"Temples" redirects here. For the region of the forehead, see Temple (anatomy). For other uses, see Temple (disambiguation).
"house of the lord" redirects here. It is not to be confused with The House of the Lord, House of Lords, or Lord House.
Göbekli Tepe was founded about 11,500 years ago. It is arguably the world's oldest known temple.
A temple (from the Latin templum) is a building reserved for spiritual rituals and activities such as prayer and sacrifice. Religions which erect temples include Christianity (whose temples are typically called churches), Hinduism (whose temples are known as Mandir), Buddhism (which can sometimes be commonly referred to as Monastery), Sikhism (whose temples are called Gurdwara), Jainism (whose temples are sometimes called Derasar), Islam (whose temples are called mosques), Judaism (whose temples are called synagogues), Zoroastrianism (whose temple are sometimes called Agiary), the Baha'i Faith (which are often simply referred to as Baha'i House of Worship), Taoism (which are sometimes called Daoguan), Shintoism (which are sometimes called Jinja), Confucianism (which are sometimes called the Temple of Confucius), and ancient religions such as the Ancient Egyptian religion and the Ancient Greek religion.
The Erechtheion in Athens, Greece, is associated with some of the most ancient and holy relics of the Athenians, such as the Palladion, a xoanon of Athena Polias
Borobudur temple, the largest buddhist temple in the world, Central Java, Indonesia.
The form and function of temples is thus very variable, though they are often considered by believers to be in some sense the "house" of one or more deities. Typically offerings of some sort are made to the deity, and other rituals enacted, and a special group of clergy maintain, and operate the temple. The degree to which the whole population of believers can access the building varies significantly; often parts or even the whole main building can only be accessed by the clergy. Temples typically have a main building and a larger precinct, which may contain many other buildings, or may be a dome shaped structure, much like an igloo.
The word comes from Ancient Rome, where a templum constituted a sacred precinct as defined by a priest, or augur. It has the same root as the word "template", a plan in preparation of the building that was marked out on the ground by the augur.