MOV File
Online Collections


Term Type

Art & Architecture Thesaurus

Preferred Term



Buildings housing places devoted to the worship of a deity or deities. In the strictest sense, it refers to the dwelling place of a deity, and thus often houses a cult image. In modern usage a temple is generally a structure, but it was originally derived from the Latin "templum" and historically has referred to an uncovered place affording a view of the surrounding region. For Christian or Islamic religious buildings the terms "churches" or "mosques" are generally used, but an exception is that "temples" is used for Protestant, as opposed to Roman Catholic, places of worship in France and some French-speaking regions.




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The Portland Art Museum’s Online Collections site is brought to you thanks to support provided by the State of Oregon through its second Culture, History, Arts, Movies, and Preservation funding program and generous awards from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts.