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Oriel windows are a form of bay window commonly found in Gothic architecture, which project from the main wall of the building but do not reach to the ground. Corbels or brackets are often used to support this kind of window. They are seen in combination with the Tudor arch. This type of window was also used in Victorian Architecture in the Queen Anne Style. Unlike a bay window, an oriel window is only found projecting from an upper floor.
Oriel windows are seen in Arab architecture in the form of mashrabiya. In Indian culture these windows and balconies are projected from the street front, providing an area in which women could peer out and see the activities below while remaining invisible.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "oriel" is derived from Anglo-Norman oriell and post-classical Latin oriolum, both meaning gallery or porch, perhaps from classical Latin aulaeum, curtain.
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