Originally, Jewish Christians met in synagogues, and in one another’s homes, known as house churches. As Christianity grew entire buildings were set aside for the explicit purpose of Christian worship. A common architecture for churches is the shape of a cross (a long central rectangle, with side rectangles, and a rectangle in front for the altar space or sanctuary). These churches also often have a dome or other large vaulted space in the interior to represent or draw attention to the heavens. Other common shapes for churches include a circle, to represent eternity, or an octagon or similar star shape, to represent the church’s bringing light to the world. Another common feature is the spire, a tall tower on the “west” end of the church or over the crossing.
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Every society has a specific set of ideas and customs, and a certain set of manufactures and arts that make it unique. Because ancient civilizations continue to influence us today, and because I love history, I have devoted many posts to prehistory and ancient civilizations.
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