Thursday, September 24, 2009

Preserving architecture in a post-Christian society...


Perhaps it is unfair to call our times post-Christian, churches have often been sold off and used for commercial purposes, we have examples of it locally - one I know of is a bookstore. Years ago one of my favorite discos in NYC was an old church called The Sanctuary - it was even used in a film for a location shoot - the movie: Klute.
It is rather unsettling however to come across photos of the Dominican church (above), nicely converted into a fashionable bookstore. The location is Maastricht, Netherlands, and so it is no surprise perhaps. It will most likely be a common occurrence throughout Europe as the faith continues to dwindle. There are more photos on the architect's site here. It really is a very handsome conversion, wonderful use of space without obstructing the lovely art and architecture.
If I were rich I'd love to buy an old abandoned church in France or Tuscany.

H/T Catholic Church Conservation


  1. If you ever do, can I found a monastery in part of the building? Tuscany...maybe Provence?

  2. Yes of course Father!

  3. There was an old converted church near me that was for sale for some time and I don't think it ever sold (they renovated it and installed a second floor). It is near Nativity and the construction/style is similar except instead of stone it was made out of wood. Soaring ceilings, large stained glass windows (don't know if the stained glass remains) and an extra lot where you could start another large garden or have enough room for a party with all your friends. The Rock of Ages Baptist church on Dale near University (near St. Agnes) is for sale...brick with a cool steeple.

    But, it is sad to see churches used for something other than they were intended.


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