List of church architecture terms

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Rood screen: used for dividing the chancel from the nave
Ornate choir stalls at Buxheim
Cloister and arcades

List of church architecture terms. The terms used in church architecture were developed first for the Gothic architecture cathedrals of the mediaeval era. The terms, with variations, are used for all kinds of Christian churches.

Horizontal layout[change | change source]

  • Nave, where the congregation sits.
    • Aisles round the edges. The aisles may be quite grand, major features of the cathedral.
  • The transept makes the cross shape.
    • The crossing is where the transept crosses the nave.
  • The quire (choir) is the area between the nave and the 'sacred' area (the presbytery and sanctuary). The quire is separated from the nave by a 'rood screen'. It often has choir stalls where members of the choir sit.
  • Liturical east end:
Basilica (architecture) schematic section.png

Other terms[change | change source]

  • Altar: any structure where offerings are made for religious purposes.
  • Apse: round (hemi-spherical) part at east end of church.
  • Chancel: space around the altar
  • Lancet window: tall, thin window, often pointed at top.
  • Reredos: decorated screen behind altar
  • Rood screen or chancel screen: decorated screen which divides the chancel from the nave.