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Relations between Architecture and Culture

Updated on April 24, 2009
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World Architecture Influenced by Culture

A country is not only identified by its people and government, but by its architecture. “Through architecture it's possible to gauge many things about a culture, such as lifestyle, artistic sensibilities and social structure.” [1]For example, when one thinks of India, we think of the Tahj Mahal. Without their culture, would it be designed that way, or would it look like another building. The Egyptians are another amazing example, their environment and culture produced the great pyramids. How do modern cultures produce and maintain such beautiful architecture?

Slovenia, which gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, is now economically the most progressive country that gained independence from Europe. This country is now helping to modernize the factories and by doing so have actually helped lower poverty rates. Although their world around them is modernizing, the center of their town is ironically the older parts of the city. Everyday life focuses in the squares, churches and the marketplace. These Slovenian towns have many well-preserved buildings that have styles of architecture dating back from the 1100’s. Many churches such as Sticna Abbey and Podsreda Castle are magnificent examples of the Roman architecture. Much of the oldest sections of Slovenia are influenced from Italian Baroque styles, which are treasured.

Architecture is not always defined as large or magnificent; sometimes it is simply a dwelling. For centuries, homes have been made out of mud houses built along the main dirt road. The roof could be used for an oven, to hold chickens, or just as storage. Egypt, like the rest of the world is going modern, and newer homes are being built out of brick, which although more expensive, they can build higher which is proving to save land. Culture has brought about the country socially with tradition. Each village contains at least one mosque, although only men are allowed. Churches and guest homes are churches and guest homes are a large part of celebration and social life but they are generally a very large hall that is noticeable in a difference. Cairo, one of the larger cities, when it was added onto in the nineteenth century was modeled after Paris, France. The older parts of Cairo are still the heart of Egypt although built with Islamic and Coptic monuments.

Chinese architecture probably has the most cultural influence. Traditionally buildings were designed for its width, not its height. Every important building is guarded around a large wall to protect their assets. While ordinarily dwellings are grey and dull, palaces and places of importance are quite colorful. Imperial buildings have golden yellow roofs, red columns and doors, and walls of red, pink, or purple. Tradition and religion are the largest pieces to the Chinese culture and architecture. Each home has their entrance at the front and facing the east with a screen because it is believed that spirits travel straight and cannot go through screen. The main building faces the courtyard and children’s rooms would be on the side of the home. The purpose of a south-facing entrance is to avoid north winds, gain more possible sunshine during the winter, and the overhanging eaves help to keep the building cool in the summer, as well as help with the heavy rain.

Ireland was one of the first European countries in which peasants could buy land. As for today, just about all farm-land is still family owned. Irish towns generally symbolize, as far as monuments, statues, landscaping, or museums are concerned, those who fought for Irish freedom. Everyday buildings such as residential or business greatly resemble buildings from the British Isle and Northern Europe. Through research it seems as though many countries including Ireland traditionally are narrow and are intending to keep family and friends very close.

Every culture can inspire a type of architecture that can inspire a type of architecture that can range from landmarks to everyday homes. Religion and family seem to be the most common influences overall. Each culture is unique and the more we learn about them, the more we appreciate our surroundings and understand why certain things appeal to us.

Works Cited

Arnold, M. Cameron. Culture of Slovenia. 2007. 19 April 2009 <>.

Chinese Architecture . 19 April 2009 <>.

Hopkins, Nicholas. Culture of Egypt. 2007. 19 April 2009 <>.

Wilson, M. Thomas. Culture of Ireland. 2007. 19 April 2009 <>.

[1] Damen. “History and Civilization.” 2008


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    • profile image


      2 years ago

      great article..but I wanted to edit somthing ..the part that said that just men are allowed to enter mosques completely wrong..women can also enter whenever they want's just that only men should make their prayers in the mosque ..but it's not obligatory for women ..thanks

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I believe I've seen this article on Architecture Wall. Does copyright work here?

    • profile image

      Sandra S. 

      5 years ago

      I realize that the Taj Mahal is now a "landmark" but before it became a landmark it started out as a building a man designed for a woman he loved who was homesick. It was built in the style "although a bit excessive" of the area and times. I'm assuming he didn't think it was excessive but I'm sure everyone else around him did as he completely depleted the coffers so to say. I bet she loved it.

    • profile image


      6 years ago


    • Rashad Al profile image

      Rashad Al 

      8 years ago

      Hope this helps, wrote a hub about the topic

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I'm starting my dissertation soon and I was thinking of writing about culture and architecture and specifically about the taj mahal! The comment of Rashad Al caught my attention! What do you mean by notion of power? I really would like to learn more on that!

      Thank you:)

    • Rashad Al profile image

      Rashad Al 

      8 years ago

      It's a very interesting topic to go into, but i thought you might have mixed things a little bit.

      The taj mahal for example isn't a cultural building as much as it is a "landmark". We remember it and have a notion of power...but we don't associate it to the indian culure.

      However i found it quite interesting that you brought up symbolism somewhere in the article, and i still can't see how you put it all together.

      But yet, i still can't deny that this certainly is something that caught my interest, so thanks for the great hub!

    • profile image

      CITY STAR 

      8 years ago

      TOO TRUE

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      The information here is really helpful especially to fresh-year student like me who's just coming across these courses. I really want to thank you for making this tireless effort to gather all these informations in one piece. Thanks a lot

    • profile image

      Tom Boyce 

      8 years ago

      I totally agree that a country is not only identified by people or culture but the architecture of which shapes a countries social culture. The term 'European Architecture' is too diverse to give an accurate description to define it. Italian Architecture is the most prominent in mind along with another of my favourite types of architecture in Prague.

      The architecture of Prague by far the most prominent and personal favourite of mine, closely followed by Italian Architecture (which the all the cathedrals and monasteries). I am very passionate about architecture of Prague for various reasons.

      Prague's majestic mix of medieval, Renaissance, and Art Nouveau is what gives all the buildings such character. You'll see Hundreds of buildings are decorated with intricately carved cornices or ornamental balconies and friezes depicting mythical, religious, or heroic figures not just in one street but throughout Prague as a whole.

      If you appreciate fine architecture then Prague really is a place you must visit.


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