Stories from the Past and Present: the Crowning Cupola

There seems to be a developing theme at Past and Present Home Gallery: Bigger is Better. Our store hosts numerous unique treasures that are also quite large; giant pigs, tables that stretch to more than 10 feet long, large cow hides—and now we even have a full-size kangaroo hide. The most recent large item to be hosted at Past and Present have been farm fresh cupolas.

  The Fred and Rosa Fulton Barn, a historical barn in Iowa, features two cupolas with weather vanes.

The Fred and Rosa Fulton Barn, a historical barn in Iowa, features two cupolas with weather vanes.

The site of a well-kept barn with a striking cupola on its crown may bring back nostalgic memories for some Minnesota residents, but would you be surprised to learn that the cupola’s history reaches as far back as the 8th century?

A cupola can serve as a look-out, let light into a structure, or to allow air to escape. It is believed that the cupola was used as far back as the 8th century in Eastern architecture to crown all types of buildings including towers. The design and function of the cupola slowly made its way westward where it revolutionized the dome during the Renaissance. Before that time, the very top, center portion of a dome was often left open to the elements and was called an oculus. With the introduction of the cupola, architects and engineers of the Renaissance erected elaborate cupolas on top of their domes which completely changed the skylines of their cities, and history, forever.

  The Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral features a dome capped by a large cupola or "lantern".

The Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral features a dome capped by a large cupola or "lantern".

  The Fred and Rosa Fulton Barn, a historical barn in Iowa, features two cupolas. Image retrieved: March 2, 2017. wikipedia.org

Stop in to Past and Present Home Gallery to check out the cupola currently on display in our store. This great piece even has its weather vane and is more than 12 feet tall! Looking for some smaller, farm fresh treasures? A quick search through the Man Cave is sure to turn up something! Can’t wait to see you at Past and Present Home Gallery, the antique store with character!