|Fire Temple in modern-day Iran (Ching 234)|
These rock-cut structures are representative of the journey that a Buddhist takes in reaching nirvana. For example, the structure is in 3 sections: first, you enter at the porch, and then circumambulate around the space. This direction is provided by the paths made by the columns, and leads you to the inner sanctum where the cult figure is found. While physically taking this journey, buddhists are also representing the journey to nirvana. Many columns on the way are carved with symbolic representations where the buddha reached enlightenment as well as the stupa. I found this interesting because compared to these ritualistic structures, our structures today have little meaning and are constructed poorly for their purpose.
|Interior of Cave No. 19 at Ajanta (Ching 237)|
In the text by Roth, it explains how the fall of the Roman Empire lead to Christianity through Constantine. "At first, there was no need for specialized architecture, for the small Christian groups adapted their worship to the available spaces in private homes"(Roth 279). This quote shows how christianity, the ritual or belief, came first and shaped the architecture after around specific purposes. Buildings were constructed to allow large numbers of people to use the building and space was enclosed to allow people to hear words being spoken and for the sound of the psalms they sang. This relates to the same way the Tire temples, the Ajenta caves, and the My Son temple in Vietnam were constructed because they were all based around spiritual purposes and ritualistic practices.