The transmission of the technology for Gothic masonry vaulting to Greece, in the case of Saint Sophia in Andravida, Elis

Dimitris Theodossopoulos, Christianna Veloudaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The church of Saint Sophia in Andravida, built around the mid-13th century in Elis, Western Greece has its still-remaining apse roofed in ribbed cross vaults. Built by the Frankish Princes of Achaia who occupied in the 13th and 14th century an area dominated by the native Byzantine architecture, Saint Sophia shows the great effort and attention paid in transferring new architectural forms and technology into a politically and culturally alien environment. This paper discusses the vaults’ construction and structural behaviour and explores questions around the technology transfer mechanisms from Western workshops. Although efficient, the vaults appear rather basic, and conservative compared to the contemporary endeavour to gradual disintegrate the envelope in Gothic architecture in Western Europe. On the whole, the analysis of the geometry, construction and structural performance showed a well-executed design with direct local input only at the construction stage.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-79
Number of pages10
JournalCultural heritage and science
Volume2
Issue number2
Early online date27 Dec 2021
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • technology transmission
  • Gothic architecture
  • vaults
  • Andravida
  • Morea

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