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I have always been much impressed with the logical Greek and Roman arrangement of architectural space in the earliest Christian basilica churches. The basilica arrangement just seems to be a perfect fit for Christian theology. I don’t mean to imply that Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque spaces don’t work well. It is just that the ancient basilica arrangement is just so complete and clear. Indeed, the other styles are modifications of the ancient basilica plan. Churches never seem to work well when they stray too far from the basilica plan.
In researching something else, as so often happens, I came across a church and parish in Old Pasadena, California that is beautiful in its imitation of the ancient basilica churches. Saint Andrew Church is stunning and could almost pass as an original fifth to the sixth century basilica. Even the mosaics come very close and the open timbered ceiling… well, I could almost be in Rome.
Tags: Liturgical art