What is Baroque Architecture?

Baroque architecture is a style of construction that began in the 16th century during the Baroque era. This type of construction adopted the path of Roman architecture, but modernized it in a new way in order to show the strength of the Roman Catholic Church. Baroque architecture was used to indicate the wealth and power of the Catholic Church.

Prominent features of Baroque architecture

  • In churches, it is characterized by large aisles (the central part of a church where services are performed) with oval shapes.
  • A famous element of Baroque architecture are the intentionally unfinished architectural elements that contribute to giving the design a unique characteristic.
  • Another distinctive feature of these architectural works is the use of light effects as it uses both intense light and shaded lights to bring the contrast.
  • The ceiling frescos in this type of architecture are generally large.
  • A common feature of Baroque architecture is the use of ornaments, plaster or marble finishes that give it a decorative appearance.

Baroque and its association with colonialism

The emergence of Baroque architecture coincided with European colonialism. During this period much wealth was introduced for development. For example, Spain controlled many colonial riches, which is why the Baroque style developed widely in Spain.

In France, colonial money led to the construction of palaces and monarchies by powerful people, resulting in economic industrialization. Industrialization determined the architectural constructions that used the Baroque style.

Rome in Italy is well known for its history as a home to churches. One of the first structures to be built in Rome was the church of Santa Susanna which used the Baroque architectural style. The Palazzo di Caserta was the largest building erected in the 18th century in Europe, and was the last Baroque architecture in Italy.

In Malta, baroque architecture was introduced during the 17th century. During this period the first structures were built using the Baroque style. The ornamental decoration with often used decorations (such as the Wingnacourt arch) was among the first works of Baroque architecture. After the Jesuit church project in Malta, baroque architecture became popular and, as a result, many churches were built using this style.


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