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Aspects of Transfer of Gothic Masonry Vaulting Technology to Greece in the Case of Saint Sophia in Andravida

ABSTRACT: The Frankish Cathedral of Saint Sophia in Andravida, in Elis, Greece was an emblematic construction of the crusaders Princes of Achaia that used cross vaults in a manner not attempted before in a territory dominated by Byzantine architecture. Analysis of the construction and structural behaviour shows careful application of rather archaic vaulting techniques and patterns. A key question is how such schemes and technology were transferred into a politically and culturally foreign, almost hostile environment. Comparison with contemporary developments in Byzantine architecture shows research into the spatial role and structural efficiency of vaults and domes but not similar to the gradual disintegration of the envelope in Gothic architecture. It is therefore important to identify the role of patrons and masons in the design of the church. Study of the construction and structural performance using Finite Element analysis showed a well executed conservative design with limited direct input from local practices.

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Andravida (horse)

The Andravida is a light riding draft breed found in the region of Ilia in Greece. It was developed in the early 20th century from Anglo-Norman stock being crossed with local breeds. Nonius stallions were then used after 1920. This nearly extinct breed's herdbook was established in 1995. It is also known as Eleia, Ilia, or Greek.

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Andravida Military Airport and Base

A military airport to the east which is 2.5 km by road from the city center. Construction began in the 1950s to expand the Greek military and military aviation services throughout the state. The cost of building the airport and some facilities was about $1,000,000 (10,000,000 drachmas) to $5,000,000. The lengh of the runway is 2 km and the size is exactly 1². It is the longest airport in Ilia. The airport is bordered and almost surrounded with 80% or 4 km of green leafy and pined trees, except of those at runway points. The setting is located in a forested area. There are more forest lying east of the military airport. Cultivated plains lie to the west. Military exercises as occurred since its opening.

In 2000, parts from the Greek military aircraft landed down on a rural residential house which didn't cause fatalities, but paralysed a refrigerator in the kitchen, and caused a hole in a ceiling. The plane did not crash. A couple of days later, demonstrators were protesting against anymore military exercises in the area because one reason is noise level, and another incident. Another one of this kind also happened in the 1960s.

Type of location: Domestic airport, Civic airport, Military airport

Postal Code: 27051

Tel +30 26230


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