Sinan and Bramante: analogies and differences in the evolution of Renaissance and Ottoman religious building: Christoph Luitpold Frommel
CHRISTOPH LUITPOLD FROMMEL
At first sight the similarities of Sinan’s mosques and some 16th century projects for St. Peter’s in Rome look striking, and recently the possibility of an influence in one way or the other has been stressed again1. After a more detailed analysis, however, most analogies cannot be explained with any certainty by a direct influence but seem to go back either to common late antique and Byzantine prototypes or to a parallel evolution2.
If one tries to understand the complex relation of both, one has first of all to remember the essential cultural and functional differences between catholic and Muslim religion, between church and mosque. One of their common roots was certainly the synagogue, the Jewish hall of common prayer furnished with a pulpit and a holy niche. While Jews as well as pagans had put the place of sacrifice outside of the temple, Christians erected the altar above the tomb of the martyr and made it the centre of the church, the place where mess was celebrated and bread and wine transformed in the sacrificed body of Christ. The priest had to be learned and ordained and from the Middle Ages onward in Western Europe also celibate. In the sacristy he was clad in ← 143 | 144 → precious garments for the different feasts. In monastic and chapter-churches the area around the altar was reserved to the choir, which by and by could became as long as the strictly separated space reserved of the...
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