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The square slab located as the uppermost element of
the capital of a column; sometimes molded or otherwise decorated,
and supporting the architrave.
An independent and canonically erected monastery, ruled by
an abbot if occupied by monks and by an abbess if occupied
The main church of an abbey constituting one part of the building
complex that may also include cloisters and assembly rooms
(chapter houses). Abbey churches are usually designed to accommodate
any special liturgical requirements of the monks or nuns.
Masonry mass designed to support and receive the thrust of
arches, vaults, or trusses.
acanthus capital - The capital of a column characterized by
a decorative motif based on the deeply serrated and scalloped
leaves of the acanthus plant (found throughout the Mediterranean
world) and typical of the Corinthian Order in Classical architecture.
More stylized and abstracted versions of the acanthus leaf
are found in medieval architecture.
Fine-grained marble-like variety of gypsum.
In Early Christian churches, pulpits in the nave for reading
the Gospels or the Epistles.
(pl. andachtsbilder, German for "devotional image")
A highly emotive devotional image, sculpture or painting,
developing during the thirteenth century and used for private
The absence of figural representations of divine or religious
figures; worship of objects or images symbolizing but not
representing the likeness of a divine or religious figure.
In Byzantine art, the Iconoclastic Controversy (e.g. destruction
of images) during the 8th and 9th centuries resulted in the
destruction or removal of images representing religious figures.
Longitudinal passageway located to either side of the nave
(central space) or transept of a basilican church plan
church furnishing consisting of a table or rectangular box-like
structure at which the celebration of the Eucharist or other
religious services are performed. The main altar is placed
in the apse or hemicycle of a Christian basilica. Chapels
may also contain altars. The altar table may contain an altarpiece,
a painted or sculpted mage or group of images representing
religious images on, above, or behind the altar of a Christian
church. Altarpieces may be paintings or sculpture or a combination
of the two media. Formats include the diptych (two panels
or wings) or triptych (a central image with side panels or
wings). The predella is composed of a box-like supporting
structure often decorated with images such as scenes from
the life of Christ or the saints represented in the altarpiece.
A system of structural support for an arcade or colonnade
in the nave, transept or choir of a church using two different
types of upright members, e.g. columns and piers, in an alternating
The passageway surrounding the apse or hemicycle located at
the east end of a basilican church plan. Chapels located along
the outer perimeter of the ambulatory are sometimes referred
to as radiating chapels.
The prime missionaries of Christianity and adherents of Christ.
The apostles of the first rank are saints Peter, Andrew, James
(the Greater), John, Thomas, James (the Less), Jude (or Thaddaeus),
Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Simon, and Matthias (replacing
column, colonette or shaft
A column, colonette or shaft partly embedded or bonded to
a supporting structure.
The semicircular or polygonal space containing the high altar
located at the east end of a basilican church plan.
Semicircular or polygonal spaces located at the east end of
a basilican church plan arranged in a hieratic order.
Small apses, especially those which project from a larger
apse, ambulatory or transept arm.
a series of round or pointed arches supported by a row of
columns or piers.
A structural element spanning an opening, round-headed or
pointed, resting on columns or piers, designed to transfer
the vertical thrust of a roofing system (usually stone vaults)
to either side of the opening.
The lowermost horizontal element spanning the space between
columns (intercolumniation). In a classical entablature (upper
structure), the architrave rests directly on the capitals
of the supporting columns.
Molded, shaped or decorated bands around an arch which may
be arranged in a series framing a tympanum. In Gothic architecture,
archivolts are often decorated with sculptured figures of
angels (cherubim and seraphim).
An open courtyard or vestibule located before the principal
entrance of a church, sometimes surrounded by covered aisles.
The atrium of the Early Christian church was originally a
place for the catechumens (people awaiting initiation into
the faith of the church) to wait during the celebration of
A chapel located on the main west-east axis of a church building.
The apse of a basilican church plan may be referred to as
an axial chapel.
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