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Historical and artistic terms

Words, words, words

Narthex at St Mark's

Altana: roof terrace of a Venetian house, where the leadies would repose and bleach their hair blonde in the sun

Ambo: a pulpit (pl. ambones)

Ambulatory: curving aisle around the apse of a church, usually lined with chapels

Ancona: a painted or sculpted altarpiece, especially one set in an architectural frame

Atrium: entrance court of an ancient Roman house or an early church

Baldacchino: baldachin, a columned stone canopy over an altar

Basilica: a rectangular building, usually divided into three aisles by two rows of columns. In ancient Rome, this was the common form for law courts and other public buildings, and Roman Christians adopted it for their early churches.

Bocca di Leone: one of the message boxes in the form of a lion's mouth, placed around Venice during the rule of the Council of Ten, intended for anonymous denunciations

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History and Anecdotes

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Image by Harshlight, Creative Commons License