baptistery

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Related to baptisteries: baptismal font, baptistry

baptistery

(băp`tĭstrē), part of a church, or a separate building in connection with it, used for administering baptism. In the earliest examples it was merely a basin or pool set into the floor. Later, the Christian Church set aside a separate structure for the ceremony. The earliest such structure still extant is in the Lateran basilica at Rome, in which, by tradition, Emperor Constantine was baptized (337). Octagonal in plan, it formed a model for many subsequent baptisteries, most of which were octagonal or circular. In the center of the chamber was the sunken pool, often surrounded by columns, with curtains to screen the neophyte during immersion. Early baptisteries are chiefly found in Italy and Asia Minor. In Hagia Sophia there is a 6th-century example still extant. When immersion was no longer practiced, a separate structure became unnecessary and was supplanted by a place within the church itself, set aside for the purpose. The standing fonts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance were often objects of superb artistry. In Italy separate baptisteries continued to be built in the 12th to the 15th cent., notably the beautiful Romanesque structures at Florence, Pisa, Siena, and Parma. For the baptistery at Florence Andrea Pisano and Lorenzo Ghiberti designed celebrated bronze doors; for that at Pisa Nicola Pisano carved the marble pulpit.
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baptistery

A building or part of one wherein the sacrament of baptism is administered.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
"In this area, the baptisteries and fountains outside the edifices are becoming grander and playing more important roles in the churches."
In the last few years, we've had a dozen bids for baptisteries and such," Ast says.
Ragel says the biggest challenge was working with local building codes, which classify baptisteries as pools.
By mid twentieth century, indoor church baptisteries emerged as a preferred immersion option for many urban congregations in America.
While some churches did not require baptismal robes for their candidate or minister, photographs of baptisms performed in indoor baptisteries during this time indicate an increased use of robes for indoor baptismal services.
In contrast to the baptisteries in Figures 18 and 19 that are recessed into the church sanctuary wall, the baptistery in Figure 20 projects out from the wall forming a type of pool.
Visser takes us on an archaeological, ideological and architectural journey through the intervening years, demystifying the building and all its separate components and decorations, as well as the ancient catacombs beneath and the neighbouring churches, basilicas, chapels and baptisteries.
She supplies the raw data so necessary for any critical decisions about renewal in the area of fonts and baptisteries. At the same time she avoids the pitfall of calling for a "renewal" which slavishly imitates the past, seeking to extract, and apply to the present, the perennially valid and timeless principles from the time-bound forms.
Some of the black and white illustrations could have been sharper (for example, 1, 3, 5 and 9), and certainly the Ambrosian font in Milan deserves a better photo to convey the beauty and extravagance of that font which has had such an influence on the history of baptisteries.
He has the theological and imaginative skills to draw the connections between the Holy Sepulchre, imperial mausoleums and early baptisteries, and he links his worked example of the Lateran Baptistery to Cyril of Jerusalem's Mystagogical Catechesis very convincingly, giving us a vivid picture of early disciplines of Christian Initiation.