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The fundamental purpose of arches to frame entry points to towns and cities, zones within cities, buildings and parts of buildings, meant that they were designed to make a strong impression on people arriving and entering through them. Arches mark key thresholds, physically and metaphorically separating inside from outside, open from closed, public from private, secular from sacred, or different degrees of any of these states (such as the more holy space around the Virgin and Child from the slightly less holy space around the attendant saints). Since arrival and departure are connected with ritual in almost every society in every period, the architectural markers that create these thresholds bear all the significance associated with those rituals. The design of the arch, gateway, door, porch, loggia, or portico is charged with meanings and associations, whether ceremonial, sacred, political or personal.


Hampstead Movie

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