its turrets 
retained, till recently, their tall conical roofs, which gave it so peculiar 

Castle of Cocos, Castillo. From Villa Amil, 

;il an aspect. 1 It also possesses the advantage—rare in 8] 

-of standing on the edge of a tall rock, to which it has 
. with almost Oriental taste. 

Another favourable specimen is the now ruined castle of Cocos. Its 
tall towers and clustering turrets still attest its former magnificence, 
and point to a local style of defensive architecture differing from that 
of any other part of Europe, but even more picturesque than the best 
examples of either France or England. The castle at Olite is still 
more local in its style. Many other examples might be quoted; but 
they hardly belong to the fine-art branch of Architecture, and thus 
scarcely come within the scope of this work, though a monograph of 
the military architecture of Spain during the middle ages would be 
almost as interesting as that of her ecclesiastical remains. 

1 These were destroyed by a fire which occurred about four years ago. 





Church of Batalha — Alcobaga — Belem. 

So little attention has been paid to the subject of Gothic architecture in 
Portugal, that it is by no means clear whether it contains any churches 
of interest belonging to that style. There are certainly some splendid 
remains at Belem near Lisbon, and fragments at least elsewhere; 
but those who have described them are so little qualified for the task 
by previous study, that it is impossible to place reliance on the cor¬ 
rectness of their assertions regarding them. One church, however,— 
that at Batalha,—has met with a different fate, and having arrested the 
attention of Mr. Murphy, “ the illustrator of the Alhambra,” was drawn 
by him, and published in a splendid folio work at the end of the last 
century. As might he supposed from the date of the work, the illus¬ 
trations do not quite meet the exigences of modern science, but it is 
at all events one of the best illustrated churches in the Peninsula, 
and seems in some respects to be worthy of the distinction, being 
certainly the finest church in Portugal. 

It was erected by King John of Portugal, in fulfilment of a vow 
made during a battle witli bis namesake of Spain in the year 1385, and 
was completed in all essentials in a very short period of time. From 
the plan (woodcut No. 701) it will, be seen that the form of the original 
church is that of an Italian basilica—a three-aisled nave ending in a 
transept with five chapels; the whole length internally being 264 ft., 
and the width of the nave 72 ft. 4 in. It is therefore a small building 
compared with most of the Gothic churches hitherto described. To 
the right of the entrance, under an octagonal canopy which once sup¬ 
ported a German open-work spire, are the tombs of the founder and of 
his wife Philippa, daughter of John of Gaunt; beyond this the octagon 
expands into a square, in a very Eastern fashion, to accommodate the 
tombs of other members of the royal family who are buried around. 
The whole design of this part is one of the most suitable for a family 
sepulchre to he found anywhere. The wonder, however, of the Batalha, 
or rather what would have beeii so had it been completed, is the tomb- 
house which Emanuel the Fortunate commenced for himself at the 



^easjtiend of tho church. Similar chapels at Burgos and MurcinljWrj 
^hrp^dy been noticed, hut this was to have surpassed them all, aiklW 
^e^gpleted would have been the most gorgeous mausoleum erected 
during the middle ages. 

It is curious to observe how the tradition of the circular tomb-house 
behind the altar remained constant in remote provinces to the latest 
ago. The plan of this church is virtually that of St. Martin at Tours, of 
St. Benigne at Dijon (wood- 
cuts Nos. 314, 316), and of 
other churches in Aquitania. 

It is easy to see how by re- j 

moving the intermediate walls 

this basilica would become a i hr - J® 

chevet church, complete ex- ’//>f\XX-fSr 

cept for the difference in tho Kj 

span of the two parts. Had 

the mausoleum been finished, X [ X '■ A 

tho wall separating it from 
the church would not im- \ / 

prolxibly have been removed. ggX ®X IX X’l 

The plan of this tomb- . '• SS'^liF 


is interesting as being 
that of the largest Gothic dome 
attempted, and as showing 
how happily tho Gothic forms 
adapt themselves to this pur¬ 
pose, and how easily any 
amount of abutment may be 
obtained in this style with 
the utmost degree of lightness 
and the most admirable play 
of perspective; indeed no con¬ 
structive difficulties intervene 
to prevent this dome having 
been twice its present diame¬ 
ter (65 ft,); in which case it 
would have far surpassed Sta, 

Maria del Fiore and all the 
pseudo-classical erections that have 

Generally speaking, neither the 
church are good; it was erected in 
Gothic art wore either misapprehe 
lavish amount of expenditure in can 
be the }>e8t means of attaining* bem 

701. Plan of th'i Church at. Batalba. From Murphy 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

since disfigured the fair face of 


ayj Almost be considered a failure; its two sepulchral chapels b< 
by far the most interesting and beautiful parts of the structu! 
Tp0t(y be observed also that the open-work spire agrees much better 
with the semi-Oriental decpratyfn of the churches both of Burgos and 
Batalha than with the soberer forms of the more Northern style. Oiie 
is almost tempted to fancy that the Germans borrowed the idea from 
Spain rather than that Spain imported it from the North. Till we 
know more of the age of the cathedrals of Leon, Oviedo, and other 
cities in the north of Spain, the point cannot he determined; but it 
seems by no means certain but that further knowledge' will compel the 
Germans to resign their claim to this their single alleged invention in 
the pointed style. 

Next in importance to the church at Batalha is that at Alcoba^a, 
commenced in the year 1148, and finished in 1222. It is a simple and 
grand Cistercian abbey-church, not unlike that at Pontigny (woodcut 
No. 382) in style. Its total length is 360 feet; its height about 64. The 
nave is divided from the side-aisles by 12 piers, the arches of which 
support vaults of the same height over the three divisions—a cir¬ 
cumstance which must detract considerably from tho beauty of its 
proportions. The east end is terminated by a chevet (called by the 
Portuguese a charola) with 9 chapels. 

The monastery attacked to this church, formerly one of the most 
splendid in the world, was burnt by the French in their retreat from 

At Coimbra there are still some remains of Gothic churches; the 
principal of these is the old cathedral, which, though much destroyed, 
still re tains many features belonging to the same age as that of 

In the same town is the church of Sta. Cruz, rebuilt by French 
architects in the year 1515, in the then fashionable flamboyant stylo 
of their country; and in complete contrast to this is the small but 
interesting Bound Gothic church of St. Salvador, erected about the 
year 1169. 

The church of the Convent at Belem near Lisbon, though one of 
the latest, was intended by its founder, Emmanuel the Fortunate, to be 
one of the most splendid in the kingdom. It was commenced in 1500, 
but not finished till long after the Kenaissance had set in, so that (in 
the interior especially) it is very much disfigured by incongruities of 
every sort. The southern portal, however, is wholly in the style of 
the first years of the lGth century, and is as elaborate an example of the 
exuberant ornamentation of that age as can be found in the Penin¬ 
sula. It is, of course, full of faults, and by no means worthy of imita¬ 
tion; but its richness in figure sculpture and in architectural carving 
is very impressive and pleasing, in spite of all that can be said against 
its taste. 

Facade at Belem. From a Photograph. 

Portuguese example is half a century more modern, for which allowance 
must he made. It is also more delicate, as the work of a Southern 



i imi uuuxiiCSf. aK umimrru re. 

night be expected to be. Moreover, it is the work of _ 
whom the style arose, ancl who consequently were more 
^ ^ ^ than the Scotch builder could pretend to be ; but, notwith¬ 

standing all these deductions, there is a similarity between the style of 
the two buildings so remarkable as to leave no doubt of their common 

The othor churches of Portugal, such as those of Braga, Guima- 
raens, &c., seem to have been of late flamboyant style, and generally 
are so much modernised that the little beauty they ever possessed is 
concealed or destroyed by modern details. 

Notwithstanding the late age of the principal examples and the 
apparent paucity of those of an earlier ago, it is still possible that 
Portugal may contain much to interest the archaeologist. But tra¬ 
velling has hitherto been inconvenient and slow in that country, and 
it has not yet been visited, or at least described, by any one familiar 
with the peculiarities of mediaeval art. When properly explored, we 
may be surprised at the results it contains. On the other hand, it is 
by no means impossible that the ‘ Handbook of Portugal' is correct 
when it asserts that “ There is no European country which has less 
interesting ecclesiology than Portugal. There are certainly not 150 
old churches in the kingdom. The French invasion, the great earth¬ 
quake, and the rage for rebuilding in the 18th century, have destroyed 
nearly all.” 

Let us hope it may not be so, but at present we have little beyond 
the hope to rely on. 

I. On. 1. 

MIS lUtt lip A u Jviivu. 






IN T I{ 0 D U CT OK Y. 


Division and Classification of the Mediaeval Styles of Architecture in Italy. 

Charlemagne! .a.d. 768 , Henry IV. 

Henry the Fowler 
Otho the Great 
Otho II. . . , 

Otho III. . . . 

Henry II. . . . 

Conrad II. . . 

Henry III. . . 

018 ! Henry V. 

936 | Lothaire II. 
m ! Conrad III. . . . 

983 j Frederick Barbaroasa 
1002 : Henry VI. 

1024 i Frederick II. . . . 

1039 ! Conradin .... 

f 152 

Jf a historian were to propose to himself the task of writing a tolerably 
consecutive narrative of the events which occurred in Italy during the 
middle ages, he would probably find such difficulties in his way as 
would induce him to abandon the attempt. Venice and Genoa wore 
as distinct states as Spain and Portugal. Florence, the most essen¬ 
tially Italian of the republics, requires a different treatment from the 
half German Milan. Even such neighbouring cities as Mantua and 
Verona were separate and independent states during the most important 
part of their existence. Rome was, during the whole of the Middle 
more European than Italian, and must have a narrative of her 
own; Southern Italy was a foreign country to the states of the north; 
and Sicily has an independent history. 


same difficulties, though not perhaps to tho .same degree, 
i^storian of art, and, if it were proposed to describe in d< 
varying forms of Italian art during tho middle ages, it would 
necessary to map out Italy into provinces, and to treat each almost 
as a separate kingdom by itself. In this, as in almost every instance, 
however, the architecture forms a better guide-line through tho tangled 
mazes of the labyrinth than the written record of political events, and 
those who can read her language have before them a more trustworthy 
and vivid picture of the past than can be obtained by any other 

Tho great charm of the history of mediaeval art in England is its 
unity. It affords the picture of a people working out a stylo from 
chaos to completeness, with only slight assistance from those in 
foreign countries engaged in the same task. In France we have two 
elements, the old southern Romanesque long struggling with the northern 
Celtic, and unity only obtained by the suppression of the former, 
wherever they came in contact. In Italy we have three cloments,—the 
Roman, the Gothic, and the Byzantine,—sometimes existing nearly pure, 
at others mixed, in the most varying proportions, the one with the 

In the north, the Gothic clement prevailed nearly pure, except in 
so far as it was based on a Romanesque element, and was practised 
by a people who still clung to the traditions of imperial Rome, and 
who consequently allowed the classical forms to influence their art, 
throughout the middle ages, to a far greater extent than was the case 
on this side of the Alps. 

In the south, the Byzantine forms prevailed, partly because the art 
was there based on the traditions of Magna Grecia, and more, perhaps, 
from the intimate connection that existed between Apulia and the 
Peloponnesus during the middle ages. 

Between the two stood Rome, nearly unchanged and unchangeable— 
the three terms, Roman, Romanesque, and Renaissance comprise all tho 
variation she submitted to. In vain the Byzantine besieged her on the 
south and the Gothic on tho north. Their waves spent themselves on 
her rock without producing much impression, while her influence ex¬ 
tended more or less over the whole peninsula. It was distinctly felt 
at Florence on the north, and at Pisa on the west, though theso con¬ 
quests were nearly balanced by the Byzantine influence which is so 
distinctly felt at Venice or Padua on the east coast. 

The great difficulty in the attempt to reconcile these architectural 
varieties with the local and ethnographical peculiarities of the neople 
-—a difficulty which at first sight appears all hut insuperable—is, that 
sometimes all three styles are found sido by side in the same city. 
This, however, constitutes, in reality, the intrinsic merit of architec¬ 
ture as a guide in these difficulties. What neither the language of the 

Mi msr/fy 

1 FI. Cl?. 1. 

ffistoiiicai, notice: 

nor their histories tell us, their arts proclaim! in a manner 
staken. Just in that ratio in which the Roman, Byzantim 
ic style prevails in their churches, to that extent did either of these 
elements exist in the blood of the people. Once thoroughly master the 
peculiarities of their art, and we can with certainty pronounce when 
any particular race rose to power, how long its prevalence lasted, and 
when it was obliterated or fused with some other form. 

There is no great difficulty in distinguishing between the Byzantine 
and the other two styles, though it is only after reading the next Book 
of this work that its peculiarities can he fully explained. Meanwhile, 
however, there is no difficulty in distinguishing between the Gothic and 
Byzantine form of dome. The latter is almost always rounded ex¬ 
ternally, the former always straight-lined. Again: the Byzantine 
architects never used intersecting vaults for their naves. If forced to 
use a pointed arch, they did so unwillingly, and it never fitted kindly 
to their favourite circular forms ; the style of their ornamentation was 
throughout peculiar, and differed in many essential respects from the 
other two styles. 

It is less easy always to discriminate between the Gothic and 
Romanesque in Italy. We frequently find churches of the two styles 
built side by side in the same age, both using round arches, and with 
details not differing essentially from one another. There is one test, 
however, which is probably in all cases sufficient. Every Gothic 
church had, or was intended to have, a vault over its central aisle, 
ho Romanesque church ever attempted it. The importance of the 
distinction is apparent throughout. The Gothic churches have clus¬ 
tered piers, tall vaulting-shafts, external and internal buttresses, and 
are prepared throughout for this necessity of Gothic art. The Roman¬ 
esque churches, on the contrary, have only a range of columns, gene¬ 
rally ot a pseudo-Corinthian order, between the central and side aisles; 
internally no vaulting-shafts, and externally only pilasters. Had these 
architects been competent, as the English were, to invent an ornn 
mental wooden roof, they would perhaps have acted wisely; but though 
they made several attempts, especially at Verona, they failed signally 
to devise any mode either of hiding the mere mechanical structure of 
their roofs or of rendering them ornamental. 

As before pointed out.,' vaulting was the real formative idea of the 
Gothic style, and it continued to he its most marked characteristic 
during the continuance of the style, not only in Italy, but throughout 
all Europe. 

As it is impossible to treat of these various styles in one sequence, 
various modes of precedence might be adopted, for each of which good 

YoUvp BSOctsoq. 


>nsr^onld be given, but the following will probably be fc 
^Wnsonant with the arrangement elsewhere adopted in 




First, to treat of the Gothic styles of northern Italy, becanse they 
complete onr history of the style in Europe, and directly connect 
the countries on either side of the Alps; thus concluding the oho 
branch of our subject and introducing the next. 

Secondly, to take up the mediaeval Romanesque where wo left that 
style in a previous chapter, and to point out the few remaining pecu¬ 
liarities which have not yet been described. 

Lastly, to describe the Byzantine art as it was practised in the 
south of Italy: thus continuing tho sequence up to the next Book, 
and leading the history by an easy gradation from the true Gothic of 
the West to the true Byzantine of the East. 

Sicily will demand a chapter to herself; not only because a fourth 
element is introduced there in the Saracenic — which influenced her 
style almost as much as it did that of tho south of Spain — but because 
such pointed Gothic as she possesses was not German, like that of 
northern Italy, but derived far more directly from France, under 
either the Norman or Angiovine dynasties. 





Chapel at Friuli — Churches at Piacenza, Asti, and Novara — St. Michele, Pavia — St. 
Ambrogio, Milan — Cathedral, Piacenza - Churches at Verona — Circular Churches 
— Towers. 

When, in the early centuries of the Christian era, the great mass of 
Gothic barbarism moved up the Valley of the Danube towards the 
west, one great division followed.that river to its source, and thence 
penetrated into and settled in the Valley of the Rhine, They were 
sufficiently numerous to be able almost wholly to obliterate all traces 
of former civilization, and to invent that original style of architec¬ 
ture whose history was sketched in the fourth Hook of this work. 

The other great division of the horde turned the Sommering Alps 
and penetrating into Italy by way of Udine and Conegliano, settled in 
the V alley of the Do. They may have been as numerous as the others; 
hut Italy in those days was far more densely peopled than Germany, 
and the inhabitants were consequently able to resist obliteration far more 
successfully than on the north of the Alps, and even where the new 
element prevailed most strongly its influence was far less felt than in 
the more sparsely peopled Rhenish provinces. This was generally 
more apparent along the coast than in the interior. Venice long- 
resisted, though Ravenna was overwhelmed. Pisa and Lueca resisted 
throughout. Florence was divided. The Barbarian influence was 
strongly felt at Siena, more feebly at Orvieto ; but there it was stopped 
by the influence of Rome, which throughout the middle ages remained 
nearly uncontaminated. 

Notwithstanding the almost insuperable barrier of the Alps which 
stretched between them and the different influences to which they were 
subjected, the connexion between the northern and southern hordes 
remained intimate during the whole of the middle ages. Milan was as 
much German as Italian; and, indeed, except from a slightly superior 
degree of elegance in the southern examples, it is sometimes extremely 
difficult to distinguish between the designs of Lombard and of Rhenish 
churches. As the middle ages wore on, however, the breach between 
the two styles widened, and there is no difficulty, in the later pointed 
schools, in seeing how Italy was gradually working itself free from 

italTan auchitecture. 

Merman influence, till at last they became distinct and antagoi^jm 
Sti^nalities, practising two styles of art, which had very little^nj 
<^tnmon the one with the other. 

Whoever the Barbarians were who in the 5th and 6th centuries 
swarmed into Italy—Austro-Gotlis, Yisi-Goths, or Lombards they 
certainly did not belong to any of the great building races of the 
world. Few people ever had better opportunities than they of em¬ 
ploying their easily acquired plunder in architectural magnificence, 
if they had any taste that way; but, though we hear everywhere 

establishments during the Carlovingian period, not one important 
edifice of that age has come down to our time. The monumental 
history of the Bound Gothic style is as essentially a blank in Italy 
as it is in .Saxon England. One or two circular buildings remain 
tolerably entire; some small chapels let us into the secrets of the 
style, but not one important edifice of any sort attests the splendour 
of the Lombard kingdom of Northern Italy. Aryans they must have 
been, and it was not till the beginning of the 11th century, when 
their blood was thoroughly mixed with that of the indigenous inhabi- 

' far 

Cliapel at Friuli. From Gailhabaud. 

ill. CE II. 


need which afterwards became the formative principle 
Gothic style, and was as essentially its characteristic 
and entablatures of the live orders were the characteristics of 
the classical styles of Greece and home. As before remarked, it is this 
necessity for a stone roof that was the problem to be solved by the 
architects, and to accomplish which the stylo took almost all those 
forms which are so much admired in it. 

From this example of the Carlovingian era we are obliged to pass 
to the 11th and 12th centuries, the first great building age of the 
Gothic nations. It is true, that there is scarcely a single important 
church in Pavia, in Verona, or indeed in any of the cities of Lombardy, 
the original foundation of which cannot bo traced back to a much 
earlier period. Before the canons of architectural criticism were pro¬ 
perly understood, antiquaries wero inclined to believe that in the 
buildings now existing they saw tlie identical edifices erected during 
the period of the Lombard sway. Either, however, in consequence of 
the rude construction of the earlier buildings, or because they wero 
too small or too poor for the increased popu¬ 
lation and wealth of the cities at a later 
period, every one of the original churches 
has disappeared and been replaced by a 
larger and better constructed edifice, adorned 
with all the improvements which the expe¬ 
rience of centuries had introduced into tbo 
construction of religious edifices. 

Judging from the rudeness of the earliest 
churches which we know to have been 
erected in the 11th century, it is evident 
that the progress made, up to that period, 
was by no means equal to what was accom¬ 
plished during the next two centuries. 

This will appear from the plan and sec¬ 
tion of St. Antonio at Piacenza (woodcuts 

Nos, 704 and 705), built in the first years of the 11th century, and 
dedicated in 1014 by the bishop Siegfried. 

Its arrangement is somewhat peculiar; the transepts are near the 
west end, and the octagonal tower rising from the intersection is sup¬ 
ported on 8 pillars, the square being completed by 4 polygonal piers. 
The principal point, however, to observe is, how completely the style 
has emancipated itself from all Roman tradition. A new style has 
grown up as essentially different from the Romanesque as the style 
of Cologne or York cathedral. The architect is once more at liberty 

1 Frederick yon Osten, * Bauwerke in vault of the nave, which ought to be 
dci-Lorabardei. Darmstadt, 1852. made hexapartite, is drawn as cpiadri- 

“ By an oversight of the engraver, the partite. 

Y04. Plan of San Antonio, Piacenza, 
From Osten.i Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 2 

rj-Aus .\ a mjmxKur u kb. 

i*> Wfli out his own designs without reference to anything bc jAJ 
^e/osigencies of the edifices themselves. The plan, indeed, is stufj, 
;gra|riiscenee of the Romanesque; hut so are all the plans of Mediaeval 
cathedrals, and we may trace hack the forms of the pillars, the 
piers, and the arches they support, to the preceding style. All theso 

0 6 10 60 80 100 , goJi#t 

7o5 * Section of Church of San. Antonio at Piacenza. From Osten. 

0 ! 

are ultimately derived from Roman art, but the originals are forgotten, 
and the new style is wholly independent of the old one. The whole of 

the church too is roofed with intersecting 
vaults, which have become an integral 
part of the design, giving it an essentially 
Gothic character. On the outside, buttresses 
are introduced, timidly, it is true, but so fre¬ 
quently, as to make it evident that already 
there existed no insuperable objection to 
increase either their number or depth, as 
soon as additional abutment was required 
for wider arches. 

The windows, as in all Italian churches, 
are small, for the Italians never patronized 
the art of painting on glass, always pre¬ 
ferring frescoes or paintings on opaque 
grounds. In their bright climate, very 
small openings alone were requisite to 
admit a sufficiency of light without dis¬ 
turbing +hat shadowy effect, which is so favourable to architectural 

Section and Plan of Baptistery 
at Asti. From Osten. 

Scale 60 ft. to 1 in. 

m. Gli. i r: 

■ : m)TATT'AT 

big a parochial church, this building had no baptistery attl^ 
but there is one at Asti (woodcut No. 706) so similar in style L*™- 
that its plan and section, if examined with those of San Antonio, 
will give a very complete idea of Lombard architecture in the be¬ 
ginning of the 11th century, when it had completely shaken off the 
Roman influence, but had not yet begun to combine the newly invented 
forms with that grace and beau ty which mark its more finished exam¬ 
ples. One peculiarity of this building is the gloom that reigns within, 
there being absolutely no windows in the dome, 
and those in the aisles are so small, that even in 
Italy the interior must always have been in 
comparative darkness. 

Ihe cathedral of Novara, which in its present 
state is one of the most important, buildings of 
the 11th century in the north of Italy, shows 
the style still further advanced. The coupling 
and grouping of piers are here fully understood, 
and the divisions of the chapels which form the 
outer aisle are, in fact, concealed buttresses. 

The Italians were never able to divest them¬ 
selves of their partiality for flat walls, and 
never liked the hold external projections so 
universally admired on the other side of the 
Alps. I hey therefore gladly had recourse to 
this expedient to conceal them; and when this 
was not available they used metallic ties to resist 
the thrust of the arches—an expedient which 
is found even in this example. As will he seen 
from the annexed plan, the atrium connecting 
the basilica with the baptistery is retained, 
which seems to have been an arrangement al¬ 
most universal in those early times. The half- 
section half-elevation of the front (woodcut No. 

708) shows very distinctly how far the inven¬ 
tion of the new style had then gone ; for except 
some Corinthian pillars, borrowed from an older 
edifice, no trace of Romanesque architecture is 

WWtelto'thV 118 ° f the &5ade ex plains what it was that 

suggested to the Pisan architects the form to which they adapted their 

Romanesque details. In both styles the arcade was thworigiSmoS 

LwL°g aTh7h° f '° mamentation - Ia thi * case it is used first as a 
lastly w thout Sil “ * re P etitio » of a useful member, and 
wards became ft T,™'* ^-“urse, which after- 

lte 0, ' nament ’ ^ - Italy* • but 


Plan of the Cathedra t at 
Novara. Scale 100 ft. to lin. 



Interesting as such an example is to the architectural antiqLfcv 
&\<yi $^tracing back and trying to understand the forms of a new stgjj 
^mmld he difficult to conceive anything much uglier and less artistic 
than such a fa<;ade as this of Novara or that of San Antonio, last quoted. 
Their sole merit is their history and their expression of rude energy, 
so characteristic of the people who erected them. 

708. Elevation and Section of the Facade of tho Cathedral at Novara. From Osten. 

The baptistery is older than the cathedral, probably as old as the 
age of Charlemagne; and if it had any features which could properly 
be called architectural, it ought perhaps to rank among Romanesque 
buildings. In plan it certainly belongs to that style. Its chief point 
of interest, however, is that it contains the germ of those external 
galleries under tho roof which form not only one of the most common 
but also one of the most beautiful features of the class of buildings we 
are now considering. 

From the elevation (woodcut No. 709) it will easily he seen what 
was the motive and use of this arrangement, the first trace of which 
dates perhaps as far back as the baptistery at Nocera (woodcut No. 
273); for wherever a wooden roof was placed over a circular vault, 
it is evident that the external walls must be carried up higher than 
the springing of the arch. But it was by no means necessary that 
this additional wall should be so solid as that below it, and it was 





VOD. Half Section, half Elevation, of the Baptistery at 
Novara. From Oaten. No scale. 

Trirryfc tit - w • ***"~ w " 

vy to introduce light and air into the space between tli 
e wooden roofs. Add to this the incongruity of effect in 
tiled wooden roof 
on a massive solid wall, 
and it will be evident 
that not only did the exi¬ 
gences of the building, 
but the true principles of 
taste, demand that this part 
should he made as light as 
possible. Such openings as 
these found in the bap¬ 
tistery at Novara suggested 
an expedient which pro¬ 
vided for these objects. 

This was afterwards carried 
to a much greater extent. 

At first, however, it seems 
only to have been used 
under the roofs of the domes 
with which the Italians 
almost universally crowned the intersections of naves and transepts, 
and round the semidomes of the apses : hut so enamoured did they 
afterwards become of this feature, that it is frequently carried along 
t he sides of the churches, under the roof of the nave and of the aisles, 
and also—where the taste of it is more questionable—under the sloping 
eaves of the roof of the principal facade. 

There is nothing in the style of which we are now speaking either 
so common or so beautiful as these galleries, the arcades of which have 
all the shadow given by a cornice without its inconvenient projection, 
while the little shafts with their elegant capitals and light arcliivolts 
have a sparkle and brilliancy which no cornice ever possessed. Indeed, 
so beautiful are they, that we are not surprised to find them uni¬ 
versally adopted; and their discontinuance on the introduction of the 
pointed style was one of the greatest losses sustained by architectural 
art in those days. It is true they would have been quite incompatible 
with the thin walls and light piers of pointed architecture: but it may 
be safely asserted that no feature which those new styles introduced 
was equally beautiful with these galleries which they superseded. 

'Idle church of San Michele at Pavia, which took its present form 
either at the end of the 11th or beginning of the 12th century, is one 
of the most interesting of this age, and presents in itself all the 
characteristics of a perfect round-arched Gothic church. Indeed there 
is hardly any feature worth mentioning which was invented after this 
date except the pointed arch—a very doubtful improvement—and 

N 2 

£do|^| tracery, which the Italians never cordially adopted or unJ^ 
^he section (woodcut No. 710) shows the general arrangemmkt 
liehele, from which it will be seen that well-marked vaulting- 
spring from floor to roof, that the pier arches in the wall are 
perfectly distinct and well understood, and that the angles of the piers 
are softened and ornamented by shafts and other subordinate mem¬ 
bers. Altogether, it is evident that that subdivision of labour (if I 
may use the expression) which was so characteristic of the true Gothic 
style had here been perfectly understood, every part having its own 
function and telling its own story. To complete the style only re¬ 
quired a little experience to decide on the best and most agreeable 
proportions in size and solidity. In a century from the date of this 
church the required progress had been made; a century later it had 
been carried too far, and the artistic value of the style was lost in mere 

masonic excellence. San Michele and the other churches of its age 
fail principally from over-heaviness of parts and a certain clumsiness 
of construction, which, though not without its value as an expression 
of power, wants the refinement necessary for a true work of art. 
Externally, one of the most pleasing features of this church is the 
apse with its circular gallery. In Italian churches the gallery is 
usually a simple range of similar arcades; here, however, it is broken 
into three great divisions by coupled shafts springing from the ground, 
and these again subdivided by single shafts running in like manner 
through the whole height of the apse. The gallery thus not only be¬ 
comes a part of the whole design, instead of looking like a possible 
afterthought, but an agreeable variety is also given, which adds not a 
little to the pleasing effect of the building. 

I here are at least, two other churches in Pavia which, though 


pa via: 

aljtJipd in many parts, retain tlieir apsidal arrangements to 
t. One of these, that of San Teodoro, may be somewhat ^ 

(an the San Miohele, and has its gallery divided into triplets of 
arcades by hold flat buttresses springing from the ground. The other, 
San Pietro in Cielo d’Oro, is considerably more modern, the arcade 
being omitted round the apse, though introduced in the central dome. 
It has besides two subordinate apses of graceful design, but inferior to 
the older examples. 

Though Milan must have been rich in churches of this age, the 
ouly one now remaining tolerably entire is San Ambrogio, which so 
interesting as almost to make amends for its singularity. Historical 
evidence shows that. <n church existed here from a very early age. 
It was rebuilt in the 9th century by Bishop Anspertus, aided by 
the munificence of King Louis the Pious; but except the apse and 
the older of the two towers—that called “the canons”’—nothing 
remains of even that church, all the rest having been rebuilt in 
the 12th century. The vaulting of the church, which is extremely 


and clumsily fitted to the substructure, is the work oJS 

e disposition of the building will be understood from the follow¬ 
ing plan, which shows both the atrium and the church. The former is 

virtually the nave; in other words, 
had the church been erected on the 
colder and stormier side of the Alps, 
a clerestory would have been added 
to the atrium, and it would have 
been roofed over; and then the plan 
would have been nearly identical 
with that of a Northern cathedral. 
If, besides this, there had been a 
baptistery at the western entrance, 
as at Novara, Piacenza, or Torcello, 
we should have had a building 
with two apses—a complete Ger¬ 
man cathedral. As it is, the atrium 
(woodcut No. 713) is a highly 
pleasing adjunct to the facade, 
removing the church back from 
the noisy world outside, and by its 
quiet seclusion tending to produce 
that devotional feeling so suitable 
to the en trance of a place of worship. 
The facade of the building itself, 
though, like the atrium, only in 
brick, is one of the best designs of 
its ago, the upper loggia, or open 
gallery of five hold hut unequal 
arches, producing more shadow 
than the facade at Pisa, without the multitude of small parts there 
crowded together, and with far more architectural propriety and 
grace. As seen from the atrium with its two towers, one on either 
flank, it forms a composition scarcely surpassed by any other in this 

Owing to the bad arrangement of the vaulting, the internal archi¬ 
tecture of the church is hardly worthy of its exterior; but it is a 
perfect museum of ccclesiological antiquities of the best ciass. The 
silver altar of Angilbertus (a.t>. 835) is unrivalled either for richness 
or beauty of dosign by anything of the kind known to exist elsewhere, 
and the baldacMno that, surmounts it is also of singular beauty : so aro 
some of its old tombs, of the earliest Christian workmanship. Its 
mosaics, its pulpit, and the bronze doors, not to mention the brazen 
serpent—said to he the very one erected by Moses in the wilderness 

712. Plan of San Arnbrogfo, Milan. 

Scale lOi. it. to 1 in. 

From Fcrrario. 

' mTDmr. 

*—innumerable other relics, make this church one 
.cresting of Italy, if not indeed of all Europe. 

one rally speaking, the most beautiful part of a Lombard church 
is its eastern end. The apse with its gallery, the transepts, and above 
all the dome that almost invariably surmounts their intersection with 
the choir, constitute a group which always has a pleasing effect, and 
is very often highly artistic and beautiful. The sides of the nave, 
too, are often well designed and appropriate; but, with scarcely a 

single exception, the west end, or entrance front, is comparatively 
mean. The building seems to he cut off at a certain length without 
any appropriate finish, or anything to balance the bold projections 
towards the east. The French cathedrals, on the contrary, while 
they entirely escape this dofect by means of their bold western towers, 
are generally deficient in the eastern parts, and almost always lack 
the central dome or tower. Hie English Gothic architects alone 

1 FcriTirJo, ‘Monument! Sam e Profuni dell’ I. R. Basilica di &’ 
Milan, 1824. ° 


TOte rdteod the proper combination of the three parts. The Italia\ 
introduced a tower, almost always used it as a dctachel 
; gfty& gt.yand not as a part of the design of the church. In conscqueno 
of this the facades of their churches are frequently the least halin' 

7U. Fa^adr* of the Cathedral at Piacenza. Freni Chapuy, 4 Moyen Age Monumental/ 

^The elevation of the cathedral at Piacenza is a fair illustration of 
the.general mode of treating the western front of the building, not 
only in the 11th and 12th centuries, but afterwards, when a church, 
had a facade at all—for the Italians seem to have been seldom able 
to satisfy themselves with this part of their designs, and a great many 
oi their most important churches have, in consequence, not even now 

irrusm :— 


xead of recessing their doors*, as was the practice on thisj 
/Alps, the Italians added projecting porches, often of consicl 
>clepth, and supported by two or more slight columns, generally 
resting on the backs of symbolical animals. No part of these porches, 
as an architectural arrangement, can be deemed worthy of any com-' 
mendation ; for in the first place, a column planted on an animal's back 
is an anomaly and an absurdity, and the extreme tenuity of the pillars, 
as compared with the mass they support, is so glaring that even its 
universality fails in reconciling the eye to the disproportion. In the 
present instance the porch is two storeys in height, the upper being 
a niche for sculpture. Its almost exact resemblance to the entrance 
porch below is therefore a defect. A bove there is generally a gallery, 
sometimes only in the centre; sometimes, as in this instance, at the 
sides, though often carried quite across; and in the centre above this 
there is almost invariably a circular window, the tracery of which is 
frequently not only elaborately but beautifully ornamented with foliage 
and various sculptural devices. 

Above this there is generally one of those open galleries mentioned 
before, following the slope of the roof, though frequently, as in this 
instance, this is replaced by a mere belt of semicircular arches, sug¬ 
gesting* an arcade, but in reality only an ornament. 


Almost every important city in Lombardy shows local peculiarities 
in its style, arising from some distinction of race or tradition. The 
greater number of theso must necessarily bo passed over in a work 
like the present, bu t some are so marked as to demand particular men¬ 
tion. Among these that of Verona seems the most marked and inter¬ 
esting. This Homan city became the favourite capital of Theodorie 
the Goth—Dietrich of Berne, as the old Germans called him—and 
was by him adorned with many noble buildings which have either 
perished or been overlooked. There is a passage in the writings of 
his friend Cassiodorus which has hitherto been a stumbling-block to 
commentators, but seems to find an explanation in the buildings here, 
and to point to the origin of a mode of decoration worth remarking 
upon. In talking of the architecture of his day he speaks of “ the 
i ced like tenuity of the columns making it appear as if lofty masses of 
building were supported on upright spears, which in regard to substance 

look like hollow tubes.” 1 It might be supposed that this referred exelu- 


1 *‘Quid dicamus cohimnnrum junceam . Martnorum juneturas venas dioas esse 
proceiitutem ? Moles illas sublimissimas | geuitales, ubi duin falluutur oculi laus 
quasi quibusdara erectis hastilibus con- probatur cievisse miraculis.” In the 
tineri substantiae qualitate concavis can- above, metaUum does not seem to mean 
alibus excavates vel magis ipsas aestimea metal as wo now use the word, but any 
esse tmnsfusns. Ceris judices factum hard substance dug out of the ground, 
quod metallis durissimis videas expolitum. —Cassiodorus variorum, lib. vii. eh. 15. 




Y15. Apso of the Cathedral, Verona. From 
Hope’s ‘ History of'Archltscture/ 

the metal architecture of the use of which wo find tra« 
tings at Pompeii and elsewhere. 1 But the context hardly b(jar 
t, and he is probably alluding to a stone or marble architecture, 
in the decline of true art had aspired to a certain extent to 
imitate the lightness which the me¬ 
tallic form had rendered a favourite. 

To return to Verona:—The apse of 
the cathedral seems to have belonged 
to an older edifice than that to which 
it is now attached, as was often the 
case, that being the most solid as well 
as the most sacred part of the building. 
As seen in the woodcut (No. 715) it is 
ornamented with pilasters, classical in 
design, but more attenuated than any 
found elsewhere; so that I cannot but 
believe that this is either one of the 
identical buildings to which Cassio- 
dorus refers, or at least an early copy 
from one of them. 

At a far later age, in the 12th century, the beautiful church of 
San Zenone shows traces of the same style of decoration, pilasters being 
used here almost as slight as those at the Cathedral, but so elegant 
and so gracefully applied as to form one of the most beautiful decora¬ 
tions of the style. Once introduced, it was of course repeated in other 
buildings, though seldom carried to so great an extent or employed 
so gracefully as in this instance. Indeed, whether taken internally 
or externally, San Zenone may be regarded as one of the most pleasing 
and perfect examples of the style to be found in the north of Italy. 

The cathedral at Modena is another good example, though not 
possessing any features of much novelty or deserving special men¬ 
tion. That of Parma is also important, though hardly so pleasing. 
Indeed scarcely any city in the valley of the Po is without some 
more or less perfect churches of this date, none showing any important 
peculiarities that have not been exemplified above, unless perhaps it 
is the apse of the church of San Donato on the Murano near Venice, 
which is decorated with a richness of mosaic to which the purer Gothic 
style never attained, and which entitles this church to rank rather 
with the Byzantine than with the Gothic buildings of which we are 

It is extremely difficult to draw a line between the pointed and 
round-arched Gothic styles in Italy. The former was so evidently a 
foreign importation, so unwillingly received and so little understood, 

1 See vol. i. ]>. 343. 

MIMS r/fy 

V'HItt/lN 1 \, 

ado its way but slowly. Even, for instance, in tlio churd 
which is usually quoted as the earliest example of the pointj^cl 
in Italy (built 1219-1222), there is not a pointed arch nOr a 
trace of one on the exterior. All the windows and openings arc 
round-headed, and, except the pier-arches and vaults, nothing pointed 
appears anywhere. Even at a later date than this the round arch, 
especially as a decorative form, is frequently placed above the pointed 
one, and always used in preference to it. Instead, therefore, of attempt- 

Fofade of San Zenone, Verona. From Chapuy. 

•t, iff.;' ifrfli. <8fc' itil 


4 ««.• IF- 1 ®-— l'4w 


ing to draw a line where none exists in reality, it will be better now 
to piss on from this part of the subject, and to bike up the older 
style at a point from which we can best trace the formation of the 
new. The latter does not essentially differ from the former, except 
in the introduction of the French form of the pointed arch and its 
accompaniments. It remains only to say a few Avoids on the pecu¬ 
liarities Avhich the round form of churches took in the hands of the 
early Lombard architects, as well as on the campanile, which forms so- 
striking a feature in the cities of northern Italy. 

- -X a: j.\ uixXX'1 1 ItJt/. PART IT." 

the earliest times of Christian architecture, as we have already 
seen, the circular form of church was at least as frequent as that 
derived from the Roman basilica. In process of time the latter was 

found to be much better adapted to the extended requirements of 

Christianity. Hence in the 11th and 12th centuries, when so many 
of the early churches wore rebuilt and enlarged, most of the old 
circular buildings disappeared. Enough, however, remain to enable us 
to trace, though imperfectly, what their arrangements wero. 

Among those which have been illustrated, perhaps the most in¬ 

teresting is that known as the church of San Stefano at Bologna, 
or rather the circular centre of that congeries of seven churches 
usually known by that name. 

It is one of those numerous churches of which it is impossible to 
predicate whether it was originally a baptismal or a sepulchral edifice. 
In old times it bore both names, and may have had both destinations, 
but latterly, at all events, the question has been settled by the compro¬ 
mise usually adopted in such cases, of dedicating it to the first martyr, 
to whom a sepulchral form of building is especially appropriate. 

Notwithstanding a considerable amount of ancient remains mixed 
Up in the details, no part of the present church seems older than 
the Carlovingian era; while, on the other hand, its extreme irre¬ 
gularity and clumsiness of construction point to a period before the 
11 th century. Its general form is that of an extremely irregular 
octagon, about 60ft. in diameter, in the centre of which stands a 
circlet of columns, some coupled, some single, supporting a semi¬ 
circular dome. The circumscribing aisle is covered with the usual 
intersecting ribbed vault of the 10th century, but the whole is so rude 

as scarcely to deserve mention except for its 

At Brescia there are two circular churches ; 

one, the Puorno Vecehio, may be anterior even 
to the Carlovingian era—Iliibsch thinks it 

I belongs to the 7th century. Whatever its 
date, it is one of the best preserved and 
most interesting churches of its class in the 
North of Italy. As will be seen from the plan, 
it is a large church, 125 ft. across over all, and 
is covered by a dome 65 ft. diameter internally, 
supported by 8 piers of very plain design. 

/ The mode in which light is introduced into 
the central compartment illustrates the various 

717. Plan of the* Dnomo, Ureaciu. 
From Htibsch. Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

tentative expedients by which the architects in that ago attempted to 
accomplish their object. First, there is a range of small windows in the 


Kir ■ • v/rriyiroi'tot-.T. 

Stoim %elow tho springing of the dome. 
®L«^mrcular holes, and as if the architt 
.thing unusual and in¬ 
artistic, he managed ex¬ 
ternally to con fu se these 
ith tho rudiments of 


the roof-gallery, 
last feature is managed 
in even a more rudi¬ 
mentary fashion than 
at Novara (woodcut No. 

708), and is evidently 
intended to look, ex¬ 
ternally, as if it light¬ 
ed the interior of the 

It is not clear whe¬ 
ther originally it had or was intended to liavo an apse between its 
two round towers—the foundations of which can still be traced. Most 
probably it had. What renders this church of peculiar interest now is 
that its ordonnance had probably even more influence on the design of 
tho churches at Aix la Chapelle and elsewhere in Germany than San 
Vitale at Eavenna, which is usually considered the prototype of all 
the circular churches north of the Alps. 

Elevation of Duomo at Brrsda. From Hiibsch. 
Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 

Section of Duomo at Brescia. From Hiibsch. 

The other circular church at Brescia is that of Sta. Julia, which is 
certainly more modem than the Duomo, and, as it at present stands, 
cannot be considered older than the 12th century. In its upper part it 
assumes an octagonal form, and altogether tends much more towards 
the Gothic forms than its rival. 

Turning from these we find the round-arched Gothic style com- 


720. San Tomaso in limine. 
Scale 100 It. to 1 in. 

- . " . . 

developed in the church of San Tomaso in limine, neat Berg ^ 
the annexed plan it will be seen that the circular part is 

nave or entrance, as in Germany and England, in 
contradistinction to the French mode of arrange* 
ment, where the circular part is always the 
sanctum, the rectangular the nave or less holy 

The general plan of this example is circular. 
It is not more than 30 ft. across internally. In 
the centre stand eight pillars, supporting a vaulted 
gallery, which forms a triforium or upper storey, and, with the dome 
and its little cupola, raise the whole height to about 50 ft. A small 
choir with a semicircular niche projects eastward. 

The dimensions of the building are so small, that it hardly doserves 
notice, except a perfect example of the style of the 11th or 12th cen¬ 
tury in Lombardy, and for a 
certain propriety and elegance 
of design, in which it is not 
surpassed, internally at least, 
by any building of its age. It 
is to bo regretted that the idea 
was never carried out (at any 
rate no example remains) on 
such a scale as to enable us to 
judge of the effect of such a 
domical arrangement as is here 
attempted. The great defect 
of all one-storied domes is their 
lowness, both internally, and 
more especially externally. This 
method of building a dome in two storeys would seem calculated to 
obviate the objection ; but though common in small sepulchral cham¬ 
bers, it has never been tided on a scale sufficiently large to enable 
us to judge of its real effect. After this period the circular shape was 
so completely superseded by the rectangular, that no further improve¬ 
ment took place in it. 

721. San Tomaso. From Isabelle, ‘ Edifices Clrculairca.’ 
Scale 60 ft. to 1 in. 


There is perhaps no question of early Christian archaeology involved 
in so much obscurity as that of the introduction and early use of 
towers. The great monumental pillars of the Romans—as, for instance, 
those of Trajan and Antoninus—were practically towers; and latterly 
their tombs began to assume an aspiring character like that at St. Remi 
(woodcut No. 222), or those at Palmyra and elsewhere in the East, 

^vhkji' show a marked tendency in that direction. But none ofl 
3W U looked upon as an undoubted prototype of the towers atta£ 
tp^fjte churches of tlio Christians. 

At Ravenna, as early as the age of Justinian, we find circular 
towers attached to St. A pollinare in classe (woodcut No. 2G2), and 
in the other churches of that place they seem even then to have 
been considered necessary adjuncts. At the same time, it is by no 
means clear that they were erected as bell-towers ; indeed the evi¬ 
dence is tolerably clear that bells were not used in Christian churches 
till the time of Pope Adrian L, some two centuries later. What, 
then, were they? There is, I think, no trace of their being sepul¬ 
chral monuments, or that they were designed or used as tombs; and 
unless they were, like tlio sthambas of the Buddhists, pillars of victory, 
or towers erected to mark sacred or remarkable spots, it is difficult 
to say what they were, or where we are to look for an analogy. 

Be this as it may, the oldest circular towers with which we are 
acquainted are those of Ravenna; while the last of the series is the 
famous leaning one at Pisa, commenced in the year 1174. The gra¬ 
dations between these two extremes must have been the same that 
marked the changes in the architecture of the churches to which they 
are attached; but the links are more completely wanting in the case 
of the towers than in that of the churches. 

The tower of St. Apollinare in classe, above referred to, the most 
perfect of those of Ravenna, is a simple brick tower (see woodcut 
No. 262), 9 storeys in height, the lower windows being narrow 
single openings; above there aro two, and the three upper storeys 
are adorned with four windows of three lights each. 

in Rome, as far as we know, the first tower attached to a 
church was that built by Pope Adrian I., in front of the atrium of St. 
Peter’s; but they soon became common, and we now find them 
attached to the churches of S. Lorenzo without the walls, S. Croce 
in Gerusalemme, SB. Giovanni e Paolo, S. Clemente, S. Giorgio in 
Yelabro, and others. All these are square in plan and extremely 
similar in design, no improvement and scarcely any change having 
taken place between the first and the last, as if the form were an old 
and established one when first adopted. That attached to Sta. Maria 
in Cosmedin (woodcut No. 722) is perhaps one of the best and most 
complete. Its dimensions are small, its breadth being little more than 
15 ft., and its height only 110; but notwithstanding this there is 
great dignity in the design, and, in a city where buildings are not 
generally tall, its height is sufficient to give it prominence without 
overpowering other objects,— a characteristic which renders these 
homan towers not only boautiful structures in themselves, but ap¬ 
propriate ornaments to the buildings to which they are attached. 

the chief interest of these towers is derived from the numerous 

they gave birth: for though there is scare! 
instance of a square Romanesque tower hej 
the walls of Home during the period in wnlcli 
this style flourished, the form was seized upon 
with avidity by the Gothic architects in all the 
countries of Europe; and whether as a detached 
campanile (as in Italy), or as an integral part 
of the building (as we shall soon find it on this 
side of the Alps), it forms the most prominent, 
d perhaps also the most beautiful, feature in the 
aspiring architecture of the middle ages. 

There is certainly no architectural feature 
which the Gothic architects can so justly call 
their own as the towers and spires which' in the 
middle ages were so favourite, so indispensable a 
t of their churches and other edifices, becom- 
in fact as necessary parts of the external 
design, as the vaults were of the internal deco¬ 
ration of the building. 

It is true, as before remarked, that we neither 
know where they were first invented, nor even 
where they were first applied to Christian churches 
—those of Rome and Ravenna being evidently not 
examples ; nor have they any features 
betray their origin—at least none have yet 
been pointed out, though it is not impossible that 
a closer examination would bring some such to 
light. They certainly are as little classical, in 
form or details, as anything can well he con¬ 
ceived; nor, consequently, can the very name of 
Romanesque he considered entirely appropriate, 
though we may be compelled to use it as marking 
the age and locality in which they occur. 

Those of which we have already spoken are all church-towers, 
—campaniles or bell-towers attached to churches. But this exclusive 
distinction by no means applies to the Gothic towers. The tower 
of St. Mark at Venice, for instance, and the Toraccio at Cremona, 
are evidently civic monuments, like the belfries of the Low Coun¬ 
tries—symbols of communal power wholly distinct from the church, 
their proximity to which seems only to arise from the fact of all 
the principal buildings being grouped together. This is certainly 
the case with a large class of very ugly buildings in Italy, such 
as those attached to the town-lialls of Florence and Siena, or the 
famous Asinelli and Garisenda towers at Bologna. They are merely 
tall square brick towers, with a machicolated balcony at the top, 

722. Tower of Sta Maria in 
Coamedfn. From Guten- 
sohn and Knapp. 



in. Ch. rr; 


>ssessing no more architectural design than the chimney 
m factory. Originally, when lower, they may have been to 
defence, hut afterwards became mere symbols of power. 

A third class, and by far the most numerous, of these buildings are 
undoubtedly ecclesiastical orections ; they are either actually attached 
to the churches, or so placed with regard to them as to leave no doubt 
on the matter. There is is not, however, I believe, iir all Italy, a single 
example of a tower or towers forming, as on this side of the Alps, an 
integral part of the design. 

Sometimes they stand detached, but more generally are connected 
with some angle of the building, the favourite position being the 
western angle of the southern transept. Occasionally we find one 
tower placed at the angle of the fagade, hut this is seldom the case 
when the tower and the church are of the same-age. It is so in the 
cathedral at Lucca, and San Ambrogio at Milan; in the latter of 
which a second tower has been added more recently to balance the 
older one. It does also happen, as in the instance of Novara, before 
quoted, (woodcut No. 708), that two towers are actually parts of the 
original design; this, however, is certainly the exception, not the rule. 

Tn design the Italian campaniles differ very considerably from 
those on this side of the Alps. They never have projecting buttresses, 
nor assume that pyramidal form which is so essential and so beautiful 
a feature in the northern examples. In plan the campanile is always 
square, and carried up without break or offset to two-thirds at least of 
its intended height. This, which is virtually the whole design (for 
the spire seems an idea borrowed from the north), is generally solid 
to a considerable height, or with only such openings as servo to admit 
light to the stairs or inclined planes. Above the solid part one round- 
headed window is introduced in each face, and in the next storey two ; 
in the one above this three, then four, and lastly five, the lights being 
morely separated by slight piers, so that the upper storey is virtually 
an open loggia (see woodcut No. 729). There is no doubt great beauty 
and propriety of design in this arrangement; in point of taste it is 
unobjectionable, but it wants the vigour and variety of the Northern 

So far as we can judge from drawings and such ancient examples 
as remain, tho original termination was a simple cone in the centre, 
with a smaller one at each of the angles. 

At Verona an octagonal lantern is added, and at Modena and Cre¬ 
mona the octagon is crowned by a lofty spire, but these hardly come 
within the limits of the epoch of which we are now treating. So 
greatly did the Italians prefer the round arch, that even in their imita¬ 
tion of the Northern styles they used the pointed shape only when 
compelled—a circumstance which makes it extremely difficult parti 
cularly in the towers, to draw the line between the two styles - for 
VOL. 11. ’ 

n a ota is a KUfinmrn r m<:: 

i’At?t ir: 

ggh) pointed arches were no donht introduced in the 13th and I 

the circular-headed shape continued to he employed fron^ 
of the Romanesque to that of the Renaissance. 

One of the oldest and certainly tho most celebrated of the Gothic 
towers of Italy, is that of St. Mark’s at Venice, commenced in the year 
902; it took the infant Republic three centuries to raise it 180 ft., to 
the point at which the square basement terminates. On this there must 
originally have been an open loggia of some sort, no doubt with a 
conical roof. The present superstructure was added in the loth cen¬ 
tury, but though the loggia is a very pleasing feature, it is overpowered 
by the solid mass that it surmounts, and by the extremely ugly square 
extinguisher that crowns the whole. Its locality and its associations 
have earned for it a great deal of undue laudation, hut in point of 
design no campanile in Italy deserves it less. The base is a mere 
unornamented mass of brickwork, slightly fluted, and pierced unsym¬ 
metrically with small windows to light the inclined plane within. 
Its size, its height, and its apparent solidity are its only merits. 
These are no doubt important elements in that low class of archi¬ 
tectural excellence of which tho Egyptian pyramids are the type; but 
even in these elements this edifice must confess itself a pigmy, and 
inferior to even a second-class pyramid on the banks of the Nile, while 
it has none of the beauty of design and detail displayed by the Giralda 
of Seville, or even by other Italian towers in its own neighbourhood. 

The campanile at Piacenza (woodcut No. 714) is, perhaps, more 
like tho original of St. Mark’s than any other, and certainly displays 
as little beauty as any building of this sort can possess. 

That of San Zenone at Verona is far more pleasing. It is, indeed, 
as beautiful both in proportion and details as any of its age, while 
it exemplifies at once the beauties and tho defects of the style. 
Among the first is an elegant simplicity that always is pleasing, 
hut this is accompanied by a leanness and poverty of effect, when 
compared with Korthorn examples, which must rank in the latter 


The celebrated tower of the Ghirlandina at Modena will, perhaps, 
enable us best to compare these Italian towers with the Cis-Alpine 
ones, since it possesses a well-proportioned spire which is found in few 
of the others. 

In date it ought to belong to the second division of the subject, 
having been commenced in the 13th and finished in the 14th century; 
but, as before remarked, there is no line ot distinction between the 
round-arched and pointed-arched styles in Italy, and as this cam¬ 
panile seems to be wholly without any pointed forms, we may describe 
it here. 

Its whole height is about 315 ft., of which less than 200 are taken 
up in the square part—which thus hears a less predominant proper- 

v nirr rrTir 


•il to the spire than an)’ other Italian example. It is e\\l^ytl 
t to rival the famous German spires which had become 
^ javoinltes in the age in which it was built; and although it avoids 
many of the errors into which the excessive love of decoration and 
of tours de force led the Germans, still the result is far from satis¬ 
factory. The change from the square to the octagon is abrupt and 
unpleasing, and the spire itself looks too thick for the octagon. 
Everywhere there is a want of those buttresses and pinnacles with 
which the Gothic architects knew so well how to prepare for a tran¬ 
sition of form, and to satisfy the mind that the composition was not 
only artistically but mechanically correct. The Italians never com¬ 
prehended the aspiring principle of the Gothic styles, and conse¬ 
quently, thougli they had far more elegance of taste and used better 
details, their works hardly satisfy the mind more than a modern 
classical church or museum can do. 

The same remarks apply to the towers of Siena, Lucca, Pistoja, 
and indeed to all in the north of Italy: all have some pleasing points, 
hut none are entirely satisfactory. None have sufficient ornament, nor 
display enough design, to render them pleasing in detail, nor have 
they sufficient mass to enable them to dispense with the evidence of 
thought, and to impress by the simple grandeur of their dimensions. 

o 2 

mi$r/f y 




Fresco paintings — Churches at Vercelli, Asti, Verona, and Lucca — Cathedral at 
Siena — Sla. Maria, Florence — Church at Chiaravalle — St. Petronio, Bologna — 
Cathedral at Milan — Certosa, near Pavia —Duomo at Ferrara — Churches at 


Bologna independHit. A/D - 1112 

Countess Matilda at Florence . . • • H15 

Obi» 2 o d’Este at Ferrara. 11H4 

Enrico Dandolo takes Constantinople . 1203 

War between Genoa nnd Venice . . . 1205 

A 220 d’Este at Ferrara. 1208 

Martino della Scala at Verona . . • 1259 

Martino delle Torre at Milan . , . . a.p. 1260 

Visconti Lord of Milan. 1277 

Taddeo de Pepoli at Bologna .... 1331 

Conspiracy of Marino Faliero . . . . 1355 

Gian Galeascsso Visconti Duke of Milan . 1395 

Verona ceded to Venice. H09 

Cosmo do* Medici. 

Before the commencement of the 13th century, the Italians had 
acquired such, mastery over the details of their round-arched style, 
and had worked it into such originality and completeness, that it 
is surprising that they should so easily have abandoned it for that 
form of Pointed Gothic which they afterwards adopted. It is true 
the Italians never roso to the conception of such buildings as the great 
Rhenish cathedrals, like thorn of Spires and Worms, or the old churches 
at Cologne ; nor did they perhaps even rival the quasi-classical grace and 
elegance of the Provencal churches; hut at Verona, Modena, and indeed 
throughout the North of Italy they had elaborated a complete round- 
arched style, all the details of which were not only appropriate and 
elegant, but seemed capable of indefinite development in the direction 
in which they were proceeding. They had also before their eyes the 
Romanesque stylo of Pisa and Lucca with all its elegance, and the ex¬ 
ample of Rome, where the architects steadily refused to acknowledge 
the pointed-arch during the whole of the Mediaeval period. Yet in the 
beginning of the 13th century—say 1220, when the cathedrals ot 
Amiens, Salisbury, and Toledo were designed—Italy too was smitten 
with admiration for the pointed arch, and set to work to adapt it to her 
tastes and uses. 

It would be difficult to account for this, were we not aware how 
deeply the feelings that gave rise to the Ghibelline faction were rooted 
in the Italian soil. In all the cities, except Rome, the cause of 

^vm xirmr TmOTT^ iT a uAi y w rmr 

hi be] linos was throughout the middle ages identified with 

Mom and local independence in opposition to that of the 
_ rnch symbolized the supremacy of the Pope and the clerical party. 
Knowing how strenuously this was resisted, we naturally expect to 
find it expressed in the architecture of the country. Two, indeed, of 
the great churches of Italy, Assisi (1228) and Milan (1385), were 
erected by Germans in the German style of the day; but these are 
exceptional. The form which the pointed-arched style took on its 
introduction, was that of adaptation to the Italian style, in a manner 
which the Italians thought more consonant with beauty and conveni¬ 
ence than that adopted north of the Alps. In this they were cer¬ 
tainly mistaken. The elegance of the details employed by a refined 
and cultivated people, and based on classical traditions, goes far to 
redeem, in most instances, the defects of their designs; but they never 

grasped the true principles of Gothic art, and the fatal facility of the 
pointed arch led them more astray after mechanical clevernesses than 
even the Germans. Still, it is an original style, and, however im- 
perfect, is well worthy of study. 

Before proceeding to describe the style more in detail, it may bo well 
to point out one of the principal causes which led to the more marked 
features of difference between the Gothic architecture of Italy and 
that of Germany- and France. This was the distaste of the Italians for 
the employment of painted glass, or at least their want of appreciation 
of its beauties when combined with architecture. 

An attempt was made in a previous chapter to explain how all- 
important painted glass was to the elaboration of the Gothic style. 
But, for its introduction, the architecture of Franco would bear no 
lesembianco to what it was, and is. In Italy, indeed, the people loved 
poh chromy, but always of the opaque class. They delighted to cover 
the walls of their churches with frescoes and mosaics, to enrich their 
floors with the most gorgeous pavements, and to scatter golden stars 
over the blue ground of their vaults; but rarely, if ever, did they 
fill, or design to fill, their windows with painted glass. Perhaps the 
glare of an Italian sun may have tended to render its brilliancy into¬ 
lerable ; but more probably the absence of stained glass is owing to 
its incompatibility with fresco-painting, the effect of which would 
be entirely destroyed by the superior brightness of the transparent 
material. The Italians were not prepared to relinquish the old and 
favourite mode of decoration in which they so excelled. This adher¬ 
ence to the ancient mothod of ornamentation enabled them, in the 15th 
and 16th centuries, to surpass all the world in the art of painting, but 
it was fatal to the proper appreciation of the pointed style, and°to its 
successful introduction into the land. 

The first effect of this tendency was that the windows in Italian 
churches were small, and generally devoid of tracery, with all its 

"*r KCTtniKir 


accompaniments. The walls, too, being consequently solid ^ 
cient, by their own weight, to abut the thrust of the arches: \ 
^neither projecting or flying buttresses nor pinnacles were 
Tho buildings were thus deprived externally of all the aspir¬ 
ing vertical lines so characteristic of true Gothic. The architects, to 
relieve the monotony arising from the want of these features, were 
forced to recur to the horizontal cornices of the classical times, and to 
cover their walls with a series of panelling, which, however beautiful 
in itself, is mere ornament—both unmeaning and inconsistent. 

Internally, too, having no clerestory to make room for, and no con¬ 
structive necessities to meet, they jumped to the conclusion that tho 
best design is that which covers the greatest space with the least 
expenditure of materials, and tho least encumbrance ot the floor. 
With builders this is a golden rule, hut with architects it is about 
tho worst that can possibly he adopted. The Germans were not free 
from this fault, but the Italians carried it still further. H on toui 
or five piers they could support the vault of a whole nave, they-never 
dreamed of introducing more. A French architect, though superior in 
constructive skill, would probably have introduced eight or ten in the 
same space. An Italian would carry the vaults of the side-aisles to 
the same height as that of the nave, if lie could. A Northern architect 
knew how to keep the two in their due proportion, whereby he 
obtained greater height and greater width in the same bulk, and an 
appearance of height and width greater still, by the contrast between 
the parts, at the same time that he gave his building a'character ot 
strength and stability perhaps even more valuable than that of sifce.* 

In the same manner the Northern architects, while they grouped 
their shafts together, kept them so distinct, as to allow every one 
to bear its proportional part of the load, and perform its allotted task. 
The Italians never comprehended this principle, but merely stuck 
pilasters back to back, in imitation of tho true architects, producing 
an unmeaning and ugly pier. The same incongruities occur in every 
part and every detail. It is a style copied without understanding, 
and executed without feeling. The elegance of the sculptured foliage 
ami other details sometimes goes far to redeem these fault*; lor the 
Italians, though had architects, were always beautiful carvers, and, as 
a Southern people, were free from the vulgarities sometimes apparent 
farther north, and never fell into the wild barbarisms which too often 
disfigure even the best buildings on this side of the Alps. Besides, 
when painting is joined to sculpture in churches, the architecture may 
come to occupy a subordinate position, and thus escape the censure it 
deserves. Unfortunately there are only two examples of any importance 
in this style that retain all their painted decorations—S. Francis at 
Assisi, and the Certosa near Pavia. From this circumstance they are pei - 
haps the most admired in Italy. In others the spaces left for colour are 


Yirirour nr. 

Vitxn tou-mr- 

•Iain and blank. We see the work of the architect unaided j 

ing which was intended to set it off, and we cannot but condeS _ 

^a^displaying at once bad taste and ignorance of the true Gothic feeling. 

One of the earliest, or perhaps the very first Italian edifice into 
which the pointed arch was introduced, is the fine church of St. Andrea 
at Vereelli, commenced in the year 1219 by 
the Cardinal Guala Bicchieri, and finished 
in three years. This prelate, having been 
long legate in England, brought back with 
him an English architect called, it is said, 

Brigwithe, and entrusted him with the 
erection of this church in his native place. 

In plan, it is certainly very like an 
English church, terminating squarely to¬ 
wards the east, and with side chapels to 
the transepts, arranged very much as wo 
find them at Build was, Kirkstall, and other 
churches of this class and size, only that 
here they are polygonal, which was hardly 
ever the case in England. But with the 
plan all influences of the English archi¬ 
tect seem to have ceased, and the structure 
is in purely Italian style. Externally 
the pointed arch nowhere appears, all 
the doors and windows being circular-headed; while internally it is 
confined to the pier-arches of the nave and the vaulting of the .roof. 
Ihe facade is flanked at its angles by two tall, slender, square towers; 
and the intersection of the nave and transept is covered by one of 
those elegant octagonal domes which the Italians knew so well how 
to use, and which is in fact the only original feature in their designs. 
The external form of this church is interesting, as displaying the 
germs of much that two centuries afterwards was so greatly expanded 
by a German architect in the design of Milan cathedral. 

A few years later, in 1229, a church was commenced at Asti, the 
tower of which was finished in 1260. This allowed time for a more 
complete development of the pointed style, which here prevails not 
only internally, hut externally. Tall lancet windows appear in the 
flanks, and even the doorways assume that form, in their canopies, if 
not m their openings. The porch (woodcut No. 724)is a later addi¬ 
tion, and a characteristic specimen of the style during the 14tli cen¬ 
tury. ihis church is also one of the earliest examples in which those 
elegant terra cotta cornices of small intersecting arches seem to have 
been brought to perfection. 

Ilie most remarkable church of this age is that of St. Francis at 
Assisi, commenced in 1228, and finished, in all essentials at least, in 

!3. Finn of the Church at VcreeUJ. 
From 0»ti*n\s ' Baukunut in Lorn-' 
bardd/ Scale 100 ft, to l in. 


Church at Asti. From Chapuy, * Moyen Age Monumental. 

1253. It is said to have been built by a German named Jacob, or 
Jacopo. Certainly no French or English architect would have designed 
a double church of this class, though, on the other hand, no Italian 
could have drawn details so purely .Northern as those of the upper 
church. In the lower church there are hardly any mouldings to mark 
the style, but its character is certainly rather German than Italian. 
This church depends for its magnificence and character much more on 
painting than on architecture. In the first place it is small, the upper 
church being only 225 ft. long, by 36 in width ; and though the lower 
one has side-aisles which extend the width to 100 ft., yet the upper 
church is only 60 ft. in height, and the lower about 30, so that 
it is far too small for much architectural magnificence. None oi its 
details are equal to those of contemporary churches on this side of the 


The whole church is covered with fresco-paintings i 
and of the most beau- 

character, which justly 
it one of the most 
celebrated and admired of all 
Italy. On this side of the 
Alps, without its frescoes, it 
would hardly attract any at¬ 
tention. It is invaluable as 
an example of the extent to 
which polychromatic decora¬ 
tion may be profitably carried, 
and of the true mode of doing 
it; and also as an illustration 
of the extent to which the 
Italians allowed a foreign 
style and mode of ornamen¬ 
tation to* he introduced into 
their country. 

One of the purest and most 
perfect types of an Italian 
Gothic church is that of Sta. 
Anastasia at Verona, com¬ 
menced apparently in 1260, 

It is not large, being only 
285 ft. in length externally; 
but its arrangements are very 
complete, and very perfect if 
looked at from an Italian point - 
of view. The square of the 
vault of the nave is the modu¬ 
lus, instead of that of the aisles, 
as in true Gothic churches; 
owing to which the pier- 
arches are further apart than a 
true artist would have placed 
them ; there are also no but¬ 
tresses externally, hut only 
pilasters. The consequence of 
this is, that the arches have 
to be tied in with iron rods 
at the springing, which in¬ 
ternally adds very much to 
the appearance of weakness, 

725. Plan of Sta. Anastasia, Verona. Scale TOO ft. to 1 In. 

caused in the first instance 

One bay of Sta. Anastasia, Verona. 

ffShepfide spacing arid general tenuity. These bad effects are aggfcfc 
•C^d/bj/tlie absence of a string-course at tlie springing of the vauitp 
the substitution of a circular hole for the triforinm, and a 
nexafoiled opening of very insignificant dimensions, for the glorious 
clerestory windows of Northern churches. Altogether, though we 
cannot help being pleased with the spaciousness and general elegance 
of design, it is impossible not to feel how very inferior it is to that of 
churches on this side the Alps. 

One Bay, externally and internally, of the Church of San Martino, Lucca. 

The church of San Martino at Lucca, built about a century after 
Sta. Anastasia (middle of 14th century), presents a strikingly happy 
compromise between the two styles. The pier-arches are still too 
wide—23 feet in the clear; but the defect is remedied to some extent 
by the employment of circular instead of pointed arches, and the 
triforium is ail that can be desired; the clerestory, however, is as 
insignificant as it must be where the sun is so brilliant, and painted 
glass inadmissible. It would be easy to point out other defects; but, 
hiking it altogether, there are few more elegant churches than this, 
and hardly one in Italy that so perfectly meets all the exigences for 
which it was designed. 


in. v>ji. iix. 

cathedrals of Siena and Or vie to (the former commend 
die latter in 1290) are perhaps, taken altogether, the most 
1 specimens of Italian pointed Gothic. They are those at least 
irT which the system is carried to the greatest extent without either 
foreign aid or the application of distinctly foreign details. These 
two buildings, moreover, both retain their facades as originally com¬ 
pleted by their first architects, while the three great churches of this 
style — the cathedrals of Florence, Bologna, and Milan — were all left 
unfinished, with many others of the smaller churches of I taly. The 
church at Siena illustrates forcibly the tendency of the Italian architects 
to adhere to the domical forms of the old Etruscans, which the Romans 
amplified to such an extent, and 

the Byzantines made peculiarly 
their own. I cannot but repeat 
my regret that the Italians alone, 
of all the Western mediaeval build¬ 
ers, showed any predilection for 
this form of roof. On this side 
of the Alps it could have been 
made the most beautiful of archi¬ 
tectural forms. In Italy' there is 
no instance of more than moderate 
success—nothing, indeed, to encou¬ 
rage imitation. Even the example 
now before us is no exception to 
these remarks, though one of the 
boldest efforts of Italian architects. 

In plan it ought to have been an 
octagon, but that apparently would 
have made it too large for their 
skill to execute, so they met the 
difficulty by adopting a hexagon, 
which, though producing a cer¬ 
tain variety of perspective, fits 

awkwardly with the lines of columns, and twists the vaults to an un¬ 
pleasant extent. Still a dome of moderate height, and 58 ft. in diameter, 
covering the centre of the church, and with sufficient space around to 
give it dignity, is a noble and pleasing feature, the merit of which it is 
impossible to deny. Combined with the rich colouring and gorgeous 
furniture of the church, it makes up a whole of great beauty. The cir¬ 
cular pier arches, however, and the black and white stripes by which the 
exterior is marked, detract considerably from the effect of the whole— 
at least in the eyes of strangers, though the Italians still consider it a 
beauty. The lagade of this cathedral is represented in woodcut No. 729. 
It consists of three great portals, the arches of which are equal in 

728. Plan of Cathedral at Siena. From the 
4 JKgllses Principales d’fturope.’ 

Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

Taut 11 

rtn .u rA’tr vinurium/iOJi isr. 

igli the centre doorway 

is larger than those at the sidAJ 
ial tlie invariable circular window of the Italian architect^ 
i^l^^o whole is crowned by steep triangular gables. 

~~ '’The carved architectural ornaments of the facade are rich and 
elaborate in the extreme, though figured sculpture is used to a much 

Fa<;;ido of the Cathedral at Siena. 

less extent than in Northern portals of the same age. It is also observ¬ 
able that the strong horizontal lines do not harmonise with the aspiring 
character of pointed architecture. 

The cathedral of Orvieto is smaller and simpler, and less rich in its 
decorations, than that at Siena, with the exception of its fa<;ade y which 

p*jCicmiSiVV/JCi x iaaBLmm%j3: 

ed with sculpture and painting. Indeed the three-gabled 
considered the typical one for churches of this class. £_ j 

intended to have been applied to the churches at Florence, 
ologna, Milan, and elsewhere, were no doubt very similar to that re¬ 
presented in woodcut No. 729. As a frontispiece, if elaborately sculp¬ 
tured and painted, 
it is not without 
considerable ap¬ 
propriateness and 
even beauty ; but, 
as an architectural 
object, it is infi¬ 
nitely inferior to 
the double-tower¬ 
ed facades of the 
N or tliern cathe¬ 

drals, or oven to 
those with only 
one great tower in 
the centre. 11 has 
besides the defect 
of not expressing 
what is behind 
it; the central ga¬ 
ble being always 
higher than the 
roof, and the two 
others merely or¬ 
namental append¬ 
ages. Indeed, like 
the Italian Gothic 
buildings gener¬ 
ally, it depended 
on painting, sculp¬ 
ture, and carving 
for its effect, far 
more than on 
architectural de¬ 
sign properly so 

By far the greatest and most perfect example of Italian Gothic is 
the church of Sta. Maria dei Fieri, the cathedral of Florence, one of 
the largest and finest churches produced in the middle ages—as far as 
mere grandeur of conception goes, perhaps the very best, though con- 
siderably marred in execution. 

730. Plan of Cathedral at Florence. From Isabelle, • Edifice# Circulaires.’ 
.Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

taut i r: 

*T7T XT1\ I s. 

p Tfie building of the church was commenced in the year 12itL>r 
21^98 • fit is not quite clear which), from the designs and under (ml 
Ipphintendence of Arnolfo di Lapo,—for unfortunately in this style 
we know the names of all the architects, and all the churches show 
traces of the caprice and of the misdirected efforts of individuals, 
instead of the combined national movement which produced such 
splendid results in France and England. It is not known how far 
Arnolfo had carried the building when he died, in 1300, hut probably 
up to the springing of the vaults. After this the works proceeded 

73!. Section of Dome and part of Nave of the Cathedral at Florence. Scale 100 ft. to l in. 

more leisurely, but the nave and smaller domes of the choir woie no 
doubt completed as we now find them in the first* 20 years ot the 
14th century. The great octagon remained uncovered till Brunelleschi 
commenced the present domerin- 1420, and completed it in all essen¬ 
tial parts before his death, which happened in 1444. The building 
may therefore be considered as essentially contemporary with the 
cathedral of Cologne, which it very nearly equals in size (its area, being 
84,802 ft., while that of Cologne is estimated at 91,000), and, as far as 
mere conception of plan goes, there can be little doubt but that the 


i - -jr fiu r C!/A 1 !* j. i i '■n hxtcvst —■ r 

cathedral far surpasses its German rival. 
l>e finer than its general ground-plan. A vast 
enormous dome, extending into the triapsal. arrangement 
common in the early churches of Cologne, and. which was repeated in 
the last and greatest effort of the middle ages, or rather the first of the 
new school — the great church of St. Peter at Rome. In the Florentine 
church all these parts are better 
subordinated and proportioned than 
in any other example, and the mode 
in which the effect increases and the 
whole expands as we approach from 
the entrance to the sanctum is unri¬ 
valled. All this, alas! is utterly 
thrown away in the execution. 

Like all inexperienced architects, 

Arnolfo seems to have thought that 
greatness of parts would add to the 
greatness of the whole, and thus used 
only four great arches in the whole 
length of his nave, giving the central 
aisle a width of 55 ft. clear. The 
whole width is within 10 ft. of that 
of Cologne, and the height about 
same; and yet, in appearance, the 
height is about half, and the breadth 
less than half, owing to the better pro¬ 
portion of the parts and to the supe- 
lior appropriateness in the details 
on the part of the German cathedral. 

At Florence the details are positively 
ugly. The windows of the side-aisles 
are small and misplaced, those 
clerestory mere circular holes. The 
proportion of the aisles one to another 
is bad, the vaults ill-formed, and alto¬ 
gether a colder and less effective de¬ 
sign was not produced in the middle ■ 
ages. The triapsal choir is not so 
objectionable as the nave, but there are large plain spaces that now 
look cold and flat; the windows are too small, and there is a gloom 
about the whole which is very unsatisfactory. it is more than probable 
that the original intention was to paint the walls, and not to colour 
the windows, so that these defects arc hardly chargeable to the 
original design. 

• Externally the facade was never finished, and we can only fancy 


U ,1U ^ ^cujuuiiy nat, except tor a veneer 
•bles disposed in panels over the whole surface. For 
pavement such a mode of decoration is admissible; but 
/motive, so evidently a mere decoration, that it gives a 
* w k°* e > an( i a most unsatisfactory appearance to so 

large a building. 
This is much less 
apparent at tho 
east end, whore 
the outline is so 
broken, and tho 
main lines of the 
construction so 
plainly marked, 
that the mere fill¬ 
ing-in is compara¬ 
tively unimport¬ 
ant, This is the 
most meritorious 
part of the church, 
and so far as it was 
carried up accord¬ 
ing to the original 
design, is extreme¬ 
ly beautiful. Even 
the plainness and 
flatness of the nave 
serve as a foil to 
set off the vary¬ 
ing outline of the 
choir. Abovo the 
line of tho cornice 
of the side-aisles 
there is nothing 
that can be said to belong to tho original design except the first divi¬ 
sion of the drum of the dome, which follows the lines of the clerestory. 

It lias long been a question what. Arnolfo originally intended, and espe¬ 
cially how he meant to cover the great octagonal space in the centre. 
All knowledge of his intentions seems to have been lost within a cen¬ 
tury after his death : at least in the accounts of the proceedings of the 
commission which resulted in the adoption of Brunelleschi’s design for 
the dome, no reference is made to any original design as then existing, 
and no one appears to have known how Arnolfo intended to finish liis 

Dome at Chiuravall ', Dear Milan. From a drawing by 
Ed. Falkener, Esq. 


. v.rrvji ix menvjfvtT'-xyv~ ^OTJcnntrrs r ’*. 

g from the structure as far as he carried it, and 
now possess of the Italian architecture of that 
very feasible conjecture of his design for its con 
it probably consisted of a dome something like 
but flatter, springing from the cornice 40 ft. lower than the present one, 
and pierced with large openings on each of its eight faces. 

Externally, it was probably arranged something like that of- 
Chiaravalle, near Milan (woodcut No. 733), built in 1221, of course 
with different details, hut in storeys, so as to render the construction 
easy ; and this would have 
been carried up to a height of 
not less than 500 ft., about 
equal to the length of the 
church. The three smaller 
semi-domes must have been 
intended to be crowned with 
miniature octagonal spires of 
the same class with the groat 
dome, and between these the 
vast substructures show that 
it was intended to carry up 
four great spires, probably to 
a height of 400 ft. 

Had all this been done 
(and something very like 
it was certainly intended), 
neither Cologne Cathedral, 
nor any church in Europe, 
ancient or modern, would 
have been comparable to this 
great and glorious apse. As 
it is, the plain, heavy, simple 
outlined dome of Brunelleschi 
acts iiko an extinguisher, 
crushing all the lower part 
of the composition, and both 
internally and externally de¬ 
stroying all harmony between 

the ' parts ' 14 llas derived us of the only chance that ever existed of 
witnessing the effect of a great Gothic dome; not indeed such a dome 
as might on the same dimensions'have been executed on this side of 
the Alps hut still in the spirit, and with much of the poetry, which 
gives such value to the conceptions of the builders in those days. 

■ e!’V° r f S Change ° f plan ’ the ambition -the Florentines 
might have been m some measure satisfied, whose instructions to 



rjtect were, that their cathedral “should surpass everythil 
an industry or human power had conceived of great ant) 

^About a century later (1390), the Bolognese determined on the 
erection of a monster cathedral, which, in so far as size went, would have 
been more than double that at Florence. According to the plans that 
have come down to us, it was to have been about 800 ft. long and 
525 wide across, the transepts; at the intersection was to have been a 
dome 180 ft. in diameter, or only 6 ft. less than that at Florence; and 
the width of both nave and transepts was to have been 183 ft.: so that 

Section of St. Fetronio, Bologna. From Wiebeking. Scale 60 ft. to 1 in. 

the whole would have covered about 212,000 ft., or nearly the Same 
area as St. Peter’s at Rome, and three times that of^any hrench 
cathedral! Of this vast design, only about one-third, or <4,000 sq. 
was ever carried out; and it is fortunate that it stopped there, as few 
uglier buildings were ever designed or executed. Its plan and section 
(woodcuts Nos. 734, 735) are not without interest, as illustrating 
the principles of Italian design, and are useful for comparison either 
with suoh buildings as the beautiful cathedral at Bouiges ( 10 s,ml 
larly has aisles of different heights), or with tho great cathedral ot 
Milan, which comes next in our series. . 

As will be seen from the plan (woodcut No. 734), the great objee 

WIN t$T#. 

architect was to cover the largest possible space 
of support, using his side-chapels as internal 
buttresses. In his design, the square of the vault 
nave becomes the modulus, instead of that of the side-aisles, as 
in all true Gothic 
buildings. Hence 
the nave is con¬ 
structed with only 
six. bays in length 
instead of twelve, 
and all the other 
parts are lean and 
wide in propor¬ 

The cathedral 
of Milan—at once 
the most remark¬ 
able and the 
largest and rich¬ 
est of all the 
churches erected 
iii the middle ages 
—-was commenced 
in the year 1385, 
by order of Gian 
Galeazzo, first 
Duke of Milan, 
and consecrated 
in 1418, at which 
date all the essen¬ 
tial par ts seem to 
have been com¬ 
pleted, though the 
central spire was 
not finished till 
about the year 
1440, by Brunel¬ 

The design is 

said to have been furnished by a German architect, Heinrich Arlez 
von Gemunden, or as the Italians call him, “ da Gramondia,”—a state¬ 
ment which is corroborated by the fact that the details and many of 
the forms are essentially Northern; but it is equally certain that he 
was not allowed to control the whole, for all the great features of the 
dunch are as thoroughly Italian as the details are German: 


Plan of the Cathedral of Milan.. From ‘Chieai principal) d'Europa.' 
Scale l»o ft. to 1 in. 

p 2 



by no means improbable that Marco da Campion©, as , 
assert, or some other native artist, was joined with him 
over him. 

size it is the largest of all mediaeval cathedrals, covering 107,782 
ft. In material it is the richest, being built wholly of white marble, 
which is scarcely the case with any other church, large or small; and 
in decoration it is the most gorgeous—the whole of the exterior is 
covered with, tracery, and the amount of carving and statuary lavished 

Section of Cathedral of Milan. 1 From Wiebeking. Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 

on its pinnacles and spires is unrivalled in any other building of 
Europe. It is also built wholly (with the exception of the facade) 
according to one design. Yet with all these advantages, the appearance 
of this wonderful building is not satisfactory to any one who is familiar 
with the great edifices on this side of the Alps. Cologne, if complete, 
would be more beautiful; Rheims, Chartres, Amiens, and Bourges leave 
a far more satisfactory impression on the mind; and even the much 

1 The plan and section being taken from the plan to be the more correct of the 
two different writers, there is a slight two, though I havo no means ol being 

discrepancy between the scales. I believe quite certain on the point. 

ivn ij t\j$ OTmisuitHK. 

S ’ church of St, Ouen will convey far more pleasure to 
han this gorgeous temple. 

> cause of all this it is easy to understand, since all or nearly 
all its defects arise from the introduction of Italian features into a 
Gothic building; or rather perhaps/it should be said, from a German 
architect being allowed to ornament an Italian cathedral. Taking 

the contemporary cathedral of St. Petronio at Bologna as our standard 
of comparison, it will bo seen that the sections (woodcuts Xos. 735, 
737) are almost identical both in dimensions and in form; but at 
the same time, it will be perceived that the German system prevailed 
in doubling the number of piers between the nave and side-aisles. So 
fir, therefore, the German architect saved the church. The two small 


ri 7vrji/i i\ jznxjxxx £230X1) ixtr~ 

i'ai; r ii. 

bries, however, still remain ; and although the design avoi 
aless little circles of Bologna, there is only space for si 
tigs, which more resemble the windows of an attic than a 
restory. The greater quantity of light being thus introduced by 
the tall windows of the outer aisle, the appearanco is that of a building 
lighted from below, which is fatal to architectural effect. 

Tho model still preserved on the spot show’s that the German 
architect designed great portals at each end of the transepts. This, 
however, was overruled in favour of two small polygonal apses. In¬ 
stead of the great octagonal dome which an Italian would have placed 
upon the intersection of the whole width of the nave and transepts, 
German influence has confined it to the central aisle, which is perhaps 
more to ho regretted than any other mistake in the building. The 
choir is neither a French clievot nor a German or Italian apse, but a 
compromise between the two, a French circlet of columns enclosed in 
a German polygonal termination. This part of the building, with its 
simple forms and three glorious windows, is perhaps an improvement 
on either of the models of which it is compounded. 

This is the noarest approach to tho French bhevet arrangement to 
he found in all Italy. It is extremely rare in that country to find an 
aisle running round the choir, and opening into it, or with tho circlet 
of apsidal chapels which is so universal in Franco. The Italian church 
is not, in fact, derived from a combination of a circular Eastern church 
with a Western rectangular nave, but is a direct copy from the old 
Roman basilica. 

The details of the interior of Milan are almost wholly German 
(woodcut No. 738). The great capitals of the pillars, with their 
niches and statues, are the only compromise between the ordinary 
Gorman form and the great deep ugly capitals—fragments, in fact, of 
classical entablatures—which disfigure the cathedrals of Florence and 
Bologna, and so many other Italian churches. Had the ornamentation 
of these been carried up to tho springing of tho vault, they would have 
been unexceptionable; as it is, with all their richness, their effect is 

Externally, the appearance is very like that of Sta. Maria dei 
Fiori; the apse is rich, varied, and picturesque, and the central dome 
(excepting the details) similar, though on a smaller scale, to what I 
believe to have been the original design of the Florentine church. The 
nave is nearly as flat as at Florence, the clerestory not being visible ; 
but the forest of pinnacles and flying buttresses and the richness of the 
ornamentation go far to hide that defect. The facade was left un¬ 
finished, as was so often the case with the great churches of Italy. 
Pellegrini was afterwards employed to finish it, and a model of his 
design is still preserved. It is fortunate that his plan was not carried 
out. The facade was finished, as we now see it, from the designs of 

73{). Design for Facade of Milan Cathedral. 
From Tiaa^i. 

by order of Napoleon. It is commonplace, as might be ex| 
lyrojif its age, but inoffensive. The doorways are part of Pellog 
^d^ign, and the mediaeval forms being placed over those of the ciih 
^eemo, produce a strangely incongruous effect. For the west front 
several original designs are still preserved. One of these, with two 
small square towers at the angles, as at Vercelli and elsewhere, was no 
doubt the Italian design. The German one (woodcut No. 739) is pre¬ 
served by Bassi: 1 had this been 
executed, the facade would have 
been about one*third (viz. 100 ft.) 
wider than that of Cologne. Had 
the height of the towers been in 
the same proportion, they would 
havobeen the tallest in the world. 

In that case the effect here, as at 
Cologne, would have been to shorten and overpower the rest of the 
building to a painful extent. A design midway between the two, with 
spires rising to the same height as the central one, or about 360 ft., 
would perhaps have the happiest effect. At any rate, the want of some 
such features is greatly felt in the building as it stands. 

The Oortosa, near Pavia, was commenced about the same date (1396) 
as the cathedral at Milan. It is seldom that we find two buildings in 
the middle ages so close to one another in date and locality, and yet so 
dissimilar. There is no instance of such an occurrence on this side of 
the Alps, till modern times ; and it shows that in those days the Italians 
were nearly as devoid of any distinct principles of architecture as wo 
have since become. 

The great difference between Pavia and Milan is that the former 
shews no trace of foreign influence. It is as purely Italian as St. Pe- 
tronio, and perhaps even worse in design—internally at least—which 
is saying a good deal. Nothing, however, can be more painful than 
the disproportion of the parts, the bad drawing of the details, the 
malformation of the vaults, and the meanness of the windows ; though 
all these defects are completely hidden by the most gorgeous colouring, 
and by furniture of such richness as to he almost unrivalled. So 
attractive are these two features to the majority of spectators, and so 
easily understood, that nine visitors out of ten are delighted with the 
Certosa, and entirely forget its miserable architecture in the richness 
and brilliancy of its decorations. 

Externally the architecture is better than in the interior. From its 
proximity to Pavia, ,it retains its beautiful old galleries under the roof. 
Its circular apses, with their galleries, give to this church, for the age to 
which it belongs, a peculiar character, harmonizing well with the cir- 

1 ‘ Dispareri iVArchitectura,* 

vtth; m. 

— XTTjv rx xtv ri x r, i 'it v i a.- 

I'-fi'eaded form, which nearly all the windows and openings pri 
. the interior there are far more circular than pointed arche^J 
most beautiful and wonderful part of the building is the facade, 
was begun in 1473, and is one of the best specimens in Italy of 
the Ilenaissance style. It would hardly, therefore, he appropriate to 
mention it here, were it not that the dome over the intersection of the 
nave and transepts is of the same age and style, but reproduces so 
exactly (except in details) what we fancy the Mediaeval Italian Gothic 
dome to have been, that it may be considered as a feature of Hie earlier 
ages, Keferring to woodcut No. 733, it will be seen how like it is to 
that of Chiaravalle in outline. It is less tall, however, and if translated 
into the details of the great church, at Florence, would fit perfectly 
on the basement there prepared for such a feature. 

Like many other churches in Northern Italy, the principal parts 
of the Certosa are built in brick, and the ornamental details executed 
in terra-cotta, Some of the latter, especially in the cloisters, are as 
beautiful as any executed in stone in any part of Italy during the 
middle ages; and their perfect preservation shows how suitable is the 
material for such purposes. It may not ho appropriate for large details 
or monumental purposes, but for the minor parts and smaller details, 
when used as the Italians in the middle ages used it, terra-cotta is as 
legitimate as any material anywhere used for building purposes; and 
in situations like the alluvial plains of the Po, where stone is with 
difficulty obtainable, its employment was not only judicious but most 
fortunate in its results. 

It would be a tedious and unprofitable task to attempt to particu¬ 
larize all the churches which were erected in this style in Italy, as 
hardly one of them possesses a single litle to admiration beyond the 
very vulgar one of size. To this Santa Croce, at Florence, adds its 
association with the great men who lie buried beneath it, and Sta. 
Maria Novella can plead the circumstance—exceptional in that city— 
of possessing a facade; hut neither of these has anything to redeem its 
innate ugliness in the eyes of an architect. 

There are two great churches of this period at Yenice, the^ San 
Giovanni e Paolo (1246-1420), and the Frari (1250); they are large 
and richly ornamented fabrics, but are both entirely destitute of 
architectural merit. 

A much more beautiful building is the Cathedral at Como, the details 
of which are so elegant and so unobtrusively used as in great measure to 
make up for the bad arrangement and awkward form of the whole. In 
design it is, however, inferior to that of the Duomo at Ferrara (woodcut 
No. 1 41). The latter does not display the richness of the facades of Siena 
or Orvieto, nor the elegance of that last named; hut among the few Italian 
ta<jades which exist, it stands pre-eminent for sober propriety of design 
and the good proportions of all its parts. The repose caused by the soli- 

TA'KT' L r 

j i ivuT2ii\ itaour rrjor~tTrtr 

lithe lower portions, and the gradual increase of ornament Ii£T 
3SJ8 as we ascend, all combine to render it harmonious and pleasing 
7 It is true it wants the as- 

A m A piring character and bold 

741. Puotino at . Ferrava. From Hope’s * Architecture. 

Scale 50 ft. to l in. 

742. View of St. Francesco, Brescia. From Street’s ‘Brick and Marble in the Middle Ages. 






fi uin r i. 

'lorenco there is a house or warehouse, converted into a chil 
orrcnm) San Michele, which has attracted a good deal of atv 
ut. mo 7 0 on account of its curious ornaments than for beaut 
design—which latter it does not, and indeed can hardly be expected 
to possess. The little chapel of Sta. Maria della Spina, at Pisa, owes its 
celebrity to the richness of its niches and canopies, and to the sculpture 
which they contain. In this the Italians were always at home, and 
probably always surpassed the Northern nations. It was far other¬ 
wise with architecture, piroperly so called. This, in the age of the 
pointed style, was in Italy so cold and unmeaning, that we do not 
wonder at the readiness with which the Italians returned to the 
classical models. They are to bo forgiven in this, but we cannot so 
easily forgive our forefathers, who abandoned a style far more beau¬ 
tiful than that of Italy to copy ono which they had themselves in¬ 
finitely surpassed; and this only because the Italians, unable either to 
comprehend or imitate the true principles of pointed art, were forced 
to abandon its practice. Unfortunately for us, they had in this respect 
sufficient influence to set the fashion to all Europe. 


On the boundary line which separates the Guelfic from the Ghi- 
belline influence, there exist at Toscanella, near Viterbo, two churches 
of great beauty of detail ; but which, as might almost ho predicated 
from their situation, defy any attempt at classifica¬ 
tion. They are not Gothic, for they have no vaults, 
nor does their style suggest any vaulting contri¬ 
vances. They are not Romanesque, for the tracery 
of their circular windows, their many-shafted doors, 
and generally their details, are such as to indicate 
a Northern rather than a Roman affinity. Still less 
is there any trace of Byzantine woi*k about them. 

Under these circumstances, it is better to treat 
them as exceptional; than to attempt to give them 
a name which might mislead without conveying 
any correct information. 

The elder of these two churches, Sta. Maria, 
was erected in the beginning of the 13th century 
(1206?), but is so unlike most buildings of that, 
age, that it is usually ascribed to the 6th or 7th. 

On a close examination, however, all its details 
are found to be full of advanced Gothic feeling, though used with Ro¬ 
manesque forms. The pillars are rude Corinthian, with a Gothic abacus. 
They are widely spaced, having no vault to support; and the mouldings 
of the arches are what we should call “ Transitional Early English.” 

Externally the facade is too plain to be quite pleasing, but this 

743. Plan of Sta. Maria, Tos- 
canella. FromOailhahaud. 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 


-XT rt jTrrt If r\ i i: ! XTX:X‘.>U t 

P Tom its depending originally on painting for its decorat 
aces of which still 
sculptured foliaj 
found in 

but the greater part has perished. 
i are richly and beautifully ornamented with shafts and 
ige, quite equal in detail to anything of the class to he 
Italy, and its great circular window would not be tboitght 
out of place at Chartres or Lincoln. 

View of the Interior of Sta. Maria, Totcandla. From Gaillrabaud. 

The church of St. Pietro is probably a century later than that of 
Sta. Maria, and its facade is richer and more elegant—a difference 
ai ising more from those details being in this instance carved which in 
the earlier church were painted. The design, however, deserves at¬ 
tention, for its historical, perhaps, even more than its artistic claims; 
for it was this class of facade that Palladio and the architects of the 
cinque-cento period seized upon, and, applying pilasters and pediments 
of classical type, converted it into-the fashionable churches which are 
to he found in every part of Europe. 1 

1 The typical example of this class is 
the San Giorgio at Venice, though it is 
not by any means the one most like St. 
Pietro; many attempts were made before 

it became so essentially classical as this 
(see woodcut No. 39 in * History of Mo¬ 
dern Architecture % 

Ml NIST#), 

y which the Italians never entirely conquered, 
the sloping lines of the roofs of the aisles 
of the rest of the facade. The gallery over 
enabled them veiy nearly to accomplish it in these Tosca- 
uella churches, and if the same string-courses had been carried all 
icross, the whole might have been harmonized; but it was just missed, 
ind what is strange,, more so in the second than in the first example. 



Circular churches — Towers at Prato and Florence — Porches—Civic buildings 
Town-halls — Venice — Doge's palace — Ch d'Oro — Conclusion. 

Circular Buildings. 

There are very few specimens in Italy of circular or polygonal build¬ 
ings of any class* belonging to the Gothic age. As churches none are 

to be expected. Baptisteries had 
passed out of fashion. One such 
building, at Parma, commenced in 
1190, deserves to be quoted, not cer¬ 
tainly for its beauty, but as illus¬ 
trating those false principles of design 
shown in every part of every building 
of this age in Italy. Externally the 
building is an octagon, six storeys 
in height, the four upper ones being 
merely used to conceal a dome, which 
is covered by a flat wooden roof. The 
lowest and the highest storeys are 
solid, the others are galleries sup¬ 
ported by little ill-shaped columns. 
It is probable that this was not the 
ti of the architect, 

716. Baptistery, Parma. Seale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

original design 

Antelami. No doubt lie intended to 
conceal the dome, or at all events to 
cover it, as was the universal prac¬ 
tice in Italy ; but instead of a mere 
perpendicular wall as here used, the 
external outline should Lave assumed 
a conical form, which might have 
rendered it as pleasing as it is now 
awkward. We have no instance of 
a circular building carried out by 
Italian architects according to their own principles, sufficiently far to 
enable ns to judge what they were capable of in this style, unless 
perhaps it be the tombs of the SealigCrs at Verona. These take the 

747. Baptistery at Parma, half Section, half 
Elevation. Scale 50 ft. to 1 In. 

i \_r yr'fli'i.iiW " 

r or polygonal form appropriate to tombs, but are on so 
that they might rather be called crosses than mausolea ; 
illustrating all the best principles of Italian design, and 
evincing an exuberance of exquisite ornament, they can hardly be 
regarded as important objects of high art* It is only from small 
buildings like these, that we may recover the principles of this art 
as practiced in Italy. Not being, like the Northern styles, a progres¬ 
sive national effort, but generally an individual exertion, if the first 
architect died during the progress of a larger building, no one knew 
exactly how he had intended to finish it, and its completion was 
entrusted to the caprice and fancy of some other man, which he 
generally indulged, wholly regardless of its incongruity with the work 
of his predecessor. 


The Italians in the age of pointed architecture were hardly more 
successful in their towers than in their other buildings, except that 
a tower, from its height, must always be a striking object, and, if 
both massive and high, cannot fail to have a certain imposing appear¬ 
ance, of which no clumsiness on the part of the architect can deprive 
it. Such towers as the Asinelli and Garisenda at Bologna possess no 


Campanile, Palazzo Scaligeri, Verona. From Street. 

never caught the true 
idea of a spire. 

Throughout the 
whole of the middle 
ages they retained 
their affection for the 
ori ginal rectan gulftr 
form, making their 
towers as broad at 
the summit as at the 
base. With very few 
exceptions, they are 
without buttresses, 
or any projection on 
the angles, to aid in 
giving them even an 
appearance of sup¬ 
port. In consequence, 
when a spire was 
placed on such an 
edifice it always fitted 
awkwardly. The art 
by which a tower 
was prepared for its 
termination, first by * 
the graduated but¬ 
tresses at its base, 
then by the strongly 
marked vertical lines 
of its upper portion, 
and above all by tlie 
circle of spirelets at 
the top, out of which 
the central spire shot 
up as an absolute 
necessity of the com¬ 
position—this art, so 
dear and so familiar 
to the Northern 
builders, was never 
understood by the 

Italians. If they, on the contrary, placed an octagon on their square 
towers, it looked like an accident for which nothing was prepared, and 



pi re was sepa- 
from it only 
bold horizontal 
cornices, instead of 
by vertical lines, as 
true taste dictated. 

In fact, the Ita¬ 
lians seem to have 
benefited loss by the 
experience or instruc¬ 
tion of their Northern 
neighbours in tower¬ 
building than in any 
other feature of the 
style, and to have re¬ 
tained their old forms 
in these after they 
had abandoned them 
in other parts of their 
churches. The towers 
of Asti (12C6) and 
Siena (rebuilt in 
1389) are illustrated 
in woodcuts Nos. 724 
and 729. They cer¬ 
tainly display but 
little art. A more 
pleasing specimen is 
the tower (woodcut 
No. 748) attached to 
the Duomo at Prato 
(about 1312), which 
may be considered as 
a specimen of the very 
best class of Italian 
tower design of the 
age, although in fact 
its only merit con¬ 
sists in the increase 
in tho size of the 
openings in every 
storey upwards, so 
as to give a certain 
degree of lightness 
to the upper part. 


Campanile, 8. Andrea, Mantua. From Street. 


tttlian auch. tiTKcru 

Jside of the Alps the same effect was generally attained 
Amg the diameter. When a spire is to he added, that is 
Omissible mode; but when the building is to be crowned by a 
cornice, as at Prato, the mode there adopted is perhaps preferable. 

The tower which is attached to the palace 
of the Scaligeri at Verona (woodcut No. 749) is 
perhaps as graceful as any other, and as cha¬ 
racteristic of the Italian principles of tower- 
building. The lower part is absolutely plain 
and solid, the upper storey alone being pierced 
with one splendid three-light window in each 
face, with a boldly projecting cornice over it 
marking the roof. On this is placed an octagon 
lantern two storeys in height. Had the lower 
portion of the lantern been broken by turrets 
or pinnacles at the angles, the effect, would 
have been greatly increased. As it is, it seems 
only a makeshift to eke out the height of the 
whole; though tho octagon with its boldly pro¬ 
jecting cornice is as graceful, as anything of the 
kind in Italian architecture. 

The campanile attached to the church of 
St. Andrea at Mantua (woodcut No. 750) is 
more nearly Gothic both in design and details. 
Its vertical lines are strongly marked, and the 
string courses and cornices are of moulded brick¬ 
work, which is a pleasing and characteristic 
feature in the architecture of Lombardy. 

The worst part of this design is the smallness 
of the octagon and spire, and the unconnected 
mode in which they are placed on the roof of 
the tower. 

The typical example of Italian towers is that 
erectQd close to the Duomo at Florence from 
designs by Giotto, commenced in 1324, arid 
considerably advanced, if not nearly finished, 
at the time of his death two years afterwards. 

Though hardly worthy of the praise which 
has been lavished on it, it is certainly a very 
From Gaiihabmid. Scale so ft. beautiful building. Being covered with orna¬ 
ment from the base to the summit, it has not 
that nakedness which is the reproach of so many others, and the octa¬ 
gonal projections at the angles give it considerable relief. Besides this, 
the openings are very pleasingly graduated. It is virtually solid for 
about one-third of its height. The middle division consists of two storeys, 

: vmrr 


j witli two windows, while the upper part is lighted by one 
on each face, as at Prato. All this is good. One great defect) 
composition is its parallelism. The slightest expansion of the base 
would have given it great apparent stability, which its height requires. 
Another fault is its being divided by too strongly marked horizontal 
courses into distinct storeys, instead of one division falling by imper¬ 
ceptible degrees into the other, as in Northern towers. It lias yet 
another defect in common with the Duomo to which it belongs, namely, 
the false character of its ornamentation, which chiefly consists of a veneer 
of party coloured slabs of marble,—beautiful in itself, but objectionable 
as not forming a part of the apparent construction. 

The tower now rises to a height of 269 ft., and it was intended to 
have added a spiro of about 90 ft. to this; but unless it had been more 
gracefully managed than is usual in Italy, the tower is' certainly better 
without it. There is nothing to suggest a spire in the part already 
executed, nor have we any reason to believe that Giotto understood 
the true principles of spire-building bettor than his contemporaries. 

We' may here notice the Toracoio of Cremona, though not an 
ecclesiastical edifice. It is a monumental tower commmenced in 1296 
to commemorate a peace made between Cremona and the neighbouring 
states after a long and tedious contest for supremacy. It partakes, there¬ 
fore, like those of St. Mark’s, Venice, and of Modena, more of the cha¬ 
racter of a civic belfry than of a church tower, such as those previously 
mentioned. It is the highest and largest, and consequently, according 
to the usual acceptation of the term, the finest, of Italian towers. Its 
whole height is 396 ft., about two-thirds of which is a square ungainly 
mass, without either design or ornament of any importance. On this is 
placed an octagon and spire, which, though in themselves perhaps the 
best specimens of their class in Italy, have too little connexion either 
m design or dimensions with the tower on which they stand. 


Another feature very characteristic of the Gothic style in Italy is 
to be found in the porches attached to the churches. Generally they 
ate placed on the flanks, and form side-entrances, and in most instances 
they were added after the completion of the body of the building and 
consequently seldom accord in style with it. One has already been 
illustrated as attached to the church at Asti (woodcut No. 724) • 
another, belonging to the church of Sta. Maria dei Fiori at Florence* 
is an integral and beautiful part of the design. 

One of the most characteristic specimens of the class in all Italy is 
that attached to the northern flank of the church of Sta. Maria Mag; 
giore at Bergamo (woodcut No. 752). The principal archway and the 
doorway within it are circular in form, although built in the middle 
of the 14th century, and are ornamented with trefoils and other details 

Q 2 

752. North Porch, Sta. Maria Maggiore, Bergamo. From Stress ‘Brick and Marble of the Middle -Agon.' 

the porch was probably built, and above is a little pagoda-like 
pavilion containing statues of the Virgin and Child. 

ITT. Cm TV. 


e whole design is so uncons truetivo that it depends more oir 
ties that are everywhere inserted to hold it together than on any" 
system of thrusts or counterpoises, which a true Gothic architect would 
certainly have supplied. 

The two main pillars rest on lions, as is universally the case in 
these porches throughout Italy, though rarely found elsewhere. 

Like most of these Italian porches, this one will not stand criti¬ 
cism as a purely architectural object; but its details are so beautiful 
and its colour so fascinating that it pleases in spite of all its defects of 
design, and is more characteristic of the truly native feeling shown 
in the treatment of the pointed style of architecture than the more 
ambitious examples which were erected under direct foreign influence. 

Civic Buildings. 

The free towns of Italy required civic buildings almost to the same 
extent as the contemporary cities in Belgium, though not quite of 
the same class. Their commerce, for instance, did not require trade- 
halls, but no town was without its town-hall, or palazzo publico, and 
belfry. The greater intrinsic difficulty of buildings of this class, as 
compared with churches, has already been pointed out. It cannot 
therefore be expected that the Italians who failed in the easier task 
should have succeeded in the harder. The town-hall at Siena is 
perhaps the best existing example, most of the others having been so 
altered that it is difficul t to judge of their original effect. This must 
he pronounced to he a very poor architectural performance, flat and 
unmeaning, and without any lines or style of ornament to group the 
windows together into one composition, so that they are mere scattered 
openings in the wall. 

That at Perugia seems originally to have been better, though now 
greatly disfigured. At Florence the Palazzo Vecchio is more of a 
feudal fortalice (required, it must be confessed, to keep the turbulent 
citizens in order) than the municipal palace of a peaceful community. 
In Ferrara and other cities the palazzo publico is really and virtually 
a fortress and nothing else. 

At Piacenza it consists of a range of bold pointed stone arches, 
supporting an upper storey of brick, adorned with a range of circular- 
headed windows, richly ornamented, and a pleasing specimen of the 
mode in which the Italians avoided the difficulty of filling the upper 
parts of their windows with tracery (which they never liked), and at 
the same time rendered them ornamental externally. 

At Padua and Vicenza are two great halls supported on arcades 
in intention like that of Piacenza, but far from possessing its beauty’ 
That at Padua remains in all its pristine ugliness, as hideous an 
erection as any perpetrated in the middle ages.- The hall is one of 


largest in Europe, measuring 240 ft, in length by 84 
^W^hnnster Hall is 288 X 07), but wholly without ornament <£r 
4>eatrt}' of proportion. Externally the arcades that are stuck to its 
sides do not relievo its mass, and are not beautiful in themselves. 
That at Vicenza, though originally very similar, has been fortunate 
in having its outside clothed in one of Palladio’s most successful 
designs,—perhaps tho only instance in which an addition of that 

m wif] 

TOmxr i5Tjn:rnrvo^. 

S design. The Palace of the Jurisconsults at Cremona tor insmjeo 
t No. 753) only requires its lower arcades to be again opene^tj 
all its original features, which resemble in almost every respect 
those of the palazzo at Piacenza above mentioned, except that the latter 

has five arches below and six windows above, instead of two and three 
as here shewn, this building is wholly of brick, like most other civic 
buildings in the North of Italy. Sometimes, as at Piacenza, they are of 
stone below and brick in the upper storeys. Sometimes, though rarely, 

, Va'vS 

754. Broletto at Como. From Street. 

x unm ormTTmtmii; vjo xuiusr 

, entirely faced with party-coloured marbles like 
(woodcut No. 754), which, though not extensive, 
specimen of the best form of civic architecture of 
age in the N orth of 1 taly, and standing as it does between the cathedral 
on the one hand and its own rude old belfry on the other, makes up 
an extremely pleasing group.' 

One of the most important buildings of this style is the Great 
Hospital, Milan. It was founded in the year 1456, and consequently 
belongs to an age when the style was dying out. It still retains more 
of the pointed style and of Gothic feeling than could have been found 
in any city farther south,, or in any one less impregnated, as it were, 
with German blood and feeling. 

Almost all the windows in the part originally erected are pointed 
in form and divided by mullions. Their principal ornament consists 
of garlands of flowers interspersed w ith busts and masks and figures of 
Cupids, which surround the windows, or run along the string-courses. 
The whole of these are in terra-cotta, and make up a style of orna¬ 
mentation as original as it is beautiful. It is besides purely local, and 
far superior to the best copies of Northern details, or to the misapplied 
forms of Gothic architecture which are so common in Italy. 

There is perhaps nothing in the North of Italy so worthy of admi¬ 
ration, and study, as the w r ay in which moulded bricks of various 
kinds are used for decoration, especially in the civic buildings, and 
also occasionally in the chinches. Sublimity is not perhaps to be 
attained in brickwork; the parts are too small; and if splendour is 


1 Similar buildings at Bergamo, Brescia, 
and Monza are illustrated in Mr. Street's 
beautiful work on the Architecture of the 

North of Italy, from which the two last 
illustrations are borrowed. 

T* WSty 


Window from th? Cathedral of Monza. 
From Street. 

at, it may require some larger and more costly mater 
ie the desired effect; hut tdiere is no beauty of detail 
on a small scale that may not he obtained by the use of 
moulded bricks, which are in themselves far more durable, and, if 
carefully burnt, retain their sharpness of outline longer, than most 
kinds of stone. 

The most common way in which the Italians used this material 
was by repeating around their openings or along their cornices small 
copies of Gothic details, as in this example from a circular window in 
the Broletto at Brescia (woodcut JS r o. 755). Where the details are 
small and designed with taste, the effect is almost equal to stone ; but 
where the details are themsolvos on a largo scale, as is sometimes 
the case, the smallness of the materials becomes apparent. Even 
in this example the semi-quatrefoils of the principal band are too 
large for the other details, 
though not sufficiently so to 
be offensive. 

Though not so rich, the 
effect is almost equally 
pleasing where the brick is 
merely moulded on its edge, 
without any very direct 
repetition of Gothic details, 
as in the upper part of the 
window shewn in w r oodeut 
No. 756, from the cathedral 
of Monza. Where great 
depth is given so as to ob¬ 
tain shadow, and long tiles 
are used for the upper arch, 
as was done by the Romans, 
an appearance of strength 
and solidity is given to the 
construction unsurpassed by 
that obtained in any other 

Perhaps the most pleasing 
application of terra-cotta or¬ 
naments is where bricks of 
different colours are used so 
as to produce by variety of pattern that relief which canhot so well 
be given % depth of shadow,-a perfectly legitimate mode of ornament 

l!ZZ r 9 m 18 ’ aiKl Whm not sublimity, 

This is sometimes produced in Italy by introducing stone of a 

There are few of these brick buildings of the North of Italy which 
me not open to just criticism for defects of design or detail, but this 
may arise from the circumstance that they all belong to an ago when 
the Italians were using a stylo which was not their own, and employ¬ 
ing ornaments of which they understood neither the origin nor the 
application. The defects certainly do not appear to be at all inherent 
in the material, and, judging from the experience of the Italians, were 
we to make the attempt in a proper spirit, we might create with it a 
style far surpassing anything we ntjjpjiractise. 


The most beautiful specimens of the civil and domestic architecture 
of Italy in the Gothic period are probably to be found in Venice, the 
richest and most peaceful of Italian cities during the middle ages. It 
is necessary to speak of the buildings of Venice, or more correctly, 
of the Venetian Province, by themselves, since its architecture is quite 
distinct both in origin and character from any other fonnd in Northern 
I taly. It was not derived from the old Lombard round Gothic, but 
from the richer and more graceful Byzantine. True to its parentage, 
it partook in after ages far more of the Southern Saracenic sty e t an 



bricks, as in the two examples from Yen' 
.Nos. 757, 758); and where this mode of ornamentation 
throughout the building, the effect is 'very pleasing. It is 
difficult, however, so to proportion the two materials as to produce 
exactly the effect aimed at, and seldom that the objection does not 
present itself of too much or too little stone being used. The want 
of shadow in brick architecture is most felt in the cornices, where 
sufficient projection cannot be obtained. The defect might be easily 
and legitimately got over by the employment of stone in the upper 
members of the cornice, but this expedient seems never to have been 
resorted to. 



tta/Nortliern Gothic, still it cannot ho classed as either Byzaim™ 
Si^&racenic, hut only as Gothic treated with an Eastern feeling, afcrir 
clinched with many details borrowed from Eastern styles. 

The largest and most prominent civic example of Venetian Gothic is 
the Doge’s Palace, commenced in 1354 (woodcut No 759), a building 
which all the world agreed till very lately in thinking very ugly, though 
an attempt has recently been made to exalt it above the Parthenon, and 

Central Part of the Facade of the Doge'e Palace, Venice. From Cicognara. 
, .* . W i *> I 30 i 40.| SOffet. 






I 01 ’ of the world—richer than almost any other huildin c 
. asso °iations, and in a locality hallowed, especially to 
hnian, by tho poetry of Shakespeare. All this spreads a halo 
around and over tho building, which may furnish ample excuse for 
those who blindly praise even its deformities. But the soberer judg¬ 
ment of the critic must not he led astray by such feelings, and while 
giving credit for the picturesque situation of this building and a 
ceitain grandeur in its design, ho is compelled wholly to condemn its 
execution. Tho two arcades which constitute the base are, from their 
extent and the beauty of their details, as fine as anything of their 
class executed during the middle ages. There is also a just and pleas¬ 
ing proportion between the simple solidity of the lower, and the airy 
—perhaps slightly fantastic-lightness of the upper of these arcades. 
Had what appears to have been the original design been carried out. 
the building would rank high with the Alhambra and the palaces of 
Iersia and India; but in an evil hour, in 1480, it was discovered that 
larger rooms were required than had been originally contemplated, 
and tbe upper wall, which was intended to stand on the back wall of 
the arcades, was brought forward even with the front, overpowering 
tho part below by its ill-proportioned mass. This upper storey too is 
for from being beautiful in itself. The windows in it are not only far 
too few, but they are badly spaced, squat, and ungraceful; while the 
introduction of smaller windows and circles mars its pretensions to 
simplicity without relieving its plainness. Its principal ornaments 
are two great windows, one in the centre of each face, which appear 
to have assumed their present form after the fire in 1578. These are 
not graceful objects in themselves, and having nothing in common with 
the others, they look too like insertions to produce an entirely satisfac¬ 
tory effect. The pierced parapet, too, is poor and flimsy when seen 
against the sky. Had it crowned the upper arcade, and been backed 
by the third storey, it would have been as pleasing as it is now poor. 
Had the upper storey been set back, as was probably originally de¬ 
signed, or had it been placed on the ground and the arcades over it ; 
had, in short, any arrangement of the parts been adopted but tbe one 
that exists, this might have been a far more beautiful building than it 
is. One thing in this palace is worth remarking before leaving it — that 
almost all the beauty ascribed to its upper storey arises from the poly¬ 
chromatic mode of decoration introduced by disposing pieces of different 
coloured marbles in diaper patterns. This is better done here than 
in Florence; inasmuch as the slabs are built in, not stuck on. Tlie 
admiration which it excites is one more testimony to the fact that 
when a building is coloured, ninety-nine people in a hundred are 
willing to overlook all its faults, and to extol that as beautiful, which 
without the adjunct-of colour they would have unanimously agreed in 

Afbetter specimen of the style, because erected as designed, 

Mng nearly as erected, is the Ca d’Oro (woodcut No. 760), brSyJ 
1350, or nearly contemporary with the ducal palace. It has no 
trace of the high roofs or aspiring tendencies of the Northern buildings 
of the same age, no boldly-marked buttresses in strong vertical lines, 
but on the contrary flat sky-lines arid horizontal divisions pervade the 
design, and every part is ornamented with a fanciful richness far more 
characteristic of the luxurious refinement of the East than of the manlier 
appreciation of the higher qualities of art which distinguished the 
contemporary erections on this side of the Alps. 

Oh d’Oro, Venice. From Cicognara. 

Ihe palaces known as the Foscari and Fisani are very similar in 
design to that of Ca d’Oro, though less rich and less happy in the 
distribution of the parts; hut time has lent them that colour which 
was an inherent part of the older design, and they are so beautiful 
and so interesting that it is hard to criticise even their too apparent 

Wd I" Tv * art ' M ° st 0f ** that strike us in the 

betriv Of f \ C111C 4 ° " mo from the defective knowledge which they 
P f dpl€a The Venetian architects had not 
roughly »k imJr ^ ^ ' scll ° o1 of practical experience, nor tho- 

the m^essi f 1 J T f 0 ”’ ““ tho K ^hern architects were by 
the necessities of the large buildings which they erected On tho 

contrary, they merely adopted details because they were pretty and 

used them so as to he picturesque in domestic edLes, where cm ve 

“f Cti0n W 11 Kecondar y consideration, 

ho, instance, the window here shown (woodcut No. 701) cannot fail to 

rr a j i iwAm-; Mii^uiuirK. 

.e building in which it occurs an appearance of weaknesl 
rity quite inexcusable in spite of its external picturesquenojgsj 
nternal convenience. 

The same remark applies to the screen (woodcut No. 762) above 

the Ponte del Para- 
diso, which, though 
useless and uncon- 
stractive to the last 
degree, by its pic¬ 
turesque design and 
elegant details ar¬ 
rests all travellers. 
Indeed it is im¬ 
possible to see it 
without admiring 
it, though, if imi¬ 
tated elsewhere, it 
could hardly be 
saved from being 

Both these ex¬ 
amples are sur¬ 
rounded by a curi¬ 
ous dental moulding 
which is peculiar to 
Venice, and which, 
though rarely found 
elsewhere, is hardly 
ever omitted round 
any (if the arches 
of the churches or 
private buildings 
of this city during 
the pointed Gothic 

There are, be¬ 
sides these, many 
smaller palaces and 
houses of the Gothic 
age, all more or less 
beautiful, and all 
presenting some detail or some happy arrangement well worthy of 
study, and usually more refined and more beautiful than those of 
the rude but picturesque dwellings of the burghers of Bruges 01 

Angle Window at Venice. 

u 3 E# tt.s&* 

From Street. 


nixed Gothic style which we have been describing appears" 
4tcd a considerable effect on the subsequent palatial architc 
tj{ Venice. The arrangement of the fasades remained nearly the 
same down to a very late period; and even when the so-called return 
to classical forms took place, many details of the previous style were 
hero retained, which was not the case in any other part of Europe. 


" i i a l >iins iim itn j!iUi uitw. 




Introductory Classification of Stales. 

Ir would be easier to define the limits and character of the remaining 
styles of Italian mediaeval architecture by a negative than a positive 
title. To call them the “ non-Gothic” styles would describe them 
correctly, but would hardly suffice to convey a distinct idea of their 
peculiarities. Eomanesque, or even Italian Romanesque, would not 
be sufficient; first, because that term applies only correctly to those 
transitional forms which were derived directly from the Roman styles 
as they became impure and degraded, and has already been applied 
to them in a previous chapter; and, secondly, because there is an 
important foreign element in the styles in question of which that 
name takes no cognizance. That element is the Byzantine, derived 
partly from the continued relations which such cities as Venice or Pisa 
maintained during the middle ages with the Levant, and partly from 
the intercourse which the inhabitants of Magna Grecia kept up across 
the Adriatic with the people on its eastern shore. To such a mixture 
of styles the term ^ Byzantine Romanesque” is perfectly appropriate; 
but there is still in Italy another form of art which cannot be included 
in such a denomination. The typical'example of this style is the church 
of St. Mark at Venice. 

St. Marks is generally assumed to he purely Byzantine; but there 
is no church in the East exactly like it, though many possess features 
in common ; and there are in Apulia churches, such as Molfetta and 
St. Angelo, which look much more like Levantine designs than any¬ 
thing to be found in other parts of Europe, except perhaps such build¬ 
ings as St. Front, Ferigeux, and one or two exceptional buildings in 
the South of France. To this style, as practised in Italy, it maybe 
expedient to give the name “ Italian Byzantine.” 

There still remains the difficulty of knowing under which of these 
two branches some of flic buildings of southern Italy should be classed. 
The cathedrals of Bari, Bitonto, Trani, and Caserta Veecliia, may as 
fairly be said to belong to one as to the other style. In a very detailed 
description < f Italian styles it might be expedient to attempt a further 

;iS ch. v. 


pion, tad to follow up the two divisions just marked out byV., 
tho one to he designated “ Romanesque Gothio,” to include suet 
ches as the two at Toscanella ; and tho other “ Byzantine Gothic ” 
to include those churches in the south in the decoration of which rose- 
windows and Gothic details form a leading characteristic. For the 
present, however, it will probably suffice to describe the various non- 
Gothie styles of the southern half of Italy in local sections, without 
attempting any very minute classification of their variations. As tho 
Italians had no great national style of their own, and both in the north 
and south were principally working under foreign influences, it is in 
vam to look for any thread that will conduct the student straight 
through the labyrinth of their styles. Italian unity is the aspiration 

of the present century: during the middle ages it did not exist either 
ib politics or art. 







Buildings in Naples, Amalfi, &c. — San Nicolo, Bari - Cathedrals of Bittonto, Matera, 
and Trani — Churches at Brindisi — General Remarks. 


The Normans enter Italy. 

_ conquer Apulia, from the Greeks . 

_ attack the Saracens in Sicily . . 

Conquest of Sicily completed by Roger de 

Hauteville... . 

Roger II. 

William 1., sumamcd the Wicked . . 

a.d. 1018 

110 L 

William II., sunnuned the Good . . . 

Tancred .. 

Frederic Hohenstaufen of Germany . . 



Charles I., first Angiovine King of Naples 
Rend, last Angiovine King of Naples 

a.d. 1166 

Although Naples is in the very centre of its province, where we 
naturally first look for examples of the stylo, there are few cities m 
Italy which contain so little to interest the architect or the anti¬ 
quary. Still she does possess ono group of churches, which, hy their 
juxtaposition at least, serve to illustrate the progress of the style 
during the middle ages. The earliest of these, Sta. Restitu ta-sliaded 
dark in the plan (woodcut No. 7 C 3 )—may ho as old as the 4th or 
5th century, and retains its original plan and arrangement, though 
much disfigured in details. The baptistery, a little behind the apse on 
its left, is certainly of the date indicated, and retains its mosaics, 

which seem to be of the same age. 

In the year 1299 Charles II. of Anjou commenced the now cathedral 
at right angles with the old, his French prejudices being apparently 
shocked at the incorrect orientation of the older church. It is a 
spacious building, 300 ft. long, arranged, as Italian churches usually 
were at that age, with a wooden roof over the nave and intersecting 
vaults over the side-aisles. Opposite the entrance of the old cathedral 
is a domical chapel of Renaissance design, so that the group contains 
an illustration of each of the three ages of Italian art. 

The church of San Miniato (woodcuts Nos. 704 and 705), on a hil 
overlooking Florence, is one of the earliest (1013) as well as one of the 
most perfect, of the Byzantine Romanesque style. Internally it is only 
105 ft. in length by 70 in width, divided longitudinally into aisles, and 

*?63. The Old and New 

transversely into three nearly square compartments by clustered piers 
supporting two great arches which run up to the roof. The whole of 
the inner compartment is occupied by a crypt 
or under-church open to the nave, above which 
is the choir and altar-niche, approached by 
flights of steps in the aisles. The entire 
arrangement, together with the division of 
the nave into three compartments, is most 
satisfactory, and the proportions of the whole 
are very appropriate. The pillars themselves 
are so nearly classical in design that they were 
probably taken from some ancient building, 
and the architraves and string-courses are all 
well designed and fitted to the places they 
occupy. The principal ornament of the in¬ 
terior is an inlaid pattern of simple design, r,, 

<y» 7b4. r Lin of San Miniato, Floren<v 

suiticient to relieve the monotony of the in- A :' rorn GaMiabauto • Monumem 
tenor, but without producing any confusion. Scale ioo ft. tax in. 

The exterior depends principally, like the interior, for its effect on 
coloured panelling, but has a range of blind arches running round the 

a 2 



nd across the front. The facade, however, is very bad! 
either it was one of the earliest examples, and the archit 
hot learned how to combine the sloping roofs of the aisles with the 
upper part of the facades, or it has been altered in more modern times ; 
but for this slight defect it would be difficult to find a church in Italy 
containing more of classic elegance, with perfect appropriateness for 
flic purposes of Christian worship. 

16 5 Section of San Miniato, near Florence. From Gailhabaud. Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 

There must have been several, probably many, buildings in the 
same style erected in Tuscany during the first half of the 11th century. 
Otherwise it is almost impossible to understand how so complete a 
design as that of Pisa Cathedral could have been executed. It was 
commenced apparently in 1063, and completed in 1092. Internally 
it is not unlike the Bavenna churches in design (vol. i. p. 374, (fee.), 
except that it has a splendid triforium gallery over the pier arches, 
and in plan a strongly marked projecting transept. Its great merit, 
however, is the exterior. The side-aisles are adorned with a range of 
blind arches running all round, adorned with party-coloured marble, 
inlaid either in courses or in patterns. Above this is a gallery, repre¬ 
senting the triforium, carved all round, and in the facades formed 
into an open gallery ; a second open gallery represents the sloping roof 
of the aisles, a third the clerestory, a fourth the slopes of the great 
roof The difficulty here, as in almost all Italian designs, is caused 
by the sloping roofs; hut, with this exception, the whole makes up a 
rich and varied composition without any glaring false construction, 
and expresses with sufficient clearness the arrangements of the interior. 
The dome is of later design, and, being oval in plan, cannot be said 
to he pleasing in outline. 

The Italians were evidently delighted with their new style. It 
was repeated with very little variation at Lucca, in. the church of 
San Michele (1188), only that the arcades stood free on the sides 
as well as on the front. The facade of S. Martino, in the same city, 
is in the same style; so is that of the Cathedral at Pistoja, and so 

766 . 

ITALIAN ARCHITilw . Patmjjj. 

Maria at Arezzo. The arrangement was probably sngg^^l 
porticos of Pagan temples, and were it not for the awkwardness- 
by the sloping line of the roofs, it might bo characterized as 
one of the most successful inventions of the age. 

In some instances, as in the facade of the Cathedral at Zara 
in Dalmatia (woodcuts Nos. 767, 768), built by Enrico Dandolo 
(1192-1204), the difficulties of the design of 
the facade are to a great extent conquered 
by reducing the arcades to mere decorative 
panelling, and more than this by separating 
the design of the centre from that of the aisles 
by a bold square pilaster. This is exactly the 
feature we miss at Pisa and Lucca, where the 
want of it imparts a considerable degree of 
weakness to the whole design. 

Its plan is that usually adopted in churches 
of this class; but it possesses a lady chapel and 
baptistery, placed laterally in a somewhat un¬ 
usual manner. Its dimensions are small, being 
only 170 ft. by 65 externally. 

The east end of this church, its doorways 
and windows, show, as might be expected from its locality, a greater 
tendency towards Gothic art than can be found on the western shores 
of the Peninsula, but in internal arrangements it belongs wholly to 
the Italian style. 

Further south on the mainland of Italy, at Troja, we find a sin¬ 
gularly elegant cathedral church (1093-1115?) in the same style 
(woodcut No. 769). Its flanks and apse are perhaps even more elegant 
than anything in the neighbourhood of Pisa. So is the lower part of 
its facade, which is adorned with a richness and elegance of foliage 
characteristic of the province where it is found; and the cornice that 
crowns the lower storey is perhaps unmatched by any similar example 
to be found in Italy, either for beauty of sculptural decoration or for 
appropriateness of profile. The upper part of the facade differs, how¬ 
ever, considerably from that of the examples just quoted. A great 
rose-window, of elegant but ill-understood tracery, takes the place of 
the arcades, and, with the sculptured arch over it, completes all that 
remains of the original design. The plain pieces of walling that sup¬ 
port the central window are parts of a modern repair. 

As a general rule, all the churches in the South of Italy are small. 
This one at Troja is arranged in plan like that at Pisa, with bold pro¬ 
jecting transepts, but its length is only 167 feet, and the width of its 
nave 50, while in the northern cathedral these dimensions are nearly 
double, 310 feet by 106, and the area four times as great. This is true 
of all, however elegant they may be—they are parish churches in 
dimensions as compared with their northern rivals. 

767. Plan of Zara Cathedral. 
Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 

//AltA UAmmJKAL, 

j Many also, as the cathedral at Bari (woodcut No. 770), hav^Jjydl 
!sc>s internal, which detracts very much from the meaning 
&ig*n, and does away with the apsidal terminations, ^ Inch are 


perliaps the most beautiful features in the external design of Italian 
churches; while they lack the great tracoried windows which go so 
far to replace the absence of the apse in English design. The annexed 
elevation of the east end at Bari (woodcut No. 771) gives a fair idea 


j J7i hiiviN Anumimrru ke. 

VYO. Cathedral at Bari. 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

1 Schultz, ‘ D^nkmaler dur Kunst des Mittelalters in Tjuter-Italien. 



Ca^erta’ veochia. 

universally the case 

on the contrary, it would be difficult, as a 
nple of the style, to select one more characteristic than the flaWl?-Jf 

A the church of Caserta Vec- 
chia (1100-1153, woodcut 
No. 773). The windows are 
small hut 

numerous, and 
mark the number of bays in 
the interior. The transept is 
slightly projected, and orna¬ 
mented with an arcade at 
the top, and above this rises 
a dome such as is found only 
in Calabria or Sicily. The 
tower was added afterwards, 
and, though unsymmetrical, 
assists in relieving a design 
which would otherwise run 
the risk of being monotonous. 

Church ivt Caserta Vecchia. From Schultz 








; ; 



mM>illais resting on monsters somewhat like those found in the noi^jj 
Above this is either a gallery or one or two windows, anfl^ 
^he^ymole generally terminates in a circular rose-window filled with 
tracery. As exemplified in the front of Bittonto Cathedral (woodcut 
No. 774), such a composition is not deficient in richness, though 
hardly pleasing as an architectural composition. 

West Front of Bittonto Cathedral. From a Sketch by A. J. It. Gatven. Esq. 

The same arrangement, on about the same scale, occurs at Bari 
Altamura, and Ruvo ; and on a somewhat smaller scale in the churches 
of Galatina, Brindisi, and Barletta. The great and peculiar beauty of the 
cathedral at Bittonto is its sonth front, one angle of which is shown in 
the woodcut; hut which becomes richer towards the east, where it is 
adorned with a portal of great magnificence and beauty. The richness 


open gallery (under wliat was the roof of the side-aisles) i l , 

;ed in Apulia, and probably by anything of the same kind in; 

The fac;ade of San Nicolo at Bari (1197) is something like the 
last-mentioned, except that handsome Corinthian columns have been 
borrowed from some older building, and add to the richness of the 
design, though they hardly can be said to belong to the composition. 

775. West Front of the Church of San Nicolo in Bari. From a Sketch by A. J. R. Gawen, Ksq. 

Internally tins church seems to have displayed some such. arrangement 
as that of ban Mimato (woodcut No. 764). Instead, however, of im¬ 
proving upon it, as might be expected from the time that had elapsed 
smoe the previous one was erected, the Southern architect hardly 
knew the meaning of what ho was attempting. He grouped together 
the three pillars next the entrance, and threw arches across the nave 


Mjm but these arches neither support the roof nor aid t^jj 

coHstmction in any other way. They do add to the perspective effect 
hf th^mtenor, but it is only by a theatrical contrivance very rare in 
the middle ages, and by no means to be admired when found. 

Most of these Apulian churches possess crypts almost as important 
as that of San Miniato, some more so; and the numerous pillars in 
some of these give rise to effects of perspective only to he found else¬ 
where in such buildings as the Mosque at Cordova, or the cisterns at 

View of the Interior of San Nicolo, Buri. From Schultz. 



ted out, was fatal to the architectural effect of many of 
gns, especially in the Northern province. 

.0 difference arose from the fact that the naves 
In Southern Italy this is seldom the case, hut 
of the churches had never vaulted roofs, and were 
consequently separated from the aisles by single 
pillars instead of composite piers. This took 
away all temptation to display mechanical dex¬ 
terity, and left the architect free to produce the 
best artistic effect he was able to design with Scale 100 ft. to i in. 
the materials at his command. 

No one who takes the pains to familiarize himself with the archi¬ 
tecture of these Southern Italian churches, can well fail to he impressed 
with their beauty. That beauty will be found, however, to arise not 
so much from the dimensions or arrangement of their plans, or the 
form of their outline, as from the grace and elegance of their details. 
Every feature displays the feeling of an elegant and refined people, 
who demanded decoration as a necessity, though they were incapable 
of rising to any great architectural conception. They excelled as 
ornamentists, though at best only indifferent architects. 


View in Crypt at Otranto. From Schultz. 

It is impossible to render this evident in such a work as the 
’ >ut be f des tho samples already given, a window (woodcut 
iNo. 779; from the cathedral church at Matera (1270), will explain 
how unlike the style of decoration is to anything with which we are 
Himliar m the North, and at the same time, how much picturesque 
effect may he produced by a repetition of similar details. The church 
itself has this peculiarity, that its west front is plain and unimportant 



JSn tMt all the decoration is lavished on the south side, which. 
v P^I^Wza. There are two entrances on this face, that towards tl^ 
^vea^i^ing, as usual, the richest. Above these is a range of richly- 
ornamented windows, one of which—a little out of the centre—is far 
more splendid than the rest (woodcut No. 779). From this it is said 
that letters and rescripts from the Greek patriarch at Constantinople 
used to be read, and it is perhaps as elaborate a specimen of the mode 
of decoration used in these churches as can be found in the province. 

779. Window in the sooth side of the Cathedral Church in Matc ra, From a Sketch by Mr. Gawen. 

The same exuberance of decoration continued to be employed down 
to the latest period of the art, and after Northern forms had been 
introduced by the Angiovine dynasty at Naples. The doorway from 
the church at Pappacoda (woodcut No. 780) is a type of many to be 
found in that city and elsewhere in the architectural province. True, 
it is overdone, to such an extent that much of the labour bestowed 
upon it must be considered as thrown away; hut if a love of art 
induced people to labour so lovingly in it, it is hard to refuse them the 
admiration which their enthusiasm deserves. 

Another class of ornamental detail in which this province is espe¬ 
cially rich is that of bronze doors, of which some six or seven examples 
still remain. Of these perhaps the finest are those of the cathedral at 
Trani. They were made in 1160, and for beauty of design, and for 

Mi li. cjh. * v r. ommwjsim dooms' AiYD dookways. 

>£ubcrant;e and elegance of their ornaments, are unQurpasse\jW 

or probably in the world. Anotkef 
in 1119, belongs to the 

tghytlUhg of the kind in 
.\mjyof doors of almost equal beauty, made 
cathedral at Troja (wood- 
cut No. 769), and a third, \ s 

which is still in a very 
perfect state, constructed 41 

at Constantinople, in the 
year 1076, for the church 
of Monte San Angelo; and W A 

is consequently contem- W4' ; 4y 

porary with tlio doors of §• 

Sta. Sophia, Novogorod, ^ 

and San Zenone, Verona, ® 

and so similar in design \w 

as to form an interesting J 1 

series for comparison. Mh J&M 

Other churches in the Mmi 

same style as those men- 
tioned above are found at 
Canosa, Giovenazzo, Molo, 

Ostuni, Manduria, and 1 

Italian architecture; p. 

One of the best known, as well as one of tlic largest examples of 
this class of buildings in I fcaly, is the baptistery at Fisa (seen partially 
on tho left hand of woodcut No. 766). Internally it is, as nearly as may 
be, 100 ffc. in diameter, and the walls are about 8 ft. 6 in. in thickness. 
The dome itself, however, is only 60 ft. in diameter, and is supported 
on four piers and eight pillars. These serve to separate the central 
space from the aisle which runs round it, and which is two storeys 
in height, but singularly ill-proportioned and clumsy in detail. The 
worst part of tho design, however, is the dome, if dome it can bo called. 
Internally it is conical in form, and thrust through an external hemi¬ 
spherical dome in a manner more clumsy and unpleasing than any 
other example of its class. Externally, these defects are to some extent 
atoned for by considerable richness and beauty of detail. It had origi¬ 
nally only one range of blind arcades, with three-quarter columns, sur¬ 
mounted by an open arcade; an arrangement exactly similar to that of 
the two lower storeys of the cathedral and the leaning tower (woodcut 
No. 783). A considerable amount of pointed Gothic decoration was 

afterwards added, which, though 
somewhat incongruous, is elegant in 
itself, and hides to some extent the 
original defects of the design. But 
the outline of the building and its 
whole arrangements are so radically 
bad, that no amount of ornament can 
ever redeem them. 

?8i. Plan of San Donato, Zara. Scale loo ft. to i in. I aken altogether, the I isan Bap¬ 
tistery is so very peculiar, that it 

would be interesting if its design 
could be traced back to some un¬ 
doubted original. That this is pos¬ 
sible will hardly be doubted by any 
one at all familiar with the subject. 
meanwhile, the building most like it 
that has been illustrated is the little 
church of San Donato, at Zara. 
The church was apparently erected 
in the 9th century, by the saint 
whose name it now bears, and Te¬ 

rn. Section of San Donato, Zara. Scale 50 ft. to lin. sembleg ^ pj san example in every 

essential particular—internally, at least, for it is so ruined and 
built up, that it is impossible to say what its external appearance 
may have been. Both from its resemblance to the .Pisan baptistery 


own merits, it is an interesting addition to our knowle 
/circular churches, which were such favourites with all kjj 
.^pHstian architects in the Carlovingian period. The resemblance in 
this instance is tlio more remarkable, because the fac;ade of the cathe¬ 
dral at Zara (woodcut No. 768) is in the Pisan style, only slightly 
modified by local peculiarities. From what we already know, it seems 
undoubted that there was a close connexion—architecturally, at least 
— between Pisa and Zara. If this were fully investigated, it would 
probably throw considerable light on the origin of the Pisan style, 
which has hitherto seemed so exceptional in Italy, and also explain 
how the Byzantine element came to be so strongly developed in what 
at first, sight appears to he a Romanesque style of art. 


The typical example of a tower in the Italian 
leaning tower at Pisa, partly seen . 
in woodcut No. 766. It is indeed, 
so far as we at present know, the 
only one which carries out that 
arrangement of numerous tiers of 
superimposed arcades which is so 
characteristic of the style. The 
lower storey is well designed as a 
solid basement for the superin¬ 
cumbent mass; its walls are 13 ft. 
in thickness, and it is adorned with 
15 three-quarter columns: its height 
being 35 ft. The six storeys above 
this average 20 ft. in height, and are 
each adorned with an open arcade. 

The whole is crowned by a smaller 
circular tower, 27 ft. in height, in 
which the bolls are hung. The en¬ 
tire height is thus 183 ft.; the mean 
^diameter of the main portion, 52. 

There is no doubt that it was ori¬ 
ginally intended to stand perpen¬ 
dicular, though the contrary has 
been asserted; but before the com- 
mencement of the fifth storey the 
foundations had given way, and 
the attempts to readjust the work, 
are plainly traceable in the upper storeys, though without success. It 



■ • 

7S4. Tow«r of Gaeta. From 
Schultz. No scale. 

i .i ii i ji/\ In i\t. m:rr.u i v nr;. i 

ft. 2 in. ont of the perpendicular, 1 which though not suffr 
da/nger its stability, is enough to render it very unsightly. E 
witiKuit this defect, however, its design can hardly he commended; 
an arrangement of six equal arcades, with horizontal entablatures, 
is not an expedient mode of adorning a building, where elevation is 
the element of success. The introduction of 
strongly-marked vertical lines, or some variation 
in of the arcades, would have greatly 
improved the design: and so the Italians seem 
to have thought, for it was never repeated, and 
the Pisan tower remains a solitary example of 
its class. 

Nothing at all resembling it occurs in the 
southern parts of the province, though it must 
he admitted that they contain very few really 
important towers of any sort. 

Perhaps the earthquakes to which a great 
portion of the country is liable may have de¬ 
terred the architects from indulging in struc¬ 
tures of great altitude; but it must be added 
that the idea of belfry or tower did not enter 
into their municipal arrangements, and their 
towns are not consequently illustrated by such 
towers as those of Y r enice, Cremona, or Verona 
in the north. Of those which do exist that of 
Gasta is perhaps as picturesque as any. It was 
erected 1276-1290, and is both characteristic 
of the style and elegant in outline. As will be 
observed, the lower storey lias pointed arches, 
while those above are all round; an arrange¬ 
ment which, though to our eyes it may appear 
archaeologically wrong, is certainly construc¬ 
tively right, and the effect is very pleasing, 
from the height and dignity given to the en¬ 

The two towers of the cathedral at Bari 
(woodcut No. 771) are not so happy in desigiry 
as this. They are too tall for their other 
dimensions, and want accentuation throughout; 
while the change from the lower to the upper 
storey is abrupt; and ill-contrived. The tower at Caserta \ ecchia (wood¬ 
en t No. 773) is low and squat in its proportions, and unfortunately 
too typical of the towers in this land of earthquakes. 

1 The- cornice projects, t ft, 10 inches, and consequently overhangs the base by 13 ft. 


that their original forms can hardly he recognised. There are, indeed, 
cloisters at Amalfi and Sorrento; much more remarkable, however, 
for the beauty of their situation than for their architecture, which 
is extremely rude and clumsy. There are no chapter-houses; no 
halls or conventual buildings of any sort. In this respect, the pro¬ 
vince forms a remarkable con trast with Spain in the same age; 
though it must be confessed that the north of Italy is also very 
deficient in conventual buildings of the middle ages, the most magni ¬ 
ficent and beautiful belonging more to 

the Renaissance than to the Mediaeval jitfEtii 

At Ravello there is the Casa Ruffolo, 
a picturesque palace of the 13th con- 
tury, still nearly entire: a strange mix- Jls 
turo of Gothic and Saracenic taste, but Jig £ 
so exceptional, that it would not be 
fair to quote it as a type of any stylr. v - 
It seems to owe its peculiarities more 

individual patron |:£. 

to the taste ot some 
or architect rather than to any national 
taste or form of design. 

There are, however, several Hohem 
staufen Castles ot tolerable preservation, more or let 
domestic arts of the day in which they were erect 
best preserved of these is that of Caste! del Monte, e 
lick lb, 1240-44. , It is an octagon in plan, with octi 

785. Plan of Castel del Monte. From Schultz 
Scale 100 ft to i in. 

Part Section, part Elevation, of Cartel del Okmte. From Selinlta. Scale 00 ft. to 1 in. 



igle. It measures 167 ft. across its extreme breadth, and Vm I 
ids !a courtyard 57 ft. in diameter. Both storeys are vaulted, and 
Jj throughout are good and pleasing, The whole is an ad¬ 

mixture of Italian taste, superimposed on a German design; but it 
will bo observed how little removed the architectural details of the 
entrance are, even at that early age, from the style of the Renaissance. 
Iliis is, indeed, the great characteristic of the architectural objects in 
Southern Italy. Though they adopted Christian forms, they never 
abandoned the classical feeling in details; and it is this which mainly 
renders them worthy ot study. Whether considered in regard to 
dimensions, outline, or constructive peculiarities, their churches will 
not hear a moments comparison with those of the north; hut in 
elegance of detail they often surpass purely Gothic buildings, to such 
a degree as to become to some extent as worthy of study as their more 
ambitious rivals. 

nr: ott vtt: ± Tins. 





Cloister of St. Giovanni Laterano — Sfc. Mark’s, Venice — St. Antonio, Padua — . 
Church at Molfetta — Baptistery, Mont St. Angelo — Tomb, Caiiosa. 

As before mentioned, there is a great hiatus in our history of the 
architecture of Italy in the dark ages. During the four centuries 
which elapsed from 600 to 1000, the examples are very few, and their 
character generally insignificant. It is true that during this period 
Romo went on building large churches; but it was in her own Roman¬ 
esque manner, fitting together Roman pillars with classical details of 
more or less purity, but hardly, except in cloisters and furniture, 
deserving the name of a style. 

Perhaps the most original, as it certainly is one of the most beau¬ 
tiful things the Romans did, is the cloister of St. Giovanni Laterano. 

Church of St. Giovanni Laterano. From Rosengarton. 

There the little arcades, supported by twisted columns, and adorned 
with mosaics, are as graceful and pleasing as anything of that class 
found elsewhere ; and as they are encased in a framework of sufficient 
strength to take off all appearance of mechanical weakness, their un- 
constructivo forms are not unpleasing. The entablature, which is the 
ruling feature in the design, retains the classical arrangement in 
almost every detail, and in such purity as could only bo found in Rome 
m the 12tlx century, when this cloister appears to have been erected • 
but the style never extended beyond the limits of that city, and thus 
has little bearing on the thread of our narrative. 

When in the 11th century all the nations of Europe were seized 
with a desire to build large and permanent churches, we find the 
Italian architects producing at once a complete round-arched inter- 



anlted Gothic style, perfect and complete in all its parts, al<T 
striking resemblance to what we find on the bank§ of top 
'.^uuuy but when we ask by what steps it reached this completeness^ 
' where are the examples of its progress, we are at fault. 

In like manner in the eleventh century we find at Venice, in 
Apulia, in Languedoc, and Anjou, a domical style of roof employed 
without hesitation, as if it had long been indigenous. Yet we are 
equally at a loss to explain how this, too, arose. Hitherto the usual 
solution has been to assert that it was imported from the East; hut 

this hardly seems sufficient 
to account for the observed 
facts, and we must bear in 
mind that both the Byzantine 
and Gothic styles came out of 
Home; and there seems no 
good reason why a domical 
style should not have been 
perfected on our side of the 
Adriatic as well as a vaulted 
style, even though that form 
of Homan art never penetrated 
to the East; and such, indeed, 
appears to have been the case. 
The great argument against 
this view is the exceptionally 
Oriental character of St. Mark’s, 
at Venice. It must not be for¬ 
gotten, however, that the five 
great domes which, give such 
an Asiatic look to the ex¬ 
terior aro not parts of the 
original design, but were 
added—in their present form, at least—late in the middle ages. The 
great quintuple portico, it is true, is exceptional in Europe, and may 
have been suggested by something seen in the East. The arrange¬ 
ment of this, however, seems to have been adopted in consequence of 
the wealth of marble columns, which the argosies of Venice brought 
from Alexandria and the ruined cities of the East, rather than by the 
exigences of design. But even then its numerous shafts and receding 
planes of decoration are much more like the forms with which we 
are familiar in Norman portals than anything yet discovered in the 
Levant. The plan, too, when closely examined, is not like those 
found in the East. There are many five-domed churches, it is true, on 
the other side of the Adriatic; but there the four subordinate domes 
are arranged diagonally on corners around the central dome. At St. 

Plan of St. Mark's, Venice. 


JarJ^H they are in front, behind, and beside it, making a great 

arrangement, which, to say the least of it, is very unusual 
hi indeed it is known at all. 

tany are inclined to ascribe to it an Oriental origin from the 
profusion of gold mosaics which cover every part of its interior; but 
this was the case with the apses and semi-domes of all the Eomanesque 
churches, and generally of the walls too, when the light was favourable. 
They could not so adorn their roofs, because they were of wood; and 
the Gothic architects were equally debarred, by the twisted and cut¬ 
up surfaces of their vaults, from the employment there of this class of 

f. “ •? * v v > » *> v v 'tr 

789. • Section of St. Mark’s, Venice. From ‘Ckiese Principal© di Europa.’ 

There can be no doubt that, owing to their continual intercourse 
with the East, the Venetians received many hints from a country that 
had at that time more leisure to work out this style. The probability 
is that, if we had a few more examples of what was doing in Italy, 
from the decline of Eavenna to the rise of Venice, we might more 
certainly associate St. Mark’s with the indigene"*s French and Italian 
styles of that age than has hitherto been thought probable. 

The foundations of the present church wore laid in 977, in replace¬ 
ment of the original building burnt down in a tumult in the previous 
year, and it was completed in all essentials within a century from that 
time (1071); but the mosaics and internal decorations occupied 10, or 
some say 20, years more, so that the church was not dedicated till 
1085 or 1094. 

i r&izrxm iiitonrrjso'ruBK. 

I',\UT tl. 

part first erected was apparently the internal church, cover*! 
ye great domes, which are arranged in the form of a Latin^ 
Greek cross. The central one, and that in front of it, are 
diameter internally; the other three 33 ft. The external 
aisle or portico which envelopes throe sides of the nave, was added 
afterwards, though probably in immediate continuation of the central 
building. It is this which gives to the plan of the church a somewhat 
square or Byzantine form. But the extreme richness of decoration 
displayed on the exterior of the porch is very unlike anything we know 
of in the Eastern Empire. Few things, indeed, are more remarkable 
than the external plainness of the great Byzantine edifices of Jus¬ 
tinian’s age, and for several centuries afterwards. So far as we can 
at present judge, it appears that the Eastern architects borrowed the 
fashion of ornamenting their extoriors from their Western brethren ; 
and it would probably be more correct to ascribe the subsequent 
decoration of Byzantine edifices to the example of St. Mark's, than to 
assume that its design was borrowed from the East. 

Internally the church measures 205 ft. east and west, and 164 ft. 
across the transepts. Externally these dimensions are increased to 260 ft. 
by 215 ft., and the whole area to about 46,000 ft.; so that, though of 
respectable dimensions, it is by no moans a large church. Nor is the 
arrangement of the plan, or the disposition of the parts, at all equal to 
those of northern architects, if looked at from a purely architectural 
point of view. The screens of pillars which divide the nave from the 
aisles are unmeaning; the projection of the transepts is too great for 
the length, and the general arrangement wanting in unity. It is im¬ 
possible, however, to find fault with plain surfaces, when they are 
covered with such exquisite gold mosaics as those of St. Mark’s; or 
with the want of accentuation in the lines of the roof, when every 
part is more richly adorned in this manner than any other church of 
the Western world. Then, too, the rood-screen, tlie pulpit, the pala 
d' oro, the whole furniture of the choir, are so rich, so venerable, and 
on the whole so beautiful, and seen in so exquisitely subdued a light,, 
that it is impossible to deny that it is perhaps the most impressive in¬ 
terior in western Europe. St. Front, at Perigueux, with almost identical 
dimensions and design (woodcut No. 302), is cold, scattered, and un¬ 
meaning, because but a structural skeleton of St. Mark’s, without its 
adornments. The interior of a ^ 3th-eentury Gothic church is beautiful 
even when whitewashed; but these early attempts had not yet reached 
that balance between construction and ornament, which is necessary 
to real architectural effect. 

The same is true of the exterior; if stripped of its ornament and 
erected in plain stone it would hardly be tolerable, and the mixture 
of florid llthrcentury foliage and bad Italian Gothic details with the 
older work would be all but unendurable. But marble, mosaic, scul- 

>J!MU m J& *1J IA * lI 0 ‘.IllL^H 

l(1 the all-hallowing 

1307), which is evidently 
a copy of St. Mark’s, but 
with so much Gothic de¬ 
sign mixed up with it as 
to spoil both. Length was 
sought to be obtained by using 
seven domes instead of five, 
and running an aisle round 
the apse. The side-aisles 
were covered with intersect¬ 
ing vaults, and pointed arches 
were occasionally introduced 
when circular would have 
harmonized better with the 
general design. 

Externally the enveloping 
porch was omitted—not even 
the Pisan modification of it 
introduced, though it might 
have been employed with the 
happiest effect. The consequence of all this jumble is, that San An¬ 
tonio may perhaps lay claim to the had pre-eminence of possessing the 
ugliest exterior of any church of its age in Europe. The inside is not 
so had, though a roof of only five bays over a quasi-Gothic church 
200 ft. in length distorts the proportion, and, with the ill-understood 
details of the whole, spoils what narrowly escaped being one of the 
most successful interiors of that part of Italy. 

Plan of St. Antonio, Padua. From Wiebeking. 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

South ken - Italy. 

As already remarked, the architects of the southern half of the 
Italian peninsula were generally content to adopt the Eomanesque 
plan of covering their naves with a wooden roof—for when an inter¬ 
secting vault is found it is clearly a French or German interpola¬ 
tion—but they often employed one dome, generally over the altar, and 


an ornament both external and internal. The two ilmC 
already given of the domes at Bari (woodcut No. 771) 

Vecchia (woodcut No. 773) shew the form . 

IteSo usually took in the province. They belong 

to a typo not unusual in the East, but unknown to |{ ^ | 

the Gothic architects of Europe. ^ ^ 

W hen called upon to roof their churches with garotl [(’ i) I- 
stone, they almost invariably adopted the domical 
in preference to the vaulted form, as at Molfetta gH 1 ! | ; j pirm 
(1162) where they form a pleasing form of roof, ||F 

not unlike that of Loclies Cathedral (woodcut No. 

324). The great defect of domes when thus em- 

ployed is their height, which generally throws the 

whole of the building out of proportion, and unless light is introduced 

through openings in the drum, or in the dome itself, they are dark 

and gloomy. This is 

certainly the case at 

Molfetta, but other- « 

wise the church seems it* * lli|p§ 

well designed and of flc__ 

pleasing proportions. 

To he successful, 
domes should be low 
and flat internally; 
and any height re¬ 
quired externally 
must he given by 
a false dome, as at 
►St. Mark’s, or as done 
by the Renaissance architects generally. 

I his was not so much felt when the building was square and 
^ covered by only one dome, like the baptistery or 

\ tomb below Mont St. Angelo, where effect of space 

793. Section of Church at Molfetta. From Schultz. Scale 50 ft. to 1. in. 

795. Plan of Baptistery, 
Mont 8^ Angelo. 
Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 

r ft&tafiftrr ;aivjn xtav y t'Tvftv 


if province one of the most pleasing is the little tomb of Boll 
at' Oanosa (1111). It is charming to find in Italy an Easterly 
i^vith its dome, erected to contain the remains of a Christian King? 
Ough elegant, however, the dome is not fitted to the square as it 
would have been in more experienced hands, and the whole design 
is somewhat badly put together. Its bronze doors are among its 

chiefest ornaments, and 
are elegant, thougl 
rior to numerous 
amples of the same 
m me cnurcnes of the 

Many other examples 
of Byzantine domical 
forms might be quoted 
as existing in Southern 
Italy. It is not, how¬ 
ever, so much in the 
forms as in the details 
that the Eastern influence 
is felt, and that no less 
in the churches which 
retain the basilican- form 
of Ravenna than in those 
which assume the domical form of Constantinople. 

The buildings of the Southern Province cannot certainly compete 
with those of the Northern either in size or in daring mechanical 
construction, hut in detail they are frequently more beautiful, while 
their forms are more national and less constrained. Their great in¬ 
terest, however, in the eyes of the student consists in their forming 
a link between the Eastern and Western worlds, and thus joining 
together two styles which we have hitherto been too much in the habit 
of considering as possessing no point of contact. 

790. Tomb of Bohemuml at Canosa. From Schultz. 



S I 0 I L Y. 


Population of Sicily — The Saracens — Buildings at Palermo — Cathedral of Moure ale 
— Cefalu — The Pointed Arch. 

There are few chapters of architectural history—at least among the 
shorter ones—more interesting, in various ways, thaii that which treats 
of the introduction of the pointed-arched style into Sicily, and its 
peculiar development there. The whole history is so easily under¬ 
stood, the style itself so distinct from any other, and at the same time 
so intrinsically "beautiful, that it is of all the divisions of the subject the 
one best suited for a monograph, and so it seems to have been con¬ 
sidered by many—Hittorff and Zanth, the Duke of Serra di Falco, and 
our own Gaily Knight having chosen it for special illustration, so that 
in fact there are few European styles of which we have more complete 
information. Many of the points of its history are nevertheless still 
subjects of controversy, not from any inherent obscurity in the subject, 
hut because it has been attempted to apply to it the rules and theories 
derived from the history of Northern art. 

The map of Sicily tells its whole history; its position and form 
reveal nearly all that is required to be known of the races that in¬ 
habited it, and of their fate. Situated in the centre of the Mediter¬ 
ranean Sea. of a nearly regular triangular form, and presenting one 
side to Greece, another to Africa, and a third to Italy, the length 
of these coasts, and their relative distance from the opposite shores, are 
nearly correct indexes of the influence each has had on the civilization 
of the island. 

In a former chapter' it was shewn how strong was the influence 
of Dorian Greece in Sicily. Almost all the ancient architectural 
remains belong to that people. The Carthaginians, who succeeded the 
Greeks, left but slight traces of humanizing influence; and the rule of 
the Romans was that of conquerors, oppressive and destructive of the 
civilization of the people. After the Christian era, a very similar suc¬ 
cession of influences took place. First and most, powerful was the 

1 Part I. Bk. HI. ch. 2. 

..Trr&xxanN HicorrrrEGiTJKK: 

Part If. 

Litiiie element, which forms the groundwork and main ingi! 
that follows. To this succeeded the Saracenic epoch: brjj 
fiant, hut evanescent. In the llth century the Italian element re¬ 
sumed its sway under the banner of a few Norman adventurers, and 
in the guise of a Norman conquest sacerdotal Home regained the 
inheritance of her imperial predecessor. In the Christian period, 
however, the elements were far from being so distinct as in those 
preceding it, for reasons easily understood. Every fresh race of 
masters found the island already occupied by a very numerous popula¬ 
tion of extremely various origin. The new-comers could do no more 
than add their own forms of art to those previously in use; the conse¬ 
quence being in every case a mixed style, containing elements derived 
from every portion of the inhabitants. 

We have no means of knowing the exact form of the Byzantine 
churches, of Sicily before tlie Arab invasion. All have either perished 
or are un described. The Saracenic remains, too, have all disappeared, 
the buildings generally supposed to be relics of their rule being now 
proved to have been erected by Moorish workmen for their Christian 
masters. With the Norman sway a style arose which goes far to 
supply all these deficiencies, being Greek in essence, Boman in form, 
and Saracenic in decoration ; and these elements mixed in exactly 
those proportions which we should expect. N owhere do we find the 
square domed plans of the Greek Church, nor any form suited to the 
Greek ritual. These have given place to the Boman basilica, and to 
an arrangement adapted to the rites of the Romish Church; but all 
the work was performed by Greek artists, and the Boman outline was 
filled up and decorated to suit the taste and conciliate the feelings of 
the worshippers, who were conquered Groeks or converted Moors. 
Their fancy, too—richer and happier than that of the ruder races of 
the West—was allowed full play. An Eastern exuberance in design¬ 
ing details, and employing colours, is here exhibited, cramped a little, 
it must be confessed, by the architectural forms and the ritual arrange¬ 
ments to which it is applied, hut still a ruling and beautifying principle 

Among all these elements, those who are familiar with architectural 
history will hardly look for anything indicative of purely Norman taste 
or feelings. A mere handful of military adventurers, they conquered 
as soldiers of Borne and for her aggrandisement, and held the fief for her 
advantage : they could have brought no arts even if their country had 
then possessed any. They were content that their'newly-acquired 
subjects should erect for them palaces after the beautiful fashion of the 
country, and that “Roman priests should direct the building of churches 
suited to their forms, but built as the Sicilians had been accustomed to 
build, and decorated as they could decorate them, better than their 
masters and conquerors. 

t msffy 



Liis, when properly understoood, lends an interest to the hist ^ 
ttle branch of architecture, wholly independent of its artist ^ 
>ut the art itself is so and so instructive, from its 
one of the styles where polychromy was universally employed and 
still preserved, that notwithstanding all that has been done, it still 
>rits more attention. 

It is extremely difficult, in a limited space, to give a clear account 
the Sicilian pointed style, owing to the fusion of the three styles of 
lich it is composed being tar from complete or simultaneous over the 
lole island, and there being no one edifice in which all three are 
:ed in anything like equal proportions. Each division of the island, 
tact, retains a predilection for that style which characterised the 
ajority ot its inhabitants. Thus Messina and the northern, coast as 
r as Cefalu remained Italian in the main, and the chinches there 

have only the smallest possible admixture of either Greek or Saracenic 

work. The old parts of the Nunziatella at Messina might be found at 
Tisa, while the cathedral there and at Cefalu would hardly be out of 
place in Apulia, except indeed that Cefalu displays a certain early 
predilection for pointed arches, and something of Greek feeling in the 
decoration of the choir. 

In like manner in Syracuse and the southern angle of the island, 

San Giovanni degli ErcmHi, Palermo. 

Gaily Kniglit's ‘Normans in Sicily 

•• i 'irKTjxztir * ‘ 

' t, A iVV i i. 


Sjifiek feeling prevails almost to the exclusion of tlio oilier 
rmo, on the other hand, and the western parts, the architect™ 
^is^so^trongiy Saracenic that hardly any antiquary has yet been able 
to admit the possibility of such buildings as the Cuba and Ziza having 
been erected by the Norman kings. There is, however, little or no 
doubt that the latter was built by William I. (1154-1169), and the 
other 'about the same time, though by whom is not so clear. Both 
these buildings were erected after a century of Norman dominion in 
tho island : still the Moorish influence, so predominant in them, need 
not astonish us, when we consider the immeasurable superiority of tho 
Moors in art and civilization, not only to their new rulers, but to all 
the other inhabitants. It was therefore only natural that they should 
be employed to provide for the Norman Counts such buildings as they 
alone had the art to erect and adorn. 

A still more remarkable instance of the prevalence of Saracenic 
ideas is represented in woodcut No. 797, being the Church of San 
Giovanni degli Eremiti at Palermo. Here we find a building erected 
beyond all doubt as late as the year 11.32, by King Koger, for tho pur¬ 
poses of Christian worship, which would 
in no respect, except the form of its 
tower, be out of place as a mosque in 
the streets of Delhi or Cairo. In fact, 
were we guided by architectural con¬ 
siderations alone, this church would have 
more properly been described under the 
head of Saracenic than of Christian archi¬ 

There are three other churches of Pa¬ 
lermo which exhibit the new mixed stylo 
in all its completeness. These are the 
Martorana (1113-1139), in which the 
Greek clement prevails somewhat to the 
exclusion of the other two; the Capella 
Palatina in the Palace, built in 1132; and 
the more magnificent church of Monreale, 
near Palermo (woodcut No. 798), begun 
in 1174, and certainly the finest and most 
beautiful of all the buildings erected by 
the Normans in this country. This church 

798. .Plan of Church at Munreata From • oitfi in ifs extreme length; while the 
Hittorf ami Zanth. Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 18 ° 1 *> IT * m J US v ^ 1 m & 1 

beautiful gem-like capella of the royal 
palace is much smaller, being only 125 ft. long, and consequently infe- 
rior in grandeur, though in the relative proportions of its parte, and 
in all other essential points, very similar. 

In arrangement. and dimensions the cathedral of Monreale veiy 



799. Portion of the Nave, Mon reale. From Hittorff and Zanth. 

isenibles that 
;ina, showing 
ame general in¬ 
fluence in both; but 
all the details of the 
Palermitan example 
betray that admix¬ 
ture of Greek and Sa¬ 
racenic feeling which 
is the peculiarity of 
Sicilian architecture. 
There is scarcely a 
single form or detail 
in the whole build¬ 
ing which can strict¬ 
ly be called Gothic, 
or which points to 
any connexion with 
Northern arts or 
races. The plan of 
this, as of all the 
Sicilian churches, is 
that of a Roman ba¬ 
silica, far more than 
of a Gothic church. 
In none of them was 
any vault ever either 
built or intended. 
The central is di¬ 
vided from the side 
aisles by pillars of a 
single stone, gene¬ 
rally borrowed from 
ancient temples, but 
(in this instance at 
least) with capitals of 
great beauty, suited 
to their position and 
to the load they have 
to support. The pier- 
arches are pointed, 
but not Gothic, hav¬ 
ing no successive 
planes of decoration, 
but being merely 





aasses of masonry of simple but stilted forms. The winded 
fagh pointed, are undivided, and evidently never meant f^ 
glass. The roofs of the naves are generally of open framing, 
like those of the basilicas, and ornamented in Saracenic taste. The 
aisles, the intersection of the transepts and nave, and the first divi 
sion of the sanctuary are generally richer, and Consequently more 
truly Moorish. The apse again is Homan. Taken altogether, it is 
only the accident of the pointed arch having been borrowed from 
the Moors that has led to the idea of Gothic feeling existing in these 
edifices. It does exist at Messina and Cefalu, blit in Palermo is almost 
wholly wanting. 

It is evident that .the architectural features in the buildings of 
which the cathedral of Monreale is the type, were subordinate, in the 
eyes of their builders, to the mosaic decorations which cover every 
part of tho interior, and aro in fact the glory and pride of the edifice, 
by which alone it is entitled to rank among the finest of mediaeval 
churches. All the principal personages of the Bible are represented 
in the stiff hut grand style of Greek art, sometimes with Greek in¬ 
scriptions, and accompanied by scenes illustrating the Old and New 
Testaments. They are separated by and intermixed with arabesques 
and ornaments in colour and gold, making up a decoration nnrivalled 
in its class by anything—except, perhaps, St. Mark’s—the middle 
ages have produced. The church at Assisi is neither so rich nor so 
splendid. The Certosa is infamous in taste as compared with this 
Sicilian cathedral. 1 N 0 specimen of opaque painting of its class, on this 
side of the Alps, can compete with it in any way. Perhaps the painted 
glass of some of our cathedrals may have surpassed it, but that is gone. 
In this respect the mosaic has the advantage. It is to be regretted.that 
we have no direct means of comparing the effect of those two modes of 
decoration. In both the internal architecture was subordinate to the 
colour—more so perhaps, as a general rule, in these Sicilian examples 
than in the North. In fact, the architecture was merely a vehicle 
for the display of painting in its highest and most gorgeous forms. 

Besides the mosaic pictures which adorn the upper part of the 
walls of these Palermitan churches, they possess another kind of deco¬ 
ration almost equally effective, the whole of the lower part of the walls 
being reveted with slabs of marble or porphyry disposed in the most 
beautiful patterns. The Martorana depends wholly for its effect on 
this species of decoration. In the Capella Palatina, and the church at 
Monreale, it occupies the lower part of the walls only, and serves as a 
base for the storied decorations above; but whether used separately 
pi' in combination, the result is perfect, and such as is hardly attained 
m any other churches in any part of Europe. 

Externally the Gothic architects had immensely the advantage. 
Thev never allowed their coloured decorations to interfere with their 


/tectural effects. On the contrary, they so used thipi as to\®|dA 
;.;me/windows their most beautiful and attractive features. 

The cathedral of .Palermo, the principal entrance of which is shown 
in. woodcut No. 800, is a building of much later date, that which we 
now see being principally of the 14th century. Although possessing 
no dignity of outline or grace of form, it is more richly ornamented 
externally with intersecting arches and mosaic decorations than almost 
any other church of its class It is richer perhaps and better than 
the cathedral of Florence, inasmuch as the decorations follow the 

Lateral Entrance to Cathedral at Palermo. From Hlttorff and Zanth. 




;! i-1 

It !• 

|1> .g. t j 

jjp ' • -•M-eV. . '*'4 


C ■ 

1 ;]| • • .a! 

construction, and are not-as there—a mero unmeaning panelling 
that, might ho applied anywhere. All this is more apparent, in the 
apse (woodcut No. 601) than on the lateral elevation. It converts 
what would be only a very plain exterior into a very rich and orna¬ 
mental composition; not quite suited to Northern taste, hut very 
effective m the sunny South. Still the effect of the whole is rather 
pretty than grand, and as an architectural display falls far short of 
the holder masonic expression of the Northern Gothic churches. 

After these, one of the most important churches of that ago in the 

T 2 


is the cathedral of Oefalu, already alluded to. It wasV»J 
iatmped by King Roger in 1131. It is 230 ft. long by 90 ft. 

The choir and transepts are vaulted and groined; the nave has a 
wooden roof; all the arches are pointed; and with its two western 
towers it displays more Gothic feeling than any other church in 

The cathedral at Messina, though closely resembling that at 
Monreale in plan, has been so altered and rebuilt as to retain very 
little of its original architecture. The other churches in the island 




East Erul of Cathedral at Palermo, from Rosengarten. 

are either small and insignificant, or, like that at Messina, have been 
so altered that their features are obliterated. 

Besides the Saracenic castles or palaces abovo mentioned, there 
are no important civil buildings of mediaeval style in Sicily. There 
are two cloisters—one at Monreale and the other at Cefalu—both in 
the style universal in all the countries bordering on the Mediter¬ 
ranean Sea, and already described in speaking of those of Elne, Fonti- 
froide, Arles, Ac., as well as those of San Giovanni Laterano at Rome. 
Their general arrangement consists of small but elegant pillars of 
Corinthian design, in pairs, supporting pointed arches of groat beauty 



rtm pointed aboh. 

In many respects this is a more beautiful mode of produc: 
<^red arcade than the series of unglazed windows universal 
£d in the North. The Southern method presupposes a wooden, 
or at most a tunnel-vaulted roof, as at Arles, whereas all our best 
examples have intersecting vaults of great beauty, which indeed is 
the excuse for the windowed arrangement assumed by them. An 
intermediate course, like that adopted at Zurich (woodcut No. 173), 
would perhaps best reconcile the difficulty; but this was only used 
during the period of transition from one stylo to the other. The effect, 
however, of the cloister at Monreale, with the fountain in one of its 
divisions, and a certain air of Eastern elegance and richness pervading 
the whole, is not surpassed by any of the examples on the Continent 
of its own size, though its dimensions do not allow it to compete 
with some of the larger examples of France, and especially of Spain. 

As the employment of the pointed arch so early in Sicily has been 
much quoted in the controversy regarding the invention of that 
feature, it may be convenient to recapitulate here what has already 
been said on that subject—this being the last occasion on which it 
will be requisite to refer to it in the course of this work. 

We have already seen that the pointed arch was used in the south 
of France—at Vaison, for instance—at least as early as the 10th cen¬ 
tury, but only as a vaulting expedient. During the 11th it was cur¬ 
rently used in the south, and as far north as Burgundy; and in the 
12th it was boldly adopted in the north as a vaulting, constructive, and 
decorative feature, giving rise to the invention of a totally new style 
of architectural art. 

It is by no means impossible that the pointed arch was used by 
the Greek or Pelasgic colonists about Marseilles at a far earlier date, 
but this can only have been in arches or domes constructed hori¬ 
zontally. These may have suggested its use in radiating vaults, but 
can hardly be said to have influenced its adoption. Had it not been 
for the constructive advantages of pointed arches, the Roman circular 
form would certainly have retained its sway. It is possible, however, 
that the northern Franks would never have adopted it so completely 
as they did had they not become familiar with it either in Sicily or 
the East. When once they had so taken it up, they made it their 
own by employing it only as a modification of the round-arched forms 
previously introduced and perfected. 

In Sicily the case is diflerent; the pointed arch there never "was 
either a vaulting or constructive expedient—it was simply a mode of 
eking out, by its own taller form and by stilting, the limited height 
of the Roman pillars, which they found and used so freely. It is the 
same description of arch as that used in the construction of the mosque 
El-Aksah at Jerusalem in the 8th century; at Cairo in rebuilding that 
of Amrou in the 9th or 10th, in the Azhar and other mosques of that 

r^I also, I believe, in the old mosque at Kairoan, which was 



stepping-stone by which it crossed to Sicily. It was usfcsdf 
^too tHvSptain, at Cordova and Granada, before and after its introduction 
in Sicily, till it became a settled canon of art, and a usual form of 
Moorish architecture. Ah such it was used currently in Sicily .by the 
Moors, and in Palermo and elsewhere became so essential a part of the 
architecture of the day that it was employed as a matter of course in 
the churches; but it was not introduced by the N ormans, nor was it 
carried by them from Sicily into France, and, except so far as already 
stated, it had no influence on the arts of France. In fact there is no 
connexion, either ethnographically or architecturally, between the 
Sicilian pointed arch and the French; and beyond the accident of 
the broken centre they have nothing in common. 

Although, therefore, it can hardly again be used as evidence in 
the question of the invention of the pointed arch, the architecture of 
Sicily deserves a better monography than it has yet been made the 
subject of. It must, however, he written by some one intimately 
familiar with the Byzantine, Saracenic, and Romanesque styles. To 
any one so qualified, Sicily will afford the best field iu Europe for 
tracing the influence of race and climate on architecture ; for nowhere, 
owing in a great measure to its insular position, can the facts be more 
easily traced, or the results more easily observed. 

In one other point of view also the style deserves attention, for 
from it alone can we fairly weigh the merit of the two systems 
of internal decoration employed during the middle ages. By com¬ 
paring, for instance, the cathedral at Monreale with such a building as 
the Sainte Chapello at Paris, we may judge whether polychromy by 
opaque pictures in mosaic, or by translucent pictures on glass, is tho 
more beautiful mode of decorating the interior of a building. The 
former have no doubt the advantage of durability, and interfere less 
with the architectural effect, hut for beauty and brilliancy of effect 
I have little doubt that the general verdict would be in favour of 
the latter. The question has never yet been fairly discussed; and 
examples sufficiently approximating to one another, either in age or 
style, are so rare that its determination is not easy. For that very 
reason it is the more desirable that we should make the most of those 
we have, and try if from them we can settle one of the most im¬ 
portant questions which architectural history has left to he determined 
with reference to our future progress in the art. 




Church of Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem - Churches ut Abu Gosh aiul Lydda—Mosque 

at Hebron. 

Jerusalem taken by Crusaders 

Bautlouin I. 

Baudouln II. 

Foulques, Count of Anjou 
Salad in retakes Jerusalem . 


A.D. 1099 

Third Crusade. Richard II. 
Frederick II. re-enters Jerusalem 
Retaken by Sultan of Damascus 
Final overthrow of Christians 

A.D, 1192 

It may at first sight appear strange that any form of architecture in 
Syria should be treated as a part of that of Italy, but the circumstances 
of the case are so exceptional that there can he little doubt of the cor¬ 
rectness of so doing. Gothic architecture was not a natural growth 
in Palestine, but distinctly an importation of the Crusaders, trans¬ 
planted by them to a soil where it took no root, and from which it died 
out when the fostering care of Western protection was removed. In 
this it is only too true a reflex of the movement to which it owed 
its origin. The Crusades furnish one of those instances in the history 
of the world where the conquerors of a nation have been so nume¬ 
rous as entirely to supplant, for a time, the native population and the 
indigenous institutions of the country. For nearly a century Jerusalem 
was subject to kings and barons of a foreign race. The feudal system 
was imported entire, with its orders of knighthood, its “ Assises,” and 
all the concomitant institutions which had grown up with the feudal 
system in Western Europe. With them, as a matter of course, came 
the hierarchy of the Roman Church, and with it the one style of archi¬ 
tecture which they then knew, or which was appropriate to their form 
of -worship. 

The one point which is not at first sight obvious is, why the 
Gothic stylo in Palestine should be so essentially Italian, with so little 
admixture of the styles prevalent on the northern side of the Alps. 
It may have been that then, as now, the Italians settled loosely in the 
land. We know that the trade of the Levant was at that time in th 
hands of Venice and other Italian cities, and it is clear that it - 

.'.rrxijiAiN" *.. " 

;o send to Italy for artists and workmen, than to France 
y, and much more likely that an I talian would undertake 
on of buildings in the East than a Northern architect, whose 
ideas of Palestine and its ways must have been extremely indistinct. 
Be this as it may, there is little in the Gothic architecture of Palestine 
either as regards arrangement or details—except the plan of the church 
of the Holy Sepulchre—which would excite attention as singular if 
found in the South of Italy or Sicily ; and as little that would not 
seem out of place if found on our side of the Alps. 

Holy Sepulchre. 

The principal building erected by the Crusaders in Palestine was, 
as might be expected, the church of the Holy Sepulchre—the deliverance 
of which from the hands of the infidels was the object of that wonderful 
outburst of national enthusiasm. 

For a century or more before the Crusades tho Christians had been 
debarred from approaching tho sacred Dome erected by Constantine 
over the holy rock which still contains the cave—the “ salutary monu¬ 
ment of our Saviour’s resurrection,” 1 and had been obliged to content 
themselves with a temporary church of veiy moderate pretensions 
erected in their own quarter of the city. 2 In this latter building the 
Easter rites had been celebrated since the year 1048; and when the 
Crusaders (in 1099) achieved the unexpected deliverance of the city 
from the Moslem, it seemed to the uncritical intellect of the age better 
to retain the church where it then was than to unsettle the belief of 
the ignorant by transferring it back to its original site. The “ Dome 
of the Bock,”—now known to European travellers as the “Mosque of 
Omar”—was throughout the 12th century considered as equal in sanc¬ 
tity with the church of tho Sepulchre, and the veneration with which 
it was regarded had, no doubt, considerable influence on the architec¬ 
ture of the age. 

When the Crusaders reached Jerusalem tho sepulchre appears to 
have stood in a court open to the sky, 3 with five small chapels attached 
to it. 

As soon as their kingdom was sufficiently consolidated and leisure 
afforded them, the Crusaders set about rebuilding this church, appa¬ 
rently from its foundations. There is no precise record of when this 
took place, but it must have been about the year 1130. The plan 
they decided upon for this purpose was both pleasing and appropriate, 
though entirely at variance with the arrangement of a basilica and 

1 Eusebius, 4 Vita Constantiui,’ lib. iii. graphy of Jerusalem /and 4 The Sepulchre 

eli. xxviii. 

2 For particulars regarding the trans¬ 
ience the reader is referred to the 
hoi’s Essays on 4 The Ancient Topo- 

and the Temple at Jerusalem.’ 

3 Saawulf, 4 reregrinatio,’ &e., (a.d, 

1102-ay p. 83. ■ 


b-house adopted by Constantine when he 
igs in Jerusalem, some seven centuries before the 
the new buildings is now tolerably familiar to the 
arcmtecture. The earliest germ of it is found in the church 
George at Thessaloniea (woodcut No. 844). It is further developed 
Bozrah (woodcut No. 8J8). It was currently employed in the North 
of Europe (woodcuts Nos. 527 to 5d2), and bloomed into perfection 
at Cologne in the church of St. Gereon (woodcut No. 479). It is 
also found at Little Maplestead (woodcut No. 581), Zara (woodcut 
No. 781), and elsewhere. In all these instances it consists of a 
circular nave leading to a rectangular choir terminated by an apse. 
Though primarily sepulchral in its origin, it is used in all these 
places without any reference to its original destination, and had 
become a recognized form of Christian church for the ordinary pur¬ 
poses of worship. At Jerusalem, 
however, it was chosen because its 
farm recalled the purpose to which 
it was there to be applied. The 
circular nave again became the re¬ 
ceptacle of the tomb, and the choir 
and its apse were turned towards 
the east in obedience to the Northern 
superstition as respects orientation. 

Though containing so many ob¬ 
jects of interest, the church itself is 
not large, measuring only 245 ft. long 
internally, exclusive of the crypt and 
chapel of the Cross, which extend 
beyond the apse to the eastward in 
such a manner as entirely to pre¬ 
clude the idea of a nave ever hav¬ 
ing existed in that direction. 

So far as can be judged from the 
information which remains to us 
the style (before the fire of l'808, 
after which the Rotunda was en¬ 
tirely rebuilt) was tolerably homo¬ 
geneous throughout. The circular 
part (dedicated 1149), which was that first erected, was constructed 
wholly in the Round-arched style. The choir and apse, which wore 
not completed before 1169, shew the progress the new style was then 
making. All the constructive arches in this part of the' building are 
pointed—but the decorative portions still retain the circular form. 

Owing to its situation and its being so much encumbered by otb 
buildings, the only part of the exterior which makes any pretensio 


802. Plan of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre 
From B. Amico. Scale 100 ft to l in. 

. -* 

itQctural magnificence is the southern double portal, erected 
between the years 1140 and 1160. Tliis is a rich and ele^j 
e&atnple of the style of ornamentation prevalent in Sicily and Southern 
Italy in the 12th century, but its most elaborate decoration is supplied 
by two rich cornices of classical date, built-in unsymmetrically as string¬ 
courses, amongst details belonging' to the time of the Crusades. From 
their style these cornices undoubtedly belong to tbe age of Constantine, 
and are probably fragments of bis basilica, which had been destroyed in 
the beginning of the 11th century by El-Hakem, and the ruins of which 
must have been lying about at the time this church was in course of 
erection. At an earlier age such fragments would probably have been 
more extensively used-up; but in tbe 12th century the architects had 

acquired confidence in them¬ 
selves and their own style, 
and despised classical ar¬ 
rangements both in plan and 
in detail. 

The sepulchre itself seems 
to have been rebuilt, about 
the year 1555, 1 or at least so 
thoroughly repaired that it 
is difficult to say what its 
exact originalform may have 
been. Probably it did not 
differ materially from, that 
shewn in the woodcut, since 
that resembles tbe style of 
the 12th much more than 
that of the 16th century. 
In any case, it furnishes a 
curious exemplification of the 
uncritical simplicity of the 
age. The walls were marble 
inside and out, and in some 
places 18 in. or less than 2 ft. 
in thickness, so that it is im¬ 
possible that there could be any live rock between tbe marble slabs. 
It would have been so easy to have made the walls thicker, or to have 
built them up with rough unhewn masses of rock! But the unsuspect¬ 
ing faith of the middle ages would have been equally willing to believe 
it was rock-cut, if told so, had it been fashioned in wood or in any 
other material. It probably never would have been assumed that the 
x;k was there if it were not so difficult for educated men in a critical 

Ichre—Plan and Elevation as it existed 
before the fire in 1808. From Bernardino Arnico. 

803. Holy Sepu! 
‘ •' 3 fire 

1 Quaresimus, ‘ Elucidation ii. p. 38(3. 



q<rq \p understand the simple faith of dark ages. A r 
utfioug people in an early stage of civilization, and see 
shrined, before ho can understand what took place in Ei 
the 8 ill and 13th centuries. 

805. East End of Church at Abd Gosh. 
From De Voglie. 

Plan of Church at Abft Gosh. From 
1>3 Vogtte. Scale 50 ft. to l in. 

Although the church of the Holy Sepulchre was, naturally, by far 
the greatest work undertaken by the Crusaders, there are some six or 
seven other churches in Jerusalem, 1 or its immediate vicinity, which 
were erected during the 12th century.' The most complete of these at 
the present day is that of St. Anne— 
now in course of thorough repair 
by the French Government. It is 
a small church, 112 ft. long by 60 ft. 
wide internally, divided into three 
aisles, each terminating in an apse 
and covered with intersecting vaults, 
shewing strongly marked transverse 
ribs of the usual I talian pattern. It 
has also a small dome on the inter¬ 
section between the nave and tran¬ 
sept. The windows are small and 
without tracery. It is, in fact, a 
counterpart of the usual Italian 
church of the age. 

The same remarks apply to Ste. 

Marie la Grande, Ste. Marie Latine, 
the Madelaine, and other churches 
which, the Christians built in their 
quarter of the town, during their occu¬ 
pation, to replace those of which the 
Moslems had deprived them, and 
which originally stood in the Haram 
area, in the immediate proximity of 
the true church of Constantine. 

One of the most perfect churches 
of this age, out of Jerusalem, is that at Abu Gosb—the ancient Kirjath- 
Jearim. Externally it is a rectangle, 86 ft. by 57 ft., with three apses 
which do not appear externally. Under the whole is an extensive 
crypt Though small, it is so complete, and so elegant in all its 
details, that it would be difficult to find anywhere a more perf 
example of the style. As it now stands it is very much simpler 
plainer than any Northern example of the same age would be; 1 

All these are carefully described and delineated by Count De Vogii« 
beautiful work entitled ‘ Lea Eglise* de la Terr6 Sa-inte,’ Paris, 1860. 


ty depended on painting for its decoration, and traces of 
still bo seen on its desecrated walls. It is now used as a cati 
_ The church at Baruleh is one of the largest, and must origi¬ 
nally have been one of the finest, of these Syrian churches. It is now 
used-as a mosque, and the consequent alteration of its arrangement, 
with plaster and whitewash, have done much to destroy its architec¬ 
tural effect. 

At Sebaste there is one as large as that at Bamleh—160 ft. by 80 ft., 
-—and shewing a more completely developed Gothic style than those at 

Jerusalem. At Lydda 
there is another very 
similar in detail to 
that last mentioned. 
Though now only a 
fragment, it is one of 
singular elegance, and 
shews a purity of de¬ 
tail and arrangement 
not usual in Northern 
churches of that age. 
l)e VogU4 is of opi¬ 
nion that both the 
last - named churches 
must have been com¬ 
pleted before the year 
1187. It is hard, how¬ 
ever, to believe that an 

Italian Gothic style could have attained that degree of perfection 
so early, and if the date assigned is correct it is evident that the 
pointed style was developed earlier in the East than in the West, a 
circumstance which from our knowledge of what had happened in 

Armenia and elsewhere is by no means 

The date assigned to these churches 
is rendered more probable by the exist¬ 
ence of a Gothic building, certainly as 
advanced as any of those mentioned 
within the enclosure of the mosque at 
Hebron. If this was a work of the 
Crusaders it must have been built be¬ 
fore 1187, since the Christians never 
*ess to the place after their defeat at Tiberias. If not erected 
■n, we are forced to assume that the Moslems, after recovering 
ion of the sepulchres of the Patriarchs, employed some Chris- 
aegades or slaves to erect a mosque on the spot, in their own 

East End of Cliurch at Lydda, From De Voglle. 

Aps^ of Church at Lydda. 
Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 


of architecture. And this is, by no means improbable, sr 
e only Christian Church (if it be one) In Palestine which 
though there would have been no diffi¬ 
culty in introducing three apses in the same 
manner as at Abii Gosh (woodcut No. 804), had 
it been so desired. It should also be remarked 
that the three aisles point southward towards 
Mecca, and that, except in style, it has all the 
appearance of a mosque. Both Christian and 
Mahometan tradition are silent as to its erec¬ 
tion, so that the determination of the question 
must depend on a more careful examination 
than has yet been possible. Whichever way it 
may be decided, it is a curious question. It is 
either a Christian building without the arrange¬ 
ment elsewhere universally indispensable, or it 
is a Moslem mosque in a Christian style of 
architecture. If the former, the complete de¬ 
velopment. of the Italian pointed style of archi¬ 
tecture in the East must he fixed at not less than half a century an¬ 
terior to that in the West. 1 

808. Plan of Mosque at Hebron. 
Seale' 100 ft. to 1 in. 

The Gothic portion is shaded black, 
the Jewish hatched, and the Mahome- 
dan outlined. 

1 For further particulars regarding this building, see * The Holy Sepulchre and 
the Temple at Jerusalem/ by the author, Appendix J. 






Constantine founds Constantinople . . a.d. 324 | Fall of Western Empire 

First Council of Nice. 325 ! Justinian I. 

Julian the Apostate. 361 | Justin H. 

Theodosius the Great. 379 Iferaclius ] ! 

Theodosius II. 408 j The Hejira . 

Marcian. 45 0 | 

The term Byzantine lias of late years been so loosely and incorrectly 
used—especially by French, writers on architecture — that it is now 
extremely difficult to restrict it to the only style to which it really 
belongs. W herever a certain amount of coloured decoration is em¬ 
ployed, or a peculiar form of carving found, the name Byzantine is 
applied to ohurches on the Rhine or in Franco; although no similar 
ornaments are found in the Eastern Empire, and though no connection 
can be traced between the -builders of the Western churches and the 
architects of Byzantium, or the countries subject to her sway. 

Strictly speaking, the term ought only to be applied to the style 
of architecture which arose in Byzantium and the East after Constantine 
transferred the government of the Roman Empire to that city. It is 
especially the style of the Greek Church as contradistinguished from 
that of the Roman Church, and ought never to be employed for anything 
bcyom. its limits. The only obstacle confining it to this definition 
occurs between the ages of Constantine and Justinian. Up to the 
reign of the last-named monarch the separation between the two 

\ . .... 






hu/clVes was not complete or clearly defined, and the archil* 

'rft&yof course likewise in a state of transition, sometimes inclin: t , 
tfe style, sometimes to the other. After Justinian’s time, the line may 

tx. (’u. f. PKI’i NTJ’ION OF THE TERM. 

he clearly and sharply drawn, and it would therefore be extremely 
convenient if the term “Greek architecture” could be used for the 
style of the Greek Church from that time to the present day. 

If that term be inadmissible, the term “Sclavonic” might be 
applied, though only in the sense in which the Gothic stylo could 
* be designated as Teutonic. Both, however, imply ethnographic dis¬ 
tinctions which it would not be easy to sustain. The term “ Gothic ” 
happily avoids these, and so would “ Greek,” but for the danger of its 
being confounded with “ Grecian,” which is the proper name for the 
classical style of the ancient Greeks. If the employment of either of 
these terms is deemed inadvisable, it will be necessary to divide the 
style into Old and New Byzantine—the first comprehending the ,three 
centuries of transition that elapsed from Constantine to the Persian 
war of Heraclius and the rise of the Mahomedan power, which entirely 
changed the face of the Eastern Empire,—the second, or Neo Byzan¬ 
tine, including all those forms which were practised in the East from 
the reappearance of the style, in or after the 8th century, till it was 
superseded by the Renaissance. 

Thus divided, the true, or Old Byzantine, stylo would be the exact 
counterpart of the Romanesque. As explained in a former chapter 
(vol. i. p. 352) that style was a transition from the classical Roman to 
the stylos adopted by the Barbarians, the old style having died out 
about the age of Gregory the Great (a.d. 600). An exactly similar 
process went on in the East, and culminated in the erection of Sta. 
Sophia (a.p. 532-558); f ’re difference being that during this age the 
Western Empire was in a state of decay, ending in a debacle from 
which the Gothic style practically ^merged only some four centuries 
later. The Eastern Empire, on the contrary, was during that time 
progressively forming itself; and did form a style of its own of singular 
beauty and perfection, which it left to its Sclavonic successors to use 
or abuse as their means or tastes dictated. The Western Empire was 
not in a position to form a style so early, and the creation of one was 
reserved till after the revival in the 11 th century. 

Though the styles of the East and the West became afterwards 
so distinctly separate, we must not lose sight of the fact, that during 
the age of transition (324-530) no clear line of demarcation can be 
traced. Constantinople, Rome, and Ravenna were only principal 
cities of one empire, throughout the whole of which the people were 
striving simultaneously to convert a Pagan into a Christian style, and 
working from the same basis with the same materials. Prior to the 
age of Constantine one style pervaded the whole empire. The buildings 
at Palmyra, Jerasli, or Baalbec. Nice or Merida, are barely distin- 


Lie from tlioso of tlio capital, and the problem of ho 
style could be best converted to Christian uses was the 
all. The consequence is, that if we were at present writing a 
history which stopped with the beginning of the 7th century, the only 
philosophical mode of treating the question would be to consider the 
style as one and indivisible for that period; but as the separation was 
throughout steadily, though almost imperceptibly, making its way, 
and gradually became fixed and permanent, it will be found more con¬ 
venient to assume the separation from the beginning. This method 
will no doubt lead to some repetition, but that is a small inconvenience 
compared with the amount of clearness obtained. At the same time, 
if any one were writing a history of Byzantine architecture only, it 
would bo necessary to include Ravenna, and probably Venice and some 
other towns in Italy and Sicily in the Eastern division. On the other 
hand, in a history devoted exclusively to the Romanesque styles, it 
would be impossible to omit the churches at Jerusalem, Bethlehem, or 
Salonica, and elsewhere in the East. Under these circumstances, it is 
necessary to draw an arbitrary line somewhere; and for this purpose 
the western limits of the Turkish Empire and of Russia will answer 
every practical purpose. Eastward of this line every country in which 
the Christian religion at any time prevailed may be considered as 
belonging to the Byzantine province. 

During the first three centuries of the style (324-622) it will be 
convenient to consider the whole East as one architectural province. 
\\ hen our knowledge is more complete, it may be possible to separate 
it into several, but at present we are only beginning to see the steps 
by which the style grew up, and are still vory far from the knowledge 
requisite for such limitations, even if it should hereafter be discovered 
that a sufficient number exis f All the grfeat churches with which 
Constantine and his immediate successors adorned their new capital 
have perished. Like the churches at Jerusalem and Bethlehem, they 
were probably constructed with wooden roofs and even wooden archi¬ 
traves, and thus soon became a prey to the flames in that most com¬ 
bustible of capitals. Christian architecture has been entirely swept off 
the face of the earth at Antioch, and very few and imperfect vestiges are 
found of the seven churches of Asia Minor. Still, the recent researches 
of De Vogue in Northern Syria, 1 and of Texier in Salonica shew how 
much unexpected wealth still remains to be explored, and in a few 
years more this chapter of our history may assume a shape as much 
more complete than what is now written, as it excels what we were 
compelled to be content with ten years ago. 

1 4 Syne Centrale : Architecture civile et religeuse du I e au VIP Siecle. Par le 
Comte Melchior de Yogiid.* To he completed in 30 Parts. 17 are published. 

ox((o-1)OAiv-JurumroAx/ wr i im. 

.ce therefore, under present circumstances, no ethnog 
ent of the subject seems feasible, the clearest mode of preseij 
_probably be to adopt one purely technical. 

For this purpose it will be found convenient, first, to separate the eo- 
Byzantine style from the older division, which, in order not to multiply 
terms, may be styled the Byzantine par excellence; the first chapter ex¬ 
tending from Constantine, 324, to the Hejira, 622; and the second from 
that time to the end of the middle ages. 

In reference to the ecclesiastical architecture of the first division, 
it is proposed to treat— 

First, of churches of the Basilican or rectangular forms, subdividing 
them into those having wooden, and those having stone roofs. 

Secondly, to describe circular churches in the same manner, sub¬ 
dividing them similarly into those with wooien roots, and thoso with 
stone roofs or true domes. 

This subdivision will not be necessary in speaking of the Neo- 
Byzantine churches, since they all have stone roofs and true domes. 

With regard to civil or domestic architectum very little need at 
present be said, but we may hope that, afe;. ^rs hence, materials 
will exist for an interesting chapter on even thil4 ^ranch of the subject. 



von. li. 


mi tt/fy 



Churches at Bethlehem, Jerusalem, and Thessalonica — Rectangular Churches in 
Syria and Asia Mino \ with wooden roofs and with stone vaults. 

Basilicas may be subdivided into two classes—tbit in which the 
nave is divided from the side-aisles by pillars, carrying either entabla¬ 
tures or arches, as t't most purely Romanesque — and that which has 
piers supporting ai\ 1 t ■ \lv, and is transitional between the first style 
and the more origin „ forms which were elaborated out of it. 

Of the former" class one of the most authentic and perfect is that 
J" erected at Bethlehem 

a Iw by Helena, the mo? 

prSp Q3 | ther of Constantine, 
1 J J Jk.T° front of the cave 

1 a a J||L of the Nativity. The 

a |j| 0 j| nave seems to be a 

VyL. : nearly unaltered ex- 

ample of this age, 
with the advantage 
over the contemporary 
churches at Rome, that 
all its pillars and their 
capitals were made for 
the places they occupy, 
whereby the whole 
possesses a complete¬ 
ness and justness of 
proportion not found 
in the metropolis. Its 
dimensions, though sufficient for effect, are not large, being internally 
103 ft. across, by 215 ft. east and west. The choir with its three apses 
does not seem to he part of the original arrangement,, but to have 
been added by Justinian when he renovated—Eutychius says rebuilt 
—the church. My impression is that a detached circular building, 

809. • Church of the Nativity at Bethlehem. From Bernardino Amico. 

MO. Interior of the Go Wen Gateway, From a Drawing by Catherwood. Originally publish*! in 
Fisher’s' Oriental Album.* 

1 De Vogue, ‘ ICglises de In Terre Sainto,* p. 101. 

u 2 

aal to the basilica, originally contained the entrance to tlie* 
frescoes were added apparently in the 11th or 12th century. 1 
• One of the principal points of interest connected with this church 
is, that it enables us to realise the description Eusebius gives us of the 
Basilica which Constantine erected at Jerusalem in honour of the 
Resurrection. Like this church it was five-aisled, but had galleries, 
and, owing to the irregularity of the ground, the south gallery was on 
a level with the ground outside, as was the case with the churches 
of St. Lorenzo and Sta. Agnese at Rome. The apse also was on 
a larger scale than could well have been possible in the Bethlehem 
church, and adorned with twelve pillars, symbolical of the Apostles. 

ilding nothing* now remains but the portal, known as th\| 

Golden Gateway, 1 whichi 
f| lH | ft 1 IJ & - is extremely interesting 

- . - as an example of the 

style of the age, when 
~ practised where ancient 

materials were not avail- 
able to be worked np in 
^ es ^o n * Both exter- 
naily and internally 
1 §2 ^ preserves all the 

- : ~;7Jjril^ SmHw elements of transition 


between a 
trabeate style, like the 
classical Roman and 
an arcuate stylo, which 
after its date. 2 

811. Golden Gateway (west side). From a Photograph. 

Christian architecture became immediately 


812. Eski Juma, Thessalonica. From 
Tidier and Pullan. Scale 100 ft, to 1 in, 

1 It now seems to be generally admitted, 
even by those most opposed to my views 
in this matter, that this gateway was 
erected for festal purposes by Christians 
between the ages of Constantine and Jus¬ 
tinian (T>e Vogue says 5th to 6th cen¬ 
tury), but no one lias ventured to suggest 

by whom or for what purpose. Till they 
can do so they have no lo<ms standi in the 
argument as to the age or destination of 
these buildings. 

2 For further particulars see 4 The Holy 
1 Sepulchre and the Temple at Jerusalem, 

> by the author. Murray, 1865. 


8Ki. Si. Demetrius, Thessalonica. From Texier 
and Pullan. Scale 100 ft. to l in. 

814. Arch 'S in St. Demetrius at Thessalomca, 
A.l). 500 to 520. 

salom, and 
above the c 

a considerable advance towards 
the more complicated form of a 
Christian church. Both these 
churches have capacious galle¬ 
ries, running above the side- 
aisles, and probably devoted to 
the accommodation of the women. 
The date of St. Demetrius is most 
probably among the first years 
of the 6th century. 1 Tho general 
ordinance of the pillars will be 
understood from tlie woodcut 
(No. 814). Generally they are 
placed on elevated bases or 
stools, like those at Spalatro and 
Dome of the Rock at Jeru- 
all have a block 
the capital, which in the 
Jerusalem example represents 
ne architrave, but has here be¬ 
come an essential feature placed 

1 The particulars for these churches 
are taken from Texier and Pullan’s 
splendid work on Byzantine architec¬ 
ture, published by Day, 1804 ; but, as 
will be seen, I differ essentially with 
the authors as to the dates of the 
buildings they describe. 

815. Pillar in Church of St John, Constantinople. 


apital to support the springing of the arch. In this form 
Very generally between the age of Constantine and Jnstin 
.... , er re % n it fell into disuse. This is not surprising, as it is 
far from being agreeable, though just such a characteristic as generally 
occurs in ages of transition. 

bo far as we now know, there is only one church of this class 
at Constantinople — -that known as St. John Studios,—a three-aisled 
basilica, 125 ft. long by 85 in width externally. Its date appears 
to be tolerably well ascertained as A.r>. 463, and from this circum¬ 
stance, as well as its being in the metropolis, it shows less deviation 
from the classical type than the provincial examples just quoted. The 
lower range of columns supporting the gallery still retain the classical 
outline and support a horizontal entablature (woodcut No. 815); the 
. upper supporting arches have very little resemblance to the classical 
/type, and are wanting in the architrave block, which in fact never 
seems to have been admired in the capital. 

Syria and Asia Minor. 

Plan of Church in Baquoza. 
Sc«le 100 ft. w 1 in. 

The country where—so far at least as we at present know—the 
Byzantine Basilica was principally developed was Northern Syria. 
Already in Be Vogue’s work, even in its incomplete state, some dozen of 
churches are indicated having the aisles divided from tho naves by pillars 
supporting arches. One of these only—that at Soucideh—has five 
aisles, all the rest three. Almost all have plain 
semicircular apses, sometimes only seen inter¬ 
nally, like those mentioned in the first volume 
(page 359), but sometimes also projecting, as 
was afterwards universally the fashion. Two 
at least have square terminations (Kefir Kileh 
and Behioh), hut this seems exceptional. Most of 
them are almost the size of our ordinary parish 
churches—100 ft. by 60, or thereabouts — and all belong to the three cen¬ 
turies—the 4th, 5th, and 6th—of which this chapter especially treats. 

The church at Baquoza may serve as a type of the class both in 

plan and section (woodcuts 
Nos. 816, 817). Its dimen¬ 
sions externally are 60 ft. by 
105; and besides the narthex 
—not shown in the section — 
it has four lateral porches. It 
has also two square chapels or 
vestries at the end of the aisles 
—an arrangement almost 
universal in these churches. 
The most remarkable of the group, however, is that of St. Simeon 

817. Section of Church at Baquoza. From De Vogiie. 
Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 



Stylilos, at Kelat Soman, about 20 miles east of Antioch. Its d|gjtjunL-| 
Solis’/are very considerable, being 330 ft. long, north and south, krjJJ 
^sMearly as may be, 300 ft. east and west, across what may be called 
the transepts. The centre is occupied by a great octagon, 93 ft. across, 
on a rock in the centre of which the pillar of that eccentric saint 
originally stood. This apparently was never roofed over, but stood 
always exposed to the air of heaven. 1 

of Church and Purt of Monastic Buildings at Kelat Seman.- From He VbciiS. 

Scale 100 ft. to l in. 

The greater part of t,lie conventual buildings belonging to this 
church still remain in a state of completeness,—a fact which will be 
startling to those who are not aware how many of the great religious 
establishments of Syria still stand entire, wanting only the roofs, 
which were apparently the only parts constructed of wood. 

The whole of the buildings at Kelat Seman seem to have been com¬ 
pleted within the limits of the 5th century, and not to have been 

' A “ ot ^ er ver y sma11 churcl >> of Moudjeleia, though under 50 feet square, 
seems to have adopted the same hypfcthral arrangement. 


or altered since they were deserted, apparently in el 
of the Mahometan irruption in the 7t3i century. The 
point is that such a building should have remained so long 
in such a situation, unknown to the Western world; for the notices 
hitherto published have been meagre and unsatisfactory in the extreme. 
But we now know that when all the details are made public, they will 
form by far the most valuable contribution yet offered to our know¬ 
ledge of the architecture of that age. 

In the same province we find also the earliest examples of the use 
of pier arches in a church to separate the nave from the aisles. These 
seem to have been currently used in Northern Syria in the 6th century, 
though not found in the West—at least not used in the same manner 

—for several centuries later. Generally 
three such arches only were employed 
in the length of the nave, and they 
consequently left the floor so open and 
free, that it is very questionable if in 
churches of limited dimensions the intro¬ 
duction of a much larger number by the 
Gothic architects was an improvement. 
Taking it altogether, it is probable that such a church as that at Rou- 
heiha (woodcut No. 820) would, if literally reproduced, make a better 
and cheaper church for an English parish than the mediieval models wo 
are so fond of copying. A considerable amount of perspective effect is 
obtained by throwing two transverse arches across the nave, dividing it 
into 3 compartments, each including 4 windows in the clerestory; and 


Plan of Church at Koubeiha. 
Scale 100 ft. to i in. 

Section of Church at Rouheiha. 1 rom l)e Vojjiio* Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 

the whole design is simple and solid in a degree seldom surpassed in build¬ 
ings of its class. Its dimensions are 63 ft. by 150 over all externally. 

In many of these churches the transverse arches of the nave are 
omitted; and when, as at Kalb Louzeh (woodcut No. 822), the clerestory 
is accentuated by roofing shafts, the same effect of perspective is obtained 
by other means, and perhaps as successfully. It is very interesting, 
however, to find that as early as the 6th century the architects were 

7 . 


feeling their way towards those very principles of 
many centuries afterwards enabled the Gothic architects 
their most successful effects. The introduction of four windows 
each great arch, and of a roofing-shaft between each to support 
the beams of the roof, was a lxappy thought, 
and it is wonderful it was so completely lost 
sight of afterwards. 

It is probable that the apse (woodcut No. 

822) was originally adorned with paintings 

or mosaics, or at least that it was intended it **}• p , laT \, of Cburdi at Kalb 
, , , , Louzeh. Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

should be so ornamented; but even as it is, it 

is so well proportioned to tho size of the church, and to its position, and 
so appropriately ornamented, that it is better than most of those found 
in Roman basilicas; and, for a small church, is a more dignified receptacle 
for tho altar than either the French chevet or the English chancel. 

*> 22 . 

Apse of Church at Kalb Uouzeh. From De Vogite 

Did our limits admit of it, it would bo not only pleasant but in- 

824. Elevation of Chapel at Babouda. 
From Do Vogii<5. 



r ki to dwell longer on this subject; for few parts of our enqui 
ore interesting than to find that, as early as the Oth centur 
man basilica had been converted into a Christian church, com¬ 
plete in all its details, and—-internally at least —in a style of architec¬ 
ture as consistent and almost as fin* removed from its classical proto¬ 
type as the mediaeval Gothic itself. 

Externally, too, the stylo was becoming independent of classical 
models, though hardly in the same degree. The porches of the churches 
were generally formed in two storeys, the lower having a large central 
arch of admission, the upper consisting of a colonnade which partially 
hid, while it supported, an open screen of windows that admitted a 
flood of light into the nave just in position where it was most effective. 

Without glass or mullions such a range of windows 
must have appeared weak, and would have admitted 
rain; but when sheltered by a screen of pillars, it 
w r as both convenient and artistic. 

This mode of lighting is better illustrated at 
Babouda, wdiere it is employed in its simplest form. 
No light is admitted to the chapel except through 
one great Semicircular window over the entrance, 
and this is protected externally by a screen of 
columns. This mode of introducing light, as we shall 
afterwards see, was common in India at. this age, and 
earlier, all the Chaitya caves being lighted in the same manner ; and for 
artistic effect it is equal, if not superior, to any other which has yet been 

invented. The light is high, and be¬ 
hind the worshipper, and thrown di¬ 
rect on the altar, or principal part of 
the church. In very large buildings 
it could hardly be applied, hut for 
smaller ones it is singularly effective. 

The external effect of these build¬ 
ings, though not so original as the 
interior, is still very far removed 
from the classical type, and presents 
a variety of outline and detail vory 
different from the simplicity of a 
Pagan temple. One of the most 
complete is that at Tourmanim 
(woodcut No. 825), though that at 
Kalb Louzoh is nearly as perfect, 
but simpler in detail. Eor a church 
of the 6th century it is wonderful 
how many elements of later build¬ 
ings it suggests; even the western towers seem to bo indicated, and, 

•fnrais~2ratr xsezth utokt 

'ucade of Church at Tourmauim. From De Vogiid. 

except the four columns of the gallery, there is very little to recal the 
style out of which it arose. 

There are considerable remains of a wooden-roofed basilica at Per- 
gamus, which may be even older than those just described; but having 
been built in brick, .and only faced with stone—the whole of which is 
gone—it is difficult to feel sure of the character of its details and 
mouldings. It had galleries on either side of the nave, but how these 
were supported or framed is not clear. It may have been by wooden 

Church at PerganiMH. From a Plan by Ed. Falkonor, JKsq. Scab 100 ft. to 1 

■lSTzrajsrn -jstjkt iQfUK itkotu kk 

r marble pillars, and these would have either decayed or . 
d. The two square calcidica or vestries, which in the Syrki^ 
es terminate the side-aisles, are here placed externally like 
transepts, and beyond them are two circular buildings with domical 
roofs and square apses. What their use was is, however, doubtful. In 
fact, we know so little of the architecture of that age in Asia Minor 
that this building stands quite exceptionally; and very little use 
can be made of it, either as throwing light on other buildings, or as 
receiving illustration from their peculiarities. But seeing how much 
has been effected in this direction of late, we may fully hope that this 
state of isolation will not long remain. 

One other church of the 4th century is known to exist—at N isibin. 
It is a triple church, the central compartment being the tomb of the 
founder, the first Armenian hishop of the place. Though much ruined, 
it still retains the mouldings of its doorways and windows as perfect 
as when erected, the whole being of fine hard stone. These are iden¬ 
tical in style with the buildings of Diocletian at Spalatro, and those 
of Constantine at Jerusalem; and as their date is well known, they 
will, when published, form a valuable contribution to the information 
we now possess regarding the architecture of this period. 

Chukches with Stone Roofs. 

All the buildings above described—with the exception of the chapel 
at Babouda—have wooden roofs, as was the case generally with the 
basilicas and the temples of the classical age. The Romans, however, 
had built temples with aisles and vaulted them as early as the age 
of Augustus, as at IS lines, for instance (woodcut No. 181), and they 
had roofed their largest basilicas and baths with intersecting vaults. 
We should not therefore feel surprised if the Christians sometimes 
attempted the same thing in their rectangular churches, more espe¬ 
cially as the dome was always a favourite mode of roofing circular 
buildings; and the problem which the Byzantine architects of the day 
set themselves to solve was—as we shall presently see—how to fit a 
circular dome of masonry to a rectangular building. 

One of the earliest examples of a stone-roofed church is that at Taf- 
kha in the Hauran. It is probably of tbe age of Constantine, though 
as likely to be before his time as after it. Its date, however, is not 
of very great importance, as its existence does not prove that the form 
was adopted from choice by the Christians: the truth being that, in the 
country where it is found, wood was never used as a building material. 
All the buildings, both domestic and public, are composed wholly of 
stone—the only available material for the purpose which the country 
afforded. In consequence of this, when that tide of commercial prosperity 
which rose under the Roman rule flowed across the country from the 


||»ptaW valley to the Mediterranean., the inhabitants had recoursSA 
de of construction, which was practically a new style of arcm- 
ii^Crare. This consisted in the employment of arches instead of beams- 
These were placed so near one another 
that flat stones eonld be laid side by 
side from arch to arch. Over these 
a layer of concrete was spread, and a 
roof was thus formed so indestructible 
that whole towns remain perfect to 
the present day, as originally con¬ 
structed in the first centuries of the 
Christian era. 1 

One example must suffice to explain 
this curious mode of construction. The 
church at Tafkha is 50 ft. square, 
exclusive of the apse. It is spanned 
by four arches, 7 ft. 0 in, apart. On 
each side are galleries of flat slabs 
resting on brackets, as shewn in wood- 
cut No. 829, which again are supported 
by smaller transverse arches. At one 
side is a tower, but this is roofed 
wholly by bracketing, as if the archi¬ 
tect feared the thrust of the arch 
even at that height. 

The defect of this arrangement as 
an architectural expedient is the ex¬ 
treme frequency of the piers, 8 or 10 
feet being the greatest distance prac¬ 
ticable ; but as a mechanical expedient 
it is singularly ingenious. More in¬ 
ternal space is obtained with a tess 
expenditure of material and danger 
from thrust than from any mode of 
construction — wholly of stone — that 
we are acquainted with; and with a 
little practice it might no doubt be 
much improved upon. The Indian f 
see, attempted the same thing, hut 
opposite way. They absolutely refuse 

827. Section on A B, Tafkha. From De Vogiie, 
Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 

Plan, Tafkha. Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

Section on C D, Tafkha. 

Half Front Elevation, Tafkha. 
Scale 50 ft. to l in. 

•V • 



stances, but ‘ bracketed forward till the space to be covered! 
ited that a single stone would reach across. By this means the; 
enabled to roof spaces 20 or 25 ft. span without arches, which is 
about the interval covered with their aid at Tafkhad 

Another circumstance which renders these ITauran examples interest¬ 
ing to the architectural student is that they contain no trace or remi¬ 
niscence of wooden construction or adornment, so apparent in almost 
every other style. In Lycia it is absurdly so. In Egypt, in Greece, 
in India, in Persia—everywhere, in fact—we can 
trace hack the principal form of decoration to a 
wooden original; here alono all is lit hie, and it 
is probably the only example of the sort that the 
whole history of architecture affords. 

Jf there are any churches in the Byzantine pro¬ 
vince of the age of which we are treating, whose 
naves are roofed by intersecting vaults, they have 
not yet been described in any accessible work; 
but great tunnel-vaults have been introduced into 
several with effect. One such is found at Hiera- 
polis, on the borders of Phrygia (woodcut No. 

831). It is divided by 
a bold range of piers into 
three aisles, the centre 
one having a clear width 
of 45 ft. 6 inches. The 
internal dimensions of 
the church are 177 ft. 


1 * M 1 


: ; 

M I 

i S® 

r::=U .I 


j i 

: ■ 

iv jsi 


N § 


Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 
10. F. del. 

by 115. There are three 
great piers in the length, 
which carry bold trans¬ 
verse ribs so as to break 
the monotony of the 
vault, and have between C33 , at n , er?p „u s . 

them secondary arches, 
to carry the galleries. 

There is another church at the same place, the roof of which is 
of a somewhat more complicated form. The internal length, 110 
ft, is divided into 3 by transverse arches; but its great peculiarity 
is that the vault is cut into by semicircular lunettes above the 
screen side-walls, and through these the light is introduced. This 
arrangement will be understood from the section (woodcut No. 833). 
Taken altogether, there is probably no other church of its age and 

g3l. Great Church at Hierapotift. 
Scale 100 ft. to l in. 

K. Fulkener del. 

1 The constructive dimensions of the flat stone roofs, but in the Indian, though 
porch at Chilimihrum (further on) are very ! a much more modern example, there is 
similar to those of this church : both have i no arch. 

prrr; .. chttkches woti biwiniw 

lib which tho vault is so pleasingly and artistically arrang^ 
[nywhich the mode of introducing the light is so judicious ai) 

The age of these two last churches is not very well ascertained, 

They probably belong _ 

to the 5th, and are //^^\\ 

certainly not later than f f— p-Wa ] 

the 6th century; but, J JJ 

before we can speak 

with certainty on the '' 

subject, more examples Wi'/ 

must he brought to light 

and examined. From 

our present knowledge 

it can hardly be doubt- | 

ed that a sufficient num- 0 E mW$ 

her do exist to complete "" r,L ""~ UmiA it 0k 

the chapter; and it is 833 section of Grout Church at IlierapolLs. Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 
to be boned tliev will With monogram found on its walls. From a Drawing 

1 J by K Falconer. 

be published, since a 






Circular Churches with wooden roofs and with true domes in Syria and Thessalonica 
— Churches of St. Sergius and Bacchus and Sta. Sophia, Constantinople — 
Domestic Architecture. 

As before hinted, all the churches described in the last chapter might 
fairly he described as Romanesque, and, if our history stopped there, 
Eastern Romanesque would be the proper title to apply to them. At the 
time of their erection, however, a circular-domical style was being 
simultaneously elaborated, which not only gave a different character to 
the whole style, hut eventually entirely superseded the Romanesque 
form, and became an original and truly Byzantine art. 

As was the case with the rectangular buildings, those of the circular 
form may be divided into two distinct classes, those having wooden 

and those possessed of stone roofs. 
In this case, however, the proportions 
are reversed: the stone-roofed cir¬ 
cular buildings being by far the most 
numerous; the wooden, on the con¬ 
trary, exceptional. 

The typical example of the latter 
class is the church which Constantine 
erected over what he believed to he 
the Holy Sepulchre of Christ at J eru¬ 
salem. This building is now known 
to the Moslem world as the “ Dome 
of the Rock ” (Kubbet es Sakhra); by 
Western Christians it is called the 
“ Mosque of Omar.” In reality it is 
a nearly unaltered Christian building 
of the 4th century. 1 As such, its interest to the Christian, in marking 
what to him is one of the most sacred spots in the whole world, is, or 

$34. Plan of tho Pome of the Rock at Jerusa¬ 
lem. From Catherwood and Artmdale. 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

1 For the arguments on which this 
assertion is based the reader is referred to 
the essay on ‘The Ancient Topography of 
Jerusalem,’ by the author, published in 

184:7, and to a work entitled * The Holy 
Sepulchre and the Temple at Jerusalem,’ 
Murray, 1805. 

^x:Ti?fniTr^mLTn7M^ mmmnm; mnnnms. 

It is equally important to the arphaeoloj 

^Christian purposes; while it is of even more value to the architect 
from being one of the most beautiful buildings in the whole world. 
In dimensions it is surpassed by many, being an octagon of only 160 ft. 
diameter; and in solidity it is not to he compared with those wholly 
constructed of stone; but in richness of material there are few that 
can he compared with it. Its pillars are of marbles of the most pre¬ 
cious kinds, and either belonged to the Temple of Herod or to that 
erected by Had¬ 
rian in honour 
of Jupiter on the 
same spot. 1 Its 
Mosaics are com¬ 
plete, though very 
much altered in 
design by its pre¬ 
sent possessors, 


M mm mml 

1 It is difficult to suppose that such 
precious marbles lay about unappropriated 
till the end of the 7tli century, long alter 
the time when both Constantino and Jus- 

tmian had been so busy erecting churches 
and other buildings in the' holy city 
2 Eusebius, * Vita Constantim,’ lib. iii. 

ell, XXV. 



Sessiiilly obeyed. .The details still retain much of the classical 
^tid elegance, but combined with something of mediaeval vanety^^J 
jde|>riess; and the effect, produced by the whole is quite unrivalled by 
any other known building of its class. 

To the archaeologist its principal interest lies in the number of 
transitional features it presents. The old trabeate style of the Homans 
was yielding unwillingly to the arcuate style that was so soon to 
supersede it. The former is still retained as an ornament ; the latter 
-— as in the palace of Diocletian at Spalatro (vol. i. p. 2B0)—was fast 
becoming the essential constructive expedient. 

Though the shafts of the columns seem to have been generally 
borrowed from older buildings, the capitals were appaiently carved 

for the nonce. They are nearly 
M&'wW - identical with those employed in 

r the basilica a t Bethlehem, and some 

of them still retain the 

cross on 

the abacus (woodcut No. 837). 
My impression is that most of 
them were so adorned, but the 
emblem is covered up with plas¬ 
ter. As a rule, the bases of tho 
pillars are cubical blocks, such as 
were introduced at Spalatro by 
Diocletian, and continued fashion¬ 
able down, at least, to tKe time of 
Justinian. They are always em¬ 
ployed at Thessalonioa (woodcut 
No. 814). 

If we were to form an 


from the constructive details only, 
there would be no difficulty in 
assigning this building to an 
earlier age than even that of 
Constantine; but, taking both the 
mechanical and artistic details 
into consideration, it is impossible 
to place its erection before the age of that monarch, and it seems 
absolutely certain that the same features were never reproduced in 
any building erected after tlie accession of Justinian. 

Constantine also erected a church at Antioch, which, from the 
description of it preserved by Eusebius, we learn was octagonal 
in plan, and probably similar but less rich and less important than that 
at Jerusalem. 

On Mount Gerizim, on or near the site of the Samaritan temple, 
Justinian built an octagonal church, in plan somewhat similar to tho 

336. View in Aisle of Dome of Rock, From a 
Drawing by Catherwood. 


ig of the Rock at Jerusalem, though exhibiting a considerable 
ids Christian arrangements; it has, however, been so comp 

troyed that only its foundations_ 

am now be recovered. 1 

At Bosrah in the Hauran there 
is a church of perfectly well-ascer¬ 
tained date —a.d. 512 — which, when 
more completely illustrated, will 
throw considerable light on the steps 
by which a pagan temple was trans¬ 
formed into a Christian church.® 

It is a building externally square, 
but internally circular (woodcut, 

No. 838). The central space is 91 ft. 
in diameter, and w r as evidently 
covered with a wooden roof, but 
whether supported on eight piers, or 
covering the whole space in one 
span, is not dear. The great inte¬ 
rest of the plan consists in its shew¬ 
ing the progress made in adapting 
this form to Christian purposes, 
during the 180 years which had 
elapsed since the Dome of the Rock 

837. Capital in Dome of Rock. From De Vogue. 

was erected at Jerusalem. That has no apse or sanctuary, and is 
m every essential a Pagan building, in so far as any disposition of 
the plan is concerned; this is a Christian church in every essential 

It is to he hoped that further investigation may 
all the steps by which this transformation took 
place. Meanwhile one, and a very curious one, 
exists at Kelat Seman, in Northern Syria, and 
presents a combination of a circular with *a 
rectangular church very common in Armenia 
and Georgia. As is generally the case there, 
they are very small in dimensions, the whole 
group only measuring 120 ft. by 73. When 
Do Vogue s work is complete, we shall probably 
know the purpose for which these buildings 
were erected. At present they look liko 

1 A plan of the church, resulting from 
excavations and measurements very <care¬ 
fully made, was brought home by Capt. 
Wilson of the Palestine Exploration Fund. 

2 The plan here introduced 
by M. Rey. It is hoped 1 
Vogue’s work is complete 
more about it. 



1 its accompanying, mortuary chapel, disposed as the Martyr! A 
.stasis of Constantine were at Jerusalem : but on this ani 

Section of Double Chinch at Kelat Reman. 
From De Wgi'u*. Scale 50 ft. to l in. 

840. Plan. Kelat Soman. 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 iu. 

many other points we 

must wait for further information before speakinj 

Church ks with Domks, 

Whether the Dome of the Pantheon at Rome (vol. i. p. 286) was 
erected in the time of the Antonines, as I believe, or before the time of 
Augustus, as many suppose, it is evident that the Romans had con¬ 
quered the difficulties of domic construction long before the transference 
of the seat of power to Byzantium; the Pantheon being, np to this 
hour, the largest (single) dome ever constructed by the hand of man. 
Simple and grand as it undoubtedly is, it had several glaring defects 
in it's design which the Byzantines set themselves to remedy. The 
first was that..twice, the necessary amount of materials was consumed 
in Its construction. The second, that the mode of lighting by a hole 
in the roof, which also admitted the rain and the snow, was most 
objectionable before the invention of glass. The third, that a simply 
circular plan is always unmeaning and inconvenient. A fourth, that 
a circular building can hardly, by any contrivance, be made to fit 

on to any other buildings or apart¬ 

In the Minerva Medica (wood¬ 
cut No. 219) great efforts were 
made but not quite successfully, to 
remedy these defects. The build¬ 
ing would not fit on to any others, 
and, though an improvement on 
the design of the Pantheon, was 
still far from perfect. 

The first step the Byzantines 
made was to enclose the circle in 
# a square, as at a (woodcut No. 841), and then to insert a great niche 
' in each of’the angles. By this means, the thickness of the outer walls 
was very considerably reduced, and the whole square was practically 

841. Diagram of Byzantine Arrangement.. 


^OjUthe outer wall, leaving only what was requisite 
fhune, and enclosing the whole in an octagon, as at 
iis at c. When this was done, it is evident that a 
required dimensions could be constructed without 
and great variety of perspective obtained without a 
octagonal arrangement in the last woodcut 
was that adopted at St. Vital© at Ravenna ; 

the square, that which produced the church J. L_ 

of SS. Sergius and Bacchus at Constantinople. 

So long as the octagonal arrangement was 
adhered to, no difficulty of construction 
occurred; the difference between the circle 
and octagon, represented by the shaded 
parts at a in the diagram (woodcut No. 842), 
is so small, that it is easily got over in con¬ 
struction, but such a polygon has many of 
the architectural defects of the circle, and 
the triumph of the Byzantine arcliitects was 

complete, when, by the introduction of pendentives—represented by 
the shaded parts at b (woodcut No. 842), they were enabled to place 
the circular dome on a square apartment. 

Constructively it would probably have been easier to roof the space 

S-J2. Diagram of Byzantine Pen¬ 

Diagram of Vaulting. From Viollot 
‘ Entretiens d’Architecture. ’ 



: f r : 1 • 


845. Section of Church of St. Georg* at Thessalonica. From 'Foxier and Pullan. Scale 50 ft. to 1 iu. 

1 These are all given in colours in Texier and Pul Ian’s beautiful work on Byzan¬ 
tine architecture, from which all the particulars regarding this church are taken. 



^object. in itself, wholly irrespective of ornament, while nothin! 
b<^a/ehitect's repertory could redeem the mechanical harshness o 
vault, when applied on the scale requisite to roof an apart¬ 
ment of any considerable dimensions. Altogether, the effect would 
have been architecturally so infinitely inferior, that we cannot but 
feel grateful to the Byzantines that they persevered in spite of all 
mechanical temptations till they reached the wonderful perfection of 
the dome of Sta. Sophia. 

Among the earliest domical churches found in the East, is that of 
St. George at Thessalonica. It is, also perhaps, the finest example 
of its class, belonging strictly to that group 
which has been designated above as the Eastern 

As will be seen from the plan, it is a cir¬ 
cular apartment, 79 ft. in diameter, surrounded 
by walls 20 ft. in thickness, into which are cut 
seven great niches; two apparently serving as 
entrances, opposite one of which is a boma or 
presbytery of considerable importance and 
purely Christian form. The dome is hemi¬ 
spherical, pierced at its base by eight semi¬ 
circular lunettes, and externally covered and 
concealed by a wooden roof. This form of roof 
is first found in the West at Nocera dei Pagani 
(vol. i. p. 385), but the dome there is only half the diameter of this one, 
and of a very different form and construction. The dome of St. George’s 
retains its internal decorations, which are among tho earliest as well as 
the most interesting Christian mosaics in existence. 1 The architecture 

feorgo at Thessu- 
100 ft. to l in. 


same relation to that in tl] 

frescos, which the Jacohsean does to classical architecture^ 
with Christian symbols and representations of Christian saints, 
maxes up a most interesting example of early Christian decoration. 

View of Church of St. George at Tliessalouica. !• rom Texier and Pullan. 

Ko inscriptions or historical indications exist, from which the date 
of the Church can he fixed. Wc are safe, however, in asserting that it 
was erected by Christians, for Christian purposes, subsequently to the 
age of Constantine. If wo assume* the year 
400 as an approximate date we shall probably 
not err to any great extent, though the real 
date may bo somewhat later. 

ITow early a true Byzantine form of ar¬ 
rangement may have been introduced, wo 
have no means of knowing ; bu 
the year 285 — according to De 
have a little chapel at Kalybe (: 
ments of the new style. It is s< 
its centre for a roof. The wine 

847. Plan of Chapel at Kalybe. 
No scale. 


by 7j~& nttn* ft xT^oT-iri T5GT urn? 

)iisj |)jit not singular. One other example, at least, is found in t! 
mn,*at Cliagga. and there may be many more. 

View of Oratory at Kalybe. From De VogUe. 

Still, in the Hatpin they never seem quite to have fallen into the 
true Byzantine system of construction, but preferred one less mechani¬ 
cally difficult, even at the expense of crowding the floor with piers. 
In the church at Ezra, for instance, the internal octagon is reduced 
to a figure of sixteen sides, 
before it is attempted to put 
a dome upon it, 
and all thought 
of beauty of 
form, either in¬ 
ternally or ex¬ 
ternally, is aban¬ 
doned in order 
849. Plan of cimrch to obtain mecha- 
flcaie 100 ft to i in. ideal s ( ability— 

although the dome is under 20 ft. in diameter. 

As the date of this church is perfectly ascertained (510) it forms 
a curious landmark in the style just anterior to the great efforts 
Justinian was about to make, and which forced it so suddenly into its 
greo/test, though a short-lived, degree of perfection. 

850. Section of Church at Ezra. Scale 50 ft. to l in. 


As before mentioned, all the churches of the capital which were 
erected before tlie ago of Justinian, have perished, with the one excep¬ 
tion of that of St/John Studios mentioned above (page 294). This 


IX. Oh. III. 


in part bo owing to the hurried manner in 
icted, and the great quantity of wood consequently 
diich might have risked their destruction anywhere. It is, however, 
the case that Byzantium possessed every conceivable title to he chosen 
as the capital of the Empire, except the possession of a good building- 
stone, or even apparently any suitable material for making good 
bricks. Wood seems in all times to have been the material most 
readily obtained and most extensively used for building purposes, and 
hence the continual recurrence of fires, from before the time of Jus¬ 
tinian down to the present day. That monarch was the first who 
fairly met the difficulty; the two churches erected during his reign 
which now exist, are constructed wholly without wood or combustible 
materials of any sort — and hence their preservation. 

Tho earliest of these two, popularly known as the “ Kutchnk Agia 
Sophia,” or lesser Sta. Sophia, was originally a double church, or more 
properly speaking, two churches placed side by side, precisely in the 
same manner as tho two at Kolat Semiin (woodcut No. 839). The 
basilica was dedicated to the Apostles Peter and Paul; the domical 
church, appropriately, to-tho Martyrs Sorgius and Bacchus. The 



r i * 

- 4: ■ 

851. Church of -Sergius and Bacchus. 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

oecuuu w worctt M Sergius and Bacchus. From A. Lenoir 
Architecture Monastique.' Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 

former has entirely disappeared, from which I would infor that it was 
constructed with pillars and a wooden roof. 1 The latter remains very 
nearly intact. The frescos and mosaics have, indeed, disappeared from 
the body of the church, hidden, it is to bo hoped, under tho mass 
of white which covers its walls-in tho narthex they can still he 

The existing church is nearly square in plan, being 109 ft. by 92 over 
a 1, exclusive of tho apse, and covering only about 10,000 so. ft. It has 
consequently no pretensions to magnificence on the score of dimensions, 
mt, is singularly elegant in design and proportion. Internally the 
arrangement of the piers of the dome, of tho galleries, and of the pillars 

1 A restoration of the church from Pro¬ 
copius description, ‘ De ASdificiis/ lib. j. 
ch. iv., will be found in Hiibsoh, ‘Alt- 

chi-ist]idle Baukunst,’ pis. xxxii. and 
xxxiu X differ; but tho data are very 




arc wrmjrmwu 

S upport them, are almost identical with those of St. VitaVW 
, but the proportions of the Eastern example are better, being 
height by 52 in diameter, while the other, with the same dia¬ 
meter, is nearly 20 ft. higher, and consequently too tall to he pleasing. 
The great difference, however, is, that while St. Vitale is enclosed in 
an octagon, St. Sergius is in a square; which gives the latter an 
immense advantage over its rival, not only in effect hut also in 

Capital from Church of Sergius and 
Bacchus. From Lenoir. 

854. Entablature from Church of Sergius and 
Bacchus. From Lenoir. 

The details of this church are generally well designed for the 
purposes to which they are applied. There is a certain reminiscence 
of classical feeling in the mouldings and foliage -in the latter, 
however, very faint. The architrave block (No. 853) had by this 
time almost superseded the capital, and what was once a classical 
entablature retained very little of its pristine 'form .(No. 854), and 
indeed was used constructively only, for the support of a gallery, or 
some sxteh mechanical requirement. The arch had entirely superseded 
it as an ornamental feature long before the age of Justinian. 

St a. Sophia. 

Although the building just described, and others that might be 
quoted, probably contain the germs of all that is found in Sta. 
Sophia, they are on so small a scale that it is startling to find Justinian 
attempting an edifice so grand, and so daring in construction, without 
more experience than he appears to have obtained. Indeed so excep¬ 
tional does this great structure appear, with our present knowledge, 
that we might almost feel, inclined at first sight to look upon it as 
the immediate creation of the individual genius of its architect, An¬ 
themius of Thralles; but there can be little doubt that if a greater 
number of contemporary examples existed we should be able to trace 
back every feature of the design to its origin. The scale, however, on 
which it was carried out was certainly original, and required great 
boldness on the part of the architect to venture upon such a piece of 
magnificence. At all events, the celebrated boast of its founder on 
contemplating his finished work was more than justified. W hen 

Ml NtSTfy 

x. Ch. lit: 


ian exclaimed “ I have surpassed thee, O Solomon,” he to< 
ferated view of the work of his predecessor, and did not realizi 
to which his building excelled the Jewish temple. The latter 
was only equal to a small ohurch with a wooden roof supported by 
wooden posts, and covering some 7200 sq. ft. Sta. Sophia covers ten 
times that area, is built of durable materials throughout, and far more 
finely ornamented than the temple of the Jews ever could have been. 
But Justinian did more than accomplish this easy victory. Neither 
the Pantheon nor any of the vaulted halls at Romo equal the nave of 
St. Sophia in extent, or in cleverness of construction, or in beauty 
of design. Nor was there anything erected during the 10 centuries 
which elapsed from the transference of the capital to Byzantium till 
the building of the great mediaeval cathedrals which can he compared 
with it. Indeed it remains even now an open question whether a 
Christian church exists anywhere, of any-age, whose interior is so 
beautiful as that of this marvellous creation of old "Byzantine art. 

The original church of Sta-. Sophia which had been erected by 
Constantine was, it seems, burnt to the ground in the fifth year of 
Justinian, a.\\ 532, when he determined to re-erect it on the same 
spot with more magnificence and with less combustible materials. So 
rapidly were the works pushed forward, that in six years it was 
ready for dedication, a.d. 537. Twenty years afterwards a portion of 
the dome fell down in consequence of an earthquake ; but this damage 
was repaired, and the church re-dedicated, 5(13, in the form, probably 
very nearly, in which we now find it. 

In plan it closely approaches an exact square, being 235 ft. north 
and south by 250 east and west, exclusive of the narthex and apse. 
The narthex itself is a splendid hall, 205 ft. in length internally, by 
26 ft. wide, and two storeys in height. Beyond this there is an 
exo-narthex which runs round the whole of the outer court, but this 
hardly seems to be part of the original design. Altogether, the 
building, without this or any adjuncts which may he after-thoughts, 
covers about 70,000 sq. ft., or nearly the average area of a mediaeval 
cathedral of the first class. 

Externally the building (woodcut No. 856} possesses little archi¬ 
tectural beauty beyond what is due to its mass and the varied outline 
arising from the mechanical contrivances necessary to resist the thrust 
of its internal construction. It may be that, like the early Christian 
basilicas at Rome, it was purposely left plain, to distinguish it from 
the external adornment of Heathen temples, or it may have been in¬ 
tended to revet it with marble, and add the external ornament after¬ 
wards. Before we became acquainted with the ornamented exteriors of 
Syrian churches, the former theory would scern the more plausible, 
though it can hardly now he sustained ; and when we consider that the 
second dedication only took place the year before Justinian’s death, and 


■ iSdn troublous times followed, we may fairly assume that wml 
see is only an incomplete design. Whatever may be the castr 
^STOx the extenor, all the internal arrangements are complete, and 
perfect both from a mechanical and an artistic print of view. In 
such a design as this, the first requirement was to obtain four perfectly 

Plan of Sto. Sophia. Upper Storey and Ground Floor. Scale 100 ft. t.o 1 inch. 

stable arches, on which the dome might rest. The great difficulty was 
with thih two arch os running transversely north and south. These are 
as nearly as may be 100 ft. span and 120 high to the crown, and 10 ft. 
on the face. Each of them has a mass of masonry behind it for an 
abutment, 75 ft. long by 25 ft. wide, only partially pierced by arches 


hje ground and gallery floor; and as the mass might hay 
to any height, it ought, if properly constructed, to have su 
*m. .■*&£!/ an. arch very much wider and more heavily weighted than that 
which it supports. Yet the southern wall is considerably bulged, and 
the whole of that side thrown out of the perpendicular. This probably 
was the effect of the earthquake which caused the fall of the dome in 
559, since no further settlement seems to have taken place. The longi¬ 
tudinal arches presented no difficulty. The distance between the solid 
parts of the piers was 75 ft. and this wag filled up with a screen wall 
supporting the inner side of th6 arch; so,’ unless that was crushed, the 
whole was perfectly stable. Penidentives between these four arches 
ought not to have presented any difficulties.* It would, however, have 
been better, from an architectural point of view, if they had been 

Eluvation Facade of Stu. Sophia at Constantinople. From Salzenberg. 
W Scale 100 ft. to i in. 

carried further up and forward, so as to hang a weight inside the 
dome, to counteract the outward thrust, as was afterwards so suc¬ 
cessfully practised at Beejapore. 1 As it is, the dome rests rather on 
the outer edge of the system, without sufficient space for abutment. 
In itself the dome is very little lower than a hemisphere, being 107 ft. 
across by 46 ft. in height. Externally, it would have been better 
if higher ; for internal effect this is sufficient. Its base is pierced by 
forty small windows, so small and so low as not to interfere in any way 
with the apparent construction, but affording an ample supply of light 
— in that climate at least—to render every part of the dome bright 
and cheerful. 

Beyond the great dome, east and west, are two semi-domes of a 
diameter equal to that of the great dome, and these are again cut into 
by two smaller domes, so that the building, instead of being a Greek 
cross, as usually asserted, is only 100 ft. across in the centre and 125 ft. 

1 See below, in chapter on Indian Saracenic Architecture. 


Section of Sta. Sophia, fiom E. to W. Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 




central space each way. There is a little awk 
in which the smaller semi-domes cut into the Lit 

the latter are unconnected with any other 
is unpleasing, but might easily he remedied 
A .... inese very irregularities, however, give a variety 
and appropriateness to the design which has probably never been sur¬ 
passed. A single dome of the area of the central and two semi-domes, 
would not have appeared nearly so large, and would have overpowered 
everything else in the building. As it is, the eye wanders upwards 

Lower Order of Stu. Sophia. From Salzenberg. 

from the large arcades of the ground floor to the smaller arches of the 
galleries, and thence to the smaller semi-domes. These lead the eye on 
to the larger, and the whole culminates in the great central roof. 
Nothing, probably, so artistic has been done on the same scale before 
or since. In these arrangements Sta. Sophia seems to stand alone. 

If, however, the proportions of this church are admirable, the de¬ 
tails are equally so. All the pillars are of porphyry, verd antique, or 
marbles of the most precious kinds. The capitals are among the most 
admirable specimens of the style. It will he remembered that the 
governing line of a classical Corinthian capital is a hollow curve, to 


Upper Order of St Sophia. 

acanthus-leaves or other projecting ornaments were 
lie columns were close together, and had only a beam 
^ ? pp y^xhis form of capital was sufficient; but when employed to carry 
the constructive arches of the fabric its weakness became instantly 

apparent. Long before Justinian’s 
time, the tendency became apparent to 
reverse the curve and to incise the orna¬ 
ment. In Sta. Sophia the transition is 
complete; the capitals arc as full as ele¬ 
gance would allow, and all the surfaces 
are flat, with ornaments relieved by 
incision. In the lowor tier of arches 
(woodcut No. 858) this is boldly and 
beautifully done, the marble being left 
to tell its own story. In the upper tier, 
further removed from the eye, the inter¬ 
stices are filled in with black marble, 
so as to ensuro the desired effect. 

All the flat surfaces are covered with 
a mosaic of marble slabs of the most 
varied patterns and beautiful colours; the domes, roofs, and curved 
surfaces, with a gokbgrounded mosaic relieved by figures or architectural 
devices. Though much of the mosaic is now concealed, enough is left 
to enable the effect of the whole to be judged of, and it certainly is 
wonderfully grand and pleasing. The one thing wanting is painted 
glass, like that which adorns the Dome of the Rock at Jerusalem, to 
render this building as solemnly impressive as it is overpowering!y 

Sta. Sophia is so essentially different from the greater number of 
churches, that it is extremely difficult to institute a comparison 
between them. With regard to external effect, few Gothic cathedrals 
do not excel it; hut whether by accident ot by the inherent necessity 
of the style is by no means so clear. In so far as the interior is con¬ 
cerned, no Gothic architect ever rose to the conception of a hall 100 ft. 
wide, 250 ft. in length, and 180 ft. high, aiid none evor disposed 
each part more artistically to obtain the effect he desired to pro¬ 
duce. Where the Byzantine architect might have profited from the 
experience of his Gothic brother is in the use of mouldings. The 
one defect in the decoration of Sta. Sophia is that it depends too much 
on colour. It would have been better if the pier-arches, the window- 
frames, and the string-courses generally had been more strongly accen¬ 
tuated by moulding and panellings, but this is a slight defect among 
so many beauties. 

A comparison with the great Renaissance cathedrals is more easy, 
but results equally favourably to the Byzantine example. Two of 

Ml HlSTfty 

. Ch mV 

, . domes are larger—St,. Peter’s at Rome and Sta. Maria at Flol 

each 126 ft.—St. Paul’s, London, is within a foot of the i _ 

‘dimeter (108); all the rest arc smaller. 1 This, however, is of less 
consequence than the tact that the} T are all adjuncts to the design 
of the church. None of them are integral or supported by the rest of 
the design, and all tend to dwarf the buildings they are attached 
to, rather than to heighten the general effect. With scarcely an 
exception also all the Renaissance cathedrals employ internally great 
sprawling pillars and pilasters, designed for external use by the 
Romans, which not only diminish the apparent size of the building hut 
produce an effect of unreality and sham utterly fatal to true art. 

In fact, turn it as wo will, and compare it as we may with any 
other buildings of its class, the verdict seems inevitable—that Sta, 
Sophia—(internally at least—for we may omit the consideration of the 
exterior, as unfinished) is the most perfect and most beautiful church 
which lias yet been erected by any Christian people. When its furni¬ 
ture was complete the verdict would have been still more strongly in 
its favour; but that lias so generally been destroyed or removed in all 
buildings, that our remarks have been throughout confined to what is 
purely architectural in the works described in these pages. 

Domestic Architecture. 

When the Count De Vogues book is complete we shal. 
in a position to realise the civil and domestic architectur 
the 5th and Gth 
centuries with 
e< unploteness t hat, _ 

a very short time ' y jjKk vr 

ago, would have ; ~ 

been thought im¬ 
possible. Owing 
to the fact that 
every part of the 
buildings* in the 

Haitian was in stone, and that they were suddenly deserted on the 
Mahometan conquest, never, apparently, to be reoccupied, many of the 
houses remain perfectly entire to the present day, and in Northern 

B 60 . Elevation of House at liifadi. 

1 The Renaissance dome which fits beat 
to the church on which it ia placed is that 
of Sta. Maria at Florence; but, strange to 
say* it is neither the one originally designed 

i tor the place, nor probably at all like it. 
■ V11 t,ie others were erected as designed 
hy the architects who built the churches, 
! and none fit so well. 



I7®P nt one example must suffice to explain the class of hoSpi 
^^erally they seem to have been two storeys in height, adornS? 
I'W'ithTeiiandahs supported by stone columns, the upper having .a solid 
screen-fence of stone about 3 ft. 6 in. high, intended apparently as 
much to secure privacy to the sleeping apartments of the house as 
protection against falling out. In r ' ' ' ~ 

twice the height of the upper, and contained the i ‘ ' 
the house. In others, as in that at Rifadi (woodcut No. 860) 

some instances the lower storey is 

-— —j state apartments of 

. v - - —) it seems 

to have been intended for the offices. 

In some instances one is startled to find details which we are accus¬ 
tomed to associate with much more modern dates; as, for instance this 
window (woodcut No. 861), from the palace at Ohagga, which there 

^SafiSSilPvf° ems no reason whatever for doubting 
belongs to the 3rd century—anterior to 
I. tko timo of Constantine ! ' It looks more 
jj** tho vagary of a French architect of 

|I^Hp §H: Tho sepulchral remains of Syria, both 

J structural and rock-cut, seem nearly 
asnumeroU8 as the dwellings of the 
/’( Yd. BtHII^P' pW|f IpV living, and arc full of interest, not only 
., u their frequently bearing dates, but 

' from their presenting new types of 

-J - -i £MZ*" v r- , y ; - ^1 - tombs, or old types in such new forms 

86 J. Window at Clmgga. From De Vogiie. 

U )th 0U1 ' present limits it is only possible to characterize generally 
the main features of the Byzantine style, and to indicate the sources 
from which further information may be obtained. In the present in¬ 
stance it is satisfactory to find that ample materials now exist for 
filling up a framework which ten years ago was almost entirely a blank 
Any one who will master the works of De Vogu<5, or Texier, or Sal- 
zenberg, and other minor publications, may easily acquire a fair know¬ 
ledge of the older Byzantine style of architecture. Once it is grasped 
it will probably bo acknowledged that there are few more interesting 
chapters than that which explains how a perfect Christian Church like 
that of Eta. Sophia was elaborated out of the classical edifices of ancient 
Romo. Lt will also probably lie found that there are few more instruc¬ 
tive lessons to be learnt from the study of architectural history than 
the tracing of the various contrivances which were so earnestly em- 
purvee, dining tlie two first centuries of Christian supremacy, in 
attaining this result. 

M WlST/fy, 



btn. Iroue, Constantinople—Churches at Ancyra, Trabala, and Constantinople — 
Churches at Salonica and in Greece — Domestic Architecture. 

Santa Sophia at Constantinople was not only the grandest and most 
perfect creation of the old school of Byzantine art, but it was also the 
last. It seems as if the creative power of the empire had exhausted 
itself in that great effort, and for long after it, the history is a blank. 
We always knew that the two centuries which elapsed between the 
ages of Constantine and Justinian were ages of great architectural 
activity. We knew that hundreds, it may be thousands, of churches 
were erected during that period. It might have been that they had 
all perished, and that thus the thread of the narrative was lost. For¬ 
tunately, we have discovered that this is not the case, and we can now 
trace almost all the steps by which the quasbclassical Dome of the 
Bock at Jerusalem was converted into the perfect Byzantine church at 
onstantinople. With the two subsequent centuries, however, the case 
seems widely different. Shortly after Justinian’s death, the troubles 
of the Empire, the Persian wars of Heraelius, and, more than either, 
tlie rise of the Mahometan power in the East, and of the Eoman 
pontificate under Gregory the Great in the West—all tended so to dis- 
disturb and depress the Byzan¬ 
tine kingdom as to leave little 
leisure and less means for the 
exercise of architectural magni¬ 
ficence. It is therefore hardly 
probable that we shall ever be in 
a position to illustrate the 7th 
and 8th centuries as wo now 
know we can the 5th and 6t.h. 

Still, building must have gone on, 
because when we again meet the 
style, it is changed. One of the 
very earliest churches of the new 

862 . Half Section, half Elevation, of Dome of 
Mu. Irene at Constantinople. 

school w that 0 1 Sta. Irene at Constantinople, rebuilt as wo now find it 
by Leo the Isaunan (a.d. 718-740). It differs in several essential 

y 2 



Part 1J. 

from the old stylo, and contains the germ of ranch that 
fently repeated. The change is not so great as might have 
x^^p^lace in two centuries of building activity, but it is consider¬ 
able. In this church we find, apparently for the first time in a com¬ 
plete form, the new mode of introducing the light to the dome through 
a perpendicular drum, which afterwards became so universal that it 
serves to fix the age of a building in the East with almost as much 
certainty as the presence of a pointed arch does that of a building 
in the West. As this invention is so important, it may be well to 
recapitulate the steps by which it was arrived at. 

The oldest inode of lighting a dome is practised in the Pan¬ 
theon (woodcut No. 183), by simply leaving out the central portion. 
Artistically and mechanically nothing could be better, but before the 
invention of glass it was intolerably inconvenient whenever much 
rain or snow fell. A change therefore was necessary, and it is found 
in the tomb or temple of Marcellus, built during the reign of Con¬ 
stantine on the Via Pronestina at Rome. It consists simply of boring 
four circular holes through the dome a little above its springing. The 
next step is seen at Thessalonica in the church of St. George (woodcut 
No. 845). There eight semi-circular lunettes are pierced in the dome, 
at its springing, and answer the puiposo very perfectly. The system 
culminated in Sta. Sophia, where forty windows introduce a flood 
of light without its ever falling on the eyes of the spectator. After 
this it seems to have been considered desirable not to break the hemi¬ 
sphere of the dome, hut to place the windows in a perpendicular circular 
rim of masonry—called the drum—and to introduce the light always 
through that. Externally there can be no doubt but that this was 
an improvement: it gave height and dignity to the dome in small 
churches, whore, without this elevation, the feature would have been 
lost. Internally, however, the advantage is problematical: the sepa¬ 
ration of the dome from its pendontives destroyed the continuity of the 
roof, and introduced the stilted effect so objectionable in Renaissance 
domes. In the Neo-Byzantine churches the dome became practically a 
skylight on the roof, the drum increasing in height and the dome 
diminishing in dignity as the style progressed. As all the churches 
are small, the feature is unobjectiouable; but in larger edifices it would 
have been found difficult to construct it, and the artistic result would 
hardly have been pleasing, even had this difficulty been got over. Bo 
this as it may, its value as a clironometric landmark is undoubted. 

As a rule it may generally he asserted that, in all Christian domes 
erected during the old Byzantine period, the light is introduced by 
openings in the dome itself. After that time, the light is as generally 
admitted through windows in the drum, the dome itself being only in 
the rarest possible instances cut into. 


St. CI< rttdat, Ancyra. From a Drawing by 
Ed. Falkonor. 

10 20 30 40 60 feet. 

I . I I ~~ \ I 


those views are correct, the church of St/Clement at An 
tsitional specimen subsequent to Sta. Sophia, because the 
^praised timidly (woodcut No. 

863) on a low' drum pierced with 
four small windows; but it is 
anterior to Sta. Irene because the 
dome is still pierced with eight 
larger windows, after the man¬ 
ner of Sta Sophia and the older 
churches. All the details of its 
architecture, in so far as they 
can be made out, bear out this 
description. They are further 
removed from the classical type than the churches of Justinian, and 
the whole plan (woodcut No. 864) is more that which the Greek church 
afterwards took than any of the early churches shew. 

Its greatest defect—though the one most generally in¬ 
herent in the style—is in its dimensions. It is only 64 
ft. long, over all externally, by 58 ft. wide. Yet this 
is a fair average size of a G reek church of that age. 

Another church, very similar, is found at Myra, 
dedicated to St. Nicholas. It exceeds that of St. 

Clement in size, and has a double narthex considerably larger in 
proportion, but so ruined that it is difficult to make out its plan, or to 
ascertain whether it is a part of the original structure, or a subsequent 
addition. The cupola is raised on a drum, and altogether the church 
has the appearance of being much more modern than that at Ancyra. 

A third church of the same class, and better preserved, is found at 
Trabala in Lyoia. It is of the same type as St. Clement, and similar 
in its arrangements to Sta. Sophia, except in 
the omission of the semi-domes, which seem 
never to have been adopted in the provinces, 
and indeed may he said to be peculiar to the 
metropolitan church. Notwithstanding the 
/beauty of that feature, it appears to have 
remained dormant till revived by the Turks 
in Constantinople, and there alone. 

In this example there are two detached 
octagonal buildings, either tombs or sacris¬ 
ties; a form which, except in large detached 

buildings, does not seem tothave been so common as the circular, till 
after the time of Justinian. 

-Returning to the capital, we find one other remarkable peculiarity 
of the Neo-Hvzantine style in the attempt, to allow the external 

864. Church of St. Cle¬ 
ment, Ancyra. 
Scale 100 ft to l in. 

865. Church at Trabala. 
100 ft. to 1 in. 


ttTfj K IN riJNTlT AKlJiilTKiJ'r U RE. 


of an ordinary tunnel-vault to retain its form without 
' atever. It can hardly be doubted that this is artistically _ 
With domes it was early felt to he so, and consequently we 
always find a flower or pinnacle in iron, or some such ornament, mark¬ 
ing the centre. In this the Saracenic architects were especially suc¬ 
cessful all their domes possess a central ornament sufficient to relieve 
them, and generally of the most beautiful proportions. With the 
extrados of a circular vault, however, it is even worse than with a 
dome. A roof is felt to he a contrivance to keep off the rain. It may 
he more or less sloping, according to the materials of which it is con¬ 
structed ; but to make one part of each ridge sloping, and the central 
portion flat, is a discord that offends the eye, besides looking weak and 
unmeaning. A pointed arch would avoid the evil, hut a reverse or ogee 
curve is perhaps the most pleasing. In the Neo-Byzantine age, how¬ 
ever, between the 8th and the 12th centuries, the eye seems to have got 
accustomed to it. It is common in the East, especially at Constanti¬ 
nople and at V enico. In St. Mark’s and elsewhere it became so 
familiar a form that it was copied and continued by the Renaissance 
architects even to the end of the 16th century. 

One of the best illustrations of these peculiarities is the church 
of Mono tea Koras at Constantinople, now converted into a mosque 

and called Kahira Jamissi. 
The older part of it seems 
to belong to the 11 th cen¬ 
tury, the side-aisles to the 
12th, and though small it 
illustrates the style per¬ 
fectly . The porch consists 
of five arches covered with 
an intersecting vault, visi¬ 
ble both externally and 
internally. The two last 
bays are covered with 
cupolas which still retain 
their mosaics internally, and those of singular beauty and brilliancy, 
though, owing to the constructive defects of the intermediate parts, the 
wet has leaked through, and the mosaics have mostly peeled off. Ex¬ 
ternally the front is ornamented with courses of stones of different 
colours, and even in its ruined state is effective and picturesque. Its 
principal interest is that it shews what the matrix was of the contem¬ 
porary church of St. Mark at Venice. •Subsequent additions have 
much modified the externa] appearance of St. Mark, but there can bo 
verydittle doubt that originally it was intended to be very like the 
facade shown in woodcut Ko. 866. 

86G. Church of Mone fes Koras, From Lenoir. No scale. 



N litT-IT Y ZTKTN i TlNTr" S5T 1 tin . 

■ <ju « 

™ Ni(|b' far from Mon6 t£s Koras there are two other 
ypne class and of .about the same age. Ono, the Pantokrator, has 

to at various times so as to cover a large space of ground, but 
It consists consequently of small and ill-assorted parts. It retains, 
however, a good deal of its marble pavements and other features of 
interest. The other, known as the Fetije Jamissi, is smaller and moro 
complete, and possesses some mosaics of considerable beauty. 

The best example of its class, however, in Constantinople is that 
known as the Theotokos. Like those just mentioned it is very small, 
the church itself being only 37 ft. by 45, and, 

though its double narthex and lateral adjuncts add IlT. 

considerably to its dimensions, it is still only a 
very small church, 

Some parts of it are as old 
as the 9tli or 10th century, but the facade repre¬ 
sented in woodcut No. 868 is certainly not older 
than the 12th century. Taking it altogether, 
it is perhaps the most complete and elegant 
church of its class now known to exist in or 
near the capital, and many of its details are of 

867. Plan of the Theotokos*. 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

868. Elevation of Church of Theotokos. From Lenoir, ‘ Architecture Monastique.* Enlarged scale. 

It seems scarcely possible to suppose that the meagre half dozen of 
small churches just enumerated are all that were erected in the capital 
between the death of Justinian and the fall of the city. Yet there is 
no evidence that the Turks destroyed any. Why should they? They 



H Y Z A' N r iTKR‘XirCH'lTH3TUTrF, ) ~ ~ 

present day. 

finding them especially convenient I 
naintained them with singularly 


This deficiency of examples in the capital is to some extent supplied 
l»y those which are found existing at Salome*. Four churches belong¬ 
ing to this age are illustrated in Texier and Fullan s work. 

I ho oldest and the largest of these is that of Sta. Sophia. It is 
a church of considerable dimensions, considering its ago and style, 
measuring 140 ft. oast and west by 118 over all externally, and with 
a central dome 33 ft. in diameter. It possesses also an upper gallery, 
and its arrangements, generally are well considered and artistic, 
iliore does not seem to he any documentary evidence of its age, but, 
judging from the published details, it belongs probably to tho 9 th or 
10th century, certainly not earlier than the first date, nor lower than 
the latter. Its dome still retains its mosaics. 

hext to this comes tho church of St. Bardias, very similar in style 
though, very much smaller, measuring only 53 ft. by 37, exclusive of 
the apse. Its date is perfectly ascertained—viz., 937. There is cer¬ 
tainly not a century of difference in the age of the two last described. 

hext to these comes the church of Elias, a.d. 1012, and very similar 
to it, in style is that of tho Apostles (woodcut No. 869), which we 
may consequently date with safety in the 11th century, from this 

Apse of Church of the Apostle:*, Sulonica. from Texier and Pnlian, 

Ch. l v. 


option alone, though there 
/ns to treat it as a characteristic type 01 
kiid picturesque specimen of Byzantine brickwork, 
churches of the time, it is small, 63 ft. by 59 externally, 
very much resembles the Theotokos at Constantinople, but in¬ 
ti on is taller and thinner; though whether this arises from any 
peculiarity, or from some difference of age, is not clear. I suspect 
the former. The earthquakes of the capital may have induced a less 
ambitious form, as far as height is concerned, than was adopted in 
the provinces. 


There can he little doubt but that, if a systematic search were made 
among the churches of Greece, many would be brought to light which 
would be most useful in completing our knowledge of the Neo-Byzantine 
style. At Mount Atlios alone, and its immediate neighbourhood, there 
are probably a bundled convents, many of old date, whose churches, 
even though rebuilt in modern times,, must contain fragments of the 
older style; but they have not yet been examined by any competent 
architect. For Greece proper we arc dependant almost wholly on Cau- 
chaud 1 and Blouet. 2 They unfortunately suffice to prove that there are 
no churches of any dimensions sufficient to ensure dignity, nor are any 
so beautiful in outline or detail as to make us regret much that we 
do not know more about them. Still they are sufficiently original to 
be worthy of study, and when properly known may help to join to¬ 
gether some of the scattered links of the chain which once connected 
the architecture of the West and East, but which it is at present so 
difficult to follow out. 

In Athens there are several churches of considerable interest, and 
not without architectural pretension. They are all small, however. 
The largest is that known as Panagia Lycodemo, or tho church of 
St. h'icodemus, and is only 62 ft. long by 45 ft. wide 
over all. It seems also to be the oldest, since its dome 
is partially pierced with windows inside, though out¬ 
side there is a distinctly marked drum (woodcut No. 

871). Notwithstanding the smallness of its dimen¬ 
sions, considerable effect is obtained internally by the *io. rianofpanogta 
judicious arrangement of the parts and the harmony of ScaioToolt^ i in. 
proportion which reigns throughout. The exterior is 
also pleasing, though the absence of a cornice gives an unfinished look 
to the whole, and there is a want of sufficient connexion between the 
dome and the walls of the building to make them part of-one com¬ 
position . 

1 * Eglises Byzantines en Groce/ 

2 * Expedition Scienfcifjque de la Moiec/ 



Li i -/jzrnxnw iiiu;mT eui UKr, 


Church of Panagia Lycodemo. 

From A. Lenoir. Knlarged scale. 





: !L 

Cathedral at. Athens. From Gailhabaud 

Oil iv; cnavrtb*;. 

ore beautiful and more interesting example is the chi 
as the Catholicon or Cathedral at Athens (woodcut No. 8 
cathedral, however, only in a Greek sense, certainly not as 
understood in the Latin Church, for its dimensions are only 40 ft. by 25 
over all externally. It is almost impossible to judge of its age from its 
details, since they are partly borrowed from older classical buildings, or 
imitations of classical forms, so fashioned as to harmonize with parts 
which are old. But the tallness of its dome, the form of its windows, 
and the internal arrangements, all point to a very modern date for its 
erection—as probably the 13th century as the 11th or 12th. 

The church of the Virgin at Misitra in the Peloponnesus—the 
ancient Sparta—may be of about the same ago as the Catholicon at 
Athens, but differs considerably in style, 
and bears much more resemblance to the 
churches of Apulia and Sicily than either of 
thoie described above. 

Where arcades are used externally in 
these Greek churches, they are generally 
supported by pillars of somewhat classical 
look, crowned by capitals of the square 
foliaged form, used to support arches in the early styles all over 
Europe; and the windows, when divided, take merely the form of 

Plan of Church at Misitra. 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 In. 


btzAN nx& AKCJli'i hJCTpKE. 

r e arcades.. The Byzantines never attained to tracery; 

-ly windows are single ronnd-headed openings. These weu. 
LT ^ 8 grouped together in threes and fives; and, as in the Gothic 
-yle, when they could be put under one discharging arch, the piers 
were attenuated till they became almost mullions, but always sup¬ 
porting constructive arches, without any tendency to run into inter¬ 
lacing forms like the Gothic. The universal employment of mural 
painting in Byzantine churches, and the consequent exclusion of 
painted glass, rendered the use of the large windows which the Gothic 
architects employed quite inadmissible; and in such a climate very 
much smaller openings sufficed to admit all the light that was required. 
Tracery would thus, in fact, have been an absurdity. The Byzantine 
architects sought to ornament their windows externally by the em¬ 
ployment of tiles or colours disposed in various patterns, and often 
produced a very pleasing effect, as may be seen from the woodcut (No. 
871) illustrating the apse of the Panagia Lycodemo at Athens,«md 
other specimens quoted above. 

Occasionally we find in these churches projecting porches or bal¬ 
conies, and machicolations, which give great relief to the general flat¬ 
ness of the walls. These features are 
all marked with that elegance peculiar 
to the East, and more especially to a 
people claiming descent from the an¬ 
cient Greeks, and possibly having some 
of their blood in their veins. Some¬ 
times, too, even a subordinate apse 
is supported on a bracket-like balcony, 
so as to form a very pleasing object, 
as in the accompanying specimen from 

On the whole the Nco-Byzantinc 
style may be said to he characterised by 
considerable elegance, with occasional 
combinations of a superior order; but 
after the time of Justinian the country 

875. Apse from Misitra. F40J11 Oauchiuid. 

was too deficient in unity or science to attempt anything great or good, 
and too poor to aspire to grandeur, so that it has no claim to rank 
among the great styles of the earth. The old Byzantine style was 
elevated to a first-class position through the buildings of Justinian; 
but from his time the history of the art is a history of decline, like that 
of the Eastern Empire itself and of Greece, down to the fiflal extinc¬ 
tion both of the empire and the style, under the successive conquests 
by the Venetians and the Turks. The only special claim which the 
Neo-Byzantine style makes upon our sympathies or attention is that of 
being the direct descendant of Greek and Homan art. As such, it forms 

MM ST/fy 

"VU'JSIVjO T'lVJ “IXrrUHTXXiXXi: rent ia-T. 

ecting link between the past and present which must nftj 
need, while in itself it has sufficient merit to reward the etucj 
ia.ll apply himself to its elucidation. 

Domestic Architecture. 

it is more than probable that very considerable remains of the 
civil or domestic architecture of the Neo-Byzantine period may still 
be recovered. Most of their palaces or public buildings have continued 
to be occupied by their successors, and the habits of Turkish life are 
singularly opposed to the prying of the archaeologist. Almost the only 
building which has been brought to light and illustrated is the palace 
of the ITebdomon at Blachernoo in Constantinople. All that remains 
of it, however, is a block of buildings 80 ft. by 40 in plan, forming 
one end of a courtyard; those at the other end, which were more 
extensive, being too much ruined to be restored. The parts that 
remain probably belong to the 9th century, and consist of two halls, 
one over the other, the lower supported by pillars carrying vaults, the 
upper free. The facade towards the court is of considerable elegance, 
being adorned by a mosaic of biicks of various colours disposed in 
graceful patterns, and forming an architectural decoration which, if not 
of the highest class, is very appropriate for domestic architecture. 

One great cause of the deficiency of examples may be the com¬ 
bustibility of the capital. They may have been destroyed in the 
various fires, and outside Constantinople the number of largo cities and 
their wealth and importance was gradually decreasing till the capital 
itself sunk into the power of the Turks in the year 1458. 


21 rtwnr j xx/ itk. 



Churches at Dighour, Usuiilar, Titzounda, Bodochwinta, Mokwi, Etchmiasdin, and 
Kouthais — Churches at Ani and Bamthawis— Details. 


Tiiidntes converted to Christianity by 
Gregory 11. . . . . . . . . a.d. 276 

St. Gregory confirmed as Pontiff by Pope 

Sylvester. 319 

Christianity proscribed and persecuted 

by the Persians.423-632 

Fall of Sussanide dynasty. 632 

Establishment of Bogratide dynasty 

under Ashdod. h59 

Greatest prosperity under Apas ... 923 

Ashdod 111. .... 951 

Sempad II. 977-939 

Alp Arslan takes Ani. joei 

Gajih, lost of the dynasty, slain ... 1079 

Gengis Khan ........ ] 222 

The architectural province of Armenia forms an almost exact pen¬ 
dant to that of Greece in the history of Byzantine architecture. 
Both were early converted to Christianity, and Greece remained 
Christian without any interruption from that time to this. Yet all 
her earlier churches have perished, we hardly know why, and left us 
nothing hut an essentially mediaeval style. Nearly the same thing 
happened in Armenia, but there the loss is only too easily accounted 
for. The Persian persecution in the 5th and Oth centuries must have 
been severe and lasting, and the great bouleversement of the Mahome¬ 
tan irruption in the 7th century would easily account for the dis¬ 
appearance of all the earlier monuments. W hen, in more tranquil 
timesr—in the 8th and 9tli centuries—the Christians were permitted 
to rebuild their churches, we find them all of the same small type as 
those of Greece, with tall domes, painted with frescos internally, and 
depending for external eftect far more on minute elaboration of details 
than on any grandeur of design or proportion. 

Although the troubles and persecutions from the 5th to the 8th cen¬ 
tury may have caused the destruction of the greater part of the monu¬ 
ments, it by no means follows that all have perished. On the contrary, 
we know of the church above alluded to (p. 800) as still existing at 
Nisibin and belonging to the 4th century, and there can be little doubt 
that many others exist in various corners of the land; but they have 
hardly yet been looked for, at least not by anyone competent to dis* 



te between what was really old and what may have bet 

subsequent rebuilding or repair. __ 

this more careful examination of the province shall have been 
accomplished, our history of the style cannot be carried back beyond 
the Hejira. Even then very great difficulty exists in arranging the 
materials, and in assigning correct dates to the various examples. In 
the works of Texier, 2 Dubois, 3 Brosset, 4 and Grimm 6 some 40 or 50 
churches are described and figured in more or less detail, but in most 
cases the dates assigned to them are derived from written testimony 
only, the authors not having sufficient knowledge of the style to be 
able to check the very fallacious evidence of the liter a scripta. In con- 

876. View of Church tit Dlghour. From Texier. 

1 Drawings of this church were made j 1839, 1841. 

by Mr. Boutcher when travelling for the ! 4 Brosset, ‘Voyage Arclieologique dans 

Assyrian Exploration Fund ; but, he has j laGeorgie and rArmenie/ St. Petersbourg, 
hitherto declined to allow their publication. \ 1849. 

2 C. Texier. ‘Armenia et la Perse/j 5 D. Grimm, ‘Monuments d’Architec- 

2 vols. folio. Paris. tore en Georgie et Armenia.’ St. Peters- 

:i Dubois de Montncreux, ‘Voyage au- bourg, 1864. 
tour <lu Caucase/ 6 vols. 8vo. Paris, 

. vrx"£x.arxrx'. rxrxri - --—“ X'AllTTlT' 

ice of this, the dates usually given are those of the build: 
st church on the spot, whereas, in a country so troubled by 
•.v> v . v Tp^ttion as Armenia, the original church may have been rebuilt several 
times, and Avhat we now see is often veiy xiiodern indeed. 

Among the churches now existing, in Armenia, the oldest seems 
to he that in the village of Dighour near Ani. There are neither 
traditions nor inscriptions to assist in fixing its date ; but, from the 
simplicity of its form and its quasi-classical details, it is evidently older 

than any other known examples, and 
with the aid of the information con¬ 
veyed in Do Vogue's recent publi¬ 
cations we can have little hesitation 
in assigning it to the 7th century. 1 
The church is not large, being only 
95 ft. long by 82 wide over all. In¬ 
ternally its design is characterised 
by extreme solidity and simplicity, 
and all the details are singularly clas¬ 
sical in outline. The dome is an ellipse, 
timidly constructed, with far more than 
the requisite amount of abutment. 
One of its most- marked peculiarities 
is the existence of two apses exter¬ 
nally, which form the transepts, and 
wore no doubt intended to receive altars. Its flanks are ornamented 
by three-quarter columns of debased classical design. These support 
an architrave which is bent over the heads of the windows, as in the 
churches of Northern Syria erected during the Gth century. 

Its western and lateral doorways are ornamented by horse-shoo 
arches, which are worth remarking here, as 
it is a feature which the Saracenic archi¬ 
tects used so currently and employed for 
almost every class of opening. The oldest 
example of this form known is that of the 
vault of the building called Takht-i-Ghero 
on Mount Zagros.* In this little shrine 
all the other details are so purely and essen¬ 
tially classic that the building must bo 
dated before or about the time of Constan- 
again occurs in the church at Dana 8 on the 

877. Plan of Church at Dighour. From 
Texier, Scale 50 ft. to 1 inch. 

878. Section of Dome at Dighour. 

tine. The horse-shoe 

1 Texier gives three dates to this church. 
In the ‘ Byzantine Architecture,’ p. 174, 
it is said to be of the 7th, qpd at p. 4, of the 
9th century. In the ‘ L'Armenie efc la 
Perse,’ at p. 120, the date is given as 1243. 

I Mv conviction is that the first is correct. 

' 2 FI an din et Coste, ‘ Voyage en Perse,’ 
pis. 214, 15. , 

3 Texier and Pullan, * Byzantine Archi¬ 
tecture,’. pp. lix. lx. 

880. West Elevation of Church- at 
Usmilav. From Grimm. 
Scale soft, to 1 in. 

870. Plan of Church at Usiml ir. From 
Grimm. Scale 50 it. to l in. 

in 540. At Bighorn- we find it lifted, not in construe'^ 
ornamental feature. The stilting of the arch was eviden 
those experiments which the archi- 
that time were making in order 
to free themselves from the * trammels of 
the Homan semicircular arch. The Saracens 
carried it much further and used it with 
marked success, but this is probably the 
last occasion in which it was employed 
by a Christian architect as a decorative 

The six buttresses, with their offsets, 
which adorn the facade, aro another curious 
feature in the archaeology of this church. 

If they are integral parts of the original 
design, which there seems no reason to 
doubt, they anticipate by several centuries 
the appearance of this form in Western 

One of the oldest and least altered of 
the Armenian churches seems to be that of 
Usunlar, said to havo been erected by the 
Oatholicos Jean IV. between the years 718 
and 726. In plan it looks like a peristylar 
temple, but the verandahs which surround 
it are only low arcades, and have very little 
affinity with classical forms. These are 
carried round the front, but thero pierced 
only by the doorway. The elevation, as 
here exhibited, is simple, but sufficiently 
expresses the internal arrangements, and, 
with an octagonal dome, forms, when seen 
in perspective, a pleasing object from eveiy 
point of view. Both plan and design are, 
however, exceptional in the province. A far 
more usual arrangement is that found at 
I itzounda in Abkassia, which may be con¬ 
sidered as the typical form of an Armenian 
church. It is said to havo been erected 
by the Emperor Justinian, and there is 
nothing in the style or ornamentation of 
the lower part that seems to gain .say its 
being his. But the plan is so like many 
that belong to a much later age, that we must hesitate before we can 
feel sure that it has not been rebuilt at some more modern date. Its 
vor,. ii. 

881. Plan of Church at l’itzounda 
Scale 10O ft. to l in. 


jertainly belongs to a period long after the erection oflSfc 

Constant i 

Irene at 

nopie (woodent Ko. 
862), when the dome 
pierced with tall win¬ 
dows liad become the 
fashionable form of 
dome in the Byzan¬ 
tine school. Its inte¬ 
rior. also, is unusually 
tall, and the pointed 
arches under the dome 
look like integral 
parts of the design, 
and when so employed 
belong certainly to a 
much more niodem 
date. On the wholo therefore it seems that this church, as we now see 
it, may have been rebuilt in the 9th or 10th centuries. 

W hatever its date, it is a pleasing example of the style. Externally 
it is devoid of ornament except what is obtained by the insertion of 
tiles between the courses of the stone, and a similar relief to the win¬ 
dows ; hut even this little introduction of colour gives it a gay and 

Section of Cliurch at Pitzounda. Faun Dubois, 



i® Si 

1 • j 




.$v N 

View of Church at Pitzoiuula. From Dubois. 


il appearance, more than could easily be obtained by moul 
trying in stone. 

Upper galleries of the nave and the chapels of the choir are 
also well expressed in the external design, and altogether, for a small 
church—which it is (only 187 ft. by 75)— it is as pleasing a compo¬ 
sition as could easily be found. 

k« 5. Plan of Church at Mokwi. 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

, Church at Bedochwiuta. 
From Brosset. 

Scale 100 l't. to i in. 

a large and 

The idea that the date of this church is considerably more modern 
than Dubois and others are inclined to assign 
to it, is confirmed by a comparison of its plan 
with that at Bedochwinta, which Brossot deter¬ 
mines from inscriptions to belong to the date 
1556—157 o; and the knowledge lately acquired 
tends strongly to the conviction that this plan 
of clmrcli belongs to a later period in the mid¬ 
dle ages, though it is difficult to determine 
when it was introduced, and it may be only a 
continuation of a much earlier form. 

One other church of this part of the world 
seems to claim especial mention, that of Mokwi, 8 
built in the 10th century, and painted, as we 
learn from inscriptions, between 1080 and \l 25. It is 
handsome church, but its principal interest lies in the fact that in 
dimensions and arrangement it is almost identical with the eontern- 
poianeous church ol feta. Sophia at Novogorod, shewing a connexion 
between the two countries which will be more particularly pointed out 
hereafter. It is now very much ruined, and 
covered with a veil of creepers which prevents its 
outward form from being easily distinguished. 

As will be perceived, its plan is only an ex¬ 
tension of the two last mentioned, having five 
aisles instead of three ; but it is smaller in 
scale and more timid in execution. The church 
which it most resembles is that at Trabala in 
Syria (woodcut No. 865) which is certainly of 
an earlier dato than any wo are acquainted 
with further east. Practically the same plan occurs at Athens 
(woodcut No. 870), and at Misitra (w'oodcut No. 873), hut these 
seem on a smaller scale than at Mokwi, so that it may be considered 
as the typical form of a Neo-Byzantine church for four or five cen¬ 
times, and it would consequently he unsafe to attempt to fix a dato 
from its peculiarities. 

Interesting as these may be in an historical point of view, the most 

important ecclesiastical establishment in this part of the world is that 

of Etchmiasdm. Here are four churches built on the spot from which 
rose the two arches or rainbows, crossing one another at right angles, 



886. Plan of Cliuvch ut Etcluniftsdin. From Srossct. 
Sciile 100 ft, to 1 in. 

Church at Koutbais. From Dubois. 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

888. Window r.t Koutbais. From Dubois, 

on which Our Saviour is sf^ 
have sat when He appeared 
St. Gregory. They consequently 
ought, to bo at the four angles 
of a square, or rectangle of 
some sort, but this is far from 
being the case. The principal 
of these churches is that whoso 
plan is represented in woodcut 
No. 886. It stands in the centro 
of a large square, surrounded 
by ecclesiasiastical buildings, 
and is on the whole rather an 
imposing edifice. Its porch is 
modern : so also, comparatively 
speaking, is its dome; but the 
plan, if not the greater part of 
the substructure, is ancient, and 
exhibits the plainness and sim¬ 
plicity characteristic of its age. 
The other three churches lay 
claim to as remote a date of 
foundation as this, but all have 
been so altered in modem times 
that they have now no title to 

The idea that the churches at 
Fitzounda and Bedochwinta must 
be comparatively modem is con¬ 
firmed by comparing their plan 
with that of Kouthais, a church 
. which there seems no reasonable 
ground for doubting was founded 
in 1007, and erected, pretty jnuch 
as we now find it, in the early 
part of the 11th century. It 
has neither coupled piers nor 
pointed arches, but is adorned ex¬ 
ternally with reed-like pilasters 
and elaborate frets, such as were 
certainly employed at Ani ixi 
the course of the 11th century. 
The annexed elevation (wood- 
cut No. 888) of one of its win¬ 
dows, exhibits the Armenian style 


ration of this age, but is such as certainly was not cm] 
■o this time, though, with various modifications, it became 
lg stylo at its period of greatest development. 


189. Plan of Cathedral 
atAni. FromTexier. 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

Section of Cathedral at Ani. Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 







Jr r ! U 


[At — 3 





Side Elevation of Cathedral at Ani. Enlarged scale. 

|| r jjj 



■;) . |j K II 


In the plan and elevation of the building will be observed a 

peculiarity which was afterwards almost 
universal in the style. It is the angular 
recess which marks the form of the 
apses outside without breaking the main 
linos of the building. In the lateral ele¬ 
vation of this cathedral (woodcut No. 
891) they aro introduced on each side 
of the portal where the construction did 
not require them, in order to match those 
at the east end. But in the Cathedral at 
Samthawis (woodcut No. 892) they are 
seen in their proper places on each side 
of the central apse. Though this church 
was erected between the years 3 050-1079, 
we find these niches adorned with a foil- 
***■ Etev ^ , G r C ta 1 r n '.'"“ Sau,tha ' vii ation (woodcut No. 893) very like what 

we are accustomed to consider the in¬ 
vention of the 14th century in Europe, though even more elegant than 
anything of its class used by the Gothic architects. 

Ml UlSTffy 


from Ani, is another church, 
by M. 13rossot, and from sections given 
the same date (1033- 
1044), and to possess coupled columns and 
pointed arches like those of the cathedral 
of Ani, which indeed it resembles in many 
points, and which renders the date above 
given highly probable. 

The plans above quoted may prob¬ 
ably bo taken as those most typical of 
tlie style, but in no part of the world 
are the arrangements of churches so 
various. All being small, there were 
no constructive difficulties to be en¬ 
countered, and as no congregation was 
to be accommodated, the architects ap¬ 
parently considered themselves at liberty 
to follow their fancies in any manner 
that occurred to them. The conse¬ 
quence is that the plans of Armenian 
churches defy classification; some are 
square, or rectangles of every conceivable proportion of length to 
breadth, some octagons or hexagons, and some of the most indescrib¬ 
able irregularity. Frequently two, three, or four are grouped and 
joined together. In some instances the sacred number of seven are 
coupled together in one design, though more generally* each little 

893. Niche at Samtliawis. From Grimm. 



MIN tSTfty 



Rrcjifs an independent erection; but they are all so small that t 
of comparatively little importance. No grandeur of eflfe 
N X %^r,^po^try of perspective can be obtained without considerable dimen¬ 
sions, and these are not to be found in Armenia. 

There aro also some examples of circular churches, but these are 
far from being numerous. Generally speaking they are tombs, or con¬ 
nected with sepulchral rites, and are indeed mere amplifications of the 
usual tombs of the natives of the country, which are generally little 
models of the domes of Armenian churches placed on the ground, 
though perhaps it would bo more correct to say that the domes wore 
copied from the tombs than the reverse. 

The most elegant of all those hitherto made known is one found 
at Ani, illustrated in woodcuts Nos. 894, 895. Notwithstanding the 
smallness of its dimensions, it is one of the most elegant sepulchral 
chapels known. 

Another on a larger scale (woodcut No. 896) is borrowed from 
Mr. Layard’s book. This tomb shews all the peculiarities of the 
Armenian style of the 11th or 12th century. Though so much 
larger, it is by no means so beautiful as the last mentioned tomb at 

Tomb at Varzahan. From Layard’s ' JOneveU and Babylon.' 

fl,n its ornamentation a further refinement is introduced, inasi\W 
Sg^e^eoddiko columns are tied togetlier by true-love knots insteaJLjt 
—a freak not uncommon either in Europe at the same age, or 
in the East at the present day, but by no means to 
be recommended as an architectural expedient. 

With scarcely an exception, all the buildings 
in the Armenian provinces are so small that 
they would hardly deserve a place in a history 
of architecture were it not for the ingenuity 
of their plans and the elegance of their de- 

tails. The beauty of 
the latter is so re- 
markable that, in . 
order to convey a ; 
correct notion of the ' 
style, it would bo ne- . 
cessary to illustrate 
them to an extent in- ^ 

compatible with the * WfT ^Rf W^wt 

scope of this work. In S M ^ v 

them too will be found "Ti /§■ liBf 
much that has hither- $! : !| ll 

to been ascribed to _ ii « - 

other sources. The an- ‘j' ; f W 

nexed capital (wood- 
cut No. 897), for in- j 

stance, would gene- | 1 

rally be put down as I j | - J 

Saracenic of the best -i*— 1 

age, but it belongs, 
with a great deal 

more quite as elegant, to one of the churches 
and the capital from Gelathi (woodcut No. 898) would not 
tention if found in Ireland. 1 The interlacing scrolls which 

898. Capital at Gelathi. 
From Grimm. 

897. Capital at Ani. From Grimm. 

1 It may seem so wild a speculation 
that we hesitate to breathe it even in a 
foot-note; hut it is, nevertheless, a fact 
that there is a similarity between the 
.styles of Armenia and Ireland that cannot 
Ikj mistaken. It may, of course, be acci¬ 
dental : but is it not also possible that 
'hiring the Persian persecutions in the 5th 
anil 6th centuries some exiled Christians 
may have sought refuge in the Green 
Island of the West, and brought witli 
them their arts ? It is true it may be sug¬ 
gested that the two countries have do* 

j rived their architecture from some com- 
1 mon source external to both; hut whether 
this be so or not, it at least seems certain 
! h there was no communication be- 
| tween Armenia and Ireland, the coinei- 
j deuce is exceptional. There is no other 
I case at present known of two countries 
; wllose architecture, without the one bor- 
rowing from the other, presents anything 
j approaching to the similarity, both in 
plan and detail, that exists between the 
j churches of Armenia and those of Ireland 
i m the earlier stages of their art. 


its head are one of the most usual as well as one of thl 
t modes of decoration employed in the province, and are ap 
a variety and complexity nowhere else found in stone, though 
they may be equalled in some works illustrated by the pen. 

Taken altogether, Armenian architecture is far more remarkable for 
elegance than for grandeur, and possesses none of that greatness of 
conception or beauty ot outline essential to an important architectural 
style. It is still worthy of more attention than it has hitherto received, 
even for its own sake. Its great title to interest will always be its 
ethnological value, being the direct descendant of the Sassanian style, 
and the immediate parent of that of Russia. At the same time, standing 
on the eastern confines of the Byzantine empire, it received thence 
that impress of Christian art which distinguished it from the former, 
and which it transmitted to the latter. It thus forms one of those 
important links in the chain of architectural history which when lost 
render the study of the subject so dark and perplexed, but when 
appreciated add so immensely to its philosophical interest. 

mmsm mtmrm: 




Churches at Tehekerman, Inkennan, and Sebastopol — Excavations at Kiegbart 

and Vardzie. 

Intermediate between the Armenian province which has just been 
described and the Russian, which comes next in the series, lies a terri¬ 
tory of more than usual interest to the archaeologist, though hardly 
demanding more than a passing notice in a work devoted to architecture. 
In the neighbourhood of Kertch, which was originally colonised by a 
people of Grecian or Pelasgic origin, are found numerous tumuli and 
sepulchres belonging generally to the best age of Greek art, hut which, 
barring some slight local peculiarities, would hardly seem out of place 
in the cemeteries of Etruria or Crete. 

At a later ago it is said that it was from the shores of the Palus 
Moeotis and the roots of the Caucasus that Woden migrated to 
Scandinavia, bearing with him that form of Buddhism 1 which down 
to the 11th century remained the religion of the north—while, as if to 
mark the presence of some strange people in the land, we find every¬ 
where rock-cut excavations of a character, to say the least of it, very 
unusual in the west. 

These have not yet been examined with the care necessary to enable 
us to speak very positively regarding them; 2 but, from what we do 
know, it seems that they were not in any instance tombs, like those 
in Italy and many of those in Africa or Syria. Nor can we positively 
assert that any of them were viharas or monasteries like most of those 
in India. Generally they seem to have been ordinary dwellings, but 
in some instances appropriated by the Christians and formed inta 

One, apparently, of the oldest, is a rectangular excavation at Tche¬ 
kerman in the Crimea. It is 37 ft. in length by 21 in width, with 

1 Even it it should be asserted that this 
is no proof that the inhabitants of these 
countries were Buddhists in those days, it 
seems tolerably certain that they were tree- 
worshippers, which is very nearly the same 
thing. Procopius tells us that “even iuIns ! 
day these barbarians worshipped forests and j 

groves, and in their barbarous simplicity 
placed the trees among tlieir gods” (‘Pe 
Bello Gotico,’ Bonn, 1833, ii. 471). 

2 The principal part of the information 
regarding these excavations is to be found 
in the work of Dubois de Montpereux, 
passim , 

Cave of Inkerman. From Dubois de MbntpereUx. 

Under the fortress at Inkerman—facing the position held by our 
ly there is an excavation undoubtedly of Christian origin. It is a 

Sma11 clllircil wit ^ side-aisles, 
apse, and all the necessary accom- 
JSL KM:I i f||>, paniments. Beyond this is a 

|ji || 8 \ jp® square excavation apparently in¬ 

refectory, and other 
apartments devoted to the use of 
a monastic establishment. 


again are so like what we find 
among the Buddhist excavations 
in India as to be quite startling. 
The one point in which this 
church differs from a Buddhist 
Chaitya is that the aisle does 
not run round behind the altar. 
This is universally the case in 
Buddhist, but only exceptionally 
so in Christian, churches. 

Close to Sebastopol is another 
small church cave with its accom¬ 
panying monastery. This one is 
said to be comparatively modern, 
and if its paintings are parts of 
the original design it may be so, 
but no certain data are given 
for fixing the age of the last two 
examples. That under the for- 
tross (woodcut No. 900) seems, however, to he of considerable antiquity. 

900. Hock-cut Church at Inkerman. From 
Dubois d:> Montpereux. 

in Church Cave near Sebastopol 

. Cir. V I- 


»re is one which in plan is very like those just describe 
ie, said to belong to the 12th century, and another, ak^o^ _ 
itely identical with a Buddhist vihara, at Kieghart in Armenia, 
which has a date upon it, a.p. 1288. 

On the banks of the Kour, however, at Ouplous-Tsikhe and Vardzie, 
arcs some excavations which are either temples or monasteries, and 
wh ich range from the Christian era downwards. These are generally 
assumed to be residences—one is called the palace of Queen Thamar 
and they were evidently intended for some stately purpose. Vet they 
wer e not temples in any sense in which that term would be employed 
by the Greek or Homan world. Whatever their destination, they 
malijie, when taken altogether, as curious a group of monuments as 
are to be found in this corner of Asia, and which may lead afterwards 
to Curious archaeological inferences. At present we are hardly in a 
posi tion to speculate on the subject, and merely point to it here as one 
well’ meriting further investigation. 





Churches at Kieff— NoVogorod — Moscow — Towers. 


Kurile the Varangian at Novogorod -. 
Olga baptised at Constantinople . . 

►St. Vladimir the Great. 

Yoraslaf died . . 

Sack of Kieff. 

Tartar invasion under Gengfs Ivhan . 

. A.l>. 860 

Tartar wars and domination till . 


Ivan JII. 

. 980-1015 

Basil IV. 


| Ivan IV.. or the Terrible . . ’ . 


Boris , . . . . 

1228 i 

Peter the Great .... 

A .D.» 1480 
1462'“l 505 
1505* -1533 

Tjie long series of the architectural styles of the Christian world which 
has been described in the preceding pages terminates most, appropriately 
with the description of the art of a people who had less knowledge 
of architecture and less appreciation of its beauties than any other 
wi th which we are acquainted. During the middle ages the Russians 
did not erect one single building which is worthy of admiration, 
either from its dimensions, its design, or the elegance of its details; 
nor did they invent one single architectural feature which can be 
called their own. It is true the Tartars brought with them their 
bulbous form of dome, and the Russians adopted it, and adhere to 
it to the present day, unconscious that it is the symbol of their sub¬ 
jection to a race they affect to despise; but excepting as regards this 
one feature, their architecture is only a bad and debased copy of the 
style of the Byzantine empire. There is nothing, in fact, in the 
architecture of the country to lead us to doubt that the mass of the 
population of Russia was always of purely Aryan stock, speaking 
a language more nearly allied to the Sanscrit than any of tho other 
mediaeval tongues of Europe, and that whatever amount of Tartar 
blood may have been imported, it was not sufficient to cure the 
inartistic tendencies of the race. So much is this felt to bo the case, 
that tho Russians themselves hardly lay claim to the design of a 
single building in their country from the earliest times to the present 
day. I hey admit that all the churches at Kieff, their earliest capital 
wore erected by Greek architects; those of Moscow by Italians or 
Germans; wlule those of St. Petersburg, we know, were, with hardly 
a single exception, erected by Italian, German, or French architects. 

e last have perpetrated caricatures of revived Roman 
worse than are to be found anywhere else. Bad as are sc^nf 1>1‘ 
i imitations of Roman art found in western Europe, they are all 
work of nativo artists, arc, partially at least, adapted to the 
climato, and corihnon sense peeps through their worst absurdities ; but 
in Russia only second-class foreigners have been employed, and the 
result is a style that out-herods Herod in absurdity and bad taste. 
Architect turo has languished not only in Russia, but wherever the 
Sclavon ic race predominates. In Poland, Hungary, Moldavia, \ Vallachia, 
&c., although some of these countries have at times heon rich and 
prosperous, there is not a single original structure worthy to he placed 
in comparison with even the second-class contemporary buildings of 
the Celtic or Teutonic races. 

Besides the ethnographic inaptitude of the nation, however, there 
are other causes which would lead us to anticipate, a priori , that 
nothing either great or beautiful was likely to exist in the medieval 
architecture of Russia. In the first place, from the conversion of 
Olga (9jp4) to the accession of Peter the Great (1082), with whom 
the national style expired, the country hardly emerged from barbarism, 
lorn by internal troubles, or devastated by incursions of the Tartars, 
the Russians never enjoyed the repose necessary for the development 
of ayt, and the country was too thinly peopled to admit of that con¬ 
centration of men necessary for tho carrying out of any great archi¬ 
tectural undertaki ng. 

Another cause of bad architecture is found in the material used, 
which is almost universally brick covered with plaster; and it is well 
known that the tendency of plaster architecture is constantly to extra- 
j'gance in detail and bad taste in every form. It is also extremely 
rishable, a fact which opens tho way to repairs and alterations in 
defiance of congruity and taste, and to the utter annihilation of every 
thing like archaeological value in the building. 

When the material was not brick, it was wood, like most of the 
houses in Russia of the present day; and tho destroying hand of time, 
aided no doubt by fire and tho Tartar invasions/ have swept away 
many buildings which would serve to fill up gaps, now, it is feared 
irremediable in the history of the art. 

Notwithstanding all this, the history of architecture in Russia need 
not he considered as entirely a blank, or as wholly devoid of interest. 
Locally we can follow the history of the style from the south to the 
north Springing originally from two roots-one at Constantinople, 
the other in Armenia—it gradually extended itself northward. It first 
established itself at Cherson, then at Kieff, and after these at Vladimir 
and Moscow, whence it spread to the great commercial city of Novo- 
gorod. At all these places it maintained itself till supplanted by the 
rise of St. Petersburg. 


902. Church of St. Basil. KiefiF. 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

903. St. Irene, Kieff. 

;h the Princess Olga was baptised in 964, the general profes^ 
nity in Russia did not take place till the reign of Vladiii 

(981-1015). He built the wooden cathedral at 
Chorson, which has perished. At Kieff the same 
monarch built the church of Desiatinna, the re¬ 
mains of which existed till within the last few 
years, when they were removed to give place to a 
modern abomination. He also built that of St. 
Basil in the same city, which, iiotwith.sanding 
modern improvements, still retains its ancient 
plan, and is nearly identical in arrangement and 
form with the Catholicon at Athens (woodcut No. 
872). The plan (woodcut No. 902) gives a fair 
idea of the usual dimensions of the older churches 
of Russia. The parts shaded lighter are subsequent 

A greater builder than Vladimir was. Prince 
Yaroslaf (1019-1054). He founded the church of St. Irene at Kieff’ 
(woodcut N o. 903), the ruins of which still exist. It is a good specimen 
of the smaller class of churches of that date. 

His great works were the cathedrals of Kieff and Novogorod, Jbdth 
dedicated to Sta. Sophia, and with the church at Mokwi quoted above 
(woodcut No. 885). forming the most interesting group of Russian 
churches of that age. All three belong to the 11th century, and are so 
extremely similar in plan, that, deducting the subsequent additions 
from the two Russian examples, they may almost be said to be identical. 
They also show so intimate a connection between the places on the 

great commercial road from the*. 
Caucasus to the Baltic, that the} 
point out at once the line along 
which we must look for the origin 
of the style. 

Of the three, that at Kieff V 
(woodcut No. 904) is the largest; 
but it is nearly certain that the 
two outer aisles arc subsequent 
additions, and that the original 
church was confined to the re¬ 
maining seven aisles. As it now 
stands, its dimensions are 185 ft. from north to south, and 136 
from east to west. It consequently covers only about 25,000 ft., or 
not half the usual dimensions of a Western cathedral of the same 

904. Plan of Cathedral at Kieff. Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

1 All the plans and information regarding the churches at Kieff are obtained from a 
Russian work devoted to the subject, procured for me on the spot by Mr. Vignoles, O.E. 

East End of the Church at Novogorod. From a Drawing by A. Durand. 

* ~ iiK.^X.j'C n. Tifi 


|\s will be perceived, its plan is like that of the eburcJ 
iioor, so far as the central aisles are concerned. In lateral exl 
it ljesembles a mosque, a form elsewhere very unusual in Chris¬ 
tian churches, but which here may be a Tartar peculiarity. At all 
events it is generally found in Bussian churches, which never adopt 
the long basilican form, of the West. If their length in an eastern 
and western direction ever exceeds the breadth, it is only by taking in 
the nartiex with the body of the church. 

Internally this church retains many of its original arrangements, 
and many decorations which, if not original, are at least restorations 
or copies of those which previously occupied their places. Externally 
it has ween so repaired and rebuilt that it is difficult to detect what 
belongs to the original work. 

In t his respect the church of Novogorod has been more fortunate. 
Owing jto the early decline of the town it has not been much modern- 

wffil. ] 'the interior retains many 
v fprniture is a pair of bron 
Hbe^Jfe2tb century closely resembli 

KDv^rtiAiN AKCHH%urai(K 

Vart . 

of its primitive features, j Am* 
doors of Italian workmanship | 
those of San Zenon© aty Verona, 
me parr, oi me exxenor mar retains most of its early features is 
the eastern end, represented in the woodcut No. 905. It r etains-the 
long reed-like shafts which the Armenians borrowed from the Sas- 
sanians, and which penetrated even to this remote corner. Whether 
the two lower circular apses shown in the view are old ^s by no 
means clear: but it is probable that they are at least relilt on 
ancient foundations. The domes on the roof, and indeed all the 
upper part of the building, belong to a more modern date than the 
substructure. / 

The cathedral of Tchernigow, near Kieff, founded 1024, retains 
perhaps more of its original appearance externally than aiay other 

church of its ag^. Like 
almost all Russian churches 
is square in plan with a 
dome in the sur¬ 
rounded by four smaller cu¬ 
polas placed diagonally at 
the corners. To the oast- 
are three apses, and 
the narthex is flanked' by 
two round towers, the upper 
parts of which, with the 
roofs, have been modernised, 

[ 9Bj\ hut the whole of the walls*- 

remain as originally erect- \ 
»r cd,, especially the end of the 1 

<><>#. Cathedral nt Tchernigow. From Blasius, ‘ Reiso in Qreek churches of the 



To the same age belong the convent of the Volkof (1100) and of 
Yourief at Novogorod, the church of the Ascension, and several others 
at ’Kieff. All these are so modernised as, except in their plails, to show 
hut slight traces of their origin. 

Another of the great buildings of the age was the cathedral of 
Vladimir (1040). It is said to have been built, like the rest, by 
Greek artists. The richness and beauty of this building have been 
celebrated by early travellers, but it has been entirely passed over 
by more modern writers. From this it is perhaps to be inferred 
that its ancient form is completely disguised in modem alterations. 

The ascendancy of Kieff was of short duration. Early in the 13th 
century the city suffered greatly from civil wars, fires, and devastations 



%f efery description, which humbled her pride, and inflicted ruimjrwTj 
3|ier trom which she never wholly recovered. 

,, T ^^vladimir was after this the residence of the grand dukes, and in 
the beginning of the 14th century Moscow became the capital, which 
it continued to be till the seat of empire was transferred by Peter the 
Great to St. Petersburg!!. During these three centuries Moscow was 
no doubt adorned with many important buildings, since almost every 
church traces its foundation back to the 14th century; but as fires and 
Tartar invasion have frequently swept over the city since then, few 
retain any of the features of their original foundation, and it may 
therefore perhaps he well to see what can be gleaned in the provinces 
before describing the buildings of the capital. 

As far as can he gathered from the sketch-hooks of travellers or 
their somewhat meagre notes, there are few towns of Russia of any 
importance during the middle ages which do not possess churches 
said to have been founded in the first centuries after its conversion 
to Christianity; though whether the existing buildings are the origi¬ 
nals, or how far they may have been altered and modernised, will 
not he known till some archaeologist visits the country, directing his 
attention to this particular inquiry. Although the Russians probably 
built as great a num- 
her of churches as 

any nation of Chris- / j® 

tendorn, yet like ^ 

the Greek churches 

they were all un- - ■. -.-Ivy ’ 

doubtedly small. ~ ^ — 

Kieff is said even in j ' f|U% ? - 

the age of Yaroslaf, A fe- 

to have contained - . ® ' . TBfflr • 

400 churches, Via- 
dimir nearly as 

many. Moscow, in \ - 4 ® P 

the year 1600, I *;»< L 1 

400 (of which 37 
were in the Krem¬ 
lin), and now pos¬ 
sesses many more. 

Many of the vil¬ 
lage churches still 
retain their ancient 
features ; the ex¬ 
ample hero given 
of one near Novogorod belongs probably to the 12th century, and is 
not later than the 13th. It retains its shafted apse, its bulb-shaped 

Village Church mar Novogorod. From a Drawing by A. Durand. 

KuissTTnN iOKimTErriTi'a^r 

as is always the case in Russia, a square 
instance apparently more modern than the 
No. 908 is the type of a great number of 

___ . . which, like the houses of the peasants, are 

rally of logs laid one on the other, with, their round 
mg at the angles, like the log-huts of America at the present 
As architectural objects they are of course insignificant, but still 

are characteristic 

Internally all the ar¬ 
rangements of the stone 
churches are such as are 
appropriate for pictorial 
rather than for sculptural 
decoration. The pillars are 
generally large cylinders 
covered with portraits of 
saints, and the capitals are 
plain, cushion-like rolls, 
with painted ornaments. 
The vaults are not re¬ 
lieved by ribs, or by any 
projections, that could in¬ 
terfere with the coloured 
decorations. In the wooden 
churches the construction 
is plainly shewn, and of 
course is far lighter. In 
them also colour almost 
wholly' supersedes carving. 
The peculiarities of these 
two styles are well illus¬ 
trated in the two woodcuts, Nos. 909 and 910, from churches near 
Kostroma in Eastern Russia. Both belong to the middle ages, and 
both are favourable specimens of their respective classes. In these ex¬ 
amples, as indeed in every Greek church, the principal object of eccle- 
astical furniture is the iconostasis or image-bearer, corresponding to the 
rood-screen that separates the choir from the nave in Latin churches. 
The rood-screen, however, never assumed in the West the importance 
which the iconostasis always possessed in the East. There it separates 
and hides from the church the sanctuary and the altar, from which the 
laity are wholly excluded. AVithin it the elements are consecrated, in 
the presence of the priests alone, and are then brought forward to be 
displayed to the public. On this screen, as performing so important 
a part, the Greek architects and artists have lavished the greatest 

008. Village Church near Tznrkoe Selo, From Durand. 


Aimrant of care and design, and in every Greek cliureli, from St. 
itf/Venice to the extreme confines of Russia, it is the object that 
^ftfacts attention on entering. It is, in fact, so important that it 
must he regarded rather as an object of architecture than of church 

The architectural details of these Russian churches must be pro¬ 
nounced to be bad; for, even making every allowance for difference of 
taste, there is neither beauty of form nor constructive elegance in any 
part. The most characteristic and pleasing features are the fivo domes 
that generally orna- ,• 

ment the roofs, and 

which, when they rise 'nMETMt- 

from the extrados, or f1'' ; 

uncovered outside of ,^ j/ v “ 

the vaults, certainly j|8& 

look well. Too fre- -4 f% : 

quently, however, the ^jS|| | ?' 

vault is covered by a '-I® : 

wooden roof, through 

which the domes then 

, iiiHHHKIHIIwlv'll h Hv'lHI 

peer m a maimer by no 
means to be admired. 

'Hie details of the 1 ower 
part, are generally bad. 

The vie w (woodeu t No. 

Uil) of a, doorway of 

the Troitzka monas- 1W' 1 ’■ Ip 

tery, near Moscow, is 

sufficiently ’ character- Spi J ' 

istic. JTts most remark- 
able feature is the 
baluster-like pillars of ft ;. 

'which the Russians 
seem so fond. These 
support an arch with a 
pendant in the middle—a sort of architectural tour de force which the 
Russian architects practised everywhere and in every age, but which 
is far from being beautiful in itself, or from possessing any archi¬ 
tectural propriety. The great roll over the door is also unpleasant. 
Indeed, as a general rule, wherever in Russian architecture the details 
are original, they must be condemned as ugly. 

At Moscow we find much that is, at all events*, curious. It first 
became a city of importance about the year 1304, and retained its 
prosperity throughout that century. During that time it was adorned 
by many sumptuous edifices. In the beginning of the 15th century it 

Interior of Church at Kostroma. From Durand. 



taken and destroyed by the Tartars, and it was not till the i 
\ilti III. (1462-1505) that the city and empire recovered the disas 
aat period. It is extremely doubtful if any edifice now found in 
Moscow can date before the time of the monarch. 

In the year 1470 this king dedicated the new church of the 
Assumptiop of the Virgin, said to have been built by one Aristoteles, a 
a native of Bologna, in Italy, who was brought to Russia expressly 
for the purpose. The plan of it (woodcut No. 912) gives a good idea 
of the arrangement of a Russian church of this age. Small as are its 
dimensions—only 74 ft. by 56 over all externally, which would be a 

very small parish church 
anywhere else—the two 
other cathedrals of Mos¬ 
cow, that of the Arch¬ 
angel Michael and the 
Annunciation, are even 
smaller still in plan. 
Like true Byzantine 
churches, they would all 
be exact squares, but 
that the narthex being 
taken into the church 
gives it a somewhat 
oblong form. In the 
church of the Assump¬ 
tion there is, as is al¬ 
most universally the 
case, one largo dome 
over the centre of the 
square, and four smaller 
ones in the four angles. 
The great iconostasis 
runs, as at St. Sophia at 
Kieff, quite across the 
church; but the two 
lateral chapels have 
smaller screens inside 
which hide their altars, so that the part between the two becomes 
a sort of private chapel. This seems to he the plan of the greater 
number of the Russian churches of this age. 

But there is one church in Moscow, that of Vassili (St. Basil) 
Blanskenoy, which is certainly the most x remarkable, as it is the most 
characteristic, of all the churches of Russia, It was built by Ivan the 
Terrible (1534-1584), and its architect was a foreigner, generally sup¬ 
posed to have come from the West, inasmuch as this monarch sent an 

910. Interior of Church near Kostroma. From Durand. 


^emmssy to Germany under one Schlit, to procure artists, of wl 
dtoid to have col- 

yj^ed 150 for his yy r- ; U{r 

service. If, however, "1; 

German workmen ' ' . w■. 

erected this build- fBBP! 

ing, it certainly was 
from Tartar designs. 

Nothing 1 ike it exists t 

to the westward. It ffjjy-'f8 flHl 

more resembles some ^|JHB|P||',. JIB 

Eastern pagoda of S|j i ltll fflfilfi SldTO US 

modern date than any |{Hl|lk®| I L -S|lf ; 

European structure, •^‘ > 

and in fact must he jpH]. M TOfjffif”■‘.- 
considered as almost !it^^|j|lpi' FTtiU-.i$£3 

a pure Tartar build- p#f|fP|K : f'fti 
ing. Still, though 

strangely altered by 

time, most of its .■ ■ ... 

forms can be traced 
back to the By: 
tine style, as 

tainly as the details of the cathedral of Cologne 
to the Romanesque. The central spire, for in¬ 
stance, is the form into which the Kussians 
had during five centuries been gradually 
changing the straight-lined domo of the Ar¬ 
menians. The eight others are the Byzan¬ 
tine domes converted by degrees into the 
bulb-like forms which the Tartars practised 
at Agra and Delhi, as well as throughout 
Russia. The arrangement of these domes 
will be understood by the plan (woodcut 
Ko. 913), which shows it to consist of one 
central octagon surrounded by eight smaller 
ones, raised on a platform ascended by two 
flights of stairs. Beneath the platform is 
a crypt. For the general appearance the 
reader must be referred to woodcut No. 914, 
for words would fail to convey any idea of 
so bizarre and complicated a building. At 
the same time it must be imagined as painted 

#11. Doorway of the Troitzka Monastery, near Moscow. 

wi th the most brilliant colours; its domes gilt, 
and relieved by blue, green, and red, and 

813. Plan of the Church of St. Basil, 
Moscow. No scale. 



Sfogetiber a combination of as much barbarity as it is possible to 
Sgejmer in so small a space. To crown the whole, according to tlji§J 
degejid, Ivan ordered the eyes of the architect to be put out, lest he 
should ever surpass his own handiwork; and we may feel grateful 
that nothing so barbarous was ever afterwards attempted in Europe. 


Next in importance to the churches themselves are the belfries 
which always accompany them. The Russians seem never to have 
adopted separate baptisteries, nor did they affect any sepulchral mag¬ 
nificence in their tombs. From the time of Herodotus the Scythians 



tm ui|i igirmmrnTi»t | i) 

9J5. Tower of Ivan Veliki, Moscow, with the Cathedrals of the Assumption and the Archangel Gabriel. 

« ' f 

their own way, and constructed the*towers wholly independent of the 
churches. Of all those in Russia, that of Ivan Veliki, erected by the 
Czar Boris, about the year 1600, is the finest. It is surmounted by a 
cross 18 ft. high, making a total height of 269 ft, from the ground to 
the top of the cross. It cannot be said to have any great beauty, either 
of form or detail: but it rises boldly from the ground, and towers over 
all the other buildings of the Kremlin. With this tower for its prim 

b^x. CH.'vir' 


reat casters of metal, and famous for their bells. TheMgfol 
of casting of this sort in Russia reduce all the great beijsj 
;ern Europe to comparative insignificance. It of course became 
necessary to provide places in which to hang these bells: and as 
nothing, either in Byzantine or Armenian architecture, afforded a hint 
for amalgamating tlie belfry with the church, they .went 1 to work in 

MIN IST/fy. 


the 'whole mass of building is at least picturesque, 
beautiful. In the woodcut (No. 915) the belfr w 
as it stood before it was blown up by the French. It has been 
since rebuilt, and with the cathedrals on either hand, makes up the 
finest group in the Kremlin. 

Besides the belfries, the walls of the Kremlin are adorned with 

towers, meant not merely for 
military defence, but as archi¬ 
tectural ornaments, and re¬ 
minding us somewhat of those 
described by Josephus as 
erected by Herod on the walls 
of Jerusalem. One of these 
towers (woodcut No. 916), 
built by the same Czar Boris 
who erected that last de¬ 
scribed, is a good specimen of 
its class. It is one of the 
principal of those which give 
the walls of the Kremlin 
their peculiar and striking 

These towers, however, are 
not peculiar to the Kremlin of 
Moscow. Every city in Rus¬ 
sia had its Kremlin as every 
one in Spain had its Alcazar, 
and all were adorned with 
walls deeply machicolated, 
and interspersed with towers. 
Within were inclosed five- 
domed churches and belfries, 
just as at Moscow, though 
on a scale proportionate to 
the importance of the city. 
It would be easy to select 
numerous illustrations of this. 
They are, however, all very 
much like one another, nor 
have they sufficient beauty 
to require us to dwell long on them. Their gateways, however, 
are frequently important. Every city had its porta sacra, deriving its 
importance either from some memorable event or from miracles 
said to have been wrought there, and being the triumphal gateways 
through which all processions pass on state occasions. 




best known of these is that of Moscow, beneath whose" 
even the Emperor himself must uncover his head as he 
gh; and which, from its sanctity as well as its architectural 
character, forms an important feature among the antiquities of Russia. 

So numerous are the churches, and, generally speaking, the frag¬ 
ments of antiquity in this 
country, that it would be 
easy to multiply examples 
to almost any extent. Those 
quoted in the preceding 
piges are, architecturally, 
the finest as well as the 
most interesting, from an 
antiquarian point of view, 
of those which have yet 
been visited and drawn; 
and there is no reason to 
believe that others either 
more magnificent or more 
beautiful still remain un¬ 

This being the case, it 
is safe to assert that Russia 
contains nothing that can 
at all compare with the ca¬ 
thedrals, or even the parish 
churches of Western Eu¬ 
rope, either in dimensions 
or in beauty of detail. 

Every chapter in the his¬ 
tory of architecture must 
contain something to inte¬ 
rest the student: but there 
is none less worthy of 
attention than that which 
describes the architecture 
of Russia, especially when 
we take into account the extent of territory occupied by its people, 
and the enormous amount of time and wealth which has been lavished 
on the multitude of insignificant buildings to be found in every 
corner of the empire. 

Sacred Gute, Kremlin, Moscow. 









There was no real difficulty in arranging the subjects treated of in 
the first and second parts of this work in a manner so consecutive as 
to bo easily followed without confusion and unnecessary repetition. 
Even, however, had this not been so, it would have been comparatively 
of little consequence, inasmuch as an author may fairly presume on a 
certain amount of previous knowledge on the part of his readers when 
treating of Classical antiquities or Christian architecture. The case, 
however, is widely different when we come to describe the styles 
belonging to the third division of the work. Their origin and their 
affinities are infinitely more complex and more difficult to trace, and it 
is only too probable that but few readers have sufficient previous 
knowledge to guide them through the labyrinth. Few, it is to be 
feared, have any very distinct idea of the various ramifications of 
Saracenic architecture as practised in the countries around the 
Mediterranean Sea, and fewer still have grasped the myriad forms 
it assumed in Persia and India. In like manner the various modifi¬ 
cations of Buddhist and Hindoo art have not yet been worked out into 
any intelligible sequence, and much more is required to he known before- 
it can he satisfactorily accomplished. There are not many persons who 
have more than a pillow-pattern knowledge of the architecture of 
China, and no one has yet been able to put forward a reasonable theory 
of the origin or the age of the antiquities of Mexico and Peru. 

Notwithstanding this, the styles just mentioned do form a group 
possessing many points of similarity to one another, and differing very 


ially from those described in the previous pages. Ge| 
ing» they are Asiatic in their origin, and such a term 
i.ost instances describe them; hut the old Assyrian style was 
'so Asiatic; so were the Armenian and other Christian styles, and it 
would he confusing to apply that term to the Saracenic of Spain. The 
name “Pagan’ has been selected, not as a term of reproach, hut as 
distinguishing them from the Heathen or pre-Christian styles, and 
from the Christian art, out of which many of them arose; while it is a 
sufficiently neutral term for our present purpose. If the term Asiatic 
could he employed, it would serve better, perhaps, than any other to 
give the keynote of the position of these styles with reference to the 
art of the rest of the world. It is in vain to look among them for the 
simple sublimity of conception that characterised the monuments of 
Egypt, for the purity and elegance of Grecian art, for the grandeur 
of that of Koine, or the lofty aspirations which impart such beauty 
to the creations of the Gothic architects. On the other hand, in all 
the more delicate forms of imagery in stone, the Eastern architects far 
surpass those of the West. The ornamentation of the mosques and 
tombs of the Saracens or of the temples of the Indians is infinitely 
more varied, and often more elegant and appropriate, than anything 
done by any Heathen or Christian architect. But while the works 
to he described far surpass, in many respects, those already enumerated, 
they belong to a lower class of art. It was far nobler in the Western 
architects to have achieved the amount of success to which they 
attained in their aspiration after the highest aims, than it was in 
the Eastern artists to have reached the perfection they accomplished 
in the lower grade on which they took their stand. In this, as in 
every other instance, however, art is only the exponent of what we 
learn from every other source. For subtlety and variety, as for 
refinement or grace, the Asiatic far excels his European compeer; but 
in manly power and intellectual greatness he is infinitely inferior. 

All this must he borne steadily in mind in attempting to estimate 
the value of the styles described in the Third Part of this work. If we 
expect to find there the qualities which are most esteemed in the 
literature or art of Europe we shall he disappointed: if we are 
content to forego something of our worship of intellect to revel for 
a while in the pleasures of imagination, they may afford intense 
enjoyment. It is like asking us to turn from the contemplation 
of the grandeur of the forest to indulge in the brilliancy of the flower 
garden. But there is beauty in flowers as in trees; and he is no 
true ciitic of art or lover of nature who cannot see beauty in the 
smaller as well as in the more imposing productions of nature or art. 

The difficulty of convoying to the Western mind a correct im- 
•ession of the Pagan styles, arises not alone from the fact of their 

Ml hist# 


-mvimOTruir tii& sv oj but. 

g to another and -unfamiliar grade of art, hut also from tfl 
ariety. It need hardly be repeated at this stage of our histok 
b style was born perfect, like Minerva from the head of Jupiter; 
either we can trace its indigenous growth from the soil, or we can name 
its parents and perceive the influence which each had on its growth. 
When the Saracenic conquest spread itself over the face of the old 
world, every country to which it reached had a style of its own, and as 
the Arabs had none, they adopted in every land the local style which 
the people knew and had learnt to admire, and by slow and steady 
progress gradually framed it to their purposes, hut without any unity 
of purpose or well defined aim. Every country from Spain to Bengal 
had consequently a Saracenic style of its own. In India alone some 
ten or twelve varieties exist, some differing as much the one from 
ihe other as Classic architecture does from Gothic. Besides these, 
each of the various races of India and the further East has a style 
of its own. There are as many Buddhist styles as there are Saracenic, 
and as many Hindoo as either, and all changing and interchanging 
like the pictures of a kaleidoscope. It adds also very much to the 
difficulty that the art belongs to a grade which affords so little means 
of comparison with those styles with which we are already familiar. 
Under these circumstances it will be found almost impossible to 
propose any arrangement of tbe subject which shall not appear open 
to many and obvious objections. Any classification must be at best a 
choice of difficulties; hut the following appears to meet the exigences 
of the subject to a greater extent than any other. With wider know¬ 
ledge and more familiarity on tbe part of readers some other may 
occur, but for the present it certainly will add to the clearness of what 
follows, if a classification is adopted based rather on the topographical 
than on the chronological division of the subject. 

Arranged on this basis, tbe First Book will comprise all the various 
forms of Saracenic architecture which were practised in those countries 
which had previously been Christian. By separating them from the 
forms practised further eastward we confine our history to those coun¬ 
tries whose architecture has been described in the previous pages, and 
are thus enabled to trace the origin of the style out of the Byzantine 
and other styles with which we are already familiar. If our investi¬ 
gation stopped there it would still be complete in itself, though falling 
far short of an universal history of the art. 

Following up the same topographical arrangement, the Second 
Book will comprise the history of architecture in Central Asia from 
the time when wo left it in Persia to the present day, comprising the 
Sassanian and Saracenic styles of that country. 

The Third Division, in four Books, will embrace all the styles of 
architecture practised in India during the 2100 years we are able to 
follow the narrative. The First Book will comprise all the styles of 
VOL. II. 2 B 


t'KKj ta jm Aituii tT-TJcntTrirm' -rxttr rrrr 

fet architecture known in the East, with the excepth 
1 the Second, Hindu art in all its forms; the Third the Ihx 
6nic, as based on the last ; and the Fourth Book will treaiPbf 
ae exceptional styles of Cashmere and Cambodia. The advantage of 
this division will be obvious when we come to speak of the subject 
in detail. The Indian Saracenic style is quite incomprehensible with¬ 
out some previous knowledge of the Hindu; and it would be incon¬ 
venient to thrust these in before the Saracenic styles derived from the 
Byzantine, and equally confusing to group together the Indian and 
Western styles of Saracenic art, before a knowledge had been acquired 
of the basis on which the former rests. 

From the Indian the transition is easy to Chinese architecture, 
which, however, is so exceptional as to require a totally different 
treatment. Its description will occupy the Seventh Book. 

The Eighth Book will, for the present, conclude the work. 1 In it 
it is proposed to describe the Mexican and Peruvian styles of the new 
world. Their position is naturally the last, for either they are wholly 
unconnected with the other styles of the world, or if any affinities aro 
to be traced to them, it can only result from the most extended know¬ 
ledge of all that man has wrought in rock or stone in other quarters of 
the globe. 

1 When this work was first undertaken, 
it was intended to have completed the 
history of art, by a chapter devoted to 
Celtic or Megalithic architecture; but the 
quantity of new materials which have 
accumulated during the progress of the 
work, and the extent to which it has been 
found necessary to amplify some portions, 
have already so increased the size of this 
volume as to render any addition impos¬ 
sible without adding inconveniently to its 
bulk. Strictly speaking, Megalithic archi¬ 
tecture hardly belongs to a work devoted 

to architecture as a fine art, and might 
therefore be omitted altogether; but the 
questions of archaeology and ethnography 
involved in its discussion are so inti¬ 
mately connected with many subjects 
mooted in these pages, that our his¬ 
tory can hardly he considered complete 
without some reference to them. It is 
proposed, consequently, to add an appen¬ 
dix to the third volume, when it is re¬ 
printed, containing a description of the 
objects belonging to this branch of the 





The first, century of the Hejira forms a chapter in the history of 
mankind as startling from the brillianoy of its events as it is aston¬ 
ishing from the permanence of its results. Whether we consider 
the first outburst of Mahometanism as a conquest of one of the most 
extensive empires of the world by a small and previously unknown 
people, or as the propagation of a new religion, or as both these events 
combined, the success of the movement is without a parallel in history. 

11 far surpassed the careers of the great Eastern conquerors in the 
importance of its effects, and the growth of the Roman empire in bril¬ 
liance and rapidity. From Alexander to Napoleon, conquests have 
generally been the result of the genius of some gifted individual, and 
have left, after a short period, but slight traces of their transient 
splendour. Even Rome’s conquest of the world was a slow and painful 
effort compared with that of the Arabians; and though she imposed her 
laws on the conquered nations, and enforced them by her military 
organisation, she had neither the desire nor the power to teach them a 
new faith; nor could she bind the various nations together into one 
great people, who should aid her with heart and hand in the mission 
she had undertaken. 

It was, indeed, hardly possible that a poor and simple, but warlike 
and independent, people like the Arabs, could long exist close to the 
ruins of so wealthy and so overgrown an empire as that of Constan¬ 
tinople, without making an attempt to appropriate the spoil which the 
effeminate hands of its possessors were evidently unable to defend. It 
was equally impossible that so great a perversion of Christianity as 
then prevailed in Egypt and Syria could exist in a country which 
from the earliest ages had been the seat of the most earnest Mono- 
theism without provoking some attempt to return to the simpler 
kith which had never been wholly superseded. So that on the whole 
the extraordinary success of Mahometanism at its first outset must 



ibuted to the utter corruption, religious and .political, o: 
ng empire of the East, as much as to any inherent great: 
system itself or the ability ol the leaders who achieved the 
great work. 

Had it. been a mere conquest, it must have crumbled to pieces as 
soon as completed ; for Arabia was too thinly populated to send forth 
armies to fight continual battles, and maintain so widely extended an 
empire. Its permanence was owing to the fact that the converted 
nations joined the cause with almost the enthusiasm of its original pro¬ 
moters ; Persia, Syria, and Africa, in turn, sent forth their swarms to 
swell the tide of conquest, and to spread the religion of Islam to the 
remotest corners of the globe. 

To understand either Mahometan history or art it is essential 
to hear this constantly in mind, and not to assume that, because the 
first impulse was given from Arabia, everything afterwards must be 
traced back to that primitive people ; on the contrary, there was no 
great depopulation, if any, of the conquered countries, no great trans¬ 
plantation of races. Each country retained its old inhabitants, who, 
under a new form, followed their old habits and clung to their old 
feelings with all the unchangeableness of the East, and perhaps with 
even less outward change than is usually supposed. Before tho time 
of Mahomet the Sabaean worship of the stars was common to Arabia 
and Persia, and a great part of the Babylonian Empire. The Jewish 
religion was diffused through Syria and parts of Arabia. Egypt, 
long before the time of Mahomet, must have been to a great extent 
Arabian, as it now wholly is. In all these countries the religion of 
Mahomet struck an ancient chord that still vibrated among the people, 
and it must have appeared more as a revival of the past than as the 
preaching of a new faith. In Spain alone colonization to some extent 
seems to have taken place, hut we must not even there overlook the 
fact of the early Carthaginian settlements, and the consequent exist¬ 
ence of a Semitic people of considerable importance in the south, 
where the new religion maintained itself long after its extinction in 
those parts of Spain where no Semitic blood is known to have existed. 

So weak, indeed, in the converted countries was the mere Arabian 
influence, that each province soon shook off its yoke, and, under their 
own Caliphs, Persia, Syria, Egypt, Africa, and Spain soon became 
independent states, yielding only a nominal fealty to that Caliph who 
claimed to he the rightful successor of the Prophet, and, except in 
faith and the form of religion, the real and essential change was slight, 
and far greater in- externals than in the innate realities of life. 

All this is more evident from the architecture than from any other 
department—without, at least, more study than most people can devote 
to the subject. The Arabs themselves had no architecture, properly so 
called. Their only temple was the Kaabah at Mecca, a small square 



almost destitute of architectural ornament, and more 
antiquity and sanctity than for any artistic merit, 
is said that Mahomet built a mosque at Medina—a simple edifice 
of bricks and palm sticks. 1 But the Koran gives no directions on the 
subject, and so simple were the primitive habits of the nomad Arabs, 
that had the religion been confined to its native land, it is probable 
that no mosque worthy of the name would ever have been erected. 
With them prayer everywhere and anywhere was equally acceptable. 
All that was required of the faithful was to turn towards Mecca at 
stated times and pray, going through certain forms and in certain 
attitudes, but whether the place was the desert or the housetop was 
quite immaterial. 

For the first half century after the Mahometans burst into Syria 
they seem to have built very little. The taste for architectural 
magnificence had not yet taken hold of the simple followers of the 
Prophet, and desecrated churches and other buildings supplied what 
wants they had. When they did take to building, about the end 
of the 7th century, they employed the native architects and builders, 
and easily converted the Christian church with its atrium into a place 
of prayer; and then, by a natural growth of style, they gradually 
elaborated a new style of details and new arrangements, in which 
it is often difficult to trace the source whence they were derived. 

In Egypt the wealth of ancient remains, in particular of Homan 
pillars, rendered the task easy; and mosques were enclosed and palaces 
designed and built with less thought and less trouble than had occurred 
almost anywhere else. The same happened in Barbary and in Spain. 
In the latter country, especially, a re-arrangement of Roman materials 
was all that was required. 11 was only when these were exhausted, 
after some centuries of toil, that we find the style becoming original; 
but its form was not that of Syria or of Egypt, but of Spanish birth 
and confined to that locality. 

When the Turks conquered Asia Minor, their style was that of the 
Byzantino basilicas which they found there, and when they entered 
Constantinople they did not even care to carry a style with which they 
were familiar across the Bosphorus, but framed their mosques upon 
a typo of church peculiar to that city, of which Sta. Sophia was the 
crowning example. 

It is true that, after centuries of practice most of these hetero¬ 
geneous elements became fused into a complete style. This style pos¬ 
sesses so much that is entirely its own as, to make it sometimes difficult 
to detect the germs, taken from the older styles of architecture, which 
gave rise to many of its most striking peculiarities. These, however, 
are never entirely obliterated. Everywhere the conviction is forced 

1 Abulfeda, ed. Reiske, vol, i. p. 32. 



l mj that originally the Moslems had no style of their own, 

, those which they found practised in the countries to wh: 
^came. In other words, the conquered or associated people 
still continued to build as they had built before their conversion, 
merely adapting their former methods to the purposes of their new 
religion. After a time this Mahometan element thus introduced 
into the styles of different countries produced a certain amount of 
uniformity,—increased, no doubt, by the intercommunications arising 
from the uniformity of religion. In this way at last a style was 
elaborated, tolerably homogeneous, though never losing entirely the 
local peculiarities due to the earlier styles out of which it rose, and 
which still continue to mark most distinctly the various nationalities 
that made up the great Empire of Islam. 





Mosques at Jerusalem— El-Akgah — Mosque at Damascus — Egypt — Mosques at 
Cairo — Other African buildings — Mecca. 

The Hejira. 

Caliph Omar builds Mosque at Jerusalem 
Amrou—Mosque at Old Cairo .... 
Alxl el-Malek builds El-Aksah, at Jeru¬ 
salem . 

Caliph Walid builds Mosque at Damascus 


Ibn Touloun at Cairo 


El-Azhar . . . . 


Sultan Barkook . . 



Sultan Hasson . . 



A.D. 876 





As before mentioned, tbe earliest mosque of which we have any record 
was that built by Mahomet himself at Medina. As, however, it con¬ 
tained apartments for his wives, and other rooms for domestic purposes, 
it might perhaps be more properly denominated a dwelling-house than 
a mosque, indeed sacred buildings, as we understand them, seem to 
have formed no part of the scheme of the Mahometan dispensation. 
The one temple of this religion was the Kaabah at Mecca, towards 
which all believers were instructed to turn when they prayed. As 
with the ancient Jews—one Temple and one God were the watchwords 
of the faith. 

When, however, the Mahometans came among the temple-building 
nations, they seem early to have felt the necessity of some material 
object—some visible monument of their religion; and we find that 
Omar, when he obtained possession of Jerusalem, in the 15th year of 
the Hejira, felt the necessity of building a place of prayer towards 
which the faithful might turn, or rather which should point out to 
them the direction of Mecca. 1 

According to the treaty of capitulation, in virtue of which the city 
was ceded to the Moslems, it was agreed that the Christians should 
retain possession of all their churches and holy places; and no com¬ 
plaint is made of even the slightest attempt to infringe this article 
during the following three centuries. On the other hand, it was 

1 For the particulars of the building of the mosque, I must refer the reader to my 
work on the ‘Ancient Topography of Jerusalem,’ where lie will find them stated at 


Part ill 

£M that a spot of ground should be ceded to Omar, in which 3 
stablish a place of prayer. For this purpose the site of the old 
i of the Jews was assigned to him by the patriarch; that spot 
being considered sacred by the Moslems, on account of the nocturnal 
visit of the prophet, and because they then wished to conciliate 
the Jews, while, at the same time, the spot was held accursed by the 
Christians on account of the Lord’s denunciation and Julian’s impious 
attempt to rebuild it. Here Omar built a small mosque, which still 

918. Plan of the Mosque el-Ak*ali at Jerusalem. Scale 100 ft to l in. 

exists; but all the traditions about the place have become so confused 
by subsequent' interchanges between the Christians and themselves, 
that it is difficult to say whether it is the chamber bearing the name, 
on the east of the Aksah, or that to the west of the same mosque, 
known as the mosque of the Mogrebins. Most probably it is the 

As might be expected from the simplicity of Omar’s character, his 
poverty, and his hatred of everything like ostentation, his mosque 
is a very simple building, being merely a plain vaulted cell, about 
18 ft. wide by nearly 80 in length; it may, however, have extended a 


tav-arsati. j jt;KU?5AL:ra: 

irther westward originally, and a portion of it may have^ 
when the neighbouring Aksah was built, and included wi 

The troubles which, during the next half-century, succeeded the 
murder of Ali and his sons, seem to have been unfavourable to build¬ 
ing or any of the arts of peace, and no record has yet been brought 
to light of any important structure creeled during that period. In the 
09th year of the Hejira, Abd el-Malek, the Caliph of Damascus, deter¬ 

mined to erect a mosque at Jerusalem. His objects were to set up 
that city as a place of pilgrimage in op]x>sition to Mecca, which was 
then in the possession of a rival, and to carry into effect what was 
at one time understood to have been the intention of Mahomet, namely, 
to convert the temple of Jerusalem into the holy place of his new reli¬ 
gion, instead of that of Mecca. These ulterior purposes were never 
realised, in consequence of the violent opposition which the project 
met with from the Jews. 

1 The mosque of the Mogrebins is also a plain vaulted apartment, 25 ft. by 173. 

*• •sahacmnic 

Vhy mosque.which Abd el-Malek erected still remains tolej 
red to the present time. 1 The plan (woodcut No. 918) will sfcioj 
, is not unlike a Christian basilica of seven aisles, and of consider¬ 
able dimensions, being 184 ft. wide by 272 in length over all, thus 
covering about 50.000 sq. ft., or as much as many of our cathedrals. 
It has a porch which is a later addition, but has not the usual square 
court in front, which was an almost invariable accompaniment of 
Christian basilicas of that date, and still more so of mosques ; indeed, 
these latter took their form from the gradual reduction of the depth 
of the church-portion of the arrangement, and the increase of the 
court, which eventually became the mosque itself. 

“ The interior is supported,” says an Arab historian, 2 “ by 45 
columns, 3d of which are of marble, and 12 of common stone,”—many 
of them no donbt taken from more ancient buildings,—“ besides which 
there are 40 piers of common stone,” Arculf, a Christian monk, who 
saw it shortly after its erection, describes it as a square building, 
capable of containing about 3000 persons, and mentions the curious 
peculiarity of the pillars being connected by beams, showing that the 
construction was then the same as we see now, as is shown in the 
woodcut (No. 919), which is a view taken across the southern end of 
the building. The pier-arches are pointed throughout, but above this 
is a range of openings with circular heads. 

This building, with its adjuncts, remained the only place of prayer 
belonging to the Mahometans for three centuries after its erection. 
During the Crusades it was occupied by the knights, who took the 
name of Templars from residing in a building which was known to 
occupy the site of the Temple 3 of the Jows. On the recovery of the city 
it again became the principal inosque, and remains so to this day. 

As an architectural object the Aksah is of no great importance. It 
has no feature of beauty externally except the northern porch, which 
was added in the fourteenth century. The interior is spacious but barn¬ 
like, and has no particular elegance either of arrangement or detail; but 
it must also be added that it suffers very considerably from its juxta¬ 
position with the Dome of the Rock. The perfection of the internal 
arrangements of that church, and the beauty of its late classical details, 
make up a whole so nearly perfect that there are few buildings that 
would not suffer by the comparison, more especially one built by so un- 
arehiteetural a, people as the Arabs, at so early a part of their career. 

• 1 This mosque was lirst made known to 
the West by the labours of Messrs. Cather- 
wood, Arundale, and Bonomi. It has since 
been published by M. de Vogue and others, 
and has been open to tho inspection of 
travellers for some time past. 

* Mejr cd-Deeu. ‘ Fuudgruben des Ori¬ 

ents,’ vol. ii. p. 83. 

3 The fact of its never having been 
doubted till the 19th century that the Ak¬ 
sah stands within the precincts of the Jew¬ 
ish Temple, is in itself a sufficient proof 
that no Christian lmd ever anything to do 
with the building of any part of it. 


Mosque at Damascus. 


L-^>As an architectural object the great mosque at Damascus is even 
more important than the Aksah, and its history is as interesting. 
The spot on which it stands was originally occupied by one of those 
small Syrian temples, surrounded by a square temenos , of which those 
at Palmyra and Jerusalem are well-known examples. The one in 
question was, however, smaller, being only 450 ft. square; and we do 
not know the form of the temple which occupied its centre. This 
temple was converted into a Christian church by Theodosius (395-408), 
and dedicated to St. John the Baptist, whose chapel still exists within 
the precincts of the mosque. 

According to Jelal ed-deen, 1 the church remained the joint property 
of the Christians and Moslems, both praying together in it—or, at least, 
on the east and west sides of a partition run through it - from the fall of 
the city in the year of the Hejira 14 (a.d. 63(3) to the time of the Caliph 
Walid in the year 86. ITe offered the Christians either four desecrated 
churches in exchange for it, or threatened to deprive them of one 
which they held on sufferance. As soon as the matter was settled, it 
is said, he pulled down the Christian church, or at least part of it, and 
in ten years completed the present splendid mosque on its site, having 
first procured from the emperor at Constantinople fit and proper per¬ 
sons to act as architects and masons in its construction. 

If the building were carefully examined by some competent person, 
it might even now be possible to ascertain what parts belonged to the 
heathen, what to the Christians, and what to the Moslems. At first 
sight it might appear that the covered part of the mosque is only the 
Christian church, used laterally like that at Ramleh; but its dimensions 
— 126 ft. by 446 — are so much in excess of any three aisled church of 
that age, that the idea is hardly tenable. On the whole, it seems probable 
that we must consider that the materials which had first been collected 
for the Temple, and were afterwards used in the church, were entirely 
rearranged by the Mahometans in the form in which we find them. 

Like all buildings in the first century of the Hejira, it was so 
badly done that nearly all the pillars of the court have since that 
time been encased in piers of masonry. The walls have been covered 
up with plaster, and whitewash has obliterated the decoration which 
once existed, and which is still visible where the plaster has peeled off 
It is still, however, interesting from its history, venerable from its age, 
and important from its dimensions. These are, externally, 508 ft. by 
320, and the enclosed court 400 ft by 160. So that, in so far as size 
is concerned, it may rank among the first of its class ; and it has 
always been considered so sacred, that repairs and additions have 

1 ‘History of Jerusalem,’ translated by the Rev. M. Reynolds, p. 409 el »e<j. 

world, lx)th externally and internally; while the erections of the Mos¬ 
lems are ricketty,. in spite of all repairs, and produce no impression of 
greatness notwithstanding their dimensions and antiquity. 

The additions made by the Moslems to the mosque at Ilebron 
(woodcut No. 808) are mean and insignificant to the last degree; and 


U:. Iff. 

YltTH A'JVJLr'JSCf TT'T : - 

these, it is -difficult to say what there is in Syria "built by 
worthy of attention. 

'here are some handsome fountains at Jerusalem, some details at 
Hasbeiya, a few large khans at Beisan and elsewhere, and some very 
fine city gates and remnants of military architecture; but the tombs 
are insignificant, and except the two mosques described, there seems 
to be no example of monumental architecture of any importance. The 
one building epoch of the country occurred when the Homan influence 
was at its height, during the first five centuries of tho Christian era. 
Since that time very little has been done worthy of record ; and before 
it nothing, that, from an architectural point of view, would deserve a 
place in history. 


In Egypt our history begins with the mosque which Amrou, in the 
21st year of the Hejira (a.p. 642) erected at Old Cairo; its original 
dimensions were only 50 cubits, or 75 ft. long, by 30 cubits, or 45 ft. 
wide. Edrisi 1 says that it was originally a Christian church which 
the Moslems converted into a mosque; and its dimensions and form 
would certainly lead us to suppose that, if not so, it was at least built 
after the pattern of* the Christian churches of that ago. As early, how¬ 
ever, as the 53rd year of the Hejira it was enlarged, and again in the 
79th ; and it apparently was almost wholly rebuilt by the two great 
builders of that age, Abd el-Malek and VValid, the builders of the 
mosques of Jerusalem and Damascus. 

It probably now remains in all essential parts as left by these two 
Caliphs, though frequently repaired, and in some parts probably 
altered by subsequent sovereigns of Egypt. In its present state it 
may be considered as a fair specimen of the form which mosques took 
when they had quite emancipated themselves from the Christian 
models, or rather when the court before the narthex of the Christian 
church had absorbed the basilica, so as to become itself the principal 
part of the building, the church part being spread out into a mere deep 
colonnade, and its three apsidal altars modified into niches pointing 
towards the sacred Mecca. 

As will be seen from the plan (woodcut No. 921), it is nearly 
square (390 ft. by 357), and consists of a court-yard, 255 ft. square, 
surrounded on all sides by porticoes, supported by 245 columns taken 
from older edifices of the Romans and Byzantines. These were joined 
together by brick arches of circular form, 2 tied at their springing by 

1 Translated by Jaubert, tom. i. p. 303. 5 M. Coste makes all these arches 

The particulars of the description in the pointed. M. de Prangey states that they 
text are taken fromM. Gi fault de Prangey, are all circular; the truth being that they 
‘ Monumens Arabes/ compared with M. are partly one, partly the other. 

Coste’s * Edifices de Cairo. 

* MOrU TttCftt J Kt, 

921. Mosque of Atnrou, Old Cairo. From Coste's ' Architecture Arabo/ Scale 100 ft. to l in. 

■ I 




y • $ •. 








* * * s 





ii l ji 1 






■: • H H 





:: Wv.V- a : 

:: ~ti,. : 


JksJL dii * 

wooden beams, as in the Aksah, and covered by a wooden roof. All 
this part of the mosque, however, has been so often repaired and reno¬ 
vated, that but little of the origi¬ 
nal details can now remain. 

Of the original mosque, or per¬ 
haps church, the only part that can 
with certainty be said to exist is 
a portion of the outer wall, repre¬ 
sented in woodcut No, 922, which 
possesses the peculiarity of being 
built with pointed arches, similar in 
form to those of the Aksah at Jeru¬ 
salem. They are now built up, and 
must have been so at the time of 
one of the earlier alterations; still 
they are, from their undoubted an¬ 
tiquity, a curious contribution to 
the much-contested history of the pointed arch. Notwithstanding the 
beautiful climate ot Egypt, the whole mosque is now in a sad state of 

922. Arches in the Mosque of Atnrou. From 
G. de Prangey's Work. 

cn. in......^icra* ,,, 2 Wir-mTrrr:.... 

ration and decay, arising principally from its original faultj 
ion. Owing to the paucity of details, many of M. Costers ij>sj 
is must bo taken as extremely doubtful. 

From the time of the great rebuilding of the mosque of Amrou 
under Walid, there is a gap in the architectural histoiy of Egypt of 
nearly a century and a half, during which time it is probable that 60 
really great work was undertaken there, as Egypt was then a dependent 
province of the great Califat of the East. AVith the recovery, however, 
of something like independence, we find one of its most powerful 
rulers, Ibn Touloun, commencing a mosque at Cairo (a.d. 876), which, 
owing to its superior style of construction, still remains in tolerable 
perfection to the present day. 

Tradition, as usual, ascribes the design to a Christian architect, who, 
when the Emir declined to use the columns of desecrated churches for 
the proposed mosque, offered to build it entirely of original materials. 
Ho was at first thrown into prison through the machinations of his 
rivals; hut at last, when they found they could not dispense with his 
services, was again sent for, and his design carried out . 1 

Be this as it may, the whole style of the mosque shows an immense 
advance on that of its predecessor, all trace of Roman or Byzantine art 
having disappeared in the interval, and the Saracenic architecture 
appearing complete in all its details, the parts originally borrowed 
from previous stylos having been worked up and fused into a con¬ 
sentaneous whole. Whether this took place in Egypt itself during 
the century and a half that had elapsed, is by no means clear; and it is 
more than probable that the brilliant Courts of Damascus and Bagdad 
did more than Egypt towards bringing about the result. At all 
events, from this time we find no. backsliding; the style in Egypt at 
last takes its rank as a separate and complete architectural form. It 
is true, nevertheless, that in so rich a storehouse of materials as Egypt, 
the architects could not always resist appropriating the remains of 
earlier buildings; but when they did this, they used them so com¬ 
pletely in their own fashion, and so worked them into their own style, 
that we do not at oucj recognise the sources from which they are 

To return, however, to the mosque of Touloun. Its general arrange¬ 
ment is almost identical with that of the mosque of Amrou, only with 
somewhat increased dimensions, the court being very nearly 300 ft. 
square, and the whole building 390 ft. by 455. A r o pillars whatever 
are used in its construction, except as engaged corner shafts; all the 
arches, which are invariably pointed, being supported by massive piers. 
The court on three sides has two ranges of arcades, hut on the side 
towards Mecca there are five ; and with this peculiarity, that instead 

1 See Coste’s ' Edifices de Cairo,’ p. 32, quoting from Makrisi. 


jf th| | arcades running parallel to the side, as in a Christian elMylu 
SMif/the mosque of Amrou, they run across the mosque from eajJjjb] 
west, as they always did in subsequent examples. 

The whole building is of brick, covered with stucco; and fortu¬ 
nately almost every opening is surrounded by an inscription in the 

i aaa' i S i 

Mosque of Ibn Touloun at Cairo. From Co»t’s • Architecture A robe. 

old form of Cufic characters, which were then used, and only used 
about the period to which the mosque is ascribed, so that there am be 
no doubt as to its date. Indeed, the age both of the building itself, and 
of all its details, is well ascertained. 


woodcut No. 923 will explain the form of its arcades, 
•rnamcnts that cover them. Their general character is thatigj, 
md massive simplicity, the counterpart of our own Norman stylo, 
tain clement of sublimity and power, in spite of occasional clum¬ 
siness, is common to both these styles. Indeed, excepting the Ilassanee 
mosque, there is perhaps no mosque in Cairo so imposing and so perfect 
as. this, though it possesses little or nothing of that grace and elegance 
which wo are accustomed to expect in this style. 

Among the more remarkable peculiarities of this building is the 
mode in which all the external openings are filled with that peculiar 
sort of tracery which became 

as characteristic of this style 
as that of the windows of our 
churches five centuries after¬ 
wards is of the Gothic style. 

With the Saracens the whole 
window is filled, and the inter¬ 
stices are small and varied; 
both which characteristics are 
appropriate when the window 
is not to be looked out of, or 
when it is filled with painted 
glass; but of course are utterly 
unsuitable to our purposes. Yet it is doubtful, even now, whethei 

6 c Oa oft c 


Wiiulow in Mosque of Ibn Touloun. 

the Saracenic did not, excel the Gothic architects, even in their best 
days, in the elegance of design and variety of invention displayed in 
the tracery of their windows. Jn the mosque of Ibn Touloun it is 
used as an old and perfected invention, and with the germs of all those 
angular and flowing lines which afterwards were combined into such 
myriad forms of beauty. 

it is possible that future researches may bring to light a build- 
ing, 50 or oven 100 years earlier than this, which may show nearly 
as complete an emancipation from Christian art; but for the present, 
it is from the mosque of Touloun (a.i>. 885) that we must date tho 
complete foundation of the new style. Although there is consider¬ 
able difficulty in tracing the history of the style from the erection of 
the mosques of Damascus and Jerusalem to that of Touloun, there is 
none from that timo onwards. Cairo alone furnishes nearly sufficient 
materials for the purpose. 

The next great mosque erected in this city was El-Azhar, or 
“ the splendid,” commenced in the year 981, or about a century* 
after that of Touloun, and, though certainly a very magnificent build¬ 
ing, and showing a great advance in elegance of detail over that 
last named, it is far from being so satisfactory, owing to the intro¬ 
duction of ancient, pillars in parts, and to masses of wall beino- 

VOL. II. 2c » 



si AOu mij a Rtimra tipper. 

and a half are neither 
progress is very evident 
in such examples as exist; 
and in the middle of the 
twelfth century we find 
the style almost entirely 

One of the finest build¬ 
ings of the last age is that 
built by Sultan Barkook 
outside the walls of 
Cairo (a.p. 1149), which, 
besides a mosque, con¬ 
tains an additional fea¬ 
ture in the great sepul¬ 
chral chambers which are 
in fact the principal part 
of the edifice, and betray 
the existence of a strong 
affinity to the tomb-build¬ 
ing races in the rulers of 
Egypt at that time. 

The plan and section 
will shew the state to 
which the art had at that period arrived in Egypt. The pointed arch. 


□□a", dadnn5 ana j j 


Section of Mosque of Barkook. From Coste’s ‘ Architecture Arabe. 

on. h xii.-.. 


bo observed, is used with as much lightness and eleganc 
reached in the AYcst. 

'The dome has become a truly graceful and elaborate appendage^ 
"forming not only a very perfect ceiling inside, but a most imposing 
ornament to the extei*ior. Above all, the minaret has here arrived at 
as high a degree of perfection as it ever reached in any after age. 

„ The oldest known example of this species of tower is that of the 
mosque of Ibn Touloun, but it is particularly ungraceful and clumsy. # 
The minaret in that of Amrou was probably a later addition. Those 
of the Azhar, which are probably of the date of that mosque, almost 
equal the one represented in the woodcut; hut. it is only here that 
they seem to have acquired that elegance and completeness which 
render them perhaps the most beautiful form of tower architecture in 
the world. Our prejudices are of course with the spires of our Gothic 
churches, and the Indians erected some noble towers; but taken alto¬ 
gether, it is doubtful if anything of its class ever surpassed the beauty 
and elegance of the minarets attached to the mosques during this and 
the two or three subsequent centuries. 

The mosque of Kaloun, and the hospital attached to it (a.t>, 1284 ), 
are both noble buildings, full of the most elegant details, and not with¬ 
out considerable grandeur in parts. In all except detail, however, 
they must yield the palm to the next great example, the mosque with 
which the Sultan Hassan adorned Cairo in the year 1356. In some 
respects it is one of the most remarkable mosques ever erected in any 
country, and differing considerably from any other with which wo are 
at present acquainted. 

As will be seen from the plan (woodcut No. 027), its external form 
is very irregular, following on all sides the lines of the streets within 
which it is situated. This irregularity, however, is not such as to 
detract from its appearance, which is singularly hold and massive on 
every side; the walls being nearly 100 ft. in height, and surmounted by 
a cornice, which adds another 13 ft., and projects about 6 ft. This great 
height is divided into no less than nine storeys of small apartments; 
but the openings are so deeply recessed, and the projections between 
them so bold, that, instead of cutting it up and making it look like a 
factory, which would have been the ease in England, the building has 
all the apparent solidity of a fortress, and seems more worthy of the 
descendants of the ancient Pharaohs than any work of modern times in 

Internally there is a court open to the sky, measuring 117 ft. by 
105, enclosed by a wall 112 ft. in height. Instead of the usual colon¬ 
nades or arcades, only one gigantic niche opens in each face of the 
court. On three sides these niches measure 46 ft. square; hut on 
that which faces Mecca, the great niche is 69 ft. wide by 90 in depth, 
and 90 ft. high internally. All four are covered with simple tunncl- 

2 c 2 

rsmrAXUBJsru ^{uxirrjfioTaiiK 

p§ of a pointed form, without either ribs or intersections, an! 
>Wgrandeur are unrivalled by any similar arches known to 

Behind the niche pointing towards Mecca is the tomb of the founder, 
square in plan, as these buildings almost always are, measuring 69 ft. 
each way, and covered by a lofty and elegant dome resting on pendent- 
ives of great beauty and richness. It is flanked on each side by two 
• noble minarets, one of which is the highest and largest in Cairo and 
probably in any part of the world, being 280 ft. in height and of pro¬ 
portionate breadth. Its design and outline, however, are scarcely so 
elegant as some others, though even in these respects it must bo con¬ 
sidered a very beautiful example of its class. 

927 . Mosque of Sultan Hassan. From Coste’s 4 Architecture Arabe.’ Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

One of the principal defects of this building is the position of its 
doorway, which, instead of facing the kibleh or niche pointing towards 
Mecca, is placed diagonally, in the street alongside of the building. 
It is a very beautiful specimen of architecture in itself; still its situa 
tion and the narrow passages that lead from it to the main building 
detract most materially from the effect of the whole edifice, which in 
other respects is so perfect. It may have been, that ground could not 
be obtained for the purpose of placing the entrance in the right posi¬ 
tion : but more probably it was so arranged for the sake of defence, the 
whole structure having very much the appearance of a fortalice, and 


hykia 'ano mirr 

IpSg, without doubt, erected to serve that purpose, as well as b©\|| 
a < fe^pted’jor a house of prayer. ^ 

. /i ffie mosque El Moyed, erected in 1415 a . d., is a singularly elegant 
specimen of a mosque with columns. Externally it measures about 
dOO ft. by 250, and possesses an internal court, surrounded by double 
colonnades on three sides, and a triple range of arches on the side 
looking towards Mecca, whore also are situated—as in that of Bar- 
kook—the tombs of the founder and his family, A considerable num¬ 
ber of ancient columns have been used in the erection of the building, 
but the superstructure is so light and elegant, that the effect is agree¬ 
able ; and of the “mixed mosques”— i.e., those where ancient materials 
are incorporated—this is one of the most pleasing specimens. 


928 * Section of Mosque of Hasstm, Cairo. Sole 100 ft. to 1 in. 

I erhaps the most perfect gem in or about Cairo is the mosque and 
tomb of Kaitbey (woodcut No. 929), outside the walls, erected a.d. 1469. 
Looked at externally or internally, nothing can exceed the grace of 
every part of this building. Its small dimensions exclude it from any 
claim to grandeur, nor does it pretend to the purity of the Greek and 
some other styles; but as a perfect model of the elegance we generally 
associate with the architecture of this people, it is perhaps unrivalled 
by anything in Egypt, and far surpasses the Alhambra or the other 
Western buildings of its age. 

After this period there were not many important buildings 
erected in Cairo, or indeed in.Egypt; and when a new age of 
splendour appears, the old art is found to have died out and „ 


trance far more injurious than that of the West has grown 
nterval. In modern Europe the native architects wrought 
so-called restoration of art in their own pedantic fashion; but 

Mosque of Kaitbey. From Coste’s ' Architecture Arabe. 

in the Levant the corresponding process took place under the aus¬ 
pices of a set of refugee Italian artists, who engrafted their would-be 
classical notions on the Moorish style, with a vulgarity of form and 
colour of which we have no conception. In the later buildings of 



ait; Ali and his contemporaries we find the 
jfm materials, used so as to make us wonder how men 
every notion of beauty and propriety to tho production 
discordant ugliness. 

From its size and the beauty of the materials, the mosque erected 
by the late Pasha in the citadel of Cairo ought to rival any of the more 
ancient buildings in the city ; but as it is, nothing can be worse or 
more uninteresting. 


In a history of the Mahomodan religion a description of the mosque 
at Mecca would naturally take the first place ; hut in a work devoted 
to architecture it is sufficient to mention it in connection with Egypt, 
to whose sultans it owes whatever architectural adornment it possesses. 
The Kaabah, or holy .shrine itself, has no architecture, and is famous 
only for its sanctity. 

In the earlier centuries of tho Hejira the area seems to have been 
surrounded by a cloister of no great magnificence, but after a great fire 
which oceured in 1899, the north and west sides were rebuilt in a more 
splendid manner by Bar kook, Sultan of Egypt, whose mosque and tomb 
are illustrated, woodcut No. 925. In 1500 El Ghoury, likewise an 
Egyptian sultan of Memlook race, rebuilt the Bab Ibrahim. The next 
repairs were due to the sultans of Constantinople. Selim L, in 1572, 
rebuilt one side, and in 1570 Murad effected a general repair of the 
whole, and left it pretty much as find it. 

It need hardly bo pointed out that in arrangement it necessarily 
differs from all other mosques. The precept of tho Koran was, that all 
true believers when they prayed should turn to the Kaabah, and a 
mosque consequently became a mere indicator of the direction in which 
Mecca stood; but in this instance, with the Kaabah in the centre, no 
mihrab or indication was possible. All that was required was a 
temenos to enclose tho sacred object, and exclude the outside world 
with its business from the hallowed precincts. 

The principal object in the enclosure is of course the Kaabah, a 
small, low tower, nearly but. not quite square in plan, the longer sides 
89 and 40 ft, respectively; the shorter 81 and 33 ft.; its height is 86 ft. 
The entrance is near one corner, at a height of 0 ft, from the ground 
11 is wholly without architectural ornament, and the upper part is 
covered by a black cloth, which is annually renewed. Next in import¬ 
ance to this is the Zemzem, or holy spring, which is said to have 
gushed out on this spot to the succour of Ishmael and his mother when 
perishing of thirst. These two objects are joined by a railing sur¬ 
rounding the Kaabah, except at one point, where it joins the Zemzem. 
'fhe railing probably marks the enclosure of the old Pagan temple 
before Mahomet’s time. 

- -*V 

o A n /^oriivtvrii nwm iscTrrrivjs;; .rA 

, with some otHer subordinate buildings, now stand in a co 1 
aing a perfect rectangle of about 380 ft. by 570 interna' 
by, arcades on all sides. These vary considerably in depth, 
so as to accomodate themselves to the external outline of the building, 
which, as shown in the woodcut (No. 930) is very irregular. It is 
entered on all sides by nineteen gateways, some of which are said to be 
of considerable magnificence, and it is adorned by seven minarets. 
These are placed very irregularly, and none of them are of particular 
beauty or size. 

930 . Great Mosque at Mecca. From a Plan by Ali Bey. 1 

On the longer sides of the court there are thirty-six arches, on the 
shorter twenty-four, all slightly pointed. They are supported by 
columns of greyish marble, every fourth being a square pier, the 
others circular pillars. 

Neither its ordonnanee, nor, so far as we can understand, its details, 
render the temple an object of much architectural magnificence. Even 
in size it is surpassed by many, and is less than its great rival, the 
temple of Jerusalem, which was (500 ft. square. Still it is interesting, 
its it is in reality the one temple of the Moslem world; for though 
many mosques are now reputed sacred, and as such studiously guarded 
against profanation, this pretended sanctity is evidently a prejudice 

1 To get it within the pug£, the scale of the plan is reduced to 200 French, or 214 
English ft. to 1 in. 


other religions, and is no part of the do 
like the Jewish, points to one only tei 
should worship, and towards which they 

Barb ah y. 

There may be—no clou bt are—many buildings erected by the Moslems 
in the countries between Egypt and Spain; but, strange to say, with 
their love of art, and opportunities for investigating them, the French 
have not yet made us acquainted with their peculiarities. Even if not 
magnificent in themselves, they must form a curious link between the 
styles of the East and the West. In so far as 
we at present know, Moorish art in Spain is 
cut oft from all connexion with the East, and 
stands utterly alone. If for no other reason 
than tor the light it would throw on the origin 
and progress of the Saracenic stylo in Spain, 
it. would be extremely interesting to know 
what took place in the north of Africa during 
the first centuries of the Hejira. The religious 
bigotry of the inhabitants of the Regency of 
1 unis is no doubt one cause why wo know so 
little, but more may probably be owing to the 
indifference of travellers. 

The mosque at Kairwan is one of those 
buildings about which it would bo especially 
interesting to know something. That city 
was long the capital of the African pro¬ 
vinces of the empire of tho Caliphs, and it 
was thence that they spread their religion 
into the centre of the great continent where 
it is located, and conquered Sicily. The mos¬ 
que was erected, or at, least commenced, in 
the 1st Century of the Hejira, and was built 
principally from Roman remains found in 
the neighbourhood, hut is now considered so 
sacred that no Christian is allowed to set 
foot within its precincts; all that we know 
is that it is a worthy compeer of ihe content* 
porary mosques of Damascus and Cairo, while 
owing to its secluded station it may probably 
be less altered than either of* these great 
buildings, and may consequently convey a more correct idea of the 

*•' * 1, “ *“ *• *» «» in 

031 . Minaret at Turria. From 
G trail It de Prangey. 



SBlO mi! AllUEllWlTJHK ■ 

ail/possesses some noble edifices, not so old as this, but still 

but, except the minaret represented in the annexed woodqjT^ 
Sortfe) !), none of them have yet been drawn in such a manner as 
to enable us to judge either what they are, or what rank they are 
entitled to as works of art. This minaret is one of the finest speci¬ 
mens of a particular class. It- possesses none of the grace or elaborate 
beauty of detail of those at Cairo; but the beautiful proportion of the 
shaft, and the appropriate half-military style of its ornaments, render 
it singularly pleasing. The upper part also is well proportioned, 
though altered to some extent in modern times. Unfortunately neither 
its ago nor height is correctly known. It is probably three or four 
centuries old, and with its contemporary the Hassanee mosque at Cairo, 
proves that the Saracenic architects were capable of expressing simple 
grandeur as well as elaborate beauty when it suited them to do so. 

Algeria possesses no buildings of any importance belonging to any 
good age of Moorish art. Those of Constantine are the only ones 
which have yet been illustrated in an intelligible manner, and they 
scarcely deserve mention after the great buildings in Egypt and the 
farther East. 1 cannot help suspecting that some remains of a better 
age may still be brought to light; but the French archaeologists seem 
to he wholly taken up with the vestiges of the Eomans, and not to 
have turned their attention seriously to the more modern style, which 
it is to be hoped they soon will do. In an artistic point of view, at 
least, it is far more important than the few fragments of Homan build¬ 
ings still left in that remote province. 

mrrvr . 



B P A J N. 


Introductory remarks — Mosque at Cordoba - 
M.tria and Crista do la Luz at Toledo ■ 
Alcazar — The Alhambra — Sicily. 

• Palace at Zuhra — Churches of Bta. 
- Giralda at Seville — Palace of the 


Moors Invade Spain. \.d. 711 

Abd rl - Rahman commences Mosque at 

Cordoba. 786 

El Mansoui* enlarge Mosque at Cordoba . 876 

Caliph Hakeem rebuilds sanctuary at 
Cordoba. 065 

Alcazar arid Giralda at Seville (about) . 
Mohammed ben Alhamar commences 


Abou abd Allah, builder of Court of 

Lions, b. gins to reign. 

Christian conquest of Granada . . . 



For the present it is feared we must forego any attempt to trace the 
steps by which the Saracenic styles reached Spain, or to determine 
why the forms it assumed when wo first meet it there are so differ¬ 
ent from those we find elsewhere. As a style it is inferior to many 
other forms of Saracenic art. It has not the purity of s form and 
elegance of detail attained in Egypt, nor the perfection in colouring 
which characterises the style of Persia, while it is certainly inferior 
both in elegance and richness to that of India. Still it is to us perhaps 
the most interesting of the whole, not only because of its proximity to 
our own shores, and our consequent greater familiarity with it, hut 
because history, poetry, and painting have all combined to heighten 
its merits and fix its forms on our minds. Few are unacquainted 
with the brilliant daring of the handful of adventurers who in the 8th 
century subjugated Spain and nearly conquered Europe, and fewer 
still have listened without emotion to the sad tale of their expulsion 
eight centuries afterwards. Much of the poetry and romance of the 
middle ages owes its existence to the struggles between the Christian 
and the Paynini knights; and in modem times poets, painters, and 
architects have all lingered and expatiated on the beauties of the 
Alhambra, or dwelt in delight on the mysterious magnificence of the 
mosque at Cordoba. Indeed no greater compliment could be paid to 
this style than that conveyed by the fact that, till within the last year 
or two, not one work of any importance has been devoted to the Chris¬ 
tian antiquities of Spain, while, even England has produced two such 

li.VU IMS IU A WJlil l f^C J LJlvE: 


' illustrations of the Alhambra as those of Murphy and 1 
vorks far more magnificent than any devoted to our ogvj 
mtk^l arts. Tn France, too, Girault de Frangey, Le Kormand, 
Chapuy, and others have devoted themselves to the task; and even in 
Spain the ‘ Antigiiedades Arabes en Espaha ’ is the best production of 
the class. We are thus really familiar with what these strangers did; 
while "the cathedrals of Seville, Toledo, Burgos, and Leon are only 
partially measured or illustrated; and travellers hurrying to the 
Alhambra scarce condescend to alight from the diligence to cast a 
passing glance at their beauties. 1 

This is indeed hardly fair; still it must he confessed it is impossible 
to come into contact with the brilliant productions of the fervid im¬ 
agination of a Southern people without being captivated with their 
beauty; and there is a fascination in their exuberance of ornament 
and brilliancy of colour which it is impossible to resist when these are 
used with the daring which characterises their employment here. It 
is also true that these Moorish architects avoid the vulgarity which 
would inevitably accompany such exuberance in the hands of Northern 
artists—a defect which the more delicately organised Asiatic invari¬ 
ably escaped. 


As far as the history of architecture is concerned, by far the most 
interesting building in Spain is the mosque of Cordoba: it was the 
first important building commenced by the Moors, and was enlarged 
and ornamented by successive rulers, so that it. contains specimens of 
all the styles current in Spain from the earliest times till the building 
of the Alhambra, which was in the latest age of Moorish art. 

This celebrated mosque was commenced by Caliph Abd el Itahman 
in the year 780, and completed by his son Hesham, who died 796. 
The part built by them was the eleven western aisles, which then 
formed an edifice complete in itself, not unlike the Aksah at Jerusalem 
(except in the number of aisles), which the Caliph is said to have been 
anxious to surpass. It is by no means clear whether it had originally 
a court in front, but it is certain that the present court owes its exist¬ 
ence to another Caliph, of the same name as the founder, in the year 
957. As, however, the Christian basilicas of this age had almost 
always courts in front, it is more than probable that this mosque had 

. 1 When the great national work, entitled 
‘ Monumentos Architcctonicos d’Espaila,’ 
is complete, this reproach will be removed, 
but that certainly will not be the cast 1 fur 
ten or twelve years to come, if it ever does 
attain completion. The scale is too large, 
and the total want of principle on which 

it is carried out renders it useless till it is 
further advanced Twenty-three numbers 
are published, hut not one important build¬ 
ing is complete, and, excepting a plan of 
Toledo, not one of the larger buildings is 
even attempted*— Casas d’EspaMt 



. "&rxm 

fbnejsflso; for the Mahometan mosques erected in countries prewmgll 
Christian, borrow much of their arrangement from these edifices. 
^v^jThe eight eastern aisles were added by El Mansoiu* (976-1001). 
thus completing the mosque to a p^allelogram of 420 ft. by 375 ;* ii 

Mosque at Cordoba. From a Plan by G. Le Normand. Scale 100 ft. to l In. 

1 Notwithstanding the number of plans | whereas the scale of his plans shows 
published of this edifice, it is extremcdy ! 5 70x 405. Le Normand’s two plans differ 
difficult to ascertain its exact dimensions. ! considerably from one another. The above 
Murphy, in his text, makes them 620 x 440, is about the mean. 




• i TT^O l'O 


lerefore 157,500 square feet, being a larger superficies 
iriy Christian church except St. Peter’s at Pome. It is, Ko 
adly deficient in height, being only about 30 ft. high to the 
and also wants subordination of parts, all the aisles being 
nearly of the same width, about 22 ft., except the central one of the 
original eleven, which is 5 ft. wider ; the 33 transverse aisles are all 
similar in breadth; so that altogether it is as deficient in design as 
the “hall of a thousand columns” of a Hindu temple, and produces 

pretty nearly the same 

So completely has 
the building been alter¬ 
ed by various repairs 
and the intrusion of a 
modern cathedral into 
its centre, that it is diffi¬ 
cult to understand many 
of the original arrange¬ 
ments, especially how 
it was lighted, for the 
few doors towards the 
court and on the sides 
would not suffice, and 
there is no appearance of 
a clerestory in the cen¬ 
tre. The original roof, 
however, which was of 
wood richly carved and 
painted, has been re¬ 
moved, and brick vaults 
substituted. My own 
impression is that the 
upper part of the side- 
walls was originally an open arcade or colonnade on the two sides at 
least, which is confirmed by the fact that; the side-aisles are narrower 
than the others exactly by the thickness of the walls; so that, if the 
walls were low, with columns standing on the outer edge, the width of 
these aisles would he uniform with the rest. 

The Sanctuary was rebuilt by the Caliph Hakeem, A.r>. 965, and is 
the most beautiful and elaborate specimen of Moorish architecture in 
Spain and of the best age. In the great body of the mosque the archi¬ 
tects employed columns brought from the ruined Eoman cities of 
Merida and the neighbourhood, probably those supporting the por¬ 
ticos of the Forum and streets, or the courts of private houses. These 
t>eing small and low, they were obliged to employ the expedient of 

933. Interior of Sanctuary at Cordoba, From a Drawing by 
Oirault de Drangey. 

Ml UlSTffy 

934 - Exterior of the Sanctuary, Cordoba. From Roscngarton. 

the smallness of the scale and confined nature of the design, might 
rival anything else found anywhere. 

The flowing and graceful forms of the design of this Sanctuary are 
preferable to the interlacing straight lines of the Alhambra, and the 
materials, which are in this place white and coloured marbles and true 
mosaic work, are very much to be preferred to the paint 
ot the other and more celebrated edifice. 

The ornamentation of the screen of columns ii 
tuary seems to be of a later date than 
have been remodelled to its present form 

lacing arch over arch to~eke out their height--- to invent in sh< 
^eyhoiice that strange style which gives so peculiar a characte 
niijdmg. Before tho age of El Hakeem, however, the style had 
time to perfect itself; it was no longer dependent either on the mate¬ 
rials or tho forms of Homan art. They Obtained also at this time the 
assistance ot workmen from Byzantium, with which court tho Caliphs 
of Spain were closely allied ; and with their own exquisite taste they 
made the facade and niches of this part of the building the most elabo¬ 
rate and beautiful specimens of the art in Spain, and which but for 

,s removed and the existing vault substituted. Like 
architecture which is appropriate and fulfils its purpose) 
ds our admiration ; hut it would be extremely difficult to design 
brms so ungraceful in themselves, or so clumsily put together, as the 
interlacing arches of the upper part, and the whole is ’So bizarre that 
it requires all its richness of detail, and all its associations, to reconcile 
a stranger to its appearance. 

The same system of ornamentation is carried out in the chapel of 
Villa Viciosa, erected apparently about the year 1200. It is evidently 
one of those raised platforms so common in Indian, and indeed in all 

royal mosques, where 
the king in his gran¬ 
deur could pray, un- 
contaminated by the 
vulgar crowd. Though 
a good deal altered 
and deranged by being 
converted into a Chris¬ 
tian chapel, it still 
shows, in the age of 
its greatest originality, 
the germ of that style 
which was afterwards 
elaborated at Granada, 
and is generally con¬ 
sidered as the typical 
style of the country. 

Before leaving this 
mosque it may ho as 

well to remark that nowhere in any of these styles does the pointed 
arch appear, or only so timidly as to be quite the exception, not the 
rule. At an ago when its employment was univers^ in the East, it is 
singular to observe how completely the Saracenic architects followed the 
traditions of the country in which they found themselves. At Cordoba 
they never throw off the influence of the Boinan, arch, though farther 
north the pointed arch is by no means uncommon in their buildings. 

' Contemporary with the rebuilding of the sanctuary of the mosque 
was the erection of the great palace in the city of Zahra near Cordoba, 
which, if we may trust the accounts that have been handed down to 
us, was by far the most wonderful work of the Moors in Spain. This 
indeed might be expected, for, as has been before remarked, the palaces 
were the principal buildings of this people, and this being of. the very 
best age might naturally b <3 expected to excel any other edifice erected 
by them. 

Hardly a stone now remains to mark even the spot where it stood. 

935. Screen of the Chapel of Villa Viciosa, Mosque of Cordoba. 



demotion commenced shortly after its completion, in the troiJ 
^thtj.llth century, even before the city fell into the hands of 
f ans, and we therefore depend wholly on the Arabian his to- 
fom whom Conde and Murphy compiled their accounts; hut 
as they, with Maccary, describe the mosque in the same page with 
the palace, and do not exaggerate nor say one word too much in praise 
of the former, we cannot refuse credence to their description of the 

According to these authors the enclosing wall of the palace was 
4000 ft. in length E. and YV., and 2200 ft. N. and S. The greater part 
of this space was occupied by gardens, but these, with their marble 
fountains, kiosks, and ornaments of various kinds, must have surpassed 
in beauty, and perhaps even in cost, the more strictly architectural 
parts of the building. 4300 columns of the most precious marbles sup¬ 
ported the roofs of the halls; 1013 of these were brought from Africa, 19 
from home, and 140 were presented by the Emperor of Constantinople 
to Abd el-hahman, the princely founder of this sumptuous edifice. 
All the halls were paved with marbles in a thousand varied patterns. 
The walls too were of the same precious material, and ornamented 
with friezes of the most brilliant colours. 'The roofs, constructed of 
cedar, were ornamented with gilding on an azure ground, with 
damasked work and interlacing designs. All, in short, that the 
unbounded wealth of the caliphs of that period could command was 
lavished on this favourite retreat, and all that the art of Constantinople 
and Bagdad could contribute to aid the taste and executive skill of 
the Spanish Arabs was enlisted to make it the most perfect work of 
its age. Did this palace of Zahra now remain to us, we could afford 
to despise the Alhambra and all the works of that declining age of 
Moorish art. 

Among other buildings contained within the great enclosure of the 
palace was a mosque. This had five aisles, the central one wider than the 
others. The total length from the Kibleh, or niche pointing to Mecca, 
to the opposite wall was 97 cubits (146 ft.), the breadth from E. to W. 
49 cubits (74 ft.). It was finished in the year 941, and seems to have 
been one of the last works of the palace, having been commenced in 
936. From this description it is clear that it was virtually a five-aisled 
church, and, as no mention is made of the court, we may fancy that, 
like the seven-aisled Aksah at Jerusalem, it never had that accom¬ 
paniment, but was in reality only a basilica extended laterally, hut on 
a small scale. 

1 he church of Shi Maria la Blanca (woodcuts Nos. 690, 691), de¬ 
scribed in a previous chapter, though built for another people, and for 
a different purpose, is still so essentially in the Saracenic style, that it 
may fairly be taken as illustrating the progress which had been made 
in perfecting it up to its date in the 12th century. 


2 d 


other very interesting specimen of a Moorish mosque in 
t at Toledo, now known as the church of Cristo do la Luz. 
small square building with four stout short pillars on the floor, 
dividing it into nine equal compartments, the central one of which is 
carried up higher than the others, and terminated by a sort of dome, 
if dome it can he called; for the Spanish architects, working almost 
wholly from Roman models, never adopted the Byzantine dome to 
any extent, except perhaps as the roofs of baths. In ^their mosques 
and palaces it is only used as an ornamental detail, and never con¬ 
structed either of stone or 
brick-work, but merely a 
carpentry framing covered 
with stucco or mastic. The 
Spanish style shows in 
this a most essential differ¬ 
ence from the Eastern, 
where the domes are so 
splendid and durably con¬ 
structed, and where they 
constitute the actual roofs 
the buildings. 

Indeed vaulting does 
not seem under any cir¬ 
cumstance to have been 
an art to which the Spanish 
Arabs ever paid any at¬ 
tention. Almost all their 
roofs are of wood carved 
and painted, or of stucco, 
not used to imitate stone, 
but as a legitimate mode 
of ceiling, which it cer¬ 
tainly is, and for fanciful and gorgeous decorations perhaps preferable 
to more durable, but less manageable materials. 

The art resulting from such materials is, it is true, more ephemeral 
and must take a lower grade than that built up of materials that should 
last for ever; but such was not the aim of the gay and brilliant Moors, 
and we must judgo them by their own standard, and by their success 
in attaining the object they aimed at. 

In San Cristo the walls are sufficiently solid and plain, and on the 
whole the forms and decorations are judiciously and skilfully applied 
to attain the requisite height without raising the columns or giving any 
appearance of forced contrivances for that purpose. In this respect it 
shows a considerable advance on the design of the older part of the 
mosque at Cordoba, than which it is probably at least a century more 


but it does not show that completeness which the 
in the 10th century, when the sanctuary at Cordoba 

These four buildings marie four very distinct stages in the history 
of the art—the early mosque at Cordoba being the first, the San Cristo 
do la Luz the second; the third and most perfect is well represented 
by all the building at the southern end of the mosque at Cordoba ; and 
the fourth by Sta. Maria la Blanca, where all trace of L’oman and Byzan¬ 
tine art has wholly disappeared. A fifth stage is represented by another 
synagogue at Toledo called El Transitu: but this is so essentially 
merely a gorgeously ornamented room that it hardly deserves to be 
classed among monumental buildings; besides which this stage is so 
well illustrated in the palaces of Seville and Granada that it is not 
necessary to dwell on minor examples. Had the great mosques of 
Seville, Toledo, or Granada been spared to us, it would perhaps have 
been easier and better to restrict our illustrations to sacred edifices 
alone; but they—at least certainly the two first named—have wholly 
disappeared to make way for the splendid cathedrals which stand where 
they once stood, and which have obliterated nearly every trace of their 
previous existence. In the northern cities the national pride and stern 
bigotry of the Spaniards have long ago effaced all traces of this religion. 

The Gnu loa at Seville. 

None of the mosques we have been describing possess minarets, 
nor is there anything in Spain to replace the aspiring forms of the 
East except the Giralda at Seville. This is a more 1 massive tower than 
is, I believe, to be found anywhere else as the work of a Moslem archi¬ 
tect. At the base it is a square of about 4<3 ft., and rises without 
diminution to the height of 185 ft. from the ground; to this a belfry 
was added in 1568 by Ferdinand Kiaz, making it 90 ft. higher; and 
unfortunately we have nothing to enable us to restore with certainty 
the Saracenic termination which must have been displaced to make 
room for this addition. In the annexed woodcut (No. 937) it is repre¬ 
sented as restored by Gintuit de Prangey, and from a comparison 
with the towers of Fez and Morocco, erected by the same king, it is 
more than probable it was thus terminated originally. It is difficult 
nevertheless to reconcile oneself to the idea that the upper part 
was not something more beautiful and more in accordance with the 
base. In the East the Mahomedan architects would certainly have 
done something better; but here, from the want of familiarity with 
tower-architecture, and from the want of any circular or domical 
forms for the termination of towers or sky-lines, this inartistic 
form may have been adopted. The lower part is certainly much more 

2 jd 2 



relieved with panels to just such an exfl 
is required for ornament without iuteri! 
with the construction or apparent solidity of 
the tower, while the windows are graceful 
and appropriate, and in such number as 
seems required. In this respect it contrasts 
pleasingly with tho contemporary Campanile 
at Venice, which, though very nearly of the 
same dimensions, is lean and bald compared 
with this tower at Seville. So indeed are 
most of the Italian towers of the same age. 
All these towers seem to have been erected 
for very analogous purposes, for the Giralda 
can. never have been meant as the minaret 
of a mosque, to be used for the call to prayer; 
nor can we admit the destination sometimes 
ascribed to it by those who surmise that it 
have been merely meant for an obser¬ 
vatory. Most probably it was a pillar of 
victory, or a tower symbolical of dominion 
and power, like many others we have had 
occasion to allude to in the previous pages 
of this work. Indeed the tradition is that 
it was built by King Yousouf to celebrate 
his famous victory of Alarcos, gained in 
the year 1195, in which year its con¬ 
struction was commenced. As such it is 

Giratda, Seville. From a Drawing superior to most of those erected in Europe 
by Uirault de Prangey. r , . 

in the middle ages, but far inferior, except 
in size, to the Kootuh Miliar, and many others still found in various 
parts of Asia. 

The Alcazar at Seville. 

The Alcazar! at Seville was an older palace, and perhaps also at 
one time a more magnificent one than the Alhambra itself. Hence it 
would he a most interesting example of the Mahomedan style, were it 
not that it has been much dilapidated in subsequent ages, and its cha¬ 
racter destroyed by alterations and so-called improvements after it fell 
into the hands of the Christians. It is more than probable that the 
best parts of it belong to the same age as the Giralda —the end of the 
12th and beginning of the 13th century—and that it continued to 
receive additions till the city was taken by the Christians in 1248. A 
careful examination of the building by some one intimate with all the 

I Alcazar — el-Kasr, “the Castle.' 

lifirities of the style might distinguish the ancient parts fr°\CST 
• Christian additions, especially those perpetrated by Don 
3ruel (1353-1364), who, in an inscription on the walls, claims the 
merit of having rebuilt it. Thus the history of this palace is not of 
much importance, since it is not so much older than the Alhambra as 
to mark another style, nor so complete as to enable us to judge of the 
effect of the art as perfectly as we can in that celebrated palace. 

The Alhambra. 

It was after his expulsion from Seville (1248) that Mohammed ben 
Alhamar commenced the present citadel of the Alhambra, at which 
both he and his successors worked continually till the end of the 13th 
century. It does not appear that any of the more important buildings 
now found there were erected by these monarchs. From the acces¬ 
sion of Abou-el-Walid (1309) to the death of Yousouf (1354) the works 
of the present palace seem to have been carried on uninteruptedly, 
and it is to this half-century that we must refer all the essential parts 
of the palace now found in the citadel. 

As will be seen from the annexed plan, it consists principally of 
two oblong courts; the richest and most beautiful, that of the Lions 
(a a), running cast and west, was built by Abou Abdallah (1325- 
1333). The other, the court of the Alberca (b b), at right angles to the 
former, is plainer and probably earlier. Restorers generally add a third 
court, corresponding with that of the Lions, which, they sav was 
v removed to allow of the erection of the palace of Charles Y. (x x), which 
now protrudes its formal mass most unpleasingly among the light and 
airy constructions of the Moors. My own impression is that, if any 
thing did stand here, it was the mosque, which we miss, although we 
know that it existed, and tradition points to this side as its locality, 
though it certainly was not the apartment at that angle which now 
goes by that name. It must, like all Spanish mosques, have faced the 
south, and was most probably destroyed by the first Christian con¬ 
querors of Granada. Indeed it is not unlikely that the Christian 
palace above mentioned, which stands strangely unsymmetrically with 
the other buildings, follows the lines of the old mosque. This could 
be in great measure determined if we could rely upon the bearings 
of the different courts and buildings as given in the plans hitherto 

The principal entrance to the Alhambra seems always to have been 
at the southern end of the court of the Alberca. This part does seem 
to have been altered or pulled down to make way for the j dace of 
Charles Y. The court was originally called, apparently bom the 
pool of water which always occupied its centre, El Birkel;. It is 
138 ft. long by 74 wide, the longer sides being singularly, and in 


S fflb&K rPTN H'AKUltl'i'KCT V 1 

The end to the south termini 

a § place ungracefully, plain. 

%Sh a/louble arcade of very beautiful design; and that to the 
witl>4 similar one, but only one storey in height, crowned by the tower 
enclosing the great Hall of the Ambassadors (c), to which the Court 
is practically an ante-room. This is an apartment 35 ft. square, and 

about 60 in height, roofed by a polygonal dome of great beauty ot 
design, and covered, like the walls, with arabesque patterns of the 
greatest beauty. One of its most charming peculiarities, however, is 
the deeply recessed windows, looking down on the city, and beyond 
that commanding a view of the delicious Vega, and the mountains that 
bound it. It is one of the most beautiful scenes in the world, of which 
the architect availed himself with the eye of a true artist, who knew' 
how to combine nature and art into a perfect whole. 


other court, called that of the Lions (a a), from tho beau|fcl 
niwn supported by twelve conventional-looking* animals so callj^T 
ira ^Maller (115 ft. by 66 from wall to wall), but far more beautiful and 
elaborate than the other; indeed, with the apartments that surround 
it, this is the gem of Arabian art in Spain—its most beautiful and 
most perfect example. 1 It has, however, two defects which take .it 
entirely out of tho range of monumental art: the first is its size, which 
is barely that of a modern parish church, and smaller than many ball¬ 
rooms ; the second its materials, which are only wood covered with 
stucco. In this respect the Alhambra forms a perfect contrast to such 
a building as the Hall at Karnac, or any of the greater monumental 
edifices of the ancient world, and, judged by the same standard, would 
be found lamentably deficient. But, in fact, no comparison is appli¬ 
cable between objects so totally different. Each is a true represen¬ 
tative of the feeling and character of the people by which it was 
raised. The Saracenic plaster hall would be totally out of place and 
contemptible beside the great temple-palace of Thebes. No less would 
the granite works of Egypt he considered monuments of ill-directed 
labour if placed in the palaces of the gay and luxurious Arab fatalist, 
to whom the present was everything, and the enjoyment of the passing 
hour all in all. 

The shafts of the pillars that surround tho Court of Lions are far 
from being graceful in themselves, being more like the cast-iron props 
used by modern engineers than anything else. Their capitals, however, 
are very gracefully moulded, and of a form admirably adapted for the 
support of the superstructure they were destined to hear, and the 
pillars themselves are so gracefully grouped, alternately single and 
coupled, and their alignment is so completely broken by the project¬ 
ing portico at each end, that they cease to be prominent objects in 
themselves, and become mere accessory details. The arcades which 
they support are moulded in stucco with a richness and beauty of 
ornament that is unrivalled. There is in this no offeuce to good 
taste: indeed work executed in plaster ought to* be richly decorated, 
otherwise it is an unsuccessful attempt to imitate the simplicity and 
power that belongs to more durable and more solid materials. It 
should therefore always he covered with ornament, which was never 
elaborated with more taste and consistence than here. 

At tho upper end of this court is an oblong ball, called that of 
Judgment (d), and on either side two smaller rooms, that “ of the Aben- 
cerrages ” (e) on the south, and that called “ of the Two Sisters ” (f) 
opposite, the latter being the most varied and elegant apartment of the 

1 A perfect V>py of this Court was re- j slightly curtailed in plan, every detail 
produced by Mr. Owen Jones at the : and every dimension is identical with the 
Crystal' Palace in 1854. Except being original. 


palace. The walls of all these are ornamented with geol 
wing patterns of very great beauty and richness, and apjk 
unexceptionable taste for such a decoration; but it is in the 
roofs and larger arcades that the fatal facility of plaster becomes most 
apparent. Instead of the simple curves of the dome, the roofs are 
made up of honeycombed or stalactite patterns, which look more like 
natural rock-work than the forms of an art, which should be always 
more or less formal and comprehensible at a glance, at least in its 
greater lines and divisions. There is perhaps no instance where a 
Saracenic architect has so nearly approached the limits of good taste 
as here, and it requires all the countervailing elements of situation, 
and comparison with other objects, to redeem it from the charge of 
having exceeded those limits. 

Behind the Hall of the Two Sisters, and on a lower level, are 
situated the baths (o)—beautiful in some respects, and appropriately 
adorned, but scarcely worthy of such a palace. 

Besides the edifices mentioned above, there is scarcely a town in 
Spain, once occupied by the Moors, that does not retain some traces 
of their art. These traces, however, are generally found in the remains 
of baths, which from their nature were more solidly built than other 
edifices, and were generally vaulted with bricks—frequently with 
octagonal domes supported on twelve pillars, as those in the East. 
These in consequence have survived, while the frailer palaces of the 
same builders have yielded to the influence of time, and their mosques 
have disappeared before the ruthless bigotry of their successors. Kone 
of the baths, however, seem to be of sufficient importance to require 

In Spain we entirely miss the tombs which form so remarkable a 
feature of Saracenic architecture, wherever any Turanian blood flows 
in the veins of the people. The Moors of Spain seem to have been 
of purely Semitic race, either importations from Arabia or the descend¬ 
ants of the old Phoenician settlers on the southern coast; and among 
them, of course, it would be absurd to look for any indications of 
sepulchral magnificence. 

If the Moors of Spain had practised tomb-building to as great an 
extent as some of their brethren further east, this circumstance 
would, in all probability, have given a more monumental character to 
their stylo of architecture. True domes would certainly have been 
introduced and applied, not only to their mosques but to their palaces, 
and with them all those beautiful arrangements which we find as the 
invariable accompaniments of domes in the East. 

Be this as it may, it is on the whole perhaps fortunate that we 
possess in Spain a form of Saracenic art from which all feeling of 
solemnity, and all aspirations for the future, are wholly banished. 

Ml UlST/fy 


to style of architecture is so essentially impressed with the felljys 
mat tlie enjoyment of the hour is all that should be eared for. btjJ 
_eohi<5quently the gayest, but it is also the most ephemeral, of all the 
styles of architecture with which we are acquainted. 1 

1 Nothing need be said hero of La Cuba 
and La Ziza, and other buildings in Sicily, 
which, though usually ascribed to the 
Moors, are now ascertained to have been 
built by the Normans after their con¬ 
quest of the island in the 11th century. 
They are Moorish in style, it is true, and 
were probably erected by Moorish artists, 
but so were many churches and chapels 

in Spain, os mentioned above; and I am 
not aware of any building now extant 
there which can be safely ascribed to the 
■time when the island was held by the 
• Moslems, or was then erected by them 
for their own purposes. Till that is as¬ 
certained, Sicily of course does not come 
within the part of our subject which we 
are now considering. 

MIN isr^ 


T IT K K E Y. 


Mosques of Maliomel II. — Suleimanie and Ahraedjie Mosques—Mosques of Sultanas 
Vulide, and of Osman lit,—Civil and Domestic Architecture, Fountains, &c. 


Conquest of Constantinople by Maho- j Mahomet III. % . . . a.d. 1695 

met II .. a. n. 1453 Ahmed I.. 1603 

Bfijaz-t II. . •. 1481 I Amurath IV . 1623 

Selim 1. 1512 j Mahomet IV. 1649 

Suleiman II., the Magnificent . . 1520 Suleiman III. 1687 

Selim H. 1566 Ahmed III. 1703 

Amurath III. 1574 J Mabmood 1. 1730 

The latter half of the 1 5th century -witnessed some strange vicissitudes 
in the fate of the Mahomedan fai th in Europe. In 1492 Granada was 
conquered, and the Moors expelled from the country which they had 
so long adorned by their arts, and rendered illustrious by their culti¬ 
vation of the sciences. Of all the races who, at various times, have 
adopted the faith of Islam, the Spanish Moors seem to have been 
among the most enlightened and industrious, and the most capable of 
retaining permanently the civilization they had acquired. They have 
made way for a people less progressive and more bigotted than any 
other population in Europe. 

Before, however, this misfortune happened in the West, the fairest 
oity of the Christian world, and its most fertile provinces, had fallen a 
prey to the most barbarous horde of all those who had adopted the 
Mahomedan religion. For two centuries the Turks had gradually been 
progressing westward from their original seats in Central Asia, and at 
last, in 1453, Constantinople itself fell into their power, and for more 
than a century after this, the fate of Europe trembled in the balance. 
The failure of the siege of Vienna (1683) turned the tide. Since that 
time the Christians have slowly and surely been recovering their 
lost ground ; but the Crescent still surmounts the dome of Sta. Sophia. 

Had the Turks obtained possession of Constantinople at an earlier 
date, it is possiblo that their architecture might have taken a different 
form from that in which we now find it. But before that event 
the foundation * of St, Peter’s at Borne had already been laid. The 

. v. TimKKy;... . 

piples of art were already losing their hold on the architeol 
revolution was taking place, and though this would hardly fl 
so far east as the Bosphorus, or materially influence strangers 
like the Turks, still it must have had some influence, and modified their 
style to some extent. Be this as it may, we are struck at Constantinople 
with the same phenomenon which meets us everywhere, in the Malio- 
medan world. Wherever the various nationalities settled who had 
embraced that faith, they at once adopted the architectural forms of 
their now country, and set to work to mould and modify them, so 
as to bring them more into conformity with their special require¬ 
ments. Nowhere do they seem to have brought their style with 
them, or thought of forcing that on their now subjects. In this 
they wero wise; and it is what probably all nations would do 
who had any true knowledge of art, or any true feeling for its 
purposes. In nine cases out of ten the original people of a coun¬ 
try find out the arrangements most suited to their climate, and 
the forms of construction best adapted to the materials which are 
available; and to attempt to substitute for these, forms suited to 
other climates and another class of materials, is what only an Aryan 
would think of doing. The Turks, though barbarous, belonged to one 
of the great building races of the world ; and so soon as they entered 
Constantinople, set to work vigorously to vindicate the characteristics 
of the family. 

Besides appropriating seven or eight of the principal churches of 
the city—with Sta. Sophia at the head of the list—-to the new worship, 
Mahomet II. founded six or seven new mosques, some of them of great 
magnificence. The chief of these is that which still bears his name, 
and crowns the highest of the seven hills on which the city stands. 
To make way for it, he pulled down the Church of the Apostles, which 
had been the burying-place of the Christian emperors apparently since 
the time of Constantine, and was consequently an edifice of consider¬ 
able magnificence. It had, however, been plundered by the Latin 
barbarians, who sacked the city some time before the Moslems, and 
it was also so crippled by earthquakes as to be in a dangerous state. 
Tn order to effect his purpose, Mahomet employed Christodulos, a 
Christian resident in Constantinople, to erect on the spot a mosque, 
which he intended should surpass all others in his empire. How 
far he was successful we have now little means of judging. An 
earthquake in 1763 so completely rained this mosque that the repairs 
amounted almost to a rebuilding ; and as these were carried out with 
tho quasi-Italian details of the latter half of the 18th century, its 
present appearance probably conveys very little idea either of the form 
or of tho magnificence of the original building. Enough of its form, 
however, still remains to tell us that, like all Turkish mosques, it 
was a copy of Sta. Sophia. There is, indeed, nothing in the style we 

Taut Ill. 


speaking of so remarkable as the admiration which that 
of the Christians excited in the minds of its Moslem posses^ 
3Iefe are in or about Constantinople at least 100 mosques, erected 
in the four centuries during which the Turks have possessed that city. 
Not one of these is a pillared court, like those of Egypt or Syria, nor an 
arcaded square, like those of Persia or India —none are even extended 
basilicas, like those of Barbary or Spain. All are copies, more or less 
modified, of Sta. Sophia; and many of the modifications are no doubt 
improvements; hut none are erected with the same dimensions, none 
possess the same wonderful richness of decoration, or approach the 
poetry of design, of their prototype. In all that constitutes greatness 
in architectural art, the Christian Church still stands unrivalled. 
N 9 one who has stood beneath the dome of Shi. Sophia will 
hesitate to admit that the Turks were perfectly justified in their 
admiration of Justinian’s great creation; hut the curious thing is, that 
no Christian ever appreciated its beauties. When, after the troubles 
of the 7 th and 8 th centuries, the Greeks again took to building 
churches, it was such as Sta. Irene, or the Theotokos, churches like 
those at Pitzounda or Ani, or those of Greece or Mount Athos. Not 
one single direct copy of Sta,. Sophia by Christian hands exists, so far 
as is known, in the whole world. But the Turk saw and seized its 
beauties at a glance; and, by constancy to his first affection, saved 
his architecture from the utter feebleness which has characterized that 
of Western Europo during the four centuries in which he has been 
encamped on this side of the Bosphorus. 

Among the other mosques built by Mahomet II., the most sacred is 
that of Evub, the standard-bearer of the Prophet, whose body is said 
to have been found on the site ot the mosque. Plans and drawings 
of this mosque might easily have been obtained while our armies 
occupied Constantinople during the Crimean war; hut the opportunity 
was neglected, and all we have to depend upon is an eye-sketch by 
Aly Bey . 1 As the mosque in which each Sultan on his accession is 
girt with the sacred sword, and as the most holy in the empire, it 
interesting to know more, hut we must wait. 

The mosque of Bayazid, 1407-1505, is of the usual type, but not 
characterized by any extraordinary magnificence. That of Selim I., 
1520-1526, has the character of possessing the largest dome of any 
mosque in the city. I am not aware that it was evei measured, and 
it does not leave that impression on the eye; but the building is remark¬ 
able for the simplicity of its design, and the general propriety of its 

1 Plate Ixxxii. 


Sul kim an i ic. 

these were, however, surpassed by that which was erected by 
Suleiman the Magnificent, between the years 1550-1555. It is still quite 
perfect in all its con¬ 
structive parts, and 
little altered in detail; 
and as there is every 
reason to suppose that 
it equalled, or even 
surpassed, all others 
of its class, if it be il¬ 
lustrated the rest will 
be easily understood. 

As will be seen from 
the plan, 1 the mosque 
itself is nearly square, 

225 ft. by 205 over all 
externally, and cover¬ 
ing between 45,000 
and 40,000 sq. ft. In 
front is a forecourt, 150 
ft. by 190 internally, 
surrounded by an ar¬ 
cade on all sides, and 
containing the foun¬ 
tains, which are the in¬ 
dispensable accompa¬ 
niment of all mosques. 

Behind is the “ gar¬ 
den” containing the 
tomb of the founder 
and those of his fa¬ 
vourite wife and other 
members of the fami¬ 
ly. All this, properly 
speaking, is one design 

1 For the plan and sec¬ 
tion of this mosque I am 
indebted to the kindness 
of my friend M. 0. Texier, 
who placed his MS. plans 
at my disposal for the pur¬ 
pose of being engraved for 
this work. 

939. Plan of Suleimanic Mosque. By Texier. Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

'PtmK i; i. 

building; and all these parts are requisite to complete 
iment of a great Imperial mosque. 

nally the construction rests on four great piers of pleasing 
and appropriate design; and the screen of windows on each side, 
under the great lateral arches of the dome, is borne by four mono¬ 
lithic shafts of porphyry of great beauty. Tlioso formerly supported 
statues in the hippodrome, and most probably were brought origin¬ 
ally from Egypt. Each is 28 ft. in height, or, with the base and 
capital, 35 ft. The dome itself is 86 ft. in diameter internally, and 
15(3 ft. in height. This seems a better proportion than that of Sta. 
Sophia, though the dimensions are so much less that it has not, of 

View of Suleiininie Mosqu*. From a Photograph by Bedford. 

course, the same grandeur of effect. At Sta. Sophia the dome is 108 
ft. in diameter, and 175 ft. in height, or 21 and 10 ft. more respec¬ 
tively. These smaller dimensions, as well as the absence in the 
mosque of all the mosaic magnificence of the church, and the pre¬ 
sence of a good deal of modern vulgarity, renders it extremely diffi¬ 
cult to institute any fair comparison between the two buildings. On 
the whole, it may, perhaps, be said with truth, that the mosque is more 
perfect mechanically than the church, that the constructive parts are 
better disposed and better proportioned; but, that for artistic effect 
and poetry of design, the church still far surpasses its rival, in so far 
at least as the interior is concerned. 

oimAtJij in i c‘ , v n‘^ni i lujTCJ)I&. 

I’AHT ill. 

ornally the mosque suffers, like all the buildings of the c^ 

'the badness of the materials with which it is constructed.^ 

7 are covered with stucco, its dome with lead, and all the sloping 
'abutments of the dome, though built with masonry, have also to he 
protected by a metal covering. This, no doubt, detracts from the 
effect; but still the whole is so massive—every window, every dome, 
every projection, is so truthful, and tells so exactly the purpose for 
which it was placed where we find it, that the general result is most 
satisfactory, and, with one-half the expense of adornment requisite for 
a Gothic building, as impressive an external effect has been produced. 

The tomb of the founder, which stands in the garden behind, 
avoids these defects. It is built in marble of various colours, and 
every detail is most carefully elaborated. It is too small—only 46 ft. 
in diameter externally—to produce any grandeur of effect; but it suf¬ 
fices to show that the architects of those days were quite competent to 
produce satisfactory designs for the exteriors of their buildings, if they 
had found appropriate materials in which to execute them. 

Next in importance to the Suleimanie, among the Imperial mosques 
of Constantinople, is that which the Sultan Ahmed commenced a.t>. 
1608. The mosque itself is in plan somewhat larger than the preced¬ 
ing, measuring 235 ft. by 210, and covering nearly 50,000 sq. ft.; but it 
is inferior both in design and in the richness or taste of its decorations. 
As will bo seen from the plan (woodcut No. 942), it deviates still 
further than the Suleimanie from the design of Sta. Sophia; and 
in the exact ratio in which it diverges from that type, does it fail in 
producing an artistic effect. Its great defect is, that it is too mechani¬ 
cally regular. In the nave of Sta. Sophia the porportion of length 
to breadth is practically as two-and-a-half to one. In the Suleimanie 
it is nearly two to one, but the Ahmedjie is absolutely square. With¬ 
out asking for the extreme difference between length and breadth 
which prevails in Gothic cathedrals, a design must have sides, there 
must bo some point towards which the effect tends. Jn this mosque, 
as in the Pantheon at Pome, if the plan were divided into quarters, 
each of the four quadrants would bo found to be identical, and the 
effect is consequently painfully mechanical and prosaic. The design 
of each wall is also nearly the same; they have the same number of 
windows spaced in the same manner, and the side of the Kibleh is 
scarcely more richly decorated than the others. Add to this, that all 
the windows are glazed with white glass, and that, above the marble 
wainscoating, whitewash has been unsparingly employed, and it will 
be easy to understand how the mosque fails in producing the effect 
which might fairly be expected from its dimensions and the general 
features of its design. Still, a hall nearly 200 ft. square, with a stone 
roof supported by only four great fluted piers, is a grand and imposing 

. rtrmxrrrr 

and has very narrowly missed producing the effect its bul 
iming at. 

external effect is more pleasing than the internal; the 
in which the smaller domes and semi-domes lead up to the 
centre produces a pyramidal effect that gives a very pleasing air of 
stability to the outline, and the six tall minarets go far to relieve what 
Otherwise might be monotonous. It is said that this is the only 
mosque in the Moslem 

world which has so 
many of these grace¬ 
ful adjuncts, except 
the mosque at Mecca, 
which has seven. The 
Suleimanie and Sta. 
Sophia have four; most 
of the others two, and 
some only one; but, 
whatever their num¬ 
ber, the form of all is 
nearly identical with 
those of the Suleimanie 
(-woodcut No. 941). 
They are graceful, no 
doubt, bu t i nfini tely 
inferior to those of 
Cairo, or, indeed, of 
any country where 
this form of tower was 
long employed. We 
do not know whence 
the Turks first got this 
form, and it is very 
difficult to under¬ 
stand why they perse¬ 
vered so long in ad¬ 
hering to it, after so 
many other more beau- 

/ "\ 




1 ' 




• ^ 


f ^ 

v. J 






~v~4f -—>tg m 


eiL’..'. jc:i ~Ji.rj.ii 

ljo.o.o.oTc fao.o (qi 

942. Plan of Ahmedjie Mosque. By Texler. Settle 100 ft. to l in. 

tiiul forms had been introduced among their co-religionistis in other 
countries. But so it is; and everywhere its tall extinguisher roof is 
one of the first objeots tliat warns the traveller that ho has passed 
within the boundaries of the Turkish Empire. 

Though very much smaller than those just described, that known 
as the Prince’s Mosque is one of the most pleasing in Constantinople 
It was erected in 1548, by order of Sultan Suleiman, by the same ar¬ 
chitect— Sinan—who designed the great mosque, and who seems to have 
vou ii. o K 

*.n.x-xvizr<?x.yx**x'&‘- Jti.**'^*?*-* 'XA*u\y?c:'vy , xVKnt'~ 

' great architect of the reign of that magnificent mot 
halier mosque was erected in memory of his son Mahorl 
7 . place of burial for him ; and another of his sons--Mustam= 
was also laid by his side. In accordance with this destination, this 
mosque bore a more solemn and gloomier aspect than the great 
mosques of the city. Their principal defect is the glare introduced 
through their numerous scattered windows, a defect which in this 
mosque is remedied with the most satisfactory results. 

There are three imperial mosques in the city erected by Sultanas, 
and all bearing the name of Yalidt*, which has given rise to some 
confusion in describing them. The most important of them is 
that at the end of the bridge of boats near the harbour, known as the 
“ Mosque at the Garden Gates.” It is somewhat late in date (1665), 
and has been a good deal whitewashed and otherwise disfigured; 
but on the whole it is of more artistic design than that of Ahmed, and, 
when fresh, must have been, for its size, as pleasing as any of the 
mosques in the city. 

The Turks adhered so long to this form, and repeated it over and 
over again with so little variation that it is extremely difficult 
to draw a line between what may be said to belong to the middle 
ages, and what to modern times. As late, for instance, as 1755 the 
Sultan Osman III. erected a mosque in the Bazaar, which, externally, 
is as pleasing as any of those in the city, and it requires a very keen 
eye to detect anything which would indicate that it is more modern 
than those of the age of Suleiman. It has this peculiarity, however, 
that there are no semi-domes, and the light is introduced through screens 
under all the four great arches of the central dome. In another locality 
the effect might he pleasing, but in the latitude of Constantinople the 
result is a glare of light which aggravates the usual defect of these 
designs. Even the Turks seem to feel this, as the mosque is generally 
known by the name of Nur Osmanlie, or Lantern of Osman, a desig¬ 
nation which too correctly describes its leading characteristics. 

Civil and Domestic Architecture. 

As about one-tenth part of Constantinople is burnt down every 
year, and the flames visit each quarter in tolerably regular succession, 
it would be in vain to look for anything worthy of the name of 
architecture amoug the temporary wooden structures dignified by 
the name of the “palaces” of the nobles. Partly from the jealousy 
of the Government, or partly, it may be, because the Turks have 
never felt quite secure in their European possessions, they nevei seem 
to have affected anything of a permanent character in their dwel¬ 
lings. It might, however, he expected that in the palace of the 
Sultan something better would be found; but there are few things 

^appointing than a visit to the Seraglio. In situation 
led, and it has been the habitation of powerful and luxurT^^ 
?igns for more than fifteen centuries, yet it contains nothing 
worthy of admiration, and hardly anything that is even 
interesting from its associations. There is nothing within the in- 
closure which will stand comparison oven with the plaster glories 
of the Alhambra; and the contemporary palaces of Persia, or of 
Delhi and Agra, surpass it to such an extent as to render com¬ 
parison impossible. 

There is one pavilion, the walls of which are covered with 
Persian tiles, which is pleasing, both from its form and the mode of 
decoration. Besides this, the various halls being each separate build¬ 
ings and grouped without formality together, the effect of the whole 
is picturesque, though neither as parts nor as a whole have they 
any architectural merit. 

Among tho minor objects of architectural art none are more 
pleasing than the fountains which frequently adorn the public places 
in the provincial cities as well as in the capital; though their outline 
is by no means remarkable for beauty. They are generally a square 
block with a niche on each face, from a spout in which the water 
flows. The whole is crowned by a veiy deep cornice constructed in 
wood, but w ithout any brackets or apparent means of support, w 7 hich 
true architectural taste so inevitably demands. Their beauty, in 
consequence, depends almost wholly on their ornamentation. That, 
however, is of the most elaborate character, and not only pleasing 
in form, but rich in colour • of the same character, in fact, as that 
of the Alhambra, and pleasing from the same cause, in spite of defects 
in form. 

It is probable that if the country towns, especially on the Asiatic 
side of the Bosphorus, were examined with care, examples might be 
found of domestic architecture exhibiting more care, and of a more 
permanent character than any in the capital. The true Turk evi¬ 
dently loves art, and has an instinctive appreciation of the harmonies 
of colour — probably, also, of form, and if allow r ed an opportunity, would 
have produced much that is beautiful in architecture. The blood 
of the various races who inhabit the capital must, however, be very 
much mixed, and various other circumstances militate against any 
great development in that quarter. The subject seems worthy of more 
investigation than has hitherto been bestowed upon it, but the first 
appearance of the Turks among civilized nations was only as warriors 
pushing forward and fighting. When at last they settled on the chores 
of the Bosphorus it was at an age too late for much true architectural 
development in Europe. On the whole, we ought therefore rather to 

2 e 2 

crxxivaco iwsrx«r*jmiu x ix romr w r 

ised that they did so much, than seek to know why the; 
dmplish .more. Sinan and Michel Angelo were emplo] 
aeously in erecting the two great religious edifices of their aj 
Se two old capitals of the Christian world. The mosque at Con¬ 
stantinople is less than one-fourth the size of St. Peter’s at Pome, but 
notwithstanding its comparatively small dimensions, it is far better 
in design and a much more impressive building than its gigantic 
-Christian rival. If the mosque had heen constructed with better 
materials, and with somewhat increased dimensions, it would have 
stood a comparison with any building of its class; and even as it is, 
most be considered as one of the most successful designs of modern 

pppSTlT. WTROmWOliT.. 





The architectural history of the province of Persia , 1 during tho last two 
thousand years, is perhaps more meagre and less satisfactory than that 
of any other country wo are acquainted with which possessed tho same 
amount of civilization and an equal share of material prosperity during 
so long a period. A good deal of this is, no doubt, owing to the circum¬ 
stance that the principal cities wore built on the plains, where stone 
was not available as a building material. Seleucia, Ctesiphon, Modain, 
and Bagdad were all cities of brick, and in that country there is not 
fuel enough to burn the bricks properly, nor timber of such a character 
as to form roofs of a nature to protect permanently the frail walls 
which support thorn. This, however, is far from being a sufficient 
cause to account for the almost total absence of buildings during a 
great portion of the time included in this chapter. Persia Proper is a 
stony country, full of building materials of the best class, and such 
cities as Nisibin, Mardin, or Diarbokr, were built at the root of hills 
where both stone and wood were abundant. 

More must probably be ascribed to the character of tho inhabitants. 
So long as the Persian blood was pure, they were too essentially 
of Aryan stock for us to expect much building magnificence among 
them. It is true, of course, that the Aehaanenians built splendid 
palaces at Susa and Persepolis; but they were then a small caste 



a people of Turanian or Semitic origin, who wer< 

,. jl& of Nineveh and Babylon, and the new dynasty naturally 
iwynth the habits of their subjects and pandered to their tastes and 
feelings. When they were struck down by Alexander, the old history 
came to an end and the old arts disappeared from the Mesopotamian 
world. The Seleucidse built nothing that has come to our knowledge. 
The Parthians have left no material traces of their existence. The 
'Sassanians have left the remains of some palaces of no great extent, 
and not remarkable for any beauty of style. \V r e know little—very 
little—of the architecture of the Caliphs. Even Haroon el-Eashid has 
left no mark on the face of the country -which he rendered so illustrious 
by his magnificence. It is not till the 11th or 12tli centuries that 
Tartar hordes began to overflow their boundaries on the north and to_ 
settle on the fertile plains of the south in sufficient numbers to make 
their influence felt. Wo then find mosques and public buildings rising 
on all sides, gay with every sort of polychromatic decoration, and every¬ 
where crowned with the bulbous dome that, from Moscow to Delhi, 
marks the presence of the race. 

From the 12th century onwards sufficient materials exist to trace 
the progress of the style, and the monuments have been illustrated and 

published in quite sufficient detail to enable this to he done to almost 
any extent that might he desired ; but in a general history of archi¬ 
tecture the Saracenic art of Persia docs not rank high. It has 
neither the ptM-fection of detail which characterises that of Egypt, nor 
the variety and poetry of that of India, nor even the grandeur of aspi¬ 
ration that marks the mosques of Constantinople. Still, it is interest¬ 
ing for the beauty of its colours and the elegance of many of the 
forms employed; and a knowledge of it is indispensable to connect 
the styles which the Mahomedans elaborated in the West with those 
which they introduced into the countries east of the Indus. 


Historical notice 




Palaces of Diarbekr and A1 Hadhr — Domes 
Firouznbad — Talc Kcsra, 

— Serbistan — 


Anlcshir or Artaxerxes establishes Sas- 

sanian dynasty .a.d. 226 

A1 Hadhr built (about). 250 

Ti rf dates. 286-342 

Serbistau (about). 350 

Bahrain (Jour begins to reign .... a.d. 420 

Firouzabad (about) . . ^. 450 

Khosru Nushirvan begins to reign . . 631 

builds palace at Ctesiphon (about) . 550 

Conquest of Persia by Arabs .... 641 

After a hiatus of nearly six centuries, during which no building now 
known to exist can be quoted, we again begin to feel that-dUe art had. 
not entirely perished in the populous countries of Qentral Asia; but 
even then our history recommences so timidly and with buildings of 
such uncertain dates as to be very far from satisfactory. 

Plan of Palace at Al Hadhr. From a Sketch by Mr. Layard. Scale 100 ft. to 1 In. 

One of the oldest buildings known as belonging to the new school is 
the palace of Al-Hadhr, situated in the plain, about thirty miles from 
the Tigris, nearly west from the ruins of Kaleh Shergat. 

The city itself is circular in plan, nearly an English mile in 


in u kk 


and surrounded by a, stone wall with towers at inte: 
litre of which stands a walled enclosure, nearly square in p 
alwjfiVfOO ft. by 800. This is again subdivided into an outer and inner 
court by a wall across its centre. The outer court is unencumbered 
by buildings, the inner nearly filled with them. The principal of 
these is that represented in plan on woodcut No. 943. It consists 
of three large and four smaller halls placed side by side, with various 
smaller apartments in the rear. All these halls are roofed by semi¬ 
circular tunnel-vaults, without ribs or other ornament, and they are 
all entirely open in front, all the light and air being admitted from 
the one end. 

There can bo very little doubt that these halls are copies, or in¬ 
tended to bo so, of the halls of the old Assyrian palaces ; but. that 
strange mania for vaulted roofs which seized on all the nations of the 
East as well as on those of the West during the middle ages led the 
architect on to a new class of arrangements, which renders the resem¬ 
blance by no means apparent at first sight.. 

The old halls had almost invariably their entrances on the longer 
side; but with a vault this would have required immense abutments; 

and without in¬ 
tersecting vaults, 
which had not 
then come into 
general use, would 
oven in that case 
have been difficult. 

The most obvi¬ 
ous mode of meet¬ 
ing the difficulty 



Jphn'it. ',^1. -,Ji~ 

I'fflj. Ty; V i: i'iPj T ] ‘JdV 

944. Elevation of part of the Palace at Al Hadhr. Scab 50 ft. to 1 in. 

was that adopted here of using the halls as abutments the one to other, 
like the arches of a bridge ; so that, if the two external arches were firm, 
all the rest were safe. This was provided for by making the outer halls 
smaller, as showu in the elevation (woodcut No. 944), or by strength¬ 
ening the outer wall. But even then the architect seems to have 
shrunk from weakening the intermediate walls by making too many 
openings in them. Those which do exist are small and infrequent.; 
so that there is generally only one entrance to each apartment, and 
that so narrow as to seem incongruous with the size of the room 

to which it leads. 

It is by no means clear to what use the square apartment in the 
rear, with the double wall, was applied. It may have been a temple, 
but more probably contained a stair or inclined plane leading to the 
roof or upper rooms, which almost certainly existed over the smaller 
halls at least. 

All the details of the building are copied from tlie Eoman—the 

TAI Nl$Tfj 

Vn.ur .~ ~~ ~ai:THQOJiTrr.— -- 

ts and pilasters almost literally,so, but still so rudely exeq 
ove that it was not done under the direct superintendence 
artist. This is even more evident with regard to the griffins 
find scroll-work, and the acanthus-leaves which ornament the capitals 
and friezes. The most peculiar ornament, however, is the range of 
masks carried round all the archivolts of the arches. The only 
thing known at all similar is the celebrated arch at Volterra 
with three masks; but here these are infinitely more numerous over 
all the arches, and form, in fact, the principal features of the deco¬ 


Even tradition is silent regarding the date of these remarkable 
ruins. The style of architecture, however, certainly points to a period 
anterior to the age of Constantine, but not so early as the time of 
Aurolian and the flourishing days of Palmyra. It is difficult, however, 
to speak at all confidently, as we are so entirely ignorant of the local 
circumstances of tho place at the time the buildings were erected; and 
local peculiarities often influence a style as much as the age in which 
it flourished. 

Another building which merits more attention than has hitherto 
been bestowed upon it is now used as the great mosque at Diarbekr. 
.Neither its history nor even its date is correctly known ; but judging 
from its style, in so far as it can be made out from such drawings as 
exist, it seems to belong to the age of Tiridates (28(3-342). The 
palace — for such it was originally—consists of an oblong court-yard, 
at either end of which is a building with open arcades in two storeys 
facing one another—as in the palace of the Ilebdomon at Constan¬ 
tinople — and between the two, lacing the entrance, is the fagade of a 
church standing on the east side of tho court. 1 

Tho principal of the two wing-buildings is represented on wood- 
cut No. 945. Tlie framework is of a debased lloman style of archi¬ 
tecture, very similar to parts of the buildings of Diocletian or Con¬ 
stantine at Spalatro or Jerusalem, but, being far removed from the 
influence of the capital, the details display a wildness which is not 
to be found in any contemporary" examples in Italy or the further 
west. The upper range of openings seem to be of the same date with 
the decorative details; but the lower range of arches look—if correctly 
drawn—so much more modern that one cannot help fancying they be¬ 
long to another age. Till, indeed, the building is examined by some 
competent person, it must remain doubtful whether what we now see is 
the re-erection of an older building of the date of the Cufic inscriptions 9 
which cover its walls, or whether all the essential parts are of the date 

1 For the principal part of tho informa¬ 
tion regarding this building I am indebted 
to M. C. Texier. He pi* Besses detailed 

drawings of every part, but they have 
never been published. 

2 These inscriptions were all copied by 

-"~ r 

assigned to it, and the pointed arches and inscriptions subsek 
s. The building is rich, and so interesting that it is to be h< 
history and peculiarities will before long bo investigated. 

With the accession of the Sassanians, a.l>. 223, Persia regained 
much of that power and stability to which she had been so long a 

Consul Taylor, and brought home to this 
country. I never could ienrn, however, 
that they were translated. I feel certain 

they were never published, and cannot 
find out what lias become of them. 


The capture of the Roman Emperor Valerian by tlie^jjm 
■ the race, a.d. 260, the conquest of Armenia and victories 
by the 7tli (206), and the exploits of the 14th, Bahrain Gaur, 
and his visit to India and alliance 'with its kings, all point to extended 
power abroad; while the improvement in the tine arts at home indi¬ 
cates returning prosperity and a degree of security unknown since the 
fall of the Achueinenidgp,. 

These kings seem to have been of native race, and claimed descent 
from the older dynasties ; at all events they restored the ancient reli¬ 
gion, and many of the habits and customs with which we are familiar 
as existing before the time of Alexander the Great. 

As before remarked, the fire-worship does not admit of temples, 
and we consequently miss that class of buildings which in all ages 
best illustrates the beauties of architecture; and it is only in a few 
scattered remains of palaces that we are able to trace the progress of 
the style. Such as they are, they indicate considerable originality and 
power, but at the same time point to a state of society when attention 
to security hardly allowed the architect the free exercise of the more 
delicate ornaments of his art. 

The Sassanians took up the style where it was left by the builders 
of A1 lladhr, but wo only find it after a long interval of time, during 
which changes had taken place which altered it to a considerable 
extent, and made it in fact into a new and complete style. 

They retained the great tunnel-like halls of Ai lladhr, hut only as 
entrances. They cut bold arches through the dividing walls, so as to 
form them into lateral suites. But above all they learnt to place 
domes on the intersections of their halls, not resting on drums, but on 
pedentives, 1 and did not even attempt to bring down simulated lines of 
support to the ground. Besides all these constructive peculiarities, 
they lost all trace of Roman detail, and adopted a system of long reed- 
like pilasters, extending from the ground to the cornice, below which 
they were joined by small semicircular arches. They in short adopted 
all the peculiarities which are found in the Byzantine style as carried 
out at a later age in Armenia and the East. YVe must know more of 
this style, and be able to ascribe authentic dates to such examples as 
we are acquainted with, before we can decide whether the Sassanians 
borrowed the style from the Eastern Romans; or whether they them¬ 
selves were in fact the inventors from whom the architects of the 
more western nations took the hints which they afterwards so much 
improved upon. 

The various steps by which the Romans advanced from the eon- 

1 These are expedients for filling up an angle. Examples of thorn have been 
the corners of square lower storeys on given in speaking of Byzantine arcliitec- 
which it is intended to place a circular lure, and others will be found iu the 
superstructure. They somewhat resemble chapter on Mahomedan Architecture in 
very large brackets or corbels placed in India, further on. 


■t.-T'zxznjrrx* rnstt '/i norai i clo i DltPj. 

»n of buildings like the Pantheon to that of the c)niJ 
•Ilia at Constantinople are so consecutive and so easily trac3 
be intelligible in themselves without the necessity of seeking 
any foreign element which may have affected them. If it really 
was so, and the architecture of Constantinople was not influenced from 
the East, we must admit that the Sassanian was an independent and 
simultaneous invention, possessing characteristics well worthy of study. 
It is quite certain too that this stylo had a direct influence on the 
Christian and Moslem styles of Asia, which exhibit many features not 
deriveable from any of the more west era styles. 

A few examples will render this clearer than it can be made in 
words. The plan and section (woodcuts Nos. 946 and 947) of a 
small hut interesting palace at Serbistan will explain most of the 
peculiarities of the style. The entrances, it will be observod, are deep 
tunnel-like arches, but the centre is covered by a dome resting on 
pendentives, not filling up the angles by a great bracket, as was usual 

Section on line A. B of Palace nt Serbistan. From Flandin 
and Coate’a ' Voyage cu Ferae.' Scale 50 ft- to 1 in. 

946. Plan of Palace at Serbistan. 947. 
Scale 100 ft. to l in. 

witb the Homans, hut constructed by throwing a series of arches 
across them, as shewn in the woodcut, so as to convert the square into 
the circular form required. The dome too is elliptical, not semicir¬ 
cular, and is the next step to the pointed or conical dome, which was 
necessarily introduced in the more rainy climates further north. Being 
of brick, the building depended externally on stucco for its ornamenta¬ 
tion ; and this having perished, we are left without the means of 
judging of its details. 

In the lateral halls, pillars are placed at some distance from the 
walls, from which heavy transverse ribs spring. The builders thus 
obtained the means of counteracting the thrust of the vault, without 
breaking the external outline by buttresses, and without occupying 
much room on the floor, while at the same time these projections added 
considerably to the architectural effect of the interior. - The date of 
the building is not correctly known, but it most probably belongs to 
the age of Sliapour in the middle of the fourth century. 

The palace at Firouzabad is probably a century more modern, and 



~ jrrnu^c/zraLr>icri j . 

a far more 
the style, 
present know. 

As will bo seen in 
great central entrance opens laterally 
into two side chambers, and the 
inner of these into a suite of three 
splendid domed apartments, occupy¬ 
ing the whole width of the building. 

Beyond this is an inner court, sur¬ 
rounded by apartments all opening 
upon it. 

As will be perceived from 
woodcut No. 949, representing one 
of the doorways in the domed halls, 
the details have nothing Roman 
about them, but are borrowed di¬ 
rectly from Persepolis, with so 
change that the style, so far as 
can now judge, is almost an exact 
reproduction. The portion of the 
exterior represented in woodcut No. 

950 tells the same tale, though for 
its prototype we must go back still 
further to the ruins at Wurka—the 
building called VVuswus at that place 
(see vol. i. p. 146) being a palace 
arranged very similarly to these, and 
adorned externally by panellings and 
reeded pilasters, differing from these 
buildings only in detail and arrange¬ 
ment, but in all essentials so like 
them as to prove that the Sassanians 
borrowed most of their peculiarities 
from earlier native examples. 

The building itself is a perfectly 
regular parallelogram, 332 ft. by 180, 
without a single break, or even an 
opening of any sort, except the ono 
great arch of the entrance; and ex¬ 
ternally it has no ornament but the 
repetition of the tall pilasters and 
narrow arches represented in woodcut No. 950. Its aspect is thus 
simple and severe, hut more like a gigantic Bastile than the palace 
of a gay, pavilion-lov ing peoplo, like the Persians. 

949. Doorray at Firouzabad. From Flaiidin 
and Costo. 

Ml UlST/fy. 

w* Kffjix-xy xxx x.y • xo.Tpx'rt xxrunriTXtx&*' 

950. Part of External Wall, 

(he arrangement of the halls is simple and 
somewhat too formal, is dignified and capable of 
able arch i tectnral 
the whole, however, its forma¬ 
lity is perhaps less pleasing than 
the more picturesque arrange¬ 
ments of the palace at Serbistan 
last described. 

Another century probably 
elapsed before Khosru (Nushir- 
van) commenced the most dar¬ 
ing, though certainly not the 
most beautiful, building ever 
attempted by any of his race; 
tor to him we must ascribe the well-known Ttik Kosra (woodcuts 
IS os. 951, 952), the only important ruin that now marks the site 
of the Ctesiphon of the Greeks—the great Modain of the Arabian 

As it is, it is only a fragment of a palace, a facade similar in 
arrangement to that at Firouzabad, but on a much larger scale, its 

width being 370 ft., 
t 105. In- 
the plain 
arch of the 
earlier example, the 
architect has here at¬ 
tempted the section 
of one of his domes— 
hoping thus to avoid 
some, at least, of the 
lateral thrust—to ob¬ 
tain, in short, by an 

ellipse, what the Gothic architects managed by the pointed arch. As 
a mere scientific point of construction it is not clear that the Sassanian 
did not take the best mode of attaining his end; but to our eyes, at 
least, it appears fortunate that the Gothic architects had other models 
before them, or they might have copied what perhaps even their ability 
would never have rendered a beauty. 

Another detail in which this building contrasts most painfully 
with the last described is that, instead of the tall, simple, and elegantly- 
shaped pilasters which adorned its exterior, we here find a number of 
storeys of blind arches superimposed the one on the other without any • 
apparent motive, and certainly without any compensating accession of 
elegance. The foiling of small arches, however, round the great one is 

961. Plan of Tak Kesru at Ctosipkon. From Flandin and Costo. 
Scale 100 ft. to l in. 


jg§ and points to a mode of decoration which subsequently plaj 
purtant part in the history of architecture. 1 

952. Elevation of Great Arch of Tak Keara at Ctesiphon. Scale 60 ft. to l In. 

Though it may not perhaps be beautiful, there is certainly some¬ 
thing grand in a great vaulted entrance, 72 ft. wide by 85 ft. in 
height, and 115 in depth, though it makes the doorway at the inner 
end and all the adjoining parts look extremely small. It would have 
required the rest of the palace to be carried out on an unheard-of 
scale to compensate for this defect. The Saracenic architects got over 
the difficulty by making the great portal a semidome, and by cutting 
it up with ornaments and details, so that the doorway looked as largo 
as was required for the space left for it. Here, in the parent form, 
all is perfectly plain in tho interior, and painting alone could have 
been employed to relieve its nakedness, which, however, it never would 
have done effectually. 

Taking it altogether the building is interesting as containing the 
germs of much that followed, rather than for any intrinsic merit of 
its own. The same is, perhaps, true of the style to which it ^belongs. 
If properly worked out and illustrated it would probably explain 
many of the difficulties in the history of the Eastern forms of tho 
Byzantine style. It is doubtful, however, whether the materials exist 
for a full elucidation of the problem. Let us hope they may prove 
sufficient; for the blank which exists in the sequence at this period 
is a very great drawback on our power of understanding many of 
tho problems which the subsequent history presents to us, more espe¬ 
cially in India. 

1 These four buildings probably date 
as near ns may be one century from each 
other, thus— 

A1 Hadlir . . . a.d. 250 

Serbistan ..... 350 

Firouzabad . , a.d. 450 
Ctesiphon. 550 

A bare skeleton, which it will require 
much time and labour to clothe with flesh 
and restore to life. 

• itmSTffy 

* ^7 ' . ? ttTC tzaXrJS/v.Vl 0“ ?TTt\:/il^ - 

F >O e Go ^ 


S>\ v ,..." ,. ..... 

I z! • • 




Historical notice — Itntirefc atErzeroum — Mosque at Tubreez — Tomb at Sultameh — 
Bazaar at Ispahan — College ot Huseiu Shah — Palaces and other buildings. 


Arab conquest of Persia. 

Huroim al-Rashid began to reign . . . 

Dynasty of Tartar Snmanides .... 

Seljukian dyhnsty. 

* Ghengis Khan. 

Ghazan Khan builds mosque' at Tabreez . 

As mentioned a few pages further back, the architectural history of 
Persia is nearly a blank for the hi st six centuries of the Hejira. Nothing 
remains of the ancient glories of Bagdad except a few fragments of the 
walls of the Madrissa, and perhaps one or two tombs. Bussorah and 
Kufa are equally destitute of any architectural remains of the great 
age of the Caliphs. Indeed, there seems scarcely to be one single 
mosque or important building now remaining between the Euphrates 
and the Indus which belongs authentically to the earlier centuries of 
the Mahomedan era, and in such a state as would enable us to say 
what the style of those days was, or how fur it resembled or differed 
from the contemporary styles in the neighbouring countries. 

From what we know from history of the age of flaroim al-Rashid, 
it is probable that no Moorish court ever reached a higher pitch of 
enlightenment and magnificence than that of Bagdad during his reign 
(a.d. 786-809). It was also so far removed from the direct influence 
of the Byzantine style, that it is probable we should find in his build¬ 
ings the germ of much which now comes abruptly before us without 
our being able to trace it back to its origin. 

In the whole architectural history of the world there is. scarcely so 
complete a break as this, and scarcely one so much to be lamented, 
considering how great and how polished the people were whose art is 
thus lost to us. Let us hope, however, that it is not entirely lost; but 
that somo fragments may yet be recovered by the first who earnestly 
searches for them. Meanwhile there is one tomb outside the walls of 
Bagdad which may belong to this epoch; and even if it should prove 

A.D. 641 

Mahomed Khodabondah, builder of tomb 
at Sultanieh, began to reign 
Sufi dynasty 

A.D. 1303 

Abbis the Great, builder of Bazaar at 

Ispahan. 15*5 

Husein Shah, last of the Sufis .... 1094 


953 . I‘inn of Tomb of 
Zobeid 6 , Bagdad. 
Scale 100 feet to 1 in. 

rrrr mssm -*-—.r. 

v %\* 

oio modem, is interesting from its presenting* us with a nd 
pyramidal roof. It is known as the tomb of Zobeide, th< 
C^y.antrte wife of Iiamm al-Eashid ; l but as it stands alone, and we 
have no earlier buildings from which we can trace 
it, and no later one of a date sufficiently near to 
enable us to check any conclusion wo might arrive 
at, we must bo content to assume the tradition as cor¬ 
rect, till the contrary is proved. It is an octagonal 
building, 80 ft. in diameter externally, and 130 ft. in 
height, with an entrance porch attached to one side. 

With such dimensions as these, it would hardly attract 
remark in the vicinity of an Indian city, hut the form 
of its roof is very peculiar. My own impression is, 
that it is borrowed from earlier buildings, possibly 
even of the old Babylonian or Assyrian periods. Its greatest claim on 
our interest, however, arises from the fact that something very like it 
is found in India in the earliest Hindu and Jaina temples, for which 
no reasonable origin has yet been 
assigned. All recent discoveries 
seem to point to Assyria as the 
source of much which is found in 
the early architecture and mytho¬ 
logy of India, and this, among 
other indications, is well worthy of 

The same form occurs again in 
a building known as the Tomb of 
Ezekiel, near Bagdad (woodcut No. 

955), the ,dato of which has never 
been satisfactorily ascertained. It 
occurs also at Susa, on the so-called 
tomb of Daniel, and generally seems 
to be so usual in the age of the 
Caliphs, and is so peculiar, that it 
must have long been in use before 
it could become so generally dif¬ 

From these, which may belong to the age of the Caliphs, we pass at 
once to the Scljukians, who seem to have been possessed of stronger 
building instincts. 

One of'the earliest buildings of this race of which anything like' 
correct illustrations have been published is the Imaret or Hospital of 



■ J 


:1 l 

< — 

Klevation of Tomb of Zobdde, Bagdad, 
Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 

‘ For the plan and elevation of this building I am indebted to the unpublished 
drawings of my friend M. 0. Texier. 

VOL. 11 . 2 p 


9 ft 5 . Tomb of Ezekiel, near Bagdad. Froni Texfcr and Ibillan* 

Onion Jami, at Erzoroum—an arcade of two storeys, surrounding' on 
three sides a court-yard 00 ft. by 45. It is broken in the centre by 
what in a Christian church would be called a transept. The woodcut- 
here given (No. 956) shews the general appearance of the arcade, and 
also the upper part of two minarets which flank the external porch. 
This porch is ornamented in the richest manner of the style. Opposite 
to tho entrance a long gallery leads to the tomb of the founder, a cir¬ 
cular building of very considerable elegance, the roof of which is a 
hemispherical vault internally, hut a straight-sided Armenian conical 
roof on the outside. These dispositions make the plan of the building 
so similar to that of a Christian church, that most travellers have con¬ 
sidered it as one, mistaking the court for the nave, and the tomb, with 
the gallory leading to it, for the apse and choir. There can, however, 
bo no doubt but that it was originally built by a Mahomedan, for the 
purpose of a hospital, or place of rest for pilgrims, during the sway of 
the Seljukian princes in tho 12th and 13th centuries; and that its 
similarity to a Christian church in plan is accidental, though its details 
very much resemble those of tho churches of Ani and other places in 
Armenia. This, however, only shows that the inhabitants of the same 
country did not practise two styles, but arranged the same forms in 
different manners to suit their various purposes. 

There is another mosque of about the same age as this one at Ani, 
which would show even more clearly this close analogy; but it has 
never been drawn with sufficient correctness to admit of its being 


956. Jrnaret of Oulou Jarai at Erzeroam. From Texler'u * Ann6uie tt la Perse.’ 

used fof the purpose of demonstrating the fact now pointed out. But, 
indeed, throughout Armenia, mosques and Christian churches con¬ 
stantly alternate, borrowing details from one another, and making up 
one of the most curious mixed chapters in the history of the art; a 
chapter still remaining to he written by sumo one who may visit the 
spot with sufficient knowledge and enthusiasm to accomplish it. 

Mosque at Tabhkez. 

The next building that may be chosen for illustration is the ruined 
mosque at Tabreez, which, when perfect,.must liave been one of the 
most beautiful in the country. Its history is not exactly known; but 
it certainly belongs to the Mogul dynasty, which on the death of 
Mangu Khan, the son of Ghengis Khan, was founded in Persia by 
Hulaku, the brother of Mangu. He and his sons generally retained 
the faith of their forefathers till Ghazan Khan, who succeeded in 
a.I). 1294. Ghazan zealously embraced the Mahomedan faith, and it 

2 f 2 


Mosque at Tiibree*. 
to 1 In, 

Scale 100 ft. 


patently to signalise the conversion that he began the mol 
hether it was finished by him or his successors is not 
As will bo seen by the plan, it is not large, being only about 
150 ft. by 120, exclusive of the tomb in 
the rear, which, as a Tartar, it was im¬ 
possible ho could dispense with. 

In plan it differs also considerably 
from those previously illustrated, being 
in reality a copy of a Byzantine church, 
carried out with the details of the 13th 
century - a fact which confirms the belief 
that the Persians before this ago were 
not a mosque-building people. In this 
mosque the mode of decoration is what 
principally deserves attention ; the whole 
building, both externally and internally, 
being covered with a perfect mosaic oi 
glazed bricks of very brilliant colours, 
and wrought into the most intricate patterns, and with all the elegance 
for which the Persians were in all ages remarkable. 

Europe possesses no specimen of any style of ornamentation com¬ 
parable with this. The painted plaster of the Alhambra is infinitely 
inferior, and even the mosaic painted-glass of our cathedrals is a 
very partial and incomplete ornament compared with the brilliancy 
of a design pervading the whole building, and entirely carried out in 
the same style. From the time, however, of the oldest Assyrian 
palaces, to the present day, colour has been in that country a more 
essential element of architectural magnificence than form ; and here at 
least we may judge of what the halls of Nineveh and Persepqlis once 
were, when adorned with colours in the same manner as this now 
ruined mosque of the Tartars. 

Though of course impossible adequately to represent this building 
in a woodcut, the view 1 (woodcut No. 958) of its principal portal will 
gb-e some idea of the form of tho mosque, and introduce the reader 
to a new mode of giving expression to portals, which after the date 
of this building is nearly universal in the East. Phe entrance-door 
is small, but covered by a semi-dome of considerable magnitude, 
.giving it all the grandeur of a portal as large as the main aisle of 
the building. The Oothic architects attempted something ot this 
sort, by making the outer openings of their doors considerably larger 
than the inner; in other words, by “ splaying” widely the jambs of 

1 Both the plan and view are taken from 
Baron Tenet's ‘ Armenie et la Perse,’ 
which gives also several coloured plates of 

the mosaic decorations, from which their 
beauty of detail may be judged, though 
not the effect of the whole. 

lTTrro rr t T 


By this moans, in some of the French cathedrals,ItAtf 
of a very large portal is obtained with only the reqnii 
venient size of opening ; but in this they were far surpassed 
architects of the East, whose lofty and deeply recessed portals, 
on the same plan as the example hero shewn, are unrivalled for 
grandeur and appropriateness. 

058. View of Ruined Mosque at Tabrcez, From Texier’s ‘ ArmSnie et la Perse/ 

r l'he mosque was destroyed by an earthquake in tho beginning of 
the present century, hut it seems to have been deserted long before 
that, owing to its having belonged to the Turkish sect of the Sonnites, 
while the Persians have during the last five centuries been devoted 
Shiites, or followers of the sect of All* and his martyred sons. 

Tomb at Sultanieh. (a.p. 1303-1316.) 

Mahomed Khodabendah, the successor of Ghazan Khan, the builder 
of the mosque at Tabreez last described, founded the city of Sultanieh, 
and, like a true Tartar, his first care was to build himself a tomb 1 
which should become the principal ornament of his new city. Ker 

1 Texier, from whose work the ilhisfm- monument must be 200 or 300 years older 
tions are taken, ascribes the building to ; than that king; and besides, the Sufis, 
another Khodabendah of the Sufi dynasty, not being Tartars, would not build tombs 
a.d. 1577-85. Our knowledge, however, anywhere, much less in Sultanieh, where 
of the style is sufficient to show that the they never resided. 


sajis that, being seized with as much zeal for his new 
^iis predecessor had been for the Sonnite, his intention 
ge in this mausoleum the remains of Ali and his son Hosi 

This intention, however, was not carried into 
effect, and we know that his own bones repose 
alone in their splendid shrine. 

In general plan the building is an octagon, 
with a small chapel added opposite the en¬ 
trance, in which the body lies. The front has 
also been brought out to a square, not only 
to admit of two staircases in the angles, hut 
also to serve as a backing to the porch which 
once adorned this side, but which has now 
entirely disappeared. 

Internally the dome is 81 ft. in diameter 
by 150 ft. in height, the octagon being worked 
into a circle by as elegant a series of brackets 
as perhaps ever were employed for this purpose. The form of the 
dome, too, is singularly graceful and elegant, and much preferable 
to the bulb-shaped double domes subsequently common in Persian 

959. Tomb at Sultanieh. Scale 
100 ft. to 1 in. 


960. Section of the Tomb of Sultan Khodabendah at Sultanieh. From Texier’s' Armenia ct la Perse.' 

Scule 50 ft. to 1 in. 

1 ‘ Travels,’ vol. i. p. 277. 

;,rj. xi.r.' ■ • •' • a riia 

ture. The whole is covered with glazed tiles, rival!in 
those of the mosque at Tabreez, and with its general bea ^ 
o|,r ^Hline this building affords one of the best specimens of this sty. 
to be found either in Persia or any other country. 

These works were, however, far surpassed in magnificence, though 
not in beauty, by those of tho dynasty of the Sufis, who succeeded in 
1400. The most powerful and brilliant sovereign of this race w r as 
Shah Abbas the Great (a.d. 1585-1620), whoso great works rendered 
his capital of Ispahan one of the most splendid cities of tho hast. 
Among these works, by far tho most magnificent was the great Maidcin , 
or bazaar, with its accompanying mosque and subordinate buildings. 

View of ihs Tomb at Sultunieh. 

The Maidan is an immense rectangular area, 2600 ft. by 700, 1 sur¬ 
rounded on all sides by an arcade two storeys in height, consisting 
of 86 arches on the longer, and 30 on the shorter sides, richly orna¬ 
mented, and broken in the centre of each face by a handsome edifice. 
The great mosque is at one end, opposite to which is the bazaar gate, 
and in the longer side tho Luft Ullah mosque; facing this is tho 
Ali Kassi gate, which, in its various storeys and complicated suites of 

1 Ker Porter’s * Travels/ vol. i. p. 132 Mark's at Venice, which resembles it more 
clseq. I cannot help suspecting that there than any other nren, is only 560 ft. long, 
is some mistake about these dimensions with a mean breadth of about 250 ft. 

—they seem excessive. The Piazza of St. 


lipaVtrhents, is in fact a palace rather than a gateway as we undeiwmul] 

v ,^Jhe dimensions of the great mosque, or Mesjid Shah, may he judged 
of from the plan below. As will be perceived, the Maidan not facing 

Great Mosque at Ispahan. From Texler’s Work. Scale 300ft. to 1 in. 



la bend is made in the entrance, which, however, is far 
nfavourable to the general picturesque effect of the grc 
hosquo itself is a rectangular building, the internal dimensions^ 
are 223 ft. by 130, the centre compartment being surmounted 
by a dome 75 ft. in diameter and 110 ft. high internally; but being 
double, like most domes of this age, its external height is 165 ft., 
which is also the height of the minarets attached to the mosque. On 
three sides the mosque is surrounded by court-yards, richly orna¬ 
mented, and containing fountains and basins of water for the prescribed 
ablutions of the faithful. The principal court measures 225 ft. by 170, 

963. Madrissa of Sultan Uusein at Ispahan. From Flandin and Coste's ‘ Voyage eu Perse. 

and surrounded as it is on all sides by facades in the richest style of 
Persian polychromatic decoration, the brilliancy of its architectural 
effect is almost unrivalled by any other example of its class. Both 
in architectural forms and in the style of ornament this mosque 
is inferior to those at Tabreez and at Bultanieh; but for mass and 
amount of decoration it is among the most magnificent specimens of 
its class. Taken altogether, the Maidan Shah, and its accompanying 
mosques and gates—the whole the work of one king and on one 
design—present a scene of gorgeous, though it may be somewhat bar¬ 
barous splendour, almost unequalled in the whole world. Even now, 
in its premature decay, it strikes almost every traveller, though the 

f!e ^n°t one that looks well in ruin, owing to the perishable 
^ tyfoateriala and the tawdry effect of glazed tiles, when it is 
ar e a mere surface ornament to the walls. 

"The forms and peculiarities of this style will ho hotter judged of— 
in a woodcut at least—by the representation of the Madrissa, or college, 
of Husein Shah (woodcut No. 963), the last of the Sufi kings of 
Persia; and though erected at the end of the 17th century, while the 
great mosque was built in the beginning of it, but little change seems 
to have taken place in the interval: the minarets are of tho same form, 
the double bulb-shaped dome is similar, and tho double arcades that 
surround the court of the mosque are the samo in form as those that 
encircle the Maidan Shah. 

From, the time of the Afghan invasion, which took place during the 
reign of the Suita , Husein in the beginning of the last century, 
leisia does not seem to have recovered herself sufficiently to under¬ 
take any great works; some palaces, it is true, have been built, and 
mosques of - inferior dimensions, but nothing really remarkable of late 
years. The influence of the corrupt styles of Europe has become too 
apparent to enable us to hope that she will over again be able to 
recover her place in the domain of art. 

Although it was sometimes brilliant, and always truthful, the 
Persian Saracenic is hardly entitled to rank among* the really great or 
admirable styles of architecture. Its chief historic interest rests on tho 
fact of its being a modern reproduction of the style of the ancient 
palaces of Nineveh and Babylon, using the same thick walls of imper¬ 
fectly burned bricks, and covering them with the same brilliant coloured 
decorations of glazed and painted tiles and bricks, carrying this species 
of decoration to an extent never attempted in any other part of tho 
world. J his too constitutes its principal claim to interest in an artistic 
point of view, since it shews how far polychromatic decoration may be 
used, both internally and externally, not only without any offence to 
good taste, but with the most' complete success in producing that 
beauty and splendour which is the aim of all architectural utterance. 


The Persian princes showed almost as much taste and splendour in 
their palaces as in their mosques; but these were not from their nature 
so capable of architectural display as the others. An Eastern palace 
neither requires that mass of apartments and offices which are in¬ 
dispensable in Europe, nor does the climate admit of their being 
massed together so as to form a single gi'oup, imposing from its size. 
On the contrary, the Persian palaces generally consist of a number of 
pavilions and detached halls, and smaller groups of apartments scat¬ 
tered over a large space interspersed with trees‘and gardens, and only 

• UUitSTqy 

mbted by covered arcades or long' lines of canals* 
cj/is adorned by fountains of the most elegant forms, 
individually these detached buildings are < 
most elaborately ornamented, and the whole effect 

often of great beauty 

_J is pleasing and 

tasteful; but for true architectural effect they are too scattered, and the 
whole is generally very deficient in grandeur. 

.1 ho throne-room at Teheran (woodcut No. 964) is a fair specimen 
of these buildings, though, in fact, it is only a porch or deep recess 
opening on a garden, the front being supported or ornamented by two 
twisted columns. In front of these a massive curtain is drawn out 
when the room is used, and both for colour and richness of effect the 
curtain is virtually the principal feature 

in the composition, 

Throne-room at Teheran. From ‘Nineveh and Persopolis Restored.’ 

Tho next example is talon from the palace of Char Bagh, or the 
1' onr Gardens at Ispahan, and shews tho general picturesque form 
these buildings assume. It is by no means so favourable a specimen 
as the last,, though this may arise more from tho nature of the building 
Ilian from any defect on the part of its architect. Many of the pavi¬ 
lions in tho samo palace arc of great lightness and elegance, though, 
most of them being supported by wooden pillars, and being of very 
ephemeral construction, they hardly belong to the higher” class of 
architectural art. 

The Caravanserais form another class of buildings, not peculiar, it 
is true, to Persia, but which, from the character of tho traffic in mer¬ 
chandise, and tho general insecurity of tho roads along which it is 
conducted, has received a great, development, in that country. Inter- 

Ijipfn ttcir usual form is that of a square court-yard, surrounded 
(B%gv pf arcades generally two storeys in height, each arch opener 
small square cell at the hack. Externally they present only ii 
^h^pfplain wall, surmounted by battlements and flanked by towers at 
each angle, and sometimes also by additional towers in the longer 
faces. Tho principal architectural ornament is lavished on the gate¬ 
ways, which are almost always higher than the contiguous walls, and 
often display great beauty of design combined with considerable elabo¬ 
ration of detail. 

Palace at Ispahan. From * Nineveh and Persepolis Restored. 

’ il 1 



l ; -•rJH 


It is not, however, only in these larger monuments that the Per¬ 
sians show an appreciation of the beautiful and a power of expressing 
it. As in most Eastern nations, the feeling seems innate, and all the 
minor objects exhibit it, as well as the more important ones. Their 
political position is now such as would prevent them from accomplish¬ 
ing any tiling great in art. There are still, however, resident in that 
country remnants of those races who built the palaces of Babylon and 
Nineveh; and if an opportunity were afforded them, they might still do 
something, if allowed to do it in their own way. It is to be feared, 
however, that European influence is extending through that country 
too fast for art; and that if they attempted anything, it will be only 
in the bastard Italian style, which, with the round hat, seems destined 
to make the tour of the globe. 


I N I) I A. 




Ethnology —- Religions«— Architectural Division of the Indian Styles — 
Importance of the subject. 

There are few tasks which could be proposed to a writer on archi¬ 
tectural subjects more difficult than that of giving a concise account, 
in a limited space, of all. the myriad forms which architecture has 
assumed in India during the hist 2000 years. In the earliest authentic 
narratives, we are told by Megasthenes that the country, 300 years 
before the Christian era, was divided into 122 separate states; 1 and 
there is no reason to believe that the number has been much diminished 
at any period between that time and the present day. It is true that the 
British rule has absorbed all but some thirty or forty into our vast 
empire, but no such state of things seems to have existed before, unless 
it is for a few years before the death of Aurungzebe (1707). Occa¬ 
sionally one of these states seems to have attained a sort of paramount 
authority over a greater or less number of its neighbours, but the 
dominion was never permanent, blew combinations were continually 
taking place among the incoherent elements of Indian society, to be 
disintegrated again, as a more poweiful chief, or a new fashion of 
religion, might for the moment dictate. 

The religions of the Indians were as various and as varying as the 
political combinations, and their architecture, of course, followed the 

1 Arrian, * Indica,* book i. ch. vii. 


of the kaleidoscope. Add to all tills, that the Indians nl 
6d a critical written or consecutive history of the country,; 
be understood how much study, and how much familiarity 
with the subject, it requires to attain a distinct grasp of so complex 
a subject, and how difficult, without unlimited space and power of 
illustration, it must be to convey to others a clear view of the changes 
art underwent in India, within the period designated, Although, 
however, the details of the story are involved and perplexed, its 
main outlines are by no means difficult to sketch. The fundamental 
phenomenon appears to be that, though India has the most fertile 
soil in the world, and the most delicious climate, the latter is ener¬ 
vating, and the conditions of life such as are not conducive to 
fecundity or longevity. The result is that, though populous, India 
has never overflowed—only some insignificant migrations to the east¬ 
wards can be traced. On the contrary, from the earliest day to the 
successive hordes of hardier races have crossed the Indus, and settled 
present within her boundaries, each for a while impressing its will 
and nationality on the subject-races, till gradually absorbed among 
the people, and then inevitably succumbing to the next race of 

The only one of these migrations of which we have any very dis¬ 
tinct written details is that of the Mahomedans, commencing with 
Mahmood of Ghazni, a.d. 1001, and practically terminating with Nadir 
Shah, 1738, and Ahmed Shah Durani, 1760. For our present purposes, 
it unfortunately is the last; but it is a type of all the previous inroads' 
across the Indus, and an intimate knowledge of its features enables us 
hotter to understand those which preceded it. 

In a work like the present, it is, of course, impossible to trace all 
the various combinations to winch 'these successive immigra tions gave 
rise, still less to detail the arguments on which the conclusions regard¬ 
ing them are based; but it may add to the clearness of what follows, 
if it is preceded by a concise statement of the conclusions which have 
been arrived at by the author up to the present time, though a great 
deal of this must necessarily be taken on trust, for the present. 1 

1 I am aware that in writing in this 
manner I expose myself, in the first place, 
to the charge of dogmatism, and, in the 
second, to refutation from subsequent dis¬ 
coveries. The first is unimportant; the 
second, I fear, inseparable from so pro¬ 
gressive a subject; and it is hardly worth 
while to encumber the text by reservations 
and loopholes of escape, which merely 
serve to render the meaning obscure, in 
order that the personal consistency of the 
author may be protected. All I can say 

is, that the conclusions here announced 
are the result of thirty years’ constant 
attention to the subject, and a very con¬ 
siderable amount of troublesome investiga¬ 
tion. If further research in other branches 
of knowledge brings to light clearer or 
; more consistent conclusions, no one will re- 
i joice more than I shall, though they prove 
; me to he wrong in anj r given instance. In 
; some particulars I have little doubt but 
j that this will be the case, but I do not be- 
! lieu; the main outlines can now be altered. 

cii. i; 



regard to race, my impression is, that the Gonds, the Phils, 
the Coles, and other tribes, now only found in the hills, are frag¬ 
ments of a people who, as far as we know, were aboriginal. They seem, 
before the advent of the Aryans, to have occupied the whole of the 
valley of the Ganges, and their affinities were with the Thibetans, and 
the people beyond the Indus. 

The first immigration, of which we have any definite traces, is that 
of the Dravidian or Tamul-speaking races, now occupying the whole of 
the Madras Presidency. If they really migrated into India, it was 
across the Lower Indus, through Seinde and Guzerat, and passed 
onwards towards the south. It woulof Iiowpver, perhaps he, on the 
whole, more correct to assume that the Dravidians are the remnant of 
a great people, whose settlements, at some very early date, extended 
from the shores of the Persian Gulf to Cape Comorin. The Western 
branches have died out, or been absorbed into other races; and the 
Eastern have been pressed into the corner, where we now find them, 
by subsequent immigrations into India of other races. 

The second groat migration is that of the Aryans, or Sanscrit¬ 
speaking races. There seems no doubt that they did come across the 
Upper Indus into the Punjab at some remote date. Their own tra¬ 
ditions would lead us to suppose that this may have been about the 
date of their own Cali Yug, 3101 years b.c., but their actual entry into 
India was more probably at least 1000 years later. Be this as it may, 
wo can trace their progress onwards till they occupied the whole 
valley of the Ganges, north of the Vindya mountains, and ten or 
fifteen centuries before the Christian era, carried their victorious arms 
even to Ceylon. 

The third great immigration took place about the Christian era, 
when the Sakas or white Huns, with other cognate races, passed the 
Lower Indus, settled in Guzerat, and extended themselves as far north 
as Delhi on their left, and the Mysore on their right. Generally they 
are known as the Rajpoot races, from their principal .remnants being 
now found in the country hearing their name. 

The fourth, or Mahomedan immigration, between the 11th and 
13th centuries, is, as just mentioned, the only one of which all the 
details are known to us. They came across the Upper Indus, follow¬ 
ing, in every respect, the footsteps of the Aryans, and eventually ex¬ 
tended. tlieir permanent occupation even beyond them to the southward. 

The duration of each foreign occupation seems to have been shorter 
than that of the preceding. The Aryans may have held sway in India 
for nearly 1500 years before the uprising of the native tribes, in the 
form we know as Buddhism, deprived them of supremacy. The Raj¬ 
poots were all-powerful in Western India for ten or twelve centuries, 



were struck down by the Mahomedans, whose rule lasted* 
centuries, according as we choose to'count from Mahmud^ 
/ Bhababuid-deen. In the middle of the last century their power 
was destroyed by the uprising of the native races known as the Mah~ 
rattas, just as that of the Aryans had been by the revolution which 
Buddhist religion to the surface 2000 years before. 

The interference of England lias prevented the further natural 
developmen t of the usual phase of Indian history; it remains to be 
seen with what results of good or evil to the Indians or to ourselves. 


It is more difficult to discriminate the various religions of the 
people of India than to trace their blood. That of the Aryans has 
already boon sufficiently characterised (Yol. i. p. 65), and is of com¬ 
paratively little importance for our present purpose, inasmuch as 
they built nothing. We might therefore dismiss them entirely from 
our history were it not that their intellectual superiority was so great, 
as compared with that of the people among whom they settled, that 
their influence was felt everywhere, and their name is appropriated 
to the various so-called Brahminical superstitions of the present day. 
Before the Aryans reached India the inhabitants of the valley of the 
Ganges seem to have been tree and serpent worshippers—a people 
without any distinct idea of God, but apparently worshipping their 
ancestors, and, it may be, indulging in human sacrifices. 

In the 6th century n.c., Sakya Muni reformed this barbarous 
Fetishism into the religion now known as Buddhism, and raised the 
oppressed inhabitants of ft or them India to the first rank in their 
own country. Ancestral worship was refined into that of relics. 
The destruction, not only of human life, but of any living thing, 
was absolutely forbidden. Serpent-worship was utterly rejected, but 
tree-worship was adopted as an important; part of the new faith. The 
castes of the Aryans were abolished. All men were equal, and all 
could obtain beatitude by the negation of enjoyment and the practice 
of prescribed ascetic duties. 

It is much more difficult to explain how and when the worship of 
Siva arose. My own impression is that it is a local superstition of the 
original Dravidian races, which first, however, comes to our notice 
after the Christian era, and so mixed up with Brahminical fables as to 
hide its origin almost entirely. The Dravidians were certainly not 
either tree or serpent worshippers, and consequently never adopted the 
Buddhist faith in any form ; but, however far we grope our way back¬ 
wards, we find something like the worship of Siva existing among 

The fourth great religious sect, known as that of Vishnu, rose into 

itn;x’HUJJ'U.U , rOK'X. 


nee some time after flie Christian era, and seems to be raal 
5s and strays from all the other Indian faiths. It picked up\f 
>worship which the Buddhists had rejected, and adoptod in a cor 
rupted form many of the tenets of that faith. It entered into so close 
a partnership with Sivaism that the same temples were common to 
both religions. In the 11th century it was undistinguishable from 
Jainaism. There are many peculiarities in its doctrine that seem to 
have been borrowed from Assyria. Altogether it looks as if it were a 
faith that came in from the north-west with the Rajpoots, and adopted 
whatever it thought most likely to attract the people in the country in 
which they settled. 

A fifth faith is that known as the Jaina religion. It might be 
defined negatively as Buddhism without its asceticism, or Vishnuism 
without its local superstitions. It rose into importance as Buddhism 
declined, and, in India, may bo considered as its successor. 

The last is that of the Mahomedan, which plays so important a 
part in the history of India during the last eight centuries; 

The fate of these six religions is curious. There does not probably 
exist a single native Buddhist in all India from Cape Comorin to the 
Himalayas, though Buddhism is essentially an Indian religion in its 
origin, and still numbers more votaries in other countries than any 
other known religious faith. 

There are Brahmins who profess to make the Vedas their sole rule 
of faith, but as they all adhere to some more modern form of religion, 
they can hardly bo called Aryans; still their intellectual supe¬ 
riority is such that the Aryan scriptures are assumed to be the 
fountain-head of all the local superstitions of India, although, except 
in name, those superstitions have hardly anything in common. 

Of the natives of India at the present day two-thirds, possibly three- 
fourths, belong to one or other of the various forms of the so-called 
Brahminical religion, such as Sivaism, Vishnuism, &e. One-tenth, at 
least, are Mahometans. Another tenth, or hardly so many, may bo 
Jains. The remainder are the hill-tribes, who still cling to their old 
forms of faith; and there are, besides, various outlying sects, the 
numbers of whoso followers are too few to justify their enumeration 
in this place. 

Architectural Division of the Subject, 

All those races and religions have, of course, left their traces 
on the architecture of the country, with one great exception. The 
Aryans wrote books hut they built no buildings. Their remains 
are to be found in the Vedas and the Laws of Menu, and in the influence 
of their superior intellectual power on the lower races; but they 
excavated no caves, and they reared no monuments of stone or brick 


'ere calculated to endure after having served their origin 
feral purpose. 

o Nagas, too, or snake-worshippers, were too early superseded 
by the Buddhists to have left any important architectural remains 
in India; hut they crop up in great strength in tjjashmere and in 
Cambodia, where their monuments are among the most remarkable in 
the East. As these two provinces are, however, outside India Proper, 
it will he convenient to take them last, after describing all those styles 
which have their origin more distinctly within the Peninsula. 

Our history, therefore, commences with the architecture of the 
Buddhists. Some of their monuments can he dated with certainty 
as far back as 250 b.c. ; and we not only know from history that they 
are the oldest, hut they hear on their face the proofs of their primo¬ 
geniture. Though most of them are carved in the hardest granite, 
every form and every detail is so essentially wooden that we feel 
in examining them that we are assisting at the birth of a new style; 
and for three or four centuries afterwards we can gradually trace the 
progress that was made in getting rid of the wooden forms and in 
replacing them by others more appropriate to stone architecture. 

Although it will be wandering somewhat, beyond the limits of 
India Proper, the mode best calculated to render this subject intelli¬ 
gible will be to treat Afghanistan as part of India, and then to describe 
Buddhist art as it existed in Ceylon, and in Burmah, Siam, and Java. 
By this means a general view may he obtained of a style complete in 
itself, but very little influenced by external causes, and having as little 
influence on any style beyond its own pale. 

The exceptions to the completeness of this mode of treatment are 
China and Thibet. In the former, however, all the monuments are so 
modem, and so local in style, that they may fairly stand by themselves ; 
and in the latter they are so little known that our ignorance is a too 
sufficient cause for their exclusion. 

It is much more difficult to assign a tangible reason for any classi¬ 
fication we may adopt for the Hindu styles. The date of the oldest 
known monument of this class cannot be carried further back than the 
0th or 7th century of our era, and the oldest Jaina monument may he 
of the 10 th century; hut, in both instances, the style, when we first 
encounter it, is complete and full-grown. There is no hesitation about 
the design—no wooden clumsiness about the details. The whole is the 
result of centuries of experience in stone architecture; but when and 
where we do not know. 

As it is consequently impossible, with our present knowledge, 
to assign priority to any style, a partly geographical arrangement 
will probably best suit the exigences of the case. 

For this purpose it is proposed to take, first the Dravidian or 



. Indian style. It is probably as old as tho others. 

IS it is complete in itself, and confined within easily defined lim^^ 
... ^ext to this it will be convenient to take up the Bengalee or Hindu 
style ol Northern Tndia, as the natural pendant of the other—these 
two being apparently the most essentially native styles in India— 
always excepting the Buddhist, as a matter of course. 

The third in this classification will be the Chalukya or Rajpoot 
style of Western India; and the fourth will then be its pendant, the 
Jaina style, as practised on the same side of the country to the present 

These four divisions are at present sufficient to exhaust all we 
know of native Indian architecture, apart from the Buddhist style ; 
and a knowledge of their peculiarities will enable ns to understand 
and appreciate the forms which Saracenic art took in the country . 1 - 

These naturally follow; hut they are as various and as local as the 
Hindu styles that preceded them; and it will be requisite to classify 
them under eight or ten different heads in order to make them intel¬ 
ligible, though it is not necessary to specify them in this place. 

The geographical distribution of these styles varied so much at 
different times that it is almost impossible to express their boundaries 
correctly in the map. The main divisions of the four great. Indian 
styles are shadowed out on the following page in such a manner as 
may help those who are unfamiliar with the subject in realising tlieir 
localities. The Buddhist style may roughly he described as nearly con¬ 
terminous with the presidency of Bengal; the Dravidian as occupying 
nearly tho whole of the Madras territory; the Jaina and Chalukya as 
being tho styles par excellence of the Bombay Presidency—the former 
apparently the older, but early superseded in the south by the latter, 
the two struggling* with each other for supremacy in the northern 
division of tho presidency during the whole period in which we know 
them. The northern Bengal style first makes its appearance as fringing 
the whole of the Buddhist province on its southern boundary, and gra¬ 
dually pushing its conquests northwards till it occupies nearly the 
whole of the north of India. 

To express all this clearly each style ought to have a map to itself, 

1 Many may at first sight feel inclined 
to object to this separation of the Indian 
Saracenic from the other branches of that 
art. When, however, they have mastered 
the subject, they will perceive that the 
forms which the Moslems adopted in India 
sprang so directly from the arts of the Hin¬ 
dus who preceded them, that a previous 
knowledge of tho native art is indis¬ 
pensable to make the subject intelligible. 
Under these circumstances, if all the forms 

| of Saracenic art were to be kept together, 
i the Hindu style must have followed im- 
! mediately after Byzantine art, and thus 
; been interpolated between it and those 
* orms jjjM J ar °se directly out of it, and 
the wM^sequence of the history dis¬ 
turbed. On the other hand, by recognizing 
India as a little world by itself—which 
it really is—no violence is done, and the 
; whole acquires a unity which it appears 
to me most desirable to attain. 

2 G 2 








Shewing the approximate Distribution of the four principal Styles of 
Hindu Architecture, viz.:— 

^Buddhist, distinguished by horizontal hatelung . . 

Dkayidian, by perpendicular lines .. 

t Nortuehn Hindu, by lines sloping to the right . 

OhaXiUKYa and Jain a, by lines sloping to the left 


Ch. I. 

! information now available hardly justifies our going into i 
On. tlio other hand, any maps of the Mahomedan empire, a£ 
in the days of Akber or of Anrungzebo, are sufficient to point 
out the various forms of architecture that then prevailed; each sepa¬ 
rate kingdom having a style of its own, all differing more or less, some 
almost entirely, from the style of any other Mahomedan community in 
any other part of the world. 

Having by the above enumeration exhausted the architectural forms 
of India, we pass naturally to those of Cashmere and Cambodia, which 
were in some way intimately connected together at their origin, 
while their importance can hardly be appreciated without previous 
knowledge of what was done in Tndia. 

From Cambodia we pass on naturally to China, and conclude with 
Mexico and its mysterious remains. 

Excluding the two last-named styles and confining our view to the 
enumeration of those of India, wo have here at least four of Buddhist 
art, four more belonging to the Hindus, eight of Saracenic and two of 
Naga art—eighteen or twenty styles of architecture, differing from 
each other more than the styles practised in Europe from the dawn of 
Pelasgic art in Greece down to the present day, and almost all, unfor- 
nately for present purposes, new and'unfamiliar to most readers. 

Many may he inclined to ask, Is it worth while to master all the 
geographical and historical details necessary to unravel so tangled 
a web as tliis, and then try to become so familiar with their ever- 
varying forms as not only to ho able to discriminate between the 
different styles, but also to follow them through all the changes they 
underwent ? 

My impression is that this question may fairly be answered in the 
affirmative. No one has a right to say that ho understands the his¬ 
tory of architecture who leaves out of his view the works of an im¬ 
mense portion of the human race, which has always shewn itself so 
capable of artistic development. But, more lhan this, architecture in 
India is still a living art, practised on the principles which caused 
its wonderful development in Europe in the 12th and 13th cen¬ 
turies ; and there consequently, and there alone, the student of archi¬ 
tecture has a chance of seeing the real principles of the art in action. 
In Europe, at the present day, architecture is practised in a manner so 
anomalous and abnormal that few, if any, have hitherto been able 
to shake oft' tlio influence of a false system, and to see that the art of 
ornamental building can be carried on on principles of common sense, 
and that, when so practised, the result not only is, but must be, 
satisfactory. "Those who have an opportunity of seeing what perfect 
buildings the ignoiant uneducated natives of India are now producing, 
will easily understand how success may be achieved, while those 


tqrire what failures the best educated and most talented archite 
tope are constantly perpetrating, may, hv a study of Indian prad 
esrmsily see why this must inevitably bo the result. It is only in 
India that the two systems can now be seen practised side by side—the 
educated and intellectual European always failing because his prin¬ 
ciples are wrong, the feeble and uneducated native as inevitably suc¬ 
ceeding because his principles are right. The Indian builders think 
only of what they are doing, and how they can best produce the 
effect they desire. In the European system it is considered more 
essential that a building, especially in its details, should he a correct 
copy of something else, than good, in itself or appropriate to its purpose; 
hence the difference in the result. 

In one other respect India affords a singularly favourable field to the 
student of architecture. In no other country of the same extent are 
there so many distinct nationalities, each retaining its old faith and its 
old feelings, and impressing these on its art. There is consequently 
no country where the' (Sitlines of ethnology as applied to art can 
he so easily perceived, or their application to the elucidation of the 
various problems so pre-eminently important. The mode in which 
the art has been practised in Europe for the last three centuries has 
greatly confused the subject. In India it is clear and intelligible. 
No one can look at the subject without, seeing its importance, and no 
one can study the art as practised there without recognising what the 
principles of the science really are. 

In addition, however, to these scientific advantages it will un¬ 
doubtedly be conceded by those who are familiar with the subject, that 
for certain qualities the Indian buildings are unrivalled. They display 
an exuberance of fancy, a lavislmess of labour, and an elaboration of 
detail to be found nowhere else. They may contain nothing so sub¬ 
lime as the hall at Karnac, nothing so intellectual as the Parthenon, 
nor so constructively grand as a mediaeval cathedral; hut for certain 
other qualities-—not perhaps of the highest kind, yet very important 
in architectural art—the Indian buildings stand alone. They conse¬ 
quently fill up a great gap in our knowledge of the subject, which 
without them would remain a void. 




Division of subject — Topes, Sanchi — Temples, Kttrli—Monasteries, Ajunta 
Ornamentation of caves. 


Cuttack caves, from 200 n.c. to about Christian era. 
Topes at BiLsah . 2nd cent. b.c. to 2nd or 3rd a.d. 
Vicrarnaditya buildings at Oujein . . . b.c. 56 

Salivahana—Cave at Karli. a.d. 79 

Topes at Manikyala . . 1st cent. u.c. to 7th a.d. 

Topes in Afghanistan .. 1st cent. a.i>. to 5th or 6th. 
Caves at Ajunta . 1st cent, a.d to loth or 11th a.d. 
Caves at Ellora . 5th cent. a.d. to Sth or 9th a.d. 
Topes at Samath. . . . Gth to 9th cent. a.d. 

Although immense progress lias been made during the last thirty 
or forty years in investigating the origin of Buddhism, and the propa¬ 
gation of its doctrines in India, and in communicating the knowledge 
so gained to the public in Europe, much remains to "be done before 
the story is complete, and divested of all the absurdities which sub¬ 
sequent commentators have heaped upon it; and more must yet be 
effected before the public can be rendered familiar with what is so 
essentially novel to them. Still, the leading events in the life of the 
founder of the religion are simple, and sufficiently well ascertained 
for all practical purposes. 

The founder of this religion was one of the last of a long line of 
kings, known as the Solar dynasty, who, from a period shortly sub 
sequent to the advent of the Aryans into India, had held paramount 
swayin Ayodia—the modem Oude. About the 10th or 12th century b.c. 
they were superseded by another race of much less purely Aryan blood, 
known as the Lunar race, who transferred the seat of power to capitals 
situated in the northern parts of the Doab. In consequence of this, 
the'lineal descendants of the Solar kings i&rere reduced to a petty prin¬ 
cipality at the foot of the Himalayas, where Sakya Muni was born 
about 623 b.c. For thirty-five years he enjoyed the pleasures, and 
followed the occupations, usual to the men of his rank and position; 

Birth of Gautama Buddha .... B.c. 623 
Death of Gautama Buddha, oud first con¬ 
vocation held. 513 

Chandragupta, contemporary of Alexander 325 
Asoka: third convocation held. Buddhism 
made the religion of the state. L&to 
erected. Earliest monuments onrl in¬ 
scriptions in India, mean date. . . . 250 

Dasaratha, his grandson. Early caves in 
Behar.about 200 

WMS T/fy 

INDIAN ‘'AKOHirnTrimE. Pam 

XSSa^ V\ 

to alleviate it. For this purpose he forsook his parents and 

f at] ihat age, becoming painfully impressed by the miseiy mcid| 
inpr^ah existence, he determined to devote the rest of his life to 

wife, abandoned friends and all the advantages of his position, 
and, for the following forty-live years, devoted himself steadily to the 
task he had set before himself. Years wei*e spent in the meditation 
and mortification necessary to fit himself for his mission; the rest of 
his long life was dovoted to wandering from city to city, teaching and 
preaching, and doing everything that gentle means could effect to dis¬ 
seminate the doctrines which ho believed were to regenerate the 
world, and hike the sting out of human misery. 

He died, or in the phraseology of his followers, obtained Nirvana 
' -—was absorbed into the deity— -at K usinara in northern Behar, in the 
80th year of his age, 543 years 1 b.c. 

The first convocation was held at Baj agriha immediately after¬ 
wards, for the avowed purpose of reducing the precepts of the founder 
to writing. A second was held 100 years afterwards, at Vaisali on 
the Gun duck, opposite Patna, for the purpose of settling some 
disputed points of doctrine which had arisen during the past cen¬ 
tury. Although it is reported that this assembly was most nume¬ 
rously attended, we have no exact knowledge of the extent to which 
the doctrines of Buddhism had been adopted , at the time. It certainly 
would appear that Chandragupta—the Sandracottus of the Greek his¬ 
torians—still adhered to the Brahminieal faith. So did his son Bim- 
basaro; and generally it may be asserted, that the new faith had 
nowhere become the religion of the State, however much it may have 
been diffused among the people. With the conversion of the cele¬ 
brated Asoka, this state of affairs was altered. Seventeen years after 
he ascended the throne, he held the third great convocation in the 
city of Palibothra—the modern Patna—about 300 years after the 
death of the founder of the religion, and 250 years before the Chris¬ 
tian era. It was then resolved to send missionaries to propagate the 
doctrines of Buddhism beyond tbo Indus, and in Ceylon. Treaties 
were formed for the protection of the followers of this religion with 
Antioehus Theos, Antigonus Gonatus; with Ptolemy Philadelphia, 
Megas of Gyrene, and Alexander of Macedon. 8 From this time the 
faith seems to have been propagated with immense rapidity, but 
always by gentle moans. W e have absolutely no hint ot either war or 
persecution being used for its dissemination; and, from that time, for 

1 There may possibly be an error of; nutely correct, 
forty to sixty years in this date; bt x it> on ; 2 Journal, Asia tie Society, Bengal, vol, 

the whole, that here given is supported j vii. p. 219 et seq .; Royal Asiatic Society, 
by the greatest amount of concurrent testi- i vol. xii. p. 153 et mq .; ‘ Quarterly Re- 
juony, and may, after all, prove to be ini- view/ for July, 1800, p. 218, &c. 

BOTTJHlTST AKUfli iiLUi u itr,. 


is! ten centuries, it was the dominant faith all over the nor 
In the first century of our era it was extended into Bur 
^anq^Pegue, and penetrated even into China—Thibet having been one 
of the first countries t-o adopt the faith, unless, indeed, Jdxe converse 
is the ease, and that Buddhism, in its main features, was originally 
a Thibetan form, introduced into India by Sakya Muni;* 

Our increasing knowledge of ethnography renders this rapid diffu¬ 
sion of Buddhism every day less wonderful. In India, the Aryan 
supremacy had been declining over since the decay of the kingdom of 
Ayodia, and especially since tho rudo shock it had sustained in the 
wars narrated mythically in the great epic of the Mahabharata. In 
the 7th century B.c., the Aryans were no longer a pure or united race; 
and when Sakya Muni called on the long subject races to rise and 
reassert their rights, his appeal found a response in the hearts of the 
great mass of the population. The secret of the success of Buddhism 
lies in the fact that it was an uprising of the casteless Turanians 
against the caste-loving Aryans, who had long held them in sub¬ 
jection ; but the former being then the more numerous, the revolution 
was easily accomplished, and as easily maintained, till tho Buddhists, 
in their turn, were squeezed out of India by fresh immigration across 
the Indus on the west, and the gradual increase of the Dravidian races of 
the south. 1 ho religion, however, still maintains its undisputed sway 
in all the neighbouring countries, where no admixture of foreign races 
has been superinduced. 

It was not only, however, in India that Turanian races lay beneath 
an Aryan or Semitic supremacy, hut throughout tho whole of tho old 
world. Wherever we find a plain covered with tumuli, wherever a 
circle of stones or a dolmen marks a spot, or a menhir rears its head, 
there we may feel sure the voice of this new teacher would have found 
an echo, had it reached so far; and in all those countries we find 
that monastic institutions, segregation of the clergy, veneration of 
saints, worship of relics, and all the peculiar features of tho new faith, 
immediately took root, and, in many, flourish to the present day. 

All this will be clearer as we proceed; meanwhile, the fact which 
interests us most in this place is that, with the resuscitation of a 
Turanian people, and the rise of a Turanian form of worship, the archi¬ 
tectural history of India leally commences: as before mentioned, we 
have not one single monument in that country that can date before 
the time of Asoka, and even during his reign the examples we possess 
can scarcely be called architectural. 

The circumstances of the architectural history' of India commencing 
with Asoka, about b.c. 250, and of all the monuments for at least five 
centuries after that time being Buddhist, are two cardinal facts 
that cannot be too strongly insisted upon, or too often repeated, by 
those who wish to clear away a great deal which has hitherto tended 

tss uun m ~ a Kcmxisci u:itK 


the subject unintelligible. 1 There is no a priori impod 
lit the Dravidian, or northern aboriginal races, may huvfc 
( early; hut no trace of this has been found, and it is, to say 
the least of it, extremely improbable. When we first meet the Budd¬ 
hist style it is in its infancy—a wooden art painfully struggling into 
lithic forms. When we meet the other styles they are full grown, and 
we have as yet discovered no vestiges of them in their less advanced 
forms. India has probably been by this time sufficiently investigated 
to enable us to say that none of any importance do exist. 

The principal monuments by which Asoka is known to us are his 
inscriptions. Three of these are engraved on the living rock, one near 
Cuthick, on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, another near Jonaghur, in 
Guzerat, 1000 miles west of the last, and a third at Kapur di Giri, 
900 miles north of Jonaghur. Slightly more architectural than these 
are the Lats, or pillars which he erected to contain edicts conveying 
the principal doctrines of the Buddhist religion as then understood. 2 
Of these one is at Delhi, having been re-erected by Feroze Shah in liis 
palace, as a monument of his victory over the Hindus. Three more 
are standing near the river Gunduck, in Tirhoot ; and one, represented 
in the annexed woodcut (No. 967), has recently been placed on a pedestal 
in the fort of Allahabad. A fragment of another was discovered near 
Delhi, and part of a seventh was used as a roller on the Benares road 
by a Company’s engineer officer. 

They are so similar that the following description of the Allahabad 
pillar will serve for all. It is one stone, 42 ft. 7 in. in height, of 
which 7 ft. 7 in. 3 may he considered as the base, which probably was 

1 I believe I was the first to ascertain 
these facts from a personal inspection of 
the monuments themselves. They were 
communicated to the Royal Asiatic So¬ 
ciety in a paper I read on the 4 Rock-cut 

Temples of India/ in 1842. Every subse¬ 
quent research, and every increase of our 
knowledge, has tended to confirm those 
views to such an extent that they are not 
now disputed by any one acquainted with 
the literature of the subject, though some 
writers do still indulge in rhapsodies about 
the primalval antiquity of the caves, and 
their connexion with those of Egypt, &c. 
Till all this is put oil one side, no clear 
idea can be obtained of the true position 
of the art in India. 

2 These inscriptions have been published 
in various forms and at various times by 
the Asiatic Societies of Calcutta and Lon¬ 
don ; but it is veiy much to me regretted 

that a carefully-edited translation is not 

issued in some separate form easily 

accessible to the general public. An ab¬ 
solutely authentic and unaltered body of 
Buddhist doctrine, as it stood 250 years 
before the birth of Christ, would be one 
of tho most valuable contributions pos¬ 
sible to the religious history of the modern 
world, and so much lias been already done 
that the task does not seem difficult.* 
Among other things, they explain to us 
negatively why we have so little history on 
India in these days. Asoka is only busied 
about doctrines. He does not even mention 
his father's name; and makes no allusion to 
any historical event, not even those con¬ 
nected with the life of the founder of the 
religion. Among a people so careless of 
genealogy, history is impossible. 

3 These dimensions are taken from Capt. 
Burt’s drawings published in the J. A. 8. B, 
vol. iii. plate 8. 

* Gen. Cunningham lias just brought home a 
fourth copy of the groat inscription which he found 
on a rock on the north of the Dehra Uliron. 



:o some extent in the ground, or m the masonry that suppl 
it. The shaft, pro- 
perly so called, was 
$ 3 ft. in diameter at \ Wf/ j 

| the base, diminishing ywyl 
>i to 2 ft. 2 in. at the y H J 
| summit. The neck- 
j] ing immediately be* 

I low the capital (wood- 
f, cut No. 968) represents, with 
I considerable purity, the honey- 
v suckle ornament of the Assyrians, 

|jj which the Greeks borrowed from 
m them with the-Ionic order. 

At first sight, it might appear 
|| that this ornament points to the 
/({ influence which the Greeks set- 
tied in Bactria may have had on 
•| Indian art. But, on the whole, 

|| it is probably more correct to 
6 assume that both Greeks and 
S Indians borrowed it from the 
$f! same source in Assyria, the in- 
|| fluence of which on Indian archi¬ 
ll teotu re is more and more apparent 
$1 as we become better acquainted 
with the subject. 

The pillar at Allahabad has 
H lost its capital, but we are able 
to supply the deficiency from 
m two of the Tirhoot examples, 
which retain their capitals with 
if the lions which seem generally 
fjf to have crowned their summits. 

H Another of these capitals was 
p|| discovered by General Ctmning- 
'|jj ham at Sankissa, on the Ganges. 
m This time the animal was an 
elephant, though ho has lost his 
gv trunk,* and lost it so long ago 
m that the Chinese traveller Hiouen 
---* Thsang mistook him for a lion in . 
illa * the beginning of the 7th cen¬ 
tury. The Assyrian honeysuckle 

963. Honeysucklo ornament from capital of Lat. 

969. Capital of Lftt in Tirhout. 
From a Drawing by the late 
Capt. Kit,toe. 

970. Capital at Sankissa. Froii 
Drawing by Gen. Cunninglnun. 



this tlian in tbe last-quoted example, 
is familiar to ns from Persian architect!! 
to the lower mem bers of those at Persepolis, 
and more especially to the bases of the columns there, as to leave no 
doubt of their common origin. 

It is almost certain that these pillars of Asoka stood originally in 
front of some sacred buildings which have perished. We know that 
the great tope of Sanchi had one or two such monoliths in front qf each 
of its gateways, and the great caves of Karli (woodcuts Nos. 989, 991) 

and Kennari show similar pillars 
cut in the rock in front and on each 
of the entrance of the great 
halls, which, therefore, we may as¬ 
sume to be their proper position. 

T esides these, there are two 
at Erun, one at Pathari in 
Central India, and several others, of 
more or less importance, in various 
parts of linjia. The most curious, 

ft. in length, of which 22 are 
above the ground, and more than 
5 ft. in circumference at the base. 
It probably belongs to the 5th or 
6th century. Ilis^wonderful to 
think how it was that remote 

date, or how it has been preserved 
from rusting, after its exposure for 
so many centuries in the open air. 

There is no instance, so far as I 
am aware, of a built monumental 
pillar now standing in India. This 
is sufficiently accounted for by the 
ease with which they could he 
thrown down and their materials removed, when they had lost the 
sanctity which alone protected them. There are, however, two such 
pillars among the topes of j^abul, and evidently coeval with them, 
now called the Surkh Minar, and the Minar Chakri. These are ascribed 
by the traditions of the place to Alexander the Great, though they are 
evidently Buddhist monuments, meant to mark some sacred q^ot, or to 
commemorate some event, the memory of which has passed away. They 
are probably of the third or fourth century of our ora, and their shape 
and outline exhibit great degeneracy from the purer forms with which 
architecture commenced in India, and which were there retained to a 

971. Surkh Minar, Kabul. From a 
Mr. Masson, In Wilson’s 'Ariana 


fl'ater period than in this remote province. There can be 
that their upper members are meant to be copies of the ^ 
x ‘S of the Persepolitan pillars, which were probably common also 
in Assyria, and throughout this part of Asia. They may also have 
•resembled the “chapiters” which form so important a part of the two 
pillars set up by Solomon before his temple at Jerusalem. 1 

The remaining monuments of the Buddhist religion may he classed 
under three heads. First, Sthupas or Topes. (Essentially these ought 
to he divided into two classes—those which were intended to contain 
relics, 2 and those which were erected to mark sacred spots, and comme¬ 
morate events in Buddhist history. But, as no external mark has 
yet been discovered from which the different uses can be inferred, they 
may architecturally be considered as one class. 

The second class, called Chaityas, are both in"use and form identical 
j with Christian churches, more especially those of carly basilican type; 
j Unfortunately all the Indian examples, with, perhaps, one exception, 
are rock-cut. Though their interiors are more perfectly preserved 
from this circumstance than if they were structural, wo are left almost 
entirely in ignorance of what their outward form may have been. 

The third class consists of viharas or monasteries. These, too, in 
India are nearly all rock-cut. The few structural examples that remain 
are of brick, originally plastered; hut, having been ruined eight or 
nine centuries ago, all their ornaments—all, indeed, except their plans 
—are gone, and they hardly help us in our researches. 

As will be seen from the sequel, the distribution of the monuments 
differs widely from that of the religion, as shewn in the map, page 452. 

Jhe original seat of the faith was the .Kingdom of Magadha, now 
known as North and South Behar, with Talibothra—Patna—for its- 
capital. It was there it flourished longest and most extensively. From 
this centre it sent one offshoot down to Cuttack on the shores of tho 
Bay of Bengal; another thin line westward through Bilsah to Bombay 
Harbour. A more important branch extended in a north-western 
direction across the Indus to^abul. Besides those, it leaked through 
the passes of the Himalayas into Thibet, and crossed the ocean tow" 

At the extremities of all these rontes monuments exist in abundance, 
but they decrease in frequency and importance almost in tho exact 
ratio in which we approach the central province from which the whole 

The .origin of relic-worship is thus accounted for by the traditions of 

1 1 Kings vii. 10 et 8cq . 

2 The first arc properly styled dagohas, 
from dhatu, a relie, and gabba, or garba; 
the shrine or tomb, from which the word 

pagoda seems to be a corruption. If ever 
it becomes necessary to distinguish them, 
the one should be called dagobfe, the other 

vi rsruc'jxx' * ' xt. f wjuacXT rJV' I. LT UK, 

?T TartTH. 

'ism. It is said that at the death of the founder of the rfl 

cities disputed the possession of his mortal remains. __ 

(ilty of a decision was avoided by a distribution of the sacred 
Of these by far the most famous is the so-called Tooth relic, 
which, till the last few years, was so carefully guarded by the British 
governors of Ceylon, as the Palladium of our sovereignty over that 
island. It originally fell to the lot of Kalinga, and was magnifi¬ 
cently enshrined on the spot where now stands the celebrated temple 
of Juggernath at Puri. Here it remained till the fourth century, 
when it was conveyed for a short time to Patna, then the capital of 
the country. After performing many miracles there, it was restored 
to its original place of deposit, but only for a very short time for, on 
the invasion of the country by strangers from the East, it was conveyed 
to Ceylon, concealed in the hair of the king’s daughter: it was 
received there in the year 311 of our era, and has ever since continued 
the most precious treasure of the realm. 1 

Besides this, Ceylon possesses the left Collar-bone, enshrined in the 
Thuparamya Dagoba at Anuradhapoora (woodcut No. 1007), and the 
Thorax-bone, enshrined at Bintenne, near Kandy. The Mahawanso, 
or great Buddhist history of Ceylon, describes the mode in which this 
last building was raised, by successive additions, in a manner so illus¬ 
trative of the principle on which these relic-slirines arrived at com¬ 
pletion, that it is well worth quoting:—“The chief of the Devos, 
Sumano, supplicated of the deity worthy of offerings for an offering. 
The Vanquisher, passing his hand over his head, bestowed on him a 
handful of his pure blue locks from the growing hair of the head. 
Receiving and depositing it in a superb golden casket, on the spot 
where the divine teacher had stood, he enshrined the lock in an 
emerald dagoba, and bowed down in worship. 

“ The thero Sarabhu, at the demise of the supreme Buddha, receiv¬ 
ing at his funeral pile the Thorax-bone, brought and deposited it in 
that identical dagolw. This inspired personage caused a dagoba to 
be erected 12 cubits high to enshrine it, and thereon departed. The 
younger brother of King Devenampiatisso (n.c. 250), having discovered 
this marvellous dagoba, constructed another encasing it, 30 cubits in 
height. King Duttagamini (n.c. 101), while residing there, during 
his subjugation of the Malabars, constructed a dagoba, encasing that 
one, 80 cubits in height.” 

Thus was the “ Mahiyangaria dagoba completed.”- It is possible 
that at each successive addition some new deposit was made; at least 
•most of the topes examined in Afghanistan and the Punjab shew 

1 See account of Tooth relic by the 
Hon. G. Toumour, J. A. S. B., vol. vi. 
p. 856 el seq , Sterling Cuttack, Trans, 

A. S. h., vol. xv. p. 263, &c. Ac. 

2 Abstracted from Tumour’s ‘Maha- 
wanso,’ p. 4. 


ifithese successive increin ents, and successive deposits, one a 

Bilsah Topes. 

About thirty topes havo been opened near Bilsah by Major (now 
General) Cunningham, of the Bengal Engineers, and Lieut. Maisey, 
ten of which have yielded results of the most interesting character. 
One tope contained relics of the two principal disciples of Buddha; 
another of Moggalipntra, who presided over the third great convoca¬ 
tion held by Asoka. Others contained relics of those missionaries 
whom we know to have been sent by Asoka to convert the nations of 
the Himalaya and of the banks ot tbe Indus. Belies were found of 
other priests and saints whose names and acts are still unknown to us. 
The whole of these discoveries tend to confirm, to a very groat extent, 
the traditions that have come down to us, besides making tbe intent 
and purpose of these buildings perfectly clear and intelligible. 

From the age of the disciples of Buddba, whose relics are found in 
these topes, General Cunningham 1 argues that they may even be older 
than Asoka. If they were tombs containing their bodies, this might 
beJbe case; but few saints are canonized till at least a century aftei 
their death, and it is questionable if any of Buddha s followers attained 
this distinction before Asoka’s time. But even if this were the case, a 
still longer time is required before relics of them—a few hairs, a bit of 
cloth, a small bone, a tooth, or such like articles— become so invaluable 
that men erect noble shrines like these for their preservation, and 
believe in their efficacy to repay the worship addressed to them. 

By far the finest as well as the most perfect tope in India is that of 
Sanchi, the principal one of those'situated near Bilsah, in*Cential 
India. It is uncertain whether it ever contained relics or not, as it 
was dug into in 1819 by Sir Herbert Mad dock, since which time it 
has remained a ruin. and. inqy have been plundered by the natives. 
At any rate, that it was a spot of yieouliax sanc^ is evident, both 
from its own magnificence and from the number of su&irdiimto topes 
^grouped uroimd it. In fact them joea gt^ter nunibePfof these menu-* 
ihU >pot, wofrir a space n.oi«£ ^coding seventeeiy^y h**** 
miles, thaanso lar, 1'% " 

of India-fi-bin- .. \ ? 

x Th • geii-.-ral -appears nob ‘ of tinb U! umi 
from tJ of it ou woodout N < >. iT", and it ; S&q and 

.from tl.e plafc and section m bor ‘••7B.-9T4. f rom it will bo_ 

observed that Hie principal binding on u>ts .ot a dour; somovvli.vt los* 
than a hemisphere, «Uh ft."in dbuaenr, and it. in boi dit.' 

k i • Bilsah Topes/ by Gen. A. published in 1854, p. 270 e* 

2 These yiews, plans, &c.. are Wkfti from a Memoir by Oapt. ,1. D. Cunningham, 
•t. A. S. B., August, 1847. 

-LrsuUYJS .akohitecture. 

f)ii the top of the tope is a flat fepa.ce about 34 ft. in di.^ji 
lierly surrounded by a stone railing, some parts of which ar(k^s 

lying there; and 

- — the centre of this 


stood a feature known 
to Indian archaeolo¬ 
gists as A, Tee. The 
wooden t (No. 975), 
from a rock-cut exam¬ 
ple at A junta, repre¬ 
sents the usual form 
at this age. The lower 
part is adorned with 
the usual Buddhist rail 


tqgJC HS '-A|to IN MU o' 

Sejjaon df Tope at Sauchi. 

974 . 

Ml tosty 


ustrade, and was amended by a broad double ramp on one 
►robably used for proccs- 
si^^Vound the monument, which 
seem to have been among the 
most common Buddhist ceremo¬ 
nials, The centre of this great 
mound is quite solid, being com¬ 
posed of bricks laid in mud; but 
the exterior is faced with dressed 
stones. Over these was laid a 0 , r - r .. ., , , 

coating of cement nearly 4 inches 

in thickness, which was, no doubt, originally adorned either with 
painting or ornaments in relief. 

The fence by which this tope is surrounded is extremely curious. It 
consists of stone posts 8 ft. 8 in. higji, and little more than 2 ft. apart. 
These are surmoulited by a, plain 
architrave, 2 ft. 4 in. deep, slightly 
rounded at the top. So far this en¬ 
closure resembles the outer circle at 
Stonehenge; but between every two 
uprights three horizontal cross-pieces 
of stone are inserted, of an elliptical 
form, of the same depth as the top 
piece, but only 9 in. thick in the 
thickest part. This is the only built ex¬ 
ample yet discovered of an architectural ornament which is found carved 
in every cave, and, indeed, in almost every ancient Buddhist; building 
known in India. The upright posts ov of this enclosure bear 

inscriptions indicating that tbp flferont individuals. 

But neither these nor au whole tope, or 

in the smaller topes sui§> . • many as 250 

inscriptions in all), contain any known name, or any clue to their age. 1 

Still more curious, however, than even the stone railing are the 
r>ur gateways. One of these is shown in the general view of the 
buildings (woodcut No. Q5g> It consists of two square pillars, covered 
with sculptures, with t ^ Vydiant capitals, rising, to a height of 
18 It. 4 i.x.; above tbaio i-uiee lintels, slightly curved upwards in 
the centre, and ending in Ionic scrolls; they are supported by con¬ 
tinuations of the columns, and three uprights inserted in the spaces 
between the lintels. They are covered with elaborate sculptures, and 
surmounted by emblems. The total height is 33 ft. 0 in. One gateway, 
the northern, has fallen, and if removed to this country would raise 


Stone balustrade forming tin enclosure 
at Sauc.hl. 

1 The celebrated Chandragupta inscription on the eastern gateway (J. A. S. B , vol. 
p. 454; is evidently a subsequent addition, and belongs to tiie 4th century a.u* 


2 H 



racier of Indian sculpture, as nothing comparable to it ha 
ransported from that part of the world to Europe.' 
this gateway, on the representation of a tope, is an inscription, 
in the old Iiit character, which does give us a clue to its date; it repre¬ 
sents the gateway as the gift of Ananda, in the reign of Satkarni Baja. 
There seems no reasonable doubt that this is a king who reigned over 
Magadha in the first half of the first century of the Christian ora. 
The tope itself may possibly be older, but not probably so old as the 
time of Asoka, and the railing and the other gateways may have been 
erected during the two centuries that intervened between Asoka’s time 
and the Christian era. 

Few things are more important to those interested in the early 
development of the Buddhist religion than the sculptures of these 
gateways. They are extremely extensive,® and form a perfect Bible of 
Buddhist ritualism as it was practised while Christianity was being 
preached* in Judea. The worship of relics, as symbolised by the adora¬ 
tion of the tope, occurs at least twenty times, and seems the most 
important form ; next to this comes tree-worship, the adoration of the 
Bo-tree being repeated nearly as often. After these two come various 
symbols, the meaning of which is not so clear, and need not bo entered 
on here. They are of much less importance than relic and tree worship. 
No representation of Buddha occurs, and no trace of serpent-worship 

Besides the subjects relating to religion are numerous bas-reliefs 
representing scenes of war and the peaceful occupations of men and 
women, corresponding to the well-known paintings on the Egyptian 
tombs. In short, life in India, as it was about the time of the Chris¬ 
tian era, is fully representedr Jn these sculptures, and there alone, so 
far as we at presep t' 

accounts of the c t t /• • y 
work. Several of them very 
tire nearly on the same scale, and all appear to be of about the same 
age, TherlB seems no reason for supposing that any are so early as s 
the age of Asoka, b.c. 250, or so late as that of Salivahana, 79 a.d., but 
they probably all range between those 1. 'Epochs. 


Next in importance to the Bilsah group of topes is that at Mani¬ 
kyala in the Punjab, situated between the Indus and the Jelum or 

tograplis illustrative of these sculptures, 
made and presented to me by Lieut. Water- 
house, K.A., now attached to the Surveyor- 
Genenil's department in Bengal. 

fe neighbourhood, with 
; ai i General Cunningham's 

„ resemble the great one, but some 

1 One of these gateways is engraved in 
great detail, and to a largo scale, as a 
titlo-page to the author’s ‘Illustrations of 
Indian Architecture.’ 

2 I possess a \ery complete set of plio- 

MM Sf/fy 


Fifteen or twenty of these are found at this place, m< 
vere opened by General Vent lira and Mr. Court about the ^ 
when several of them yielded relics of great value, though no 
record has been preserved of the greater part of the excavations. In 
one opened by Mr. Court, a square chamber was found at a height 
of 10 ft. above the ground-level. In this was a gold cylinder en¬ 
closed in one of silver, and that again in one of copper. The inner 
one contained four gold coins, ten precious stones, and four pearls. 
These were, no doubt, the relics which the tope was intended to pre¬ 
serve. The inscription was illegible, so that we cannot ascertain 
to whom they belonged. In the tope, and in the cylinders, though 

not in the innermost one, there wero Roman silver Consular coins* 

977. Relic Casket from Tope at Vlanikyula. 
Found and Drawn by Gen. Cunningham. 

of Mark Antony and Augustus Caesar. 

The others are Bactrian and native 
coins, generally supposed to be near 
the Christian era in date, so that we 
can have no hesitation in ascribing 
the tope to the first century. It is so 
ruined externally that we can form no 
comparison of the probable age of this 
and the others. 

Another was recently opened by 
General Cunningham, in the relic 
chamber of which he found a copper 
coin, belonging to a king who is 
known to have reigned in this part of 
the country about the Christian era, 
and we may therefore assume that the 
tope was erected by him or in his time. 

This and other relics were enclosed in 
a glass-stoppered vessel, placed in a 
miniature representation of the tope 
itself, 4^ in. wide at base, and 8$ in. 
high (woodcut No. 977), which may he considered as a fair representa¬ 
tion of what a tope was, or. was intended to be, in that day. It is, 
perhaps, taller, however, than a structural example would have been ; 
and the tee, with its four umbrellas, is, no doubt, exaggerated. 

The principal tope of the gronp is, perhaps, the most remarkable of 
its class in India, though inferior in size to several in Ceylon. As 
will be seen from woodcut Nod978, it consists of a basement 160 ft. in 
diameter, as nearly as may he, 500 ft. in circumference, and 14 ft. in 
height; four great flights of steps, one on each face, 2 led up to a terrace 

1 J. A. S. B, vol. iii. pp. 560, 635. | the woodcut is taken. I know them only 

2 These iiights of stairs were discovered | from a photograph, which does not suffice 
after the elevation was made, from which j for their restoration. 

2 h 2 


$64/3 in. wide, which this wall supported, and which, indeed, s^hlJ 
i^have heen an essential adjunct to all the older topes. Above inis 
™ a second circle of pilasters, and from this sprung the dome. The 
whole height of the monument—as far as it can be ascertained in its 

Restored Elevation of the Tope at Man iky ala. Scale 60 ft. to l in. 

present ruined state—is 88 or 90 ft., but to this must be added the 
tee, like that represented in woodcut No. 975, which must Have heen 
some 20 ft. in height, alx>ve which there were certainly one or more 
umbrellas, probably in wood. Jn the centre of the platform, on the 



Ml UlSTfff, 

Cir. If. 


t, a well-holo of considerable depth was found, carefully" 
squared stones. It was probably into this hole that the 
stepped which supported the wooden superstructure. 1 

This tope was opened in 1830 by General Ventura; and three 
separate deports of relics were found at the depths of about 25, 45, 
and 65 ft. respectively, each apparently increasing in value with its 
depth from the top. With the relics were buried a great number of 
coins, besides many placed intermediately between the principal 
deposits. These, being' of the fourth or fifth century, shew that the 
upper deposit is certainly as modern as the time of the Sassanidae. 
But the lower relics may be two centuries earlier, though the evidence 
on this point is by no means so clear as might be desired, nor were 
the excavations so carried on as to show whether the tope reached 
its present dimensions by successive additions like that at Bintenne 
(p. 462) or whether it had been erected at once. The former was 
probably the case, judging from the different depths at which the 
relics were found. 

The most important relic appears to have been a brown liquid 
contained in a box with an inscription on its lid ; but, though now 
deciphered, the inscription adds little to our knowledge of its date. 
General Cunningham, in his archaeological report for 1863-64, is 
inclined, Trom the evidence of the coins found, to bring the date of 
the exterior at least down to the 7th century, and on the whole, I 
am inclined to agree with him. The order of its architecture more 
closely resembles that of the Viswakarma Cave at Ellora than any 

1 In Algeria two monuments have been 
discovered—there may be more—which 
are so similar to these topes that it seems 
almost impossible the likeness can be acci¬ 
dental. One of them, called the Tomb of 
the Christian Lady—Kubr Koumia—is 
situated about forty miles from Algiers, 
on ono of the culminating points of the 
Sahel. It is said to have been recently 
opened by M. Berbrugger, but no account 
of the results obtained has yet reached 
England. The other, in the neighbourhood 
of Batna, is smaller, hut more perfect. It 
is 166 ft. in diameter, and surrounded by 
a colonnade 16 ft. in height—the pillars 
are sixty in number. The whole extremely 
similar to that of Manikyala. On the sum¬ 
mit is a platform, 28 ft. in diameter,* and 
with the usu il carefully formed well-hole 
in the centre. Toe one point of difference 

* The particulars regarding Batna are taken 
from Canon Blakeley's • Four Months in Algeria,’ 
chap. xi. * 

| is, that the upper part of the topes in 
| Africa is straight-lined or conical—in Asia 
1 it is always curved or domical; but this 
I hardly seems important. 

As regards their age, their architecture 
certainly belongs to the Roman period 
! (post Scipionem). Generally they are 
| assumed to be tombs, and they may be so; 
but, looking at the immense number of 
rude stone circles, of dolmens, cromlechs, 
and menhirs, which surround that at 
Batna, there can hardly be any doubt 
1 that both are monuments of the same 
penple, and that these races were very 
j closely allied with those who erected the 
! mogalithic structures in the west of Eu- 
I rope and in Scandinavia. 

All this will require careful elucidation 
I hereafter, hut, meanwhile, it may be re¬ 
marked, that the monument at Batna 
forms a euri .us link between the topes at 
Amravati and Manikyala, and the circles 
at Stonehenge and Avebury. 


building in India I am acquainted with, which latter I Ion; 
impendent grounds, assigned to that era. 
iTie great difference in arrangement between this and the Sanehi 
tope will be observed to be that the independent rail, which is so 
important a feature in all earlier topes, has here assumed the form of 
attached pilasters, just as the Greek peristyle first became a three- 
quarter column, and then a merely ornamental pilaster. As we shall 
have to point out in the sequel, this is a universal characteristic of 
Indian art, and explains much which, without a knowledge of it, would 
remain obscure. 


A few miles north of Benares is a group of topes, known by the 
name of Sarnath, the principal of which is of a tower-like form, 93 ft. 
in diameter., and 110 ft. in height. The lower part is cased with stone, 
and adorned witli eight niches, surmounted by triangular canopies, and 
ornamented by bands of scroll-work of great beauty and delicacy. 
These, however, were only partially finished; for, as was always the 
case in India, the sculpture was added after the masonry was com¬ 
plete. The upper part is in a ruinous state, and was probably never 
completed. It has been opened, 1 but no relic or relic-chamber was 
found. This spot has been visited by two Chinese travellers, Fa 
Mian* in the year 405, and Hiouen Thsang in the seventh century, 
who describe all these topes and the purposes for which they were 

The great tope now standing at Sarnath seems to have been raised 
in the end of the 6th or beginning of the 7th century, and to bo the 
identical one described by Hiouen Thsang. It must have replaced or 
enclosed that seen by Fa Hian. As neither of these travellers mentions 
any relics as existing here, we are perhaps justified in assuming that 
none were ever deposited, but that this and the neighbouring topes 
were erected to commemorate events in the life of Buddha. 

At Keseriah, in Tirhoot, about 20 miles north of Bakra, where one 
of the pillars of Asoka mentioned above is found, are the ruins of what 
appears to have been a very large tope. But it is entirely ruined 
externally, and his never been explored, so that we cannot tell what 
was its original shape or purpose. 3 All along this line of country 
numerous Buddhist remains are found, all more or less ruined, and 
they have not yet been examined with the care necessary to ascertain 

l . This building was opened by Major ological Report for 1861-62, 

Cunningham ia 1830, and careful drawings 2 ‘Fo Koae Ki,’ p. 305. ‘Voyages de 

made of every part of it, which were, I Hiouen Thsang,' p. 133. 
believe, engraved, but never published. ! 3 A view of it is given, J, A. S. B., vol. 

A detailed description of the building is iv. p. 122. 
given by Gen. Cunningham in the Arch®- 



A voiy large Buddhist enclosure is found at Amravati, near the 
mouth of the river Kistna, in the Madras territory. It now hears the 
name of Dipal-dinna, or Mount of Light, but why so called has not 
hitherto been accounted for. The annexed plan (woodcut No. 981) will 
explain the general arrangement of the place. The tank shown in the 
centre is not an original part of the structure. Its excavation was com¬ 
menced in the last century, and continued in the present, till some 
troubles in the district caused it to lie abandoned and left, as it now is, 
incomplete. As far as the traditions collected by Colonel Mackenzie 
are intelligible, the monument in the centre was opened by a local 
Bajah in search of treasure, but, failing to find any, he determined 
to utilize the space he had cleared by forming in it a reservoir of water. 
These operations have effectually destroyed all trace of the original 
nature of the central shrine. It can scarcely have been a large and 
solid mound like that of Sancln, because, if so, an immense mass of 
worthless material has been entirely removed, while many stones of 

1 All these monuments have been care¬ 
fully examined and identified by Gen. 
Cunningham, acting as archaeological 
surveyor for the Government of India, 

and a detailed account of them printed 
in his reports, and in part published 
in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of 


ter value, and easily transportable, remain in situ . Frc 
*>f the whole enclosure, and the care and labour displayed 
,paf£a which remain, we may conclude that the central shrine was some 

object highly orna¬ 
mented and of great 
sanctity. 1 

The parts remain¬ 
ing consist princi¬ 
pally of two concen¬ 
tric circles of upright 
stones, the outer, 1 i>3 
ft. in diameter, and 
between the two a 
paved pathway 13 ft. 
in width. The up¬ 
right stones are not, 
like those of the Dru- 
idical circles in Eu¬ 
rope, mere unshaped 
masses, but are carv¬ 
ed with a minuteness 
unkno wn any where 
else, even in India. 

This may he seen both in the elaborate and beautiful drawings which 
Colonel Mackenzie caused to be made of them—copies of which exist 
at Madras, Calcutta, and in the India House Library—and also in 
specimens of the stones themselves, which he sent to all these places. 
With our imperfect knowledge of Buddhist history, it is impossible to 
identify many of the scenes and subjects represented, but they cer¬ 
tainly form one of the most complete illustrations conceivable of 
Buddhist forms and traditions. 

Besides these two circles of stones, the remains of two of its gate¬ 
ways (out of four that probably originally existed) have been exhumed, 
though the drawings do not suffice to explain what their form and 
elevation were. We may, however, believe them to have been of the 
same character with those at San chi above described, as very similar 
gateways are more than once represented on the sculptures at this 
very place. 

The mound of earth that surrounds it, backing up the outer circle 
of stones, seems merely to be the rubbish from the excavation of the 

1)81. Tope of Amravuti. From a MS. plan in the India House. 
Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

1 The particulars from which the ac- notes, in the Mackenzie collection in the 
count, and plan of the Dipal-dinna are India Office, and a paper communicated 
compiled are contained in 2 vols. of draw- to Mr. Buckingham by Colonel Mackenzie 
in<rs of the monument, and some MS. in March, 1822. 

I. Ch. II. 


and not at all a part of the original design. This is el 
the fact that the carving at the hack of the stones, whii 
lie same character with that at the front, is hidden by it. The 
removal of this rubbish is much to be desired, and would probably 
lead to important discoveries. At present we cannot fix the date of 
tho tope with any exactness. All that we can now say is, that it was 
probably commenced in the third or fourth century of our era, and 
may have been continued down to the tenth or twelfth. 

A great number of tumuli of various sizes surround this great tope, 
but none, so far as I am aware, have been opened or examined with 
care. Caves too, with their walls adorned with fresco paintings, occur 
in the neighbourhood, hut they too are unexplored. 

Besides these usual accompaniments, this district abounds in what 
are called Panda Kolu , being circles of unhewn stones, identical in 
every feature with the so-willed Druidical circles of Europe, except 
that their dimensions are smaller, their diameter being generally about 
from 10 to 20 ft. As far as has been ascertained, they were nearly 
always burying-placcs, which seems also to have been generally the 
case with the circles in Europe. 

Boodh Gya. 

In a religious history of India the monuments at Boodh Gya ought 
probably to have been mentioned first among Buddhist monuments. 
In an architectural history they unfortunately come last, as the temple 
there is certainly, in its present form, the most modern Buddhist 
erection in India (woodcut No. 982). Very recently, however, an 
excavation—all the particulars of which have not reached this country— 
has revealed the existence of a sacred enclosure like those at Sanchi 
(woodcut No. 976) and Ainravati (woodcut No. 981). This time, how¬ 
ever, it is a rectangle 131 ft. from E. to W. and 96 ft. N. to S. The 
stone pillars of this rail aro much more richly ornamented than those 
at Sanchi; less so, however, than those at Araravati, and might there¬ 
fore be assumed to belong to some intermediate date; but till all these 
details are known it is not safe to speculate. Iliouen Thsang describes 
an enclosure hero which he ascribes to Asoka, and some inscriptions in 
the old Lat character on these rails would seem to confirm this; but 
the character of such parts of the sculpture as I have seen is certainly 
much more modern. 

The object of this colonnade was to enclose the sacred Bo-tree, 
pepul, Ficus religiosa , which stood there, and under which Sakya Muni, 
in the quaint language of the Buddhist scripture, “ turned the wheel of 
the law;” in other words, expounded his doctrines. The tree, or its 
lineal descendant, still exists on the spot. It is seen at the back of the 
1 emple in the next woodcut, and has certainly been worshipped there 



last 2100 years. 1 A branch of this tree, as we shall pre! ^ 
is sent to Ceylon by As ok a, and became there the prinl 
of worship at Anm*adhapora, and is so now. 

A temple was erected, according to an inscription found on the spot, 
about the year 500, by a certain Amara Dev a, and was seen and 
described by Hiouen Tlisang in the 7th century, but having become 
luinous, was rebuilt by the Burmese in or about the year 1306, as 
shewn in woodcut No, 982. From its architecture there can be little 

982. Temple at Boodh Gya. From a Photograph by Mr. Peppe, C.E. 

doubt that its external form, and the details of the stucco ornaments 
with which it is now covered, belong to the latter epoch; and so do 
all the parts which are arched and all the true arches. The frame¬ 
work of the building, however, and those parts constructed with hori- 

1 Buchanan Hamilton was told by tho afterwards, or in 289. Jsot a bad guess for 
priests oil the spot, in 1811, that it was Asoka's age in a locality where Buddhism 
planted there 2225 years ago, or B.u. 414, lias bceii so long forgotten, 
and that the temple was built 126 years 


relies, seem to belong to tlie earlier erection. Its 
t, it is a transitional example, half-way between 
ie (woodcut No. 078) and the porcelain tower at 
things can be less like one another than the extremes, 
intermediate steps can easily be traced and authenticated. 

Jelalabad Topes. 

The most extensive group of topes known to exist is that of Jelalabad. 
These are situated beyond the Indus, and therefore not strictly within 
the limits of India as usually defined. But they stand directly in the 
track by which the immigrant races usually entered India. That dis¬ 
trict, at the time when thoy were erected, and indeed long before, was 
so closely connected with India as to be almost always confounded with 
it by the earlier historians. 

The oldest tope hitherto discovered in these parts, or probably 
indeed in India, is one at Jamalgiri, 30 miles north of Peshawar. 

It consists of a circular building, probably 20 ft. in diameter, 1 orna¬ 
mented by eighteen figures of Buddha sitting in the usual cross-legged 
position, each figure separated from the one next to it by a pilaster of 
Corinthian design. 

This central building is surrounded by an enclosure probably 50 ft. 
in diameter—a polygon of thirteen sides with an opening in each face— 
now a mere wall of rude masonry, but once no doubt richly ornamented. 
Fragments of its sculpture have been recovered, and are so nearly 
Greek in character, so infinitely superior in design and execution to any¬ 
thing else which has hitherto come home from that country,* as to prove 
incontestably that they must have been executed while the influence 
of the Graeco-Bactrian kingdom was still strong in that quarter: a 
conclusion which is further confirmed by the relative importance of the 
enclosure, and the general architectural arrangements of the building. 

A great number of the remaining topes were opened by Dr. 
Honigbcrger in the years 1833 and 1834; and the results of his numis¬ 
matic discoveries have been published in Paris and elsewhere. The 
only account that we have of the buildings themselves is that given by 
Mr. Masson, who, with singular perseverance and sagacity, completed 
what Dr. Honigberger left undone. 8 

1 The building was discovered and ex¬ 
cavated by Li cuts. Lumsden and Stokes 
of the Company's service, and some draw¬ 
ings and plans published in the Journal 
of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, in Nov. 
1852, but without scales or dimensions, 
or any such description as would make 
the architectural arrangements intelli¬ 

* These sculptures are at pre sent depo¬ 

sited for exhibition in the Crystal Palace 
at Sydenham, by their proprietor, E. C. 
Bayley, Es<p, B.‘ C. 8. 

3 Mr. Masson’s account was communi¬ 
cated to Professor Wilson, and by him 
published in his ‘ A liana Antiqua,’ with 
lithographs from Mr. Masson’s sketches, 
which, though not so detailed as we could 
wish, are still sufficient to render their 
form and appearance intelligible. 



* to P es examined and described by Mr. Masson as existing 
bad are thirty-seven in number, viz. eighteen distinguished JHfit 
-fmta group, six at Chahar Bagh, and thirteen at Hidda. Of these 
about. on<. half yielded coins and relics of more or less importance, 
which proved the dates of their erection to extend from a few years 
before the Christian era to the fifth or sixth century. 

In general appearance they differ considerably from the great 
Indian topes just described, being all taller in proportion to their 
breadth, and having a far more tower like appearance, than any found 
in India, except the Sarnath example. They are also smaller, the 
largest at Darunta being only 160 ft. in circumference. This is about 
the usual size of the first-class topes in Afghanistan, the second class 
being a little more than 100 ft., while many are much smaller. 

In almost every instance they seem to have rested on a square base, 
though m many this lias been removed, and in others is buried in' 
lubbish. Above this rises a circular base or drum, crowned by a belt., 
sometimes composed merely of two architectural string-courses, with 
different-coloured stones disposed as a diaper pattern between them, 
bometimes a range of plain pilasters occupios this space. More gene¬ 
rally the pilasters are joined by arches sometimes circular, somotimes 
of an ogee form. In one instance—the red tope—they are alternately 
circular and three-sided arches. That, this belt represents the enclosing 
rail at feanchi and the pilastered base at Manikyala cannot be doubted. 

It shows a very considerable change in style to find it elevated so far 

up the monument 
as it here is, and so 
completely changed 
from its original 

Generally speak¬ 
ing, the dome or 
roof rises immedi¬ 
ately above this, but 
no example in this 
group retains its 
termination in a 
perfect state. Some 
appear to have had 
hemispherical roofs, 
some conical, of greater or less steepness of pitch; and some, like that 
represented in woodcut No. 983, were probably flat, ca* with only a 
slight elevation in the centre. .Tt is very likely that there was some 
connection between the shape of the roof and the purpose for which 
the tope was raised. But we have no evidence to lead us to any 
decision of this point. 

983. Tope at Bimeran. From a Drawing by Mr. Masson, in Wilson's 
•Ariatm Antiqua.' 


jelalabad totes; 

984. Tope, Sultatipore. From a Drawing by Mr. 
Masson, in Wilson’s ‘ Adana Antique 

interesting peculiarity was brought to light by Air. 
excavation of the tope at Sultanporo, and is shown 

_ :ed section. It is proved that 

the monument originally consisted 
of a small tope on a largo square 
base, with the relic placed on its 
summit. This was afterwards in¬ 
creased in size by a second tope 
being built over it. 

Besides those already mentioned 
there are about twenty or thirty 
topes in the neighbourhood of 
Cabul, but all much ruined, and few 

of any striking importance. So at # 

least we are led to infer froi'n Mr. Masson’s very brief notice of them. 
No doubt many others still remain in spots hitherto unvisited by 

In the immediate vicinity of all these topes are found caves anc 
tumuli, the former being the residences of priests, the latter foi the 
most part burying-places, perhaps in some instances smaller relic- 
shrines. Their exact destination cannot be ascertained without a 
careful investigation by persons thoroughly conversant with the sub¬ 
ject. There are many points of great interest which still require to 
be cleared up by actual examination. When this has been done we 
may hope to be able to judge with some certainty of their affinity 
with the Indian buildings on the one hand, and those of Persia on 

the other. 


The tumuli of India now remaining have no features which 
would entitle them to he regarded as architectural objects. In fact 
they differ little from the harrows of Europe and other parts of the 
world: and this analogy is of itself worthy of remark. But it is by 
no means certain that the tumuli were all as devoid of decoration 
from the first; for in Ceylon, Thibet, and other Buddhist countries, 
the tombs of princes and distinguished individuals are built and 
ornamented exactly like the topes. It is far from certain also 
that tho same may not he true with regard to some of those in 
Afghanistan, v/ 

It must, however, bo borne in mind that, though Buddhism was a 
Turanian religion, it was a refinement—a sublimation, if the expression 

may be used _ of the previous forms and practices used in less civilized 

communities. In pre-Buddhistic times the tumulus or tomb was tho 
principal form of architectural development, and the object of special 

1XN J / i ix xy JXMWJOt L X J?A_' X L'IX Pj. 


not only in Northern and Western Asia but in Ef. 
ar west as the British isles, wherever, indeed, ancestral 
the prevailing form of religious belief. In India the Budd¬ 
hists conformed to the long-established practice of burning their dead, 
and the tomb became not the receptacle of a body but of a relic. As in 
mediaeval Europe, the sarcophagus became a stone altar. No one can 
doubt that the tope is the lineal descendant of the tumulus ; but 
whorever it was an object of veneration by the Buddhists, it was so as 
containing some relic of some saint, not as a sepulchre covering the 
mortal remains of either king or priest. 


nut.; a. rvwxxTTimy; 





Cliaityas, or Temples — Beliar Oaves — Caves at Karli, Ajimta, Ellora, and Sal set to 
— Viharas, or Monasteries — Bengal Caves — Western Caves — Ornamentation of 
the Caves — Pi liars — Baths of Alahavellipore. 

Chaityas, or Temples. 

As before hinted, we are almost wholly dependent on rock-cut examples 
for our knowledge of these sacred edifices of the Buddhists. There is 
one structural example at Sanclii, 1 which, as it now stands, is merely a 
chain of upright stone posts, supporting stone architraves very little 

1 See plan in Cunningham’s ‘ Bilsnh Topes,* Plate I. fig. 3. 

Anumt'W 1 D'B'JW. 

Pakt I 

than those of Stonehenge, which it very much resemO 
/plan and dimensions. It would require excavation, and \$J 
jm^Mreful examination than it has yet received, to ascertain whether 
it even was roofed, or was enclosed by another wall. According to 
present appearances it had neither; but too little is known i tqjustify 
any inference from this. There is another temple at IwujQee in •> 
Dharwar, which, though now dedicat ed to Siva, seems originally to 
have been a Buddhist Ohaitya. At least, its apse reproduces what we 
may fancy was once their external form. It, has however, been used 
as a fortification; its upper ptfrt is destroyed, and altogether it will 
only he when some competent architect examines these examples on 
the spot, that wo shall really know how far they elucidate the 
matter. 1 ^ ~ 

With these two exceptions, we are left wholly to rock-cut examples. 
These, fortunately, are so numerous that we have no difficulty either 
as to their arrangement or style of decoration internally, nor much, 
indeed, even as to their external appearance, though that must be 
deduced more from sculptured and painted representations than from 
actual examples. 

The descriptions hitherto published are not sufficient to enable us 
to form a complete statistical account of the cave-temples of India, as 
they are usually called. I have myself visited and described all the 
most important of them; 9 and in an interesting paper, communicated to 
the Bombay branch of the Asiatic Society by the Eev. Dr. Wilson, he 
enumerated thirty-seven different groups of caves, more or less known 
to Europeans. This number is exclusive of those in Bengal and 
Madras, and new ones are daily being discovered; we may therefore 
fairly assume that certainly more than forty, and probably nearly fifty, 
groups of caves exist in India Proper, v/ 

Some of these groups contain as many as 100 different and distinct 
excavations, many not more than ten or a dozen; but altogether I feel 
convinced that not less than 1000 distinct specimens are to be found. 
Of these probably 100 may be of Brahrninical or Jaina origin; the 
remaining 900 are Buddhist, either monasteries or temples, the former 
being incomparably the more numerous class; for of the latter not 
more than twenty or thirty are known to exist. This difference arose, 

• 1 It is probable that a tolerably correct 
idea of the general exterior appearance of 
the buildings from which these oaves were 
copied may be obtained from the Maths (as 
they are called) of Muhavellipore ^describ¬ 
ed further ou, p. 503). These are monu¬ 
ments of a much later date, and belonging 
to a different religion, but they correspond 

so nearly in all their parts with the temples 
and monasteries now under consideration, 
that we cannot doubt their being, in most 
respects, close copies of them. 

2 * Illustrations of the Koek-eut Temples 
of India,* 1 vol., text 8vo., with folio plates. 
Weale, London, 1845. 



, from the greater number of the viharas being grouped aro^ 
es, as is always the case in Afghanistan; and, consequently 
not require any rock-cut place of worship while possessed of 
the more usual and appropriate edifice. 

The facades of the caves are gonerally perfect, and form an excep¬ 
tion to what has been said of our ignorance of the exterior appearance 
of Indian temples and monasteries, since they are executed in the rock 
with all the detail that could have graced the buildings of which 
they are copies. In the investigation of these objects, the perfect im¬ 
mutability of a temple once hewn out of the live rock is a very im¬ 
portant advantage. No repair can add to, or indeed scarcely alter, 
the general features of what is once so executed; and there can he no 
doubt that we see them now, in all essentials, exactly as originally 
designed. This advantage will be easily appreciated by any one who^ 
has tried to grope for the evidence for a date in design, afforded by our 
much-altered and often reconstructed cathedrals of the middle ages. 

The geographical distribution of the caves is somewhat singular, 
more than nine-tenths of those now known being found within the 
limits of the Bombay presidency. The remainder consist of two groups 
in Bengal; those of Behar and Cuttack, neither of which is important 
in extent; one only in Madras, that of Mahavellipore; and two or 
three not veiy important groups, which have been traced in Afghan¬ 
istan and the Punjaub. 

I was at one time inclined to connect this remarkable local distri¬ 
bution with the comparative proximity of this side of India to the 
rock-cutting Egyptians and Ethiopians. But the coincidence can bo 
more simply accounted for by the existence in both countries of rocks 
perfectly adapted to such works. The great cave district of Western 
India is composed of horizontal strata of amygdaloid and other cognate 
trap formations, generally speaking of very considerable thickness and 
great uniformity of texture, and possessing besides the advantage that 
their edges are generally exposed in perfectly perpendicular cliffs. No 
rock in any part of the world could oithe 1 be more suited for the 
purpose or more favourably situated th«„n these formations. They 
were easily accessible and easily worked. In the rarest possible in¬ 
stances are there any flaws or faults to disturb the uniformity of the 
design; and, when complete, they afford a perfectly dry temple or 
abode, singularly uniform in temperature, and more durable than any 
class of temple found in any other part of the world. With these 
advantages, we need hardly look further for an explanation of their 
distribution; though some collateral facts regarding their origin may 
perhaps reveal themselves to future explorers. 

Their distribution as to time also presents a curious anomaly. So 
far as our knowledge now goes, the oldest are undoubtedly those of 
Bebar and Cuttack in Bengal. These extend from 250 b.c. to about 

vol. ii. 

2 i 


J W m A'IN' xmill 'LTKUTU m. 

J50/ %n \; whereas the oldest on the western side—the earliesi 
r^Wce, at A junta and Karli—can hardly date anterior to the b! 
Christ, if so early, and extend to the tenth, or perhaps even the 
twelfth, century of our era. Thus the practice of excavating the rock 
was almost immediately abandoned in the country where it arose, and 
was taken up and pursued to an extraordinary extent in a district 
where it .certainly was not original. 

From the time of Asoka, who, two hundred and fifty years before 
Christ, excavated the first cave at Rajagriha, to Tndradyumna, who 
apparently, in the 12th century, finished the last of those at Ellora, the 
series is uninterrupted ; and, if properly examined and drawn, the caves 
would furnish us with a complete religious and artistic history of the 
greater part of India during fourteen centuries, the darkest and most 
perplexing of her existence. But, although during this long period the 
practice was common to Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains* it ceased with the 
Mahomedan conquest, or before it. Hardly one excavation has been 
made or attempted since that period, except, perhaps, some rude Jaina 
monoliths in the rook at Gualior, and it may ho one or two in southern 

Behai* Caves. 

As might he expected from what we know of tho history of the 
localities, the oldest caves in India are situated in Behar, in the neigh¬ 
bourhood of Rajagriha., which was the capital of Bengal at the time of 
the advent of Buddha. There is, indeed, one cave there which claims 
to be the Satapanni cave, in front of which the first convocation was 
held b c. 543. It is, however, only a natural cave very slightly im¬ 
proved by art, and of no architectural importance. 

The most interesting group is situated at a place called Barabar, 
sixteen miles north of Gya. One there, called the Kama Chopar, bears 
an inscription which records the excavation of the cave in the nineteenth 
year of Asoka (n.c. 245). It is very simple, and, except in a doorway 
with sloping jambs, of Pelasgic form, has no architectural feature of 
importance. The most interesting of tho group is that called Lomas ^ 
Rislii, which, though bearing no cotemporary inscription, certainly 
belongs to the same date. Tho frontispiece is singularly interesting, as 
representing in the rock the form of the structural ehaityas of the age. 
They were apparently constructed with strong wooden posts, sloping 
slightly inwards, supporting a longitudinal rafter morticed into their 
heads, while three small blocks on each side are employed to keep 
tho roof in form. Between the pillars was a framework of wood, 
which served to support five smaller rafters. Over these lies the roof, 
apparently formed of three thicknesses of plank, or probably two of 
timber planks laid reverse ways, and one of metal externally. The 
form of the roof is something of a pointed arch, with a slight ogee point 


Fafifldfe of Lonuw likhi Cave. From a Photograph by Mr. Popp.-, C.K. 


sal. Lomas Kishl Cave. 

Tlio interior, as will he seen from the annexed plan, is quite plain 
in form, and does not seem to have been ever quite completed. It 
consists of a hall 33 ft, by 19, beyond which 
is an apartment of nearly circular form, evi¬ 
dently meant to represent a tope or dagoba, 
bnt at that early ago the architects had not 
quite found out how to accomplish this in a 
rock-cut structure. 

Another cave in the same group, called the 
Nigope Cave, is extremely similar both in plan 
and dimensions; hut it wants the frontispiece, 
though perfectly polished and complete in the 
interior. It is, therefore, probably an earlier 
example. Judging from the inscriptions on 
these caves, the whole were excavated be¬ 
tween the date of the Kama Chopar and that 
of the Milkmaid’s Cave, so called (which was 
N excavated by Dasaratha, the grandson of 
Asoka), probably within fifty years of that 
date. They appear to range, therefore, from 250 to 300 n.c., and the 
Lomas Kishi is probably the most modern 1 —it certainly is the most 

9S8. Nigopc Cave, Sat Gliurba 

1 A very detailed account of all these caves will be found in Gen. Cunningham s 
4 Archaeological Report * for 18f>l-0‘2. 

2 i 2 

INDIAN A.fiCHn , ECTBBE. , ' ,r 

•rnamented. No great amount of elaboration, however, is 
examples, inasmuch as the material in which they are exca 
•nrjthe hardest and most close-grained granite; and it was hardly to 
he expected that a people 'who so recently had been using nothing 
hut wood as a building material would have patience sufficient for 
labours like these. 

\ To the archaeologist, one of the most interesting features about the 
\ Behar caves is the sloping form of their doorways, and this, taken in 
\J conjunction with the honeysuckle ornament (woodcut No. 968), points 
so distinctly to an “ Ionic” or Assyrian origin, that it seems difficult 
to refuse tho evidence it affords. Tt is hardly necessary to repeat that 
the sloping jamb is not found in Egypt, nor with the Doric order, nor 
in Persia; but it is found in Etruria, in Pelasgia, and generally with 
the Ionic order and in conjunction with the honeysuckle. Both are 
essentially Asiatic, though the exact spot in Asia which can claim 
to be tlieir birthplace has not yet been ascertained; it probably lies, 
further east than is generally suspected. 


The well-known cave at Karli, situated on the road between Bom¬ 
bay and Poonak, is the largest as well as the most complete (’baitya 
hitherto discovered in India, and was excavated at a time when the 
style was in its greatest, purity ; it will, therefore, suffice to illustrate the 
architecture of this cave with tolerable completeness in order to make 
the arrangement of other, and more modern examples, intelligible. 

There are no very certain grounds for fixing the date of its excava¬ 
tion, but we shall not err far in attributing it to the century before or 
after the Christian era—most probably the latter. There are some 
reasons for ascribing it to the era of Salivahana (a.i>. 78), although 
this, it must be confessed, is at present little more than a mere 
approximation to the truth. 

Tho building, as will be seen by the annexed illustrations, resembles, 
to a very great extent, an early Christian church in its arrangements; 
consisting of a nave and side-aisles, terminating in an apse or semi¬ 
dome, round which the aisle is carried. The general dimensions of 
the interior are 126 ft. from the entrance to tho hack wall, by 
45 ft. 7 in. in width. The side-aisles, however, are very much nar¬ 
rower than in Christian churches, the central one being 25 ft. 7 in., 
so that the others are only 10 ft. wide, including the thickness of the 
pillars. As a scale for comparison, it may be mentioned that its 
arrangement and dimensions are very similar to those of the choir of 
Norwich Cathedral, or of the Abhaye aux Homines at Caen, omitting 
the outer aisles in the latter buildings. The thickness of the piers at 
Norwich and Often nearly corresponds to the breadth of the aisles in 


XJ&YtS. AT IVAKl.i. 

an temple. In height, however, Karli in very inferior, 

/or perhaps 45 ft. from the floor to the apex, as nearly as 

I ifteen pillars on each side separate the nave from the aisles; each 
pillar has a tall base, an octagonal shaft, and richly ornamented 
capital, on which kneel two elephants, each bearing two figures, gene¬ 
rally a man and a woman, but sometimes two females, all very much 
better executed than such ornaments usually are. The seven pillars 
behind the altar are plain octagonal piers, without either base or 
capital, and the four under the entrance gallery differ considerably 

from those at the sides. The sculptures on the capitals supply the 
place usually Occupied by frieze and cornice in Grecian architecture; 
and in other examples plain painted surfaces occupy the same space. 
Above this springs the roof, semicircular in general section, but some¬ 
what stilted at the sides, se as to make its height greater than the semi¬ 
diameter. It is ornamented'^ en at this day by a series of wooden 
ribs, probably coeval with (lie excavation, which prove beyond the 
shadow of a doubt that the roof is not a copy of a masonry arch, but of 
some sort of timber construction which we cannot now very well 

View of Cave at Karli. 



ediately under the semidoine of the apse, and nearly wher< 
/ ands in Christian churches, is placed the dagoha, in this insts 
dome slightly stilted on a circular drum. As there are no 
ornaments on it now, and no mortices for woodwork, it probably was 
originally plastered and painted, or may have been adorned with hang¬ 
ings, which some of the sculptured representations would lead us to 
suppose was the usual mode of ornamenting theso altars. It is sur¬ 
mounted by a Tee, the hase of which is similar to the ono shown on 
woodcut No. 957, and on this,still stand the remains of an umbrella in 
wood, very much decayed and distorted by ago. 

Opposite this is the entrance, under a gallery exactly corresponding 
with our roodloft, consisting of three doorways, one leading to the 
centre, and one to each of the skle-aislcs; and over the gallery the 
whole end of the hall is open, forming ono great window, through 
which all the light is admitted. This great window is fonned in the 
shape of a horseshoe, and exactly resembles those used as ornaments 
on the upper part of the Tee found at Ajunta (woodcut 975), and the 
arches which surmount the niches in the hall of the oldest monastery 
cave at Ajunta, to be described hereafter. Within the arch is a frame¬ 
work or centering of wood standing free (woodcut No. 991). This, so 


\vo can judge, is, like the ribs of the interior, coeval wil^ 
ig; at all events, if it has been renewed, it is an exact co\ nu ^~ Jlm 
•iginal form, for it is found repeated in stone in all the niches 
> facade, over the doorways, and generally as an ornament every¬ 
where, and with the Buddhist “ rail,” copied from Sanchi, forms the 
most usual ornament of the style. 

Die presence of the woodwork is an additional proof, if any were 
wanted, that there were no arches of construction in any of these 
Buddhist buildings. There neither were nor are any in any Indian 
building anterior to the Mahomedan Conquest, and very few indeed in 
any Hindu building afterwards. 

To return, however, to Karli, the outer porch is considerably wider 
than the body of the building, being 52 ft. wide, and is closed in front 
by a screen composed of two stout octagonal pillars, without either base 
or capital, supporting what is now a plain mass of rock, but was once 
ornamented by a wooden gallery which formed the principal ornament 
of the fa<;ade. Above this a dwarf colonnade or attic of four columns 
l>etween pilasters admitted light to the great window, and this again 
was surmounted by a wooden cornice or ornament of some sort, though 
we cannot now restore it, since only the mortices remain that attached 
it to the rock. 

In advance of this screen stands the lion-pillar, in this instance 
a plain shaft with thirty-two flutes, or rather faces, surmounted by a 
capital rfbt unlike that at Kesariah (woodcut No. 9(30), but in this 
instance supporting four lions instead of one. A similar pillar 
probably stood on the opposite side, but it has either fallen or been 
taken down to make way for the little temple that now occupies its 

The absence of the wooden ornaments of the external porch, as well 
as our iguorance of the mode in which this temple was finished laterally, 
and the porch joined to the main temple, prevents us from judging of 
the effect of the front in its perfect state. But the proportions of such 
parts as remain are so good, and the effect of the whole so pleasing, that 
there can be little hesitation in ascribing to such a design a tolerably 
high rank among architectural compositions. 

Of the interior we can judge perfectly, and it certainly is as solemn 
and grand as any interior can well be, and the mode of lighting the 
most perfect—one undivided volume of light coming through a single 
opening overhead at a very favourable angle, and falling directly on 
the altar or principal object in the building, leaving tbo rest in com¬ 
parative obscurity. The effect is considerably heightened by the 
closely set thick columns that divide the three aisles from one another, 
as they suffice to prevent the boundary walls from ever being seen, 
and, as there are no openings in the walls, the view between the pillars 
is practically unlimited. 

VA vm AT DW!1 

. UH, 111. 

nr,,; t^ se peculiarities are found more or less developed in al^ 

claves of the same class in India, varying only with the age ^ 
xadual change that took place from the more purely wooden forms 
this cave to the litliie or stone architecture of the more modern 
ones. This is the principal test by which tlieir relative ages can be 
determined, and it proves incontestably that the Karli cave was exca¬ 
vated very shortly v'ter stone came to be used as a building-material 
in India. 

The following 1 list, of which I have placed Karli at the head for 
the sake of comparison, includes, I believe, the seven most beautiful, or 
at least best known, examples of this class. There are many other 
cave-temples scattered through the various groups of the western 
ghats, but none of them have either been drawn or described in such a 
manner as to allow of their being classified or even enumerated in such 
a work as this. 

Karli .... 



ft. 126* 

ft. 45*7 

Ajunta (No. 10) , 

. 94*6 . 

. 41'3 

Do. (No. 9) . 

. 45* . 

. 23- 

Do. (No. 19) . 

. 46*4 . 

. 23'7 

Do. (No, 26). . 

. 66 vl . 

. 36*3 

Viswakarma, Ellora 

. 85*1 . 

. 4.3* 


. 88*6 . 

. 39*10 

Probable ago. 

1st century after Christ. 
Ditto. (?) 

2nd or 3rd century. 

5th century. 

9tli or 10th century. 

7th or 8th century, 

9 th or 10 th century. 

As will be seen from this list, the next in age and size to Karli is 
the oldest cave at A junta.* The two are indeed very similar, except 
that at Ajunta all the pillars are 
plain octagons, without either 
capital or base. They are stuc¬ 
coed, and painted with figures 
of Buddha and of various saints. 

Above the pillars is a plain space 
or belt, corresponding in position 
to the triforium of a mediaeval 
cathedral, but in the Indian ex¬ 
amples ornamented with paint¬ 
ing or sculpture illustrative 
of the purposes to which the 
temple was dedicated. Over this 

. p "3- Cross-Section of Cave No. 10, Ajunta. No scale. 

rises the roof, somewhat flatter 

than the Karli one, but like it adorned with wooden ribs; in this in¬ 
stance, however, these have perished, and left only their marks and 
fastenings behind. But in the aisles the wooden ribs are represented 
by stone ones, carved out of the solid rock. This would seem to indi~ 

1 All these I have myself visited and cut 975); a view of its interior is given in 
nuosured. the ‘Illustrations of the Rock-cut Temples 

l lie tee ot it* dagobu is drawn (wood- of India,’ Plate III. 

994. OhaityaNo. 19, i.t A junta. 
Scnle 60 ft. to 1 in. 

rNDfAS AKaiiTKcrnir. 

mco in style, and consequently a more modern elate 
simplicity of other parts precludes the idea of any 
difference in age. Its section will be 
stood by the woodcut (No. 993), which also 
explains the arrangement of all the caves, and 
may give ns some notion of the exterior form 
of the buildings which these caves imitate. 

The next cave, No. 9, is noarly similar to 
this, except in size, and has less appearance of 
age than its neighbour; it is, however, very 
much ruined, and both of them have lost their 
facades, owing to the decay of the precipice in 
the face of which they wero excavated. 

No. 19, at Ajunta, is one of the most perfect 
of tlia class in India, having been excavated before the style had become 

utterly degenerate, but after all the 
essential parts of the style had been 
so long and so frequently repeated 
in stone, that they had lost the raw 
appearance of their wooden ori¬ 
ginals, and had in conseqence become, 
strictly speaking, architectural fea- 
Its dimensions, as will be 
from the plan (woodcut No. 
are very small as compared 
Karli; both are drawn to the 
scale, and its dagoba (No. 

) shows the same progress as the 
other parts of the Chaitya. The drum 
and dome are both very much taller, 
instead of tho one wooden urn- 
we have here three in stone, 
unlike the type, that if we 
not trace the intermediate 
we might doubt what their 
original really was. No greater 
number of umbrellas is found in 
any rock-cut example, but in models 

, resrai. warn* liHHvnw”*' we as * n that found at 

Sultanpore (woodcut No. 99G), 

' —near Jellalabad, probably belong- 

ing to the 3rd century—not later; 
90s - From “ «nd many small models are found 

at Behai* with nine, which seems 
the typical number in modern times. 


^ Nc|2(), at A junta, although very si milar in many respects to N<! 
^\jyo\k avatecl at too late a period to retain much purity of style, 
details are coarse and clumsy when compared with the 
while its sculpture shows such a degenerate tendency towards mo 
Hinduism, as to denote that the style was at its last gasp when 

Small Model found In the Tope at 



towards modern 
gasp when this 

Hinduism, as to denote that the 
cave was commenced. 

The well-known cave, the Yiswakarma, 
mediate place between the two last-named, 
so completely a stone one, that, had we no knowledge of the earlier 
wooden originals, we might be led to suppose that many of the forms 
and details arose from the exigences 
of construction and vaulting. It is 
certain from the earlier examples 
that this was not the case, for we 
are able in every detail to trace the 
transition from wood to stone, with¬ 
out missing a single link of the 
chain of evidence. 

The last cave mentioned in the 
list, that of Kannari, at Salsetto, 
near Bombay, is, I am convinced, for 
reasons stated at length elsewhere, 1 
merely a copy of the Karli cave, 
executed at a time when Buddhist 
art had greatly decayed, and mere 
copying had taken the place of ori¬ 
ginal design and thought. It resem¬ 
bles its great prototype in every 
respect, both externally and inter¬ 
nally, except in such a complete 
degradation of style as to form a 
puzzle to an antiquary on any 
othey hypothesis than that suggested 

Although the style begins in 
wood and ends in stone, it is not a little startling to find so little 
change either in the plan or general disposition of these caves during 
the ten centuries through which we can certainly trace them. The 
cave at Kannari, or the last at Ajunta, is practically identical with that 
at Karli, in so far as its general plan and design is concerned, and even 
the last retains so strong a reminiscence of its wooden origin, that we 
have little reason to doubt that the practice of erecting such halls in 

1 ‘ Illustrations of the Bock-cut Temples of India/ by the Author, to which I must 
refer for farther particulars and illustrations of all these examples. 


^%at, ferLshablc material was continued contemporaneously. 

#^vfe requires much careful looking into before we can sJjeJlj 
ppspvely on the subject. The main outlines are clear, the details 
require filling in. 

Viharas or Monasteries. 

From the nature of the structure, it seems probable that the rock- 
cut monasteries differ more widely from their structural prototypes' 
than the Chaityas did. The latter wore, by their form, so well suited 
for rock excavation that it was probably this circumstance that first 
suggested the idea; but to excavate a residence in the solid rock for 
a large number of priests was a much more difficult problem, and one 
that never was so successfully accomplished. None of the Behar caves 
can properly he called monasteries; hut some of those in Cuttack cer¬ 
tainly were residences. Many of these are single cells, some residences 
for four,or five monks; but the great development of the system took 
place in Western India, and at a period subsequent to the Christian era. 

The number of priests in the most flourishing* times of Buddhism 
appeal's to have been enormous. The records show that it must have 
exceeded that of Itonian Catholic monks in the middle ages. In fact, 
no religion probably ever indulged in a more excessive priesthood, and 
none more certainly sank beneath the weight of sacerdotal indolence 
and corruption. Wo may conclude from this that the nuinber and size 
ot the monasteries was very great: and we have reason to believe, both 
from descriptions and tradition, that many of them were buildings of 
Several storeys in height. It is true that we have very slight traces of 
this in the cave-monasteries; for in most instances, even where we find 
them in two or three stages, one above the other, they are distinct 
excavations, and have no connection one with another. The caves arc, 
moreover, limited by the necessity of admitting light from the front 
only; *and none of them contain more than one central hall with sur¬ 
rounding colls. Nor, of course, do they give any idea of what the 
exterior of the originals may have been; which, therefore, wo can 
only assume from their dimensions, and what wo see of their stylo 
of decoration in the rock-cut examples, to have been important and 
imposing objects. 

General Cunningham has lately explored the vestiges of several of 
the great structural viharas of Bengal, and identified them with the 
descriptions given by Fa Hian and Hiouen Thsang. These enable us 
to form a tolerable idea of their extent, and also of their general dis¬ 
position ; but, till his plans are published, and the whole subject care¬ 
fully gone over, wo must be content with generalities, in so far as 
structural examples are concerned. 

The general purposes of both the Chaityas and the monasteries are 
perfectly well known. Anyone who has seen Buddhist priests cele- 

Ch. In. 


ither matins or vespers, or their more pompous cereraonf 
their Temples, will have no difficulty in understand! ngklJI 
every part of these edifices. To those who have not witnessed 
these ceremonies, it will suffice to say that in all the principal forms 
they resemble those of the Roman Catholics. It is beside the purpose 
of this work to trace the source of this resemblance; but it has attr acted 
the attention of every Roman Catholic priest or missionary who has 
visited Buddhist countries, from tlio earliest missions to China to the 
more recent journey into Thibet of Messrs. Hue and Gabet. All the 
latter can suggest by way of explanation is, “ quele diable y est pour 

The same is true with regard to the monasteries. At the time 
when they were excavated, Buddhist priests were, as now, sworn to 
celibacy and povorty, and lived apart from their fellow-men in monas- 
taries devoted wholly to religious observances. They shaved their 
heads, wore a peculiar garb, and obtained, like the mendicant friars, 
their subsistence principally by alms, which they collected by begging 
from house to house. Their principal duties were the study of the law 
and precepts of Buddha, and the continually recurring performance of 
an unmeaning ceremonial, in which the laity took no part. We learn 
from the arrangements of the caves that in some instances these cere¬ 
monies were performed within the monasteries themselves, which were 
all in later times provided with chapels, containing images of Buddha 
or of subordinate saints, before which the prayers wore repeated. But 
in earlier times, at least, the cave monasteries were always in the 
immediate neighbourhood of temples; from which we may infer that 
either the monasteries were mere residences, and the services were 
performed in the temples; or that the great and solemn acts of worship 
took place in the temples, while the ordinary daily devotions were 
celebrated within the walls of tlio monasteries themselves. 

It has been already said that the monasteries are far more numerous 
than the temples. From 700 to 800 examples are known at the present 
day, and there are probably many more. In age they extend from the 
simple unadorned cells excavated in the granite rocks at Behar and 
Cuttack, dating probably from 200 b.c., nearly to tlio time of the Maho- 
medan conquest. The culminating point, however, of this style of art, 
was shortly after the Christian era ; the greatest number, certainly the 
best, having been excavated during the first five centuries after the 
birth of Christ. 

Bengal Caves. 

As already mentioned, the oldest caves in India are those in Behai*. 
They are all, however, either small Chaityas or simple cells for the 
residence of single monks, and, except in the instances above men¬ 
tioned, wholly devoid of architectural ornament, either externally or 


generally square, and with a sloping-jambed doo 
however, the Gopi Koobha, the cell 
5 in. by 10 ft. 2 in., with semicircular ends 
the whole being most carefully polished, which, considering tne 
of the granite rock in which it is cut, makes it a work of far 
more labour than many of those in the West, though the latter are 
generally larger, and more elaborately ornamented. Whether, however, 
the Gopi Khooba was a residence, or a hall for worship, is by no means 
clear. My impression is, that it was appropriated to the latter purpose. 

The caves in the Udyagiri, near Cuttack, being cut in a far more 
tractable material, a fine-grained sandstone, show much more fancy and 
architectural magnificence in design, and consist of all the various 
classes and grades of such residences, from the simple cell of the soli¬ 
tary ascetic to the rich and populous monastery. 

One of the most remarkable of the first class is the so-called Tiger- 

rock, carved into a form intended to 
represent the head of that ani¬ 
mal, whose extended jaws form 
the verandah leading into a 
small apartment excavated in 
the interior of the skull as 
shewn in the woodcut. 

Generally speaking, these 
single cells have a porch of two 
pillars to protect the doorway, 
leads into a small room 
10 or 12 ft. square, constituting 
the whole cave. Buildings on 
CuttacJc precisely the same plan are still 

very common in India, except 
that now, instead of being the abode of a hermit, the cell is occupied by 
an image of some god or other, and is surmounted by a low dome, or 
pyramidal spire, converting it into a temple of some pretensions. The 
lower part of these small temples, however, is very similar to the rock- 
cut hermitages of which we are speaking. 

The next extension of the cave system was to form an oblong cell 
with a verandah of tho same length in front of it, in plan like the 
Ganesa cave at Cuttack (woodcut So. 998) ; all the 
larger caves at that, place being either similar in 
form or extensions of the same idea. The Thakoor 
cave, for instance, has a verandah 55 ft. in length, 
with wings extending forward at right angles to the 
principal fa 9 ade. This cave, being two storeys in 
height, might accommodate from forty to fifty 
monks, whereas the Ganesa cave, supposing it to have been divided 

998. Gaiiosu Cave. From a 
Plan by the Author. 
Scale 50 ft. to l in. 


l i. vr^oTisicrr "oktkK"" •———«• 

acli of the four doors it possesses, could only accommodmT 
e. ^ 

one of these caves is there seen either a shrine or any spot 
one could he placed; the probability, therefore, is, that they 
*" were attached to some sacred edifice which has disappeared, and that 
they must have been constructed before the Christian era, as no trace 
of a sanctuary is found, nor any image of Buddha or of saints. The 
only actual worship of which there is any trace is that of the bo-tree, 
represented on one bas-relief in a cave called the Jodeo Gopa, proving 
how early that worship was introduced, and how pro-eminent it was 
among Buddhists in those days. 

Western Caves. 

Among the various groups of caves in the Bombay Presidency we 
find counterparts of all those existing in Bengal; but the western 
caves, generally speaking, have assumed a shape which makes a 
marked distinction between them and the older caves of Bengal. This 
consists in separating the cells from the hall around which they are 
placed—an arrangement, I believe, unknown in Eastern India. The 
oldest cave-monastery at Ajunta (No. 12) is a hall 36 ft. 7 in. square. 
It is adorned with seven niches on every side, arched in a horse-shoe 
shape like the great window at Karli. Of these seven niches; the first, 
third, fifth, and seventh are blank. The remaining three are occupied 
in the three innor sides by doors leading to cells, of which there are 
thus nine; the remaining or outer side is occupied by the entrance- 
door and two windows. 

It is evident, however, that it requires the stratum of rock in 
which the cave is excavated to he 
singularly perfect to admit of such a 
surface being left wholly without sup¬ 
port, The next step, therefore, seems 
to have been to introduce four pillars 
on the floor, which is done at Ajunta 
in the cave No. 11, next in age and 
situation to the one last described, 
which, though the area is not larger, 
has this necessary adjunct arranged as 
shown in the annexed plan. 

The next step was to introduce 

twelve pillars to support the roof, there being no intermediate number 
which would divide by four, and admit of an opening in the centre of 
eveiy side. This arrangement is shown in the woodcut No. 1000, repre¬ 
senting the plan of the cave No. 2, at Ajunta. Before this stage of cave 
architecture had been reached, the worship had degenerated consider- 

Cave No. 11, at. Ajunta. From a Plan by 
the Author. Scale 50 ft. to i in. 


ny i/iiviy "ftjxxmcttrKrxTmm. 

om its original purity; and these caves always possess 
:ontairiing an image of Buddha. There are frequently, 

this, as in the instance under* 
sideration, two side chapels, like 
those in Catholic churches, contain¬ 
ing images of subordinate saints, 
sometimes male, sometimes female. 

The next and most extensive 
arrangement of these square monas¬ 
tery-caves is that in which twenty 
pillars are placed in the floor, so as 
to support the roof, six on each side, 
counting the corner pillars twice. 
There are several of these large 
caves at Ajunta and elsewhere ; and 

1000. Cave No. 2, at Ajunta From a Plan by the one a f, Baugll, On the Tapty, repre- 
Author. Scale 60 ft. to l in. ° ’ r •' 7 1 

sen ted in woodcut No. 1001, has, be¬ 

sides the ordinary complement, four additional pillars in the centre; 
these were introduced evidently in consequence of the rock not being 
sufficiently homogeneous and perfect to support itself without this addi¬ 
tional precaution. 

These—which might be classed, according to the terms used in 
Greek architecture, as astyle, when having no pillars; distyle, when 
with two pillars in each face; tetrastyle, with four; and hexastyle 

From a Plan, by Captain DangerfieM, in the * Transactions of the Bombay 
Literary Society.’ Scale 50 ft. to 1 in. 

Durbar Give, Salaette. From a Plan by the Author. 
Scale 50 ft. to l In. 

Cil. 111. 


form the leading and most characteristic division of f 
^Wtions, and with slight modification are to be found in all 
Jem series. 

The forms, however, of many aro so various and so abnormal, that 
it would require a far more extended classification to enable ns to 
describe and include 
them all. In many in¬ 
stances the great depth 
of the cave which this 
square Arrangement re¬ 
quired was felt to be in¬ 
convenient ; and a more 
oblong form was adopt¬ 
ed, as in the Durbar 
cave at Salsetfe, where, 
besides, the sanctuary 
is projected forward, 
and assists, with the 
pillars, to support the 
roof. In some exam¬ 
ples this is carried even further, and the sanctuary, standing boldly 
forward to the centre of the hall, forms in reality the only support. 
This, however, is a late arrangement, and must be considered more as 
an economical than an architectural improvement. Indeed the dig¬ 
nity and beauty of the whole composition aro almost entirely destroyed 
by it. 

Ornamentation of the Caves. 

The principal mode of embellishment adopted in these caves was 
painting, if not exactly in fresco, at least in some sort of distemper. 
In many, indeed in most instances, the plaster with which the walls 
were prepared to receive the coloured decorations has peeled off, owing 
.y either to the dampness of the rock, or to the mischievous violence of 
r idle men. In some of the caves, however, at A junta and el so where, 
the paintings still remain nearly complete, and as fresh as the day 
they were painted. A competent artist. Captain Gill, of the Company’s 
Service, was employed some years ago to copy those.' If the series had 
been completed it would have not only formed a most valuable 
illustration of Kuddliist history and tradition, and of the manners and 
customs of India more than a thousand years ago, but would have 

1 The paintings made by Major Gill 
are now in the Indian gallery of the Crys¬ 
tal Palace. A volume, containing 78 
photographic illustrations of the Bock cut 
Temples, by Major Gill, was edited by the 
\0t. II. 

Author two years ago. It is tolerably 
complete, as far as the exteriors are con¬ 
cerned, but the. interiors are too ‘lark fur 

‘J K 



L to a very considerable extent the form and or don nance 
Gildings they adorn, as many representations of architect^ 
i are interspersed among the figured subjects, quite sufficiently 
well drawn to be understood by those who are familiar with the style 
they belong to. 

In some of the older caves not only the walls and roof, but even the 
pillars, are wholly covered with stucco, and ornamented with painting. 
This painting is divided, generally speaking, according to the following 
rule. On the walls are extensive compositions of figures and land¬ 
scapes ; on the pillars are single detached figures, representing either 
Buddha or Buddhist saints; while the paintings on the roof are almost 
invariably architectural frets and scrolls, often of extreme bcanty and 
elegance, rivalling many of those at Pompeii and the Baths of Titus. 
This threefold division is in fact the only one admissible in good taste, 
or with the slightest possible modification where figures and conven¬ 
tional ornaments are to be combined. 

At a later period many of the ornaments which had been painted 
on the earlier pillars came to he carved on them in relief, as happened 
in Europe in tho transition from the Norman the Gothic style. The 
pillars were naturally the first to undergo this transformation, but it was 
extended in some instances to the walls, and even the roofs. In some 
cases there still exist traces of painting on these engraved ornaments, 
but it seems that in the last ages of the style the architects were satis¬ 
fied with the effect produced by the light and shade of hold reliefs, and 
abandoned colour, to a considerable extent at least, if not altogether. 

There is abundance of evidenco to prove that stucco and paint were 
used at an early ago for the adornment of the external faces of tho 
caves; and traces of this still exist at Karli and elsewhere. Jn such a 
climate they must soon have been found perishable and unsuited to the 
purpose, and therefore abandoned. One of the most frequent subjects 
for this art is the front or principal feature of the temple itself. 

This, perhaps, will be best understood by referring to the Roman 
or Italian stylo, where windows are constantly ornamented with small 
temple ends, or pediments, and blank spaces filled up either with blind 
windows crowned by pediments, or with similar forms used as niches. 
So at Karli (woodcut No. 991) we find all the plain faces of the hall 
covered with niches representing the great facade of the temple itself*; 
and in the later wives at Ajunta these niches are always filled with 
cross-legged figures of Buddha or similar representations. 

Where architectural forms in relief are used for the roofs, they are 
mere repetitions in stone of the wooden forms universally prevalent in 
India at the present day, and as common apparently then as now. 
The mode of construction is to lay largo beams, a foot or more square, 
parallel to one another, and two or three feet apart, crossed by smaller 
timbers, about three inches square, at such distances, say one foot, as 


I. Oh. III. 


ow tiles to be laid upon them; these are covered with 
7 crete and plaster, and the whole forms a solid and import 

Pi l.LARS. 

The only objects requiring further notice before leaving this branch 
of the subject are the pillars, which in India seem never to have 
been of wood, and are indeed the only parts of the architecture which 
do not show unmistakeable evidence of their timber origin. My own 
impression is that this arose in India from the white ants being then, 
as now, the certain destroyers of any wooden object which touched the 
earth, and from the consequent necessity of placing some indestruc¬ 
tible barrier between them and those parts which must necessarily be 
constructed of wood. 1 It is not a little curious, however, that ex¬ 
actly the same thing occurs in Greece. In the Doric order the pillars 
are masonic^ in every part and every detail, while in the superstruc¬ 
ture carpentry forms prevail to the 
same extent as in India. 

In the earliest caves, as was no 
doubt the case in the earliest build¬ 
ings, the pillar is a square mass, from 
four to six diameters in height. This 
is brought within the domain of archi¬ 
tecture by cutting off the angles, so as 
to reduce it to an octagon. In the 
oldest temple at Ajunta this is done 
for the whole height; but a more com¬ 
mon practice is to reduce only the cen¬ 
tral part to an octagonal form, leaving 
the base and capital square, as in this 
example from the Ganesa cave at 

this system is carried to a greater 
extent by again cutting off the angles 
of the octagon, so as to produce a shape 
of 16 sides; and these are sometimes 
fluted, as in the example on the next 
page from one of the monasteries (No. 17) at Ajunta. It shows also the 
construction of the roof explained above, consisting of larger and smaller 
beams crossing one another at right angles, so as to support the tiles of 
the flat roof. In this example only the central part of the pillar is 

1 To aa European architect this may ; 
seem a strange and insufficient explaua- j 
tion of the fact; but I think most of 
those who have resided in India will ac¬ 

knowledge its validity. At all events, I 
can suggest no better of a fact whose 
universality, whatever the cause may be, 
admits of no doubt. 

2 k 2 




painting, the plainer members being covered 
fin tine* is filled with a scroll intermixed with 

which are introduced where 

form changes from a 
square to a figure of 
sixteen sides, are also 

In the third ex¬ 
ample (woodcut No. 
1005), the pillar 
changes regularly 
from four to eight 
and sixteen sides ; 
then, as is frequently 
the case, a circular 
member is intro¬ 
duced, and it returns 
through the octagon 
to the square which 
supports the brack¬ 
et, forming a whole 
which may be con¬ 
sidered as the typical 
order of Indian archi¬ 
tecture ; the division 
into four, eight, and 
sixteen parts per¬ 
vading every mem¬ 
ber of it, and the or¬ 
naments, both sculp¬ 
tured and coloured, 
being continued with 
increasing richness 
the base, or 
it, to the ca- 


These, and indeed 
most Indian pillars, 
terminate upwards 
a bracket capital, ( 
more or less deve¬ 
loped. In woodcut 

No. 1003, one of the oldest examples in India, the capital is merely a 
wooden ornament repeated in stone. In the next example (No. 1004) 
it is more important, and in the last (No. 1005) fully developed; 

From a Sketch by the Author. 




Oh. III. 


many instances it is both wider and deeper, and mor 
than even in this example. 

all these instances it will be observed that the ornament 
in Grecian 


Roman archi¬ 
tecture, confined to 
the base and capi* 
tal; but when orna¬ 
ment is attempted in 
India, it is nearly 
equally distributed 
over the whole sur¬ 
face of the 
from the ground 
the horizontal mem¬ 
ber it is destined 
to support. This is 
a peculiarity which 
gives singular rich¬ 
ness to some of 
buildings, and when 
executed with taste is 
particularly effecti ve, 
for internal architec¬ 
ture at least. 

Another circum¬ 
stance which gives 
considerable richness 
to the style is, 
the pillars in a build¬ 
ing are never exactly 
alike, but varied in 
design according to 
their position, or, as 
often happens, for the 
mere sake of variety. 
In some of the older 
and simpler caves, 
where there is little 
or no carving on the 
pillars, the variety is 
in the painting, and 

10U5. Pillar at Ajunta. From a Sketch by the Author. 

that only; but when they are carved, the variations are much more 

Tn a twenty-pillared vihara, such as woodcut No. 1001, the two 



Part 11 

each side of the entrance are generally alike; so are thl 
ely beyond on the right and left; and so again are the nej 
Che range on the right and left generally take their character 
from the last two, and those on the fourth side opposite the entrance 
again increase in richness towards the centre, the two most elaborately 
adorned being the central pair opposite the altar. When done sym¬ 
metrically in this manner, the effect is singularly pleasing, though the 
practice cannot he defended when mere caprice seems to guide the 
hand of the designer. It then requires that the variation should he so 
slight as not to be too apparent, or the effect is far from pleasing. 
In all the best examples, however, these defects seem to have been 
avoided with singular taste and judgment. 

Baths of Mahavellipore. 

Before leaving the subject of Buddhist architecture in India there 
is one further illustration which it will be well to quote, not only as 
throwing light on what has been said, but also as preparing the way 
for what is to follow. 

On the Coromandel coast, some way south of Madras, and near the 
village of Sadras, is a spot well known to Indian antiquaries by the 
name of Maha-Balipooram, or, more properly, Mahavellipore; familiar 
to English readers from the use Southey makes of it and its tradi¬ 
tions in his 4 Curse of Kohama/ Near this spot runs a long low ridge 
of granite hills, the highest paid rising, perhaps 100 ft. from the level of 
the plain. In these hills some half dozen caves have been excavated, 
and several others commence^ some as excavations, others as mono¬ 
liths. 1 Between the hills and the sea-shore seven masses of granite 
protrude from the sands, which have been carved by the Hindus, pro¬ 
bably about 1300 a. D. The three principal of these are represented in 
the annexed woodcut (No. 1006). It is evident that the object on the 
right imitates a Buddhist monastery of five storeys. The lower storey 
is wholly occupied by a great square hall; the three next possess 
central halls, diminishing in size according to their position, and sur¬ 
rounded by cells on the outside; the upper one is crowned by a dome, 
or rather a dome-formed termination. Altogether the building seems 
to represent, with great exactness, all that we know and read of the 
Buddhist monasteries. Nor is this a mere accidental coincidence. The 
time at which it was executed was very little removed from that of 
Buddhism in this part of India. Its being cut in the rock is obviously 
a peculiarity of that religion. There is little or none of the extrava- 

1 The best account of this spot and its j India,’ by the Author. They are also de- 
inhabitants is that given by Dr. Babington ! scribed by Messrs. Chambers and Golding- 
in vol. ii. of the 4 Trans. It. A. 8.’ See also ! ham, 4 Trans. A. S. B.,’ and mentioned by 
‘Illustrations of the Rock-cut Temples of Mrs. Graham, Bishop Heber, and others. 




(hi stylos in the sculptures. We must 
neither the Jains nor the Hindus introduced anything 
_ le of architecture. They adapted the Buddhist style to 
own purposes, and there seems little doubt that this is a 
copy of a five-storeyed Buddhist monastery, used as a 

What confirms this view of the case is, that the next building, the 
central one in front, is the only free-standing monolithic representation 
I know in India of such a temple as those excavated in the rock at 
A junta and elsewhere. The front—turned from the spectator in the 
view—is exactly the front of one of the more modern Chaitya caves in 
the Bombay presidency; and we see here the rounded apsidal end with 
the ornaments, which may in all instances have relieved its monotony 

Raths, Malmvellipore. From a Sketch by the Author. 

The side-aisle is here seen to be open externally, whiclx is not the case 
in the caves hitherto explored, though it probably was so in buildings ; 
but it would evidently be impossible to represent this feature in the 
rock. There is also an additional storey in this case, besides the ranges 
of cells over each of the aisles, which we have no reason to suppose 
existed in the older examples. But in this, as in all more modern 
structures of this class, we find considerable confusion between the 
forms of the temple and those of the monastery. This is no more than 
might be expected when we consider that the original purposes to 
which those forms were adapted had ceased to exist, and that in these 
late copies what were originally essential constructive necessities have 
become mere ornamental appendages. The third building, behind that 

nsrt) I a w in'iCH iTSo'f csir 


jibed, evidently belongs to the same system; nothing* lik* 
ruoturally, so far as I know, in the south of India, though 
there is a class of oblong temples with pointed roofs, which 
may be derived from the same original, and all the gateways in the 
south have a similar termination. There can be little doubt that it is 
a copy of a variety of the Buddhist temple or Chaitya, of which we 
have no exact representation in the caves—probably of a built Budd¬ 
hist temple, for it is by no means certain that those which stood alone 
and were capable of receiving light from all sides would have the apse, 
which all the rock-cut examples have. 

Although these Baths, as they are called locally, are comparatively 
modern, and belong to a different faith, they certainly constitute the 
best representations now known of the forms of the Buddhist buildings 
described in Chapter I I., and make their external fonns more intelli¬ 
gible than they could otherwise be made from the mere internal copies 
of them which alone we possess in the rock* cut examples. There are 
no essential differences which cannot be accounted for by the con¬ 
sideration that the sacred caves of tho Buddhists were designed for a 
well-understood purpose—the Chaityas as temples, the Viharas as re¬ 
sidences—which was the invariable rule in Buddhist times. AY hen 
their successors, the Hindus, began to follow their example, they 
copied blindly and unmeaningly. When wo come to speak of the 
architecture of the south of India, it will he seen how completely this 
view of the matter explains many points in the architecture which 
without this would be perfectly unintelligible. The Baths are, in fact, 
transition specimens, and as such link tho two styles together, the one 
serving to explain the peculiarities of the other. 




Ruins at Anuradliapoora — Ruins at Mehentcle — Grea t Monastery and Sacred 
Tree at Anuradhapoora — Ruins of Poilouarua. 


DevennnipiaUssa, contemporary with Asoka. 
Introduction of Buddhism to Ceylon . . b.o. 250 

Building of Thuparamya Tope, und that 
at Mehentele, &c. 

Dootoogumoni. Building of Ruanwclie 
Tope, and Maba Lowa Faya Monastery 161 

Wabagambahu builds Abayogiri . . . b.c. 104 

Abba Sena builds Lanka Rauiaya . . „ a.d. 231 

Maba Sena builds Jetawana i’opo . . . 275 

Panda: Invasion from Caphmere . . . 434 

Aggrabodbl changes capital to Pollonarua 769 
Wejayababoo, capital Daiubudinia . . 1235 

It will have been observed that none of tlie remains of Buddhist 
architecture described in the previous chapters are found in the great 
capital cities of the Empire. They are detached monuments, spared 
by accident in some distant corner of the land, or rock-cut examples 
found in remote and secluded valleys. Buddhist Palibothra has entirely 
perished—so has Ayodia and Yaisali; and it is with difficulty we 
can identify Kapilawastu^ Ku sinara, and other famous cities, whose 
magnificent monasteries and sthupas are described by the Chinese 
travellers in the 5th or 7tli century, of our era. In. a great measure, 
this may be owing to their having been built of brick and wood ; and, 
in that climate, vegetation is singularly destructive of the first, and 
insects and decay of the second. But much is also due to the country 
having been densely peopled ever since the expulsion of the Buddhists. 
It may also be remarked, that the people inhabiting the plain of 
Bengal since the expulsion of the Buddhists, were either followers of 
the Brahminical or Mahomedan religions—both inimical to them, or, 
at least, having no respect for their remains. 

In Ceylon the case is different. The great capitals were early 
deserted, and the people are now Buddhists, as they have been for the 
last 2000 years, and there, consequently, are found cities still adorned 
with monuments, which, though in ruins, convey a sufficient impres¬ 
sion of what those of India must have been in the days of her glory. 

Anuradliapoora seems to have become the capital of Ceylon about 
400 years before Christ, or about a centSt-y and a half after the death 
of Buddha, and the fabled introduction of his religion into the island. 


t, however, till after the lapse of another 150 years tluL 
a sacred city, and one of the principal' capitals of Buddhismln 
which it continued to be till about the year 761), when, 
repeated and destructive invasions of the Malabars, tjie 
was removed to Pollonarua. That city flourished for two cen¬ 
turies; and after that, during a long period of disastrous decay, the 
seat of government was moved hither and thither, till the country fell 
into the hands of the Portuguese and Dutch, and finally succumbed to 
our power. 

The city of Anuradhapoora is now totally deserted in the midst 
of an uninhabited jungle. Its public buildings must have suffered 
severely from the circumstances under which it perished, exposed for 
centuries to the attacks of foreign enemies. Besides this, the rank 
vegetation of Ceylon has been at work for 1000 years, stripping off all 
traces of plaster ornaments, and splitting the masonry in many places. 

The very desolation, however, of its situation has preserved these 
ancient monuments from other and greater dangers. Is o bigoted Mos¬ 
lem has pulled them down to build mosques and monuments of his 
own faith ; no indolent Hindu has allowed their materials to be used 
for private purposes or appropriated as private plunder ; and no English 
magistrate has yet rendered them available for mending station-roads 
and bridges. We may be sure, therefore, that these ruins deserve the 
greatest attention from the student of Buddhist architecture, and that 
a vast fund of information may be drawn from them when sufficiently 
explored and described. 

The peculiar fortune of Anuradhapoora is that it continued the 
capital of Ceylon for ten centuries ; and, alone of all Buddhist cities, it 
retains something like a complete series of the remains of its greatness 
during that period. We possess, moreover, in the Mahawanso and other 
Ceylonese scriptures, a tolerably authentic account of the building of all 
these monuments, and of the purposes to which they were dedicated. 
Among the vestiges of its former grandeur still to be found, are the 
ruins of seven dome-shaped topes or dagobas , of one monastery, of a 
building erected to contain the sacred Bo-tree, and several other ruins 
and antiquities. Among these is the great mound, called the tomb of 
the usurper Elaala, but more probably it is a tope erected by the king 
Dootoogamoni to commemorate the victory over that intruder which 
he gained on this spot about the year 161 b.c. As it is now a mere 
mound, without any distinguishable outline, it will not be again 
alluded to. 

Two of the topes are of the largest size known : one, the Abayagiri, 
were erected 88 B.c.; its dome is exactly hemispherical, and described 
with a radius of 180 ft., being thus more than 1100 ft. in circum¬ 
ference, and with the base and spire making up a total elevation of 
244 ft., which is only 16 ft. loss than the traditional height of 120 

Ch. IV. 


ssigned to it in the Mahawanso. 1 It was erected by a 
mbahu, to commemorate his reconquest of his kingdom fn 
►reign usurper who had deposed him and occupied his throne for 
about sixteen years. 

The second tope is the Jetawana, erected by a king Mahasen, 
a. i>. 275. In form and dimensions it is almost identical with the last 

described, though somewhat more perfect in outline, and a few feet 
higher, owing probably to its being more modern than its rival. 
These two were commemorative monuments, and not relic-shrines. 

Next to these, but far more important from its sacredness, is the 
Kuanwelle tope, erected hy king Dootoogamoni, between the years 
161 and 137 b.c., over a very imposing collection of relics, of which a 
full account is given in the 31st. chapter of the Mahawanso. Its 
dimensions are very similar to those of the two last described, but it 
has been so much defaced, partly by violence, and ^partly, it seems, 
from a failure of the foundations, that it is not easy to ascertain either 
its original shape or size. The same king erected another smaller 
tope, 260 ft. in diameter. It is now known as the Mirisiwellya. Like 
the last described it is very much ruined, and not particularly inte¬ 
resting either from its form or history. 

Besides these four large buildings there are two considerably 
smaller ones, known as the Thuparamya and Lankaramaya, very 
similar to one another in size and arrangement. The first named is 
represented in woodcut No. 1007. The tope itself, though small and 
somewhat ruined, is of a singularly elegant bell-shaped outline. Its 
diameter and height are nearly the same, between 50 and 60 ft.; and 
it stands on a platform raised about 9 ft. from the ground, on which 
are arranged three rows of pillars, which form by far the most impor¬ 
tant architectural ornament of the building. The inner circle stands 
about 2 ft. from the mound, and the other two about 10 ft. from each 
other. The pillars themselves are monoliths 26 ft. in height, of which 
the lower part, to the height of 9 ft., is left square, each side being 
about 1 ft. The next division, 14 ft. 6 in. in length, has the angles 
out off, as is usual in this style, so as to form an octagon; the two 
parts being of one piece of granite. These sustain a capital of the 
same material, 2 ft. 6 in. in height. 

Accounts differ as to the number of the pillars, as Mr. Knighton 
says there were originally 108; 8 whereas Capt. Chapman counted 149, 
and states the original number to have been 184. 3 

This relic-shrine was erected by the celebrated king Devenaiupia- 
tissa, about 250 years B.c., to contain the right jawbone of Buddha, 
which—say the Buddhist chroniclers—descending from bhe skies, 

1 The cubit of Ceylon is nearly 2 ft. 3 in. 2 J A. 8. B. for March, 1847, p 218. 
3 ‘Transactions* K. A. S., vol. iii. p. 174, and J. R. A. 8. 



itself on the crown of the monarch. As contemporary J 
a/it belongs to the most interesting period of Buddhist 
*s older, or, at least, as old, as anything now existing on tlio con¬ 
tinent of India; and there is every reason, to suppose it now exists, as 
nearly as may be, in the form in which it was originally designed, 
having escaped alteration, and, what is more unusual in a Buddhist 
relic-shrine, having escaped augmentation. When the celebrated 
Tooth relic was brought hither from India at the beginning of the 
fourth century, it was deposited in a small building erected for the 
purpose on one of the angles of the platform, instead of being placed, 
as seems generally to have been the case, in a shrine on its summit, 
and eventually made the centre of a new and more extended erection. 
Perhaps it was an unwillingness to disturb the sacred circle of pillars 

1001 Thuparnnjya Tope. From an unpublished Lithograph by the late James Prinsep. 

that prevented this being done, or it may have been that the Tooth 
relic, for some reason we do not now understand, was destined never 
to be permanently hid from the sight of its adorers. It is certain that 
it has been accessible during the last two thousand years, and is the 
only relic of its class that seems to have been similarly preserved and 

The Ijankaramava is extremely similar to the last—though con¬ 
siderably more modern, having been erected A*D, 221—and looks of 
even more recent date than it really is, in consequence of a thorough 
repair within the last few years, which has nearly obliterated its 
more ancient features. 

There is still another—the Saila tope—within the limit of the city, 
but so ruined that its architectural features are ^distinguishable, 
though tradition would lead us to suppose it was the oldest in the 


x Ch. IV. 


^longing to a period even anterior to Sakya Muni. The 
vents is said to have been hallowed by the presence of Kasyapa 
Receding Buddha. 

Besides these, there are on the hill of Mehentele, a few miles to 
the north-east of the city, two important relic-shrines: one of the first 
class, erected on its summit to cover a hair that grew on the forehead 
of Buddha over his left eyebrow. The other, on a shoulder of the hill 
immediately below this, is of the same class as the Thuparamya; a 
small central building surrounded by concentric rows of granite pillars, 
which, as appears to have been usual when this mode of decoration was 
employed, rose to half the height of the central mound. 

There are, in addition to these, a great number of topes of various 
sorts scattered over the plain, hut whether any of them are particularly 
interesting, either from their architecture or their history, has not been 
ascertained, nor will be till the place is far more carefully surveyed 
than it has yet been. 

There is another ruin at Armradhapoora, which, if a little more 
perfect, would be even more interesting than these topes. It goes 
by the name of the Malm Lowa Paya, or Great Brazen Monastery. 
We have a full account in the Mahawanso of its erection by the pious 
king Dootoogamoni (b.c. 161), according to a plan procured from 
heaven for the purpose—as well as a history of its subsequent destruc¬ 
tion and rebuildings. 

When first erected it is said to have been 100 cubits or 225 ft 
square, and as high as it was broad; the height was divided into nine 
storeys, each containing 100 cells for priests, besides balls and other 
indispensable apartments. Nearly 200 years after its erection (a.d. 
30) it required considerable repairs, but the first great disaster occurred 
in the reign of the apostate Maliasena, a.d. 286, who is said to have 
destroyed it utterly. It was rp-erected by his son, but with only five 
storeys instead of nine; and it never after this regained its pristine 
magnificence, but gradually fell into decay even before the seat of 
government was removed to Pollonarua. Since that time it has been 
completely deserted, and all that now remains are the 1600 pillars 
which once supported it. Those generally consist of unhewn blocks of 
granite about 12 ft. high ; some of the central ones are sculptured, and 
mail} have been split into two, apparently at the time of the great 
rebuilding after its destruction by Mahasena; as it is, they stand 
about 6 ft. apart from centre to centre in a compact phalanx, forty on 
each face, and covering a space of 250 or 260 ft. each way. Upon the 
pillars must have been placed a strong wooden framing, as in the 
modem Burmese monasteries, to be explained in the next chapter• upon 
which tho remaining eight storeys rose, one above the other, each dimi¬ 
nishing as it ascended, so that the building assumed the outline of a 
pyramid. This, it is true, is not distinctly asserted in the Mahawanso, 



the remains suffice to prove it. But we have strong ev__ 
favour in the arrangement of later buildings, which the! 

my reason to believe were erected from this or similar models. The 
pyramidal shape is that adopted to this day in all Buddhist countries, 
it I am not very much mistaken, the many-storeyed Hindu temples in 
the south of India are literal copies of such buildings. They all assume 
the pyramidal form, and are furnished with small cells on every storey, 
precisely as we may suppose this to have been. 1 

A\ e learn from the Mahawanso that the name of Brazen was applied 
to it in consequence of its roof of brass; and, gilt and ornamented as it 
no doubt was, it must have been one of the most splendid buildings of 
the East. It was as high as the topes, and, though not covering quite 
so much ground, was equal, in cubical contents, to the largest of our 
English cathedrals, and the body of the building was higher than any 
of them; omitting of course the spires, which are mere ornaments. 

Its form and arrangement will be more clear when we have 
described, further on, the characteristics of the early Hindu style, 
which seems, almost without doubt, to have been copied from this. 

To us these are the most interesting of the remains of the ancient 

city, but to a Buddhist the greatest and most sacred of the vestiges of 
the past is the celebrated Bo-tree. This is now reverenced and wor¬ 
shipped even amidst the desolation in which it stands, and has been 
worshipped on this spot for more than 2000 years; and thus, if not the 
oldest, is certainly among the most ancient of the idols that still com¬ 
mand the adoration of mankind. 

AVhen Asoka sent his brother Mahindo, and his sister Sangamitta, 
to introduce Buddhism into Ceylon, one of the most precious things 
which they brought was a branch of the celebrated tree, which still 
grows at Gya* (woodcut No. 082). Tlie branch, so says the legend, 
spontaneously severed itself from the parent stem, and planted itself 
in a golden vase prepared for its reception. According to the pro¬ 
phecy, it was to he “always green, never growing, nor decaying,” and 
certainly present appearances would go far to confirm such an assertion, 
for, notwithstanding its age, it is small, and, though healthy, does not 
seem to increase. Its being evergreen is only a characteristic of its 
species, the Ficus religiosa; our acquaintance with it, however, must 

1 Fa Hian, in describing the great rock- t one he describes in such detail, and it 
cut monastery of the Deccan as it existed | points to a construction similar to what I 
in his time—about a. n. 400 —says it had j have suggested in the text.—See ‘ Fo 
five storeys ; the lower with 500 cells, the • Koue Ki,’ p. 314, et seq. 
next with 400, then 300, then 200, and the 2 Singularly enough, the natives of Be- 
upper with 100 cells. There is a good har ascribe the planting of their Bo-tree 
deal that is fabulous mixed with what to Dootoogamoni, the pious king of Cey- 
he says about this edifice, which, besides, | Ion.—See Buchanan Hamilton’s ‘ Statia- 
he never saw himself; but it is the only i tics of Behar,’ p. 76. 


over a longer series of years than it yet does, before w< 
vith certainty as to its stationary qualities, 
grows from the top of a small pyramid, which rises in three 
terraces, each about 12 ft. in height, in the centre of a large square 
enclosure close by the Maha Lowa Paya. But though the place is 
large, sacred, and adorned with gates of some pretension, none of the 
architectural features which at present surround it are such as to 
require notice. 


Although very much more modern in date, and consequently less 
pure in style, the ruins at Pollonarua are scarcely less interesting than 
those of the northern capital to which it succeeded. They form a link 
between the ancient and modem styles at a time when the Buddhists 
had ceased to exist, or at least to build, on the continent of India, and, 
when properly illustrated, will enable us to speak with confidence of 
what, we find beyond the Ganges. All we know at present of these 
ruins is due to the publications of Sir Emerson Tennent., 1 2 which, though 
most valuable contributions, arc far from exhausting the subject. Ac¬ 
cording to this authority, the principal ruins extend in a line nearly 
north and south for about a mile and a half from the palace to the Gal 
Vihara, and comprise two dagobas, besides a number of smaller edifices. 
The greater part seem to have been erected during the reign of Prak- 
rama Balm, 1153- 86, though, as the city became the capital of the 
kingdom in the 8tli century, it is probable that an intelligent search 
would reveal some of earlier date; while, as it was not deserted till 
1235, it is probable that some may also be more modern. 

Among the oldest I would be inclined to place the Gal Viliara—so 
called —though it is only a rock-cut temple or chaitya, not a 
monastery, being merely a cell cut in the rock, with two pillars in 
front, and containing a seated figure of Buddha. Another larger and 
more ornate excavation is situated on its right, and a standing figure 
on its left, beyond which is a reclining figure of Buddha in the act of 
attaining Nirwana. This last is 45 ft. in length, and the whole very 
much resembles the sculptures of the Chaitya cave, No. 26, at Ajunta, 
from which it is probably not very distant in date. 

In front of this stands the principal religious group of the city, 
consisting first of the Jayta Wana Kama Temple, 170 ft. long by 70 
wide, containing an erect statue of Buddha 58 ft. in height (woodcut 
No. 1008). On one side of it is the Kiri clagoba—on the right of the 
woodcut—with two smaller topes, standing on raised platforms, the 
whole space measuring 577 ft. by 500, and was apparently at one time 

1 ‘Ohrintianity in Ceylon,’ Murray, 1850; ‘An Account of the Island of Ceylon,' 

2 yoIs., Longmans, 1859. 


with objects of religious adoration. The whole oertal 
to the age of Prakrama, and is built of brick, and plastei^ 
gives it an appearance of inferiority beyond what is dues to the 
inferior style of that age. 

Next in importance to this is the Banket Dagoba, IBo ft. in 
diameter. This, though only half that of some of those of the older 
capital, is still larger than any known to exist on the continent of India. 
Its base is surrounded, like those in Burundi, by a number of small 

‘injte which at this age supplied the place of the pillars or rai 
iehyfbrmed so important a part of the structure of the o 

[\Oi-r. IV. 


At some distance from this, and near the palace, stands the Sat 
Mehal Prasada (woodcut No. 1009), which is one of the most interesting 
buildings of the place, as it is one of the most perfect representations 
existing of the seven-storeyed temples of Assyria already described, 
vol. i. page 136, et seq. That this is a lineal descendant of the Birs 
Nimroud can hardly be doubted. It may also afford a hint as to the 
appearance of the seven-storeyed monasteries so often mentioned. But 
it never was a residence, nor does it simulate one, like the building 
represented in woodcut No. 1006. 

Sat Melml Prafada. From Sir J. K TentfentV* Ceylon. 

In front of it lies a splendid dolmen, 26 ft. long, 4 broad, aud 2 ft, 
thick. It would be interesting to know if the dolmen rests on the 
ground or is supported on three or inore upright stones—most pro¬ 
bably the latter. Like most of the Indian examples, it appears to be a 
squared and carved repetition of what in Europe we find only rough 
and unhewn. The carving in its border represents the hansa or sacred 
geese—always a favourite subject of the Buddhist sculptures. 1 

Close to the Sat Mehal is a circular enclosure, approached by four 
flights of steps, each with its two menhirs or pillars. Its, centre is 
without any object of worship, and hypsethral, and seems always to 
have been so. \\ hat renders it especially interesting is, that it accen¬ 
tuates a belief we derive from many other indirect pieces of evidence 

5 They occur again in the earliest known sculpture in India (woodcut No. 969 ). It 
was the cackling of these sacred geese which saved the Capitol at Rome from bein^ 
surprised by the Gauls. e 

vol. n. 

2 L 



bnelosuro 1 in Buddhist buildings was frequently more import 
n .the tiling enclosed. Thus the rail at Ban chi (woodcut No. 97 tl 
pllars at Amravati (woodcut No. 981), the rail at Boodh Gya, the 
pillars of the Thuparamya (woodcut No. 1007), and many other in¬ 
stances, where the central object might have been omitted. The 
enclosed space, whether squaro or circular, was a sacred spot, to be 
marked out in a dignified manner. 2 

1010. Hound House hi I'ollonaruti, From Sir J. E, Tejment. 

Except the Gal Vihara at Pollonarua, the rock-cut temples in Ceylon 
aro generally only natural caverns slightly improvod by art, and usu¬ 
ally without any architectural features to render them valuable in 
illustrating the history of that art. What architecture they do possess 
is developed on applied facades of masonry, novor of the same age as 
the caves themselves, and generally more remarkable for grotesquenoss 
than beauty. Besides, the form of these caves being accidental, they 
want that interest which attaches so strongly to those of India, as 
illustrating the religious forms and ceremonies of the early Buddhists. 
Indeed, their only point of interest seems to consist in their being still 
used for the celebration of the same rites to which they wore originally 
dedicated 2000 years ago. 

1 I believe that Llan, the Welsh for a 
church, originally meant an enclosed space. 

2 Between these two last named build¬ 
ings and the Gal Vihara nre frequent 
parallel rows of stone pillars. In some 
places eleven, in some more. It is pos- 

j siblo that these aro the foundations of 
j houses, and mark the lino of streets; hut, 

1 in Sir J. E. Teiment’s plans, they look 
| so like tho pprallellitha of this country 
and Brittany, that it would be extremely 
interesting to know what they really are. 

On. V. 



It U It M A H. 


Forms of Bunnosc bui Mings — Dagohns at Kliomadoo — Fugue — Rangoon, &c. —* 



llahamnm, son of Asoka, logins to reign 

at Prom© about.u.c. 243 

Sumtiudri Prome era established . . . a.d. 76 

Sainuddft Raja begin* to reign at Pagan . 107 

Rtahlagostt visits Ceylon. 386 

Panya becomes the capital. a.i>. 1300 

Pagan destroyed. 1356 

Padya and Chitkaing destroyed, and Ava 

becomes the capital. 1364 

Alompra in Monclmbo . , . . . 1752 

The kingdom of Burmah, lying to the eastward of Bengal, is one of 
those Countries which, like Ceylon, received its religion direct from 
India, and has retained it to the present hour, although it has long 
ceased to exist in its native country. 

As in all Buddhist countries, its authentic annals commence witli 
the sovereigns of Central India, who were the contemporaries of Sakya 
Muni, the founder ot the faith. There is no record even of names of 
native kings till wo come to the all-powerful and all pervading name 
of Asoka. He sent his son or grandson to the country to introduce 
the new faith, and to establish a regular sovereignty on the banks of 
the Trrawaddy, which seems, at that time, to have been very thinly 
peopled by nomado and half-civilised tribes. 

The new king fixed his residence at Promo about the year 243 n.c., 
and that city continued the capital of the kingdom for some three 
centuries and a halt. About A.p. 107 the seat of government was 
removed farther up the river to Pagan, which continued to be the 
capital for twelve centuries, when, in consequence, it is said, of some 
prophecy or evil omens, it was removed still farther up the river towards 
its south-eastern bend, where three distinct cities, Chatkaing, Ava, and 
Amerapoora, situated near to one another, have enjoyed with frequent 
changes the distinction of being the royal residence. 

At Promo we have no knowledge of any buildings of considerable 
antiquity or otherwise remarkable. 

The remains of Pagan cover a space extending ten or twelve miles 
along the river and to a depth of four or five miles inward. Our 

2 L 2 



1011 . Plan of Ananda Temple. From Yule. Scale 100 ft. to 1 in. 

tho war in 1825, passed and repassed through the pfl 
noticed in several published narratives of journeys in 

country. But it 
was not till the 
publication of Col¬ 
onel Yule’s ‘Mis¬ 
sion to the Court 
that we 
any such re¬ 
presentation of its 
edifices as would 
enable us to rea¬ 
son upon their 
forms or affinities. 
According to this 
authority, there 
may be 800 to 
1000 temples still 
existing at Pagan. 
Of these, one of 
the most remark¬ 
able is that of 
Ananda. As will 
be seen from the aunexed plan, it is a square, of nearly 200 ft. on each 
side, with projecting porticoes on each face, so that it measures 280 ft. 

across each way. Like all 
the great pagodas of tho 
city, it is seven storeys in 
height; six of these are 
square and Hat, each dimi¬ 
nishing in extent, so as to 
give tlie whole a pyramidal 
form ; tho seventh, which 
is or simulates the cell of 
the temple, takes the form 
of a Hindoo or Jaina tem¬ 
ple, the whole in this in¬ 
stance rising to the height 
of 183 ft. 

Next in rank to this is 
the Thapinya—the Omni¬ 
scient—erected about the 
year 1100 by the grandson 
of the king, who built the 
Ananda. It is very similar to the Ananda both in dimensions and in 

1012 . Plan of Thapinya. From Ynle. Scale 100 ft. to 1 


ixcept that it has only one porch instead of four, and, c 
ppiy, only one great statue in its cell instead of four standing 1; 

ck. Its height is 201 feet, and it is the highest in the place. 

The third in importance is called the Gaudapalen, built in 1160. 
This temple is smaller than those just mentioned, but makes up in 
richness and beauty of detail for its more diminutive dimensions. 

The Dhamayangyee, now in ruins, is quite equal in dimensions to 
the Ananda. and very much resembles it in plan and design ; while 
one called the Sem Byo Koo is, in its details, the most beautiful of any. 

The general appearance of these temples will be understood from 
the annexed view (woodcut No. 1014) of that willed Gaudapalen, and 
their general arrangements from the section of the Thapinya, of which 

1013. Section of Tbapiuya. From Yule. Scale 50 feet to 1 in. 


mUs given (woodcut No. 1012). They are all so similar tkat\Wi 
to multiply illustrations, the only real difference being in 
5er or less amount of ornament in stucco which has been applied to 


The first thing that strikes the inquirer on examining these tem¬ 
ples is their remarkable dissimilarity with anything on the Continent 
ol India. They are not topes in any sense of the term, nor are they 
viharas. The one building which they in any way resemble is. the 
seven-storeyed Prasnda at Pollonarua (woodcut No. 1009), which, no 
doubt, belongs to the same class. Improbable as it may at first sight 
appear, their real synonyms are to bo found in Babylonia, not in India. 
The Birs Nimroud is, like them, a seven-storeyed temple, with external 
stairs, leading to a crowning cell or sanctuary. Of course, duiing the 

View of the* Temple of GaudApalen. From Yu Ip. 

seventeen centuries which elapsed between the orection of the two 
buildings, considerable changes have taken place. The lowest stairs 
in Burmah have become internal; in Babylonia they were apparently 
external. At the head of the third flight at the Birs, Sir Henry Raw- 
linson found the remains of three recesses. A t Pagan these had been 
pushed into the centre of the third storey. The external flights were 
continued on the upper three storeys at both places; blit in Babylonia 
they lead to what seema to have been tbe real sanctuary, in Burmah to 
a simulated one only, but of a form which, in India, always contained 
a cell and an image of the deity to whom the temple was dedicated. 

It may be asked, How is it possible that a Babylonian form should 
reach Burmah without leaving traces of its passage through India ? It 

I. On. V. 


ly a sufficient answer to say it must have como via Tliibe" 

1 Asia; because, in the present state of our knowledge, w< 
now of such a route being used. It is a more probable expla¬ 
nation to say that such monuments may have existed in the great 
Gangetic cities, but, like those examples, in brick and plaster, and 
have perished, as they would bo sure to do in that climate, and where 
hostile races succeeded the Buddhists. But, however it may bo event¬ 
ually accounted for, it does not appear to mo a matter of doubt that 
these Burmese seven-storeyed temples are the lineal descendants ot the 
Babylonian examples, and that wo shall some day be able to supply 
the gaps which exist in their genealogy. 

It, would be, in the meanwhile, extremely interesting if some 
earlier examples of this form coidd bo identified either at Prom© or 
Pagan. They must exist; and it would he curious to ascertain when 
this type was introduced, and what its actual arrangements then 
really were. 

Although this squaro seven- storeyed pagoda may he considered as 
the typical form of Burmese temples, the circular form was also 
adopted, but how early has not yet been ascertained. Colonel Yule 
describes — but, unfortunately, did not draw — one at Mengoon, on the 
right bank of the river, a little above Ava. u The basement, which 
formed the hulk of the structure, consisted of seven concentric circular 
terraces, each with a parapet of curious serpentine form. Those para¬ 
pets rose one within and above the other, like the walls of Ecbatana, 
as described by Herodotus. The only ascent appeared to be from the 
east. In the parapet of every terrace were niches looking outwards, 
in which were figures of Nats or warders in white marble, half-life 
size. A great circular wall enclosed the whole, at some distance from 
the base.” 1 From this description, it is evidently so similar to the 
temple excavated by M. Place at Ivhorsabad (vol. i. p. 140), that a few 
more particulars would be extremely interesting. 

Generally speaking, the circular dagobas in Burmah take a form 
more nearly resembling those found in India. The one most like the 
Indian type is that known as the Kong Madoo, not far from Mengoon, 
on the same side of the river. The mass of the dome, according to 
Colonel Yule, 2 is about 100 ft. diameter. It is taller than a semicircle — 
wliich would indicate a modem date— and stands on three concentric 
bases, each wider than the other. Bound the whole is a railing, con¬ 
sisting of 784 stone pillars, each standing about 6 ft. out of the ground, 
and divided into four quadrants by four stone gateways. An inscrip¬ 
tion, on a white marble slab, records the erection of this pagoda between 
the years 1636 and 1650. I at one time thought it must be older ; 

1 * Mission to Ava/ p. 172. 

2 Ibid. p. 65. 

IP, um IN A! lumiM'i) jke. 

tilfe evidence of recent explorations renders this date more pro\4|wcj 
formerly appeared. If correct, it is curious as showing 
change had occurred during the sixteen centuries which 
elapsed between the erection of the tope at San chi (woodcut No. 972) 
and the seventeenth century. 

1015. Kong Ahtdoo Itogobju From Yule 

The next in importance is the great Shoemadoo 1 pagoda at Pegue, 
of which a plan and elevation are given from those published by 
Colonel Synies in his account of his embassy to Ava. As will he seen 
from the woodcuts (Nos. 1016, 1017), the plan deviates considerably 
from the circular form, which is exclusively used in the edifices of this 
class hitherto described* and approaches more nearly to those elabo¬ 
rately polygonal forms which are affected by all the Hindu builders of 
modern date. It returns, however, to the circular form before termi¬ 
nating, and is crowned, like all Burmese buildings of this class, by an 
iron spire or Tee richly gilt. 

' Another peculiarity is strongly indicative of its modern date ; 
namely, that instead of a double or triple range of pillars surrounding 
its base, we have a double range of minute pagodas, a mode of orna¬ 
mentation that subsequently became typical in Hindu architecture_ 

their temples and spires being covered, and, indeed, composed, of innu¬ 
merable models of themselves, clustered together so as to make up a 
whole. As before remarked, something of the same sort occurs in 
Koinan art, where every window and opening is surmounted by a 
pediment, or miniature temple end, and in Gothic art, where a great 
87 >ire is surrounded by pinnacles or spirelets; but in these styles it is 

1 literally 1 Bolden great god/* Madoo is the Burmese for Maha Deva. 

1016 ShoSmadoo Pagoda, Pcgue. From Col. Symre>’ * Kmlwssy to Ava.’ 

1017 Half-plan of Shoemadoo Pagoda. From Syroes. Scale 100 ft. to l in. 

The building stands on two terraces, the lower one about JO ft. 
high, and 1391 ft. square; the upper one, 20 ft. in height, and 681 ft 
square; from the centre rises the pagoda, the diameter of whose base 



If. The small pagodas are 27 ft. high, and 108 or 110 in 
^lile the great pagoda itself rises to the height of 831 ft. al 
race, or 361 ft. above the country, thus reaching a height about 
equal to that of St. Paul’s Cathedral; while the side of the upper 
terrace is only 83 ft less than that of the great Pyramid. 

Tradition ascribes its commencement to two merchants, who raised 
it to the height of 12 cubits at an age slightly subsequent to that of 
Buddha himself. Successive kings of Pogue added to it from time to 
time, till at last it assumed its present form, most probably about three 
or four centuries ago. 

The third pagoda in importance, so far as we know, is the more 
generally known Shoedagong pagoda at Rangoon, a building very 
similar in dimensions to tho last, and by no means unlike it. except 
that the outline of the base is more cut up, and the spire more attenu¬ 
ated—both signs of more modern date. The base is even more crowded 
by little templets than that at Peguo, and its whole height is somewhat 
less. There is, however, no essential difference between the two build¬ 
ings, and this is principally Interesting as leading us one step further 
in the series from the solid hemispherical mound to the thin spire, 
which, both in Burmah and Siam, is the modern form usually assumed 
by these edifices, till they lose all hut a traditional resemblance to the 
buildings from which they originally sprang. 

The Shoedagoug pagoda, like all the more important onos, is fabled 
to have been commenced about 2300 years ago, or about the era of 
Buddha himself ; its sanctity, however, is owing to its containing relics, 
not only of the last Buddha, hut also of his three predecessors—Buddha 
having vouchsafed eight hairs of his head to its two founders, on the 
understanding that they wero to he enshrined with the relics of the 
three former Buddhas, where and when found. 1 2 After numerous mira¬ 
culous indications, on this spot were discovered the staff of Kakusanda, 
believed to have lived some 3000 years before Christ, the water-dipper 
of Konagamma, and the bathing-garment of Knsyapa, which, with the 
eight hairs above-mentioned, are enshrined within this great pagoda.* 
Originally, however, notwithstanding the value of its deposit, the 
building was small, and it is probably not more than a century since 

it assumed its present form. 

A crowd of smaller pagodas surrounds the larger one, of all sizes, 
from 30 ft. to 200 ft. in height, and even more. There is scarcely a 
village in the country that does not possess one or two, and iiiall the 
more important towns they are numbered by hundreds; indeed, they 
may almost he said to he innumerable. They arc almost all quite 
modern, and so much alike as not to merit any distinct or separate 

1 See p. 462. 

2 See account of tho Great Bell at Rangoon, by the Rev. G. H. Hough. * Asiatic 
Researches,’ vol. xiv. p. 270. 



dil.. They indicate, however, a great degree of progressive wca^ 
mwvr in the nation, from the earliest times to tho present cla£ 
increasing prevalence of the Bnddhistical system. This is a 
direct contrast to tho history of Ceylon, whose glory was greatest in 
tho earlier centuries of the Christian era, and was passing away more 
than 1000 years ago, at the time when the architectural history of Btir- 
mah first dawns upon us. Thus the buildings of ono country are an 
exact continuation of those pf the other, and present together a, series 
of examples of the same class ranging over more than 2000 years, if wo 
reckon from tho oldest topes in Ceylon to the most modern in Burmali. 

Curiously enough, an attempt was made in the present Century to 
return to the old square form, and on a greater scale than ever before 
attempted. The king Mentara Gy6, who died 1809, commenced a 
pagoda at Mengoon. ‘‘ It stands on a basement of five successive ter¬ 
races, of little height, tho lower terrace forming a square of 450 ft. 
From the upper terrace starts tho vast cubical pile of tho pagoda, 
230 ft. square in plan, and rising, in a solid mass, to tho height of 
about 100 ft., with slightly sloping walls. Above this it contracts in 
successive terraces, three of which had been completed, raising the 
mass to a height of 165 ft., at the time the work was abandoned.” 1 
From a model standing near, it is inferred that, if completed, it would 
have risen to the height of 500 ft.; it is even now a solid mass con¬ 
taining between 6,000,000 and 7,000,000 cubic feet of brickwork. Had 
it been Carried out, it would have been the tallest building in ihe 
world. It was, however, shattered by an earthquake in 1839; but, 
even in its ruined state, is as large and imposing a mass of brick¬ 
work as is to be found anywhere. Since the pyramids of Egypt, 
nothing so great has been attempted, and it belongs to the 19tli 


As Burmah is a country in which the monastic system of Buddhism 
flourishes at tho present day to the fullest extent, if .we had more 
inhumation regarding its monasteries, or Mourns as they are called, it 
might enable us to understand the arrangement of the older ones. 
The travellers who have visited the country have been silent on tho 
subject, principally because the monasteries are, in almost all instances, 
less magnificent than the pagodas to which they aro attached, and are, 
with scarcely an exception, built of wood — a practice destructive of 
their architectural character, and also depriving them wholly of that 
monumental appearance of stability which is so essential to true archi¬ 
tectural expression. 

Mission to the Court of Ava,’ p. 169. 

Indian architjectuke, 


peculiarity is not the monasteries; all resident 
,t of the poorest peasant to the palace of the king, having befe 
•ucted from time immemorial of this perishable material. The 
custom has now passed into a law, that no one shall, have the power 




Facade of the King’s Palace, Bunnah. From Yule. 

of erecting buildings of stone or brick, except it be the king himself, 
or the edifices he of a purely religious character. Nor is this exception 
taken advantage of, for the king’s palace itself is as essentially a wooden 
erection as the dwelling of any of his subjects. It is, however, not the 

^ ' BtikMKHK ft m xmkMto. . • 

lificont on this account—rather, perhaps, more so—irame^ 

'fA ng spent on the most elaborate carvings, and the whole her 
, painted, and gilt, to an extent of which we have no concep¬ 
tion in our more sober clime. 

The general appearance of the fa 9 ade may be realised from the 
annexed view (woodcut No. 1018); but its real magnificence consists 
in the profusion of gilding and carving with which every part is covered, 
and to which it is impossible to do justice on so small a scale. 

The same profuse decorations are bestowed upon the monasteries, 
one of which is represented in the annexed woodcut (No. 1019), showing 
a building in which all the defects arising from the use of so easily 
carved a material, are carried to excess. If the colouring and gilding 

Burmese Kioum. From Col. SyiruV 4 Embassy to Ava.’ 

could he added, it would represent a building such as the West 
never saw, and, let us hope, never will see; for, however dazzling 
its splendour, such barbaric magnificence is worthy only of a half- 
civilized race. 

Besides, however, its own merits, as showing the extent of richness 
to which this ephemeral style of art may be carried, the building is 
interesting as explaining how the 1600 columns of the Maha Lowa 
Pava of Ceylon 1 supported the lower floor of that great monastery. It 
also exhibits the general form of outline which I believe all these great 
monasteries to have possessed. The one represented here is of three 
storeys, hut is, I believe, in outline, the same as the five or nine- 

1 See p. 509. 

mm A N AKC1I B'lpriTRR 

edifices of which we read, but of which no example 

The fact that all the buildings of Burmah are of wood, except the 
pagodas, may also explain how it is that India possesses no architec¬ 
tural remains anterior to the ago of Asoka. Except the comparatively 
few masonry pagodas, none of which existed prior to his era, there 
is nothing in Burmah that a conflagration of a few hours would not 
destroy, or the desertion of a few years entirely obliterate. That the 
same was the practice of India is almost certain, from the essentially 
wooden forms still found prevailing in all the earlier cave temples; 
and, if so, this fully accounts for the disappearance of all earlier 

We know that wooden architecture was the characteristic of Nine¬ 
veh, where all the constructive parts were formed in this perishable 
material; and from the Bible we learn that Solomon’s edifices were 
chiefly so constructed. Persepolis presents us with the earliest instance 
in Asia of this wooden architecture being petrified, as it were — appa¬ 
rently in consecpienco of the intercourse its builders maintained with 
Egypt and Greece. 

in Burmah these wooden types still exist in more completeness 
than, perhaps, in any othor country. Even if the student is not pre¬ 
pared to admit the direct ethnographic connexion between the build¬ 
ings of Burmah and Babylon—which appears to me indisputable — he 
will at any rato best learn in this country to appreciate much in ancient 
architocture, which, without such a living illustration, it is hard to 
understand. Solomon’s House of the Cedars of Lebanon is, with mere 
difference of detail, reproduced at Ava or Amarapoora; and the palaces 
of Nineveh and Persepolis arc rendered infinitely more intelligible by 
the study of these edifices. Burmah is almost equally important in 
enabling us to understand what an active, prosperous Buddhist com¬ 
munity may have been in India at a time when that religion flourished 
there; and altogether, if means were available for its full elucidation, 
it would form one of the most interesting chapters in the History of 
Architecture in Asia. 


S I A M. 


Pagodas Ht Ayutliinnml Bangkok —Hull of Audience at Ba ngkok—General Remark**, 

Although the architecture of Siam is very much less important than 
that of Burma!), on the one hand, or Cambodia on the other, it is still 
sufficiently so to prevent its being passed over in a general summary of 
styles. Its worst feature, as we now know it, is, that it is so extremely 
modern. Up to the 14th century the capital of the country was 
Sokotay, a city in the Menam, 200 miles from the sea in a direct line, 
and situated close to tho hills. This city has not been visited by any 
traveller in modern times, so we do not know what buildings it may 
contain. About the year 1350 the Siamese were successful in their 
wars with the Cambodians, and eventually succeeded in capturing their 
capital, Intha patha puri or India prestha, and practically annexing 
Cambodia to their kingdom. 

Having accomplished this, they moved their capital down to Ayuthia, 
little more than fifty miles from the sea; and three centuries afterwards 
Bangkok succeeded it, and is now the capital. It is by no means certain 
whether this migration downwards was caused by political events and 
increasing commerce, or from the country gradually becoming drier 
and more fit for human habitation. Judging from what happened in 
Bengal in historical times, 1 should fancy it was the latter. 

In India we find civilised nations first established in tho Punjab, 
and on the watershed between the Sutlej and the Jumna. Between 
1000 and 2000 years B.c. Dude seems to have become dry enough for 
human habitation, and Ayoclia* (from which the Siamese capital took 
its name) became the chief city. Between 1000 and 500 B.c. Janakpore 
on the north and Rajagriha on the south were the capital cities of 
Bengal; but both being situated on the hills, it was not till A sola’s 
time (250 B.c.) that Patna on the Soane, and Vaisali on the Gunduck, 
became capitals; and still another 1000 years elapsed before Gour and 

1 The Siamese invariably change the Indian d into th. 

JISTDTA^r architecture. 

Imodf#became important, while Moorshedabad, Hooghly, and Calc\ 
n ^afe/cities of yesterday. 1 The same phenomenon seems to have occur 
Vj^ara, and wliat is of still more interest, as we shall presently see, 

As Ayuthia was for three centuries the flourishing capital of one of 
the great building-races of the world, we should, of course, look for con¬ 
siderable magnificence having been displayed in its architecture. From 

1020 . Kuind of a FagoUa at Ayuthta. 

the accounts of the early Portuguese and Dutch travellers who visited it 
in the days of its glory it seems to have merited the title they bestowed 
upon it of the “Venice of the East,” and the remains justify their 
eulogiums. The buildings, however, seem to have been principally con¬ 
structed of brick and wood; and as the city has now been practically 
deserted for more than a century, the wild fig-trees have everywhere 

1 For the particulars of this desiccation of the Valley of the Ganges, see the 
Journal of the Geological Society, April, 1803. 


^i^rtjelt their roof« into the masonry, and decay has progressed 

wooden erections. As described by recent visitors, nothii^ 
more wildly picturesque than this once splendid city, now over¬ 
grown with jungle; hut such a stage of decay is of all conditions 
tlie least favourable to the researches of the antiquary. 

The form which the older pagodas took at Ayuthya differs in many 
essential respects from those which we find either in India or in Burmah. 
The top or upper part has 
a rounded domical shapo, 
which we can easily fancy 
to be derived from the tope, 
but the upright part looks 
more like the sikra of a 
Hindu temple than anything 
Buddhist. If we had a few 
earlior examples perhaps we 
might trace the steps by 
which the one passed into 
the other; at present the 
gaps in the series are too 
great to l>o bridged over 
with anything approaching 
certainty. One link, how¬ 
ever, seems to be supplied 
bv the temples of Nakhon 
Wat in Cambodia, of which 
more hereafter. 

The same outline is found 
in the crowning members of 
the pagodas of Bangkok, but 
they are covered with an 
elaboration of detail and 
exuberance of coloured 
ornament that has seldom 
been surpassed, nor is it 

1021 Ktiitiaofa Pagoda at Ayuthya, JKtxmi Mouhot. 

desirable it should be, for it is here carried to an extent truly 

Notwithstanding the bad taste which they display, these Bangkok 
pagodas are interesting in the history of architecture as exemplifying 
the instinctive mode in which some races build, and the innate and 
irrepressible love of architecture they display. But it also shows how 
easily these higher aspirations degenerate into something very like 
vulgarity, when exercised by a people in so low a stage of civilisa¬ 
tion as the modern Siamese. 

Von. n. 2 m 


The Great Tower of the Pagoda Wat-cbing at Bangkok. From Mouhot, 

gilding, and painting, can make them: hut. as in the pagodas, it is 
overdone, and fails to please, because it verges on vulgarity. 

1023. Hall of Audience at Bangkok. From Moll hot 


e typical design of all these halls and minor buildings wjfiTIJ 
irstood from the annexed woodcut representing the Hatl of 
udience at Bangkok. Like all the others, it has two roofs inter¬ 
secting one another at right angles, and a spire of greater or less 
cdevation on the intersection. Sometimes one, two, or three smaller 
gables are placed in front of the first, each lower than the one behind 
it, so as to give a pyramidal effect to the whole. Generally the sub¬ 
ordinate gables are of the same width as those in the centre; but some¬ 
times the outer one is smaller, forming a porch. In the audience hall 
just quoted there are three gables each way. These may bo seen on 
the right and left of the central spiro in the view, but the first and 
second towards the front are hidden by the outer gable. The point of 
sight being taken exactly in front, it looks in the view ns if there 
were only one in that direction. 

The Burmese adopt the same arrangement in their civil buildings, 
and in Siam and Burxnah the varieties are infinite from the simple 
pavilion with four gables, supported on four pillars, 1 to those with 
twelve and sixteen gables, combined with a greater complication of 
walls and pillars for their support. 

As the Siamese are certainly advancing in civilisation, it may 
bo asked, Will not their architecture be improved and purified by the 
process ? The answer is unfortunately too easy. The new civilisation 
is not indigenous, hut an importation. The progress-men wear hats, 
the ladies crinolines, and they build palaces with Corinthian porticoes 
and sash-windows. It is the sort of civilisation that is found in the 
Bazar in Calcutta, and is not desirable, in an architectural point of 
view, at all events, if indeed it is so in any other respect. 

1 This form is interesting to us, us it is 
that adopted for the Albert Memorial in 
Hydo Park, the style of decoration of 

which is also much more like that em¬ 
ployed in Siam th