Arches and domes
Henry Petroski focuses on the importance of domes and arches in context of historical structures. Historically, domes have not been associated with recreational sites but with sacred places such as churches, cathedrals, and basilicas, and with government landmarks such as state and national capitols. The structural arch is a more primitive form than the dome. The size of dome can be measured by the span of its base. At about 142 feet across, the domed interior space of the Pantheon has a clear span that is significantly greater than any previously built structure. Like the Roman Pantheon, Istanbul's Hagia Sophia was a replacement for an earlier structure. The Middle Ages were bracketed, roughly, by the construction of the domed Hagia Sophia in Constantinople and that of the great dome for the basilica in Florence, Italy.
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