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A porte-cochère (//; French: [pɔʁt kɔʃɛʁ] "coach gate"; also called a "carriage porch") is the architectural term for a porch- or portico-like structure at a main or secondary entrance to a building through which a horse and carriage (or motor vehicle) can pass in order for the occupants to alight under cover, protected from the weather.
The porte-cochère was a feature of many late 18th and 19th-century mansions and public buildings. Well-known examples are at Buckingham Palace in London and at the White House in Washington D.C. Today a porte-cochère is often constructed at the entrance to public buildings such as churches, hotels, health facilities, homes, and schools where people are delivered by other drivers. Porte-cochères should not be confused with carports in which vehicles are parked; at a porte-cochère the vehicle merely passes through, stopping only for passengers to depart or alight.
At the foot of the porte-cochère there are often a couple of guard stones to prevent the wheels of the vehicle from damaging the wall.
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