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Church Architecture

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Places of worship are always representative of a particular religion and they are customized in such a manner that their atmosphere and architecture restores all the related beliefs, customs, and traditions which have been practiced and employed throughout the course of time.
Churches, in the same way, represent the religion of Christianity and no matter which country you are staying at or no matter which corner of the world you reside in, all churches will show a few features associated with them which will have a certain uniformity similarity in their architecture.
Listed below are a few features which are considered to be an essential part of the traditional church architecture:

            Steeple

A steeple is always made a part of a church building and it serves many purposes.
It gives the otherwise short church building, a pleasing look of harmony and makes it the highest point at in any town enabling the residents to find the church from any part. It is also believed to set the vertical lines of the church straight enabling the people to have their eyes vertically to the heavens.

            Nave

It is the path between the entrance and the pulpit area. It is one of the main parts of the traditional church architecture.

            Chancel

It is that area where the choir and the pastors are located. It can be raised or simply at the level same as the nave.

            Baptistery

It is a pool or a bathing area which is connected to the church and here the practice of Baptism is conducted. It is usually built on the floor of the chancel area.

            Altar

It is the table where communion is celebrated. It is also sometimes called the communion table.

            Stained Glass Windows

The glass windows are colored (made with the oxides of metals). The primary purpose of the stained glass windows is to create a dim light inside the building which gives a sense of the presence of God to the people. The dim light was believed to be heavenly.

            Pulpit

It is a platform from where the preacher delivers the sermon. This platform is raised and located at the center of the chapel. In the past, it used to be located at the Gospel side (left side) of the chapel.

            Cross/ Crucifix

A cross is a part of all the churches. Catholic churches show with an image of suffering Jesus while the Protestants show a bare cross which reflects the fact that Jesus got over his suffering.

 

Top 10 World’s Wonderful Churches

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The architecture of churches has always been a subject of keen interest for the architects of all times.
By bringing modifications in the original classical architecture, some architects have created the most wonderful church buildings in different parts of the world. Following is the collection of the top 10 most wonderful churches in the world:

            Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

It is a Roman Catholic Church located in Spain. It has a magnificent display and is a splendid heritage.
It was designed by Antoni Gaudi and its construction began in 1982 and is incomplete to this day.

            Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia

It is located in the Red Square of Moscow. It is a very ancient church which was built in the 1550’s.
This marks the geometric center of Moscow and is known to be a Russian Orthodox Church.

            Notre Dame de Paris, Paris, France

It is considered as one of the most beautiful Churches of the modern Europe. It stands tall with its dramatic towers and stained glass windows and is a prodigy of beauty and attraction. It is said that it took over a century to build this splendid piece of architecture to completion.

red-square-1795125_640            St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy

This is one of the biggest Churches of the world. Its central dome rises to a height of 136. Meters which is the highest in the world. It is painted in all white and was constructed in the 16th century.
It is one of the most visited places of the Rome and Italy.

            Westminster Abbey, London, England

It is located in the Westminster Abbey. It is also known as the Gothic Church. It was constructed in the 10th century and is one of the most attention-grabbing buildings of the United Kingdom.

            St Paul’s Cathedral, London, England

It has the seat of the bishop of London as is located at the highest point of the city. The church which initially existed at this place was constructed back in the7th century but later it was rebuilt in the 17th century as the one which one can see now.

            Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem, Palestinian territories

This Church is very famous as it is believed to be constructed above the birthplace of the Jesus of Nazareth. It was originally created by Constantine and his mother Helena but as later rebuilt and modified. It is a very treasured heritage of the Christian world.

            Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem, Israel

It is also called the Church of Resurrection. It is located inside the old city of Jerusalem. This Christian quarter of the city is located on top of the hill of Calvary where the Jesus is believed to be crucified. Many Christians consider this church as their Pilgrimage site.

            Saint Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy

It is one of the major tourist sites in Venice. It depicts the Byzantine architecture and is one of the most noticeable icons of the city.

            Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

It was once an Orthodox patriarchal church, later transformed into a mosque and was later made into a museum as it still is today.

Church Maintenance

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Maintaining the church is very much like maintaining any other building. The only difference is that because churches have to manage their maintenance within a narrow church budget so they often employ volunteer workers to get the job done.
Maintenance of a church must be very coordinated and should be done on a regular basis as the church is a place which always has something going on with its premises.

Following are some organized means by which the maintenance of a church can be made easy.

 christians-432075_640           Events Calendar

An effective facility management within a church requires it to have a central calendar which has all the events of the church listed on it. This record can be maintained by means of an electronic calendar application or simply a card calendar. This will bring a great deal of ease in the management and coordination of church facilities.

            Cleaning Schedule

It is important for a church to be neat, tidy and clean. Make a cleaning schedule for the church which is in accordance with the events calendar of the church, the cleaning crew should get the church ready before hand in case of any event that has to be conducted within the church. The church is normally a very big building and its deep cleaning on a daily basis is simply not possible so the crew should be advised to carry out general cleaning daily and a deep cleaning once a month.

            Maintenance Schedule

All buildings need maintenance. You just have to find out what exactly I the building needs to be maintained or repaired. Just talk a walk around the church campus and make a list of all the things that need to be fixed. For example, the walls that need to be painted, the bulbs that need to be replaced and the pipes that need to be changed. Write it all down and then go about them one by one according to a schedule.

            Volunteer Work

It is advisable to schedule volunteer days twice a month. This helps to get people involved in the maintenance of church facilities. This lightens the burden as it gets shared among many people who are willingly available for the work. This, however, demands a lot of planning and organization. If handled in the right manner, the volunteer day can get you a lot of the work done in just a couple of hours.

            Safety Training

It is important all the staff of the church is given safety training. They should be educated as to how they can carry out assigned tasks while considering the safety of themselves and that of other individuals. It should be made sure that all the staff is well informed about the equipment they are using and know exactly how to handle it without causing themselves or other any injury.

            Landscape Maintenance

Many churches have a beautiful exterior landscape which adds beauty to its magnificent architecture. This beauty needs to be looked after otherwise it loses all its charm and gives a very bad impression to all those who visit. If the church has a garden or a lawn, try indulging people in planting trees and flowers so that the church stays clean and beautiful, the way it is supposed to be.