The Byzantine architecture was a unique architecture style of the Eastern Roman Empire, better known as the Byzantine Empire. This style of architecture has marked influences from the Greek and Roman monuments of the end of the last millennium BC and the beginning of the current era.
The Byzantine style began to take shape already at the time of Constantine but did not reach its fullness until the 6th century. The great artistic companies of Justinian, who took advantage of the teachings of the domed buildings of previous Asia, demonstrated the existence of a new architecture. We can consider that period the century of Justinian gold. Later, the Byzantine architecture lived on everything that was created until the end of the iconoclast movement under the Macedonian dynasty.
Mosaics, Capitals, Dome
The main novelties of the Byzantine architecture concern the use of the dome, the capital and its relationship with the arch and decoration, especially the mosaics.
By parts: the Byzantine architecture, like the Roman one, is domed, but its innovation with respect to that one resides in the systematic use of the dome using the previous Syrian and Sassanid experiences. The Byzantines came to build domes of proportions as gigantic as those of Saint Sophia of Constantinople, more than 30 meters in diameter, admirably solving the way to counteract the thrusts, not only by means of stirrups or thick walls but opposing them with other vaults.
From Constantinopla To Rávena
The main monuments of the Justinian era are preserved in the capital of the Empire and in Ravenna, the capital of Exarcado, which comprised southern Italy, northern Africa, and Spain.
In Byzantium, he built Justiniano the temples of Santa Sofía, Santa Irene, the saints Sergio and Baco and the Holy Apostles. Santa Sofía stands out among them, so much so that in his time they say an angel gave inspiration to Justinian by inspecting his works daily. Its authors are two Greeks from Asia Minor: Antonio de Tralles and Isidoro de Mileto.
This temple breaks with the basilical scheme: how much with a dome of more than thirty meters in diameter, counteracted in its lateral thrusts by two vaults of quarter sphere whose thrusts are, in turn, received by other minors of equal form and by two barrel vaults, counteracted one and the other in turn by thick stirrups where the stairs are housed.
Another of the Byzantine emperors who had more influence on the artistic renovation of architecture was Justiniano. He was an emperor who also had as his main vision the cultural renewal of the Empire. In fact, his policies were very similar to those of Constantine, although Justinian took power in 518.
His main works were the various reconstructions of fallen churches throughout the entire Roman Empire.
Justinian had as ideal the management of the Empire without having to require the use of force. Similarly, he did not want to impose a unique religion for the Romans, but his constructions tended to be similar to traditional Christian architecture.