Architectural terms: Transept

In a cross-shaped church, the transepts {tran'-sept} are the transverse arms of the building and are placed at the crossing, the juncture of the nave and the choir. Transepts were added to provide additional space at each side of the altar. Several English Gothic cathedrals, such as Salisbury Cathedral, have double transepts; the second set, with shorter arms, is placed east of the first set and is closer to the apse.

Source: 2001 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, ©2000 Grolier Interactive Inc. — All Rights Reserved.
Bibliography: G. H. Cook, Medieval Chantries and Chantry Chapels, rev. ed. (1963; out-of-print); Louis Grodecki, Gothic Architecture (1985); Anthony Jones, Welsh Chapels (1996).
Relevant publications: Robin S. Oggins, Cathedrals (1996). Otto von Simson, The Gothic Cathedral: Origins of Gothic Architecture & the Medieval Concept of Order (1988). Stan Parry, Great Gothic Cathedrals of France (2001).
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