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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a semidome that serves as the ceiling of the semi-cylindrical portions of buildings (an apse or niche). The concha, which originated in eastern Hellenistic architecture, was popular in Roman and Byzantine architecture and in medieval Christian religious buildings. It was often filled with mosaics or frescoes depicting Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the Christian saints.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. The semidome vaulting of an apse; also called a conch.
2. In Spanish architecture and its derivatives, a decorative element in the form of the interior of a sea scallop; see shell-headed.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.