Pylon (architecture)

In the ancient Egyptian and Greek architecture, a pylon is a door system with side towers, the access to a temple district (→ pylon (Egypt) ) forms or a similar facility. The pylons can flank as a largely autonomous structure the input, or be joined together to form a compact, monumental entry hall.

Modern architecture

Based on the ancient gatehouses pylons designate in modern architecture massive, often configured with architectural sculpture posts flanking a gate in a wall or a fence. Especially in the architecture of the Baroque and Classicism found pylons in the design of the entrance gates of representative buildings application.


In modern construction technology pylon means either supports in terms of statics, the only compressive forces, or frames that absorb predominantly compressive forces. They were first developed around 1900, especially in modern bridge and form the cornerstone of suspension and cable-stayed bridges. The experience gained there were then transferred to buildings, initially, to span large areas constructive ( hall ceiling ), then to cope with, for example, in high-rise to high vertical loads. There are support bracket constructions from which the floors or other useful elements are suspended. Today pylons are used in virtually all areas of construction, including, for example, for low-rise buildings of small extent.

Examples of executed pylon structures are about the Silver Tower in Frankfurt am Main, the Exhibition Hall 2 in Hanover or carried by two pylons Europe in Karlsruhe. The most famous suspension bridge with up to 227 m high pylons is the Golden Gate Bridge in California, as the oldest transporter bridge or hanging bridge is in 1893, inaugurated Puente de Vizcaya or Puente Colgante in northern Spain, the pedestrian bridge and supporting structure for a suspended ferry across the river nervión in one.


In the science fiction series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine by a ring outgoing six arm-like structures on the same space station are referred to as pylons. They are intended for docking of ships.