Church Architecture Terminologies

ButtressingA buttressing is an architectural construction reinforced against or projected from a bulwark which serves to supporting or reenforce the rampart.Buttresses are moderately plebeian in more antediluvian buildings, as a way of providing reinforcement to act against the sidelong (sidewise) forces arising out of the ceiling structures that miss equal fresh.Chink thumbnail to scene life-size

Updated on April 5, 2019



Middleman Writer

Contrive of Old St Dick’s Basilica, exhibit atrium (court), narthex (anteroom), key nave with duplicate aisles, a sanctuary for the clergy extending into a transept, and an exedra or semi-circular apsis.


In ecclesiastic architecture, a retroquire , or back-choir , is the distance backside the high-pitched altar in a church or duomo, which sometimes separates it from the end chapel. It may stop seating for the church chorus.


The ambulant is the covered transit approximately a cloister or the prosodion way roughly the e end of a duomo or gravid church and ass the high-pitched altar. | Rootage

Rood-tree blind

The rood-tree cover (likewise consort sieve , bema screenland , or jube ) is a vulgar sport in recent chivalric church architecture. It is typically an flowery segmentation betwixt the bema and nave, of around spread tracery constructed of woods, lapidate, or molded cast-iron. The rood-tree filmdom would primitively bear been surmounted by a rood-tree garret carrying the Gravid Crucifix, a sculpturesque histrionics of the Excruciation.

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Crucifix screenland

Rood-tree concealment


an open-roofed anteroom or exchange courtroom in an antediluvian Roman theatre.Atria were a green characteristic in Antediluvian Roman dwellings, providing twinkle and airing to the midland.

Atrium | Reference


In architecture, a gargoyle is carven or formed fantastical with a gush intentional to take urine from a ceiling and off from the slope of a edifice, thereby preventing rain from working polish masonry walls and wearing the howitzer betwixt. Architects much secondhand multiple gargoyles on buildings to fraction the stream of rain off the ceiling to derogate the likely hurt from a rainstorm.

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A chorus , likewise sometimes called quire , is the country of a church or duomo that provides seats for the clergy and church consort. It is in the westerly portion of the bema, ‘tween the nave and the refuge, which houses the altar and Church synagogue. In bigger knightly churches it contained choir-stalls , seats aligned with the face of the church, so at right-angles to the seats for the congregating in the nave (of which thither would get been piddling if any in the Centre Ages).

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Albi Duomo Consort Wikimedia Park.jpg




In architecture, an apsis (plural apses ; from Latin absis : “pixilated, overleap” from Greek ἀψίς apse “curve”; sometimes scripted apse , plural apsides ) is a semicircular break covered with a hemispherical overleap or semi-dome, alias an Exedra . In Byzantine, Romanesque, and Mediaeval Christian church (including duomo and abbey) architecture, the condition is applied to a semi-circular or polygonal endpoint of the briny edifice at the liturgical eastward end (where the altar is), irrespective of the cast of the ceiling, which may be mat, sloped, vaulted, or hemispherical Littler apses may likewise be in former locations, particularly shrines.


In church architecture, the bema is the blank roughly the altar, including the chorus and the asylum (sometimes called the presbytery ), at the liturgical e end of a traditional Christian church.

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Clearstory windows

In architecture, a clearstory is a highschool subdivision of palisade that contains windows supra eye degree. The design is to hold lightness, saucy air, or both. clearstory denoted an speed stratum of a Roman basilica or of the nave of a Romanesque or Medieval church, the walls of which upgrade supra the cap lines of the depress aisles and are punctured with windows.

snap:Ilya Orehov Clearstory windows | Seed


An apsis chapel or apsidal chapel is a chapel in traditional Christian church architecture, which radiates tangentially from one of the bays or divisions of the apsis. It is reached mostly by a semicircular passage, or ambulant, exteriorly to the walls or piers of the apsis.


The pulpitum is a vulgar have in the gothic duomo and conventual architecture in Europe. It is a monolithic screenland, virtually oftentimes constructed of lapidate, or occasionally quality, that divides the chorus (the ar containing the chorus stable and highschool altar in a duomo, collegial or monastical church) from the nave and ambulant (the parts of the church to which lay worshippers may bear approach).



an vestibule, porch, or trenchant ar at the westerly entry of around betimes Christian churches, dislocated off by a rail.The narthex is an architectural constituent distinctive of former Christian and Byzantine basilicas and churches consisting of the entree or vestibule ar, placed at the w endof the nave, opponent the church’s primary altar. Traditionally the narthex was a portion of the church but was not considered role of the church right.



An colonnade is a sequence of arches, apiece counter-thrusting the succeeding, supported by columns, piers, or a covered paseo enclosed by a occupation of such arches on one or both sides. In heater or wet climates, outside arcades ply protection for pedestrians. The paseo may be seamed with stores. A unsighted colonnade superimposes arcading against a firm paries.



The kliros is the department of an Easterly Orthodox or Easterly Catholic church consecrate to the consort. It refers both to the oecumenical blank in which chanters or singers piece for the services, likewise as to the genuine euphony base or shelves on which euphony is stored and scan.


a pocket-sized respite or closet in the fence of a church.An ambry (“a spot for safekeeping tools”) is a sunken locker in the rampart of a Christian church for storing sanctified vessels and vestments.

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[41843] Northorpe : Aumbry (Budby) by Budby (flickr) Tags: northorpe lincolnshire church aumbry westlindseychurchesfestival



An altar is any construction upon which offerings such as sacrifices are made for spiritual purposes and by annex the ‘Sanctum mesa’ of post-reformation Anglican churches.



A transept (with two semi-transepts ) is a thwartwise contribution of any edifice, which lies crosswise the master trunk of the building.In churches, a transept is an arena set crossways to the nave in a cruciate construction inside the Romanesque and Medieval Christian church architectural traditions. Apiece one-half of a transept is known as a semi-transept .



In duomo architecture, an gangway is more specifically a passage to either english of the nave that is disjointed from the nave by colonnades or arcades, a row of pillars or columns.

Occasionally aisles stoppage at the transepts, but oftentimes aisles can be continued some the apsis. Aisles are thence categorised as nave-aisles , transept-aisles or choir-aisles . A semi-circular chorus with aisles continued some it, providing approach to a serial of chapels, is a chevet.


The nave is the primal gangway of a basilica church or the briny soundbox of a church ‘tween its bottom fence and the far end of its carrefour with the transept at the bema. It is the zona of a church approachable by the temporalty.


A crypt is a lapidate bedchamber below the storey of a church or over-the-counter edifice. It typically contains coffins, sarcophagi, or spiritual relics.

Crypt | Rootage


In those English cathedrals with two transepts, thither is a boost region bey the consort which is called the Presbytery. This is where the priests or monks could brand their secret devotions.

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A asylum , in its pilot substance, is a sanctified spot, such as a enshrine. By the use of such places as a oasis, by elongation, the condition has pertain be victimized for any situation of condom. This lowly use can be categorised into the man chancel, a condom berth for humanity, such as a political chancel; and non-human sanctuaries, such as an creature or implant asylum.



An foyer (a.k.a. an antechamber or ante-room ) is a littler way or hall helping as an entrance into a bigger one. The tidings is formed of the Latin ante camera , substance “board ahead”.



The sanctuary , or bima , is an high-flown program victimised as an speechmaker’s ambo in antediluvian Athens. In Jewish synagogues, it is alias a bimah and is for Torah indication during services. In an Orthodox Jewish tabernacle, a sanctuary is the brocaded region round the Aron Kodesh or the bema. In ancientness, it was made of gem, but in forward-looking multiplication it is ordinarily a orthogonal wooden chopine approached by stairs.

Chancel in an Easterly Orthodox church, with iii stairs preeminent capable it. Premise Duomo in Smolensk, westerly Russia


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Design of the Lübeck Duomo ahead 1878, earlier pic of the Nordervorhalle. South lull in 1890 disordered off in privilege of the museum’s new monastery

New Project of the Lübeck Duomo

The Lettner (from Latin lectorium ‘lectern’, too lect (o) rinum , lectricum ), too called Doxale , is a gem or wooden, man-high to about roof peak roadblock, which peculiarly in cathedrals, monastical and collegial churches the spa for the Priests or monks quorum disjointed from the repose of the church, which was intended for the temporalty . In Abbey churches (eg the Cistercian abbey of Pforta ) the crucifix cover served to offprint the priest monks and the lay monks ( conversations ). He is an development of the betimes Christian consort barriersand highly-developed in the belatedly Romanesque , had a favourable age in the Mediaeval and was so gradually replaced in its purpose as Lectorium from the podium .(wiki)

according to

“Lübeck Duomo houses legion workings of art such as the 17 time eminent Rejoicing Crossbreeding by Bernt Notke (1477), the ambo and the baronial Lettner time. All that stiff of the erstwhile monastery is the cloister south transept (to the duomo museum). “

“narthex”. Encyclopædia Britannica . Retrieved 23 April 2012.

Mendicant (1996), p. 386.

Francis D. K. Ching (2011). A Ocular Lexicon of Architecture . Bathroom Wiley & Sons. p. 29. ISBN 978-1-118-16049-7.

Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). “Back-Choir”. Encyclopædia Britannica . 3 (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Imperativeness.

Curlicue, James Stevens (2006). A Lexicon of Architecture and Landscape Architecture . Oxford University Jam. p. 166. ISBN 0198606788.

“Transept”, PE-tran.

One or more of the retiring sentences incorporates textbook from a publishing now in the populace field: Spiers, Richard Phené (1911). “Gangway”. In Chisholm, Hugh. Encyclopædia Britannica . 1 (Eleventh ed.). Cambridge University Jam. p. 447.

Duomo, The Floor of Its Expression; David Macaulay; The Horn Nightclub; New York Metropolis, New York; 1973

New Oxford American Lexicon

James Bettley and Nikolaus Pevsner (2007), Essex. The buildings of England , Yale University Pressing, varlet 865

Janetta Rebold Benton (1997). Sanctum Terrors: Gargoyles on Chivalric Buildings . New York: Abbeville Imperativeness. pp. 6–8. ISBN 0-7892-0182-8.

Morris, Richard (1979). Cathedrals and Abbeys of England and Wales . London: Prick. p. 144. ISBN 0-460-04334-X.

Britannica Concise Encyclopædia : ‘sanctuary’

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