In architecture, an apse (plural apses; from Latin absis: "arch, vault" from Greek ἀψίς apsis "arch"; sometimes written apsis, plural apsides) is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome, also known as an exedra . In Byzantine, Romanesque, and Gothic Christian church (including cathedral and abbey) architecture, the term is applied to a semi-circular or polygonal termination of the main building at the liturgical east end (where the altar is), regardless of the shape of the roof, which may be flat, sloping, domed, or hemispherical. Smaller apses are found elsewhere, especially in shrines.
An apse is a semicircular recess, often covered with a hemispherical vault. Commonly, the apse of a church, cathedral or basilica is the semicircular or polygonal termination to the choir or sanctuary, or sometimes at the end of an aisle. In church architecture it is generally the name given to where the altar is placed or where the clergy are seated.An apse is occasionally found in a synagogue, e.g. Maoz Haim Synagogue.
The apse is separated from the main part of the church by the transept.
Smaller apses are sometimes built in locations other than the east end, especially for reliquaries or shrines of saints.[ citation needed ]
The domed apse became a standard part of the church plan in the early Christian era.
In the Eastern Orthodox Church tradition, the south apse is known as diaconicon and the north apse as prothesis. Various ecclesiastical features of which the apse may form part are drawn together here:
The chancel (or sanctuary), directly to the east beyond the choir contains the High Altar, where there is one (compare communion table). This area is reserved for the clergy, and was therefore formerly called the "presbytery", from the Greek presbuteros meaning "elder", [ citation needed ] or in older and Catholic usage, "priest".
Hemi-cyclic choirs, first developed in the East, came to use in France in 470.By the onset of the 13th century, they had been augmented with radiating apse chapels outside the choir aisle, the entire structure of apse, choir and radiating chapels coming to be known as the chevet (French, "headpiece").
Romanesque architecture is an architectural style of medieval Europe characterized by semi-circular arches. There is no consensus for the beginning date of the Romanesque style, with proposals ranging from the 6th to the 11th century, this later date being the most commonly held. In the 12th century it developed into the Gothic style, marked by pointed arches. Examples of Romanesque architecture can be found across the continent, making it the first pan-European architectural style since Imperial Roman architecture. The Romanesque style in England is traditionally referred to as Norman architecture.
In Western ecclesiastical architecture, a cathedral diagram is a floor plan showing the sections of walls and piers, giving an idea of the profiles of their columns and ribbing. Light double lines in perimeter walls indicate glazed windows. Dashed lines show the ribs of the vaulting overhead. By convention, ecclesiastical floorplans are shown map-fashion, with north to the top and the liturgical east end to the right.
The architecture of cathedrals and great churches is characterised by the buildings' large scale and follows one of several branching traditions of form, function and style that derive ultimately from the Early Christian architectural traditions established in Late Antiquity during the Christianization of the Roman Empire.
The nave is the central part of a church, stretching from the main entrance or rear wall, to the transepts, or in a church without transepts, to the chancel. When a church contains side aisles, as in a basilica-type building, the strict definition of the term "nave" is restricted to the central aisle. In a broader, more colloquial sense, the nave includes all areas available for the lay worshippers, including the side-aisles and transepts. Either way, the nave is distinct from the area reserved for the choir and clergy.
A transept is a transverse part of any building, which lies across the main body of the edifice. In churches, a transept is an area set crosswise to the nave in a cruciform ("cross-shaped") building within the Romanesque and Gothic Christian church architectural traditions. Each half of a transept is known as a semitransept.
The Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of Amiens, or simply Amiens Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic church. The cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of Amiens. It is situated on a slight ridge overlooking the River Somme in Amiens, the administrative capital of the Picardy region of France, some 120 kilometres north of Paris.
Bourges Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church located in Bourges, France. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Stephen and is the seat of the Archbishop of Bourges. Built atop an earlier Romanesque church from 1195 until 1230, it is largely in the High Gothic architectural style and was constructed at about the same time as Chartres Cathedral. The cathedral is particularly known for the great size and unity of its interior, the sculptural decoration of its portals, and the large collection of 13th century stained glass windows. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.
Metz Cathedral, otherwise the Cathedral of Saint Stephen, Metz, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Metz, capital of Lorraine, France. It is dedicated to Saint Stephen. First begun in the early 14th century, it was joined together with the Collegiale of Notre Dame beginning in the md-14th century, and given a new transept and late Gothic chevet, finished between 1486 and 1520. It is the cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metz as the seat of the bishops of Metz. The cathedral treasury displays the collection, assembled over 1,000 years, of the bishopric of Metz, including paraments and items used for the Eucharist.
Noyon Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church and former cathedral, located in Noyon, France. It was formerly the seat of the Bishopric of Noyon, abolished by the Concordat of 1801 and merged into the Diocese of Beauvais. The cathedral was constructed on the site of a church burned down in 1131 and is a fine example of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic architecture.
The larger medieval churches of France and England, the cathedrals and abbeys, have much in common architecturally, an east–west orientation, an external emphasis on the west front and its doors, long arcaded interiors, high vaulted roofs and windows filled with stained glass. The eastern end of the building contains the Sanctuary and the Altar.
Le Mans Cathedral is a Catholic church situated in Le Mans, France. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Julian of Le Mans, the city's first bishop, who established Christianity in the area around the beginning of the 4th century. Its construction dated from the 6th through the 14th century, and it features many French Gothic elements.
Bordeaux Cathedral, officially known as the Primatial Cathedral of St Andrew of Bordeaux, is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to Saint Andrew and located in Bordeaux, France. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Bordeaux.
Troyes Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church, dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, located in the town of Troyes in Champagne, France. It is the episcopal seat of the Bishop of Troyes. The cathedral, in the Gothic architectural style, has been a listed monument historique since 1862.
The Cathedral of Zamora is a Roman Catholic church in Zamora, in Castile and León, Spain, located above the right bank of the Duero It remains surrounded by its old walls and gates.
The Pontifical Basilica of Saint Anthony of Padua is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica in Padua, Veneto, Northern Italy, dedicated to St. Anthony. Although the Basilica is visited as a place of pilgrimage by people from all over the world, it is not the titular cathedral of the city, a title belonging to the Cathedral-Basilica of St. Mary of Padua. The basilica is known locally as "il Santo". It is one of the eight international shrines recognized by the Holy See.
An apse chapel or apsidal chapel is a chapel in traditional Christian church architecture, which radiates tangentially from one of the bays or divisions of the apse. It is reached generally by a semicircular passageway, or ambulatory, exteriorly to the walls or piers of the apse.
Early Gothic is the style of architecture that appeared in northern France, Normandy and then England between about 1130 and the mid-13th century. It combined and developed several key elements from earlier styles, particularly from Romanesque architecture, including the rib vault, flying buttress, and the pointed arch, and used them in innovative ways to create structures, particularly Gothic cathedrals and churches, of exceptional height and grandeur, filled with light from stained glass windows. Notable examples of early Gothic architecture in France include the ambulatory and facade of Saint-Denis Basilica; Sens Cathedral (1140); Laon Cathedral; Senlis Cathedral; (1160) and most famously Notre-Dame de Paris.
St. Marien is a Lutheran parish and market church in Osnabrück, Germany. It is one of the most artistically and historically significant buildings in the North German city. A previous Romanesque church was mentioned in records as early as 1177. However, the history of the church's construction began some time before it was first mentioned in writing. Archaeological traces suggest the existence of a predecessor building in the 10th century. Construction of the Gothic hall church which exists today started in the 13th century and was completed between 1430 and 1440.
Gothic cathedrals and churches are religious buildings created in Europe between the mid-12th century and the beginning of the 16th century. The cathedrals are notable particularly for their great height and their extensive use of stained glass to fill the interiors with light. They were the tallest and largest buildings of their time and the most prominent examples of Gothic architecture. The appearance of the Gothic cathedral was not only a revolution in architecture; it also introduced new forms in decoration, sculpture, and art.
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