Blind arcade, Vézelay Abbey, France

A blind arcade or blank arcade[1] is an arcade (a series of arches) that has no actual openings and that is applied to the surface of a wall as a decorative element: i.e., the arches are not windows or openings but are part of the masonry face. It is designed as an ornamental architectural element and has no load-bearing function.

Similar structures

Whereas a blind arch is usually a single arch or a series of joined arches as a frieze (sometimes called Lombard band), a blind arcade is composed of a series of arches that have well-defined columns in between its arches.

A blind arcade may resemble several blind windows (false/blank windows or sealed-up windows)[1] or blind niches that are side by side.


Blind arcades are a common decorative features on the facades of Romanesque and Gothic buildings throughout Western Europe, and are also a common feature in Byzantine Orthodox churches in Eastern Europe, and in Armenian churches.

See also


  1. ^ a b Harris, Cyril M. (2013). Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture. Courier. ISBN 978-0-486-13211-2. Blank arcade. Same as blind arcade. […] blank/blind/false window. 1. A recess […] having the external appearance of a window. 2. A window which has been sealed off but is still visible.