The Orthodox Christianity Culture in Eastern Europe
The Orthodox branch of the Christianity is mostly spread in the Eastern Europe due to the influence of the Byzantine Empire, the first and the second Bulgarian Empire and the domination of Slavic population in the East European regions. Even though it a part of the Christianity, many differences can be traced between the Orthodox and the other major christian branch -the Catholics. It is mostly visible in the religious art of the two churches and the temples the two have.
Whereas the Catholics prefer having churches with simple interior and decorated mainly with statues, the Orthodox temples are colourfully painted by the finest artists, with thousands of icons displaying almost the whole history of the religion and large paintings displaying the life and the achievements of the saints in the christian history. It is typical for the ceilings of every Orthodox church to be decorated with different scenes from the bible -a certain example is the row of saints displayed in several major churches in Bulgaria and Russia. These are several of the most profound saints that contributed to the spread and refinement of Christianity -their portraits are huge, massive, singe-dimensional and with the Slavic or Greek letters surrounding them -this is a major sign for the two cultures that are dominant among the orthodox world.
Architecturally, the differences between the Catholic and the Orthodox temples are obvious as well. Whereas the cathedrals are sometimes with huge open spaces and usually with no distinctive domes, the orthodox churches must contain several domes and a cross on the highest one facing the East. This has become a major feature of the orthodox architecture and spectacular monuments can be observed around the orthodox world (of which I found some great replicas at www.figurines-ornaments.com).
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