December 14, 2007

Peristasis (architecture)

A peripteros with a peristasis.
A peripteros with a peristasis.

The Peristasis (Greek περίστασις) was a four-sided porch or hall of columns surrounding the cella in an ancient Greek peripteros temple. This allowed priests to pass round the cella (along a pteron) in cultic processions. If such a hall of columns surrounds a patio or garden, it is called a peristyle rather than a peristasis.

In ecclesial architecture, it is also used of the area between the baluster of a Catholic church and the high altar (what is usually called the sanctuary or chancel).

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