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A rotunda (from Latin rotundus) is any building with a circular ground plan, and sometimes covered by a dome. It can also refer to a round room within a building (a famous example being within the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.). The Pantheon in Rome is a famous rotunda. A Band Rotunda is a circular bandstand, usually with a dome.
- 1 Rotunda in Central Europe
- 2 Rotunda in the Caucasus
- 3 Rotunda in Asia
- 4 Notable rotundas
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Rotunda in Central Europe
The rotunda has historical and architectural value because it was widespread in medieval Central Europe. A great number of parochial churches were built in this form in the 9th to 11th centuries CE in Central Europe. This type of circular shaped parochial building can be found in great number in Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Croatia, Austria, Bavaria, Dalmatia, Germany, and the Czech Republic. It was thought of as a structure descending from the Roman Pantheon. However, it can be found mainly not on former Roman territories, but in Central Europe. Generally its size was 6–9 meters inner diameter and the apsis was directed toward the east. Sometimes 3 or 4 apsides were glued to the central circle and this type has relatives even in the Caucasus.
The most well known Danish rotunda is the village parochial church at Østerlars.
Rotunda in the Carpathian Basin
Several types of rotundas are found in the Carpathian Basin, within the former boundaries of Medieval Hungary. The role and form developed from gradual enlargements of ancient small village churches. Many of them still stand today, e.g. in Nagytótlak, Kallósd and Kissikátor in Hungary or in Bíňa and Šivetice in Slovakia. In many places the ancient foundations have been excavated and conserved. The village church of Sárospatak is complete with a simple circular nave and an eastern apse. The church of Alagimajor at Dunakeszi was enlarged toward the apse in the 14th century. More significant enlargement of the central rotunda is seen at Isaszeg where the extension extended toward the East and West; the rotunda foundations can also be seen in the central portion of the nave of the Gothic church. In many cases the rotunda was used as the apse of the village's new and larger church (Bagod-Szentpál, Hidegség, Vágkeresztur, Ipolykiskeszi, Herencsény, Szalonna). Such semi-circle apses are preserved all over the Carpathian Basin. Rotundas of six apses, a most interesting form, are found at Karcsa, Kiszombor in Hungary, at Horjany in Ukraine and several places in Armenia (Aragatz, Bagaran, Bagnayr, Botshor, Kiagmis Alti).
Rotunda in the Caucasus
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There is an interesting connection between Central European and Caucasian rotundas of the 9th to 11th centuries AD. Several Armenian built rotunda churches have sixfold arched central apsis, i.e. at Aragatz, Bagaran, Bagnayr, Botshor, Kiagmis Alti in Armenia. At the same time eightfold arched central buildings (rotunda) are also frequently occurring in Armenia: Ani, Irind, Varzhahan. It was a suggestion (Csemegi J.) that there was not only western European but Eastern Caucasian relation for architects of Hungary in this age of King Stephen I of Hungary.
Rotunda in Asia
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- Temple of Heaven construction completed on 1420 during Yongle Emperor who also constructed Forbidden City of China.
- Fujian Tulou is a traditional rural dwellings of the Hakka in Fujian region of China. They are built between the 12th and the 20th centuries.
Sanchi Stupa in India, a Buddhist pilgrimage site
- Baptistery at the Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa, Italy.
- Pantheon, Rome, Italy, originally built as a temple to the seven deities of the seven planets in the state religion of Ancient Rome; now used as a basilica informally named Santa Maria della Rotonda
- Santo Stefano Rotondo, Rome.
- The Church of the Rotonda in Thessaloniki, built as the "Tomb of Galerius" in 306 AD.
- St George Rotunda in Sofia, Bulgaria, a 4th-century Early Christian church.
- St. George Cathedral Church at Zvartnots, Armenia.
- St. Martin's Rotunda in Vyšehrad Castle, Prague, Czech Republic.
- Rotunda of St Marija Assunta in Mosta, Malta.
- Temple Church in London.
- The Ducal Rotunda of the Virgin Mary and St Catherine in Znojmo, Czech Republic.
- Chausathi Yogini temples in India at Hirapur, Jabalpur and Morena
- Bahá'í House of Worship in Willmette, Illinois, USA.
Buildings for entertainment
- Ranelagh Gardens in London, built in the 1740s and demolished in 1805. It was painted by Canaletto.
- Pantheon, London, opened 1772, demolished in 1937.
- The leisure centre at Fort Regent, in St Helier, Jersey, a regular venue for shows, concerts and events
- The internal Rotunda in the Michael Maddox Petrovsky Theatre, Moscow (burnt down in 1805).
- Gate Theatre in Dublin, Ireland (formerly part of the Rotunda Hospital, built in 1757).
- Roundhouse in London, originally built in 1847 as a turntable engine shed, it was used as a gin store till being converted into a theatre in the 1960s.
- Royal Albert Hall in London, England.
- IMAX Theatre in London, England.
- The Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field.
- Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest. It is a concert hall and a landmark of the Romanian capital city. Opened in 1888, the ornate, domed, circular building is the city's main concert hall and home of the "George Enescu" Philharmonic and of the George Enescu annual international music festival.
- Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio, built in 1922
- Villa Capra "La Rotonda" by the Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio in Vicenza, Italy.
- Ickworth House in Suffolk, England.
- Mereworth Castle in Kent, England.
- The Rotunda in Birmingham, England, built as an office building in 1964.
- The Rotunda Building, Norfolk, Virginia, rebuilt in 2007.
Buildings for learning
- The Rotunda at the University of Virginia built in 1826.
- British Museum Reading Room, London, built in 1857.
- The Rotunda Museum, Scarborough, North Yorkshire.
- Dallas Hall at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, built in 1911.
- Stockholm Public Library, Stockholm, built in 1928.
- Umeå University, Umeå, built in 1972.
- Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal built in 1933.
- Science Museum of Virginia built in 1919
- Vanderbilt University's Wyatt Center.
- Drew University's Dorothy Young Center for the Arts built in 2002, and opened in 2003.
- The Campus Activity Centre at Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia.
- Ruffner Hall at Longwood University built in 1839, reconstructed in 2004
- The Beehive, the executive wing of the New Zealand Parliament Buildings
- Library of Parliament, a library for Canadian Parliamentarians. The only component of the Centre Block of Parliament to survive the 1916 fire
- United States Capitol rotunda
- The Rotundas, Marsham Street, a subterranean structure in Marsham Street in London
- The Samsad Bhavan, or the federal Parliament of India, in New Delhi
- Wisconsin State Capitol Rotunda
- California State Capital Building Rotunda in Sacramento, California.
- "Sitemason Outage". vanderbilt.edu.
- "Ruffner Hall". longwood.edu.
- http://tours.wisconsin.gov/pub/Content.aspx?p=Photo Tour - Rotunda
- Vera, Gervers-Molnár (1972): A középkori Magyarország rotundái. (Rotunda in the Medieval Hungary). Akadémiai, Budapest
- József, Csemegi (1949): A tarnaszentmáriai templom hajójának stíluskritikai vizsgálata. (Studies on the Nave of the Church at Tarnaszentmária.) in: Antiquitas Hungarica III (1949), 92-107.
- Osterlar Church in Danmark Osterlar Church
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