Visita Iglesia

Ateneo de Manila University Chapel

by Nathalie Mariano

In the Philippines, Easter is something we build up to during the entire Lenten season with a gradually with increasing intensity, reaching a climax during the three days that precede it, called the Holy Week Triduum. They are declared holidays, so there’s no work, no school, and most establishments cease operations on these days. Local non-cable television channels even have special programming on these days. Traditionally these days are set aside for prayer and reflection. Though a lot of people spend this long weekend in the beach or fly off somewhere on vacation, quite a number still stay and take some time for quiet contemplation.

Today is Holy Thursday, also called Maundy Thursday, and one of the traditional practices is to go on Visita Iglesia (Spanish for “Church visit”), which entails spending  Thursday evening going around and visiting different seven Churches, taking a few minutes to pray in each one. I’m not exactly sure why seven is the optimal number, but I have spent a whole lot of Holy Thursdays with my parents, and sometimes cousins and other relatives, doing this. I was surprised to find out that there are other countries that observe this practice too.

So for this post I thought I’d do a cyber version of Visita Iglesia, and drop by these seven churches from around the world. I picked these because they are all modern and fabulous and so different from the way I expect churches to look and yet they all exude that lofty, reverent, peaceful air that identify them as places of worship.

1. Church of the Gesu, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines
Architect: Gines Rivera

Church of the Gesu Ateneo de Manila

by Nathalie Mariano

Stained glass in the Church of the Gesu

by Nathalie Mariano

2. Église Notre-Dame de Royan
Architect: Guillaume Gillet

Iglese Notre-Dame de Royan

via Wikimedia Commons

Our Lady of Royan interior

via Behance

3. Bruder Klaus Kapelle (Brother Klaus Chapel) – Wachendorf, Germany
Architect: Peter Zumthor

Brother Claus Chapel

via A View From the Thirteenth Floor

Brother Claus Chapel

via A View From the Thirteenth Floor

4. Dio Padre Misericordioso (Merciful God the Father)
The Jubilee Church – Rome, Italy

Architect: Richard Meier

Merciful God the Father Church exterior

via Bored Panda

Jubilee Church interior

via Guarda Roma

5. Catedral Metropolitana Nossa Senhora Aparecida
Metropolitan Cathedral of Our Lady Aparecida) - Brasilia, Brazil
Architect: Oscar Niemeyer

Cathedral of Brasilia

via Wikimedia Commons

Brasilia Cathedral Interior

via Obvious

6. Christi Auferstehung (Church of The Resurrection of Christ) -
Cologne, Germany
Architect: Gottfried Böhm – 1970

Christi Auferstehung in Cologne

via Modern Yapilar

Church of the Resurrection of Christ

via Behance Gallery

7. Chiesa del Santo Volto (Church of the Holy Face) – Torino, Italy
Architect: Mario Botta

Church of the Holy Face Exterior

via La bellezza è una ferita

Church of Holy Face interior

via Wikimedia Commons

Posted in Culture | Tagged ,

2 Responses to Visita Iglesia

  1. Cynthia says:

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful spaces! I would guess that the symbolism behind the number 7 has to do with 7 being a holy number. The 7th day is the day of rest in the creation story, and there are 7 churches in Revelation. There are also other mentions of the number 7 throughout the Bible.

  2. Pingback: Quiet Time | The Design Tree by Greentea Design

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>