Grand Temple History
The Grand Temple, dedicated as the Supreme Temple of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC, in San Jose, California, on July 17, 1949, is a reproduction of two ancient Egyptian temples. The temple’s imposing exterior, with its massive columns, resembles the temple of Dendera, in which one of the great mystery schools of antiquity was established; while its interior is a reproduction of the processional temple of Medinet Habu, having a central court open to the sky and roofed colonnades flanking two sides. The inner temple, with its exquisite murals, its realistic simulating of moonlight and sunrise, and its authentic architectural design, is a thing of beauty. This new temple replaced an earlier, and much smaller Supreme Temple, constructed by Dr. H. Spencer Lewis in Rosicrucian Park in 1928.
Almost from Rosicrucian Park’s inception in 1927, there was an AMORC temple in Rosicrucian Park. The first temple was built above the original Administration Building in 1928. However, by the 1940s AMORC’s membership had outgrown this small temple, and the present structure was in the planning stages. World War II and scarcity of materials and funds delayed the project, but in 1948 construction began. When the new temple was completed in the summer of 1949, an elaborate mystical dedication ceremony took place in the main lodge room of the temple.
The Grand Temple is entered through an impressive foyer and lounge resplendent with elaborate murals and beautiful statuary. Rosicrucian artists created all of the Temple’s murals and artwork. The inner templethe lodge roomwith its ceiling resembling the nighttime sky, is 90 feet in length and completely tiled throughout. The temple is set up on the basis of the four directionsNorth, South East, and West. In the center is the Shekinah. To Rosicrucians this is the fifth point in the temple or lodge. It is reverenced because of its traditional and mystical importance. In all ritualistic convocations, this altar depicts Divine Ominipotence.
Rosicrucian temples or lodge rooms are in Egyptian architectural design for the sole purpose of commemorating the traditional origin of the Rosicrucian Order in the mystery schools of ancient Egypt. In such lodge temples, reminiscent of a past civilization, Rosicrucians study the most recent disclosures and revelations, both philosophical and scientific, of natural and cosmic laws. The architectural design of Rosicrucian temples and lodge rooms is also symbolic of the continuous search for Light by humans down through the centuries.