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Symbols - What does heaven look like

Temples with columns

David Roberts - "View Under Edfou Portico"

A circular temple with columns symbolically represents a sacred grove.

Jordan

One way in which these symbolic groves of trees were physically represented was to build a round colonnade of columns topped with tree like headers.

A temple which is rectangular or square principally  takes on tree symbolism – each column is then a symbolic tree.    Possibly the best example of this approach is the Greek temple.  The Greek temples were not built with columns having a foliage capital by accident;  there was symbolism being used in their design particularly in Corinthian capitals.  But the porticos with their surroundings of columns with symbolic trees provided a symbolic grove attached, as it were, to the temple – so they too were intended to be a form of sacred grove.

Corinthian Capial with Entablature
from the Pantheon in Rome

The Corinthian order is one of the three biggest classical orders of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. It is the most ornate, characterized by a slender fluted column and an elaborate capital decorated with acanthus leaves and scrolls. The other two orders were the Doric and the Ionic [both of which have their own symbolism related to horns and spirals]. 

A temple such as the Parthenon [shown below] was a physical representation of a sacred grove on a hill, thus a combination of symbols – the hill and the grove.

 

Whereas the temple is a Greek or Roman structure, there are also other sorts of building which use symbolic pillars in their construction.  Soloman’s palace might not have been physically real, it may itself have been symbolic, but if real then its construction is key.  He builds it from a symbolic ‘virtue’.  Cedar  is symbolically connected with immortality – the gods.

1 Kings 7 - Solomon Builds His Palace

 

 1 But it took Solomon 13 years to finish constructing his palace and the other buildings that were related to it.

 2 He built the Palace of the Forest of Lebanon. It was 150 feet long. It was 75 feet wide. And it was 45 feet high. It had four rows of cedar columns. They held up beautiful cedar beams.

 3 Above the beams was a roof that was made out of cedar boards. It rested on the columns. There were three rows of beams with 15 in each row. The total number of beams was 45.

4 The windows of the palace were placed high up in the walls. They were in groups of three. And they faced each other.

 5 All of the doorways had frames that were shaped like rectangles. They were in front. They were in groups of three. And they faced each other.

 6 Solomon made a covered area. It was 75 feet long. And it was 45 feet wide. Its roof was held up by columns. In front of it was a porch. In front of that were pillars and a roof that went out beyond them.

 7 Solomon built the throne hall. It was called the Hall of Justice. That's where he would serve as judge. He covered the hall with cedar boards from floor to ceiling.

 

 

Observations

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