A look at the people, places, and conspiracies of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code

Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code

Posted by on Mar 29, 2012 in Fascinating Locations | 0 comments

Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code

There are many architectural terms that are mentioned in The Da Vinci Code. Some of the architectural details have special significance. What do the details look like, and why are they important? Here is a brief exploration of the language of architecture as seen in Dan Brown’s novel, The Da Vinci Code.


 

Keystone  © Cynthia Kirkeby 2004

Keystone © Cynthia Kirkeby 2004


Keystone

In architecture, the keystone is the supporting stone at the top of an arch that supports the structure. Without this key piece, the arch would collapse. Some keystones are plain, while others, like the one shown to the left, are extremely ornate.


 

Clef de voute, Temple Church, London Photo © Cynthia Kirkeby 2004

The clef de voute in the nave of the Temple Church, London -Photo by Cynthia Kirkeby © 2004

Clef De Voûte

This term is French for the keystone of a vaulted arch. Essentially this keystone supports multiple intersecting arches, such as those that form a vaulted ceiling.


 

Westminster Abbey's Gothic Entrance with detail showing a Clef de Voûte - Photo by Cynthia Kirkeby 2004

Westminster Abbey's Gothic Entrance - Photo by Cynthia Kirkeby 2004

Gothic Entrance

In gothic buildings pointed arches where used throughout the structure, including the entrances, which often had multiple arches stacked together to make a dramatic statement.


 

A cinquefoil window at Westminster Abbey - Photo by Cynthia Kirkeby © 2004

A cinquefoil window at Westminster Abbey - Photo by Cynthia Kirkeby © 2004

Cinquefoil

Cinquefoil comes from the French cinque feuilles meaning “five leaves.” In architecture it is used to describe a window that has five segments that look like leaves or petals.


 

Notre-Dame, Rose window-  Photo courtesy of Catherine Balet

Notre-Dame, Rose window- Photo courtesy of Catherine Balet

Rose Window

Many cathedrals such as Notre Dame, have elaborate stained glass windows that are shaped like a large multi-petal flowers.


 

Compass Rose designed by Cynthia Kirkeby © 2004

Compass Rose designed by Cynthia Kirkeby © 2004


Compass Rose


A compass rose is a figure or architectural element that displays the cardinal directions, north, south, east, and west, often in the form of a flower design.


 

Keystone showing the subrosa detail

Keystone showing the subrosa detail


Sub Rosa


The term sub rosa, or under the rose, originates in Greek mythology. According to legend, Aphrodite gave a special rose to her son Eros, the god of love. Eros in turn made a deal with Harpocrates (from the Egyptian god Harpa-Khruti), the god of silence, to keep the indiscretions of his mother quiet (Theoi Project). From this tale came the custom in the Middle Ages of hanging a rose from the ceiling, when a meeting was held in secrecy. Later, a rose carved into a keystone often marked a secret passage or some other secret element within the structure.

Citation styles

APA style
Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code. (2012, March 29). In Inside The Da Vinci Code. Retrieved 02:09, March 27, 2017, from http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/keystones-and-other-architectural-details-in-the-da-vinci-code/
MLA style
classbrain, “Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code.” Inside The Da Vinci Code. 29 March 2012, 15:25 UTC. . 27 Mar 2017 <http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/keystones-and-other-architectural-details-in-the-da-vinci-code/>.
MHRA style
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The Chicago Manual of Style
classbrain, “Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code.” Inside The Da Vinci Code, http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/keystones-and-other-architectural-details-in-the-da-vinci-code/ [accessed March 27, 2017].
CBE/CSE style
classbrain, Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code [Internet]. Inside The Da Vinci Code; 2012 March 29, 15:25 UTC [cited 2017 Mar 27]. Available from: http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/keystones-and-other-architectural-details-in-the-da-vinci-code/.
Bluebook style
Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code, http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/keystones-and-other-architectural-details-in-the-da-vinci-code/ (last visited Mar. 27, 2017).
AMA style
classbrain, Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code. Inside The Da Vinci Code. March 29, 2012, 15:25 UTC. Available at: http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/keystones-and-other-architectural-details-in-the-da-vinci-code/. Accessed March 27, 2017.

Citation styles

APA style
Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code. (2012, March 29). In Inside The Da Vinci Code. Retrieved 02:09, March 27, 2017, from http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/keystones-and-other-architectural-details-in-the-da-vinci-code/
MLA style
classbrain, “Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code.” Inside The Da Vinci Code. 29 March 2012, 15:25 UTC. . 27 Mar 2017 <http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/keystones-and-other-architectural-details-in-the-da-vinci-code/>.
MHRA style
classbrain, 'Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code', Inside The Da Vinci Code, 29 March 2012, 15:25 UTC, <http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/keystones-and-other-architectural-details-in-the-da-vinci-code/> [accessed 27 March 2017]
The Chicago Manual of Style
classbrain, “Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code.” Inside The Da Vinci Code, http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/keystones-and-other-architectural-details-in-the-da-vinci-code/ [accessed March 27, 2017].
CBE/CSE style
classbrain, Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code [Internet]. Inside The Da Vinci Code; 2012 March 29, 15:25 UTC [cited 2017 Mar 27]. Available from: http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/keystones-and-other-architectural-details-in-the-da-vinci-code/.
Bluebook style
Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code, http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/keystones-and-other-architectural-details-in-the-da-vinci-code/ (last visited Mar. 27, 2017).
AMA style
classbrain, Keystones and Other Architectural Details in The Da Vinci Code. Inside The Da Vinci Code. March 29, 2012, 15:25 UTC. Available at: http://www.insidethedavincicode.com/keystones-and-other-architectural-details-in-the-da-vinci-code/. Accessed March 27, 2017.

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