Aspects of transfer of Gothic masonry vaulting technology to Greece in the case of Saint Sophia in Andravida

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

The Frankish Cathedral of Saint Sophia in Andravida, in Elis, Greece was an emblematic construction of the crusaders Princes of Achaia that used cross vaults in a manner not attempted before in a territory dominated by Byzantine architecture. Analysis of the construction and structural behaviour shows careful application of rather archaic vaulting techniques and patterns. A key question is how such schemes and technology were transferred into a politically and culturally foreign, almost hostile environment. Comparison with contemporary developments in Byzantine architecture shows research into the spatial role and structural efficiency of vaults and domes but not similar to the gradual disintegration of the envelope in Gothic architecture. It is therefore important to identify the role of patrons and masons in the design of the church. Study of the construction and structural performance using Finite Element analysis showed a well executed conservative design with limited direct input from local practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThird International Congress in Construction History
Pages1403-1410
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2010

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • vaulting
  • masons
  • ribbed vaulting
  • Greece

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