47 Chapels, Churches & Temples for Peace
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167 BCE - Temple of Concord, Forum Romanum, Rome (Italy). "Dedicated to the Roman goddess Concordia. Destroyed & restored multiple times." /// "In ancient Roman religion, Concordia is the goddess who embodies agreement in marriage & society. Her Greek equivalent is usually regarded as Harmonia, with musical harmony a metaphor for an ideal of social concord or entente in the political discourse of the Republican era. She was thus often associated with Pax ("Peace") in representing a stable society. As such, she is more closely related to the Greek concept of homonoia (likemindedness), which was also represented by a goddess."
AD 75 - Temple of Peace, Forum of Vespasian, Rome (Italy). "The third of the imperial fora, the Forum of Vespasian, was known until late antiquity as the Templum Pacis after the Temple of Peace that dominated the complex. It was begun by Vespasian [9-79] in AD 71 after the capture of Jerusalem the year before & dedicated in AD 75, the year after Masada finally fell, ending the Jewish War. The forum consisted of a large square with a formal garden & was enclosed on three sides by porticoes. On the fourth side, facing the Forum of Augustus, was the temple, itself, the facade in line with the colonnade. Flanking it were large halls, one of which housed a library, the Bibliotheca Pacis.
1655 & 1657 - Churches of Peace, Jawor and Swidnica (Poland). "The largest timber-framed religious buildings in Europe and a symbol of religious tolerance from the 17th century. After the Peace of Westphalia (1648), the Protestants in Silesia were allowed by the Habsburg Roman Catholic emperor to build three churches. Restrictions were that they had to be constructed outside the city walls, made of wood or clay and built in less than a year. The architect responsible for all three was Albrecht von Sabisch [1610-1688]. The churches had to be big enough to be a true place of refuge for the Protestant population. He designed wooden buildings that had never been seen before in complexity and size. The church in Glogów burned in 1758 The other two in Jawor and Swidnica were restored by Polish-German cooperation."
1696? - Plaza De La Paz / Plaza of Peace, Basilica Colegiata de Nuestra Senora de Guanajuato, Zona Centro, León, Guanajuato, Guanajuato (Mexico). Plaza contains statue of the Virgin Mary. "A beautiful sculpture called Monumento a la Paz / Monument to Peace was inaugurated [here] by President Porfirio Diaz in 1903. This gorgeous plaza has been witness to many important events in history, such as the proclamation of Guanajuato as the capital city of Mexico by Benito Juarez and the insurrection of the mining towns against the injustice of the colonial government."
1813 - Ahu'ena Heiau, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (USA). Heiau / temple dedicated to Lono, Hawaiian God of peace, agriculture and prosperity. Reconstructed by King Kamehameha the Great [d. May 8, 1819]. On the register of National Historic Landmarks as one of the most important of Hawaii's historic sites. Visited by EWL.
1820 - Temple de l'amite et de la paix / Temple of Friendship & Peace, United Nations, Geneva (Switzerland). Built by Count Jean-Jaques de Sellon [1782-1839] on his estate, La Fenetre. Destroyed during a storm in 1946, but its stones remain in storage (as shown in lower image).
1940 - "Cross of Nails," Coventry Cathedral, Coventry (England). "Shortly after the destruction [on 14 November 1940], the cathedral stonemason, Jock Forbes, noticed that two of the charred medieval roof timbers had fallen in the shape of a cross. He set them up in the ruins where they were later placed on an altar of rubble with the moving words ‘Father Forgive’ inscribed on the Sanctuary wall. Another cross was fashioned from three medieval nails by local priest, the Revd Arthur Wales. The Cross of Nails has become the symbol of Coventry’s ministry of reconciliation." /// Right image is "an abstract interpretation of the Charred Cross in the old cathedral ruins." /// "In post conflict Europe of the 1950's & 1960's, the presentation of a Cross of Nails to churches in Kiel, Dresden, Berlin & other cities destroyed by Allied bombing, symbolized peace & the growing trust & partnership that developed." See Nikolaikirche (Hamburg), Chapel of Reconciliation (Berlin Wall Memorial, Berlin), Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Berlin), Friedenszeichen / Coventry Peace Monument (Lindau), and elsewhere.
September 24, 1848 - Friedenskirche / Church of Peace, Marly Gardens on the Green Fence, Sanssouci Park, Potsdam (Germany). "Built according to the wishes and with the close involvement of the artistically gifted King Frederick William IV [1795-1861], and designed by the court architect Ludwig Persius. After Persius' death in 1845 the architect Friedrich August Stüler was tasked with continuing his work. The structure resembles a High Italian monastery. Right image shows crypt of Frederick William and his wife in the church.
1850 - Paulskirche, Frankfurt (Germany). "Seat of course of the 1848-49 parliament [the first publicly and freely elected body of Germany], but also of the August 1850 international peace congress (of the peace movement). If I remember well, there are some reminders of this inside the building. I visited it at least once, when I received an invitation to attend the award of Germany’s most important peace prize, the one awarded by the German book trade (Friedenspreis des Deutschen Buchhandels). The annual ceremony is being held here. In my view, it comes second, after the Nobel, in terms of the elaborateness of the ceremony, the dignity of the occasion, the standing in the country, the documentation which is produced, etc. It follows the Nobel at some distance, but that is inevitable (no royalty involved, the prize money is less, the outside world hardly takes notice, etc.). It has interesting origins, not long after World War II."
About 1900 - Temple of Peace, International Theosophical Headquarters, Point Loma, San Diego, California (USA). "In 1896 Madame Katherine Tingley [1847-1929] became the leader of the Theosophical Society. In 1897 she purchased a sanitarium to found 'an Athens of the West' at Point Loma. She changed its name to the Academy (Homestead) and used it as a living quarters and as a schoolroom for the fine arts. In 1900 she completed the construction of this building by adding a stained-glass dome and then built the circular Temple of Peace next to the Academy." Image shows Raja-Yoga Academy (left) and Temple of Peace (right).
May 1919 - Grave of Edith Cavell, Life’s Green, South Wall, Norwich Cathedral, Norwich, Norfolk (England). Buried after a memorial service at Westminster Abbey on May 15, 1919. Right image shows ceremony on October 9, 2004. Left image copyright © Martin Edwards 2003.
Date? - Melbourne Unitarian Peace Memorial Church, Melbourne, Victoria (Australia). Founded in 1852. Most likely adopted "peace memorial" as part of its name after World War I. Church website says. "During the 'Great War,' the 'Great Depression' and the war against Nazism, the Melbourne Unitarian Church [sic] became increasingly involved and vocal on issues of social justice and peace. It was during this time that the Church developed the motto 'Seek the Truth, and Serve Humanity.'"
December 1924 - The Temple of Peace, Toowong Cemetery, Brisbane, Queensland (Australia). "Built by Richard Paul Carl Ramo in memory of his four sons, three of whom were killed in World War I. * Victor - killed at Messines in August 1915. * Henry - Died of wounds in Belgium in October 1915. * Gordon - killed at Gallipoli in November 1915. * (foster son) Ferdinand Christian Borell - died in Brisbane in November 1923. The body of Ramo's dog, which had been poisoned was also included in the memorial. Ferdinand Borell died on 28 November 1923 in the rear of Richard Ramo's store at 180 Roma Street, Brisbane, as a result of a gunshot wound. A dedication ceremony was conducted in December 1924 and was attended by several thousand people, many of them socialists, pacifists, and members of the Industrial Workers of the World. A band played "The Red Flag" as a coffin was placed in the memorial. /// Right image shows The Temple of Peace, boarded up after extensive vandalism in the mid-2000's."
1928 - Lion & Lamb Heraldry, South Gable, Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois (USA).The entire work, done by Lee Lawrie & Ulric Ellerhausen, is called "The March of Religion Across the Centuries." Elijah (left) & Isaiah (right). The two animals at the sides of the shield are a lion and a lamb, referring to Isaiah's prophecies regarding peace on Earth after the return of the Messiah.
1929 - Charles Lindbergh Good Will Window, Trinity Methodist Church, Springfield, Massachusetts (USA). "Commemorates Charles Lindbergh's famous flight across the world [sic]. The window depicts Lindbergh standing, dressed in aviation clothing. The words 'Good Will' appear in a banner behind his head. Circular insets in the two upper corners of the window show, respectively, a map of the world marked with latitude and longitude lines and a flying airplane, which casts a shadow on the ground in the form of a cross."
1939 - Birla Mandir / Birla Temple, New Delhi (India). Hindu temple created in harijan / untouchable neighborhood by Gandhi and Ghanshyam Das Birla [1894-1983] to be open to all people (which it still is).
1944 or later - Chapel, Luxembourg American Cemetery & Memorial, Hamm (Luxembourg). Three miles east of downtown Luxembourg City. "Au-dessus de la porte de la chapelle, une sculpture haute de 7 mètres représente l'ange de la paix, sa main droite levée en signe de bénédiction, la gauche tenant une branche de laurier. Au sommet, une colombe planant sur un nuage, autre signe de paix."
1950's - Peace Window, Canterbury Cathedral, England (UK). Designed by Hungarian refugee Ervin Bossany.
August 6, 1954 - Memorial Cathedral for World Peace, 4-42 Nobori-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima (Japan). Built in 1954 on the initiative of German Jesuit Hugo Enomiya-Lassalle [1898-1990], who witnessed the the atomic bomb in 1945. One of the largest Roman Catholic churches in Asia. Many countries contributed to the cost of construction. Four bells in the 150ft / 46m tower were presented by the German town of Bochum, the organ by Cologne. and the bronze doors by Düsseldorf. The altar was presented by Belgium.
1958 - Synagogue de la Paix, Strasbourg (France).
1959 - Urakami Cathedral, Urakami, Nagasaki (Japan). Largest Catholic church in East Asia when completed in 1914. At ground zero of the atomic bomb. Restored in 1959. Had Western style bell. Ruined southern wall & statues of the Madonna and John the Apostle were moved to the Hypocenter and rebuilt.
1963 - Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche / Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Kurfürstendamm, centre of Breitscheidplatz, Berlin (Germany). "Mostly just known as Gedächtniskirche. A Protestant church affilliated with the Evangelical Church. Original church on the site was built in the 1890's. Badly damaged in a bombing raid in 1943. The present building consists of a church with an attached foyer & a separate belfry with an attached chapel, was built between 1959 & 1963. The damaged spire of the old church has been retained, & its ground floor has been made into a memorial hall. Today a famous landmark of western Berlin. Nicknamed by Berliners 'der hohle Zahn' / 'the hollow tooth.'" /// According to TravelAdvisor: "What remains of this church is a highly significant reminder of the consequences of war. The interior is beautiful & one can only imagine what it would have looked like when it stood as a whole." /// Info courtesy of Peter van den Dungen.
1965 - St. Mary Mother of the Redeemer, 69 Groton Long Point Road, Groton, Connecticut (USA). This Catholic Church obtained the cupola of the Vatican Pavlion after the New York World's Fair. 1964-1965 - "Peace Through Understanding" (Pavilion of the Vatican), New York World's Fair, Flusing Meadow, Queens, New York City, New York (USA). "Designed to have distinct settings for its major exhibits -- Michelangelo's "Pieta" and an early Christian sculpture from the catacombs, "The Good Shepard."
April 30, 1967 - Protestant Church of Reconcilliation, Dachau Concentration Camp, Dachau (Germany). Designed by Helmut Striffler. Dedicated by the Rev. Martin Niemöller [1892-1984], one of the most famous prisoners in the Dachau camp and the first sent to the Sachsenhausen camp after he was tried and convicted of treason for preaching against the Nazi-controlled government.
June 15, 1968 - Acorns for Peace, Unity Lawn, Coventry Cathedral, Coventry (England). "John Lennon and Yoko Ono visited Coventry Cathedral in 1968 to plant acorns as part of their Acorns For Peace tour (as mentioned in The Ballad of John and Yoko). The acorns were, sadly, stolen." "The couple's very first peace event and as part of the cathedral's sculptural exhibition. The acorns were planted on an east-west axis, symbolizing both John and Yoko's love and peace between east and west." Click here for more Lennon & Ono peace monuments..
1971 - "All of Mankind" Mural, Northside Stranger’s Home Church, 617 West Evergreen Avenue, Cabrini Green, Chicago, Illinois (USA). Outdoor mural "features four figures—black, white, Asian and Latino—with their hands together in a show of unity and racial harmony. Below the church’s cross, artist William Walker painted the words 'Why were they crucified?' and the names of historical figures like Ghandi, Malcolm X, Anne Frank, Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus Christ." Church & mural were threatened with destruction in 2007-2008.
1971 - Capilla de la Paz / Chapel of Peace, Calle de la Paz, Fraccionamiento Las Brisas, Acapulco, Guerrero (Mexico). Built by Carlos and Millie Hauss Trouyet as a tribute to their sons Carlos and Jorge who died in air accident while returning to Acalpulco from Mexico City in 1967. The cross towers 128 feet (40 meters) above the non-denominational chapel and 1,200 feet above Acalpulco Bay.
1971 - Rothko Chapel, Houston, Texas (USA). Contains fourteen black but color hued paintings by Mark Rothko [1903-1970]. Commemorating Martin Luther King, Jr., [1929-1968] Broken Obelisk (qv) by Barnett Newman [1963-1967] was dedicated in front of the chapel on February 27, 1971. Entry #975 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).
1973 - "For a New World,", Holy Covenant United Methodist Church, 925 West Diversey Parkway, Chicago, Illinois (USA). Mural by John Pitman Weber. "Once called 'the most hopeful mural in the city of Chicago.' Doesn’t shy away from showing the world’s evils. An early CMG work, three sections represent the areas of the worship service: Confession depicts political brutality, killing & repression; The Word shows the promise of a new world where all people -- men & women, young & old, gay & straight, all racial groups -- will live in peace & harmony; Offering urges us to dedicate our lives to justice through our daily work. Restored in 1996."
1973 - Omega Peace Institute (OPI), Arkansas Avenue, North Mesa, Los Alamos New Mexico (USA). Next door to Black Hole (qv). Former Grace Lutheran Church purchased in 1973 by Ed Grothus [1923-2009]. First called 'The Omega Peace Institute' & later named 'The First Church of High Technology.' "Adorned with a large peace sign mounted on the [A-frame] building, two symbolically broken torpedos out front & a sign that reads: "OMEGA PEACE INSTITUTE, FIRST CHURCH OF HIGH TECHNOLOGY, BLACK HOLE SYNOD, Critical Mass Every Sunday with Bomb Unworship Service.' Actually, no services are held, and the church building itself is stuffed with more junk [from the Black Hole]."
1976 - Vitrail de la paix / Peace Window, Chapelle des Cordeliers, Sarrebourg (France). Créé par Marc Chagall [1887-1985]. Compare Chagall's peace window at the United Nations in New York City (USA).
1978 - Memorial Chapel, on grounds of Cherokee Heritage Center (CHC), Park Hill, south of Tahlequah, Oklahoma (USA). Text of sign: "Dedicated to the memory of all those Cherokees who failed to complete their journey over 'the trail where they cried', 1938-39, this chapel is a memoral bequest by Jimlee 'Ho Chee Nee' Burton, 1913-1977. Erected in 1978." Photo by EWL 10Sep09.
1981 - Temple of Tolerance, 203 South Wood Street, Wapakoneta, Ohio (USA). "I've seen many amazing visionary art sites, but none quite like the one James R. (Jim) Bowsher has created. His home is an incredible museum -- a Grand Central Terminal for the Underground Railroad, an invisible library of unwritten books on Freemasons, Harry Houdini & and Neil Armstrong. Over several backyards are massive glacial boulders forming the central monument dedicated to tolerance, a stage for summer music performances, a Vietnam War memorial, and a Tree of Life. Throughout the grounds you'll also find the archeology of good and evil -- Boundary markers from a Shawnee Indian reservation, slab steps from a Klan meetinghouse, stone dragons from Ireland, fragments from the first baseball park in Cincinnati, even a marble countertop from a bank that John Dillinger robbed. Perhaps more than anything, the Temple stands to remind us, as well as future generations, to have compassion for others as we continue to explore our dreams, follow our spirit, and search for answers in the hope of scaling new heights." [Cathy J. Schreima, Wapakoneta Evening Ledger, April 7, 2001.] /// Bowsher's temple is further described & illustrated on NarrowLarry's World of the Outstanding & RareVisions Road Trip.com. For YouTube videos of the temple, click here for 11 minutes on a sunny day, and click here for 5 minutes in the snow. Also click to see Bowsher explaining why he believes in innate goodness and telling the story of rivets.
Date? - Martin Luther King, Jr., International Chapel, Westview Drive, Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia (USA). Includes Martin Luther King, Jr., Monument by Edward J. Dwight, Jr. (the first Black astronaut).
Mothers Day 1988 - Peace Abbey, 2 North Main Street, Sherborn, Massachusetts (USA). Three-acre "Multi-faith retreat center" founded by Lewis Randa & Dot Walsh. Includes "Peace Seeds" (prayers for peace of 12 different faiths), Memorial for Unknown Civilians Killed in War, Sacred Cow Animal Rights Memorial, and Conscientious Objectors Hill of Remembrance. Right image shows Pacifist Memorial with Gandhi statue. Makes annual Courgage of Conscience Award. Entry #472 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).
1993 - "Temple of the Goddess Spirituality Dedicated to Sekhmet" at Cactus Springs, Indian Springs, Nevada. Has "Madre del Mundo" sculpture" (right image) by Marsha Anne Gomez [1951-1998] which is identical to the one at the Peace Farm, between Amarillo & Panhandle, Texas (USA).
April 17, 1994 - Peace Door, World Plaza, Independence Temple, Community of Christ, Independence, Missouri (USA). In 1874, the Community of Christ adopted as its official seal a lion and lamb led by a child with the words "Peace" underneath. Every day at 1:30 pm, a Prayer for Peace is held in the temple. The Community of Christ International Peace Award has been bestowed annually since 1993 (except 1996).
1995 - Peace Window, St. Monica's Cathedral, Cairns, Queensland (Australia). Two flanking panels each 1.7 metres x 11 metres, and a central overhead panel of 3.5 metres x 7 metres. Commissioned to commemorate 50 years of peace in the Pacific region since the end of World War II. The Cathedral is dedicated to the Battle of the Coral Sea, fought due east of Cairns between the 4th and 8th of May in 1942.
1995 - "Reconcilation," Coventry Cathedral, Coventry (England). Statue by Josefina de Vasconcellos [1903-2004]. See original in Bradford (England), 1977. Three otther copies are in Belfast, Berlin & Hiroshima (qv).
1999 - "Reconcilation," Kapelle der Versöhnung / Chapel of Reconcilation, Berlin Wall Memorial, Berlin (Germany). Statue by Josefina de Vasconcellos. One of 5 in the world. See Bradford & Coventry (England), Belfast (Northern Ireland) & Hiroshima (Japan).
Fall 2000 - Nagasaki Peace Bell, Red Church, Nezalezhnastsi/Independence Square, Minsk (Belarus). Western style bell as at Urakami Cathedral. Named "Angel." Gift to the Red Church & Belarussian people by diocese of the Roman Catholic Church of Nagasaki (Japan).
2002 - Templvm Pacis / Peace Temple, Inner Park, Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston, Massachusetts (USA). "A classical, pillared structure commemorating world historic events & honoring men & women who have passed in service to their country. Small candlelight ceremonies are held on significant dates for those who would like to reflect & meditate."
2003 - St. Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation & Peace, 78 Bishopsgate, London (England). "Christian-led, independent charity. Aims to encourage and enable people to practise reconciliation and peace-making in their communities and lives." Former Church of England "built around 1180. The present building was probably founded around 1400. Was the biggest building in Bishopsgate - now it's the smallest... Devastated by a massive IRA bomb on April 24, 1993. Rebuilt in a new form, reinstating its medieval exterior."
August 2007 - BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Atlanta, 460 Rockbridge Road, Liburn, Georgia (USA). "Sixth BAPS traditional Hindu stone temple built outside of India. Also the largest Hindu temple of its kind outside of India. Currently open to the public. The 32,000-square-foot (3,000 m2) temple sits on 30 acres (120,000 m2). With hand-carved stone spires that tower 75 feet (23 m), it is the tallest building in Lilburn. More than 1,300 craftsmen & 900 volunteers worked to assemble34,450-piece stone temple. More than 4,500 tons of Italian Carrara marble, 4,300 tons of Turkish limestone & 3,500 tons of Indian pink sandstone were quarried & shipped to craftsmen in India, then to Georgia. The traditional design features custom-carved stonework, a wraparound veranda & five prominent pinnacles reminiscent of the Himalayan hills. Built at an estimated cost of $19 million. Surpasses BAPS temples in Houston, Chicago & Toronto. /// "BAPS" = Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, a major organization within the Swaminarayan sect of Hinduism.
Date? - Earth Peace Temple, Siddhanath Forest Ashram, near Pune, Maharashtra (India). "Created to bring about unity & abiding peace amongst all peoples. A non-denominational temple. People of all climes & times, races & religions are welcome with open arms. We preach no religion; we teach the Soul Cry of the Hamsa Yoga Sangh, that if Earth Peace is to herald the dawn of the new age, we must realize, 'Humanity is our Uniting Religion, Breath our Uniting Prayer & Consciousness our Uniting God.; The platform upon which we stand is that: We the hamsas are Meditated to furthering human awareness, Dedicated to serving humanity as One's Larger Self, and Devoted to New Life Awakening for Earth Peace Healing through Self Peace Healing. The Earth Peace Temple houses a unique alchemical Mercury Shivalinga whose benevolent radiations assist all meditators in realizing Earth Peace through Self Peace. Mercury when purified & brought to a solid state is called the 'Philosophers Stone' or Paras Mani (Mercury Gem). Its nectar like effects have been experienced by all true Nath Siddha yogi meditators. Now this unique Shivalinga of Mercury & kundalini power center is ours to avail of & to use for the purpose of Earth Peace through Self Peace."
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