Multifoil arch

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A multifoil arch (or polyfoil arch) is an architectural element of an arch containing multiple foils; symmetrical leaf shapes, defined by overlapping circles.

Aljafería, Zaragoza, Spain
Notre-Dame de Champagne-sur-Oise, France

The French term foil means "leaf." A specific number of foils is indicated by a prefix: trefoil (three), quatrefoil (four), cinquefoil (five), sexfoil (six), octofoil (eight), or multifoil and polyfoil for typically more than eight.[1][2]

The multifoil arch design was influenced by Islamic art and architecture. Examples are found in the maqsuras and arcades of the Moorish Umayyad Caliphate's mosques, which are in present-day Spain. It is particularly prevalent in the Moorish architecture of al-Andalus.[3][dead link]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Polyfoil", Webster's Dictionary (1913). Retrieved 14 May 2019
  2. ^ Buffaloah-multifoil arches. Retrieved 21 November 2011
  3. ^ Lookuparchitecture: Moorish arches. Retrieved 21 November 2011

External links[edit]

Media related to Multifoil arches at Wikimedia Commons