Top Ten Dome Interiors

Top Ten Dome Interiors

Sagrada Família2

  1. Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain
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           The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família (Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family), commonly known as the Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Though construction of Sagrada Família had commenced in 1882, Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted his last years to the project and at the time of his death in 1926, less than a quarter of the project was complete. Sagrada Família’s construction progressed slowly as it relied on private donations and was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War, only to resume intermittent progress in the 1950’s. Construction passed the mid-point in 2010 with some of the project’s greatest challenges remaining and an anticipated completion date of 2026, the centennial of Gaudí’s death. The basilica has a long history of dividing the citizens of Barcelona, over the initial possibility it might compete with Barcelona’s cathedral, over Gaudí’s design itself, over the possibility that work after Gaudí’s death disregarded his design, and the recent possibility that an underground tunnel of Spain’s high-speed train could disturb its stability. Describing Sagrada Familia, art Critic Rainer Zerbst said “it is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art” and Paul Goldberger called it ‘the most extraordinary personal interpretation of Gothic architecture since the Middle Ages.’
    Links: Top Ten Spanish Attractions, Top Ten Architectural Works by Antoni Gaudí, Top Ten Basilicas,,
  2. Grand Buddha at Ling Shan

    Links: Sculptures, Top 100 Asian Sculptures, Top Ten Statues of Buddha, Top 100 Mandalas,
  3. St. Peters Basilica by Michelangelo, Italian

    Links: Top Ten Basilicas, Top Ten Works of Art by Michelangelo, Top Ten Paintings by Michelangelo, Top Ten Sculptures by Michelangelo,
  4. Florence Cathedral aka The Duomo, Italy

    The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the cathedral church of Florence, Italy. The Duomo, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris. The cathedral complex, located in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile. The basilica is one of Italy’s largest churches, and until development of new structural materials in the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed. The cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence, whose archbishop is currently Giuseppe Betori.
    Links: Top Ten Italian AttractionsTop Ten Cathedrals, Top Ten DomesTop Ten Doors,
  5. Vatican Dome, Vatican City

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  6. Shah Jehan Masjid, Thatta, Sindh, Pakistan

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  7. Selimiye Mosque, Turkey

           The Selimiye Mosque is an Ottoman mosque in the city of Edirne, Turkey. The mosque was commissioned by Sultan Selim II and was built by architect Mimar Sinan between 1568 and 1574. It was considered by Sinan to be his masterpiece and is one of the highest achievements of Islamic architecture. This grand mosque stands at the center of a külliye (complex of a hospital, school, library and/or baths around a mosque) which comprises a medrese (Islamic academy teaches both Islamic and scientific lessons), a dar-ül hadis (Al-Hadith school), a timekeeper’s room and an arasta (row of shops). In this mosque Sinan employed an octagonal supporting system that is created through eight pillars incised in a square shell of walls. The four semi domes at the corners of the square behind the arches that spring from the pillars, are intermediary sections between the huge encompassing dome (31.25m diameter with spherical profile) and the walls.
    Links: Top Ten Turkish Attractions, Top Ten Mosques,,
  8. Temple of Heaven, Bejing, China

    The Temple of Heaven is a Taoist temple in Beijing, the capital of China. The temple was constructed in 14th century by Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty (who also built the Forbidden City) as his personal temple, where he would pray for good harvest and to atone for the sins of his people. The Temple’s architecture is quite interesting: everything in the temple, which represents Heaven, is circular whereas the ground levels, which represent the Earth, are square.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, Temples, Top Ten Asian TemplesTop Ten Afterlife Destinations,
  9. Rizi’s Vault, St. Anthony Church, Madrid, Spain

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  10. The Apotheosis of Washington, US

           The Apotheosis of Washington is the very large fresco painted by Greek-Italian artist Constantino Brumidi in 1865 and visible through the oculus of the dome in the rotunda of the United States Capitol Building. The fresco is suspended 180 feet (55 m) above the rotunda floor and covers an area of 4,664 square feet (433.3 m2). The figures painted are up to 15 feet (4.6 m) tall and are visible from the floor below. The dome was completed in 1863, and Brumidi painted it over the course of 11 months at the end of the Civil War. He was paid $40,000 ($704,432 adjusted for inflation, as of 30 December 2009) for the fresco. Brumidi had worked for three years in the Vatican under Pope Gregory XVI, and served several aristocrats as an artist for palaces and villas, including the prince Torlonia. He immigrated to the United States in 1852, and spent much of the last 25 years of his life working in the Capitol. In addition to The Apotheosis of Washington he designed the Brumidi Corridors.
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  11. Topkapi Palace Harem Dome, Turkey

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  12. Lutfullah Mosque Dome

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  13. Dome of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel

           The “Pantokrator” mosaic in the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, or the Church of the Resurrection by Eastern Christians, is a church within the Christian Quarter of the walled Old City of Jerusalem. It is a few steps away from the Muristan. The site is venerated as Golgotha (the Hill of Calvary), where Jesus was crucified, and is said also to contain the place where Jesus was buried (the Sepulchre). The church has been a paramount – and for many Christians the most important – pilgrimage destination since at least the 4th century, as the purported site of the resurrection of Jesus. Today it also serves as the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, while control of the building is shared between several Christian churches and secular entities in complicated arrangements essentially unchanged for centuries. Today, the church is home to Eastern Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism. Anglican, Nontrinitarian and Protestant Christians have no permanent presence in the church – and some regard the alternative Garden Tomb, elsewhere in Jerusalem, as the true place of Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection.
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  14. CT State Capitol Dome Interior, US

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  15. Interior of the Sanctuary Dome of the Royal Mosque

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  16. Rotunda of Mosta, Malta

           The Church of the Assumption of Our Lady, commonly known as the Rotunda of Mosta or Rotunda of St Marija Assunta (sometimes shortened to as The Mosta Dome) is a Roman Catholic church in Mosta, Malta. It is the third largest unsupported dome in the world. Built in the 19th century on the site of a previous church, it was designed by the Maltese architect Giorgio Grognet de Vassé. Its dome is among the largest in the world, with an internal diameter of 37.2 m (122 ft). The rotunda walls are nearly 9.1 m (30 ft) thick. The rotunda dome is the 3rd largest church dome in Europe and the 9th largest in the world. Grongnet’s plans were based on the Pantheon in Rome. Construction began in May 1833 and was completed in the 1860’s. The original church was left in place while the Rotunda was built around it, allowing the local people to have a place of worship while the new church was being built. The church was officially consecrated on October 15, 1871.
    Links: Top Ten Maltese Attractions,,
  17. Shāh Chérāgh
    Shāh Chérāgh is a funerary monument and mosque in Shiraz, Iran, housing the tomb of the brothers Ahmad and Muhammad, sons of Mūsā al-Kādhim and brothers of ‘Alī ar-Ridhā. The two took refuge in the city during the Abbasid persecution of Shia Muslims.
    Links: Top Ten Iranian Attractions, Top Ten Mosques,,
  18. Cupola of Bernini’s Parish Church, Castelgandolfo, Italy

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  19. Capital Building of Puerto Rico

           The Capitol of Puerto Rico is located on the Islet of San Juan just outside the walls of Old San Juan. The building is home to the bicameral Legislative Assembly, composed of the House of Representatives and Senate. The building is located in the Puerta de Tierra sector of San Juan. The Capitol is also commonly referred to as the Palace of Laws, Palacio de las Leyes.
    Links: Top Ten Puerto Rican Attractions,,
  20. Trier Cathedral, Germany

    The Cathedral of Saint Peter is a Roman Catholic church in Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. It is the oldest cathedral in the country. The edifice is notable for its extremely long life span under multiple different eras each contributing some elements to its design, including the center of the main chapel being made of Roman brick laid under the direction of Saint Helen, resulting in a cathedral added onto gradually rather than rebuilt in different eras. Its dimensions, 112.5 by 41 m, make it the largest church structure in Trier.
    Links: Top Ten German Attractions, Top Ten Cathedrals,
  21. Bonus: Museum of Islamic Art Dome, Qatar

           The Museum of Islamic Art is a museum located in the Qatari capital Doha and designed by architect I. M. Pei. The museum draws much influence from ancient Islamic architecture, yet has a unique design. It was the first of its kind in the Persian Gulf and has a very large collection of Islamic art, plus a study and a library. The museum has a total area of 45,000 square m and lies on the edge of Doha Harbor at the south end of Doha Bay. Construction by Baytur Construction Co. (Turkey) reached completion in 2006, but the museum’s interior was subjected to a variety of changes thereafter. The museum celebrated its VIP opening on November 22, 2008, and opened to the general public on December 8, 2008. The museum houses a collection of works gathered since the late 1980’s, including manuscripts, textiles and ceramics. It is one of the world’s most complete collections of Islamic artifacts, with items originating in Spain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, India and Central Asia. At the age of 91, Pei had to be coaxed out of retirement to undertake this enterprise. He traveled throughout the Muslim world on a six month quest to learn about Muslim architecture and history and read Muslim texts to draw inspiration for his design. Declining all proposed sites for the museum, Pei suggested a stand-alone island for the structure in order to avoid the encroachment on other buildings. Thus it was built on 64 acres (260,000 square m) on an island approximate 195 feet (59 m) off Doha’s Corniche and surrounded by a park.
    Links: Top Ten Qatar Attractions, Museums and Galleries, Top Ten Middle Eastern Museums, Top Ten Architectual Works by I.M. Pei,,_Doha,
  22. Bonus: Hospicio Cabañas, Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

           The Hospicio Cabañas in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, is one of the oldest and largest hospital complexes in Spanish America. The complex was founded in 1791 by the Bishop of Guadalajara in order to combine the functions of a workhouse, hospital, orphanage and almshouse. It owes its name to Juan Ruiz de Cabañas who was appointed to the see of Guadalajara in 1796 and engaged Manuel Tolsá, a renowned architect from Mexico City, to design the structure. Tolsá’s design was based on classic examples such as Les Invalides in Paris and El Escorial near Madrid. The buildings form a rectangle measuring 164 m by 145 m. These are single-storied structures which are 7.5 m in height. The chapel is twice as high and has a dome rising to 32.5 m. The complex is erected on one level, “so as to facilitate the movement of the sick, the aged, and children.” Following the death of Cabañas in 1823, construction continued until 1829. Although it served for a time as a barracks in the mid-19th century, the hospital lasted well into the 20th century and continued to function until 1980, when the Cabañas Cultural Institute, with affiliated schools for arts and crafts, moved in. The highlight of the interior decoration is a series of monumental frescoes by José Clemente Orozco, including one of his most famed creations, the allegory of The Man of Fire (1936–39).
    Links: Top Ten Mexican Attractions,,_Guadalajara,
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