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I've recently put together a little website looking at the architecture of the book "The Da Vinci Code".

http://www.essential-architecture.com/DAVINCI/DV.htm

Although very much a piece of fiction, it points out some very interesting pieces of European architecture, notably some ancient churches belonging to the Templars.



http://www.essential-architecture.com/DAVINCI/DV21.htm

( The Knights Templar were a very interesting bunch, originally established as a fighting order of monks to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land.
They built a number of castles in Palestine and were well established in Jerusalem.
Their power and wealth increased rapidly in Europe where they built a number of churches, etc, during the twelfth century.
They eventually became too powerful and were accused of heresy and destroyed by the Church in the fourteenth century. It has been suggested by history that they indulged in the Occult, or at least in strangely unorthodox ceremonies. (the Freemasons of the seventeenth century supposedly subsequently based much of their secret ceremonies on old Templar rites).
And of course, as we all know, it has also been suggested that they are the protectors of the Holy Grail (the cup from which Christ drank at the Last Supper, said to lead to eternal life), because of the long occupation by the order of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Anyway, the book taps into this. The intersting architecture is-

Rosslyn Chapel
http://www.essential-architecture.com/DAVINCI/DV04.htm



A very interesting Templar church in Scotland from the fifteenth century. Incorporates a huge wall said to symbolise the western wailing wall of the Temple in Jerusalem. The interior is said to be rich in symbolism.


The Temple Church London
http://www.essential-architecture.com/DAVINCI/DV02.htm





The Temple Church is a late 12th century church in London located between Fleet Street and the River Thames. It was originally constructed as the church of a monastic complex known as the Temple, the headquarters in England of the Knights Templar. In keeping with the traditions of the order, the nave of the church was constructed on a round design based on the
Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.

The order was very powerful in England during its existence. The Master of the Temple sat in parliament as primus baro (the first baron of the realm). The compound was regularly used as a residence by kings and by legates of the Pope. The temple also served as an early depository bank, sometimes in defiance of the Crown's wishes to seize the funds of nobles who had
entrusted their wealth there. The independence and wealth of the order throughout Europe is considered by most historians to
have been the primary cause of its eventual downfall .

Saint-Sulpice (Paris)
http://www.essential-architecture.com/DAVINCI/DV19.htm


Not directly associated with the Templars. Saint-Sulpice has gained a peculiar mystique because the church is somehow associated with the supposed mysteries surrounding the "Priory of Sion", said to be a powerful, centuries-old covert order guarding some incredible secret (usually taken to be that the line of Merovingian kings survives into modern times; further
embellishment would make the Merovingians descendants of Jesus and Mary Magdalene).



Interestingly, the church appears to be associated with nature-worship.
The gnomon (in the background) and the brass line on the floor
In 1727 Languet de Gercy, then priest of Saint-Sulpice, requested the construction of a gnomon in the church. It was made to help determine the time of the equinoxes and hence of Easter (since Easter Sunday is to be celebrated on the first Sunday following the full moon after the spring equinox). A meridian line of brass was made, running across the floor and then ascending a column or "obelisk" of white marble, nearly 11 meters high. In the south-end window a system of lenses was set up, so that a ray of sunlight shines onto the brass line. At the winter solstice (December 21), the ray of light touches the brass line on the obelisk. At the equinoxes (March 21 and September 21), the ray touches an oval plate of copper in the floor
near the altar.
 
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