Flying buttresses at Amiens Cathedral, France, c. 1220-1270, Photo by Holly Hayes, Creative Commons Attribution license via Flickr.

Just a Second: Flying Buttress

Flying Buttress (noun)

A segmented (partial) arch on the exterior of a building that supports the walls.  Architects and builders first used flying buttresses in the Gothic era which allowed them to keep the interior open and pierce the walls with large windows that could be filled with stained glass.

Drawing of the flying buttresses at Amiens Cathedral, Wikimedia Commons.




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