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Old January 2nd, 2012, 09:45 PM   #1
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Eastern Orthodox church architecture

-This is a very interesting and complex issue, that on the West is little known , with great tradition. Orthodox(Eastern)Christian church is related mainly with Byzantine style, which is far from the truth. Orthodox churches were built in many styles and under different influences.
-But first something about the Orthodox Faith:
Name: Greek-Ορθόδοξη Εκκλησία, root of the name, which mean: Learning proper, proper celebration ; slavic cyrilic-Православље(Serbia), Православие(Russia), Православна църква(Bulgaria), Православна церква(Ukraine), Праваслаўе(Belarusia), Armenian: Ուղղափառություն, Georgian: მართლმადიდებლობა, Arabian: أرثوذكسية شرقية, Romanian: Biserica Ortodoxă, Shqip: Kisha ortodokse, Turkish: Ortodoks Kilisesi, Latin: Ecclesiae Orthodoxae, Old Slavic: Православиѥ.
I don't accidentally chose this countries. In these countries, Orthodoxy is the dominant or have a major impact (except Armenia (the oldest church in the world) which is a special case but is subsumed under the Eastern Christianity). Excuse is Latin and Old Church Slavonic extinct aplhabet, unfortunately I did not find an oldest Slav alphabet-Glagolitic(extinct such as Gothic script among Germans on the west).
Second interesting thing, many will say that these are mostly poor countries, but nearly 1 000 years (V century-XV century), this part of Europe and the world was developed than west.
-History: I do not want to get into theological questions and differences between Western and Eastern Christian teaching(who wants can go by different interpretations of the Holy Trinity), i only include some important events in the history of Eastern(Orthodox) Christianity.
Main events is East–West Schism:
Quote:
The East–West Schism of 1054, sometimes known as the Great Schism, formally divided the State church of the Roman Empire into Eastern (Greek) and Western (Latin) branches, which later became known as the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, respectively. Relations between East and West had long been embittered by political and ecclesiastical differences and theological disputes. Prominent among these were the issues of "filioque", whether leavened or unleavened bread should be used in the Eucharist, the Pope's claim to universal jurisdiction, and the place of Constantinople in relation to the Pentarchy.
It's even divided the Greek philosophers: the Eastern Church closer teaching of Plato and West to Aristotle. But it also led to many wars and suffering. Even today the line of demarcation is not stable.

Quote:
The Eastern Orthodox Churches trace their roots back to the Apostles and Jesus Christ. Apostolic succession established the seats of Patriarchy (for example see the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem). Orthodoxy reached its golden age during the high point of the Byzantine Empire, taken over by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church before it continued to flourish in Russia after the Fall of Constantinople. Numerous autocephalous churches have been established in Eastern Europe and Slavic areas.

Four stages of development can be distinguished in the history of the Orthodox Churches. Early Christianity, which is roughly the first three centuries through the early age of Constantine the Great(born in today Nish(Serbia) in Roman period famous city of Naissus(Moesia Superior) famous for several wars with the Goths, and Attila the Hun who destroyed in 443), constitutes the Apostolic and ancient period. The Byzantine period, beginning with the First seven Ecumenical Councils, comprises over eleven centuries from the First Council of Nicaea in 325 to the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. The Ottoman period starts, roughly, for the Greek and Balkan communities in the fifteenth century with the Fall of Constantinople, and ends about the year 1830, which marks Greek and Serbian independence from the Ottoman Empire. The last stage is the modern period.

The Orthodox Churches with the largest number of adherents in modern times are the Russian and the Romanian Orthodox churches. The most ancient of the Orthodox churches of today are the Churches of Constantinople, Alexandria (which includes all of Africa), Georgia, Antioch, and Jerusalem
-Organization:
Quote:
In the early Middle Ages, the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church was ruled by five patriarchs: the bishops of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem; these were collectively referred to as the Pentarchy.
There is no single earthly head of all the Orthodox Churches comparable to the Pope of Rome. The highest-ranking bishop of the communion is the Patriarch of Constantinople, who is also primate of one of the autocephalous churches.
The patriarch of Rome was "first in place of honor" among the five patriarchs. Disagreement about the limits of his authority was one of the causes of the Great Schism, conventionally dated to the year 1054, which split the church into the Catholic Church in the West, headed by the Bishop of Rome, and the Orthodox Church, led by the four eastern patriarchs. After the schism this honorary primacy shifted to the Patriarch of Constantinople, who had previously been accorded the second-place rank at the First Council of Constantinople.
So, there is 4 major historical Patriarch and Church in Orthodox Cristianity:
1. The Church of Constantinople, under the Ecumenical Patriarch
2. The Church of Alexandria(also known as the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa. Centar is Alexandria-Egypt)
3. The Church of Antioch(Syriac Orthodox Church, is an autocephalous Oriental Orthodox church based in the Eastern Mediterranean, with members spread throughout the world. The Syriac Orthodox Church claims to derive its origin from one of the first Christian communities, established in Antioch by the Apostle St. Peter. It employs the oldest surviving liturgy in Christianity, the Liturgy of St. James the Apostle, and uses Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic spoken by Jesus Christ and his Apostles, as its official and liturgical language. The church is led by the Syriac Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch. Territory Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and India. Center is Damascus-today Syria)
4. The Church of Jerusalem( also known as the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, is an autocephalous Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity. Headed by the Patriarch of Jerusalem, it is regarded by Orthodox Christians as the mother church of all of Christendom. Christians believe that it was in Jerusalem that the Church was established on the day of Pentecost with the descent of the Holy Spirit on the disciples of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:1-41) and that the Gospel of Christ spread from Jerusalem. The Church celebrates its liturgy in the Byzantine rite, whose original language is Greek, and follows its own calendar of feasts, preserving the Julian calendar (that is thirteen days behind the Western (Gregorian) calendar). It is also often called "Σιωνίτις Εκκλησία" (Greek: Sionitis Ecclesia, i.e. the "Church of Zion").

As you can see the main Historically Orthodox Church are in today non-majority Orthodox countries. Sometimes in history it was not so but that's another topic.
This is a very important issue because, even some buldings of the Orthodox world changed with the Historically changes in those countries.
Other Orthodox countries:
Quote:
The Church of Cyprus
The Church of Georgia
The Orthodox Church of Mount Sinai
The Church of Bulgaria
The Church of Serbia
The Church of Russia
The Church of Greece
The Church of Romania
The Church of Albania
The Church of Poland
The Church of Czech and Slovak lands
The Orthodox Church in America
Armenian case is specific.

-After a long text moving on to objects and architecture. I hope you did not weary with text. But I think it was necessary.

Last edited by No1; January 2nd, 2012 at 11:36 PM.
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 10:12 PM   #2
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As I wrote, some Orthodox churches have changed the function from Historically change in the countries where they are located. Such is the case with the most important church of the Orthodox world:

Saint Sofia-Greek: Ἁγία Σοφία, "Holy Wisdom"; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Turkish: Ayasofya

Quote:
One of the wonders of World, is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the Greek Patriarchal cathedral of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople of the Western Crusader established Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on 1 February 1935

http://www.znanje.org/i/i26/06iv04/0...sophialast.jpg

Quote:
The Church was dedicated to the Logos, the second person of the Holy Trinity, its dedication feast taking place on 25 December, the anniversary of the Birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ. Although it is sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia (as though it were named after Saint Sophia), sophia is the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom – the full name in Greek being Ναός τῆς Ἁγίας τοῦ Θεοῦ Σοφίας, "Church of the Holy Wisdom of God".

http://www.new-byzantium.org/StSofia.jpg

Quote:
Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have "changed the history of architecture." It was the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years, until Seville Cathedral was completed in 1520. The current building was originally constructed as a church between 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian and was the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site, the previous two having both been destroyed by rioters. It was designed by the Greek scientists Isidore of Miletus, a physicist, and Anthemius of Tralles, a mathematician.

http://www.uploadimages4free.com/upl..._1982-4519.jpg

Quote:
In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II, who subsequently ordered the building converted into a mosque.[8] The bells, altar, iconostasis, and sacrificial vessels were removed and many of the mosaics were plastered over. Islamic features – such as the mihrab, minbar, and four minarets – were added while in the possession of the Ottomans. It remained a mosque until 1931 when it was closed to the public for four years. It was re-opened in 1935 as a museum by the Republic of Turkey.

For almost 500 years the principal mosque of Istanbul, Hagia Sophia served as a model for many other Ottoman mosques, such as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque of Istanbul), the Şehzade Mosque, the Süleymaniye Mosque, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque and the Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...1Aya_Sofya.jpg


Last edited by No1; January 2nd, 2012 at 10:20 PM.
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 10:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
The church contained a large collection of holy relics and featured, among other things, a 49-foot (15 m) silver iconostasis. It was the seat of the Patriarch of Constantinople and the religious focal point of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly one thousand years. It is the church in which Cardinal Humbert in 1054 excommunicated Michael I Cerularius – which is commonly considered the start of the Great Schism.
Today, Interior decorated with a combination of Islamic and Orthodox Christianity religion.



http://www.teslasociety.com/pictures...manEmpire2.jpg



http://www.turkey4travel.com/wp-cont...fia-mosaic.jpg



http://www.planetware.com/i/photo/ha...nbul-tr154.jpg
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 11:04 PM   #4
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Greek Orthodox church of St. George Akamates-Much better known as the Temple of Hephaestus

Quote:
The Temple of Hephaestus, also known as the Hephaisteion or earlier as the Theseion, is the best-preserved ancient Greek temple; it remains standing largely as built. It is a Doric peripteral temple, and is located at the north-west side of the Agora of Athens, on top of the Agoraios Kolonos hill. From the 7th century until 1834, it served as the Greek Orthodox church of St. George Akamates.
image hosted on flickr


http://farm2.staticflickr.com/1060/1...909_z.jpg?zz=1

Quote:
After the battle of Plataea, the Greeks swore never to rebuild their sanctuaries destroyed by the Persians during their invasion of Greece, but to leave them in ruins, as a perpetual reminder of the war. The Athenians directed their funds towards rebuilding their economy and strengthening their influence in the Delian League. When Pericles came to power, he envisioned a grand plan for transforming Athens into the centre of Greek power and culture. Construction started in 449 BC, and some scholars believe the building not to have been completed for some three decades, funds and workers having been redirected towards the Parthenon. The western frieze was completed between 445-440 BC, while the eastern frieze, the western pediment and several changes in the building's interior are dated by these scholars to 435-430 BC, largely on stylistic grounds. It was only during the Peace of Nicias (421-415 BC) that the roof was completed and the cult images were installed. The temple was officially inaugurated in 416-415 BC.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi..._Athens_02.JPG

Quote:
In the 7th century AD, the temple was turned into a Christian church, dedicated to Saint George. When exactly was the temple converted to a Christian church remains unknown. There are assumptions however that maybe that happened in the 7th century. For the first time, the temple is mentioned as an official Christian temple of Athens in 1690 and until 1834, it was the church of "St George Akamates".

The characterisation as "Akamates" -adding all kind of adjectives in the names of the churches or the saints is common place in Greek-orthodox tradition- has been given a lot of explanations. The first one states that it probably derives from the name of the son of Theseus and Feadra, Akamantas, later transformed to Akamatos and later still to Akamates. Another scenario is based on the very sense of akamates (= flaneur), because during the Ottoman Era, the temple was used only once a year, the day of the feast of St George. A third option is that the name is due to Archbishop of Athens Michael Akominatos who might have been the first to perform a Holy Mass in the church.

Nevertheless, the last Holy Mass that took place in the temple was on February 2, 1833, during the celebrations for the arrival of Otto in Greece. In the presence of the Athenians and of many others the bishop Talantiu Neofitos gave a speech.


http://www.sfpnn.com/TravelbyPatty/1...Hephaestus.JPG
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Old January 2nd, 2012, 11:20 PM   #5
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Panagia Ekatontapiliani-Greece(oldest church in Europe)

Quote:
Panagia Ekatontapyliani (also known as the Church of 100 Doors) is a historic Byzantine church complex in Parikia town, on the island of Paros in Greece. The church complex contains a main chapel surrounded by two more chapels and a baptistery with a cruciform font.


http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...EKPYL_2881.jpg

Quote:
The church dates to 326AD. Its oldest features likely predate the adoption of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire in 391 AD. The church was purportedly founded by the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (ruled 306–337 AD), Saint Helen, during her pilgrimage to the Holy Land when she stopped to worship at a chapel on the island. Later Justinian is credited for initiating construction on the site as well. The site was badly damaged by an earthquake in the 18th century, but gradually restored. The Ekatontapyliani is a renowned Marian pilgrimage church of the Aegean, second only to the famed Megalochare church on nearby Tenos Island.


http://www.holiday.gr/galleryimages/...pyliani237.jpg

PS In the Orthodox world, there are older churches such as in Syria or Cappadocia(Anatolia) in today Turkey or in Jerusalem, but, this is the theme of Europe and I will keep Europe.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:16 PM   #6
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Some examples of Orthodox churches from Romania:

Romanian Patriarchal Cathedral ,Bucharest

*built in neo-Byzantyne style and it was finished in 1658.



source

Last edited by Pop Bogdan; January 18th, 2013 at 08:31 PM.
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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:19 PM   #7
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Curtea de Argeș Cathedral ,Romania

finished in 1526 and it is dedicated to Saint Nicholas.



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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:22 PM   #8
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Horezu Monastery ,Horezu, Romania

The Monastery of Horezu was founded in 1690 by Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu in the town of Horezu, Wallachia, Romania. It is considered to be a masterpiece of "Brâncovenesc style", known for its architectural purity and balance, the richness of its sculpted detail, its treatment of religious compositions, its votive portraits, and its painted decorative works.


source

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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:27 PM   #9
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Densuș Church ,Romania

It was built in the 7th century with additions made in the 13th century on the site of a 2nd century Roman temple, with some materials from the Dacian Sarmizegetusa fortress. It has a stone tower above the naos. Inside the church there are 15th century mural paintings that show Jesus wearing Romanian traditional clothes.


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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:30 PM   #10
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Metropolitan Cathedral, Iași ,Romania

Finished in 1886 ,its form was inspired by the late Italian Renaissance style (Trinitŕ dei Monti in particular), with Baroque elements dominating the interior and exterior decorative features.


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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:36 PM   #11
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Neamț Monastery ,Romania

The art treasures kept at Neamț Monastery are proof of the intense artistic and cultural activity which took place here through the centuries. Here Gavril Uric showed his talent, the most important representative of the Moldavian miniature from the 15th century. His first known manuscript, dated 1429, is kept in the Bodleian Library at Oxford (UK).


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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:42 PM   #12
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Cetăţuia Monastery ,Iasi ,Romania

Located on the top of Cetăţuia Hill of the old Moldavian capital, the monastery was built by Prince Gheorghe Duca and it was completed in 1672.


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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:46 PM   #13
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Mitropolitan Orthodox Cathedral ,Timisoara ,Romania

It was built between 1937 and 1940. It is dedicated to the Three Holy Hierarchs, Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom.


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Old January 18th, 2013, 08:58 PM   #14
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Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral, Cluj-Napoca ,Romania

Built in a Romanian Brâncovenesc style, a synthesis of Renaissance and Byzantine architecture, it lies on the Avram Iancu Square, together with the Cluj-Napoca National Theatre and the Avram Iancu Statue.
The Cathedral is the seat of the Metropolitan of Cluj, Alba, Crişana and Maramureş. It is dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos
The cathedral was built between 1923 and 1933, after the Union of Transylvania with the Romanian Old Kingdom,


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Old January 19th, 2013, 12:33 AM   #15
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WOW impressive.
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Old January 19th, 2013, 04:17 PM   #16
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Sârbi Susani Wooden Church ,Maramures ,Romania

Completed in 1639

The best preserved portal in Maramureş which entirely displays the high professional grade of a church carpenter is in Sârbi Susani. Among the various designs recorded on the portals around Maramureş this is without any doubt the most intricate and rich in details known. Due to its rich symbolism it needs three levels of reading: descriptive, mythological and Christian.

Sârbi Susani, the portal at the entrance, 1639, Maramureş. Photo by A. Baboş, 1995:




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Old January 19th, 2013, 04:36 PM   #17
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Holy Trinity Cathedral, Sibiu ,Romania


The Church ,built in a Byzantine style it was finished in 1906.It was built in the style of a Byzantine basilica, inspired by Hagia Sophia, with the main spires influenced by Transylvanian church architecture and Baroque elements.

West Facade:

source

Side view:

source

Interior:

source

Personaly ,I like very much the interior of this church.
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Old January 19th, 2013, 04:42 PM   #18
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Cathedral of Saint Demetrius, Craiova ,Romania

There was likely a church on the site by the 1490s, renovated in 1651 and, having fallen into disrepair, demolished in 1889. That year, work on a new church began, and this was completed and sanctified in 1933.

Side view:

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Old January 19th, 2013, 04:45 PM   #19
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Coronation Cathedral, Alba Iulia ,Romania

Built in 1921-1922, the cathedral was ready in time for the coronation of King Ferdinand and Queen Marie as monarchs of Greater Romania on October 15, 1922. This event, which took place in the same city where the Union of Transylvania with Romania occurred on December 1, 1918.


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Old January 19th, 2013, 04:54 PM   #20
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Saint George Church ,Suceava ,Romania

1514-1522


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