When it comes to Religious Buildings, there are no limits to amazing structures created for the gods all around the world.
One of the reasons I chose to research into this topic is because of these limitless possibilities, there is no set way a religious building should look, as well as no boundaries. There is something sacred about these places that really adds to their beautiful atmosphere – below are some images from my research into these buildings around the world, from these I have determined the top two I shall be looking at:
The three I shall be looking into are:
Indian Hinduism places of worship.
European Christian/Catholic places of worship
Asian Buddhist and Shinto places of worship.
As for the Asian places of worship, they shall be covered within the ASIA post.
The most common religion within India is Hinduism which was developed from Vedic religion, the temples themselves appear to mainly be made up of stone bricks towards the base and as the building reaches further and further the top, the stone turns more and more intricate, carved into sculptures and mini columns until the tip is reached, for a list of Hindu temples within India, click on the link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hindu_temples_in_India. One of the most breathtaking things about some of the temples is the way they are painted with bright colours, creating scenes from the heavens, often containing gods and their servants.
These temples are named मन्दिर (mandir) and प्रासाद (prāsāda) in India. As far as I can tell, there are two different styles of these Hindu temples, the first being made entirely of stone, the second being painted stone with pother embellishments such as gold. Below are some images of the painted type:
The scenes on the top of these temples are basically of the gods they worship, below is a close-up of one of the painted statues that make up the structure of the towers:
It seems common practice for these temples to have a larger base and gradually narrow until the shikhara is reached. here are often multiple towers to these temples, though I have seen some have only one. I decided to place a diagram of one of these temples below so you can understand the fundamental architecture that makes up each and every place of worship. There are temples that have less (rarely) and additional features alongside the ones you can see drawn out below. Click to enlarge the images if needed.
Although the painted temples are completely stunning and eye catching, I find myself drawn to the plain stone temples that don’t have such a lurid appearance.
When the temples are paint and garnish free, I think the pure genius behind the hand crafted architecture is better visible. My favourite thing about these temples is how, from a distance, they seem to have a layered appearance. By this I mean as the towers get thinner and thinner they don’t do it smoothly, it’s like they have been cut away in ‘ledges’, left to climb in sections. This also gives them the appearance of stability, almost like climbing these steps will bring you closer to the heavens.
As a further to my digital research, I have some photography and artistic research to show as well. Please click on the images below to enlarge them so they are readable. First of all are some photographs of India in general. These were taken back in 2006 when my dad visited India on a business trip.
One thing in general I would like to point out is this Golden Temple (http://sgpc.net/golden-temple/index.asp).
After gathering enough online research I thought I would try my hand at some traditional research. The image below can be enlarged if needed and contains some further research on Hindi Art and Architecture (please note this is my own work).
Below is a simple line art drawing of an Indian temple that I did to show an understanding of the structure, I am not 100% sure this is entirely correct in terms of creating an Indian temple, though I did the best based on the research I have conducted. (Please bear in mind this is my own work).
Next on my list is European Catholic and Christian architecture.
The most common religion in the European Union is Christianity. It has been this way for at least a millennium and a half, there are three countries within Southeastern Europe that have Muslim majorities. The ancient European religions believed in deities such as Odin and Zeus. The religious buildings themselves seem to be made of a variety of different materials, the main one being stone. I have decided that giant cathedrals in places such as England and France are the buildings which are of interest to me. Click the link to see a list of some of the worlds most beautiful religious buildings like the ones I shall be researching: http://www.europeish.com/beautiful-churches-europe/. Some of the reasons these buildings attract my attention so much is because of their sheer size, complex stone-work and stained glass windows. Unlike the temples in India, I have experience of seeing real-life cathedrals, churches and chapels. Below I have collected some images of the most beautiful Christian/Catholic buildings:
I really do love the structure of cathedrals and buildings of the like, one of the most striking parts of them is their impossibly high ceilings that are embellished with beautiful crossing beams. When I first came across these amazing features, i thought it was merely for decoration, though upon further research into their amazing structure I came to realise they are fundamental for supporting the entire buildings. Below is an example of the ‘criss crossing’ ceilings within simple diagrams showing the support of the building. There is also an explanation to the beautiful arches branching from the central structure, these are present both inside and outside some of the buildings:
Additional to my digital research I have decided to do some traditional, paper based research. Before I move on to that I have some observational photographs of Lincoln Cathedral when I visited last year below, please note these are all my photographs. Apologies for the bad quality, these are photos taken from printed versions as I no longer have the originals:
Partially using the photographs I have taken, I decided to add some creative perspective into this whole cloud of research, also this allows me to become more familiar with drawing the sorts of shapes these buildings have inside them (please note all drawings are my own):