A buttress is a architectural element employed in construction to reinforce the stability of walls or structures. These supports usually project from the surface of the wall and are typically designed in a triangular shape. Buttresses play a vital role in distributing the weight and lateral forces acting on a building, particularly in structures like cathedrals or historical edifices where the walls might otherwise be susceptible to deformation or collapse. By redirecting these forces into the ground, buttresses prevent structural issues and ensure the integrity of the building over time. In some cases, they also possess ornate designs, contributing to the aesthetic appeal of the structure.

An example of a distinctive buttress is the flying buttress, renowned for its use in Gothic architecture. This type of buttress consists of an arched structure that extends from a detached pier to the wall it supports, counteracting the outward thrust of the roof and walls. Another type is the clasping buttress, which reinforces the corners of buildings. Overall, buttresses have been integral to the construction of historical landmarks, providing both practical support and architectural charm that has stood the test of time.