The Use and Abuse of Sacred Places in Late Medieval Towns

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2006-09-30
  • Publisher: Cornell Univ Pr

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Church buildings dominated the medieval towns. Higher and stronger than most buildings in town, they offered a venue for various kinds of activities. Primarily the faithful flocked towards the churches to attend masses. However, the use of sacred places was not restricted to religion. Secular authorities, the ruler, the town government, the trades or guilds also made use of these ecclesiastical buildings for practical or socio-political reasons. As such the sacred places were perceived to lend a kind of sacral aura to all proceedings taking place inside. Apart from a mere enumeration and description of the different uses eleven scholars explain why these sacred places were such appreciated venues for various kinds of secular activities, and why some churches and monasteries were more popular than others.

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