Onion Domes

A bulbous structure resembling an onion with a pointed tip, frequently topping church towers in Central and Eastern Europe. Not a true dome, it is usually made of a timber substructure sheathed in lead, copper or tiles.

Quick Facts

Go Historic ID
68
Names
onion dome
onion domes
domes, onion
bulbous domes
Turkish domes
uivormige koepeldaken Dutch
uivormige koepeldak Dutch
bulbes French
bulbe French
dôme bulbeux French
dôme en forme de bulbe French
Zwiebeltürme German
Zwiebelturm German
Zwiebelkuppel German
Zwiebeldach German
cupole a bulbo Italian
cupola a bulbo Italian
cupola ad ovoide rialzato Italian
cupole ad ovoide rialzato Italian
cúpulas de bulbo Spanish
cúpulas de bulbos Spanish
cúpula de bulbo Spanish
cúpula bulbiforme Spanish
Parent Topics

More Definitions

Pointed bulbous domes characterized by a distinctive tapering bulb or onion shape that has a diameter greater than the drum upon which it is placed, and typically having a height that exceeds its width. Onion domes first saw widespread use in Islamic architecture in about the 8th century, when they often topped minarets or were placed over the central space or on the corners of mosques and domestic buildings in the Middle East and India. They were then used in Russia, Spain, Austria, Bavaria, and Eastern Europe by the 18th century; use spread to other Western styles and locations in the 19th century. For small domes, often resembling overturned cups or pointed, and placed over a turret, use "cupolas."

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Bibliography

  1. 1.  The Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus, 300001285. The J. Paul Getty Trust.