Arcade (architecture)

Arcades inside the Mosque of Uqba, also known as the Great Mosque of Kairouan, located in Kairouan, Tunisia.
Norman blind arcade, Ely Cathedral
Arcade with shops behind, running along a row of originally High Medieval houses in Metz, France.
Courtyard of the Great Mosque of Damascus

An arcade is a succession of contiguous arches, with each arch supported by columns, piers. Exterior arcades are designed to provide a sheltered walkway for pedestrians. The walkway may be lined with retail stores.[1] An arcade may feature arches on both sides of the walkway. Alternatively, a blind arcade superimposes arcading against a solid wall.[2] Blind arcades are a feature of Romanesque architecture that influenced Gothic architecture. In the Gothic architectural tradition, the arcade can be located in the interior, in the lowest part of the wall of the nave, supporting the triforium and the clerestory in a cathedral,[3] or on the exterior, in which they are usually part of the walkways that surround the courtyard and cloisters.

Many medieval arcades housed shops or stalls, either in the arcaded space itself, or set into the main wall behind. From this, "arcade" has become a general word for a group of shops in a single building, regardless of the architectural form.

The word "arcade" comes from French arcade from Provençal arcada or Italian arcata, based on Latin arcus, ‘bow’ (see arc and arch).[4]


Arcades go back to at least the Ancient Greek architecture of the Hellenistic period, and were much used by the Romans, for example at the base of the Colosseum. Church cloisters very often use arcading. Islamic architecture very often uses arcades in and outside mosques in particular. In Renaissance architecture elegant arcading was often used as a prominent feature of facades, for example in the Ospedale degli Innocenti (commissioned 1419) or the courtyard of the Palazzo Bardi, both by Filippo Brunelleschi in Florence.

Other Languages
العربية: رواق معمد
azərbaycanca: Arkada
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Аркада (архітэктура)
català: Arcada
dansk: Arkade
Deutsch: Arkade
eesti: Arkaad
español: Arcada
Gaeilge: Stuabhealach
galego: Arcada
հայերեն: Կամարաշար
hrvatski: Arkada
Ido: Arkado
italiano: Arcata
עברית: ארקדה
ქართული: თაღედი
қазақша: Аркада
Кыргызча: Аркада
norsk: Arkade
norsk nynorsk: Arkade
polski: Arkada
português: Arcada
română: Arcadă
русиньскый: Аркада
shqip: Arkada
Simple English: Arcade
slovenščina: Arkada
ślůnski: Arkada
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Arkada
suomi: Arkadi
svenska: Arkad
West-Vlams: Arcade
粵語: 拱廊
中文: 拱廊