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Also known as the Catherine window, the rose window is a circular window found in many houses of worship and other buildings in the Gothic style. The interior part of the window is normally segregated into different sections. When stained glass is used in each section, the window usually represents a design that is intended to represent a specific event in religious or secular history.

There are several different designs for rosacea. One of the most basic examples is known as a ray window. This configuration gives the window a very similar appearance to a wheel with spokes. The sections in the layout are uniform in size and taper to a central cube that sits in the middle of the window.

Rose windows designed for use in Christian cathedrals and churches are often built with stained glass. Rose stained glass windows are sometimes placed above the pulpit or chancel, or in a location overlooking the congregation at the rear of a sanctuary or chapel. Patterns vary, with some rosette pattern options focusing on images that represent some event recorded in the Christian Scriptures. At other times, the cathedral’s rose window is designed with an intricate pattern that incorporates various Christian symbols but does not represent a specific event.

Over the years, the use of stained glass rosettes in other types of construction has become more common. Residential and commercial buildings that use design elements considered to be Gothic often use windows in areas such as stairways and landings. The window can use a simple mix of stained glass or even make use of clear glass panels that are arranged in the traditional swirl design. It is not uncommon for the rose window to be included as both a design element and a practical way to let in natural light.

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The exact origins of rosacea are unclear. There are examples dating back to the 8th century that closely resemble what became known as a rose window in the 17th century. These examples show the circular nature of the window and also use sections that are very similar to the more popular designs used in churches in later centuries. As one of the most enduring classic window designs, the rose window is still used in new construction today.

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