Plan of the church


Gallery connecting the apse to the side aisles, allowing people to move around the choir.


Construction forming the eastern end of a church, often rounded or polygonal.


Part of the church usually located at the front of the nave where the clerics and cantors assigned to services stand near the high altar. It usually features small stands (formerly the ambo) used for readings and preaching, as well as the lectern, on which the liturgical chant books are placed. This high stand is sometimes recognised by its support shaped like an eagle with outstretched wings. In front of the altar, on either side of the choir, are often found the carved wooden seats called stalls, where members of the clergy sit during celebrations. The cathedra, the seat reserved for the bishop, also has its place in the choir of Notre-Dame.

Main aisle of a church, located between portal and transept, delimited by two rows of pillars supporting the vault. It contains the furniture for the assembly (chairs, benches) as well as the pulpit, traditionally a raised platform from which the priest delivers his sermon.


Annex of a church where sacred vessels, sacerdotal vestments, marriage and baptism registers are kept and where celebrants get ready for mass.

“Side aisles” (or “collaterals”)

Side naves located on either side of the central nave and flanked, in most churches, by exterior chapels (including, since the Carolingian period, the baptistry or baptismal chapel).

Notre-Dame has twenty-nine chapels including 14 side chapels, distributed around the nave, and 5 “radiant” chapels located around the choir.


In a church, transverse aisle separating the nave from the choir and giving the building its cross shape. Therefore, the transept crossing is the span of intersection of nave and transept. 


Part of the building where the precious objects of a church or cathedral are kept (ornaments, reliquaries, ancient manuscripts, etc.).