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What are column caps?

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Quick Answer

Column caps, or capitals, are architectural elements found at the upper end of columns. Popular styles of column caps include Doric, Corinthian, Ionic and Tuscan.

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Doric column caps are broad and unornamented. They are traditionally installed over fluted Doric columns. Tuscan capitals are similar, but they are rounded and appear on top of smooth columns. Ionian column caps are narrower than Doric and Tuscan capitals and are carved into an intricate scroll shape. The Corinthian column cap style, which is more complex than other major styles, features extensive carvings, usually of leaves and flower blossoms.

In addition to the aforementioned styles, modern column caps come in a wide variety of shapes and designs. Flat and pyramid-shaped models are particularly popular.

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