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In Gothic architecture, a decorated circular window, often glazed with stained glass, that first appeared in mid-12th-century cathedrals. It was used mainly at the western end of the nave and the ends of the transept. The bar tracery of a High Gothic rose window consisted of a series of radiating forms, each tipped by a pointed arch at the outside of the circle. The rose windows of Notre-Dame de Paris are particularly noteworthy. In later Flamboyant-style tracery, the radiating elements consisted of an intricate network of wavy, double-curved bars.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on rose window, visit Britannica.com.