alternation of supports: A system of supports for an arcade or colonnade in which there are two different types of support. The alternation may be quite obvious, between one pier (strong support) and one column (weak support), or it may exist only in slight differences, such as in the shafting on each pier.
See also arcade, colonnade, column, pier
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Elevation of church at Knechtsteden, Germany
Image adapted from Dehio and von Bezold, Die Kirchliche Baukunst des Abendlands.