Old World Recycling
Why destroy and rebuild if you can just re-purpose the original structure to suit your needs? This seemed to be the great philosophy by which many buildings, both religious and political, were put through in the Roman Empire and beyond.
|Ancient Roman House|
One of the oldest examples of this is how Christianity was folded into the standing society of Rome. “In this Roman outpost city [Dura-Europus], a small Roman house was converted for the use of an early Christian congregation.” (Roth, 13.2, pg. 278) As such the recycling or re-purposing of older structures became grander from there spreading to political buildings such as the basilicas. And let us not forget that when other cultures and societies came over the Roman civilization, and those to follow, some buildings first built as churches were then changed to other structures as well.
One great example of this is Hagia Sophia which was converted from a church into a mosque in 1453. Still as religious structure repurposing goes it is not solely an old world implementation. Seen here is an old catholic church which has recently been changed into a restaurant in Liverpool.
|Alma de Cuba, Liverpool|
Photos Credit (in order):
(http://www.gutenberg.org/files/12254/12254-h/12254-h.htm), (http://www.helloturkey.net/hagasophia.html), (http://cathcon.blogspot.com/2008_10_31_archive.html),