Weighing in at 4500 pounds it was fascinating to see the cupola fly through the air and into place on top of the barn-next step is to add the windows next week!
A cupola (pronounced “kyou’puh luh”) is a structure that sits atop a larger rooftop or dome and can range in size from very basic and small, to extremely large and ornate. The small can be a simple vented box you would see on a barn while the cupola on St.Peters Basilica in Rome is an example of the other extreme.
Large Cupolas may be accessible from a stairway on the inside giving a commanding vantage point from which to look out over the world. This kind of cupola is often called a belvedere or a “widow’s walk”. Often smaller cupolas are constructed without access from inside and windows are added which provide a natural light source for illuminating the spaces below. These types of cupolas are also known as “lanterns”.
The origins and history of the Cupola can be traced back to 8th century Islamic architecture. These first cupolas placed atop minarets, were large and sometimes ornate structures with one or more balconies from which the daily call to prayer would be announced. These early cupolas are very significant because they are believed to be the inspiration for the dome which led to massive achievements in architectural design. These bold new designs that emerged were used as symbols for proof of cultural superiority. During the renaissance, most major european cities and Islamic states were building a plethora of these magnificent buildings. The cupola had evolved to allow architecture to become a very artistic and creative status symbol and today, the cupola stands as a statement of a major achievement in architecture.