Bryn Athyn Cathedral: The Building of a Church

E. Bruce Glenn


Arcade A series of arches and their supporting columns or piers, usually roofed.
Bay A recess or compartment, usually between buttresses or piers in a church wall.
Buttress A projecting structure for support of a wall.
Capital The top of a column, pier, or pilaster, often ornamented.
Chancel The portion of a church to the east of the nave, including choir, sacramental altars, and sanctuary.
Clerestory The upper level of the nave, transepts, and chancel, pierced with windows.
Cloister A covered passageway at the side of an open court, usually walled on the side farthest from the court and colonnaded on the other side.
Corbel A stone, frequently ornamental, projecting from a wall and supporting a roof truss or cornice.
Cornice The molded projecting course of stone crowning a wall.
Crossing The central opening where a church's nave and transepts intersect.
Facade An exterior wall seen as a whole.
Gothic Term given to ecclesiastical architecture of the late Middle Ages, characterized by tall, slim masses, pointed arches, ribbed vaulting and pinnacles.
Grille A decorative openwork screen of wrought metal.
Lancet A tall, narrow window, pointed at the top, and without tracery.
Medallion A panel of stained glass depicting an enclosed scene, usually with a round border and in series.
Mosaic Small pieces of colored glass or ceramic inlaid to form a picture or decorative pattern.
Nave The main, longitudinal body of a church extending from the west entrance to the chancel.
Pier A mass of clustered verticals used to support an arch; a heavy column.
Pilaster An upright, usually rectangular, projecting support for a wall.
Pinnacle A small turret or spire on tower, roof, or buttress.
Quatrefoil A stylized floral motif having four leaves or lobes.
Romanesque Term denoting an architectural style of the 10th-12th centuries characterized by solid masses, round arches, and geometric decoration.
Sanctuary The part of the church, at the head of the chancel, where the altar is placed.
Tracery Ornamental stonework characterized by interlacing lines, frequently placed in the top of arched windows.
Transept Either of two lateral arms intersecting the nave of a cruciform church.
Trefoil A stylized floral motif having three leaves or lobes.
Truss A braced framework of timber for support of a roof.
Tympanum The space, usually decorated, enclosed within the frame of an arched portal.
Vault An arched masonry ceiling, usually of mutually supporting wedge-shaped stones.

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