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Converted Churches.com

We are witnessing historical changes. In the past churches were used only as places were people would gather to seek both God's presence and the answer to questions relating to our place in the world. They gradually began to be used for different purposes, for example some were converted into places of residence, restaurants and some into night clubs.
We want to document this process by gathering as much information and photos as possible. To do that we are asking for your help. If you have any photos that show a church before and after conversion please email them to us. We would also welcome  your opinion on whether or not you would want to live in a converted church etc.

If you have any photos of converted churches, please email them to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Just to be encouraged to discuss the above, please read what Mircea Eliade, comparative religion professor at the University of Chicago wrote in his THE SACRED AND THE PROFANE THE NATURE OF RELIGION about Traditional (Primitive) Societies.

"...For religious man, space is not homogeneous; he experiences interruptions, breaks in it; some parts of space are qualitatively different from others. “Do not come any closer,” God said. “Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground.” (Exodus, 3, 5). There is, then, a sacred space, and hence a strong, significant space; there are other spaces that are not sacred and so are without structure or consistency, amorphous...

...To exemplify the nonhomogeneity of space as experienced by religious man, we may turn to any religion. We will choose an example that is accessible to everyone: a church in a modem city. For a believer, the church shares in a different space from the street in which it stands. The door that opens on the interior of the church actually signifies a break of continuity.
The doorstep that separates the two spaces also indicates the distance between two modes of being, the secular and the religious.

The doorstep is the limit, the boundary, the frontier that distinguishes and opposes two worlds-and at the same time the paradoxical place where those worlds communicate, where passage from the profane to the sacred world becomes possible...

...What has been said will make it clear why the church shares in an entirely different space from the buildings that surround it. Within the sacred precincts the profane world is transcended...

 

Every sacred space implies a hierophany, an irruption of the sacred that results in detaching a territory from the surrounding cosmic milieu and making it qualitatively different. When Jacob in his dream at Haran saw a ladder reaching to heaven, with angels ascending and descending on it, and heard the Lord speaking from above it, saying: "I am the Lord God of Abraham," he awoke and was afraid and cried out: "How dreadful is this place: this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." And he took the stone that had been his pillow, and set it up as a monument, and poured oil on the top of it. He called the place Beth-el, that is, house of God (Genesis, 28, 12-19). The symbolism implicit in the expression "gate of heaven" is rich and complex; the theophany that occurs in a place consecrates it by the very fact that it makes it open a b o v e that is, in communication with heaven, the paradoxical point of passage from one mode of being to another...

When no sign manifests itself, it is provoked ...
A sign is asked, to put an end to the tension and anxiety caused by relativity and disorientation-in short, to reveal an absolute point of support. For example, a wild animal is hunted, and the sanctuary is built at the place where it is killed.

 

Or a domestic animal-such as a bull-is turned loose; some days later it is searched for and sacrificed at the place where it is found. Later the altar will be raised there and the village will be built around the altar. In all these cases, the sacrality of a place is revealed by animals. This is as much as to say that men are not free to choose the sacred site, that they only seek for it and find it by the help of mysterious signs. These few examples have shown the different means by which religious man receives the revelation of a sacred place. In each case the hierophany has annulled the homogeneity of space and revealed a fixed point. But since religious man cannot live except in an atmosphere impregnated with the sacred, we must expect to find a large number of techniques for consecrating space. As we saw, the sacred is pre-eminently the real, at once power, efficacity, the source of life and fecundity. Religious man's desire to live in the sacred is in fact equivalent  to his desire to take up his abode in objective reality, not to let himself be paralyzed by the never-ceasing relativity of purely subjective experiences, to live in a real and effective world, and not in an illusion. This behavior is documented on every plane of religious man's existence, but it is particularly evident in his desire to move about only in a sanctified world, that is, in a sacred space. This is the reason for the elaboration of techniques of orientation which, properly speaking, are techniques for the construction of sacred space. But we must not suppose that human work is in question here, that it is through his own efforts that man can consecrate a space. In reality the ritual by which he constructs a sacred space is efficacious in the measure in which it reproduces the work of the gods... "

 

 

 

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