330 CE - 1453 CE

Byzantine architecture refers to the architectural style developed during the Byzantine Empire. The Byzantine architecture can be divided into four distinct periods. The architecture of the Byzantine Empire was heavily influenced by the earlier Roman architecture, as well as by the cultures and traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean region. Today, Byzantine architecture can be seen throughout the Eastern Mediterranean region, particularly in Turkey and Greece.

Many Byzantine buildings were religious structures decorated with religious symbols and images, which helped spread the Christian faith. Byzantine architects developed critical technological innovations, including using the pendentive to support domes and brick and mortar to construct large, durable buildings.
Important Features
The domes were typically hemispherical in shape and supported by columns or piers. The use of domes in Byzantine architecture served a variety of purposes. They provided a way to create large and impressive spaces, which were often used for religious purposes. The use of domes also allowed for greater structural stability, as the weight of the dome was distributed evenly across the supporting piers or columns. Additionally, the use of domes allowed for the creation of unique and visually striking designs, which served to highlight the power and influence of the Byzantine Empire.
Mosaics were made from small pieces of glass or stone and were used to decorate walls, ceilings, and domes. They often depicted religious scenes, such as images of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints. They were often created using vibrant colors and intricate patterns. The use of mosaics were used to create a beautiful and impressive display that would awe and inspire the faithful, to teach religious and historical lessons to those who were illiterate or unable to read, and to demonstrate the wealth and power of the Byzantine Empire.
The architects used vaults to create large and open spaces, often with intricate patterns and designs on the ceilings. The use of vaulting allowed for more elaborate and decorative ceiling designs, which were often adorned with mosaics. Vaulting also allowed for greater structural stability, which was especially important in regions with frequent earthquakes.
Rich Materials
Byzantine architecture style often incorporated the use of rich and luxurious materials, such as marble, gold, and precious stones. These materials were used to decorate the interiors and exteriors of buildings, and they added a sense of opulence and grandeur to the structures. The use of these materials also served to highlight the wealth and power of the Byzantine Empire.
Cross-shaped Plans
Many Byzantine churches were built in the shape of a cross, with a central dome over the intersection. This cruciform plan allowed for a spacious nave, with side aisles and transepts extending from the central space. This plan became popular during the Early Byzantine period. The use of the cross-shaped plan emphasized the religious significance of the structures and provided a well-suited layout for liturgical functions.