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Orientation (Prayer and Architecture)
(326 words)

[German Version]

denotes both the direction of prayer in the Early Church and the alignment of church buildings (Church building) towards the rising sun (see also Orientation; Sun: V, 1). The direction of prayer to the east, at first independent of the architectural structure of the church building, and understood as turning to the risen and ascended Christ, only disappeared in the Middle Ages. Monumental church structures were from the beginning set up on the east-west axis. Alongside the eastern entrance, preferred in …

Cite this page
Raschzok, Klaus, “Orientation (Prayer and Architecture)”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 12 May 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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