As a former history major with a special passion for Western Civilization, I have been to a lot of churches over the years. This isn’t because I’m particularly religious, but because often throughout history the church was the largest, oldest building occupying a town or city and served double duty as a place of worship and a community center. In other words, for a researcher interested in the cultural history of a place, it’s an information gold mine and can provide a lot of clues about a society’s values.
I became especially aware of these clues and the semiotic power of architecture when I visited Siena, Italy on a study abroad trip my senior year of college. Italy describes itself as a Catholic country, and Siena boasts the Duomo di Siena, one of the largest and most ornate medieval Cathedral (more…)
23 Jun 2015