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Construction of a Temple with Regard to the Rising Sun Ray L&E, Vol. 29, No. 4, 2021

Light & Engineering 29 (4)

Volume 29
Date of publication 08/20/2021
Pages 100–106

Purchase PDF - ₽450

Construction of a Temple with Regard to the Rising Sun Ray L&E, Vol. 29, No. 4, 2021
Articles authors:
Nikolay L. Pavlov

Nikolay L. Pavlov, Dr. of Architecture. He graduated from the Moscow Architectural Institute MARKHI in 1965. Now he is professor at the Department of Soviet and Modern Foreign Architecture in Moscow Architectural Institute (State Academy), advisor to the Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences, advisor to the Board of the Union of Architects of Russia, member of the Board of the Union of Moscow architects, member of the Russian Geographical Society, honorary worker of Higher Professional Education

Using the example of a number of cultural traditions, the author considers a construction of the temple structure along a rising sun ray. There are two main types of temples built according to the rising sun ray: the temples oriented towards the sunrise by their sanctuaries, and the temples oriented towards the sunrise by the entrance portal. Examples of such a construction are given for the temples of Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Orthodox and Catholic Christianity, Hinduism and Shintoism.
The first type of temple in Ancient Egypt is shown to represent the birth of the sun in its sanctuary. In Christianity, this type of temple represents a ray of the sun entering the temple from an apse window – from the God depicted there. The second type of temples in Ancient Egypt represents the revival of image of the pharaoh-god located in his sanctuary, with the rising sun ray. In the ancient tradition, this type of temple represents the meeting of the rising sun over the large pre-temple altar, along with a statue of a deity in the depths of the sanctuary. It is shown that the main cathedral of Catholic Christianity, St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, is oriented towards sunrise not according to Christian, but according to ancient tradition. In the Hindu Shaiva tradition, the meeting of the rising sun in front of the temple portal is associated with penetration of its ray into the sanctuary and the highlighting of the statue or the main attribute of the god. In the Shinto tradition, the ascendant is presented in a special portal. The welcoming sacrifice takes place on the pre-temple altar. In general, the paper deals with the semantic, spatial, decorative, and ritual aspects of the construction performed of both types of temples.
1. Pavlov N. The sun ray as a tool to design an architectural form // Light & Engineering, 2019, Vol. 27, #2, pp. 32–41.
2. Lockyer J. Norman // London: Cassell and Company Limited, 1894, 448 р.
3. Hawkins J. From Stonehenge to the Incas // Translated from English by P. Gurov, M.: Veche, 2004, 384 p.
4. Pavlov N.L. Temple of Ipet Sut and the spatial thinking of the architects of Ancient Egypt // Abstract of the thesis for the degree of candidate of architecture, Moscow, 1983, 25 p.


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