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Term Definition
Theotokos eng.

In Greek Θεοτόκος - transliterated Theotókos; Latin Deipara, Dei genetrix. It is a title of Mary, mother of Jesus. It literally means she who gives birth to God and it is rendered in Italian as Mother of God. This title was given in 431 by the Council of Ephesus.  In the mind of the council, the aim of the affirmation was to underline the divinity of Jesus Christ. In fact, if Jesus is God – as was mentioned previously in the council of Ephesus – then Mary may be referred to as Mother of God. The title was given against the wishes of Nestorius, who preferred the title of Christotokos.  The feast day of Mary, Mother of God is celebrated by the Church on the 1st of January


A decorative element with small dimensions of various shapes and various materials with painted, sculptured or engraved representations, used to decorate portals, walls, ceilings, architraves etc...


A horizontal structure of the temple, consisting of the architraves, frieze and frame. In general it is the set of horizontal elements sustained by columns, pilasters and piers.


The transversal nave that intersects the longitudinal body of the church, which is the same height as it, giving the building the form of a cross. The transept may have several naves.


A pictorial or sculptural polyptych consisting of three panels joined together.


A wooden architectural structure shaped like an isosceles triangle (casing), which is positioned as a form of support for the pitches of the sloping roof. It remains visible.


A triangular surface enclosed within the frame of the frontal and overlooking the trabeation.  It is often decorated with frescoes or sculptures with high-reliefs. It also indicates the upper frame of portals and windows.


In the pre-Christian tradition, in a preponderant manner it indicates a vase in which the ashes of a deceased person are housed. It comes in various shapes, with a cover.


The curved roof covering of an area or bay. According to the shape, the vault can be divided up into:  
- simple vaults:
a basin vault, consisting of a lowered dome resting on pendentives;
a barrel vault, consisting of a semi-cylindrical structure resting on two parallel walls;
a basin vault, that is shaped like a quarter sphere;
a dome vault, defined by the rotation of a curve around a vertical axis;
a ribbed vault, that is, with a hemispherical cap set on a polygonal area;
- composed vaults (deriving from the intersection of simple vaults);
a cross vault, deriving from the intersection of two barrel vaults;
a cloister vault or gore vault, set out on a polygonal setting;
and more.

Vault, cross

A vault consisting of the intersection of two barrel vaults at right angles.


One of the four gores with a spherical surface found on the cross vault.

Window , triple lancet

A window divided up vertically into three openings by columns and pilasters on which small arches are laid. It is occasionally framed by a further arch.

Window, double lancet window

A window divided up vertically into two lancets by a small pillar or column, in which the springers of the double arch are positioned.

Window, stained glass

A set of coloured pieces of glass joined together by a lead binding structure in such a way as to form a pre-established drawing. The stained glass window is fixed to the iron frame of windows and rose windows.


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