teacher's desk

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Lectern in the Bavarian State Parliament

A desk is a table with an inclined surface or a kind of attachment for such a table, which is mainly used for reading and writing, but a stand with an inclined surface is also called a desk ( music stand , conductor's desk , lectern).


The word comes from the Latin pulpitum with the meaning "board frame , board frame ". Teacher's desks in classrooms have been called desks since the 1950s until today, although in many cases the characteristic incline is no longer there.


The lectern has been in use mostly for liturgical purposes since the early Middle Ages. In the churches it is used in front of the choir stalls and at the places of the clergy or on the sideboard to display the liturgical books , especially the missal, and was mostly connected to the seats (choir desk). Often it also serves as a prayer chair on which the believers kneel to pray. The lectern is also known as a portable device for presenting the Gospel in the liturgy . These portable desks were mostly made of wood (richly carved in the Gothic period), more rarely of bronze and marble.

A special form of the desk is the so-called eagle desk . It is a reading desk in the shape of an eagle , the symbol of the Evangelist John . The eagle's outspread wings carry the book. They were common in the Romanesque and Gothic . In the Romanesque period they can be found on pulpits in Italy , as free-standing brass furniture in the Rhineland and the Netherlands until the end of the Gothic period.

In secular use, the desk usually serves as a desk, in front of which one works sitting or standing (standing desk). A glass of water is often available for the speaker on the lectern. Today they are mostly equipped with microphones. Many desks are also adjustable in height.

Various displays and switches are arranged on a slightly sloping control panel . It is used to control a technical system , for example a nuclear power plant .

See also

Web links

Commons : Consoles  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Pult  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Duden 7, 1963, page 538
  2. ^ BBC Antiques Roadshow , Kedleston Hall, 8/10/2006