A transept (with 2 semitransepts) is a transverse section, of any building, which lies across the main body of the building. In Christian churches, a transept is an area set crosswise to the nave in a cruciform ("cross-shaped") building in Romanesque and Gothic Christian church architecture. Each half of a transept is known as a semitransept.

The transept of a church separates the nave from the sanctuary, whether apse, choir, chevet, presbytery or chancel. The transepts cross the nave at the crossing, which belongs equally to the main nave axis and to the transept. Upon its four piers, the crossing may support a spire (e.g., Salisbury Cathedral), a central tower (e.g., Gloucester Cathedral) or a crossing dome (e.g., St Paul's Cathedral). Since the altar is usually located at the east end of a church, a transept extends to the north and south. The north and south end walls often hold decorated windows of stained glass, such as rose windows, in stone tracery.

Occasionally, the basilicas and the church and cathedral planning that descended from them were built without transepts; sometimes the transepts were reduced to matched chapels. More often, the transepts extended well beyond the sides of the rest of the building, forming the shape of a cross. This design is called a "Latin cross" ground plan, and these extensions are known as the arms of the transept. A "Greek cross" ground plan, with all four extensions the same length, produces a central-plan structure.

When churches have only one transept, as at Pershore Abbey, there is generally a historical disaster, fire, war or funding problem, to explain the anomaly. At Beauvais only the chevet and transepts stand; the nave of the cathedral was never completed after a collapse of the daring high vaulting in 1284. At St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague, only the choir and part of a southern transept were completed until a renewed building campaign in the 19th century.

Read more about Transept:  Other Senses of The Word

Other articles related to "transept, transepts":

St. Andrew's Church, Langar - History
... The North Transept contains monuments to the Chaworth family of nearby Wiverton Hall ... In the South Transept is a magnificent monument to Thomas, Lord Scrope and his wife, Philadelphia, with their son, Emanuel, kneeling at their feet ... This transept also contains the blocked-up entrance to the Howe tomb with a tablet to the memory of Admiral Howe, second daughter Mary Juliana Howe and Mary, Countess Howe ...
Transept - Other Senses of The Word
... The word "transept" is occasionally extended to mean any subsidiary corridor crossing a larger main corridor, such as the cross-halls or "transepts" of The Crystal Palace, London, of glass and ... In a metro station or similar construction, a transept is a space over the platforms and tracks of a station with side platforms, containing the bridge between the platforms ... Placing the bridge in a transept rather than an enclosed tunnel allows passengers to see the platforms, creating a less cramped feeling and making orientation easier ...
San Michele Maggiore - Architecture
... cross plan with a nave and two aisles and a much extended transept ... San Michele's transept, provided with a true façade, a false apse and a barrel vault different from the rest of the church, constitutes a nearly independent ... At the crossing of nave and transept is the octagonal dome, a 30 m-high asymmetrical structure supported on squinches, in the Lombard-Romanesque style ...
St. Nicolai Church
... Renovations in the 15th century developed the church into a Gothic hall with two transepts and a tower 27.2 m (89 ft) high ... glass-covered sarcophagus in the northern transept are the remains of the Haraldskær Woman, one of the best conserved of the iron age bog bodies ... The southern transept houses the sarcophagi of Kai de la Mare and his wife ...
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church (Brewster, New York) - Building
... On the south transept is a wooden porch with a second entrance, similar to the first ... The north transept leads to the Great Hall wing, built later of sympathetic design and materials ... The south transept, once a vestibule itself, is set off with an oak screen and now has a chapel and columbarium ...