Last edited 26 Oct 2020


The Queen's Megaron of the Palace of Knossos, Crete includes a fresco of dolphins. This is a modern reproduction of artwork that dates between approximately 1700-1450 BCE.


[edit] Introduction

A megaron is a rectangular room with a central hearth. It is sometimes referred to as a long room or large room, and in some instances it is surrounded by other rooms that serve different practical purposes (such as living quarters, offices, workshops, storerooms and so on).

[edit] History

The megaron (or the plural, megara) is a great hall most commonly associated with architecture in ancient Greece. They have also been found in the Middle East. The space was often used for sacrificial purposes and processions as well as royal functions and court meetings.

Its origins go back to Mycenaeon times, when it may have been used for similar purposes as the Doric temple. Some megara have been found inside Classical temples. While it was typically associated with palaces, megara have also been found in domestic dwellings.

[edit] Characteristics

Most megara are constructed in the same manner. With beams supporting the roof, these rectangular rooms are accessible through a columned porch; their entrances are typically situated on the short wall so they are deeper than their width.

At the centre is a hearth, which is also supported by columns. Above the hearth is an oculus which allows smoke to escape.

The mud walls were sometimes decorated with frescos, and the floors were patterned concrete. Royal megara often housed thrones.

Variations amongst different Greek cultures have been found. For instance, the mainland magara were often separated from other rooms while magara found on the island of Crete incorporated other rooms around the central megaron.

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