Friday, November 21, 2008

Unusual Churches Around The World

The Church of Hallgrímur, Reykjavík, Iceland


The Church of Hallgrímur is very very unusual, never seen anything like that.
This Lutheran parish church is also a very tall one, reaching 74.5 metres (244 ft) height. It is the fourth tallest architectural structure in Iceland.

It took incredibly long to build it (38 years!) Construction work began in 1945 and ended in 1986. The Architect of this building is Guðjón Samúelssondesign.




Cathedral of Brasilia in Brasilia, Brazil




This is a very famous Cathedral of Brasília designed by Oscar Niemeyer. It looks really modern but somehow childish to me. These columns, having hyperbolic section and weighing 90 t, represent two hands moving upwards to heaven.

The construction was finished in 1970.




Paoay Church (St. Augustine Parish) in Philippines


Paoay Church reminds me of Aztec architecture. It looks very massive and strong. The walls of the church are 1.67 meters thick and are supported by 24 carved and massive buttresses.

Its construction started in 1704 and was completed in 1894 by the Augustinian friars led by Fr. Antonio Estavillo. It is said, that Its construction primarily was intended to withstand earthquakes. And it could test the strength of the walls very soon, because the church was damaged by an earthquake in 1706 and 1927.

The design of the church is a mixture of Gothic, Oriental and Baroque influence.

Duomo (Milan Cathedral) in Italy



Duomo looks incredibly tall and majestic. It even has an evil and scary look in this picture. After checking the Wikipedia for more info I found there were more photos of this cathedral, but they don’t look as cool as this photo here. Maybe its just an illusion made by a good photographer that this building is so amazing.

On the other hand, Mark Twain said the following of the Duomo in Milan in his work, Innocents Abroad:
"They say that the Cathedral of Milan is second only to St. Peter’s at Rome. I cannot understand how it can be second to anything made by human hands."


Church Ruins in Goreme, Turkey



The rock cut ruins of a church by persecuted Christians.
Not sure when it was built, but definitely look very ancient. How did those guys carved the inside of these rocks?

The Cappadocia valley, where this church stands, is very popular for its rocks that the people of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out to form houses, churches, monasteries.

There are an estimated 150 churches and several monasteries in the canyon between the villages of Ihlara and Selime.

Those rocks are volcanic deposits, so that means they are soft rocks, making it possible to carve such structures.

Green church, Buenos Aires, Argentina



Don’t have info about this church, nevertheless it’s very unusual. I have never seen a church so green, have you?


Michael: “a parish church in Buenos Aires, Argentina known as the “Huerto de Olivos”, or “Garden of Olives,” most likely a reference Gethsemane, on the Mount of Olives”

Borgund Stave Church, Lærdal, Norway



Stave churches may have been very usual all over medieval northwestern Europe but now you can only find them in Norway. Well ok, there is one one in Sweden, but nowhere else.

Borgund stave church located in Borgund, Lærdal, Norway is the best preserved of Norway’s 28 extant stave churches. This wooden church, probably built in the end of the 12th century, has not changed structure or had a major reconstruction since the date it was built.

Interesting fact: the church is also featured as a Wonder for the Viking civilization in the video game Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings.

Paraportiani Church, Mykonos, Greece


I will just cite, what the author of this picture wrote about it:

"Paraportianí Church is one of the most famous architectural structures in Greece. Its name means secondary gate, because it was built on the site of one of the gates of the Medieval stone walls. Some parts of this beautiful church date from 1425 and the rest was built during the 16th and 17th centuries. "


Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain




I have never seen anything as incredible as this building! Never been to Spain, but if I ever happen to do so, I will definitely include Sangrada Família on the must-see list. I wonder, how does it look in reality?

Sagrada Família is a very massive Roman Catholic basilica under construction in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. Construction began in 1882 and continues to this day. A very famous architect Antoni Gaudí worked on the project for over 40 years, devoting the last 15 years of his life entirely to this endeavour.

In the center there is going to be a tower of Jesus Christ, surmounted by a giant cross; the tower’s total height will be 170 m (557,7ft).

There is so much info on this one, that you should check Wikipedia.

St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia



Cathedral of Saint Basil the Blessed , is a multi-tented church which stands on the Red Square in Moscow.

This church looks really cool, because It has very unusual onion domes which look playful and colorful. Sometimes people even say, that they remind them of lollypops.

The cathedral was built in 1555 -1561 by Ivan IV (a.k.a Ivan the Terrible) to celebrate the capture of the Khanate of Kazan.

A legend says that Ivan had the architect, Postnik Yakovlev, blinded to prevent him from building a more magnificent building for anyone else. In fact, Postnik Yakovlev built a number of churches after Saint Basil’s.

More info: Saint Basil’s Cathedral

Basilica de Higuey, Dominican Republic



Basilica de Higuey is located in the city of Higuey, Dominican Republic. Its unusual look reminds me of a basket.

The church is one of the most respected monuments of the Dominican Republic. The basilica was inaugurated on January 21, 1971, and was built by French architects.

Grace Fellowship Baptist Church, Baltimore, MD, USA




This strange building is actually a church. Once it was famous for being "Detroit’s most beautiful Chinese-American restaurant". Later it closed down and became the Omega Baptist Church and then the Grace Fellowship Baptist Church. Located at 265 Baltimore, MD, USA.
14.


Las Lajas Cathedral in Columbia





Las Lajas Cathedral looks unusual to me because one side of it seems to be a part of a bridge across the river and the other side rests on the hill. The overall look is really fascinating.

Built in 1916 inside the canyon of the Guaitara river where, according to local legend, the Virgin Mary appeared.

You can find this church in southern Colombian Department of Nariño, municipality of Ipiales, near the border with Ecuador.

Jubilee Church in Rome, Italy



Jubilee Church has very distinctive curved walls which look like sails to me. Designed in 1996 by architect Richard Meier, the church has curved walls which serve the engineering purpose of minimizing thermal peak loads in the interior space.

The walls are made from a special cement, which contain titanium dioxide, so it destroys air pollution.

According to Borgarello "When the titanium dioxide absorbs ultraviolet light, it becomes powerfully reactive, breaking down pollutants that come in contact with the concrete."


St Joseph Ukrainian Catholic Church in Chicago, IL, USA



Maybe I’ll better don’t tell what those domes remind me (haha). Very very unusual looking building I must say. Its massiveness and gray color looks like Soviet architecture. I was amazed when I read that it was actually in USA and not somewhere In Soviet Union.

St. Joseph Ukrainian Catholic church is a is most known for its ultra-modern thirteen gold domed roof symbolizing the twelve apostles and Jesus Christ as the largest center dome.


It is celebrating its 52 years, so it was built in 1956 (if my calculations are right).


Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp, France




Someone told that the roof of this building looks like Elvis’ hair.

Informally known as Ronchamp, the chapel of Notre Dame du Haut was completed in 1954 and is considered one of the finest examples of architecture by the late French/Swiss architect Le Corbusier.

Most interesting fact to me is that, when it rains, water pours off the slanted roof onto a fountain, creating a dramatic waterfall.


Odd Church in Huntington Beach, CA, USA



Don’t have info on that one, only this photo and the location: Huntington Beach, CA, USA.

As far as I understand it must be sponsored by Shell, because it has a huge SHELL logo on it (this statement can be absolutely different from the reality). Looks terrible overall.



Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro looks like a Pyramid of Egypt or Aztecs.

It was built between 1964 and 1979. Conical in form it has internal diameter of 96 metres (315 ft) and an overall height of 75 metres (246 ft). The church has a standing-room capacity of 20,000 people.

Four rectilinear stained glass windows soar 64 metres (210 ft) from floor to ceiling.

via

2 Comments:

Bunk Strutts said...

The "church" in Huntington Beach is on Goldenwest Street on the property of a landscaping ornament manufacturer that produces concrete statues among other things. The Shell Oil sign is a tribute to the history of the area, and there are still oil pumps in operation scattered throughout the city.

The warehouse "church" is leased out to the Calgary Chapel, but has been tagged for violation of building codes as it's not designed as a place of assembly.

I've never set foot on the property, even though it's a block away from where I work and I pass by it regularly. I'll take some photos and send them, if you're interested.

BFArt School Girl said...

The church from the Philippines... oh, my goodness... I want to gp there this summer...

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