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Churches, Temples, Mosques and Synagogues. The unique places people worship around the world. Japanese Temples.

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churches temples mosques and synagogues

Churches, Temples, Mosques and Synagogues

The unique places people worship around the world

japanese temples
Japanese Temples
  • The native religion in Japan is Shinto and it is the most prominent. Shinto is the worship of the Kami which can mean one god or a collective name for all of the gods. Shinto believes that the Kami lives in nature like rocks , streams or trees. A torii is placed at the entrance to a shrine and come in various colors. It is also customary to rinse your mouth and hands with water to purify the inner and outer self before entering a temple. Temples always have an area for you to leave offerings to the Kami.
chinese temples
Chinese temples
  • Many temples in China are Buddhist and Confucianist. The Chinese Buddhist temples are fashioned after the imperial palaces and bear little resemblance to the temples in other Buddhist countries( above left). The temple above right is dedicated to Confucianism and has a statue of him in the front. Confucianist temples often have many courtyards and a library. The other main religion in China is Daoism. Daoist temples usually have an entrance on one side out of superstition about demons which might try to enter the temple.
hindu temples of india
Hindu Temples of India
  • The architecture of the temple is called ‘shikhara,’ meaning peak (mountain). This is because of the belief that the gods lived in the mountains. The basic plan of a Hindu temple is square inside a circle the square represents the four directions and the circle represents heaven because of its perfect shape without a beginning or end. In South India the temple is frequently carved with images of gods.
israel synagogues
Israel Synagogues
  • Synagogues are meeting places for Jewish people. The synagogue on the left is called the great synagogue and is in the Jewish homeland of Israel. The Jewish people have suffered many hardship throughout the last 2000 years and many of their synagogues were destroyed. This one is modeled after the first and second temples. It has marble floors and stained glass windows even though it was built in 1982.
middle east mosques
Middle East Mosques
  • Domes are typical in the architecture of mosques they are said to symbolize the vault of heaven.There are no pictures orstatues of Allah in Islamic mosques because Muslims think these are blasphemous. A niche in one of the walls, called a mihrab, shows the direction that the worshippers should face in order to face Mecca. The Mecca is the center of the Islamic world (top left) and includes the most sacred sight in all of Islam. Ritual prayer, five times a day, is the essence of Muslim worship, whether done in the mosque of anywhere else.
  • The great mud mosque on the top right is the largest mud brick building in the world characterized by conical spires that represent the spirits of ancestors. This design is believed to come from Mali and is popular in the mosques of Africa. Christianity is the fastest growing religion in Africa. Most churches are small and very plain compared to many of the churches around the world.
the church of bones
The Church of Bones

In a town near Prague in the Czech Republic is a church decorated with human bones. It was once a church with a cemetery but it was considered sacred. When the bubonic plague wiped out much of Europe there were no where for the bones to go except up. An artist made many designs with the bones including the chandelier in the far right photo.

vatican city
Vatican City
  • Vatican city, ruled by the pope is a walled catholic city within Rome, Italy. It is beautifully decorated with intricate detail everywhere you look. It is the center of Catholicism. St. Peters basilica is located in Vatican city and is the largest basilica in the world. St. Peters tomb is directly below the basilica. The sisteen chapel is also in Vatican city which took Michelangelo 4 years to paint. St. Peter square is and is a gathering place for the faithful lined by 140 catholic saints.
russian churches
Russian Churches
  • Russia is filled with beautiful churches and cathedrals in the Russian onion-domed style. The design of churches follow the Byzantine pattern and the standard of the Greek church. The cross inscribed in a rectangle and the dome supported on piers is the traditional type of Orthodox churches found in Russia. The churches are brightly colored and topped with gold which is a popular characteristic in Russian architecture.

All Mexican communities center on the church. Typically an old stone building with bell tower and dome (which is also common in other religious buildings). Some are elaborate such as the big city cathedrals. Some are homely and mild, many have lights and intensely colored tiles which is popular in Mexican architecture. A unique idea is the open air churches of Mexico which were thought to accommodate the large crowds of worshippers.

south america
South America
  • South America is very similar to Mexico in that churches can be magnificent or humble in the décor and architecture. Many are old and decaying from the weather and salt water.
north america
North America
  • North America is the melting pot where virtually every religion is practiced. Christianity is the main religion however America has the highest Jewish population in the world. America has some unique religions such as Scientology in the upper left hand corner and The Mormon Church of latter day saints (right). Mormon temples have combined almost every classical styling used throughout history even though the first temple was built in 1893. Scientologists are taking old run down buildings and restoring them and using them for churches as an eco friendly way of recycling architecture.

Throughout the world there are many different religions and ways to worship. There are also many similarities including the domes, purification through water, offerings to the gods and the sacred sights where most religious buildings are built. Although we may not all agree on the same religion we can appreciate the beauty of the buildings themselves.

works cited
Works Cited
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