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TOP-7 transformations of abandoned temples for social needs
TOP-7 transformations of abandoned temples for social needs

Modern people, even if they call themselves Orthodox, Catholics, or adherents of any other faith, often do not go to church. For this reason, many ancient temple buildings cease to exist, and in order to somehow preserve the magnificent buildings, they are leased or sold.

New owners find various ways to extend their life, but what comes out of this is sometimes very surprising.

1. Residential residence

Small church in Brisbane turned into a cozy open-plan apartment (Australia)

Small churches are often sold to private individuals with permission to convert them into housing. Naturally, in such transactions, the degree of reconstruction is stipulated, especially with regard to the appearance. As a rule, old places of worship are located in historic districts, which means that the owner will not be able to change the appearance of the structure.

In the town of Maiden, an old church was converted into a luxurious residence with a roof terrace (Netherlands) Church in Chicago has become a stylish and luxurious mansion (USA)

In some cases, the municipality prohibits making changes in the main hall of the temple, where the altar was located, so it will not be possible to make ceilings and reduce the height of the ceilings, but for many this is only a plus. Agree, it is quite tempting to have a house with high ceilings, and if there are also stained-glass windows of extraordinary beauty, then you can no longer worry about additional interior decoration.

Majestic Gothic church converted to modern housing (UK)

Despite many restrictions, the new owners manage to create a stylish interior, because the area allows you to allocate space for a huge bathroom and equip a modern kitchen, and if there is a courtyard, then create a cozy relaxation area with a swimming pool.

2. Library or bookstore

The Selexyz bookstore (Netherlands) was opened in the building of the former Dominican Cathedral in Maastrich

Sometimes the authorities of the cities, in which the churches were closed as unnecessary, reorient them into spiritual and cultural centers. It is difficult to think of a more suitable place to open a library or bookstore. High ceilings, an atmosphere of tranquility and extraordinary architectural beauty are the best fit for this kind of establishment.

Canadian architects create state-of-the-art library in abandoned church (Quebec)

And the most interesting thing is that not only old religious buildings go under the hammer, sometimes there are modern futuristic buildings, in which the library funds look completely different.

3. Restaurants and bars

Duddell's London branch in a historic church is ideal for gourmets and modern art lovers Two renowned chefs, with the help of a design firm, transformed the church building of the former military hospital in Antwerp (The Jane, Belgium)

Libraries do not always manage to take root in huge temples, and then new enterprising owners turn the pompous building into a restaurant. If it is planned to open an elite restaurant, the designers try to preserve the unique interiors, especially when it comes to stained glass windows, frescoes or stucco moldings.

Now, instead of spiritual food in an old church, beer flows like a river (Olivier Cafe, Netherlands)

It happens that churches are transformed into ordinary bars, as it happened in the town of Utrecht. Here, in the building of an old church, the Olivier Cafe beer bar was organized, which enjoys special attention of both locals and tourists, who admire both the excellent taste of beer and the incredibly beautiful interior, because in the Belgian pub they tried to preserve as many church elements as possible: the altar, vaults, stucco and even an organ.

4. Hotels and inns

Benedictine Convent with St Mary's Church turned into Hotel Priory in Pittsburgh (USA)

In large temples that have ceased to hold services, they have become a tidbit for hotel owners, for several reasons at once. These huge buildings have a unique architectural value, they are located in the historical districts of cities, where there are most of the tourists, they can be used to organize pompous banquet halls and rooms with a unique interior.

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The British authorities give inactive places of worship for the organization of campgrounds.

There is also such a direction in organizing overnight stay as camping. As it became known to the authors of Novate.Ru, the British Foundation for the Preservation of Religious Buildings each season allocates 10 church premises for the creation of campgrounds for tourists.As a rule, a huge hall for holding liturgies is not equipped, but simply allowed to set up tents or sit on the floor, whoever wants to. The only thing that churches are equipped with full-fledged kitchens, well-appointed bathrooms and toilets.

5. Theaters and art scenes

An old church with luxurious decoration was transformed into Teatro San Filippo (Italy)

Some churches can be said to be “lucky”, they have not turned into pubs or auto repair shops, they have been transformed into theaters. For example, the Italian authorities have long allowed the sale of empty churches, and the new owners are not very limited in choosing the direction of the transformations. Therefore, the inhabitants of L'Aquila are incredibly happy that they decided to turn the Church of San Felipo into a theater. Now here you can see not only the restored luxurious stucco moldings, columns and frescoes, but also a huge stage and rows of armchairs upholstered in red velvet.

St Luke's Church in Bedford converted to Quarry Theater (UK)

Some churches had to be not only remodeled, but also added additional premises in order to adapt to theaters. This happened with the former Church of St. Luke in Bedford, in the UK. If the auditorium (for 300 seats) was still placed in the main building, then a semicircular building had to be built for the stage.

St. Elizabeth's Church in Pittsburgh turned into a "temple of live music" (USA)

Considering that the churches have amazing acoustics, it was not surprising that one of the small churches was turned into an art scene where rock concerts are held. Now the chapel of St. Elizabeth, located in the center of Pittsburgh, has turned into a temple of live music. This unique stage boasts performances by renowned musicians including Anti-Flag, Gary Newman, Misfits, Imagine Dragons, Snoop Dogg and more.

6. Kindergarten

Futuristic Church of St. Sebastian has become a state-of-the-art kindergarten (Germany)

It is difficult to imagine that a preschool institution could be created in a Gothic or Victorian church, but if it is a modern futuristic building, then why not. So they did in Münster, where they decided to convert the abandoned church into a kindergarten. Moreover, they did not just put cots and create rooms for games, but radically changed the entire interior decoration of the Church of St. Sebastian, built in 1962, because it was decided to create a "green" space in all respects.

A lot of sunshine and places for children to play were organized by the organizers of the kindergarten (Temple of St. Sebastian, Germany)

Only natural, environmentally friendly materials were used for the interior decoration, and the latest energy-saving systems were installed to create a comfortable microclimate. And the most interesting thing is that the lighting was organized in it so as to minimize the use of artificial light, and they use heating only in severe frosts, because thick walls retain natural heat for a very long time in winter, but in summer there is no need to use air conditioners.

7. Offices, workshops and showrooms

Ancient churches now perform the most unexpected functions

In many countries, the authorities allocate catastrophically little money for the restoration of churches and temples, so they remove the status of religious buildings from them and sell them. In addition to the above functions, which were now performed by the once divine places, there are completely mundane ones. The following selection of photos will show a few more options for the use of places of worship, which are hidden behind the heavy doors of churches.

Church of Madonna della Neve - Portichetto di Luisago turned into a car repair shop (Como, Italy) The artist Valerio Berruti bought out the Church of San Rocco and now not only set up a workshop there, but also lives there (Verduno, Italy) The Church of St. Barbara in Llaner was completely refurbished, made a modern painting and arranged in it … a skatepark (Spain) Now in a church that has been home to the South River Vineyard winery and tasting room for over 100 years (USA) The Church of Santi Cosma and Damiano del Ponte di Ferro is an interior designer showroom (Bologna, Italy)

Reference:Showroom (showroom) literally show - demonstration, show, exhibition, room - room, room. Usually these are small, spectacular rooms that are used as a platform for presenting various goods and services. Recently, they have become very popular in Europe and in the post-Soviet space.

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