04 Juli 2007
Personal note from Probo Hindarto:
After the last visit to Pohsarang, this article explains more about the church made by famous architect McLaine Pont in the year 1936. This article hopefully can be a cure for the memory of my personally meaningful place. This is of course a church, and I am not a Catholic. But this church gave me a very interesting spatial experience and I think it is worth best to share with astudio readers. Symbolism of religion is one of the strongest symbolism in architecture, that is why by sensing the spaces, I was hoping to find the ‘sense of place’ offered by the place.
The last travel in Kediri (a city in east Java) felt a little bit different, due to some changes of a transforming city into a bigger city. But life in here seems to be ‘still cold’ and still supportive for a healthy city life. Streets are big and sometimes just one way street, empty.
Compared to big cities like Jakarta or Surabaya, where streets are filled by cars and bikes, dusty and not supportive, what can be seen here in Kediri is maybe an utopia for a comfortable driving experience (some developing cities might still have this condition). Still have to wait 5-10 more years to see wether the comfort level can stand.
Road to Pohsarang church is a bit hike, one time near a river. Seen from the vehicle, the river is rocky, full of stones.
It seems to be clear that this area is definitely the producer of stones for buildings.
I remember the stones are mined for buildings, which means from this kind of place stones are produced for foundations, finishing, etc… I think, it was a choice of man to exploit the nature. There will be a time when we realize, we have taken too much
First entering the Pohsarang church area, there is something different, which is the sensation of space, cold with rocks. A place with so many rocks like this is rare. Usually the stones which are used are in diameter 10cm.
The front area of Pohsarang Church designed by McLaine Pont. In the entrance area there is an arc marked ‘Plaza Maria’ (plaza of Mary). The buildings are down to earth, unlike many Catholic churces which are usually monumental and tall.
The front of the Church
The bell tower made of stones. It sounds frequently as a time markings of misa time, announcement of death, etc.
The whole buildings point to one image; the will to be down to earth with the surrounding society and nature. The use of rocks really emphasis that. According to the source in http://www.eastjava.com, church buildings from a distance will look like ships near a mountain. The ships will symbolize Noah’s ark as the saviour of living creatures from the flood. Mountains give the symbol of a place to stay, because mountains are considered sacred for Javanese people.
Many symbols of Catholic beliefs in this church complex and also the whole park, so this park is a religious theme park. Every symbolism give a special strong meaning to represent a symbol in religion.
The special ambience from the symbiosis of rocks, woods and soil, feels so strong in the buildings of Pohsarang.
The altar of the Church, made of red brick.
The whole detail of the altar has a powerful symbolism, each part tells something and give a meaning. For they who do not have the knowledge of Christian teology will not capture that. For example, the statue of Jesus giving bread, taken from a story in the Bible, will have a deep meaning for they who believe.
A silhouette of light cross in the church roof, made of glass roofing between massive roofing.
A burial area inside the church area
The Cave of Maria Lordes
The park in Maria Lordes cave area where the landscape follows the land potentials. Pathway made of stone, between trees which are kept.
The Cave of Maria Lordes, is an artificial cave which is actually a building behind it.
The scene like in fairy tale, where there is a beautiful statue inside a cave, inside a peaceful garden.
The area Cave of Maria Lordes, is an area where there is a big artificial cave, which is actually a stone structure building. The statue of Mary is inside the cave, like waiting for every pilgrimate to pray.
THE ROAD OF THE CROSS
The area pathway of ‘The road of the Cross’
One diorama or statue picturing the story in the Bible.
The road of the cross is a diorama in the size of man, describing what happen when Jesus was crossed.
Inside the building
The building construction
Other apreciation objects
Javanese Vernacular architecture can still be found here
In Pendopo Emaus
by Probo Hindarto
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