Word of the Day – Tuesday, May 7th



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APSE (apps)

A domed or vaulted section on the east end of a church beyond the altar
clues: Church recess; Semicircular recess; Vaulted recess; Abbey area; Altar area; Basilica section; Cathedral nook; Church wing; Recess at St. Peter's; View from a pew; Ecclesiastical setback?
Crossword puzzle frequency: 9 times a year
Frequency in English language: 26330 / 86800
Cathedral of Chartres

In Romanesque, Byzantine and Gothic Christian abbey, cathedral and church architecture, the apse (Latin absis "arch, vault"; sometimes written apsis; plural apses) is the semi-circular or polygonal section of the sanctuary at the liturgical east end beyond the altar (plan, below). The semicircular projection (which may be polygonal on the exterior, or reveal the radiating projections of chapels) may be roofed with a half-dome or with radiating vaulting. A simple apse may be merely embedded within the wall of the east end. Eastern orthodox churches may have a triple apse, which is usually a mark of Byzantine influence when it is seen in Western churches. Smaller subsidiary apses may be found around the choir or even at the ends of transepts.

The interior of the apse is traditionally a focus of iconography, bearing the richest concentration of mosaics, or painting and sculpture, towards which all other decoration may tend.

A simple apse set into the east end of an English parish church, at Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire. The photograph was taken by John Hall, a resident of Poulton until 1966.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Apse".