Graphical Construction Glossary >> Roofs and roofing. >> Roof Coverings >> Imbrex and tegula

Imbrex And tegula
Two Latin words that together describe a system of terra cotta roofing tiles that go back to Ancient Greek and Roman Times.
The Tegula is a flat pan with raised sides.
The Imbrex (p. imbreces) is a semi-circular tile that caps the joint between the Tegulae.
The Latin word tegula is also used to refer to types of ceiling tiles, or suspended ceiling tile systems.

imbrex and tegula tiles on a church in Ravenna

Terra Cotta tiles on a roof of the fifteen hundred years old basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe, in the North Italian town of Ravenna.

The tiles that are used as capping for the parapet wall are the same as the ones on the main roof and the turn ups at the sides can clearly be seen.

Ravenna roof tiles

Also in Ravenna this close up of tiles at the basilica of San Vitale shows that mortar was sometimes used to bed the tiles.

imbrex and tegula

Another shot taken at San Vitale clearly shows the small rebates in the tegulae, underneath at the bottom and on top at the top of each tile, that allow them to overlap. Another way of doing the same thing was to make the Tegulae wider at the top to allow the one higher up to sit inside the pan.

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"When we build, let us think that we build for ever."John Ruskin 1819-1900

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