03-29-2010 02:11 PM - edited 03-29-2010 02:23 PM
Artists and architects have been inspired or commissioned by religion for almost the entire length of human history, and some of the most awe-inspiring structures in the world are religious buildings. This thread is for anyone to post their favorite religious buildings and to talk a little about them. From the Vatican to a building in your own town, talk about beautiful or just, well, cool religious buildings here.
My first pic you might recognize from my user picture. It's the Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
I have had a bit of an obsession on the Angkor Wat ever since I saw it in a National Geographic when I was 10. It is about a thousand years old and originally was built as a tribute to a God King who believed he was an incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu.
It's the biggest religious structure of any kind in the world. The towers are shaped like lotus flowers and represent the Himalayas. It was built on its own island surrounded by a moat that was hand dug by slaves. To get a sense of the scale of this place, take a look at a picture of that moat:
That picture I took myself when I visited a few years ago. It was an incredible trip. You may have seen some of these images before, but the thing about the Wat that doesn't get much attention usually is the massive amount of bas reliefs covering almost every inch of stone. The amount of art at the Wat is unbelievable, and rivals the famous museums of Europe. Look at some of this stuff.
The Wat is now not only a tourist destination and a symbol of Cambodian national pride, but an active Buddhist place of worship (thus the "Wat" name, which is a word used for a Buddhist temple).
Now tell me about your favorite religious buildings.
03-29-2010 09:14 PM - edited 03-29-2010 09:16 PM
Cool photos, thank you.
I second that motion! Thanks, Joseph. Sounds like a wonderful trip!
Play with this site and you can get a few shots of a favorite cathedral of mine: Notre Dame in Montreal.
(I would enjoy seeing the movie touted here.)
Among my favorite aspects of this building are the stained glass windows that feature North American religious scenes: explorer priests, saintly Native Americans, ....