A Pocket Guide to Church Architecture Vocabulary

When touring Europe, visiting Churches is a simply a must. Notre Dame de Paris, St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Westminster Abbey… These landmarks attract millions of people every year and for good reasons. They are simply breathtaking!

I’ve created a mini guide of Church Architecture Vocabulary, to help you better understand the architectural features of these places.  You can download it here for free.


Church architecture Vocabulary - - visit www.roadtripsaroundtheworld.com for the full guide


If you read any part of this blog, you already know some of my favorite things to do when traveling include visiting castles and churches. It seems that I just like really old stuff, and I’m not referring, in anyway, to Mr A 😉


Pocket guide - Church Vocabulary presentation

Do you also like to visit churches? If so this new mini guide to Church Vocabulary is for you.

Some questions to which you will find answers in this mini guide:

  • Churches, Cathedral, Basilica, Abbey? What are the differences?
  • What is the Apse? Where is it?
  • What’s the difference between a longitudinal floor plan, the Tau cross and the Latin cross shape?
  • Let’s meet in the Narthex…. hum yes ok?!
  • Why are churches oriented to the East?
  • The Devil’s door… oh that sounds interesting!
  • And much more…

Church Architecture vocabulary - Most common terms used, great info and so much more - a great pocket guide - visit www.roadtripsaroundtheworld.com for the printable version


This mini guide is focused on description of the various church floor plans. But… spoiler alert!… I’m also working on one focused on architectural details and how to know the difference between Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles. That’s going to be a fun one!



Choose the right file for you depending on the paper size you will be using: Letter US or A4. Use the links below to open the corresponding PDF file. (yes yes it’s free!)

Pocket guide – Church Architecture Vocabulary – letter US format

Pocket guide – Church Architecture Vocabulary – A4 format

You just need to print. Make sure that you set your printer on 100%. If you add margins to the document, when folding, some of the info might end up on the wrong side.

This is a one side print. Printing in color would be best of course.

Church mini guide - folding_

Fold in half horizontally. You can glue it, so it holds better.

Church mini guide - folding_-2

Then fold in half vertically.

Church mini guide - folding_-3

Church mini guide - folding_-5

And then again fold each side, in half. It’s like a little accordion!

Church mini guide - folding_-4

And it’s done! Yes I had the kind participation of Mr A for the folding but I promise it’s super easy!! 😉

You have a little guide that you can easily carry in your pocket and use when touring Europe and visiting Churches.


Do you also like castles? Then if you haven’t downloaded my mini guide to Medieval Castle, you really need to, before your next European trip. It’s a must have in your pocket!!


Do you like this mini guide? If so, like it and share with your friends! 

And do tell me which European Church is your favorite !