crypt (krĭpt) [key] [Gr., = hidden], vault or chamber beneath the main level of a church, used as a meeting place or burial place. It undoubtedly developed from the catacombs used by early Christians as places of worship. Early churches were commonly built over the tombs of martyrs. Such vaults, located beneath the main altar, developed into the extensive crypts of the Middle Ages that in many churches of the 11th and 12th cent. occupied the entire space beneath the sanctuary. At Canterbury the 12th-century crypt forms a large and complete lower church in itself. The crypt of the Rochester Cathedral is partly above ground. The cathedrals at Chartres and at Bourges have crypts typical of the Gothic development.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on crypt from Fact Monster:

  • crypts of Lieberkühn - crypts of Lieberkühn: crypts of Lieberkühn: see digestive system.
  • digestive system - digestive system digestive system, in the animal kingdom, a group of organs functioning in ...
  • Andria - Andria Andria , city (1991 pop. 90,063), in Apulia, S Italy. It is an agricultural and service ...
  • Warrington, city, England - Warrington Warrington, city (1991 pop. 81,366) and borough, Chesire, NW England, on the Mersey ...
  • Repton - Repton Repton, village, Derbyshire, central England. It was once a capital of the kingdom of ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Architecture

Play Hangman

Play Poptropica

Play Quizzes

Play Tic Tac Toe