Portal (architecture)

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A portal is an opening in a wall of a building, gate or fortification, especially a grand entrance to an important structure.[1][page needed] Doors, metal gates, or portcullis in the opening can be used to control entry or exit; the surface surrounding the opening may be made of simple building materials or decorated with ornamentation. The elements of a portal can include the voussoir, tympanum, an ornamented mullion or trumeau between doors, and columns with carvings of saints in the westwork of a church.[citation needed]


Other uses[edit]

The term portal is also applied to the ends of a tunnel.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Ching, Francis (1997). A Visual Dictionary of Architecture. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. ISBN 0-442-02462-2.