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An altar is a sacred structure or object used in religious ceremonies and rituals. It serves as a focal point for worship and symbolizes the presence of a deity or deities. Altars can be found in various religious traditions and are often designed to reflect the beliefs and practices of the worshippers. In addition to being a place of worship, altars can also serve as a site for offerings and sacrifices. These offerings can include food, drink, flowers, and other items that are considered sacred or symbolic. Altars can also be used for meditation, prayer, and contemplation. The design of an altar can vary greatly depending on the religious tradition and the purpose it serves. Some altars are simple and unadorned, while others are ornate and highly decorated. Altars can be constructed from a variety of materials, including stone, wood, metal, and even ice. In some religious traditions, altars are associated with specific rituals and ceremonies. For example, in the Catholic Church, the altar is the focal point of the Mass and is used for the consecration of the Eucharist. In Hinduism, the altar is often used for puja, a ritual of offering and devotion. Overall, the altar is a significant symbol of religious devotion and serves as a physical representation of the spiritual realm. It is a place of reverence and respect, and its design and use are deeply rooted in the beliefs and practices of various religious traditions.

worship, deity, offerings, design, rituals

Andrew Moore

CITATION : "Andrew Moore. 'Altar.' Design+Encyclopedia. (Accessed on July 24, 2024)"


The word Altar within the context of architecture is defined as a structure or object used during religious ceremonies and rituals. It is usually placed at the center of a religious space, such as a temple, to symbolize the presence of a deity and serve as a focus for worshippers to direct their prayers and offerings. Altars typically consist of an elevated platform, often constructed from stone, wood, or metal. On top of the platform is a table or a shelf, on which religious artifacts and offerings are placed. The architectural design of an altar is often determined by the beliefs of its worshippers, and can vary significantly between different religious traditions.

Sacred, Devotional, Ritual, Worship, Aesthetic.

Michael Adams


Altar, within the context of architecture, is a structure or a place of worship, typically found in churches, temples, mosques and other places of worship. It is typically a raised platform or an elevated structure, often decorated with a canopy, ornate inscriptions and statues, that is used for religious rituals and ceremonies. Altars are also used to house religious artifacts such as relics, symbols and other offerings to a deity. In some cases, altars may also be used for non-religious purposes, such as for the placement of memorial objects.

Sacred, Devotion, Worship, Ceremony, Decoration.

Shelly Stone

Altar Definition
Altar on Design+Encyclopedia

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