Gilded domes and roofs – their splendour shines into the distance
A dazzling gold dome in the sunlight or at sunset is visually striking and will thrill any onlooker, not just photographers. Very few people know that the gilded domes on churches or mosques, for example, have been shimmering for centuries. The secret behind this long-lasting splendour is gold leaf. No other surface has this kind of durability. Domes and roofs are the best examples of the incredible strength of gold leaf – even in harsh environmental conditions, such as rain, wind, frost or intense sunshine, the wafer-thin gold does not lose its brilliance.
Gold leaf outdoors on domes and roofs
Gold leaf is incredibly resistant to sun, water, wind, weather, temperature fluctuations and most freak weather conditions. The greatest danger to gold leaf comes from the physical impact of human hands – but when installed at a lofty height, this is not a realistic risk for gilded domes. In terms of temperature, outside, gilded domes and roofs do not need any protective varnish. The brilliance of a gilded dome in the sun light would be diminished by any coating and the durability of the gilding would also be considerably reduced. Exposed to temperature fluctuations outdoors, the mixtion expands in summer and contracts again when temperatures fall in winter. Under these conditions, any varnish topcoat would eventually crack and after a few years, the varnish with the gold leaf comes away from the mixtion and is carried away by wind and rain.