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A canopy usually constructed over important church furnishings
or monuments such as altars, tombs and thrones to highlight
or accentuate the object. Also called baldachins or altar
or receptacle holding water for use during the ritual act
of baptism. Baptismal fonts, usually located in the baptistry,
may be made of stone or metal (bronze) and may be decorated
with abstract or figural scenes such as the Baptism of Christ.
A space dedicated to the ritual act of baptism and containing
a baptismal font. The baptistry may be a dedicated space incorporated
into the overall structure of the church or a separate building
such as the baptistry in the cathedral complex at Pisa.
Thin stone openwork of molded mullions that divide a window
into segments in decorative patterns, common in the clerestory
and rose widows of Gothic churches.
Round-headed stone vault supported by parallel walls or arcades.
Also called a tunnel vault.
The lowermost element at the bottom of a column or pier.
Church design characterized by a cruciform plan divided into
a nave with two or more side aisles, the nave higher and wider
than the aisle and lit by clerestory windows, the whole structure
usually terminated by an apse. The basic components of the
plan are derived from a form of Roman civic architecture,
e.g. the Basilica Ulpia. Most Christian basilicas are oriented
in an east-west direction with the apse at the east end and
the principal entrance at the west end.
Sculptural technique in which the projection of the forms
from the background is relatively shallow. Also called low
Capitals designed with a surface pattern of interlaced bands
resembling the weave of a basket, characteristic of Byzantine
architecture beginning in the sixth century.
Fortified parapets (low walls along the topmost section of
a fortification) with alternating solid and open sections
designed for defensive maneuvers during an armed attack.
A modular unit of architectural division usually defined by
repeating elements such as columns, piers, pilasters or vaults.
A decorative molding composed of oval forms alternating with
round or elongated bead-shaped motifs. Originating in Classical
Greek and Roman architecture, the design was used frequently
in medieval buildings.
ornamental motif designed as a bird's head with a prominent
beak, often found in Norman and English Romanesque architectural
Decorative moldings composed of bird, animal, or human heads
biting a roll molding, often found in Norman and English Romanesque
The rooms or spaces within a bell tower actually containing
Specifically, a raised platform used by an orator or priest
to address an assembly. In a broader context, the term may
also refer to the entire apse of chancel of a church, generally
used in reference to Early Christian and Byzantine church
Moldings formed by a series of regularly spaced cubical or
short cylindrical projections usually arranged in multiple
rows, and common in Romanesque architecture.
A high-ranking Christian cleric in charge of a diocese and
in some churches regarded as having received the highest ordination
in unbroken succession from the apostles. From Old English
bisceope, from Vulgar Latin ebiscopus, from Late Latin episcopus,
from Late Greek episkopos.
Used to designate the office or rank of a bishop or the district
or churches under the jurisdiction of a bishop; also called
Wall decoration composed of arcades (arches resting on columns
or pilasters) set flat against the wall and therefore closed
at the back.
Arches set flat against a wall surface and therefore closed
at the back, serving a decorative function.
Cubic capitals with the lower angles rounded off to make the
transition to a round column. Also called a cushion capital.
A prayer book for private devotion containing texts associated
with the canonical hours of the day (matins, prime, tierce,
sext, nones, vespers, compline).
Ornamental or protective caps placed at the intersection of
the ribs of a vault in the nave, aisles and choir of a church
to mask the joins of the ribs at the point of intersection.
Bosses are often richly carved with foliate or figural designs,
including grotesques, and may be painted or gilded for greater
Pier-like vertical masonry elements built to strengthen or
support walls or resist the lateral thrust of vaults.
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