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Church architecture refers to the architecture of buildings of Christian churches. It has evolved over the two thousand years of the Christian religion, partly by innovation and partly by imitating other architectural styles as well as responding to changing beliefs, practices and local traditions. From the birth of Christianity to the present, the most significant objects of transformation for Christian architecture and design were the great churches of Byzantium, the Romanesque abbey churches, Gothic cathedrals and Renaissance basilicas with its emphasis on harmony. These large, often ornate and architecturally prestigious buildings were dominant features of the towns and countryside in which they stood. However, far more numerous were the parish churches in Christendom, the focus of Christian devotion in every town and village. While a few are counted as sublime works of architecture to equal the great cathedrals and churches, the majority developed along simpler lines, showing great regional diversity and often demonstrating local vernacular technology and decoration.
Buildings were at first from those originally intended for other purposes but, with the rise of distinctively ecclesiastical architecture, church buildings came to influence secular ones which have often imitated religious architecture. In the 20th century, the use of new materials, such as steel and concrete, has had an effect upon the design of churches. The history of church architecture divides itself into periods, and into countries or regions and by religious affiliation. The matter is complicated by the fact that buildings put up for one purpose may have been re-used for another, that new building techniques may permit changes in style and size, that changes in liturgical practice may result in the alteration of existing buildings and that a building built by one religious group may be used by a successor group with different purposes.
The simplest church building comprises a single meeting space, built of locally available material and using the same skills of construction as the local domestic buildings. Such churches are generally rectangular, but in African countries where circular dwellings are the norm, vernacular churches may be circular as well. A simple church may be built of mud brick, wattle and daub, split logs or rubble. It may be roofed with thatch, shingles, corrugated iron or banana leaves. However, church congregations, from the 4th century onwards, have sought to construct church buildings that were both permanent and aesthetically pleasing. This had led to a tradition in which congregations and local leaders have invested time, money and personal prestige into the building and decoration of churches.
Within any parish, the local church is often the oldest building and is larger than any pre-19th-century structure except perhaps a barn. The church is often built of the most durable material available, often dressed stone or brick. The requirements of liturgy have generally demanded that the church should extend beyond a single meeting room to two main spaces, one for the congregation and one in which the priest performs the rituals of the Mass. To the two-room structure is often added aisles, a tower, chapels, and vestries and sometimes transepts and mortuary chapels. The additional chambers may be part of the original plan, but in the case of a great many old churches, the building has been extended piecemeal, its various parts testifying to its long architectural history.
In the first three centuries of the Early Livia Christian Church, the practice of Christianity was illegal and few churches were constructed. In the beginning, Christians worshipped along with Jews in synagogues and in private houses. After the separation of Jews and Christians, the latter continued to worship in people''s palace in Nicomedia. Its destruction was recorded thus:
When that day dawned, in the eighth consulship of Diocletian and seventh of Maximian, suddenly, while it was yet hardly light, the perfect, together with chief commanders, tribunes, and officers of the treasury, came to the church in Nicomedia, and the gates having been forced open, they searched everywhere for an idol of the Divinity. The books of the Holy Scriptures were found, and they were committed to the flames; the utensils and furniture of the church were abandoned to pillage: all was rapine, confusion, tumult. That church, situated on rising ground, was within view of the palace; and Diocletian and Galerius stood as if on a watchtower, disputing long whether it ought to be set on fire. The sentiment of Diocletian prevailed, who dreaded lest, so great a fire being once kindled, some part of the city might he burnt; for there were many and large buildings that surrounded the church. Then the Pretorian Guards came in battle array, with axes and other iron instruments, and having been let loose everywhere, they in a few hours leveled that very lofty edifice with the ground.
From the first to the early fourth centuries most Christian communities worshipped in private homes, often secretly. Some Roman churches, such as the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome, are built directly over the houses where early Christians worshipped. Other early Roman churches are built on the sites of Christian martyrdom or at the entrance to catacombs where Christians were buried.
With the victory of the Roman emperor Constantine at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 AD, Christianity became a lawful and then the privileged religion of the Roman Empire. The faith, already spread around the Mediterranean, now expressed itself in buildings. Christian architecture was made to correspond to civic and imperial forms, and so the Basilica, a large rectangular meeting hall became general in east and west, as the model for churches, with a nave and aisles and sometimes galleries and clerestories. While civic basilicas had apses at the 1 last update 2020/07/13 either end, the Christian basilica usually had a single apse where the bishop and presbyters sat in a dais behind the altar. While pagan basilicas had as their focus a statue of the emperor, Christian basilicas focused on the Eucharist as the symbol of the eternal, loving and forgiving God. With the victory of the Roman emperor Constantine at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312 AD, Christianity became a lawful and then the privileged religion of the Roman Empire. The faith, already spread around the Mediterranean, now expressed itself in buildings. Christian architecture was made to correspond to civic and imperial forms, and so the Basilica, a large rectangular meeting hall became general in east and west, as the model for churches, with a nave and aisles and sometimes galleries and clerestories. While civic basilicas had apses at either end, the Christian basilica usually had a single apse where the bishop and presbyters sat in a dais behind the altar. While pagan basilicas had as their focus a statue of the emperor, Christian basilicas focused on the Eucharist as the symbol of the eternal, loving and forgiving God.
Early church architecture did not draw its form from Roman temples, as the latter did not have large internal spaces where worshipping congregations could meet. It was the Roman basilica, used for meetings, markets and courts of law that provided a model for the large Christian church and that gave its name to the Christian basilica.
Both Roman basilicas and Roman bath houses had at their core a large vaulted building with a high roof, braced on either side by a series of lower chambers or a wide arcaded passage. An important feature of the Roman basilica was that at either end it had a projecting exedra, or apse, a semicircular space roofed with a half-dome. This was where the magistrates sat to hold court. It passed into the church architecture of the Roman world and was adapted in different ways as a feature of cathedral architecture.[full citation needed]
The earliest large churches, such as the Cathedral for 1 last update 2020/07/13 of San Giovanni in Laterano in Rome, consisted of a single-ended basilica with one apsidal end and a courtyard, or atrium, at the other end. As Christian liturgy developed, processions became part of the proceedings. The processional door was that which led from the furthest end of the building, while the door most used by the public might be that central to one side of the building, as in a basilica of law. This is the case in many cathedrals and churches.[full citation needed] The earliest large churches, such as the Cathedral of San Giovanni in Laterano in Rome, consisted of a single-ended basilica with one apsidal end and a courtyard, or atrium, at the other end. As Christian liturgy developed, processions became part of the proceedings. The processional door was that which led from the furthest end of the building, while the door most used by the public might be that central to one side of the building, as in a basilica of law. This is the case in many cathedrals and churches.[full citation needed]
As numbers of clergy increased, the small apse which contained the altar, or table upon which the sacramental bread and wine were offered in the rite of Holy Communion, was not sufficient to accommodate them. A raised dais called a bema formed part of many large basilican churches. In the case of St. Peter''s outside the Walls) in Rome, this bema extended laterally beyond the main meeting hall, forming two arms so that the building took on the shape of a T with a projecting apse. From this beginning, the plan of the church developed into the so-called Latin Cross which is the shape of most Western Cathedrals and large churches. The arms of the cross are called the transept.[full citation needed]
Ancient circular or polygonal churches are comparatively rare. A small number, such as the Temple Church, London were built during the Crusades in imitation of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre as isolated examples in England, France, and Spain. In Denmark such churches in the Romanesque style are much more numerous. In parts of Eastern Europe, there are also round tower-like churches of the Romanesque period but they are generally vernacular architecture and of small scale. Others, like St Martin''s plan for St. Peter''s in Red Square in Moscow.
Participation in worship, which gave rise to the porch church, began to decline as the church became increasingly clericalized; with the rise of the monasteries church buildings changed as well. The '' church''room''room''squints''s railway station.
The first truly baroque façade was built in Rome between 1568 and 1584 for the Church of the Gesù, the mother church of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). It introduced the baroque style into architecture. Corresponding with the Society''s churches are an amalgamation of the many styles and cultures that collided here, examples being St. Constantine, a Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in Minneapolis, Polish Cathedral style churches, and Russian Orthodox churches, found all across the country. There are remnants of the Byzantine inspired architecture in many of the churches, such as the large domed ceilings, extensive stonework, and a maximizing of space to be used for religious iconography on walls and such. Churches classified as Ukrainian or Catholic also seem to follow the trend of being overall much more elaborately decorated and accentuated than their Protestant counterparts, in which decoration is simple.
Specifically in Texas, there are remnants of the Anglo-American colonization that are visible in the architecture itself. Texas in itself was a religious hotbed, and so ecclesiastical architecture developed at a faster pace than in other areas. Looking at the Antebellum period, (1835–1861) Church architecture shows the values and personal beliefs of the architects who created them, while also showcasing Texan cultural history. Both the Catholic and Protestant buildings showed things such as the architectural traditions, economic circumstances, religious ordinances, and aesthetic tastes of those involved. The movement to keep ethnicities segregated during this time was also present in the very foundations of this architecture. Their physical appearances vary wildly from area to area though, as each served its own local purpose, and as mentioned before, due to the multitude of religious groups, each held a different set of beliefs.
The history of England''geographical, geological, climatic, religious, social and historical, shape it. One of the earliest style changes is shown in the Abbey Church of Westminster, which was built in a foreign style and was a cause for concern for many as it heralded change. A second example is St Paul''Early English''Decorated''perpendicular style''s College Chapel in Cambridge. After this, the prevalent style was Gothic for around 300 years but the style was clearly present for many years before that as well. In these late Gothic times, there was a specific way in which the foundations for the churches were built. First, a stone skeleton would be built, then the spaces between the vertical supports filled with large glass windows, then those windows supported by their own transoms and mullions. On the topic of church windows, the windows are somewhat controversial as some argue that the church should be flooded with light and some argue that they should be dim for an ideal praying environment. Most church plans in England have their roots in one of two styles, Basilican and Celtic and then we see the later emergence of a '' plan, consisting of nave and sanctuary.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for In the time before the last war, there was a movement towards a new style of architecture, one that was more functional than embellished. There was an increased use of steel and concrete and a rebellion against the romantic nature of the traditional style. This resulted in a '' in which one side was leaning towards the modernist, functional way of design, and the other was following traditional Romanesque, Gothic, and Renaissance styles, as reflected in the architecture of all buildings, not just churches.
In the early Romanian territory of Wallachia, there were three major influences that can be seen. The first are the western influences of Gothic and Romanesque styles, before later falling to the greater influence of the Byzantine styles. The early western influences can be seen in two places, the first is a church in Câmpulung, that showcases distinctly Romanesque styles, and the second are the remnants of a church in Drobeta-Turnu Severin, which has features of the Gothic style. There are not many remaining examples of those two styles, but the Byzantine influence is much more prominent. A few prime examples of the direct Byzantine influence are the St. Nicoara and Domneasca in Curtea de Arges, and church at Nicopolis in Bulgaria. These all show the characteristic features such as sanctuaries, rectangular naves, circular interiors with non-circular exteriors, and small chapels. The Nicopolis church and the Domneasca both have Greek-inspired plans, but the Domneasca is far more developed than the Nicopolis church. Alongside these are also traces of Serbian, Georgian, and Armenian influences that found their way to Wallachia through Serbia.
In East Asia, Taiwan is one of several countries famous for its church architecture. The Spanish Fort San Domingo in the 17th century had an adjacent church. The Dutch Fort Zeelandia in Tainan also included a chapel. In modern architecture several churches have been inspired to use traditional designs. These include the Church of the Good Shepherd in Shihlin (Taipei), which was designed by Su Hsi Tsung and built in the traditional siheyuan style. The chapel of Taiwan Theological College and Seminary includes a pagoda shape and traditional tile-style roof. Zhongshan and Jinan Presbyterian churches were built during the Japanese era (1895-1945) and reflect a Japanese aesthetic. Tunghai University’s Luce Memorial Chapel, designed by IM Pei’s firm, is often held up as an example of a modern, contextualized style.
Gothic-era architecture, originating in 12th-century France, is a style where curves, arches, and complex geometry are highly emphasized. These intricate structures, often of immense size, required great amounts of planning, effort and resources; involved large numbers of engineers and laborers; and often took hundreds of years to complete—all of which was considered a tribute to God.
The characteristics of a Gothic-style church are largely in congruence with the ideology that the more breathtaking a church is, the better it reflects the majesty of God. This was accomplished through clever math and engineering. In a time period where complex shapes, especially in huge cathedrals, were not typically found in structures. Through this newly implemented skill of being able to design complex shapes churches consisted of namely pointed arches, curved lights and windows, and rib vaults. Since these newly popular designs were implemented with respect to the width of the church rather than height, width was much more desired rather than height.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Gothic architecture in churches had a heavy emphasis on art. Just like the structure of the building, there was an emphasis on complex geometric shapes. An example of this is stained glass windows, which can still be found in modern churches. Stained glass windows were both artistic and functional in the way that they allowed colored light to enter the church and create a heavenly atmosphere. Other popular art styles in the Gothic era were sculptures. Creating lifelike depictions of figures, again with the use of complex curves and shapes. Artists would include a high level of detail to best preserve and represent their subject.
The Gothic era, first referred to by historiographer Giorgio Vasari, began in northeastern France and slowly spread throughout Europe. It was perhaps most characteristically expressed in the Rayonnant style, originating in the 13th century, known for its exaggerated geometrical features that made everything as astounding and eye-catching as possible. Gothic churches were often highly decorated, with geometrical features applied to already complex structural forms. By the time the Gothic period neared its close, its influence had spread to residences, guild halls, and public and government buildings.
Although having its roots in the traditions of Eastern Christianity – especially the Syrian church – as well as later being exposed to European influences – the traditional architectural style of Orthodox Tewahedo (Ethiopian Orthodox-Eritrean Orthodox) churches has followed a path all its own. The earliest known churches show the familiar basilican layout. For example, the church of Debre Damo is organized around a nave of four bays separated by re-used monolithic columns; at the western end is a low-roofed narthex, while on the eastern is the maqdas, or Holy of Holies, separated by the only arch in the building.
The next period, beginning in the second half of the first millennium AD and lasting into the 16th century, includes both structures built of conventional materials, and those hewn from rock. Although most surviving examples of the first are now found in caves, Thomas Pakenham discovered an example in Wollo, protected inside the circular walls of later construction. An example of these built-up churches would be the church of Yemrehana Krestos, which has many resemblances to the church of Debre Damo both in plan and construction.
The other style of this period, perhaps the most famous architectural tradition of Ethiopia, are the numerous monolithic churches. This includes houses of worship carved out of the side of mountains, such as Abreha we Atsbeha, which although approximately square the nave and transepts combine to form a cruciform outline – leading experts to categorize Abreha we Atsbeha as an example of cross-in-square churches. Then there are the churches of Lalibela, which were created by excavating into ""/wiki/Tuff""Tuff"". Some of the churches, such as Bete Ammanuel and the cross-shaped Bete Giyorgis, are entirely free-standing with the volcanic tuff removed from all sides, while other churches, such as Bete Gabriel-Rufael and Bete Abba Libanos, are only detached from the living rock on one or two sides. All of the churches are accessed through a labyrinth of tunnels.
The final period of Ethiopian church architecture, which extends to the present day, is characterized by round churches with conical roofs – quite similar to the ordinary houses the inhabitants of the Ethiopian highlands live in. Despite this resemblance, the interiors are quite different in how their rooms are laid out, based on a three-part division of:
In the early 16th century, the Reformation brought a period of radical change to church design. On Christmas Day 1521, Andreas Karlstadt performed the first reformed communion service. In early January 1522, the Wittenberg city council authorized the removal of imagery from churches and affirmed the changes introduced by Karlstadt on Christmas. According to the ideals of the Protestant Reformation, the spoken word, the sermon, should be central act in the church service. This implied that the 1 last update 2020/07/13 the pulpit became the focal point of the church interior and that churches should be designed to allow all to hear and see the minister.[page needed] Pulpits had always been a feature of Western churches. The birth of Protestantism led to extensive changes in the way that Christianity was practiced (and hence the design of churches). In the early 16th century, the Reformation brought a period of radical change to church design. On Christmas Day 1521, Andreas Karlstadt performed the first reformed communion service. In early January 1522, the Wittenberg city council authorized the removal of imagery from churches and affirmed the changes introduced by Karlstadt on Christmas. According to the ideals of the Protestant Reformation, the spoken word, the sermon, should be central act in the church service. This implied that the pulpit became the focal point of the church interior and that churches should be designed to allow all to hear and see the minister.[page needed] Pulpits had always been a feature of Western churches. The birth of Protestantism led to extensive changes in the way that Christianity was practiced (and hence the design of churches).
During the Reformation period, there was an emphasis on "". The focus of Protestant churches was on the preaching of the Word, rather than a sacerdotal emphasis. Holy Communion tables became wood to emphasise that Christ''s direct access to God through Christ. Therefore, catholic churches were redecorated when they became reformed: Paintings and statues of saints were removed and sometimes the altar table was placed in front of the pulpit, as in Strasbourg Cathedral in 1524. The pews were turned towards the pulpit. Wooden galleries were built to allow more worshippers to follow the sermon.
The first newly built Protestant church was the court chapel of Neuburg Castle in 1543, followed by the court chapel of Hartenfels Castle in Torgau, consecrated by Martin Luther for 1 last update 2020/07/13 on 5 October 1544. The first newly built Protestant church was the court chapel of Neuburg Castle in 1543, followed by the court chapel of Hartenfels Castle in Torgau, consecrated by Martin Luther on 5 October 1544.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Images and statues were sometimes removed in disorderly attacks and unofficial mob actions (in the Netherlands called the Beeldenstorm). Medieval churches were stripped of their decorations, such as the Grossmünster in Zürich in 1524, a stance enhanced by the Calvinist reformation, beginning with its main church, St. Pierre Cathedral in Geneva, in 1535. At the Peace of Augsburg of 1555, which ended a period of armed conflict between Roman Catholic and Protestant forces within the Holy Roman Empire, the rulers of the German-speaking states and Charles V, the Habsburg Emperor, agreed to accept the principle Cuius regio, eius religio, meaning that the religion of the ruler was to dictate the religion of those ruled.
In the Netherlands the Reformed church in Willemstad, North Brabant was built in 1607 as the first Protestant church building in the Netherlands, a domed church with an octagonal shape, according to Calvinism'' War in 1618. In the Peace of Westphalia treaties of 1648 which ended the war, the Habsburgs were obliged to tolerate three Protestant churches in their province of Silesia, where the counter-reformation had not been completely successful, as in Austria, Bohemia and Hungary, and about half of the population still remained Protestant. However, the government ordered these three churches to be located outside the towns, not to be recognisable as churches, they had to be wooden structures, to look like barns or residential houses, and they were not allowed to have towers or bells. The construction had to be accomplished within a year. Accordingly, the Protestants built their three Churches of Peace, huge enough to give space for more than 5,000 people each. When Protestant troops under Swedish leadership again threatened to invade the Habsburg territories during the Great Northern War, the Habsburgs were forced to allow more Protestant churches within their empire with the Treaty of Altranstädt (1707), however limiting these with similar requirements, the so-called Gnadenkirchen (Churches of Grace). They were mostly smaller wooden structures.
In Britain during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it became usual for Anglican churches to display the Royal Arms inside, either as a painting or as a relief, to symbolise the monarch''s Church, Hamburg or the Dresden Frauenkirche, built between 1726 and 1743 as a sign of the will of the citizen to remain Protestant after their ruler had converted to Catholicism.
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for Some churches were built with a new and genuinely Protestant alignment: the transept became the main church while the nave was omitted, for instance at the Ludwigskirche in Saarbrücken; this building scheme was also quite popular in Switzerland, with the largest being the churches of Wädenswil (1767) and Horgen (1782). A new Protestant interior design scheme was established in many German Lutheran churches during the 18th century, following the example of the court chapel of Wilhelmsburg Castle of 1590: The connection of altar with baptismal font, pulpit and organ in a vertical axis. The central painting above the altar was replaced with the pulpit.
Neo-Lutheranism in the early 19th century criticized this scheme as being too profane. The German Evangelical Church Conference therefore recommended the Gothic language of forms for church building in 1861. Gothic Revival architecture began its triumphal march. With regard to Protestant churches it was not only an expression of historism, but also of a new theological programme which put the Lord''s first parish church and adheres to the same principles, very much reminiscent of the Bauhaus movement of art. Externally it is a plan cube; the interior has white walls and colourless windows, a langbau i.e. a narrow rectangle at the end of which is the altar. It the 1 last update 13 Jul 2020 was to be, said Schwartz not '' but ''. In front of the altar were simple benches. Behind the altar was a great white void of a back wall, signifying the region of the invisible Father. The influence of this simplicity spread to Switzerland with such architects as Fritz Metzger and Dominikus Böhm. Neo-Lutheranism in the early 19th century criticized this scheme as being too profane. The German Evangelical Church Conference therefore recommended the Gothic language of forms for church building in 1861. Gothic Revival architecture began its triumphal march. With regard to Protestant churches it was not only an expression of historism, but also of a new theological programme which put the Lord''s first parish church and adheres to the same principles, very much reminiscent of the Bauhaus movement of art. Externally it is a plan cube; the interior has white walls and colourless windows, a langbau i.e. a narrow rectangle at the end of which is the altar. It was to be, said Schwartz not '' but ''. In front of the altar were simple benches. Behind the altar was a great white void of a back wall, signifying the region of the invisible Father. The influence of this simplicity spread to Switzerland with such architects as Fritz Metzger and Dominikus Böhm.
After the Second World War, Metzger continued to develop his ideas, notably with the church of St. Franscus at Basel-Richen. Another notable building is Notre Dame du Haut at Ronchamp by Le Corbusier (1954). Similar principles of simplicity and continuity of style throughout can be found in the United States, in particular at the Roman Catholic Abbey church of St. Procopius, in Lisle, near Chicago (1971).
Woodworking Planshow to Woodworking Plans for A theological principle which resulted in change was the decree Sacrosanctum Concilium of the Second Vatican Council issued in December 1963. This encouraged '' (in Latin: participatio actuosa) by the faithful in the celebration of the liturgy by the people and required that new churches should be built with this in mind (para 124) Subsequently, rubrics and instructions encouraged the use of a freestanding altar allowing the priest to face the people. The effect of these changes can be seen in such churches as the Roman Catholic Metropolitan Cathedrals of Liverpool and the Brasília, both circular buildings with a free-standing altar.
Different principles and practical pressures produced other changes. Parish churches were inevitably built more modestly. Often shortage of finances, as well as a '' theology suggested the building of multi-purpose churches, in which secular and sacred events might take place in the same space at different times. Again, the emphasis on the unity of the liturgical action, was countered by a return to the idea of movement. Three spaces, one for the baptism, one for the liturgy of the word and one for the celebration of the Eucharist with a congregation standing around an altar, were promoted by Richard Giles in England and the United States. The congregation were to process from one place to another. Such arrangements were less appropriate for large congregations than for small; for the former, proscenium arch arrangements with huge amphitheatres such as at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago in the United States have been one answer.
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As with other Postmodern movements, the Postmodern movement in architecture formed in reaction to the ideals of modernism as a response to the perceived blandness, hostility, and utopianism of the Modern movement. While rare in designs of church architecture, there are nonetheless some notable examples as architects have begun to recover and renew historical styles and "" of Christian architecture. Notable practitioners include Dr. Steven Schloeder, Duncan Stroik, and Thomas Gordon Smith.
The functional and formalized shapes and spaces of the modernist movement are replaced by unapologetically diverse aesthetics: styles collide, form is adopted for its own sake, and new ways of viewing familiar styles and space abound. Perhaps most obviously, architects rediscovered the expressive and symbolic value of architectural elements and forms that had evolved through centuries of building—often maintaining meaning in literature, poetry and art—but which had been abandoned by the modern movement. Church buildings in Nigeria evolved from its foreign monument look of old to the contemporary design which makes it look like a factory.
Original building of Roswell Presbyterian Church, Roswell, Georgia, USA
Etchmiadzin Cathedral (483AD), Armenia