The German state of Thuringia has 2,000 church buildings, of which 500 stand vacant, reflecting a general decline in European church membership. On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, 500 Churches, 500 Ideas presents proposals for transforming these vacancies into new public spaces.
In this dramatic journey through religious and artistic history, R. A. Scotti traces the defining event of a glorious epoch: the building of St. Peter's Basilica. Begun by the ferociously ambitious Pope Julius II in 1506, the endeavor would span two tumultuous centuries, challenge the greatest Renaissance masters--Michelangelo, Raphael, and Bramante--and enrage Martin Luther. By the time it was completed, Shakespeare had written all of his plays, the Mayflower had reached Plymouth--and Rome had risen with its astounding basilica to become Europe's holy metropolis. A dazzling portrait of human achievement and excess, Basilica is a triumph of historical writing.
The basilica is symbolic of the history of Christianity in Ethiopia. Aizan, the first Christian king of the Aksumite empire was responsible for the creation of the large, five-aisled church of M?ry?m yon, sadly destroyed in 1535, and since then many hundreds of basilicas have been built in Ethiopia, many, including the UNESCO World Heritage site of Lalibela, literally 'hewn from the rock'. In this book, architectural historian and architect Mario di Salvo considers the unique architectural features of Ethiopia's basilicas and explains how they developed over time. Featuring almost 200 colour illustrations, this book is an attractive and comprehensive guide to some of Ethiopia's most inspiring religious buildings.
A national bestseller, Brunelleschi's Dome recounts how one genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to engineer the impossible--the construction of a dome over the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in 1418. An ALA Notable Book of the Year. Illustrations & halftones throughout.
On August 19, 1418, a competition concerning Florence's magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore--already under construction for more than a century--was announced: "Whoever desires to make any model or design for the vaulting of the main Dome....shall do so before the end of the month of September." The proposed dome was regarded far and wide as all but impossible to build: not only would it be enormous, but its original and sacrosanct design shunned the flying buttresses that supported cathedrals all over Europe. The dome would literally need to be erected over thin air.
Of the many plans submitted, one stood out--a daring and unorthodox solution to vaulting what is still the largest dome (143 feet in diameter) in the world. It was offered not by a master mason or carpenter, but by a goldsmith and clockmaker named Filippo Brunelleschi, then forty-one, who would dedicate the next twenty-eight years to solving the puzzles of the dome's construction. In the process, he did nothing less than reinvent the field of architecture.
Brunelleschi's Dome is the story of how a Renaissance genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to build an architectural wonder we continue to marvel at today. Denounced at first as a madman, Brunelleschi was celebrated at the end as a genius. He engineered the perfect placement of brick and stone, built ingenious hoists and cranes (among some of the most renowned machines of the Renaissance) to carry an estimated 70 million pounds hundreds of feet into the air, and designed the workers' platforms and routines so carefully that only one man died during the decades of construction--all the while defying those who said the dome would surely collapse and his own personal obstacles that at times threatened to overwhelm him. This drama was played out amid plagues, wars, political feuds, and the intellectual ferments of Renaissance Florence-- events Ross King weaves into the story to great effect, from Brunelleschi's bitter, ongoing rivalry with the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti to the near catpure of Florence by the Duke of Milan. King also offers a wealth of fascinating detail that opens windows onto fifteenth-century life: the celebrated traditions of the brickmaker's art, the daily routine of the artisans laboring hundreds of feet above the ground as the dome grew ever higher, the problems of transportation, the power of the guilds.
Even today, in an age of soaring skyscrapers, the cathedral dome of Santa Maria del Fiore retains a rare power to astonish. Ross King brings its creation to life in a fifteenth-century chronicle with twenty-first-century resonance.
As Buckfast Abbey prepares to celebrate its millennium in 2018, this new book chronicles the remarkable history of this famous English abbey, today both home to a self-sufficient community of Benedictine monks and a site that welcomes some half a million visitors to south Devon each year. The first monastery was founded in 1018 and absorbed into the Cistercian order in 1147, but was dissolved during the Reformation. The site fell into disrepair, and in the early 19th century a Gothic-style mansion was built on the abbey ruins. A group of exiled French Benedictine monks settled at Buckfast in 1882 and eventually decided to rebuild the medieval abbey church themselves: the first stone was laid in 1907 and consecration took place in 1932. In this elegant, authoritative book, essays by a dozen distinguished historians explore, among other subjects, the history of the abbey from its Saxon origins to the Dissolution; the architecture of the medieval church; the abbey site without the monks; the Benedictine revival; the rebuilding of the abbey under the architect Frederick Walters; the abbey's silver and metalwork; the art and architecture of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, built in 1968; and the recent redevelopment of the precinct. Generously illustrated throughout with not only plans, drawings and photographs gathered from the vast Buckfast archive but also new images of the abbey church, the plethora of other buildings on site and the meticulously tended grounds, Buckfast Abbey is a fitting tribute to a unique monastery and community.
To guide and inspire believers, innumerable symbols and images were made, beginning in India in the 3rd century BC. This phenomenally diverse tradition includes not only frescoes, relief carvings, colossal statues, silk embroideries and bronze ritual objects but also rock-cut shrines with a thousand Buddhas, the glorious stupas of South-East Asia and the pagodas of the Far East, the massive "mandala in stone" of Borobudur in Java and entire 13th-century temple complexes at Angkor in Cambodia. The author describes all the Buddhist schools and cultures, and explains their imagery, from Tibetan cosmic diagrams and Korean folk art to early Sri Lankan sites and Japanese Zen gardens.
The twenty-one missions of California, from San Diego to San Francisco Solano, are historic treasures and sites of pilgrimage for visitors from the world over. Intrinsically beautiful structures typically built of adobe brick and wood, adorned with towers, domes, whitewashed stucco, often surrounded by lush gardens, the missions are at the very heart of California. Established by Spanish padres, built by Native Californians, and preserved and restored by historians and architects, California's missions are unique monuments to the region's early American Indian and European histories. This colorful, informative exploration of all twenty-one missions, each with its own rich story to tell, journeys along the historic Camino Real, from Mission Dolores with its flower-strewn courtyard gardens, in San Francisco, to San Juan Capistrano, famous for the swallows that flock to its inviting grounds. With lush photography that captures the missions' details so splendidly, this is the perfect book for mission visitors and lovers of their strong and simple forms.
Readers worldwide recognize Caldecott Medal winner David Macaulay's imaginary Cathedral of Chutreaux. This critically acclaimed book has been translated into a dozen languages and remains a classic of children's literature and a touchstone for budding architects. Cathedral's numerous awards include a prestigious Caldecott Honor and designation as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year for Macaulay's intricate pen-and-ink illustrations.
Journey back to centuries long ago and visit the fictional people of twelfth-, thirteenth-, and fourteenth-century Europe whose dreams, like Cathedral, stand the test of time.
This title has been selected as a Common Core text exemplar (Grades 6-8, Informational Texts: Science, Mathematics, and Technical Studies).