Steeple (architecture)

Steeple (architecture)

A steeple, in architecture, is a tall tower on a building, often topped by a spire. Steeples are very common on Christian churches and cathedrals and the use of the term generally connotes a religious structure. They may be stand-alone structures, or incorporated into the entrance or center of the building.

Steeples generally serve as bell or clock towers, as well as visual cues for a Christian community. Towers were not a part of Christian churches until about AD 600, when they were adapted from military watchtowers. At first they were fairly modest and entirely separate structures from churches. Over time, they were incorporated into the church building and capped with ever-more elaborate roofs until the steeple resulted.

Towers are a common element of religious architecture worldwide and are generally viewed as attempts to reach skyward toward Heavens and the Divine.fact|date=June 2008 Some wooden steeples like the one in Kingston, New York pictured below are built with large wooden structural members arranged like tent poles and braced diagonally inside both with wood and steel. The steeple is then clad with wooden boards and finished with slate tiles nailed to the boards using copper over gaps on corners where the slate would not cover.

Cathedral of San Agustin in Laredo, Texas
Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, Singapore, designed by Charles Alexander Dyce.
Kingston, New York lit from inside
Kingston, New York before completion in July of 2004 during the day
Arlington Street Church in Boston, Massachusetts

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