Author Topic: The Ugliest Churches in the World  (Read 933 times)

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Offline Cincinnatus

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The Ugliest Churches in the World
« on: June 26, 2013, 01:13:03 AM »
Some of the most beautiful and awe inspiring architecture in the Western world has been its churches. Think St Peter's, Chartres Cathedral, St Paul's (London), Westminster Abbey, and numerous other churches and cathedrals. These great structures were built to glorify God and by their very nature were designed to lift men's minds and emotions upward from earthly concerns to sublime contemplation of heavenly things.  Unfortunately "modernism" has infected church architecture, especially Catholic Churches, and some of the most visually appalling architectural creations in the modern world are its churches.

A website has put together a slide show of what are some of the worst. If you have a few moments you may be amused, perhaps dismayed, by this presentation and some of the accompanying editorial comments. 

http://www.realclearreligion.org/lists/the_ugliest_churches_in_the_world/
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Offline massadvj

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Re: The Ugliest Churches in the World
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2013, 06:42:41 AM »
I don't see what was wrong with this one:



The others were certainly strange.  It is interesting to look at architecture and wonder what the hell they were thinking. 
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Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: The Ugliest Churches in the World
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2013, 12:35:21 PM »
Massadvj, I believe the problem lies in what I assume is the bell tower. As the accompanying comment states, Church of Chicken Little. The rest of the building isn't so bad but what looks like a cross-eyed chicken at the top of that tower detracts from the rest of the structure and presents a very silly aspect into what is supposed to evoke solemn thoughts and feelings.
We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid ~~ Samuel Adams

Offline EC

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Re: The Ugliest Churches in the World
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2013, 12:42:17 PM »
I didn't even see the chicken. Just looked like a Taco Bell to me.
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Offline massadvj

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Re: The Ugliest Churches in the World
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2013, 02:08:29 PM »
Massadvj, I believe the problem lies in what I assume is the bell tower. As the accompanying comment states, Church of Chicken Little. The rest of the building isn't so bad but what looks like a cross-eyed chicken at the top of that tower detracts from the rest of the structure and presents a very silly aspect into what is supposed to evoke solemn thoughts and feelings.

I see the "chicken" now, but that is pretty much a function of the angle at which the photo was taken.  Would the same be true if the shot was from straight in front?  As for the Taco Bell look, I'd say Taco Bell is striving (not successfully) to look like this, not the other way around.  Having grown up in California, where there are lots of these lovely Spanish Mission churches, I find them very pleasing to the eye.
"She only coughs when she lies."

Online mountaineer

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Re: The Ugliest Churches in the World
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2013, 05:06:56 PM »
I agree with massadvj about that particular church not being ugly. Furthermore, what makes a church ugly or beautiful is not the bricks and mortar nor towering spires but whether the people who gather there love and serve God. 
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 05:10:55 PM by mountaineer »
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Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: The Ugliest Churches in the World
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2013, 05:53:55 PM »
Mountaineer, forgive me but this is no more than a platitude: Furthermore, what makes a church ugly or beautiful is not the bricks and mortar nor towering spires but whether the people who gather there love and serve God.

A church is also a building with its own architectural style which is independent of its purpose and mission. As such it can be evaluated for its artistic merits irrespective of its interior spiritual life just as any human designed and built structure can be.
We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid ~~ Samuel Adams

Offline sinkspur

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Re: The Ugliest Churches in the World
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2013, 05:57:43 PM »
If the congregants of these churches are happy with them, who the hell cares what anybody else thinks?

Some of the ugliest churches I've seen are those gothic monstrosities with long naves and "high altars" with angels holding up candelabra and all kinds of hideous statuary crammed into the sanctuary.

A simple design, altar in the middle of the church surrounded by seating with the focus ON WHAT IS HAPPENING ON THE ALTAR is my preference.
Roy Moore's "spiritual warfare" is driving past a junior high without stopping.

Offline Cincinnatus

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Re: The Ugliest Churches in the World
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2013, 06:17:43 PM »
If the congregants of these churches are happy with them, who the hell cares what anybody else thinks?

Because they are ALSO works of art and as such can be criticized on that level just as secular structures can be. Think of it this way. Customers of a bank, say, may be perfectly content while the building which houses the bank can be considered either atrocious or beautiful. That evaluation does not affect the functioning of the bank anymore than evaluating the architectural style of a church is a comment on its teachings or the spiritual life it promotes, with one very important exception: church structures have always held a special niche in the history of Western art, banks not so much.

So for both you and Mountaineer I merely wish to point out I, and the person who put together that slide presentation, are talking solely about those churches as architectural phenomena, and there is nothing wrong nor insulting about that.
We shall never be abandoned by Heaven while we act worthy of its aid ~~ Samuel Adams

Offline sinkspur

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Re: The Ugliest Churches in the World
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2013, 06:27:29 PM »
If the congregants of these churches are happy with them, who the hell cares what anybody else thinks?

Because they are ALSO works of art and as such can be criticized on that level just as secular structures can be. Think of it this way. Customers of a bank, say, may be perfectly content while the building which houses the bank can be considered either atrocious or beautiful. That evaluation does not affect the functioning of the bank anymore than evaluating the architectural style of a church is a comment on its teachings or the spiritual life it promotes, with one very important exception: church structures have always held a special niche in the history of Western art, banks not so much.

So for both you and Mountaineer I merely wish to point out I, and the person who put together that slide presentation, are talking solely about those churches as architectural phenomena, and there is nothing wrong nor insulting about that.

As I said, if the congregants like the design (they, after all, are PAYING for the damned things), outside opinions are like, well, you know............

Remember that this website that features these churches thinks the only good design is gothic or baroque with gargoyles staring ominously at all who dare enter......
Roy Moore's "spiritual warfare" is driving past a junior high without stopping.

Online mountaineer

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Re: The Ugliest Churches in the World
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2013, 07:32:11 PM »
First time I've ever been accused of spouting platitudes.  :tongue2:
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