Sacred architecture  

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1872 photograph of the western face of the Greek Parthenon
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1872 photograph of the western face of the Greek Parthenon

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Sacred architecture (also known as religious architecture) is concerned with the design and construction of places of worship and/or sacred or intentional space, such as churches, mosques, stupas, synagogues, and temples. Many cultures devoted considerable resources to their sacred architecture, and their places of worship, religion and sacred spaces are amongst the most impressive and permanent monolithic buildings created by humanity. Conversely, sacred architecture as a locale for meta-intimacy may also be non-monolithic, ephemeral and intensely private, personal and non-public.

Sacred, religious and holy structures often evolved over centuries and were the largest buildings in the world, prior to the modern skyscraper. While the various styles employed in sacred architecture sometimes reflected trends in other structures, these styles also remained unique from the contemporary architecture used in other structures. With the rise of monotheism, religious buildings increasingly became centres of worship and meditation.

The Western scholarly discipline of the History of Architecture itself closely follows the history of religious architecture from ancient times until the Baroque period, at least. Sacred geometry, iconography and the use of sophisticated semiotics such as signs, symbols and religious motif are endemic to sacred architecture.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sacred architecture" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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