A vertical structure with carved or painted ornamentation located behind the altar table.


A prayer of the Western Catholic Church commemorating the Annunciation. It is said three times a day, at 6:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., and the church bells are rung each time.


A priest of higher rank than a bishop. He is in charge of the bishops in his ecclesiastical province.


A space just below the roof of a building.

Banal right

The right of a censitaire to have his wheat milled at the seigneurial mill.


A building for storing farm produce, making or repairing objects and sheltering livestock.


A large round milling stone that remains stationary when the milling mechanism is in operation.


A clergyman considered by the Catholic Church as a successor of the Apostles, a minister of God and a vicar of Jesus Christ. He carries out his spiritual functions in a district called a "diocese".


A person who lives in an institution for a while and is provided with food and lodging.


A kind of large sieve consisting of a wooden receptacle or frame and a piece of cloth mesh for filtering flour and separating out the bran.


A small town or large village where markets are held.


A village with dwellings scattered over a wide area.


A light open summer carriage with long thin shafts, mounted on four wheels and drawn by a horse.

Bull's-eye window

A small circular or oval window (not necessarily one that opens).

Casement window

A window that opens outward or inward on vertical hinges.


A settler living on a seigneury who pays a cens, or a kind of tax, to the seigneur.


The part of a church that is separate from the nave and used by the clergy and the choir during religious celebrations.


An act whereby a priest consecrates the bread and wine during mass.


An ornamental "S"-shaped bracket placed beneath a cornice.


An ornamental moulding at the top of the wall of a building at the junction with the roof.

Council of Trent

A meeting called by Pope Paul III in 1542. The Council of Trent lasted 18 years and was one of the most important meetings in the history of Catholicism. It defined, among other things, the original sin and reaffirmed the seven sacraments, the invocation of saints and the veneration of relics.


A small stone or log building situated near a house and used for storing milk, churning butter (by beating and shaking cream) and making cheese.


A small tooth-like square ornament placed beneath a cornice.

Dormer window

A window that projects from a sloping roof and lets light into the attic.


A large room providing sleeping quarters for several people, particularly in a school, religious institution, etc.


The lower edge of a roof projecting beyond the wall of a building. Eaves allow water to drain off the roof away from the wall and sometimes serve to cover a porch.


A group of priests and lay persons responsible for managing the funds allocated to building and maintaining a church or a chapel.

Gable roof

A roof with two slopes, one facing the front of the building and the other the back.

Green roof

A roof covered with plant matter.

High altar

The primary altar in a church placed directly in front of the nave.


A large funnel-shaped receptacle into which materials such as grain or sand are poured and then distributed through the bottom by gravity.

Intendant Jean Talon (1625-1694)

Jean Talon was born in Châlons-sur-Marne in 1625 and is recognized as the first intendant of New France. During his two terms of office, he strove to diversify the colony's economy by promoting farming, fishing, logging, industry and the fur trade. A visionary, he encouraged the colony to become self-sufficient. He also recommended bringing the filles du roi, or King's Daughters, to New France in order to step up the pace of settlement and restore balance to the ratio of men to women. He died in France on November 14, 1694.

Mansard roof

A type of roof designed by the French architect François Mansart in the 17th century. It is a four-sided roof with two slopes on each side, the lower slope being steeper than the upper one.

Milling right

The right of a seigneur to have all the grain produced by censitaires milled only at the seigneurial mill.


A small horizontal ornamental bracket placed beneath a cornice.


The central part of a long church, extending from the main entrance to the choir, used to accommodate people attending a religious ceremony.

Palladian window

A window made up of three parts, the middle one being arched and higher than the other two.


A slender upright structure or column used to support the roof of a porch, for example.


A disease caused by a bacterium that affects both animals and human beings.


A usually enclosed elevated platform used in preaching or conducting religious services.


A unit of angle. A radian is the angle subtended at the centre of a circle by an arc equal in length to the radius.

Roman numerals

A system of numerical notation used by the Romans of Antiquity in which seven letters were employed singly or in combination to represent whole numbers
(I = 1, V = 5, X = 10, L = 50, C = 100, D = 500, M = 1 000)
(1 = I, 2 = II, 3 = III, 4 = IV, 5 = V, 9 = IX, 19 = XIX).


A large round milling stone situated on top of the bedder that rotates when the milling mechanism is in operation. The friction of the two stones rubbing together grinds the grain.

Segmental arch

An arch whose profile comprises an arc that is smaller than a semicircle.


The ability to provide for one's own needs.

St. Peter

An apostle of Christ who was born in Galilee at the beginning of the Christian era and died in Rome around 65 A.D. St. Pierre was one of the 12 Apostles of Christ and had a prominent position among them. According to the Catholic Church, he was the head of the Church founded by Jesus of Nazareth.

St. Paul

An apostle of Christ who was born in Tarsus around 10 A.D. and died in Rome around 65 A.D. St. Paul was one of the leading figures of Christianity. According to the New Testament, he claimed to be one of the Apostles to whom Christ appeared several years after his death, resurrection and ascension to Heaven; he also said that he was converted by Christ at that time.


A rounded structure in the shape of a semicircle, usually forming a ceiling or roof.


A craftsman whose occupation is to make cartwheels as well as wooden ladders and gates.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

A man of letters considered the greatest poet, playwright and writer in Anglo-Saxon culture.