A parapet is a wall-like barrier at the edge of a roof or structure. It may serve to prevent unwanted falls over the edge or it may be a defensive, constructional or stylistic feature.

Building parapets

The word comes ultimately from the Italian "parapetto" ("parare" = to cover/defend and "petto" =breast). The German term "Brustwehr" has the same significance.

Parapets may be plain, embattled, perforated or paneled, which are not mutually exclusive terms.
*Plain parapets are upward extensions of the wall, sometimes with a coping at the top and corbel below.
*Embattled parapets may be paneled, but are pierced, if not purely as stylistic device, for the discharge of defensive projectiles.
*Perforated parapets are pierced in various designs such as circles, trefoils, quatrefoils.
*Paneled parapets are ornamented by a series of panels, either or square, and more or less enriched, but not perforated. These are common in the Decorated and Perpendicular periods.

Parapet roofs

Parapets surrounding roofs are extremely common in London. This dates from the Building Act of 1707 which banned projecting wooden eaves in the cities of Westminster and London as a fire risk. Instead an 18-inch brick parapet was required, with the roof set behind. This was continued in many Georgian houses, as it gave the appearance of a flat roof which accorded with the desire for classical proportions.

Bridge parapets

Parapets on bridges and other highway structures (such as retaining walls) prevent users from falling off where there is a drop. They may also be meant to restrict views, to prevent rubbish passing below, and to act as noise barriers.

Bridge parapets may be made from any material, but structural steel, aluminium, timber and reinforced concrete are common. They may be of solid or framed construction.

In European standards, parapets are defined as a sub-category of "vehicle restraint systems" or "pedestrian restraint systems".



ee also


External links

* [ Parapet]
* [ What is a Parapet?]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

(on a rampart) / (as on a bridge)

Look at other dictionaries:

  • parapet — [ parapɛ ] n. m. • parapete 1546; it. parapetto « qui protège la poitrine » 1 ♦ Fortif. Levée de terre, massif de maçonnerie destiné à protéger les combattants. 2 ♦ (1611) Cour. Mur à hauteur d appui destiné à servir de garde fou. ⇒ garde corps.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • parapet — PARAPÉT, parapete, s.n. 1. Perete (de înălţime mică) din piatră, lemn, metal etc. care serveşte la delimitarea teraselor, a podurilor, a marginilor unei şosele etc. ♦ Prelungire a bordurilor unei nave, deasupra punţii superioare, având rolul de a …   Dicționar Român

  • Parapet — à merlons arrondis surmontant les premier et deuxième niveaux du minaret de la Grande Mosquée de Kairouan, en Tunisie. Sur les autres projets Wikimedia : « Parapet  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • parapet — PARAPET. s. m. Eslevation de terre ou de pierre au dessus d un rempart. Le parapet d un bastion. le canon avoit rasé le parapet. les Mousquetaires bordoient le parapet. On appelle aussi, Parapet, Une muraille à hauteur d appuy eslevée au dessus d …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • parapet — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. mnż I, D. u, Mc. parapetecie {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} specjalnie obrobiony kawałek deski, blachy, marmuru itp. umieszczony poziomo poniżej okna wewnątrz lub na zewnątrz pomieszczenia : {{/stl 7}}{{stl 10}}Parapet drewniany.… …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • PARAPET — (Heb. מַעֲקֶה). Ancient roofs were flat and in general use (cf. Josh. 2:6; Judg. 16:27; I Sam. 9:25f; Isa. 22:1; et al.), and the Bible enjoins when thou buildest a new house, then thou shalt make a parapet for thy roof, that thou bring not blood …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • parapet — (n.) 1580s, from M.Fr. parapet breastwork, from It. parapetto, from para defense (from L. parare prepare; see PARE (Cf. pare)) + petto breast, from L. pectus (see PECTORAL (Cf. pectoral)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Parapet — Par a*pet, n. [F., fr. It. parapetto, fr. parare to ward off, guard (L. parare to prepare, provide) + petto the breast, L. pectus. See {Parry}, and {Pectoral}.] [1913 Webster] 1. (Arch.) A low wall, especially one serving to protect the edge of a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Parapet — (frz., abgeleitet von it. parare ‚schützen‘ und petto ‚Brust‘) ist eine alternative Bezeichnung für: Brustwehr, eine Schutzwand im Festungsbau und in der Feldbefestigung eine Schutzwand Brüstung, im zivilen Bauwesen das Wandstück zwischen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Parapet — (fr., spr. Parapeh), so v.w. Brustwehr …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Parapēt — (franz.), Brustwehr …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.