Glossary of Medieval Art and Architecture

arch: A curved structural member spanning an opening or recess. The wedge shaped elements that make up an arch keep one another in palce and transform the vertical pressure of the structure above into lateral pressure.

Parts of an arch: keystone, soffit, spring line, springer, voussoir.
Measurements of an arch: rise, span.
Related architectural elements: arcade, cusp, hood moulding, spandrel, tympanum.
See also: intersecting arch, blind arch, relieving arch,
Shapes of arches.

Click here for pronounciation.

Go to Main
Glossary Page

All images and html code in this project are copyright Jane Vadnal. Any use of them without her express written consent is prohibited. Email:
Created by Jane Vadnal 05/97