3. Central plans. The central plan used for baptisteries and some mausoleums annexed to churches was also used separately, esp. to hold a relic or a memorial of Christ’s life. Famous examples are the Anastasis of Jerusalem and the Church of Bethlehem. Cote d’Ivoire Metro Map The forms, inherited from Roman funerary, thermal or palatine architecture, were not new: they were mainly round, polygonal, tetraconch, triconch, or these same forms inscribed in a square. Yet we know little of any value about large central-plan buildings in early Christian architecture. The cathedral of Antioch seems to have belonged to this category, and S. Lorenzo at Milan is now dated to the mid-4th c. Great tetraconchs may have played the part of cathedrals in the Balkans church of Hadrian’s library in Athens, Ohrid in Macedonia and in Syria Apamea, Resafa, Bostra. The development of central-plan architecture is datable to the moment when roofing techniques were mastered and when the use of the vault for large spaces prevailed, beginning in the East. We see at first, in a series of classical-plan basilicas in Greece and Asia Minor, a use of the cupola to crown all or part of the sacred building e.g., Philippi B in Macedonia and St. John’s at Ephesus. Subsequently the predominance of central plans prevailed at Constantinople and Ravenna in the time of Justinian SS. Sergius and Bacchus, S. Vitale, and Hagia Sophia; it would be maintained throughout the entire development of Byzantine architecture.
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