Real life nonagons: Bahá’í Houses of Worship

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The Bahá’í Faith was founded about 150 years ago by Bahá’u’lláh and has followers from all over the world. According to Bahá’í International Community,

the Bahá’í Faith brings new social principles appropriate to the needs of a global society, such as the oneness of mankind, the equality of rights and opportunities for men and women, the abolition of all forms of prejudice, the essential harmony of science and religion, universal education, the need for a universal auxiliary language, and the elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth.

From a mathematical point of view, an interesting fact about the Bahá’í Faith is that all Houses of Worship must have nine sides. There are currently seven temples in the world (plus another that had to be demolished and yet another being built), and while they each have a unique design, they all exhibit this nonagon structure.

There’s the Bahá’í House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois. This picture, taken by wallyg (posted with permission) shows some of the intricate detail.

Bahá\'� Temple in Wilmette (photo by wallyg).  Posted with Permission.

To see the nonagon shape, take a look at Google Maps:

The Australian Bahá’í House of Worship in Sydney:

Reprinted with permission of the Bahá’í International Community

Again, Google Maps shows an overhead view of the Sydney House of Worship that clearly shows the nonagon.

The Bahá’í House of Worship in Kampala, Uganda:

Reprinted with permission of the Bahá’í International Community

The photo below shows a regular nonagon in the ceiling of the Uganda House of Worship (it reminds me a bit of the regular heptagon in the photo of the old Melbourne Magistrates Court by Steven Pam):

Reprinted with permission of the Bahá’í International Community

There’s the Germany Bahá’í House of Worship (which appears to be more circular than polygonal, at least from the outside).

Reprinted with permission of the Bahá’í International Community

The Panama Bahá’í House of Worship (again, looking more circular):

The Baha\'i House of Worship in Panama

Reprinted with permission of the Bahá’í International Community

The Bahá’í House of Worship in Western Samoa:

Baha\'i House of Worship in Western Samoa

Reprinted with permission of the Bahá’í International Community

The India Bahá’í House of Worship:

Reprinted with permission of the Bahá’í International Community

The Temple in India also shows a nice footprint on Google Maps:


Finally, there’s a model of the Bahá’í House of Worship being built in Chile:

Reprinted with permission of the Bahá’í International Community

and an old photograph of the Ashkhabad Bahá’í House of Worship that was demolished in 1962 due to earthquake damage.

Reprinted with permission of the Bahá’í International Community

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