Nantes Protestant Church: Symbolising Post-World War II Changes Between Architecture and Protestant Institutions in France
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In France in 1905, after the separation of the church and the state, all religious buildings became property of state and local governments, while the latter stopped funding religious groups all together. This fundamentally questioned the role of architecture in the exercise and maintenance of the long tradition of religious institutionalised power and authority. Yet, the aftermath of World War II also contributed to new changes. In this trial of meaningfulness and reconstruction, steps for partial reconciliation with the churches were more present, even more so in the heavily destroyed areas of France such as along its west coast. Looking specifically at one department of the west coast – Loire Atlantique – the purpose of this paper is to use the case of the reconstruction of the Nantes church to show how the role of architecture has shifted and impacted the reconceptualisation of Protestant institutions.
Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand. Architecture Institutions and Change
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Architectural History and Theory