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Thorncrown Chapel

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HISTORY

The Thorncrown Chapel (Cross of Thorns) is located in Eureka Springs, in the state of Arkansas, in the United States. Designed by E. Fay Jones, it was built in 1980. Its design resembles the Prairie School of Architecture, popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright, from which Jones was an apprentice. The chapel was commissioned by Jim Reed, a retired teacher. Jones' goal was to build an isolated chapel, ideal for meditation, that would stand out in the landscape and become a pilgrimage goal.

 

WHY THIS PLACE

Consisting mainly of pine wood and other materials native to northwest Arkansas, its design minimized transportation costs by using only materials that could be carried by two people. Although it looks like an open-air structure, the chapel is an air-conditioned and glazed space. The skylight has been enlarged to achieve a natural ornamental lighting effect throughout the chapel. A place that guarantees a ceremony totally integrated with nature, in an architectural environment of the highest level.

CURIOSITIES

It was included in the list of the Twelve Most Beautiful Churches in America by Budget Travel magazine and in the list of the Fifty Most Extraordinary Churches in the World by Bored Panda (online community of artists, designers and photographers). It was also selected for the 2006 Twenty-Five Years Award by the American Institute of Architects and was listed in 2000 on the National Register of Historic Places, a status rarely granted to buildings under the age of fifty, which classifies it as exceptionally significant.

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