Medieval Europe 814-1450: Architecture and Design - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

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Pilgrimage Architecture

Symbolic Places.

Because medieval Christians believed that holy places bore the mark of divinity, they were drawn to the sites of important historical and spiritual events, such as those in the Holy Land where Jesus had lived and died, the tombs of revered saints, or important collections of their relics. To visit these spots—the tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem or the footprints of St. Peter in Rome—not only revealed the truth of the scriptures, but also allowed the Christian worshipper to remember the past through the rituals of the present. In religious journeys or pilgrimages to these special places of spiritual power, relics—the physical remains of bones, skin, hair, and fingernails or objects touched by saints—offered concrete points of contact with Christian martyrs, who, though long dead, provided accessible and inspiring models for behavior. While pilgrimage and the...

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This section contains 1,839 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Medieval Europe 814-1450: Architecture and Design Encyclopedia Article
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Arts and Humanities Through the Eras
Medieval Europe 814-1450: Architecture and Design from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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