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Gothic Cathedrals Essay, Research Paper

tracery – In architecture, branching, ornamental stonework, generally in a window, where it supports the glass. Tracery is particularly characteristic of Gothic architecture. Example:

The tracery in a rose window of Washington Cathedral, Washington, DC. This graphic displays four different photos– they amount to a zoom into the tracery.

Also see fenestration, foil, quatrefoil, and stained glass.

rose window – Large circular windows of tracery and stained glass found in Gothic cathedrals. Also called a wheel window. Examples:

transept – An aisle between the apse and nave. It cuts across the nave and side aisles to form a cross-shaped floor plan. Also see architecture, cathedral, and Gothic.

nave – The major, central part of a church where the congregation gathers. It leads from the main entrance to the altar and choir, and is usually flanked by side aisles. An example:

A photo of the nave of the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, France, as seen upon entering it from the narthex, and looking toward the altar. The ceiling’s vaults are visible above. Light is entering the nave through stained glass windows.

Also see column and pier.

aisle – A long, narrow space on either side of the nave of a church, usually between a row of columns or piers and the outer wall. It is often referred to as a side aisle.

choir – The part of a church where services are sung. It is usually east of the transept, and within the chancel, but may extend into the nave.

chancel – The part of a church reserved for clergy and containing the altar and the choir.

ltarpiece or altar-piece – A piece of artwork which is placed above and either on or behind an altar in a Christian church or other religious platform. Usually it is a votive painting, a set of painted and/or carved panels (often a triptych), or a decorative screen.


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