Segments in this Video

Religious Structures (01:14)


This episode of "Dan Cruickshank’s Adventures in Architecture" will examine Russian churches, a Chinese temple, a Christian monastery, and a Hindu creation celebration.

St. Catherine's Monastery (05:01)

A 6th century Greek Orthodox Church is located in the Sinai Desert where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments. Pilgrims visit the patron saint's relics.

Moses' Holy Ground (01:43)

St. Catherine's monastery basilica features mosaics of paradise and houses the Burning Bush site.

New Jerusalem Community (05:05)

St. Catherine's monks make bread with nomadic Bedouin and cultivate a garden oasis protected by fortress walls, where a tree is believed to grow from the Burning Bush root stock.

Hanging Temple (04:07)

Despite modernization, China’s Shanxi Province hosts a sacred Daoist site inspired by yin-yang mountain symbolism and natural beauty.

Daoist Cliff Face Monastery (04:16)

Most of the Hanging Temple dates from the 16th century. Cruickshank explains how mountainside cantilever beams maintain structural integrity and provide a "floating" experience.

Oppressing Daoism (03:42)

The Hanging Temple was evicted during the Cultural Revolution, but one monk still lives in a nearby monastery. He describes the Daoist philosophy towards nature, emphasized in the Shanxi Mountains.

Russian Religious Island (04:47)

Cruickshank journeys by train to Kizhi to visit 18th century wooden churches constructed on a sacred pagan site.

Kizhi Architectural Symbolism (04:56)

Learn how the 17th century Russian structures were built, possible dome meanings, and differences between the winter and summer churches.

Kizhi Hospitality (02:04)

Cruickshank has tea with a villager in the 18th century Russian style—reflecting the religious community's spirit.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple (03:05)

Learn how the Tamil Nadu complex reflects Hindu cosmology. Cruickshank explores the worldly outer marketplace.

Worshiping Vishnu (01:53)

Cruickshank learns how a Brahmin family pays respects to their household deity in the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple.

Hindu Architectural Symbolism (03:03)

Meet the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple's sacred elephant and learn the 1,000 Column Hall’s meaning. Pilgrims gain access to Vishnu in the inner sanctum.

Vishnu Procession (03:47)

Worshipers parade the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple's deity in a celebration representing paradise and community.

Credits: Paradise: Dan Cruickshank's Adventures in Architecture (00:38)

Credits: Paradise: Dan Cruickshank's Adventures in Architecture

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Paradise: Dan Cruickshank’s Adventures in Architecture

Part of the Series : Dan Cruickshank's Adventures in Architecture
DVD (Chaptered) Price: $300.00
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $450.00
3-Year Streaming Price: $300.00



Since the beginning of civilization, humans have paid homage to the spiritual realm by erecting beautiful structures on Earth. In this program, Dan Cruickshank visits Saint Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai desert, built where Moses is said to have received the Ten Commandments; China’s Hanging Temple, a Taoist monastery that clings precariously to the sheer face of a cliff; two 16th-century wooden churches in the Russian wilderness that still serve a devout congregation today; and the Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Tamil Nadu, India, where Hindus come to celebrate the wonder of creation. A BBC Production. A part of the series Dan Cruickshank’s Adventures in Architecture. (Portions with English subtitles, 50 minutes)

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL55698

ISBN: 978-0-81608-957-4

Copyright date: ©2008

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