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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Tales from the Crypt

In architecture, a crypt (from the Latin crypta from the Greek κρύπτη, kryptē; meaning concealed, private) is a stone chamber or vault beneath the floor of a burial vault possibly containing sarcophagi, coffins or relics.

Originally crypts were typically found below the main apse of a church, such as at the Abbey of Saint-Germain en Auxerre, but were later located beneath naves and transepts as well. Occasionally churches were raised high to accommodate a crypt at the ground level, such as St Michael's Church in Hildesheim, Germany.

Etymology

From Latin crypta (“vault”), from Ancient Greek κρυπτός (kryptos, “hidden”).

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