Introduction to Baroque Architecture: Basic Features

Baroque architecture is an architectural trend that developed between the 16th and 18th centuries. This trend often brings to mind dazzling palaces and abundant ornamentation. Although all of these are among the most defining features of baroque architecture, of course, baroque architecture is not just these. So let’s take this eye-catching trend with its most general features!


If a word comes to mind when you say Baroque, it is magnificence! Baroque architecture is related to reflecting the splendor and richness with every detail. Therefore, although it has aesthetics that may seem exaggerated to the modern eye, baroque architecture is not a movement that consists of uncontrolled use of ornamentation. It has its own rules and an established application technique.

Absolute Symmetry

Symmetry is fundamental in Baroque buildings. There is an effort to achieve absolute balance, especially on the exterior of the buildings. This approach is reminiscent of the Renaissance and its practices.

Mixed Uses

Baroque, of course, has managed to create a unique architectural language over the years. However, in some transitional structures, we can see that baroque elements are parallel with gothic ones. That is common in structures built during the transition periods of successive currents.

Nevertheless, baroque architects have not ruled out the gothic elements, even after they have entirely created their design language. Since Baroque architecture transforms them very well, it is clear that such a change is not needed afterward.


Baroque and its subsequent rococo are two movements that almost reject the boundaries of the building. Baroque architecture often includes ceiling paintings depicting heaven. Those paintings give the impression that the ceiling and the place represented there are continuing the space.


Baroque art has dramatically influenced baroque architecture. Baroque architecture can be the most prominent example of this, often creating many recessed surfaces in buildings. These surfaces are architectural reflections of the dramatic effect of light and shadow, which are very important in baroque art. In this way, we can see the same dramatic and striking reflection in the space.

Architectural Element Wealth

The baroque architecture used vaults, buttresses, cornices, columns, arches, and domes. In this sense, we can say that it is a trend that includes a lot of architectural elements. Generally, barrel vaults are preferable for burials, and caryatid columns for columns.

Besides, we can find different construction techniques in baroque architecture. For example, it is possible to come across applications where there are two half arches’ keystones in this period.


Stairs have become one of the most critical points of buildings in Baroque architecture. In this period, curved and giant stairs, which we call “emperor stairs” today, were built.

The importance of the staircase in Baroque architecture is so great that the story of the colossal stairs in the Palais Garnier, a neo-baroque building, has become famous.

Rumor has it that the main task of these grand stairs in the opera, which was the only place for socializing the people of the period, is not circulation but seeing and being seen. Everyone needs such gigantic stairs to be able to see what’s around and show off to everyone! This idea is also in line with the ‘showing wealth’ philosophy of baroque architecture.

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