In architecture, a cupola ( /ˈkjuːpələ/) is a small, most-often dome-like, structure on top of a building. Often used to provide a lookout or to admit light and air, it usually crowns a larger roof or dome.

The word derives, via Italian, from the lower Latin cupula (classical Latin cupella from the Greek κύπελλον kupellon) small cup (Latin cupa) indicating a vault resembling an upside down cup.

  • Interior of cupola ceiling in the old Synagogue of Gyor, Hungary.

  • Ribbed cupola crowns the minaret of the Mosque of Uqba, in Kairouan, Tunisia.

  • Inside of Armenian Orthodox church cupola in Lvov, Ukraine.

Cupolas often appear as small buildings in their own right. They often serve as a lantern, belfry, or belvedere above a main roof. In other cases they may crown a tower, spire, or turret. The chhatri, seen in Indian architecture, fits the definition of a cupola when it is used atop a larger structure.

The cupola is a development during the Renaissance of the oculus, an ancient device found in Roman architecture, but being weatherproof was superior for the wetter climates of northern Europe.

The square dome-like segment of a North American railroad train caboose is also called a cupola.

Other articles related to "cupola":

Cupola House (Edenton, North Carolina)
... Cupola House, in Edenton, North Carolina is an architecturally significant building featuring a cupola ... The unique aspect of the house is its combination of a cupola with an overhanging upper story ... The cupola is octagon-shaped and covered in wood that has been cut to imitate stonework ...
Fredrik Lilljekvist - New Buildings in The 1890s
... with Ferdinand Boberg in the construction of the large "industry hall" with its cupola ... The cupola was probably influenced by the one built by Martin Nyrop over the main hall of the Copenhagen Exhibition of 1888, but Boberg and Lilljekvist added four high minaret-like towers connected to the ...
Caledonia Mill - Construction (Architecture) - Later Extensions
... The Mill features a distinctive cupola, a decorative feature rarely seen in Canadian mills of the era ... The cupola gives a view of the Grand River Bridge, the only nine-span bridge in Canada ... It is likely that this cupola is used to allow light to shine on lineshafting on the top floor of the building ...
Cupola Furnace
... A cupola or cupola furnace is a melting device used in foundries that can be used to melt cast iron, ni-resist iron and some bronzes ... The cupola can be made almost any practical size ... The size of a cupola is expressed in diameters and can range from 1.5 to 13 feet (0.5 to 4.0 m) ...