kantelenLike the great Salt Lake Temple, the The Hague Temple has symbolic battlements in the corners and in the form of columns that stick out on either side of the middle windows.

In the Middle Ages these upright elements were used as part of the parapet of a fortification as we see in a castle or other fortified house.

Symbol of a treasury

This striking architectural detail gives the temple a defensive character which one initially may not expect from a house of God. However, the temple is a sacred place that is ideally suited “to lay up for yourselves a treasure in heaven, yea, which is eternal, and which fadeth not away; yea, that ye may have that precious gift of eternal life” (Helaman 5:8).

Symbol of a shelter

Speaking of the temple on Mount Zion we read in Psalms: ” God is known in her palaces for a refuge. For, lo, the kings were assembled, they passed by together. They saw it, and so they marvelled; they were troubled, and hasted away” (Psalms 48:4-6). And also: “For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings” (Psalms 61:4-5). The use of the term tabernacle in this context is an obvious metaphor for the house of the Lord.

Symbol of isolation

Battlements can be seen as a symbol of isolation from the world that “may be for a defense, and for a refuge” (Doctrine and Covenants 115:6) and protect the sacred things that take place within the temple walls.