barrell vault


Temple of Zeus

Aizanoi, Turkey

2nd century CE

35 m × 53 m

The construction of the temple, which was the main religious sanctuary of the city, started in the last half of the 2nd century AD. The preserved inscriptions indicate that emperor Hadrian was responsible for its commission.

The temple stands on a many-stepped podium and was built of marble. It is surrounded by a peristasis in a pseudodipteral arrangement, originally with 15 Ionic columns on its long side and 8 on the short side. The podiom itself measures 33 X 37 meters. Nowadays, only the columns on the western and northern side are still standing.

The temple was dedicated to two deities. Zeus - the ruler of the Olympians - was worshipped in its aboveground section, and the underground part of the building was the place of Cybele cult. Stylistically, the part dedicated to Zeus was built in accordance with the Greek patterns and the underground section - with the Roman ones as the barrel vaults are clearly visible.

The battle scenes depicted on the walls of the building come from much later period. They were made by the Tatars and illustrate their lives and battles fought in the 13th century AD. Nearby the entrance to the temple grounds there is an enclosed area where some interesting fragments of temple decorations are collected. Opposite the temple there are the remains of a small bouleuterion, but its history remains unknown.


The ferrous structure of this reading room—a spine of slender, cast-iron Ionic columns dividing the space into twin aisles and supporting openwork iron arches that carry barrel vaults of plaster reinforced by iron mesh—has always been revered by Modernists for its introduction of high technology into a monumental building. from wiki

This is the Henri Labrouste reading room at Sainte-Genevieve Library and this is Paris!


Tomb of King Antiochus II Theos (Belevi Mausoleum)

Belevi, on the road between Ephesus and Sardis

350-300 BCE

It is a two-storey grave-monument, formed by a high pedestal including a burial-chamber and an upper level, with a rectangular cella-like hypaethral building surrounded by a peristastis.

The foundation of the mausoleum was square; each side measuring some 29.65 m, suggesting a length of 100 feet of 0.2965 m. The mausoleum was two stories. On the ground level there were three steps supporting the base mouldings. Each plain socle was surmounted by torus, [cavetto] and Lesbian cyma. Ten courses of large neatly cut ashlars, 69–88 cm high, which constituted the facing of the podium, made for a total height of 11.37 m.A low architrave, 45 cm high, and a higher Doric frieze ran around the top of the podium. The south side had a deep recess that was cut into the rock core for the burial chamber, which was placed in the centre and sealed from outside. This was done in order to conceal what was in the monument and to protect the monument from tomb raiders. The chamber to which Antiochus II was buried in was a small vestibule with a rectangular back room for his body to be put in a barrel-vault. There was an unfinished false door on the north side of the structure. The top storey had 3 steps measuring 1.12 m high. The top slope served as a stylobate for a Corinthian Peristalsis, with eight columns on each side. The roof had flat marble tiles.


Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi, Ayaviri (c. 1677-1696)

Built as the parish church of the small town of Ayaviri, now capital city of Melgar Province in Puno Region (Peru), it is now the seat of a Prelature since 1958. It is one of the most outstanding examples of baroque architecture in the area surrounding Lake Titicaca, as well as throughout Peru. 

It consists of a single nave and transept covered with stone barrel vaults, with raised choir over the front door, dome over the crossing and deep presbytery. On the outside, its most outstanding feature is the beautiful retablo portal in the main facade, three stories high, entirely built in stone. The portal shares some features with cusqueño baroque architecture, and the arrangement of the columns in groups of three, with one large column and two smaller ones behind it, is consistent with the design of retablos in the mid-seventeenth century. The design of the main facade is completed with the twin towers that flank the portal, consisting of a very austere first story that supports a belfry with a single arch on each side flanked by rusticated pilasters.


Eurydice’s tomb

Vergina, Greece

~369 BCE

The unusual Tomb of Eurydike lies slightly east of the Rhomaios Tomb. This double-chambered, barrel-vaulted structure, whose facade has yet to be revealed, is plastered with off-white mortar.

One of the short sides of the burial chamber is presented in trompe-l'oeil as a facade with a door and two windows framed by four Ionic half-columns, which support an Ionic three-tiered entablature and a frieze decorated with white palmettes.

A unique find is the marble throne with its richly carved and painted ornamentation; in particular, the back of the throne, which depicts Pluto and Persephone riding on a quadriga, is truly outstanding.

The wealth of this tomb, which had been plundered in antiquity, indicates a royal burial; on the basis of chronological data, it is attributed to Philip’s mother Eurydike, inscribed dedications of whom have been found in the temple of Eukleia at Aigai.


KWY. Allmendetore.

Palmenhaus, the largest of the three, is a carefully composed succession of archways, pure brick structure designed on the traditional metric while varying in width, height and depth. Its pyramidal volume allows for generously lit, expansive interior spaces and is replicated by an internal void of the same proportions. We propose this structure to be used as a communal vertical garden, a place that can be functionally relevant to the local community while also offering a new space to the city.

The Labyrinth is an array of brick barrel vaults, nested to create a series of longitudinal spaces which successively ascend to the top offering alternating glimpses of the street and the yard. The lateral narrow spaces shape a maze of stairs in which one can experience vertigo views and moments of fun for the young while the central stage-like staircase can hold a place of rest, conversation or performance, either oriented to the street or to the quietness of the inner yard.

The Uhrturm is the smallest and the most solid of our proposals, one pure brick volume from which a series of spaces are carved in a subtractive manner. A miniatured typologic reinterpretation of the Holstentor, it comprises of two vertical stacks of rooms accessed by a spiralling staircase which winds around the core while creating an intimate courtyard. Its varying spaces can be used for locals to meet, as a guest house of sorts or simply for rest and reflection.


Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo, Puno (c. 1750 - 1790)

The villa of San Carlos de Puno was founded in 1668 to be a provincial capital and seat of a corregimiento, replacing the old town of Paucarcolla. The matriz or parish church, dedicated to Saint Charles Borromeo, was probably built around this time, but it was totally replaced by a new building in the mid eighteenth century. The construction must have begun around 1750, with the economic aid of the rich miner Miguel Jacinto de San Román Zeballos and it probably reused part of the existing structure. The lateral portal has a date inscribed, 1754, and in the main portal facing the plaza an inscription states that it was finished in 1757. Despite this facts, the walls of the church were not finished until 1778  and the stone vaults until approximately 1794.The church became a Cathedral when the bishopric of Puno was created in 1867.

The church has a latin cross plan, with a single nave, long transept and deep presbytery covered with barrel vaults, and a large dome over pendentives in the crossing, all built entirely in brown stone. The interior is extremely austere, with very little decoration. The furnishing belongs entirely to the nineteenth and twentieth century due to a fire that took place in 1935. 

The main facade consists of a large  portal flanked by a tower on each side. The portal, two stories high with three sections in the first story and one in the second, is an excellent example of planiforme architecture, and stylistically related to arequipeño architecture. The term planiforme refers to the flat-like carving of the stone that covers almost every surface of the portal. Also, the columns that constitute the structure of the portal are not strictly salomonic: instead of the spirals characteristic of these, a flat band carved with a vine pattern seems to be entwined in the shaft of the column, a common feature in contemporary portals in the lake area. The ornamental repertory includes the placing of sirens - legendary creatures half woman - half fish - playing the charango (small Andean guitar) between the columns in the first story of the portal. In the spandrels of the arch that constitutes the door to the church an inscription states that the portal was finished in 1757, and that it was built by Simón de Asto, an indian mason.

Two smaller portals complete the exterior decoration of the church, one on each side of the nave. Both are very similar in design, only one story high with a very large tympanum on top, all carved in planiforme style. One particular feature is the presence of salomonic pilasters inside the jambs of the door.

The towers are two stories high, with a base almost completely void of ornamental details and a belfry consisting of one arched opening on each side flanked by Corinthian columns placed over huge carved brackets. A small dome surrounded by pinnacles tops off the belfry.

All photos by me (2017)

Plan by Ramón Gutiérrez.



Ostica antica, Italy

145-150 CE

The store building (horrea) was owned by two freedmen, Epagathus and Epaphroditus.

In the interior is a square courtyard, surrounded by a porticus with brick piers. On all four sides of the courtyard are rooms of varying size. The rooms are covered by cross-vaults. A long room in the south-west part, with a door leading to a shop, is partly covered by a barrel-vault. There are remains of white plaster. In the centre of the east side of the courtyard are two niches, identical to the ones in the second vestibule. They flank the entrance to a deep room, perhaps an office.

On the floor of the courtyard is a black-and-white mosaic with meanders, a swastika, a panther at the west end - resting with one paw on what seems to be part of a prey - , and a tiger at the east end. The panther was meant to be seen from the entrance, the tiger from the “office”. The mosaic belongs to the first building phase. The figurative panels, the slightly eccentric position of the “office” and the oblique walls of the vestibules testify to a very conscious attempt to create a visual axis in the building.

In the north-west and south-west part of the building are staircases. The lay-out of the first floor was similar to that of the ground floor.

Following the kid in that temple had seemed like a good idea at first. Of course, as it often was the case, the keyword there was ‘at first’. They were several meters under the surface now, yet she could hear the storm raging above her head, the ghostly sound of wind whistling inside the cave. As if being stranded in the middle of Rebel territory wasn’t risky enough, they were now groping their way through the crumbling maze of its underground galleries, lit only by Vader’s lightsaber and the eerie light of Beetee’s eye – and, truth be told, she was enjoying every second of it. Of course, Aphra was the only one groping, since the droids’ sensors didn’t require much light to function and Vader… well, she didn’t quite know how he got by. Perhaps he was using the Force, or perhaps his helmet had some kind of low-threshold sensors as well. Either way, the dark didn’t seem to bother him.

Aphra took her hand off the wall and followed the red glow, picking up the pace in an attempt to keep up with Vader, and nearly tripped over as she stubbed her foot against what felt like stone rubble.

“Kriffing stones…” she grumbled, trying – and failing – to kick the stone aside.

“That, Doctor, was my foot.”

“Oh… uh… I’m sorry. It’s really dark in here. Did I hurt you?”

“No,” came his grouchy reply.

“Cool. Let’s… pretend I didn’t do that.” She paused for a second before she spoke again. “Hey, you know what I was thinking? This place gives me goosebumps. I love it. It’s like we’re about to meet a ghost or something.”

Ironic that she’d say that, Vader thought, trying to ignore the voices ringing in his head.

“We most definitely have,” he agreed.

“Wow! Really? Are they pissed?” He could nearly sense her eyes rounding with disbelief as she stopped in her tracks.

“Probably,” he answered laconically, gesturing for her to keep walking – even if he doubted she could actually see his hand moving.  

“Hm… okay? That… doesn’t seem to concern you?”

“What I’m concerned about is finding the boy. I know he’s still in here.”

“Uh, if you say so… Where are we going exactly?”

“To the archives,” he said as they took a left turn, entering a wider gallery. If the boy was looking for holocrons, as Vader assumed he was, it was the logical place to look first – not to mention the gut feeling that he was indeed getting closer.

Though he was not familiar with this particular temple, he was fairly certain they were on the right way. The voices grew louder with every step he took, reaching their full nuisance potential when he stopped before the massive door at the end of the corridor. His ears started buzzing as the voices surged up, clamoring and mingling in a cacophony of frantic whispers and pained screams, as if purposely trying to overwhelm his senses. Almost as if the ghosts were warning him away from something. Or someone. One voice in particular caught his attention. A voice he remembered far too well.

…The very thing you swore to destroy…  I will do what I must… don’t try it!… you were the Chosen One!

Ah. Kenobi. Or at least what little was left of him. He was there too. And by the sound of it, he did not want Vader to go through that door. All the more reason to push forward. What could Obi-Wan do about it, anyway? Lecture him? Play on his guilt? Vader was not impressed so far. More powerful than I can possibly imagine. Is that so, old man?

Ignoring the admonitions of his former mentor, Vader grabbed the handle and pushed the door open, revealing a large, barrel-vaulted aisle, lined with several rows of stone shelves, filled with glowing cubes and cones, with a depleted datapad here and there.

Aphra peeked inside the room and decided that it was safe to follow him inside, taking slow, unusually careful steps down the main aisle. It wasn’t long before Vader froze on the spot and she could only assume that he, too, had caught sight of the shadow browsing through the shelves. The silhouette, she suspected, was that of the boy they had been looking for. Yet, she didn’t manage to catch a better glimpse, for the shadow started and made a dash for the door, causing several artifacts to shatter on ground. Before either of them got a chance to catch up, an intense silver flash flared up before her eyes. There was no sound. No blast. Just the thud of her back slamming against the floor as her body was tossed next to Vader’s black mass. Then a complete blackout.

Without opening her eyes, Aphra stirred a little and realized that she was still lying on the hard ground. Judging by the overall soreness of her body, the impact had been brutal. How long she had been out was a mystery, yet she wondered if she had received some kind of first aid, for, if she was to be honest, she smelled like a blasted medcenter. She didn’t know if Vader had been knocked out as well, but she noticed that his breathing was loud – louder than ever – which meant he must have been close, and yet she didn’t feel the usual ebb and flow of his respirator.

“Urgh… I feel like sh*t” she groaned, failing to rub her closed eyes as her hand encountered a hard surface instead.

“Wait a minute…” she paused, surprised by the deep rumble that had just escaped her mouth. “That’s not my voice!”

Her eyelids jolted open at the realization. She quickly propped herself on her elbows, ignoring the dull pain she felt above both joints, and the sight before her nearly caused her heart to stop. It took her several seconds to finally put her thoughts into words :

“Uh… Why are you red? Why are you me?”

Vader jolted awake and blinked in surprise at the sound of his own voice, and, for once, he, too, remained dumbfounded by what he heard and saw. The question caused him to look down at his feet or rather… Aphra’s feet? He was too confused to make sense of any of this, too stunned by the abundant input of his senses – Aphra’s senses, from the feel of chilly air on her skin to the fruity taste of her lips. He brought a hand – an ungloved, flesh hand – to his face, and couldn’t help but notice how soft it was compared to his own withered skin. His gaze stopped on the nearest shelf, caught by the mesmerizing glow of the holocrons and all those bright hues that had slowly washed away from his memory. He didn’t, however, linger much on those thoughts, for he was beginning to feel dizzy, and suddenly realized that he had forgotten something: breathe. How could he not have breathed yet, he who had craved such freedom for the past two decades? He took a deep, forceful breath, filling his healthy, unburned lungs with the stale, dusty air of the temple. He didn’t mind the dust. He wouldn’t mind swallowing sand if it meant breathing freely again. For the first time in a long while, Vader felt good. Until the rush of oxygen produced its sobering effect, and realization dawned upon him: he could not stay that way. It was unreasonable. Impossible. Unthinkable. He had to be Darth Vader if his plans were to succeed. Whatever had happened needed to be undone, for both their sakes. He looked at her and took another breath, now fully aware that he would, sooner or later, have to renounce those again.

“I believe we have a problem, Doctor.”

>part 2


The Snowtown Murders were a series of murders carried out by various perpetrators, mainly John Bunting, Robert Wagner, Mark Haydon, and James Vlassakis, in South Australia between August 1992 and May 1999. Although the murders were named after the town of Snowtown, only one victim out of the eleven was killed in the town. Bunting was the main perpetrator behind the killings, and as a child was known to burn ants in acid as a pastime. Growing up, he developed a strong hatred toward pedophiles and homosexuals. As a result, the Snowtown murder victims were chosen if they were believed to fall into those categories, although some of the victims were also close relatives of the perpetrators or merely killed for being obese. They would be tortured with various tools, including knives, shotguns, and ropes, and would even be administered electric shocks. The victims were also forced to refer to the torturers as ‘God,’ ‘Master,’ ‘Lord Sir,’ and various other titles. The flesh of the last victim was fried and consumed by both Bunting and Wagner. Eight of the bodies were stored in plastic barrels in a bank vault and others were buried in a backyard. 

The group was caught after investigators became suspicious when Mark Haydon reported his sister, who was one of the victims, missing days after she had supposedly disappeared instead of immediately after. This suspicion led Haydon to be placed under scrutiny by the police. In 1999, after an in depth and lengthy investigation was carried out, the barrels were found. Once caught, Bunting was sentenced to 11 consecutive terms of life imprisonment without parole, with a psychiatrist claiming he was a psychopathic murderer who enjoyed controlling his victims. Wagner was sentenced to 10 terms of life imprisonment, Vlassakis received 4 consecutive terms with possibility of parole in 26 years, and Haydon received 25 years with possibility of parole in 18 years. At his sentencing, Wagner was said to have stated “pedophiles were doing terrible things to children. The authorities didn’t do anything about it. I decided to take action. I took that action. Thank you.”


Equestrianism: It’s Quite a Unique Sport

One of the best equestrian videos I’ve seen.  

*Not mine*

Source here: