I'm sorry if this is not the right forum to ask such a question, but I'm interested in finding out the name of a particular structure from a 15th-Century Gothic Church that is located in Saschiz, Romania.

The structure is indicated by the red arrow in the picture below. I know that clerestory window is the name we give to a window above eye level, but what about those tiny, square-looking openings just under the roof? What is their name? What are they for?

The picture was obtained from Wikipedia.

enter image description here

  • 4
    This church seems to completely miss the point of gothic church architecture - that you can have many large windows.
    – Jan
    Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 14:15
  • @MCW yes, you're correct! Thank you. Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 14:18
  • @Jan It is supposed to be a fortified church. This church can be found in Saschiz, Romenia. Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 14:19
  • 1
    @Ricardo Maia I think the info that this church is located in Saschiz/Romania should be in the question.
    – Jan
    Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 14:40
  • @Jan you are correct! My oversight. Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


According to "Die Wehrkirchen in Siebenbürgen" by George Oprescu, these are arrow slits ("Schießscharten"). This is a feature that is rare for churches outside of Transsylvania, which probably contributed to this church (in Saschiz/Romania) being part of a UNESCO world heritage site.

  • 1
    Thank you sir! I thought the arrow slits were the vertical gaps on the bell tower on the side of church! Very good to know the square-shaped holes are also arrow-slits! Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 14:43
  • 1
    Actually I am neither 100% sure that "arrow slit" is the correct term nor that they were used for arrows rather than other projectiles (e.g. crossbow bolts or whatever small early firearms would shoot)
    – Jan
    Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 15:50
  • 5
    @Jan - Perhaps, but its sounds much better for a church than calling them "murder holes."
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 16:44
  • 4
    According to Mr. Oprescu, the church actually has (vertical) murder holes ("Gusslöcher") as well. Or are these holes called machicolations?
    – Jan
    Commented Jun 13, 2022 at 16:57
  • The Germans' Gate in Metz has rounded artillery loopholes and square windows, as arrow slits are also sized to the weapon's business end. Commented Jun 14, 2022 at 12:04

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