.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in German. (May 2010) Click [show] for important translation instructions. View a machine-translated version of the German article. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Consider adding a topic to this template: there are already 9,686 articles in the main category, and specifying|topic= will aid in categorization. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing German Wikipedia article at [[:de:Architrav]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|de|Architrav)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Architrave of the left-side portal in the facade of Sant'Ambrogio basilica in Milan, Italy (with a relieving arch above)
Architrave of the left-side portal in the facade of Sant'Ambrogio basilica in Milan, Italy (with a relieving arch above)
Architrave in the Basilica di San Salvatore, Spoleto, Italy.
Architrave in the Basilica di San Salvatore, Spoleto, Italy.

In classical architecture, an architrave (/ˈɑːrkɪtrv/; from Italian: architrave "chief beam", also called an epistyle;[1] from Greek ἐπίστυλον epistylon "door frame") is the lintel or beam that rests on the capitals of columns.

The term can also apply to all sides, including the vertical members, of a frame with mouldings around a door or window. The word "architrave" has come to be used to refer more generally to a style of mouldings (or other elements) framing a door, window or other rectangular opening, where the horizontal "head" casing extends across the tops of the vertical side casings where the elements join (forming a butt joint, as opposed to a miter joint).[2]

Classical architecture

In an entablature in classical architecture, it is the lowest part, below the frieze and cornice. The word is derived from the Greek and Latin words arche and trabs combined to mean "main beam". The architrave is different in the different Classical orders. In the Tuscan order, it only consists of a plain face, crowned with a fillet, and is half a module in height. In the Doric and Composite order, it has two faces, or fasciae, and three in the Ionic and Corinthian order, in which it is 10/12 of a module high, though but half a module in the rest.[3]

Metaphorical use

The term architrave has also been used in academic writing to mean the fundamental part of something (a speech, a thought or a reasoning), or the basis upon which an idea, reasoning, thought or philosophy is built.


  1. "...the Mature Hegel – the Hegel of the Philosophy of Right – who becomes the architrave on which he (Honneth, ed.) constructs his social philosophy."[4]
  2. "to become the architrave of his theoretic construction"[5]

Indian architecture

In śilpaśāstra, the Hindu texts on architecture, the architrave is commonly referred to by its Sanskrit name uttara.[6] In Hindu temple architecture it is placed above the bracket (potika) of a pillar (stambha), which gives it extra support. The Indian entablature is called prastara.

Dravidian architecture recognizes several distinct types of architraves:[7]

See also


  1. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Epistyle" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 9 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 703.
  2. ^ Ching, Francis D.K. (1995). A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. pp. 179, 186. ISBN 0-471-28451-3.
  3. ^ Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChambers, Ephraim, ed. (1728). Cyclopædia, or an Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (1st ed.). James and John Knapton, et al. ((cite encyclopedia)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ Page: XIV, The Ethics of Democracy: A Contemporary Reading of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (Lucio Cortella, SUNY Press, 2015)[1]
  5. ^ Pag. 281, Economics and institutions Contributions from the History of Economic thought (Pier Francesco Asso, Luca Fiorito, Italian Association for History and Economic Thought, Vol. IV, Franco Angeli Press 2007)
  6. ^ "Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD" (PDF).
  7. ^ "Temples of Salem region Up to 1336 AD" (PDF).