Glossary of Medieval Art and Architecture
Types of Arches

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.

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Shapes of Arches
depressed arch: A flattened arch, slightly pointed on top. It appears in Late Gothic of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
horseshoe arch: An arch shaped like a horseshoe. It is found particularly in Spain or in buildings influenced by Spanish ones.
ogee or ogive arch: An arch with a pointed apex, formed by the intersection of two S curves usually confined to decoration and not used in arcade arches. Ogee arches were used only in the late Gothic period

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Created by Jane Vadnal 05/97