British Garden/park/landscape Religious

South Park Street Cemetery, Kolkata, India (1767-1790)

The life after death for a colonial British cemetery in India In the early nineteenth century, England was undergoing a period of rapid development due to industrialization. This led to an urban population boom in places like London especially, which ushered in changes to much of the city’s infrastructure in order to accommodate the new […]

Asia Empire Geography Institutional/cultural/religious Religious Typology

Chōsen Jingū: A Religious Entity Exploited in a “non-religious” Manner 1925 – 1945

Shintō as a distinguished religious belief system from Buddhism, has no fixed dogmas or strict scriptures but more readily preserved and observed through the common social life. Shrine Shintō, Shintō meaning “the way of the kami,” are sacred spaces where people worship the Shintō gods. Shintō rituals stress the harmony between deities, man and nature, […]

Institutional/cultural/religious Religious South America Spanish

Cuzco Cathedral: Religion as a Means to Implement Colonial Power

The Cuzco Cathedral, completed in 1654, is the most prominent display of colonial architecture in the City of Cuzco, Peru. Located in the heart of the city, the Spanish constructed the cathedral on top of a site that originally held an Inca palace, a palace that was demolished by an earthquake in the early 1650s1. […]

Asia Empire French Geography Religious Typology

The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon (1877 – 1880) – Colonial Justification Through Religion

The Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica of Saigon, constructed between 1877 and 18801, can be considered a garish example of French colonial architecture located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The religious structure, officially, the Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady of The Immaculate Conception was commissioned by Bishop Lefevre and designed by Jules Bourard.2 One will note […]

Gender North America Religious Settler colonialism Uncategorized

Shaker Architecture and Utopianism as a Settler Colonial Project

The Shakers were a religious utopian group that moved from Britain to America in the late 18th century. The Shakers originated in Manchester under the leadership of Ann Lee, who proclaimed herself the female incarnation of Christ.1 Delores Hayden describes in her book Seven American Utopias, that Ann Lee came to the religion after experiencing […]

Asia Religious

Sacred Heart Cathedral of Guangzhou

A Culture Clash under Colonialism With the signing of the unequal treaties between China and the Western powers at the end of the First Opium War, the number of missionaries entering China has dramatically increased and new Christian churches and chapels have emerged consequently1. The main Catholic exponents in China were French missionaries who chose […]

Empire Military/fort Religious Settler colonialism

The Architecture of Character Building: Colonial Testing Ground at the Eastern State Penitentiary

The Eastern State Penitentiary (ESP) was built between 1821-9 and designed by Architect John Haviland in the outskirts of Philadelphia. Noticeably atop of a hill, the prison’s feudal-styled walls enclose the 12-acre site and present an ominous symbol to discourage illegal behaviour in the city. The ESP was initiated by the Philadelphia Society for the […]

Asia Chinese Empire Public/government Religious

The Dethroned Legacy of Potala Palace

The Potala Palace is a magnificent structure built in Lhasa, China, and was finished and opened in 1649, where it served as the home to the Dalai Lamas. Unexpectedly, the palace holds a dark history of power struggles with China as conflicts arose that deemed the Tibet government a culprit to abolish the government. Though […]

Asia Religious

Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) | Bangkok 1782

A relic of Thai architecture untouched by colonial influence Wat Phra Kaew The history of Wat Phra Kaew is inextricably entangled in the history of Thailand itself. The building’s lack of colonial architectural influence is a rarity in southeast Asia for buildings of the same era and can be tied to the lack of colonial […]

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