The Temple Church in London, England is a popular attraction of the city to tourists from all over the world because of its important reference to the Catholic religion. After visiting this breathtaking and historical building, it is obvious that this architectural gothic style structure not only portrays religion, but also possesses particularly unique qualities for a Catholic Church. In England, there is a state declared religion that was originally Catholicism, but after the English Reformation in the 1500s, Queen Elizabeth declared the state religion as Anglican. The Temple Church is part of the Church of England so the denomination of the church today is Anglican but since the Temple Church was built before the England Reformation, this church portrays the Catholic religion.
This church, built in the late 12th century by the Knights Templar, a order of crusading monks founded to protect pilgrims on their way to and from Jerusalem in the 1100s,” is a gothic style building possessing different elements of this architecture style that highlight the Catholic religion. In Catholicism, the church is a very sacred place where you are to feel close to God, be able to communicate with him, and worship him. The gothic style of architecture is one that was created for this exact reason: to bring the people’s attention up to the windows and ceiling in the direction of heaven, helping them to feel close with the holy one. There are 2 basic characteristics of gothic architecture present in this church that help exemplify this phenomenon. Pointed arches are everywhere in the building in the shapes of the windows, in the arches of the doors, and in the ceilings inside the building. This is a very significant characteristic that helps to portray Catholicism because the reason behind pointed arches is that the top of the arch, the point, is directing one’s attention to heaven and God himself. Also, stained-glass windows, both vertical and rose, are very popular in gothic architecture and the Temple church as well because they help to portray Catholicism. Stained glass windows tell stories of the bible and bring one’s eyes up towards their Lord. When the church was built, most people didn’t know how to read, so the stories of God from the holy book of Catholicism, the bible, are displayed in the windows of the building.
The Temple Church also possesses several very special qualities that make this building exemplify unique traits of the Catholic religion. For instance, the nave of the building is round rather than rectangular, like most other Catholic churches, portraying a very important part of Catholicism. This round nave is very unique and incredibly significant to the Catholic religion because this part of the building was constructed to replicate the most sacred place of Catholicism, the place where Jesus was buried: Church of the Holy Sepulcher. It is the most holy place because it is said to be the place where you can be closest to God. This altar of this building is also another unique quality to this church because it is the chancel of the building rather than the naïve of the building. The altar directly relates the church to Catholicism because it includes the 10 commandments as part of the altar for all people of the church to see.
Religion can be portrayed in numerous ways and in different buildings in multiple tourist attractions in London. The Temple church is one of these main attractions that not only clearly portrays the religion of Catholicism but also possesses very important aspects of this religion exemplified in the building.
Source: The Temple Church Official Website