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Italian term for bell towers usually designed as free-standing
structures within a complex of ecclesiastical architecture
usually formed by a cathedral, baptistry and bell tower (Pisa).
A small ornamental covering often projecting
above a statue. A larger covering above an altar or throne
may be called a baldachin, baldacchino or cibroium.
(from Latin, capitellum, "little head") -
The uppermost member of a column often carved in a decorative
manner and conforming to one of the architectural orders.
Subterranean, often labyrinthine, burial complexes containing
passageways and individual chambers (cubiculum, pl. cubicula)
with recesses (loculi) for sarchophagi (coffins) used during
the Roman Empire for both Roman and Christian burials. During
periods of persecution, Christians held religious services
in the catacombs which offered a measure of security due to
the location below ground. Catacombs are sometimes decorated
with both pagan and Christian frescoes.
Christian churches that have an episcopal form of government,
where the cathedral is the primary church in a diocese or
the seat of a diocesan bishop, archbishop, primate, patriarch,
or pope. In Italy, a cathedral is called the "duomo,"
not to be confused with dome which in Italian is "cupola."
the throne of a ruling bishop in a cathedral.
The mid-point between the intercolumniation or span and the
top of the rise of an arch.
Temporary construction, usually of wood, over which arches
and vaults are constructed and kept in place until the arch
or vault become self-supporting.
A building designed with lateral spaces of equal length and
a symmetrical central space. A centrally-planned building
may be based on the square, circle, or polygon. The principal
focus is the central open space.
Ecclesiastical drinking vessels for eucharistic wine having
a stem, often with a central knob, and a foot used for ceremonial
purposes during religious services. Chalices are often made
of valuable metals such as gold or gilt silver and adorned
with precious or semi-precious stones.
A fine-grained limestone, or soft, earthy form of calcium
carbonate, that can be used as a building material.
Enameling process involving indentations or cells carved in
a metal surface leaving a raised line that forms the outline
of the design. The enamel powder or paste is laid in the cells,
fired, and then filed and polished.
The space in a Christian church containing the high altar
and reserved for the use of the clergy, including the apse
or hemicycle and choir.
The monumental arch marking the separation of the chancel
(choir and apse or hemicycle) from the nave.
Partitions set up in religious buildings, especially in Byzantine
and Early Christian churches, to separate the chancel (choir
and apse or hemicycle) from the main body of the church.
Rooms, ancillary spaces or independent buildings that serve
as sanctuaries or places of Christian worship usually containing
an altar. A chapel may serve public or private worship and
be part of a church, palace, or monastery. Private chapels
are usually supported by individual families who use the space
for funerary purposes including tombs and masses performed
for the dead.
A meeting place for the chapter or governing body of a monastery
or a cathedral.
A monastery of the Carthusian order.
word for a castle or fortified dwelling.
Simple geometric forms used for decorative purposes composed
of V-shaped elements used singly, in a vertical series, or
in a string to form a zigzag pattern.
The space in a basilican church plan located between the crossing
and the apse, reserved for choristers and clergy. Sometimes
referred to as the chancel.
Wall-like screens, often decorated, in Christian churches
built to separate the choir from the nave and aisles of a
Roofed structures supported by four or more columns, often
built of marble or bronze, built over an altar to focus attention
on the center of ceremonial proceedings.
framing devices composed of five equal arcs or lobes, separated
Literally, a clear story. In a basilican church, the uppermost
section of the nave wall, located above the triforium, and
rising above the roofs covering the lateral aisles, pierced
by a row of windows to admit light into the nave. Clerestory
windows often contain stained glass depicting Old and New
Enameling technique using a design laid down in thin metal
strips on a metal or porcelain ground, forming chambers (cloisons)
to hold the enamel paste or powder, which is then fired.
Enclosed spaces composed of a garth (garden) and surrounding
walkways, which are generally arcaded on the courtyard side
(facing the garden) and walled on the other; usually found
in Christian religious building complexes such as monasteries
and used for contemplative purposes.
refers to Medieval gardens, generally found in monasteries,
often formally arranged with planters and boxed sections,
and often with a well or fountain in the center.
A manuscript organized with sewn-in signatures in the form
of a book, with a spine and often a cover sometimes highly
decorated with gold, ivory and precious or semi-precious stones.
The codex form replaced the scroll as the most common form
of manuscript in the Early Christian period. Hand-written
and painted (illuminated) manuscripts were produced in scriptoria
throughout the Middle Ages.
Recessed panels, usually square or octagonal, set into wood
or masonry ceilings, vaults, or soffits serving a decorative
function but also used to lighten or reduce the mass of the
ceiling or vault.
Slender column attached to a supporting column or pier in
Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
Cylindrical, upright masonry architectural elements usually
comprised of three sections: a base, capital, and shaft supporting
an entablature. Columns arranged in rows form a colonnade.
The distance between each column is called the intercolumniation.
or composite pier
Vertical supporting structural elements composed of several
engaged (or attached) columns or pilasters grouped around
a central core exhibiting a complex profile or shape characteristic
of Gothic architecture.
Semicircular niches covered with a semi-dome in the form of
a fluted conch shell (based on the spiral shell of gastropods).
Multi-ribbed domes resembling the form of a melon found especially
in Byzantine and Islamic architecture. Also called a pumpkin
dome or melon dome.
A type of crypt which consists of a series of linked passages
sometimes containing altars and relics. The most famous confessio
crypt during the Middle Ages was that of Old Saint Peter's
church in Rome, which contained the tomb of Saint Peter located
on the spot where he was martyred.
Cantilevered masonry blocks or arches used singly or in ranges
to support architectural or ornamental features or used in
successive courses to form arches, domes, or vaults usually
along the line of a roof.
Projecting masonry courses supported by a range of corbels
in the form of blocks or arches, or ranges of corbels supporting
cornices or other projecting courses, or groups of corbels
and projecting courses found especially in early Medieval
(from old French, crenel, a notch)
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.
Projecting ornaments usually vegetal in form and globular
in shape, often regularly spaced along edges of larger features,
such as gables, or used on capitals, characteristic of Gothic
having a series of crockets (projecting ornaments usually
vegetal in form and globular in shape) arranged around the
The square space in a basilican church plan where the transept
intersects with the nave just before the choir, often marked
by a tower referred to as the crossing tower.
Large piers located at the corners of the crossing in a church
designed to support the crossing tower.
Tower located over the crossing of a church supported by crossing
piers rising from the pavement.
Staffs resembling shepherds' crooks carried by bishops, abbots,
or abbesses, as symbols of the pastoral office. They may be
highly ornamented and made of ivory or precious metals.
the highest point of an arch or vault.
Subterranean rooms or entire stories in churches, often serving
as places of burial, especially for venerated persons and
sometimes containing altars for ceremonial practices.
Cubic capitals with the lower angles rounded off, to make
the transition to a round column. Also called a block capital.
The intersection of two arcs or foils especially in Gothic
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