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A Naryshkin-style church
The Church in Petrovsko-Razumovskoe

Octagon on cube (also octagon on the quadrangle) is a type of architectural composition, in which a building is designed so as the upper octagon-shaped part is placed on the lower cube-shaped part.[1] This composition has been mainly used to design Russian orthodox churches.[2][3]


Initially, this architectural solution became widespread in Russian wooden church architecture. At the end of the 17th century, the style firmly established itself among architects of the Moscow Baroque.[4] The combination of contrasting forms of this type of church gives striving upward look as dynamism is a characteristic of the Baroque style. Octagon-on-cube churches continued to be built in Russian provinces until the end of the 18th century.[citation needed]

Evolution of Moscow BaroqueEdit

With regard to the Moscow Baroque, there are several different types of octagon-on-cube churches. The main one is a stand-alone, multi-level church, built mainly by the Russian nobility for their suburban estates. The essential attribute of these buildings is a combination of church and bell tower in a single composition. Directly over the octagon level was arranged an open level with eight bells. This type of churches are the starting point for all other versions of the composition.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "UNESCO World Heritage Site". Kizhi Museum. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  2. ^ Jargin, Sergei. "Old and new wooden architecture of northern Russia". DOMUS. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Church of John the Baptist in Roshchenie (1710-17), Interior, Southeast Corner, with Frescoes, Vologda, Russia". World Digital Library. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Moscow Baroque". Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  5. ^ "О церкви Трех Святителей у Красных ворот, или История московского барокко" (in Russian). Retrieved 14 October 2016.