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In architecture the frieze is the vertical part of an entablature, whether plain or decorated with bas-reliefs, that lies upon the architrave ('main beam') and is capped by the moldings of the cornice. In a looser sense, the frieze of a room is the section of wall above the picture rail under the crown moldings or cornice. By extension, a frieze is a long band of painted or modelled decoration in such a position, above eye-level.

The octagonal Tower of the Winds (see illustration) in the Roman agora at Athens bears sculptures of the eight winds on its frieze.