welcome to lesson six. Today we will talk about religious architecture in the West and in China.
Talking about Religious architecture
The planned repairs after fire at Notre Dame in Paris made me think about the beauty of some of the world’s religious architecture. So for the rest of this class I thought we could talk a little about Christian architecture. These kinds are common throughout the world, and can be found throughout China too.
Priests: a person, usually a man, who has been trained to perform religious duties in the Christian Church, especially the Roman Catholic Church. Usually responsible for a parish (the members of his faith in his local area)
Often called Sisters (as in Sister Ruth, Sister Sarah, …)
Notre Dame Cathedral.
Notre Dame means a lot to the French.Let’s watch a clip to see how they responded to the fire (clip to be played in class).
After the fire there have been many plans for rebuilding the damaged parts of Notre Dame Cathedral.
The building of Notre Dame began in 1163. It took about 200 years to complete. The period of construction lasted from the 12th to 14th centuries. This period is sometimes called the early middle ages, or the early medieval period.
It was from oak, stone, and glass. Later, in the 19th century a lead covered spire was added.
Let’s have a look at some images.
Let’s have a look at a short video of the Cathedral (as it was a month before the fire).
Notre Dame is an example of what we call Gothic Architecture.
The cathedral shows the influence of earlier cultures in several ways:
- First, it is built on the site of a Gallo-Roman temple dedicated to the Roman God Jupiter. It shares features of the earlier architecture of the Roman Empire, and of Islamic architecture.
- Second, many of its decorative statues were designed to appeal to common people, who had pagan beliefs that were older than Christian beliefs. These are chimera.
- Third, the way the structure reaches up to the sky and lets in the light reflects the way that common people used to worship nature. Pagan worshipped in a clearing in the forrest, looked up towards the sun through the tall trees.
The Cathedral stone reaches up and curves inwards, encouraging worshippers to look up towards heaven, in a space full of grace, beauty and peace (like a forrest).
Some architectural features
Two of the architectural features that help it to do that are the flying buttresses and the gargoyles.
The flying buttresses take the weight of the large heavy roof, so that the walls do not have to bear it.
This video shows how (video to be played in class)
Tianjin’s St Joseph’s Cathedral
- Tell us about a religious building you know.
- Describe it and where it is.
- Tell us what kind of building it is it, what faith it belongs to.
- Again, if you would like to, you can show us pictures when you talk about it.