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Battistero (baptistery) San. Giovanni, Florence, begun 7th century—Alinari/Art Resource, New York
Domed hall or chapel, adjacent to or part of a church, for the administration of baptism. By the 4th century, the baptistery had assumed an eight-sided shape (eight in Christian numerology being the symbol for a new life), as had the baptismal font within. The font itself was set beneath a dome-shaped baldachin and encircled by columns and an ambulatory (aisle), features first used by the Byzantines.
Variants of BAPTISTERY
baptistery or baptistry
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on baptistery, visit Britannica.com.