Late Post: Gupta India

The ancient empire of the Mauryan dynasty fell apart in the early second BCE and India reverted to feudal fragmentation. Amultitude of local dynasties took charge of many small state. Those states had different religious and temples like similarly the empire nation was very fragmented. Uniform monotheism of Christianity after the fall of Rome, religious beliefs in India have multiplied such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. So they needed a new architectural expressions for those religious. Also pilgrimage shrines and sacred caves relics axquired greater ritual importance of the centers of political power. The principal temples and monasteries appeared in remote areas away from the major cities and attracted a continuous flow of pilgrims.

The Caves at Bhaja

Buddhists sponsored projects for chaitya halls and monasteries across the northern and central regions of Indai. The best preserved examples remained those carved in the clifts. And they continued to build stupas, temples, monasteries and rock-cut sanctuaries. The caves at Bhaja, were the earliest Indian rock-cut temples. They made quite explict the crossover of the traditions of wooden architecture into stone hall and they were like almost freestanding buildings. Alsa they gave impressions of what the vanished wooden structures. There was only one enter to chaitya hall at Bhaja ( with a horseshoe-shaped arch) and as generally they have some strong relations and resemblance with early Chrisitian basilicas.

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Temple 17

The gupta dynasty left most architectural patronage to the high ranking members of the court. Gupta designers added a small temple with a colonnaded porch in around 400 which know as Temple 17. Built of mortarless ashlar blocks, it is almost as if a rock-cut temple had been extracted from the cliffs and transported to the site. The porch carries two pairs of monolithic columns which was appeared quite complex. The perceftly square, windowless temple remained as dark as rock-cut caves and served for the devotional contemplation of an image. The Gupta court also sponsored caves which were quite similar in format to Temple 17. Caves 6  and 7 share a similar treatment of T-shaped door-jambs and pilasters in the same style as the porch columns.

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The authority of Gupta dynasty began to falter in 467 after the invasions of Huns. The Pandava ratha lacked wheels but included five monolithic buildings and a few outscaled animals. One elephant was carved from a massive loaf a gneiss stone with 60m lon and 12m high. A rectangular walled precinct surronded the whole in the Indian version of a temenos known as a parkara. Four of the temples followed a linear sequence like a procession, depicting stone simulacra of conventional buildings of the time. The penultimate took the form of a two story palace carved from a single block of stone but looking as if was built of wooden joinery. Its barrel-vault roof carried horseshoe arch dormers and tiny balconies.



Late Post: Western Europe After Roman Empire

After the Roman Empire, church bishops remained the only figures with legal authority in the cities and also christian monasteries was the most inspired expressions of European feudal society. As a representation of progressive society, they did depend on an optimistic architectural expressions and built the ground churches, hospitals, monasteries and castles all over Europe after the millennium.

Charlemange’s Palace

Charlemagne’s palace is now called Aachen, remained the key project to revive the Roman Empire. The architect of projects was Odo of Metz or Eudes of Metz who was the earliest known architect born north of Alps and he had a large technical knowledge from De architectura of Vitruvius. The palace built entirely in stone instead of brick and its structural elements remained thicker. The marble cloumns in the upper galleries which spolia across Europe from Roman sities. The specific feature of the palace is the alternation of black and white voussoirs in the arches which seen for the first time in Christian architecture. Additionally, the interior spaces more darker.

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Charlemagne’s Palace

St. Gall Benedictine Monastery

During the next century the twin- towered facade became known as a westwork.For example St. Gall Benedictine Monastery. We have a lot of documentation about the monastery which shows the ideal plan of St. Gall and described form and social order of Benedictine monastery. The church dominated the plan with a double ended, three-aisle plan and proposing two freestanding towers for its westwork. The church located on the north site, main purpose was probably to not block the sunlight to the major structures. The Arcaded cloister at the core of the plan of St. Gall represented the heart of the religious community. The cloister resembled a forum, the raised discouraged one from entering the open space which served for meditation as vision of paradise.

St. Gall Benedictine Monastery

St. Hugh of Semur 

St. Hugh of Semur was another example of westwork. Cluny began third version of the church in 1088. Also Cluny commanded a monastic empire with over nearly 1500 monasteries in the end of 11th century. The old church atrium became the courtyard of a new palace for the abbot, the warming room became the Chapter House and the twins palaces were used for noblemen hosts and also there were twelve bath houses and a number of fountains too. The inspiration for such luxurious settings probably came from the grand palaces at Islamic Spain.

Cluny III

Cluny III was planned to built the largest church in the world to defended the expanse of Cluny III by great architecture as a suitable offering to bad. The architect, Gunzo of Baume was a retired abbot, renowed as a musician and a master of proportions.

The Norman Invasions

Vikings raiders was know as destroyers of monastries, after the king of France granted to the Vikings the duchy of Normandy in 911, and gave them a new identity as Norman. So they became sponsors for rebuilting them. For example, Mont St. Michel Sanctuary destroyed by Vikings in the 10th century, rebuilt as Normans during the 11th century. Because the Norman hiearchy founded monastries to reinforce their network of territorial control. The legendary Norman king William the conqueror, offered royal patronage for monasteries as a means of extending his network of control as a example reconstruction of Durham Cathedral, Norman Cathedral of Monreale and Norman La Zisa Palace. Durham Cathedral was one of the largest church in the world. Also Norman La Zisa Palace decorated with muqarnas which built with Muslim designers as a Norman pleasure palace.



Ottoman Architecture

Mehmed II, the conqueror, reign 1444-1481

Constantinople succumbed in 1453 to Mehmed II, known as Fatih, conqueror. A new name ”İstanbul” coming from the Greek phrase ”to the city” Mehmed II built the markets of Kapalı Çarşı for merchnant activity. The square bay with a rounded dome became the standard unit of Ottoman architecture like in the Kapalı Çarşı and used in palaces, hospitals, schools, baths and mosques. Hagia Sophia was the great prize for Sultan and quickly converted into a royal mosque.

Transformation of Constantinople to İstanbul and Ottoman city succesed by royal mosques and minarets. Mehmet II built a new mosque, the Fatih Cami and extensive imaret with three smaller rounded domes which inspired by the great Byzantine churches. The Fatih Cami occupied the center of vast and perceftly square plaza. On the north and south sides stood sets served for study of canonical law which divided into Muslim and non-Muslim sectors. Also the conquerer Mehmed intended the imaret as a welfare institution that demonstrated the benefits of Ottoman peace.

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In 15, Mehmed II decided to move from his palace in the center of city where the acropolis of ancient Greek city of Byzantium once. The Topkapı Saray compex offered a more secluded residence with fortified walls surronding a hill, wooded park and also willfully asymmetrical and more like a garden than a building.  Additionally the Saray has strong connection to natural features adn the framed views to Bosphorus landscapes. The most important policital space in Topkapı, the Diwan or council hall jutted into the northwest corner of the courtyard. The saray is serving as a museum, here is the offical page:

The Topkapı Saray

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Sinan was the greatest architect of Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman military played an overarching role in the administration and state architects. Sinan referred to as Hoca Sinan or Mimar Sinan(the architect) emerged as the most prolific and accomplished over 300 projects throughout the realm. Sinan gained the title of architect of Adobe of Felicity at late age of 47. He built 22 major mosques and imarets in İstanbul. his military career was the main key for his architectural design, he witnessed a variety of design solutions and gained command of engineering through the production of bridges and transport ships.

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Sinan’s earliest commissiıns for monumental works came from two female clients who ere Hurrem, wife of Suleyman I and her daughter Mihrümah. The Haseki Hürrem complex covered the mosque with a single hemispherical dome and designed the hospital, an institution for women with an unusual octogonal court for honor of Hurrem.

The two imarets built for fonor of Mihrümah and also occupied remote sites in the city. The Mihrümah Cami has most splendid domes which a 20meter diameter hemispherical cupola rising 35meter on massive octagonal piers which was in a similar mindset to that Gothic master builders.

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The Şehzade Cami was the first work for Süleyman I. Sinan abutted the central dome with four semidomes which inspired by Hagia Sophia.

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Sinan returned to the composition of Hagia Sophia for Süleymaniye, begun in 1552 which created a central dome nearly as large as the Byzantne prototype, flanked by two semidomes and four octagonal buttress towers rose at the cornes of dome. The Süleymaniye’s imaret covered slightly less aarea than Fatih’s complex and occupied the true center of İstanbul.

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Sinan built his largest mosque in Edirne during the 1570s for Suleyman I successor, Selim II. Selimiye Cami’s dome spread slighty larger than Hagia Sophia and the m,inarets were among the tallest of all Islam. Sinan designed the mihrabs as a semiclosed chmaber with a semidome. Also he articulated the facade in the courtyard with an alternating ryhthm of wide and narrow bays, intimating a kind of Ottoman mannerism.

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The Architect: Filippo Brunelleschi

Statue of Brunelleschi

Florence channeled their collectice resources into great civic projects. Most public works in 14th century of Florence used rounded arches, symmetrically placed bays, harmonious proportions and a different perspective vision so this style added a new way of seeing, treating buildings as freestanding objects in proportinal space. The cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiorre was the greatest civic project of Florence which began in  1296 and entrusted to Arnolfo di Cambio who proposed a simple Gothic style. Projects continued by Francesso Talenti. The cathedral was as wide as the Pantheon in Rome. One of the significant property of cathedral was the central dome’s octagon which has 3 sub-octagons and each of these contained five radiating chapels. Additionally, in the 1380s urban designers did clear surronding buildings and rebuilt the houses with stone cladding and round-arched doors. Filippo Brunelleschi trained as a goldsmith and very successful in the art of construction that he earned the title ”architect”, a qualication rarely used since antiquity. He took charge of the project after a competition in 1418 and proposed to build the new dome with a self supported structure which saved a lot of money. The technique of self supported structure was combination of double shelled structure and masonry technique.

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore

Brunelleschi conserved the dome’s pointed arches and ribs from Gothic program of a few generations earlier. He inserted rounded tribunes between the three apses to help absorb the outward thrust of dome and each of these marble cylinders had five shell- capped niches which were demonstrating the architect’s familiarity with ancient monuments. Also five shell-capped niches flanked by pairs half columns which were rare in that time and unknown Brunelleschi’s day.

Brunelleschi was also designed the Foundling Hospital in 1419. The place was originally orphanage.Brunelleschi respected the convertions of earlier hospitals in Florence like using long halls and courtyards set behind a public loggia. The facade had a distinct classical appearance.

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The dome of the Old Sacristy of San Lorenzo in 1419 was one of the most known project of Brunelleschi which built for Medici family.

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In 1430s Brunelleschi probably designed the Pazzi Chapel for Pazzi family who were supporting Medici family certain period and than became the most hostile enemy, completed by architect and sculptor Michelozzo di Bartolomeo in 1460s. The Pazzi Chapel served as the chapter house.

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Brunelleschi also initated the plan to rebuilt the Church of San Lorenzo in the 1420s and this project to completed by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo who was the architect of Medici family. Old church resembled the early Christian basilicas of Rome.

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Brunelleschi and Michelezzo provided a new sese of rational clarity for a sacred space.

For more information and picture visit East Tennessee State University:

Islamic Architecture


Mecca and Medina is the cities of Muhammed and his followers. Kaaba is the place of rituals and the most important place in Islam. Mecca had long been a major cult site for the nomadic tribes of Arabia and attracting religious pilgrim to the Kaaba which has certain significant properties for Islam religion such as a cubical granite house with many idols including a mysterious black meteorite. Also surrounding court of Kaaba was rebuilt over the centuries and represents the unity of faithful. Prophet Muhammed forced to leave Mecca in 622, spent ten years in exile in Medina where refined his new religion. Muhammed directly influenced the transformation of his own house in Medina into the new’s religion first congregational mosque, ‘’place of prostration’’. Muhammed encouraged ascetic attitudes in architecture with using vernacular methods for mud-brick walls and a palm-trunk roofs. Initial prayer hall faced Jerusalem which means direction of prayers or qıbla. However, after conquest of Mecca, he redirected the qıbla to the Kaaba. Like the early Christians, the first Muslims rejected the form of Pegan temples and they preferred to base their cult buildings on secular structures. So that earliest mosques took the place of the forum-basilica core of Roman cities in way that the sermon which had political content, ending invariably with decoration of allegiance by the community.

Kufah, Syria

Kufah city plan

 The first mosques provided simple architectural settings without apses, chapels, ambulatories etc. They needed to a large halls which were usually arranged laterally. The most common plan were the basilica with longitudinal aisles directed to the qıbla which transformed lateral qıbla wall and hypostyle hall. As a example of this latter type, first appeared in the new city of Kufah, Iraq in the mid-seventh century. They built the city victory against the Persians. The architect was Abu al-Haiyaj. He structured the new city on a grid with two board cross streets. The intersection of two main streets where the governor’s palace and the Friday mosque back to back. With the using grid, each of the four quadrants of Kufah contained an open plaza or maydan which were surrounded by orthogonally arranged streets  9 m wide. This attitude of planning was almost same methodically geometric as Ancient Rome.

The Dome of the Rock 

The original promoters of Islam assumed that religious and political authority descended from Muhammed and this followers chose Abu Bakr as successor. After Abu Bakr, next successors Umar and Uthman. Uthman assassinated by Muhammed’s cousin and son in law Ali (reign 656-661) who moved to the political capital of Islam from Mecca to Kufah. The Umayyads and Ali’s followers were two different clan. The Umayyads settled in the Greco-Roman city of Damascus, Syria. They sponsored a brilliant urban culture with the production of fine architecture. They attempted to create a charismatic setting to smooth over the succession disputes. Also they borrowed forms and techniques from Persians, Roman and Byzantine precedents. The first great Umayyad monument was the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem which was designed by a Byzantine architect and mosaic artists from Constantinople. Also central plan structure resembled a Christian martyrium. Two characteristic features became common in Islamic architecture after the Dome of Rock, pointed arches and ablaq( is an architectural style involving alternating or fluctuating rows of light and dark stone). The Dome of the Rock differed from most central plan of Christian churches in the way that concentric ambulatories. The major structural elements of the interior piers and arcades followed the intersection of two superimposed nine square grids, one rotated with 45 degree

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The Great Mosque of Damascus

al-Walid built three impressive mosques in his reign. The first one was the Mosque of Prophet in Medina which added mosaics and the first mihrap and, decorated niches that indicate the qıbla direction. The second was the al-Aqsa mosque with a congregational hypostyle hall and this mosque destroyed and rebuilt several times, the original one had central nave and seven aisles. Third project was the greatest one, The Great Mosque of Damascus which was similar to the Dome of the Rock and reutilized the principal Greco-Roman Temenos of ancient city. History of that mosque was a bit complicated. Starting with the Byzantines destroyed the temple and built a five aisled basilica church, St. John the Baptist after that during the 7th century Christians and Muslims shared the precinct. After demolition of church, the Umayyads built a mosque. Lateral courtyard of mosque was greater in area than the prayer hall which articulated with arcades on two levels. There was important symbol in the The Great Mosque of Damasvus which was ‘’treasury’’. An arcade octagonal pavilion used for symbol for showing wealth of empire. On the corners of southern wall of Temenos city, the guard towers served as platforms for the muezzins’s call to prayer which was the first minarets. The minarets developed into the most monumental element of mosques. Also Maksura served to protect the caliph and his court like screened areas in palatine churches in Byzantine. Additionally Minbar which elevated sitting platform, served as a podium or pulpit for Friday prayer meetings which was very similar with basilica churches.

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The second Abbasid caliph, al-Mansur created a round city on the Tigris River ‘’city of peace’’, Baghdad. Initial plan of Baghdad was a prefect circle 2.6 km in diameter. The designers rotated its four symmetrically places gates with 45degree from cardinal points so that southwest gate pointed to Mecca. Each entry had a deep vault arch, ‘’iwan’’, and over it a hall with a golden dome for diplomatic ceremonies. Like Kufah, Baghdad had two major cross-axial streets. However those main streets were not line with arcades, they were covered by vaults and creating cool climate for nearby environment. The fourth secondary streets led radically from the center. The outer ring of round Baghdad’s blocks contained houses for the caliph’s family members. İnner ring hosted military barracks and administrative buildings. The only structure allowed in the inner circle served as police.

The plan of Baghdad

The Great Mosque of Samarra

First residence, the Caliph’s palace was built in 836 by Jausaq al- Khagani. The palace occupied nearly same area as al-Mansur’s Baghdad. The Caliph’s palace surpassed the scale of the imperial complex in Constantinople.  Samarra, under the control of al-Mutawakki, built two more palaces for his sons almost as large as Caliph’ Palace. So a colossal scale imposed a solemn distance between the people and the rulers. Also he built the largest mosque in the world, The Great Mosque of Samarra. Outer set of walls created a perimeter court for service functions. The inner sahn(courtyard-ish) of the mosque had arcades four cloumns deep. A spiral minaret evoking the ancient ziggurats of the region, 52m height, served as icon rather than acoustic function.

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Emperor Constantine 

Before Emperor Constantine, Christianity lived as a underground religion such as they used churches in basements and underground catacomb cemeteries for ritual meeting places. After, Rome Empire accepted official religion Christianity, this attitude of churches similarly continued and kind of opposite style of imperial regime architectural design. So early Christian churches appeared modest and unassuming.

Roman Empire broke into many fragments between 4th and 6th centuries. The papacy was the most powerful institution of Rome and sponsored the last expressions of classical architecture with the great churches. On the other hand, in Milan struggled between different interpretations of Christianity led to significantly different solutions for church architecture. Political power fight between papacy and imperial regime, created uncertainty in the empire. So Rome acquired some magnificent facilities. For example The Baths of Caralla which was magnificent in terms of scale, technique and decoration thermal complexes. Also The Baths of Caralla is UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Emperor Diocletian (284-305) made drastic effort to salvage the empire’s disintegrating structure. In 294, he proposed a four-man executive system with two young emperors. In theory, two older emperors would retire after ten years and allow to take power their younger’s. Diocletian retired in 305 and he lived in Spalato palace. Spalato was called ‘little palace’ which located near modern Split, Crotia. Palace had three different side entry gates flanked by octagonal guard towers. Spatial organization of little palace created by two intersecting streets divided the palace into quarters. They were lined with colonnades which was not classical tradition. Also architects inserted an arch into the pediment between two central columns which created fastigium, a stage-ish space for imperial appearances. Similar attitude with Hellenistic style which was propylon at temple of Zeus in Lebanon. General sense of Spalato palace, predominantly defensive appearance of Diocletian’s palace set the precedent for the fortified castle of medieval Europe.

In the 300, Constantine rebuilt his father’s capital of Trier in Germany. Constantine was one of the son tetrach. (the four co-emperors of the Roman Empire) Constantine redesigned the city such as erecting new city walls, built one of the largest bath complexes outside of Rome, a formidable basilica side by side with imperial palace etc. Basilica of Constantine served as an audience hall and also like throne room. Heat system used similar with baths. Constantine’s basilica covered in plaster which produced a stern architectural character which influenced the later centuries also.

Maxentius was also one of the son tetrach and Constantine’s chief rival. Maxentius has a quiet different approach of basilica in Rome. Maxentius’s basilica was one of the grandest vaulted concrete structure in world. Maxentius campaign was also different than Constantine, he sponsored excessive patronage of public projects for his claim to power. He restored The Senate House and The Temple of Venus and built a new hippodrome attached to his palace.

Rivarly between Constantine and Maxentius, resulted with battle of Milvian Bridge. Constantine won the battle by help of sympathies of Christian religion. As a result of battle, everything was changed in Christian world. Constantine rewarded with Arch of Constantine in 315. They redesigned and depicted to Constantine even reliefs. So this recycle fragments which called as a Spolia affect other monuments too. Spolia was repurposing of building stone for new construction or the reuse of decorative sculpture on new monuments. As a result of Spolia, conveyed an organic continuity with greatness of Rome.

Emperor Constantine built Rome’s first imperially sponsored church which was St. John’s in the Lateran. Position of this cathedral significantly designed, turned its back on imperial core to avoid conflicts with Roman shrines in the forum district. St. Johns church a very ordinary exterior rather than colonnaded facade. As a general manner of urbanism, the layout system of Lateran followed a five-aisle (a passage between the lines of seats in a plane) (like coridor-ish) longitudinal plan. The architects avoided typological associations with Pegan temples with using the basilica as meeting hall like Constantine works in Trier. Additionally, rounded arches became a standard element of church interiors.

Constantine sponsored the most important church Old St. Peter’s located near the Vatican Hill. This church served as a funereal basilica around the tom of Peter who was the first pope. Old St. Peter’s was like all of the early churches had an assuming facade and one entered a grand colonnaded atrium that focused on a monumental bronze pinecone fountain of 2nd century. At the end of the court, Narthex served as a vestibule (a small closed area) between the atrium and the church interior. The 100 columns did spolia from other monuments like in St. John’s.

Constantine was donating the building to Jesus. ”Because under your guidance the world rose triumphant to the skies, Constantine, himself a victor, built you this hall.”

Ancient Rome

Romans built their cities as total works of architecture with using colonnaded structures. They constructed great temples, colonnaded streets, markets, theaters etc. In the Ancient Rome, architecture and urbanism became instruments of administration and physcial appearances of politicial will. Actually Romans were very good at politic and showed that power with some magnificent public buildings. The city of Rome considered itself as a title of ‘’head of world’’. Roman army invaded lands and they were very good at war and also they were using architectural projects to show the power of the empire. Architects designed a new type of city which public spaces and public architecture provided a formal envelope for daily existence. Additionally, they offered a high quality of life, a fair justice system, an elegant infrastructure of roads, efficİent markets, public baths and theaters which those were a desirable benefits in the cities at that time. So we can say that ability to conquer other people related with talent of mastering spaces. The architects-engineers of Rome’s army such as Vitruvius who was the author of the On Architecture, Ten Books, it was significant effort and success at time the first emperor Augustus. Also Vitruvius idea of proportions was investgated by Leonardo Da Vinci’s work ‘’Vitruvian man’’. In general manner to understand the working system governance of Ancient Rome, we have to know some typical organization ’Synoikismos’ which was combination of villages under the banner of a single legal code for the purpose to reduce the influence of the kinship groups. The system was similar with Athens. During the first two centuries of Rome, kings ruled the empire and there were some religious practices but in architectural manner Etruscan culture was the key factor of development. Etruscan architects used vaults and arches and used idea of frontal orientation. As a example of vault, arches architectural elements were gateway of Perugia and Volterra.


                                                                  The gateway of Volterra

In 501 BC, Rome’s regime has changed from monarchy to republic that changed of political system and affect everything such as Roman Forum. Unlike Agora, Roman Forum appeared enclosed by large colonnaded buildings. During the third and second centuries BC, increase in power in way political and fighting force put stress on the republican system, provoking long periods of internal crash (war between Macedonia) which finally concluded with a return to monarchy. Social war ended with assassination of Julius Caesar. Augustus who heir of Caesar’s, completed the process of demolish the republic. In architectural manner, Augustus transformed the city and started to built series of projects for shaped public spaces.


Caesar Divi Filius Augustus- The first Rome Emperor

Roman planners used orthogonal urban design which they learned from Greek colonies and this was another contribution of army to architecture. Planners usually established their cities on a cross-axis of streets and equipped with set of monumental public buildings and spaces which was the main propaganda for ‘Roman peace’. For example Timgard and Algeria established around 100 BC, had typically colonnaded streets on a certain grid. Similarly approximately at the same time, Djemila’s plan followed the natural topography while using Roman structures. ‘’More than any previous culture, Romans relied on architecture and urbanism to control space and, by extension, determine people’s behavior in it.’’ This was main differences which made very significant effects through out Roman culture.



Pompeii was a small city which Rome acquired as a colony in 80BC. The eruption of Vesuvius in 79 bc completely destroyed the city. Pompeii possessed a complete urban system that shows the importance of public space to Roman daily life. All Pompeii’s streets were paved with the easily procurable dark lava stone. In the streets, there were pedestrian walk which created by raised sidewalks. Also water distribution and usage were very higher level in the city. For example water distributed through load pipes to public fountains, for public baths, and even many private houses and, there was a fountain in every block. Additionally there was system to clean streets with water. Therefore, we can say that infrastructural investment was very valuable and elegant for Rome’s cities.

street-of-pompeiiPompeii had a forum, a temple and a basilica also. The Basilica of Pompeii, served as administrative business and unlike the most of the Roman Basilicas arranged transversely with entrances on the long side but The Basilica of Pompeii’s entrance was on the short side it. Through the centuries of meeting halls, Roman Basilicas were very comfortable and eligible.

                                                                 The Basilica of Pompeii

About the public baths, there was a similar attitude in Roman cities like hundreds of small baths which had under the floor heat system with hot air. However with the emperor Augustus, the great public baths began to appear. Those places were also a cultural centers like art and library. One of the best example of the great public baths was the baths of Diocletian

great-bath-plan                                                        The plan of Baths of Diocletian