Bay window in an upper story, supported from below by projecting corbels. Usually semihexagonal or rectangular in plan, oriels first became prevalent early in the 15th century. They were often placed over gateways or entrances to manor houses and public buildings of the late Gothic and Tudor periods. In cities of North Africa and the Middle East, the moucharaby is an oriel that uses grills or lattices in place of glass and shutters. Seealso brise-soleil.
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Oriel windows are seen in Arab architecture in the form of mashrabiya.
In the Hindu culture these windows and balconies projected from the street front, providing an area in which women could peer out and see the activities below while remaining invisible.