Although I am agnostic I find religion fascinating, especially religious architecture. This is not just limited to Christianity (the religion I grew up in) and its churches, but also to the various temples, mosques, shrines, stupas and monuments to the dead of other religions, plus the attendant art, rituals and other trappings. I find the often highly decorated Hindu temple shikaras and the generally clean-cut lines of the Lutheran churches of Iceland equally fascinating.
Perhaps I am subconsciously looking for proof of the existence of a higher power in these things, or maybe it’s just that the architecture and other things connected with religion are so fascinatingly distinct from all other aspects of human culture. Whatever the reason, I enjoy photographing religion and the ways in which it manifests itself whenever I get the chance, with a special attention to the architecture. As I live in a predominantly Christian country I mostly photograph churches and Christian graveyards and monuments, but you don’t have to look very far back on this blog to find photos I have taken of Indian temples and religious trappings.
Looking through my photographs recently I realised that I have a number of photos of churches, mostly Icelandic ones but also a few from other countries, that I haven’t posted, so I decided to devote one post a month to showcasing my church photos until I run out of them. I chose the first Saturday of each month as the day for posting them. Some will be single photos while others will be in pairs, series or photo essays.
But that’s not all. I decided to make all Saturdays into theme days. Henceforth you will find church photos on the first Saturday of each month (until I run out of them), other series and photo essays on the second (continuing over the following days if it’s a big essay), panoramic images on the third, and on the fourth Saturday in a month an article with photos about a place in Iceland or a travel-related issue (this last one may not run every month). When there is a fifth Saturday in a month (there will be three more this year in addition to the one in March), it will be devoted to the “etc.” in the blog’s title, namely phots from my various trips abroad.
Here is the first Church of the Month:
Skálholt cathedralSkálholt used to be the seat of one of the two bishops of the Icelandic Lutheran church. It is unusual in that the tower is situated over the altar and not the foyer. Here is a link to the Wikipedia entry on Skálholt for those interested in finding out more about this place.
Digital photo, Canon PowerShot A430