Minarets & The Middle East
Though historians debate, the common consensus is that the first cupolas were built in the Middle East during the 8th century. Sitting atop towers known as minarets, these cupola prototypes were essential to the daily prayer of muslims. Every day, a muezzin would stand in the tower and call the people to prayer - from a cupola!
Etymology & The European Tour
The word cupola originally comes from the Ancient Greek language, passed down from the word kúpellon, meaning “small cup,” with slight developments from the classical Latin cupella to the lower Latin cupula. Small cup was the perfect description of the cupolas of the time, as they greatly resembled small, upside-down cups standing atop the greatest architectural feats in Europe. Cupolas quickly gained popularity throughout Europe, as their construction was enough to withstand the often brutal weather throughout the region. Interestingly enough, many point to the early cupola as the inspiration for the revolutionary architectural feature known as the dome!
Form & Function
Though the early European cupolas certainly boasted beauty, they had plenty of purpose too. Larger cupolas, known as belvederes or commonly as “widow’s walks,” featured interior staircases and were fully accessible. People would climb up into these cupolas to behold a breathtaking panorama of their cities. Smaller cupolas were commonly used to let sunlight into closed quarters and center rooms without windows.
Treat Yourself To A Historic Trend, Pick Up A Cupola Today!