Kokoshnik (architecture)
Kokoshnik is a semicircular or keel-like exterior decorative element in the traditional Russian architecture
Russian architecture
Russian architecture follows a tradition whose roots were established in the Eastern Slavic state of Kievan Rus'. After the fall of Kiev, Russian architectural history continued in the principalities of Vladimir-Suzdal, Novgorod, the succeeding states of the Tsardom of Russia, the Russian Empire,...

, a type of corbel
In architecture a corbel is a piece of stone jutting out of a wall to carry any superincumbent weight. A piece of timber projecting in the same way was called a "tassel" or a "bragger". The technique of corbelling, where rows of corbels deeply keyed inside a wall support a projecting wall or...

 zakomara (that is an arch-like semicircular top of the church wall). Unlike zakomara that continues the curvature of the vault behind and carries a part of the vault's weight, kokoshnik is pure decoration and doesn't carry any weight. Kokoshnik
The kokoshnik is a traditional Russian head-dress worn by women and girls to accompany the sarafan. It is patterned to match the style of the sarafan and can be pointed or round. It is tied at the back of the head with long thick ribbons in a large bow. The forehead is sometimes decorated with...

shares its name with the traditional Russian head-dress worn by women and girls.

Kokoshniks were used in the Russian church architecture from the 16th century, and they were especially popular in the 17th century. They were placed on walls, at the basement of tented roof
Tented roof
A tented roof is a type of roof widely used in 16th and 17th century Russian architecture for churches. It is like a polygonal spire but differs in purpose in that it is typically used to roof the main internal space of a church, rather than an auxiliary structure...

s or tholobate
A tholobate or drum, in architecture, is the upright part of a building on which a dome is raised. It is generally in the shape of a cylinder or a polygonal prism....

s, over the window frames, or in rows above the vaults
Vault (architecture)
A Vault is an architectural term for an arched form used to provide a space with a ceiling or roof. The parts of a vault exert lateral thrust that require a counter resistance. When vaults are built underground, the ground gives all the resistance required...


External references

Kokoshnik (architecture) in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia
Great Soviet Encyclopedia
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia is one of the largest and most comprehensive encyclopedias in Russian and in the world, issued by the Soviet state from 1926 to 1990, and again since 2002 .-Editions:There were three editions...

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