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Religion Religious buildings (photos and discussion)

Discussion in 'Social Sciences & Humanities' started by Indian Summer, Aug 22, 2015.

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  1. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    While I don't hold any religious beliefs and am deeply sceptical about how religion is sometimes used to influence society, there are still aspects of religion that I admire. For example, religious architecture. So I thought I would share some of my private photos of religious buildings that I've visited, and maybe others would like to do the same. And /or share your thoughts on the topic.

    I'll start off with Notre Dame in Paris, France from my visit back in 2004:
    dscn0592.jpg
     
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  2. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    00107.jpg
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    A Catholic church in Flagstaff or Albuquerque on our trip to the US south west in 2008. I can't remember which city it was, but I think Flagstaff ...

    Edit: It's apparently the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Chapel, Flagstaff.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
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  3. shyvas

    shyvas Deity Forum Moderator

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  4. Mikkel

    Mikkel Addicted Poster

    Location:
    Norway
    Nice! :) I hope to visit Notre Dame one day!

    I don't have any religios beliefs either, but I do like churches. The architecture and the history. I'm mostly interested in old churces (and old history). I've visited quite a few now, and hope to visit many more. :) I think it's interesting that religion can have so much impact on peoples lifes, and that so many was - and still are - willing to die for their religion.

    In Norway we have the quite uniqe stave churches. We have 28 left now. Half of the churces are still in use, the others are museums now. Most of them are build in the years 1100-1200, but there has been some build as late as the years 1600-1700 (but no longer exist). The smell in the churches are really nice, wood and tar. Some of the churches are rebuild quite alot, but that has happened to a lot of churches during history. All of the stave churces left was build when Norway was a catholic contry, and some of the changes did come after the reformation in 1536. You can find a map over the churches that are left here.

    Urnes Stave Chruch is claimed to be the oldest church in Norway (and then the oldest stave church too of cause). They are not 100% sure when it's build, but think it has been build sometimes during 1130-1140. The church was in the beginning owned buy a family. It's still in use from time to time.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
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  5. Mikkel

    Mikkel Addicted Poster

    Location:
    Norway
    Øye Stave Church was probably build around 1200. It was orignal build another place, but too close to the river. So when the rived flooded during the springtime, the coffins had to be filled with stones to get them down in the graves. In 1747 a new church was sanctified, and the stave church dissapeared. But in 1935 they had to repair the fundaments of the new Øye Church, and when they removed the floor, they found parts of the old stave church. The stave church was rebuild and sanctified again in 1965.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
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  6. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    I have some pictures of a stave church as well, but unfortunately only from the inside. This is Grip Stave Church which was built around 1470 on the island Grip, not far from my homestead.
    Gripkirka_midtgangen.jpg Gripkirka_altertavla.JPG Gripkirka_altertavla_detalj1.JPG Gripkirka_altertavla_detalj2.jpg Gripkirka_Jesus_og_disiplene.JPG
    The first photo is a view up the aisle, looking towards the altarpiece.
    The second photo shows the altarpiece in more detail.
    The third and fourth are details from the altarpiece. I'm not quite sure what they are depicting, but I thought they were still quite funny!
    I think the last one is a scene from The Last Supper. It isn't nearly as impressive as the more famous version by da Vinci.
     
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  7. Val

    Val Extraterrestrial

    What do you think of an architeture of buddist dazans?:zen:
     
  8. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    I'm not familiar with the term (dazans) or with buddhist architecture for that matter, but what little I've seen has been very nice. It seems very alien / foreign compared to the architectural styles I'm used to, but that's OK, even refreshing at times.
     
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  9. Val

    Val Extraterrestrial

    Dazans mean "temples":)
     
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  10. Mischief

    Mischief Addicted Poster

    I agree that there is much beauty to be found in religious architecture, as well as in religious music. Even as an atheist, I find a sense of spiritual serenity in many places of worship, especially very old ones.

    Of course, I also experience something similar in old cemeteries.
     
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  11. Mikkel

    Mikkel Addicted Poster

    Location:
    Norway
    I have no relation to other types of religious buildings (yet) than churches. Only because I have never been in any other than churces (or I was in a mosk when I was 11 years old, but I don't remember much of it).

    Lom Stave Church. Build between 1150 and 1200. Located in Lom in Oppland.

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. Mischief

    Mischief Addicted Poster

    Those stave churches are lovely, Mikkel. The second one you posted is my favorite - beautifully simple proportions.
     
  13. Indian Summer

    Indian Summer Administrator Owner

    @Mikkel : In the last photo, are those dragon heads on the roof corners?

    I have to wonder if stave churches borrow a lot from the temples to the old gods.
     
  14. Mikkel

    Mikkel Addicted Poster

    Location:
    Norway
    I found a picture of the ornaments on the roof here. So it looks like a simple dragon head. :) Several of the stave churces are placed on grounds from older churches. So there is a chance that the same spots have been used to worship both the Norse gods and the Christian God.

    I like the second one too very much. Lom stave church had an other kind of tower until 1663, when the new one was added. It looks like the towers are added a bit later on several of the churches. Most churches have been under quite a lot of changes during the time, special the ones that was build before the reformation, as the catholic art was often removed and the interior changed a bit. The churches build in the early 1100-centry have a bit different looks than the ones build later.

    You find the same type of church in Eriksberg in Sweden, but in stone. This church was abandoned in 1885, as they got a new one, but restored and later used again. This one was also build in the 11oo century. The Swedish king family probably belonged here in those days, and it's claimed that the king Knut Eriksson died here. Several of the European royalties is related to this family (in the books about Arn, Knut is Arn's friend, that was the reason I went there.).

    [​IMG]


    I lived close to Mære Church for a year when I was a student. Also a very old chuch in Norway. One of my teachers worked there, so we got a tour around with him, looking at things that isn't open to public usually. It was build in the same period as Lom (1150-1200), but on that spot they worshiped Norse gods too. It has been one church at the same place and two other buildings before that too.
     
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  15. Mikkel

    Mikkel Addicted Poster

    Location:
    Norway
    Btw. In Mære Church they used to put the masts from the boats up under the roof in wintertime. I guess it isn't the only church that has stored masts, as few other buildings are long enough. There is quite a lot cool history about the churches, but not all is found on the Internet.
     
  16. Wow, great thread! Such beauty especially in the older architecture. :)

    The mormons build these amazing temples, this one I saw while visiting San Diego, California was built in the 1950s. (Not my photo :) )
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Mischief

    Mischief Addicted Poster

    I can't find a photo that does it justice, but standing in the main worship hall of the temple of the Community of Christ in Independence, Missouri, and looking up is like being inside a huge seashell. This is the ceiling (and again, the photo (not mine) doesn't begin to do it justice.

    [​IMG]

    The temple also has amazing artwork, primarily the glass pieces, which are so deeply etched as to almost be bas relief.

    It's a wonderful place to visit if you appreciate art and architecture, but it's too new (I think about 30 years old) to give me that sense of spiritual depth that really old places of worship have.
     
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  18. Mischief

    Mischief Addicted Poster

    And have art and architecture ever been more exquisitely combined than they are in rose windows?

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Mikkel

    Mikkel Addicted Poster

    Location:
    Norway
    Great architecture! And the mormon tempel looks awsome! It's so much money put down in relgious buildings, even in contries that is quite poor.

    New church, but same timeline.

    We had something between 1000 and 2000 stave churches in Norway, but almost all are lost. But we have about 150 stone churches left (I guess my next goal after visiting all the stave churches has to be to visit all the medieval churches I find, then I have something to do in Norway the rest of my life or something. :p )

    This is Hove Stone Church. She's build around 1170, so same period as several of the stave churches was build, and is located quite close to Hopperstad Stave Church. Hove is the oldest stone church in Sogn og Fjordane, and one of the oldest in Norway.

    050_1.jpg
     
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  20. Moll Flanders

    Moll Flanders Hopeful...

    Location:
    UK
    [​IMG]
    Westminster Abbey, not my photo obviously. My Catholic friend wanted to go there for the Christmas concert they hold each year.
     
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