The Art & Architecture of Church Buildings

The Art & Architecture of Church Buildings
Churches reflect the art and architecture of the era in which they were built.
I'll discuss the house church as well as one of the world's most famous cathedrals.

The oldest surviving synagogue in the US was built in the town known for opulent mansions - Newport, RI.
Touro synagogue was built in 1763 during the colonial period. It was designed by British architect Peter Harrison - characteristic of the Georgian style, with multi-paned windows.
He is credited with being the first to bring European Palladian architecture to the American colonies.

Photo of Touro Synagogue courtesy of

In the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century wealthy families vacationed along the Eastern seaboard; individuals such as Cornelius Vanderbilt who built his fortune in steamships and the NY Central Railroad.

At the end of the 19th century Eastern European Jews came to the US.
Touro synagogue reopened in 1881 and a rabbi was appointed.
About the same time in Newport, Vanderbilt would build "Marble House"

In 1877 a neo-Gothic style church [building], "Union Chapel" was built in another New England seaside town for wealthy summer residents - Little Boar's Head, NH.
Its religious art glass consists of a Louis Comfort Tiffany three panel window and a south alcove window based on the Bible's 23rd Psalm.

Photo of South Alcove Window by the author, Camille Gizzarelli

As we have seen, spectacular windows and architecture were achieved in church buildings. Now we will look at the magnificent rose windows of the famous Chartres Cathedral in France.

Why Chartres Cathedral? It is considered one of the finest examples in French High Gothic architecture.

It not only contains the famous labyrinth that worshipers continue to walk, even to this day, but Chartres contains three rose windows: the north, south, and western rose.

It is believed that approximately 152/176 of the original stained glass windows remain today.

You can own a photographic print of "Rose Window of North Facade Chartres Cathedral."

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This content was written by Camille Gizzarelli. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Camille Gizzarelli for details.