The bulb-shaped onion dome is characteristic of Byzantine and Russian churches and used especially in parts of Russia and eastern Europe. They are spectacular and create a feature that is incomparable wherever you see them. Truly a treat for the eyes. Enjoy this collection.
Some scholars postulated that onion domes were borrowed by Russians from Muslin countries probably from the Khanate of Kazan, whose conquest Ivan the Terrible commemorated by erecting St. Basil’s Cathedral. The Kazan Qolsharif Mosque had been the principal symbol of the Khanate and some elements from there were said to be incorporated into the Cathedral.
St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow
There is some symbolism associated with this distinctive form. There are references to the onion dome tower symbolizing a burning candle. Numerically, one tower represents Christ, three the Holy Trinity, five Christ and the Four Evangelists and 13 Christ and the twelve Apostles. The gold color represents Jesus, green the Holy Trinity, blue the Holy Spirit, silver a dedication to a Saint and a blue dome with a star the Virgin Mary and Star of the Nativity.
The domes are fabricated from tiles or sheet iron attached to a wood or metal frame.