Santa Costanza
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Architect unknown
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Location Rome, Italy   map
Date 350   timeline
Building Type mausoleum, church
 Construction System bearing masonry
Climate mediterranean
Context urban
Style Early Christian
Notes Circular. The Mausoleum of S. Costanza, converted into a church in 1256.


Discussion Santa Costanza Commentary

Built by Constantine as a mausoleum for his daughter Costanza, this building was later consecrated as a church in 1256, and is a fine example of early Christian architecture. The building has a circular form in the tradition of Roman mausoleums. A vestibule porch leads into a circular barrel-vaulted ambulatory which surrounds a central domed space. The ambulatory ceiling vault is decorated with mosaics of geometric motifs and intertwined vines on a white background, late imperial motifs with Christian symbolic significance. The central space is articulated by 12 pairs of coupled Corinthian columns with arches between them, which support the dome lit by 12 clerestory windows.

— JY,


The cupola is 22.5 m in diameter and is supported by 12 pairs of granite columns in a double ring, connected by trabeation and arches.

Sources on Santa Costanza

Robert Adam. Classical Architecture. London: Penguin Books, 1990. ISBN 0-670-82613-8. NA260.A26 1990. plan oblique drawing, fig c, p15. plan oblique drawing, fig c, p15.

Werner Blaser and Monica Stucky. Drawings of Great Buildings. Boston: Birkhauser Verlag, 1983. ISBN 3-7643-1522-9. LC 83-15831. NA2706.U6D72 1983. plan and section drawings, p44. — Available at

Roger H. Clark and Michael Pause. Precedents in Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1985. geometry diagram, p183. place-at-center diagram, p198. — Updated edition available at

William L. MacDonald. Early Christian & Byzantine Architecture. New York: George Braziller, 1962. photo of exterior, f15. photo of interior, f16.

Frank Sear. Roman Architecture. London: B.T. Batsford, 1989. ISBN 0-7134-40988. NA310.S44. section drawing, f183, p275. plan drawing, f183, p275.

Russell Sturgis. The Architecture Sourcebook. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1984. ISBN 0-442-20831-9. LC 84-7275. NA2840.S78. interior perspective drawing, p301.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Santa Costanza


Web Resources
Links on Santa Costanza

Santa Costanza at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

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