Architectural History Quiz

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By jwblackwell



9 Questions

What is the main difference between Doric and Ionic architectural orders?

What are some key characteristics of Gothic architecture?

What is the main difference between Baroque and Rococo architecture?

What was the main inspiration for Neoclassical architecture?

What is the main characteristic of Romanesque architecture?

What is the main characteristic of Sahelian architecture?

What is the main characteristic of Islamic architecture?

What is the main characteristic of Mesopotamian architecture?

What is the main characteristic of Rococo rooms?


History of Architecture

  • Architecture refers to buildings but also includes fields such as urbanism, civil engineering, naval, military, and landscape architecture.

  • Technological innovations influenced trends in architecture, particularly in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries.

  • Neolithic period saw architectural advances, including new styles of individual structures and their combination into settlements.

  • Mesopotamia is noted for its mud-brick buildings and the construction of ziggurats, artificial mounds with a temple.

  • Ancient Egypt is famous for its iconic pyramids, temples, and the use of cavetto cornices in their architecture.

  • The first urban civilization in the Indian subcontinent is traceable to the Indus Valley civilization, with baked brick buildings and elaborate drainage and water systems.

  • Ancient Greek architecture, together with Roman, is one of the most influential styles of all time.

  • Ancient Greek temples usually consist of a base with continuous stairs, a cella or naos, columns, an entablature, and two pediments.

  • Roman architecture was particularly influenced by Greek and Etruscan styles, and Roman builders established towns and cities wherever the Roman army conquered.

  • Roman architectural achievements include domes, baths, villas, palaces, and tombs.

  • Gothic architecture is characterized by pointed arches, ribbed vaults, and flying buttresses.

  • Modern architecture is characterized by the use of new materials such as steel, reinforced concrete, and glass, and a focus on function over ornamentation.Overview of Architectural Styles Across History and Regions

  • The Greeks developed two main architectural orders, Doric and Ionic, with the former being more austere and the latter more decorative.

  • The Romans built amphitheaters and the Colosseum in Rome, which could hold around 50,000 spectators, and the Pont du Gard in southern France, the highest surviving Roman aqueduct.

  • Complex societies were already established across North, Central, and South America over 3,000 years before the Europeans 'discovered' America, notably the Mayans, the Olmecs, and the Aztecs, who built entire cities with monolithic temples and pyramids.

  • Buddhism had a significant influence on Sri Lankan architecture, with over 25 styles of Buddhist monasteries, and in India, Hindu architecture evolved from simple rock-cut cave shrines to monumental temples.

  • The Himalayas are inhabited by various people groups, and artisans made intricate wood carvings and paintings accompanied by ornamental metalwork and stone sculptures reflected in religious as well as civic and military buildings.

  • Chinese culture has its roots in the Neolithic period, and most early buildings were timber structures, with columns with sets of brackets on the face of the buildings.

  • Khmer kings ruled over a vast Hindu-Buddhist empire in Southeast Asia, and Angkor, in present-day Cambodia, was its capital city, and most of its surviving buildings are east-facing stone temples.

  • Traditional Sub-Saharan African architecture is diverse, varying significantly across regions, with huts, rectangular houses, and courtyards, sometimes decorated with adobe reliefs or carved pillars, and large walls of mud brick or adobe surrounding towns and cities.Overview of Architectural Styles through History

  • Sahelian architecture developed in Djenné and Timbuktu, utilizing mud and adobe, and drew on local pre-Islamic building styles.

  • Ethiopian architecture expanded from the Aksumite style, incorporating traditional wood and rounder structures, and featured rock-hewn churches in Tigray.

  • Oceanic buildings were typically made of wood and vegetal materials, with elaborate carvings. Nan Madol in Micronesia was a significant archaeological site.

  • Islamic architecture encompasses a wide range of styles, including hypostyle mosques, domed mosques, and palaces, and features Arabic calligraphy and abstract motifs.

  • Medieval secular architecture mainly served for defense, while Byzantine architects built city walls, palaces, churches, and hippodromes with extensive use of mosaics.

  • Romanesque architecture featured thick piers and columns, round arches, and severity, with little ornamentation.

  • Gothic architecture emerged from a series of experiments to accommodate pilgrims visiting sites with relics, characterized by stained glass, pointed arches, ribbed vaults, rose windows, and flying buttresses.

  • Renaissance architecture drew on ancient ruins, with key elements outlined in Leon Battista Alberti's treatise. The Medici Family provided financial support for Renaissance art and architecture.Overview of Architectural Styles: Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neoclassicism, and Exoticism


  • Renaissance art is an attempt to revive Ancient Rome's culture
  • Renaissance architecture and applied arts use motifs and ornaments specific to Ancient Rome
  • Most iconic ornament is the margent, a vertical arrangement of flowers, leaves or hanging vines
  • Another ornament is the round medallion containing a profile of a person
  • Putti (chubby baby angels) are used more often compared to Greco-Roman art
  • Cartouche, an oval or oblong design with a slightly convex surface, is an ornament reintroduced during the Renaissance


  • Emerged from the Counter Reformation as an attempt by the Catholic Church in Rome to convey its power
  • Dominated more than two centuries of art and architecture in Europe, Latin America, and beyond from circa 1580 to circa 1800
  • Baroque architects took basic elements of Renaissance architecture, including domes and colonnades, and made them higher, grander, more decorated, and more dramatic
  • Baroque rooms are characterized by dynamism and clusters of sculpted angels and painted figures
  • Baroque buildings try to seize viewers' attention and dominate their surroundings
  • Baroque urban planning and renewal was promoted by the church and state alike


  • Rococo architecture is fancy and fluid, accentuating asymmetry, with an abundant use of curves, scrolls, gilding, and ornaments
  • Rococo rooms are typically smaller than their Baroque counterparts, reflecting a movement towards domestic intimacy
  • Rococo designers loved mirrors and pastel colors
  • Rococo abandoned Baroque's high moral tone and weighty allegories


  • Interactions between East and West brought on by colonialist exploration have had an impact on aesthetics
  • Some non-European styles were really appreciated during the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries
  • Europeans sometimes created hybrids of the style which they tried to replicate
  • Examples of exoticism include chinoiserie, Islamic art, and Egyptian Revival
  • Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican architecture was of great interest for some American architects during the 1920s and 1930s


  • Neoclassical architecture focused on Ancient Greek and Roman details, plain, white walls, and grandeur of scale
  • Excavations during the 18th century at Pompeii and Herculaneum inspired a return to order and rationality
  • The style was adopted by progressive circles in other countries such as Sweden and Russia
  • Federal-style architecture is the name for the classicizing architecture built in North America between c. 1780 and 1830
  • Étienne-Louis Boullée was a visionary architect of the period


Test your knowledge of architectural history across different regions and styles with this quiz. From the iconic pyramids of Ancient Egypt to the grandeur of Neoclassical architecture, this quiz covers significant periods and styles of architecture, including Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, and Exoticism. Discover how technological innovations influenced architectural trends and how cultures developed unique styles of building. This quiz will challenge you to identify key features, styles, and periods of architecture, providing insights into the fascinating world of architecture throughout

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