Pennick Nigel - Sacred architecture of London

Author : Pennick Nigel
Title : Sacred architecture of London
Year : 2012

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Introduction. In the year 1666, between the second and the sixth of September, the greater part of the city of London was destroyed by an unstoppable conflagration, which soon became known as the Great Fire of London. The Tablet of Memory, published, in London, by J. Bew in 1774 tells us that it “burnt down 113,000 houses, the city-gates, guildhall &c. 86 churches, among which was St. Paul’s cathedral, and 400 streets; the ruins were 436 acres…”. After the catastrophes of the Civil War, the tyranny of Cromwell, the plague of 1665, and the maritime wars against Holland, the fire came as yet another ordeal for the city’s inhabitants. But instead of destroying their will to continue, the reconstruction that followed this major disaster resulted in an unprecedented outburst of creativity. From the period after the fire come the most remarkable sacred buildings erected in England since the reformation, churches built according to ancient classical principles. The main creative period was around 1670 to 1750, but the tradition continued until 1792. The churches built after the Great Fire of London express a spiritual dimension of religion that goes beyond sectarian belief. They can be seen to be epitomes of all the cosmos, and of divine creation. In parallel with fundamentalist interpretation of any particular religion as exclusively and unquestionably true (depending, of course, on which particular religion and sect the true believer belongs to), there is always another parallel current of understanding that tells of an eternal tradition, manifesting in characteristic form in that religion but not bound to its particular doctrines. ...

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Balder Ex-Libris