Copyright@St George’s Church, Tanglin Singapore, 2015. All Rights Reserved.
The style of the architecture, the form of this church, harks back many, many centuries to the very first specifically Christian churches of the Romanesque period in Europe -
The Christian basilica is basically a long rectangular barn, based on the already refined form of temple that the Greeks had perfected in ancient times and which the Romans had copied, a rectangle with a pitched roof and columns all round it. You came in at one end, where there are usually different doorways, and you faced the front. The action all happened up at the alter end, and whether you sat or wandered about, this was the basic format.
It was adapted over the centuries, got bigger and wider by various devices that I won't bore you with now, and gained more and more elaborate features to add to their prominence within a city and to show off the Church's ever increasing wealth and power. But the form has stayed very much the same and it is very functional. St. Paul's Cathedral in London has this form, although you can hardly see it any more, and every little and great parish church in the world often has it too.
And as I said, St. George's is a classic illustration of this. It is rather like a great big barn! It has the elegance and the feeling for function of a barn -
I love the building very much -
THE BASILICA TRADITION
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