Weimar, Founding City of the Bauhaus

The renowned German school of art and design now has its own museum in the town where it was founded a century ago. Introduction The Getty Research Institute exhibitions Bauhaus Beginnings (June 11–October 13, 2019) and Bauhaus: Building the New Artist (online from June 11) explore the founding years of the German Bauhaus, presenting rarely seen artworks, notes, and[…]

Mestre Valentim and the Passeio Publico Architecture in Rio de Janeiro

The Passeio Publico represented several groundbreaking achievements. Introduction In the middle of the eighteenth century a series of epidemics ravaged the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The illness was attributed to the unsanitary air caused by human and animal waste in Lake Boqueirão. The viceroy Luis de Vasconcelos e Sousa ordered the lake to be filled[…]

Medieval Japan’s Itsukushima Shinto Shrine

Traditionally founded in the 6th century CE, the present layout of buildings dates to the 12th century CE. Introduction Itsukushima Shrine is a Shinto shrine on the island of the same name, also known as Miyajima, located in Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan. Traditionally founded in the 6th century CE, the present layout of buildings dates[…]

The Architecture of Medieval Japan’s Himeji Castle

The castle is the largest and best-preserved samurai fortification in the country. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Himeji Castle, located in the town of Himeji in the Hyogo Prefecture of Japan, was built on a natural hilltop between 1581 and 1609 CE. The complex is composed of a maze-like arrangement of fortified buildings, walls, and gates,[…]

We’re Just Beginning to Grasp the Toll of ISIS’s Archaeological Looting in Syria

A small portion of a site can yield thousands of objects, adding up to millions of dollars. By Dr. Fiona Greenland (Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Virginia), Dr. James Marrone (Adjunct Lecturer of International Economics, Johns Hopkins University), Dr. Oya Topçuoğlu (Lecturer, Northwestern University), and Dr. Tasha Vorderstrasse (University and Continuing Education Program Coordinator[…]

The Fight to Save Syrian Antiquities

Scholars across the globe have joined forces to preserve the beleaguered country’s cultural heritage for all our sakes. By Gabrielle Murphy Introduction For Andrew Jamieson, the conflict unfolding in Syria is a catastrophe on multiple levels – professionally and personally. By day (or more correctly, semester) Dr Jamieson is a senior lecturer and celebrated teacher[…]

A Royal Armchair Traveler: The Grand Tour and George III’s Topographical Collection

George III never visited Italy. Instead he collected prints, drawings, and guidebooks enabling him to travel virtually to antiquity’s greatest architectural and artistic sites. A large number of views and maps in the King’s Topographical Collection correspond to locations that were once linked to the Grand Tour.[1] Visiting the settings associated with the classical authors they had studied[…]

An Artistic and Architectural History of the Great Mosque of Damascus

Damascus is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. To understand the importance of the Great Mosque of Damascus, built by the Umayyad caliph, al-Walid II between 708 and 715 C.E., we need to look into the recesses of time. Damascus is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world,[…]

Architecture of Ancient Sri Lanka

The architecture of ancient Sri Lanka displays a rich diversity. Introduction The architecture of ancient Sri Lanka displays a rich diversity, varying in form and architectural style from the Anuradhapura Kingdom (377 BC–1017) through the Kingdom of Kandy (1469–1815). Sinhalese architecture also displays many ancient North Indian influences. Buddhism had a significant influence on Sri Lankan architecture after it was introduced to the island in[…]

Notre Dame Echoes of Russia’s 1837 Winter Palace Blaze

After the building that symbolized ‘all that is Russian’ went up in flames, the czar scrambled to restore it to its former glory. In a city graced with remarkable architecture, the cathedral of Notre Dame may be Paris’ most striking edifice. So when it was engulfed by a fire that toppled its spire, it seemed as if[…]

Notre Dame: Nine Centuries of Change, Renovation, and Renewal

The Notre Dame Cathedral wasn’t static. The design, as with most cathedrals, kept changing to keep up with the changing times. The Notre-Dame de Paris had been damaged and changed many times since it was begun in the mid-12th century. But the fire on April 15 might have been its most catastrophic event. Located on the eastern end[…]

Ancient and Medieval Hindu Architecture

The first Hindu temples were built from rock-cut caves. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction Hindu architecture evolved over the centuries from simple rock-cut cave shrines to massive and ornate temples which spread across the Indian sub-continent and beyond, forming a canonical style which is still adhered to today in modern Hindu temples across the globe. Essential[…]

The Bhimbetka Rock Shelters and Art of Prehistoric India

The earliest cave paintings here are about 30,000 years old. Introduction The Bhimbetka rock shelters are an archaeological site in central India that spans the prehistoric paleolithic and mesolithic periods, as well as the historic period.[1][2] It exhibits the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent and evidence of Stone Age starting at the site in Acheulian times.[3][4][5] It is located in the Raisen District in the Indian state[…]

A History of Evolving Meaning in the Statue of Liberty

It has meant different things to different people at different times, which is part of its genius. Abolition In 1886, The Statue of Liberty was a symbol of democratic government and Enlightenment ideals as well as a celebration of the Union’s victory in the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Edouard de Laboulaye,[…]

The Design, Transport, and Construction of the Statue of Liberty, 1865-1886

French artisans and craftsmen began constructing the Statue in France under Auguste Bartholdi’s direction. The Early Stages In 1865, a French political intellectual and anti-slavery activist named Edouard de Laboulaye proposed that a statue representing liberty be built for the United States. This monument would honor the United States’ centennial of independence and the friendship[…]

Power and Pomp at Versailles

Versailles was the location of two seismic shifts in political culture. Ten million tourists flock to Versailles annually to imagine courtly life in such sumptuous surroundings. Versailles was about awesome royal power, intense rivalries, brilliant craftsmanship and engineering, and – for those who did the manual labour – drudgery and deference. Above all, Versailles embodied[…]

Ancient Korean Architecture

The architecture of ancient Korea is epitomized by the artful combination of wood and stone. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction The architecture of ancient Korea is epitomised by the artful combination of wood and stone to create elegant and spacious multi-roomed structures characterised by clay tile roofing, enclosures within protective walls, interior courtyards and gardens, and the whole placed upon[…]

The Arch of Constantine and Spolia as Recycled Propaganda

The Arch is a huge conglomerate of imperial Roman sculpture as many parts of it were recycled (spolia) from earlier 1st and 2nd century CE monuments. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction The Arch of Constantine I, erected in c. 315 CE, stands in Rome and commemorates Roman Emperor Constantine’s victory over the Roman tyrant Maxentius on 28th[…]

The Eternal City’s 17th-Century Building Craze also Bolstered Urban Planning

“Did the public have a voice in the development of a theocratic city?” As University of Tennessee professor Dorothy Metzger Habel examined architectural archives for seventeenth-century Rome, she started hearing voices. The many participants in the Eternal City’s building boom at that point—when 30 percent of the work force was engaged in the construction industry—came[…]

Historical Perception of Architecture and Cultural History Approach

The holistic nature of cultural history approach makes us consider all factors that may have contributed to the creation of architecture. Introduction The experts and specialists in the field of architecture have had different viewpoints and approaches in defining the concepts of “history” and “the history of architecture”, all through the compiled history of architecture.[…]

Maidan in Soviet Designs, 1943-1945

In 1943, a propagandistic ideal meant creating a modern Ukraine through Soviet industrialization, even as the republic lay in ruins. Only a few months after Kyiv as retaken from the Nazis in November 1943, the returning Stalinists started avoiding public mention of what had happened at places like Babyn Yar. The anti-Semitism that had emerged[…]

The Roads of Roman Britain

A considerable number of Roman roads remained in daily use as core trunk roads for centuries after the end of Roman rule in Britain. Introduction Roman roads in Britannia were initially designed for military use, created by the Roman Army during the nearly four centuries (43 – 410 AD) that Britannia was a province of the Roman Empire. It is estimated that about[…]

The Style and Regional Differences of Seljuk Persian Minarets

Seljuk art and architecture is a fusion of Persian, Islamic, and Central Asian (Turkic) elements. By Dr. Fatema AlSulaitiExpert in Islamic Archaeology Under the Seljuk rule, Persia gained a period of economic and cultural prosperity. The innovative techniques of the Seljuk period and style in architecture and the arts had a strong influence on later[…]

Herodium: ‘Mountain of the Little Paradise’

Herodion, the palace fortress and highest peak in the Judaean Desert, is the only site that is named after King Herod the Great. Introduction Herodium (Latin), Herodeion (Ancient Greek: Ἡρώδειον), best known in Israel as Herodion (Hebrew: הרודיון‬) and in Arabic as Jabal al-Fureidis (Arabic: هيروديون‎, lit. “Mountain of the Little Paradise”); also Har Hordos is a truncated-cone-shaped hill, 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) south of Jerusalem and 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) southeast of Bethlehem,[…]

Mesoamerican Architecture from the Ancient to Medieval Worlds

Mesoamerican architecture is the set of architectural traditions produced by pre-Columbian cultures and civilizations of Mesoamerica. Introduction Mesoamerican architecture is the set of architectural traditions produced by pre-Columbian cultures and civilizations of Mesoamerica, traditions which are best known in the form of public, ceremonial and urban monumental buildings and structures. The distinctive features of Mesoamerican architecture encompass a number of different[…]

The Architectural Patronage and Political Prowess of Herod the Great

Herod created architecture that implemented Roman technology, designs, and styles, while co-mingling them with his existing Hellenistic style of architecture. Abstract After supporting Marc Antony in the Battle of Actium (31 B.C.), King Herod, fearful of losing his power, went to Rome, apologized to Augustus and assured him that he was his biggest supporter. Augustus,[…]

Ancient Walls

Walls began to rise around cities throughout Mesopotamia shortly after urbanization began. Introduction The English word ‘wall’ is derived from the Latin, ‘vallus’ meaning ‘a stake’ or ‘post’ and designated the wood-stake and earth palisade which formed the outer edge of a fortification. The palisades were in use early on and are mentioned by Homer in the[…]

Following a Migrant Route through Dust Bowl Camps of the 1930s

This network of FSA camps—the series of communities designed to be occupied and left on a seasonal basis—served the basic needs of their temporary residents. I still don’t know where I’ll be staying tonight. But I’ve accomplished the few tasks I needed to get done by this evening. I have a rental car that is[…]