A church building, often simply called a church, is a building used for religious activities, particularly worship services. The term in its architectural sense is most often used by Christians to refer to their religious buildings but can be used by other religions. In traditional Christian architecture, the church is often arranged in the shape of a Christian cross. When viewed from plan view the longest part of a cross is represented by the aisle and the junction of the cross is located at the altar area. Towers or domes are often added with the intention of directing the eye of the viewer towards the heavens and inspiring church visitors. Modern church buildings have a variety of architectural styles and layouts; many buildings that were designed for other purposes have now been converted for church use; and, similarly, many original church buildings have been put to other uses. Contents [hide]
Throughout the last few centuries, the types of churches have become much more widespread. Some have gospel choirs while other worship in total silence. The ornateness of churches varies widely depending on the religion of the deity being worshiped, or the praying culture of the community. Due to various cultural and social reasons, most churches have seen a decline in attendance in recent years. Architecture
Main article: Church architecture
The St. Joseph's Cathedral in Asmara, Eritrea.
A common architecture for churches is the shape of a cross (a long central rectangle, with side rectangles, and a rectangle in front for the altar space or sanctuary). These churches also often have a dome or other large vaulted space in the interior to represent or draw attention to the heavens. Other common shapes for churches include a circle, to represent eternity, or an octagon or similar star shape, to represent the church's bringing light to the world. Another common feature is the spire, a tall tower on the "west" end of the church or over...
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