Jesus On The Mainline
When it comes to buildings my focus is usually on older ones, but I can appreciate modern architecture as well and Bangkok has more than a few fascinating designs to offer!
Similarly, living here has made me visit countless temples, but occasionally I have a look at mosques and churches too.
So this post managed to combine those two and even in my area, Taling Chan is just a bike ride away!
Quite a few years ago I remember seeing the construction of an unusual building along Ratchapruek Rd from time to time which slowly but surely turned into a church, something which surprised me very much.
The only churches I had seen in the past were Assumption Cathedral and Santa Cruz in Bangkok.
However these were traditional churches, but this new one is a whole different piece of work, and last week I decided to have a closer look.
The Church of the Blessed Sacrament stands out in every possible way, at 50 meters it’s higher than any of the surrounding buildings!
It’s also very different from traditional churches in that it resembles a kind of minimalist art gallery, but at the same time conveys a sense of purity.
That last part is probably just my imagination as I have no religious feelings whatsoever.
Anyway, according to info I found online architect Manode Sookchai ‘drew inspiration from the shape of sacramental bread, using raw concrete, glass, and metal to come up with the structure’s curved roof.’
Very striking is the sloped pathway leading up to the main entrance and beyond, supposedly ‘inspired by the Catholic theology that man was formed from dirt and would eventually return to the ground.’
Despite that religious symbolism, I still couldn’t escape the feeling that I was looking at an incredibly cool skateboard ramp…
More traditional are the statues outside, Jesus’s disciples, and the Maria Court.
This is Bartholomew, one of the Apostles, who apparently ended up skinned alive...
Inside however both Jesus and Maria had also received a minimalist treatment which I found very well executed.
I guess opinions will be very divided on this modernist approach, but I thought it was well done.
Simple but elegant!
Here's another apostle, Peter, with a key and a chicken(?), however the umbrella in the back doesn't belong to him I think.
UPDATE: Two friends came up with the following, that rooster refers to "Before the rooster crows three times, one of you will deny me," Christ foretold to his apostles in the run-up to his death. And Peter was the one who exactly did that...
The church has its own website too, but all in Thai:
Also in my area is a statue company, which specializes in Buddhas, but also a few Christian deities…
Good business sense but I don’t see any of their products ending up at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament!