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Japanese-style gazebo in Moscow Glavnyi botanicheskii sad RAN, subbotnii vecher. Moscow, Russia. - panoramio - Oleg Yu.Novikov.jpg
Japanese-style gazebo in Moscow
The Victorian-style bandstand gazebo at Fellows Riverside Gardens at Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, Ohio Victorian Gazebo.jpg
The Victorian-style bandstand gazebo at Fellows Riverside Gardens at Mill Creek Park, Youngstown, Ohio

A gazebo is a pavilion structure, sometimes octagonal or turret-shaped, often built in a park, garden or spacious public area. [1] Some are used on occasions as bandstands.



The etymology given by Oxford Dictionaries is "Mid 18th century: perhaps humorously from gaze, in imitation of Latin future tenses ending in -ebo: compare with lavabo." [2] L. L. Bacon put forward a derivation from Casbah , a Muslim quarter around the citadel in Algiers. [3] W. Sayers proposed Hispano-Arabic qushaybah, in a poem by Cordoban poet Ibn Quzman (d. 1160). [4]

The word gazebo appears in a mid-18th century English book by the architects John and William Halfpenny: Rural Architecture in the Chinese Taste. There Plate 55, "Elevation of a Chinese Gazebo", shows "a Chinese Tower or Gazebo, situated on a Rock, and raised to a considerable Height, and a Gallery round it to render the Prospect more complete." [5]

George Washington had a small eight-sided garden structure at Mount Vernon. Thomas Jefferson wrote about gazebos, then called summerhouses or pavilions.


Gazebos are freestanding or attached to a garden wall, roofed, and open on all sides. They provide shade, shelter from rain and a place to rest, while acting as an ornamental feature. Some gazebos in public parks are large enough to serve as a bandstand.


Gazebos overlap with pavilions, kiosks, [6] alhambras, belvederes, follies, gloriettes, pergolas, and rotundas.

Such structures first appeared in Egyptian gardens approximately 5,000 years ago and appear in the literature of China, Persia and other classical civilizations.[ citation needed ]

Examples in England are the garden houses at Montacute House in Somerset. The gazebo at Elton on the Hill in Nottinghamshire, thought to date from the late 18th or early 19th century, is a square, crenelated, brick and stone tower with an arched opening. It acted as a focus for an extensive system of red-brick walled gardens, which has survived with some more modern additions. [7]

In today's England and North America, gazebos are typically built of wood and covered with standard roofing materials, such as shingles. Gazebos can be tent-style structures of poles covered by tensioned fabric. Gazebos may have screens to aid in the exclusion of flying insects.

Temporary gazebos are often set up in the campsites of music festivals in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, usually accompanying tents around them.

A structure resembling a gazebo, found in villages in the Maldives, is known as a holhuashi. [8]

See also

Gazebo-like structures:


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kiosk</span> Small booths offering goods and services

Historically, a kiosk was a small garden pavilion open on some or all sides common in Persia, the Indian subcontinent, and in the Ottoman Empire from the 13th century onward. Today, several examples of this type of kiosk still exist in and around the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul, and they can be seen in Balkan countries.

Folly Type of building

In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or of such extravagant appearance that it transcends the range of usual garden buildings.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Topkapı Palace</span> Palace museum in Istanbul, Turkey

The Topkapı Palace, or the Seraglio, is a large museum in the east of the Fatih district of Istanbul in Turkey. From the 1460s to the completion of Dolmabahçe Palace in 1856, it served as the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire, and was the main residence of its sultans until the 17th century.

The paradise garden is a form of garden of Old Iranian origin, specifically Achaemenid which is formal, symmetrical and most often, enclosed. The most traditional form is a rectangular garden split into four quarters with a pond in the center, a four-fold design called chahar bagh. One of the most important elements of paradise gardens is water, with ponds, canals, rills, and fountains all being common features. Scent is an essential element with fruit-bearing trees and flowers selected for their fragrance.

Belvedere (structure) Architectural structure sited to take advantage of a fine or scenic view

A belvedere or belvidere is an architectural structure sited to take advantage of a fine or scenic view. The term has been used both for rooms in the upper part of a building or structures on the roof, or a separate pavilion in a garden or park. The actual structure can be of any form or style, including a turret, a cupola, or an open gallery. The term may be also used for a paved terrace or just a place with a good viewpoint, but no actual building.

Bandstand Structure designed to accommodate bands during concerts

A bandstand is a circular, semicircular or polygonal structure set in a park, garden, pier, or indoor space, designed to accommodate musical bands performing concerts. A simple construction, it both creates an ornamental focal point and also serves acoustic requirements while providing shelter for the changeable weather, if outdoors. In form bandstands resemble ornamental European garden gazebos modeled on outdoor open–sided pavilions found in Asian countries from early times.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Finial</span> Element marking the top or end of some object; decorative feature

A finial or hip-knob is an element marking the top or end of some object, often formed to be a decorative feature.

Avenham Park

Avenham Park is a public park in Avenham, close to the centre of Preston in Lancashire in the northwest of England, and managed by Preston City Council.

Pavilion Type of building

In architecture, pavilion has several meanings:

Pergola Outdoor garden feature forming a shaded walkway

A pergola is an outdoor garden feature forming a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area of vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, often upon which woody vines are trained. The origin of the word is the Late Latin pergula, referring to a projecting eave.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Persian gardens</span> Type of garden originating from Iran

The tradition and style of garden design represented by Persian gardens or Iranian gardens, an example of the paradise garden, has influenced the design of gardens from Andalusia to India and beyond. The gardens of the Alhambra show the influence of Persian garden philosophy and style in a Moorish palace scale, from the era of al-Andalus in Spain. Humayun's Tomb and Taj Mahal have some of the largest Persian gardens in the world, from the era of the Mughal Empire in India.

Lean-to Shelter having its roof leaning against another structure

A lean-to is a type of simple structure originally added to an existing building with the rafters "leaning" against another wall. Free-standing lean-to structures are generally used as shelters. One traditional type of lean-to is known by its Finnish name laavu.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hut</span> Dwelling

A hut is a small dwelling, which may be constructed of various local materials. Huts are a type of vernacular architecture because they are built of readily available materials such as wood, snow, ice, stone, grass, palm leaves, branches, hides, fabric, or mud using techniques passed down through the generations.

Chinese pavilion

A Chinese pavilion is a garden pavilion in traditional Chinese architecture. While often found within temples, pavilions are not exclusively religious structures. Many Chinese parks and gardens feature pavilions to provide shade and a place to rest.

Terrace (building) Open, raised, flat area of a landscape or roof

A terrace is an external, raised, open, flat area in either a landscape near a building, or as a roof terrace on a flat roof.

Monopteros Type of structure

A monopteros is a circular colonnade supporting a roof but without any walls. Unlike a tholos, it does not have walls making a cella or room inside. In Greek and especially Roman antiquity the term could also be used for a tholos. In ancient times, monopteroi served inter alia as a form of baldachin for a cult image. An example of this is the Monument of Lysicrates in Athens, albeit the spaces between the columns were walled in, even in ancient times. The Temple of Rome and Augustus on the Athenian Acropolis is a monopteros from Roman times with open spaces between the columns. Cyriacus of Ancona, a 15th-century traveller, handed down his architrave inscription: Ad praefatae Palladis Templi vestibulum.

Cast-iron architecture Buildings that make extensive use of cast iron in their structures

Cast-iron architecture is the use of cast iron in buildings and objects, ranging from bridges and markets to warehouses, balconies and fences. Refinements developed during the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century made cast iron relatively cheap and suitable for a range of uses, and by the mid-19th century it was common as a structural material, and particularly for elaborately patterned architectural elements such as fences and balconies, until it fell out of fashion after 1900 as a decorative material, and was replaced by modern steel and concrete for structural purposes.

Yıldız Palace Ottoman palace

Yıldız Palace is a vast complex of former imperial Ottoman pavilions and villas in Istanbul, Turkey, built in the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was used as a residence by the Sultan and his court in the late 19th century.

St Annes Pier Victorian pier in Lancashire, England

St Anne's Pier is a Victorian era pleasure pier in the English seaside resort of St Anne's-on-the-Sea, Lancashire. It lies on the estuary of the River Ribble. The pier, designed by Alfred Dowson, was completed in 1885 and was one of the earliest public buildings in St Anne's, a 19th-century planned town. The pier was originally intended to be a sedate promenading venue for the resort's visitors, but attractions were later added. Changes made to the estuary channels to improve access to Preston Dock left the pier on dry land and ended its steamer services to Blackpool and Liverpool.

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Gympie Memorial Park is a heritage-listed memorial at River Road, Gympie, Gympie Region, Queensland, Australia. It was designed by Harry Moore and Alfred Herbert Foster and built from 1919 to 1921. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 18 September 2009.


  1. A longer definition appears in the Merriam-Webster Concise Encyclopedia: Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  2. "gazebo". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on November 7, 2016.
  3. Bacon, Leonard Lee. "Gazebos and Alambras", American Notes and Queries 8:6 (1970): 87–87
  4. William Sayers, Eastern prospects: Kiosks, belvederes, gazebos. Neophilologus 87: 299–305, 2003.
  5. British Library catalogue. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  6. The word as applied to late medieval structures in Iran and Turkey corresponds to a gazebo. The modern English senses of a street stall or a telephone box do not. Collins English Dictionary: "(in Turkey, Iran, etc., esp. formerly) a light open-sided pavilion."
  7. British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 25 October 2012.
  8. Word Finder Retrieved 3 May 2017.