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Canons on church architecture?


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#1 Reader Luke

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Posted 22 December 2010 - 06:23 PM

Are there any canons or rubrics regarding Church Architecture? If so, what are they?

#2 Jeremy Troy

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 03:06 AM

I know that the Typika specifies the shapes that Church buildings should be built in. If I remember correctly, it allows for cruciform buildings, cubical buildings and buildings "like a ship". I take the last type to be the shape that Germanic or English Church buildings come in. Of course, in the diaspora this rubric cannot always be followed since many parish Churches set up shop in pre-existing buildings whose structure may or may not be ideal for Orthodox worship.

#3 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 02:07 PM

I am not aware of any canons that specifically address church construction, but there is certainly a lot of tradition. However, that tradition appears to allow a great deal of variation. I have seen square, rectangular, circular, octagonal and cruciform churches. Regardless of the outlines of the church the general guidelines seem to be that, in as much as possible, it should face East, there will be the Narthex, or entrance, which generally has a lower ceiling, that opens into the Nave, which has a high ceiling, marking the transition from Earth to Heaven. Then there is the area of the amvon before the iconostas, behind which is the sanctuary which contains the altar.

The wikipedia article on Orthodox Church construction has some lovely pictures which capture the variations and similarities rather effectively here: Eastern Orthodox church architecture

Herman the architectural Pooh

#4 Paul Cowan

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 03:02 AM

I notice Hagia Sophia is noticeably missing from the wiki site.

I doubt the holy cave dwellers carved much out of the inside of solid rock to "form" any kind of structure for a church.

Paul

#5 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 01:44 PM

I notice Hagia Sophia is noticeably missing from the wiki site.

I doubt the holy cave dwellers carved much out of the inside of solid rock to "form" any kind of structure for a church.

Paul


A couple of years ago when our church sponsored a pilgrimage to the Crimea, on one of the Sunday afternoons we visited the most amazing rock structures that in Byzantine times had been a whole city. The whole area was on the very top of a very great height and had been extensively carved into. Among these structures was what had clearly been a church carved into the rock like a cave. The altar and side benches were still clearly visible. It looked a bit like the structures seen in photos of Cappadocia. But the whole area also had a bit of an ancient Athonite feeling- like the cave near Simonos Petras or Agiou Pavlou. Whatever had gone on there over a thousand years ago it clearly represented Byzantine and anchoretic influences on a highly developed level.

In Christ- Fr RaphaelAttached File  pilgrimage to kiev & crimea 2009 428.JPG   1.27MB   33 downloads

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