What is a Byzantine Chair?

A Byzantine chair is a style of decorative, often ceremonial seating that originates from the Byzantine Empire era.


The Byzantine chair is known for its distinctively ornate design, deeply rooted in the rich history of the Byzantine Empire, which flourished from the 4th to the 15th centuries. These chairs typically feature intricate carvings, lavish use of color, and often incorporate religious and imperial motifs indicative of the period. Construction of Byzantine chairs often involved the use of precious metals, stones, and other luxurious materials, reflecting the wealth and grandeur of the Byzantine court.

Despite their elaborate ornamentation, Byzantine chairs were also designed with a focus on practicality and comfort, which was rather advanced for their time. Their designs could include features like padded seats and armrests. Today, the influence of Byzantine design can still be seen in modern furniture that emulates its grandiosity and attention to detail. However, authentic Byzantine chairs are considered rare and valuable antiques.

The Byzantine chair symbolizes a convergence of functionality, art, and religion, embodying the cultural and aesthetic values of one of history's most influential empires. Its design elements offer a glimpse into the sophisticated craftsmanship and artistic sensibilities of the Byzantine era.


Byzantine chairs are primarily found in museums, antique collections, and as prized possessions among collectors of historical artifacts. Reproductions of Byzantine-style chairs might be used in interior designs that aim to impart a luxurious, historical aesthetic to a space, often in settings like formal living rooms, libraries, or as accent pieces in grand entryways.


  • Are Byzantine chairs comfortable to sit in?

    Yes, despite their ornate design, Byzantine chairs were designed with comfort in mind, featuring padded seats and sometimes armrests.

  • Can I buy an authentic Byzantine chair today?

    Authentic Byzantine chairs are rare and typically found in museums or private collections. However, reproductions can be purchased for those interested in the style.

  • How do I identify an authentic Byzantine chair?

    Authentic Byzantine chairs can be identified by their intricate design, use of luxurious materials, and motifs indicative of the Byzantine Empire. Consulting with an expert in historical furniture is recommended for accurate identification.

Practical Application

For those looking to incorporate the grandeur and historical elegance of the Byzantine era into their interiors, selecting or commissioning reproductions of Byzantine chairs can be a way to achieve this. When choosing a Byzantine-style chair for your space, consider the overall design theme of your room and how this piece can complement it. Due to their elaborate design, these chairs often serve best as accent pieces in more formally styled rooms or spaces intended to reflect a sense of history and opulence.