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The Piligian Architectural Group
1081 Kingscote Dr
Harleysville, PA 19438
Phone: (267) 231-1357
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When it comes to architecture, nothing expresses the Orthodox faith more than the church's dome. It is always the central and most predominant element. The dome also reveals much about the congregation and its heritage. Beginning in Constantinople and radiating out the dome was adopted and embraced by Orthodox Christianity. This expansion resulted in adaptations and modifications to the shape and construction.
While there are always exceptions to the rule, generally the onion shape is associated with Russia. This shape was used to accommodate the heavier snow loads. The Greek domes tend to be more rounded while sitting on a drum or with dormers for the upper windows. Armenian and Syrian examples express more verticality, straighter lines and a cone shaped exterior.
Throughout history and for many years to come, the dome will help to identify and express the beauty of the Orthodox faith. Below are several design studies of churches in the traditional Byzantine style.