For the past three decades, there has been a global interest in the history of the Roman Catholic Church – and specifically, of the architecture related to it. In addition to having a strong presence in countries like the United States and Germany, the Church has also experienced rapid growth around the globe, particularly in the Far East. As a result, the architectural community is eager to explore its history – something that is made easier by the availability of great resources for learning about the Church, such as a book published by the Catholic University of America called: “The Architectural History of the Catholic Church”.
The history of the Roman Catholic Church
The Roman Catholic Church was founded on the initiative of Saint Peter, the first Bishop of Rome, around the year A.D. 30, when he convened a gathering of disciples in his own home. It has experienced two great transformations throughout the centuries: one in the second century when it adopted the style and customs of the Roman Empire and the other during the Middle Ages, when European leaders decided to break away from Rome to form other religious institutions, including the Anglicanism and the Lutheranism. The Catholic Church, of course, did not die, and, instead, evolved into the largest spiritual organization in the Western hemisphere.
Architecture Style of the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic architecture is known for its many styles and types of architecture. The first type is that of simple buildings, usually with a church or two. The second style is that of Renaissance architecture, which includes a beautiful church like the famous Basilica of Saint Peter, where one can visit in Rome. The third style is Spanish architecture, and it is characterized by its light and narrow structures that can be found from Canada to the United States.
Impact of the architecture of the Roman Catholic Church
Despite the many styles and types of architecture, the Church has had a far-reaching impact on all of its buildings. The first style with which Roman Catholic architecture was characterized is simplicity in its expression, which today we see in large churches and small chapels. Moreover, its second and third styles are reflected in contemporary developments in architecture: the use of steel and glass was typical during the Renaissance, and the Spanish style is seen in the construction of modern churches that are characterized by white walls and ceilings.
Although learning about Roman Catholic Church history is fun, and learning about the architectural impact of the Church is a great source of information about the building industry, we should not forget some of the facts below that one should keep in mind. First of all, like most large organizations, the Church is made up of many divisions. In addition, the Church has three branches: Latin, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox (which is the denomination of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church). This is a critical element to keep in mind before starting to look for the most interesting churches.