Architecture ABC's 2 Quiz | Architecture Terms (2023)

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts

1. Also known as a donjon, which structure, part of a castle complex, was considered to be its stronghold?

Answer: KeepKeeps originated as timber or stone structures that were part of the early motte-and-bailey castle design; they were built on the motte, which was a hill, with a courtyard - the bailey - and were typically protected by a ditch and wall. By the 10th century the wooden keep was replaced with stone in France, and the idea was spread to England by William the Conqueror.

Stone, of course, was more durable than wood. Even though it took years to build a stone keep, much of the labor could be carried out within the walls of the castle, and, once completed, the thick stone walls offered greater protection. Keeps were typically made with three floors - the first was used for storage and provided quarters for the castle guard if the lord was there. The second floor consisted of the Great Hall, which was used for entertainment and meetings. It could also house a small family chapel. The lord's family had living quarters on the third floor.

The White Tower of London was constructed by William the Conqueror after the Norman Conquest of England. Although some of the details are a big vague, it is generally believed that building construction began in 1078, and was completed by 1100. It was whitewashed in the 1200s.

2. Which of the following architectural features is crescent shaped?

(Video) The ABCs of Architecture

Answer: LunetteFrom the French "lunette" for little moon, a lunette is commonly found above a door or window of a building or within the curves of a vaulted ceiling. Sometimes a lunette may serve as a window, and other times it is ornamental or decorative in design.

Michelangelo created some of the most famous lunettes in history in the vaulted ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, which has six windows on each side, two at the rear, and two above the altar. The wall of the altar was eventually covered with Michelangelo's work "The Last Judgement", but the other windows were decorated with fourteen lunettes that show Christ's genealogy. The lunette in the picture is titled "Asa - Jehoshaphat - Joram".

3. What name is given to a tower next to a mosque?

Answer: MinaretMinarets are towers that are built into or next to a Muslim place of worship, which is called a mosque. They serve a variety of purposes; minarets can be symbols of Muslim presence in an area, landmarks, or watchtowers, but they are generally used by muezzins who issue the call to prayer five times a day.

There is no prescribed architectural style or number for a minaret. It can be a short tower or a tall spiral. There can be one minaret attached to a particular mosque, or many. It must, however, contain a stairway so that the muezzin may climb to the top to issue the call to prayer. In the days before microphones, this was the best way for the call to prayer to be heard.

The minaret in the picture is found on the Great Mosque of Kaiouran, which is located in Tunisia. Built during the 8th-9th centuries, is said to be the oldest surviving minaret in the world.

4. What architectural term describes the main aisle of a church?

(Video) glossary of architecture

Answer: NaveThe nave is typically viewed as the public area of the church. In traditionally built Christian churches it extends from the main entrance of the church, which is called the narthex, to the chancel, the area of a church used by the choir and clergy that is near the altar.

The nave in the picture is located within St. Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh, a Roman Catholic Church that originated as St. Mary's Chapel in 1814. A cathedral was designed around the chapel in following years, and today it is considered to be the center of Catholicism in Scotland.

5. The use of a four-sided, tapered, freestanding pillar originated in Egypt. What did the ancient Greeks call this pillar?

Answer: ObeliskWhile ancient Egyptians called the pillars "tekhenu", the Greeks called them "obeliskos". A representation of Ra, the sun god, an obelisk was made of a single stone, as evidenced by the discovery of an unfinished obelisk in a quarry near Aswan, Egypt.

The Luxor Obelisks, made with red granite, originally stood at the entrance to the Luxor Temple in Thebes, and are over 3,000 years old. The taller one is still there today, however, both obelisks were gifted to France in 1830. The shorter one stands in the Place de la Concorde in Paris, while the taller one was restored as the property of Egypt in 1981.

6. The ancient architects of Greece and Rome frequently enclosed a courtyard with columns. Sometimes it was called testratoon, but what is the common name for such a courtyard?

Answer: PeristyleThe word tetrastoön is aptly translated to mean four arcades, and the common name, peristyle, comes from the word "peristasis", which means surrounded by columns. Peristyles were popularly used by wealthy urban dwellers, who liked to create a garden or courtyard area within their house. This was true in ancient Egypt, as well as Greece and Rome. A peristyle contained plants, fountains, fish ponds, statues, and sometimes a laraium, a shrine for the household gods called the Lares.

The peristyle in the picture was recreated at the House of the Vettii, a well-preserved home in Pompeii.

(Video) The ABC of Architects

7. Which of the following terms can apply to either the keystone of an arch or the exterior corner of a building?

Answer: QuoinWhen used on the exterior corner of a building, quoins provide strength and support, as well as decorative detail. In the 1800s they were associated with the permanence and strength of a building. If they are not used on a load bearing wall, quoins may employ the use of different materials such as wood or stucco to provide contrast or decoration.

The building in the picture is the Palazzo Madama in Rome. It was built in the late 1400s on the site where Emperor Nero had constructed his baths; the facade of the building was updated in the 1650s. Today it is the meeting place of the Senate of the Italian Republic.

8. What architectural term describes a circular building that is sometimes topped with a dome?

Answer: RotundaThe rotunda in architecture is probably descended from the Greek tholus, a circular temple that was typically surrounded by columns. One of the most famous examples is the Tholus at Delphi, which is found on the UNESCO site there.

(Video) How To: Reading Construction Blueprints & Plans | #1

Adopted by the Roman architects the tholus became a rotunda, from the Latin "rotundus", and the design was used for temples and other purposes as well. While there are many examples of rotundas found all over the world, the circular Roman Pantheon, built as a temple to all the gods from 113-125 AD, has to be the most famous! It currently serves as the Basilica of St. Mary and the Martyrs in Rome, and its dome is the largest unsupported concrete dome in the world today.

9. What architectural term describes a triangular corner that supports the base of a dome?

Answer: SquinchThe squinch is commonly used in square or rectangular rooms to fill in the corners where a dome is being used for the building's roof. They make the ceiling appear to be octagonal, as seen in the picture.

It is believed that the use of the squinch in architecture began in Persia, as the oldest surviving use, which dates back to the 3rd century AD, has been found in the Palace of Ardashir in Firuzabad, Iran. The design was adopted by Islamic and Byzantine architects, and even made its way to adorn Romanesque architecture in Europe.

The squinch featured in the picture is found at Odzun Church in Armenia. It was constructed sometimes between the 5th-7th centuries.

10. Used in bridges and buildings, what architectural structure is usually formed by a series of triangular units?

Answer: TrussThe word truss is derived from the French "trousse", who means a group of objects bound together. While a truss does not have to be formed out of triangular units, the the triangular shape is believed to provide structural stability. In fact, the simplest form of truss is a single triangle, which can be seen in the construction of the roofs of small buildings, and even bicycles!

(Video) Architect Breaks Down 5 of the Most Common New York Apartments | Architectural Digest

The Southern Pacific Railroad bridge truss seen in the picture is found in Contra Costa County, California. Today it is part of a walking and bicycling trail.

Source: Author ponycargirl

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor looney_tunes before going online.
Any errors found in FunTrivia content are routinely corrected through our feedback system.


1. ABC ident: Architecture
2. What Is Agile Methodology? | Introduction to Agile Methodology in Six Minutes | Simplilearn
3. L-A-B-O-R — ABC School — Speaker Session
(Architecture Lobby)
4. 10 10 7 10 Blackboard Architecture 9 06
(Cristian BEZA)
5. What is the Fibonacci Sequence & the Golden Ratio? Simple Explanation and Examples in Everyday Life
(Science ABC)
6. Ten Books on Architecture (FULL Audiobook)
(Audio Books)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

Last Updated: 05/21/2023

Views: 6068

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Msgr. Benton Quitzon

Birthday: 2001-08-13

Address: 96487 Kris Cliff, Teresiafurt, WI 95201

Phone: +9418513585781

Job: Senior Designer

Hobby: Calligraphy, Rowing, Vacation, Geocaching, Web surfing, Electronics, Electronics

Introduction: My name is Msgr. Benton Quitzon, I am a comfortable, charming, thankful, happy, adventurous, handsome, precious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.