Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

( Latin ala ; Old Fr. aile ), sometimes written Isle, Yle, and Alley; in architecture one of the lateral or longitudinal divisions of a church, separated from the nave (sometimes called the centre aisle) by rows of piers, pillars, or columns. Sometimes a church has one side-aisle only. Often the aisle is continued around the apse. Occasionally the aisles stop at the transepts. In very large churches transepts may have three aisles. As a rule in Gothic architecture the aisle-roofs are much lower than the nave roof, allowing the admission of light through the clerestory windows, but in most of the Romanesque churches the aisle-roofs are but little lower than that of the nave. The aisle is generally one story, but occasionally there is an upper story, sometimes used as a gallery. As a general rule, churches are divided into three aisles, but there is no fixed rule that governs the number. The cathedrals at Chichester, Milan, and Amiens have five aisles; Antwerp and Paris seven. The most remarkable in this respect, the cathedral of Cordova in Spain, has nineteen. Aisles existed in the Roman basilicas, and in the majority of Christian churches of all periods. Transepts were sometimes called the cross isle or yle. The term is popularly used to describe the passage between pews or seating.


More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Advent Prayer HD Video
  • WARNING: Exorcist claims demon is targeting families
  • Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 1st, 2016 HD Video
  • Your Daily Inspirational Meme: He will never leave you
  • St. Maximinus of Trier: Saint of the Day for Sunday, May 29, 2016
  • Daily Readings for Sunday, May 29, 2016
  • Woman diagnosed with 'nightmare bacteria' in US

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jude 1:17, 20-25
17 But remember, my dear friends, what the apostles of our Lord Jesus ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 63:2, 3-4, 5-6
2 Thus I have gazed on you in the sanctuary, seeing your power and your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:27-33
27 They came to Jerusalem again, and as Jesus was walking in the Temple, ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 28th, 2016 Image

Bl. Margaret Pole
May 28: Martyr of England. She was born Margaret ... Read More