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Architrave: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Architrave of the left-side portal in the facade of Sant'Ambrogio basilica in Milan, Italy
Architrave in the Basilica di San Salvatore, Spoleto, Italy.

The architrave (from Italian: architrave, also called an epistyle from Greek επίστυλο, epistylo or door frame) is a moulded or ornamental band framing a rectangular opening.[1] It is the lintel or beam that rests on the capitals of the columns. As such, it is the lowest part of the entablature consisting of architrave, frieze and cornice. The word is derived from the Greek and Latin words arche and trabs combined together to mean "main beam". They are mainly used in churches and cathedrals, and other religious buildings. They can also be seen in modern houses.[2]

The architrave is different in the different orders. In the Tuscan, it only consists of a plain face, crowned with a fillet, and is half a module in height. In the Doric and composite, it has two faces, or fasciae; and three in the Ionic and Corinthian, in which it is 10/12 of a module high, though but half a module in the rest.[3]

The word architrave is also used to refer more generally to the mouldings (or other elements) framing a door, window or other rectangular opening.

See also


  1. ^ Ching, Francis D.K. (1995). A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. pp. 179, 186. ISBN 0-471-82451-3.  
  2. ^ Roth, Leland M (1993). Understanding Architecture: Its Elements History and Meaning. Oxford: Westview Press. p. 520. ISBN 0-06-430158-3.  
  3. ^ This article incorporates content from the 1728 Cyclopaedia, a publication in the public domain.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

ARCHITRAVE (from Lat. arcus, an arch, and trabs, trabem, a beam), an architectural term for the chief beam which carries the superstructure and rests immediately on the columns. In the ordinary entablature it is the lowest of the three divisions, the other two being the frieze and the cornice (see Order). The term is also applied to the moulded frame of a doorway.

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