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For example, the number of marriages in Europe decreased by 30% from 1975 to 2005.

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The massive altar, as mentioned above, did not stand in the temple but before it.Either it was built upon a high stone platform, and thus united architecturally with the temple, or it stood in front of the steps or in the portico.It is certain that the Indo-Germanic peoples originally had no buildings for the worship of their gods, but worshiped the gods upon mountains, as Herodotus expressly says of the Persians, or believed the supernatural beings were present in groves or trees.Consequently among the ancient Germans the conception of a grove was identified with that of a temple.The dedication adhered permanently to the soil which was released by it from all other religious obligations and was withdrawn from profane use.The anniversary of the dedication was celebrated annually by a sacrifice.

When new temples were built precincts already consecrated to the divinity were preferably chosen.In the Homeric age, the temple as a space set apart and containing an altar, which was perhaps shaded by a group of trees, was more commonly found than the temple built by man.If actual temples are mentioned by Homer, as at Troy and the fabulous city of the Phæacians, the circumstance is probably attributable to oriental influence.There was, as a rule, only one sacrificial table in the temple and only one altar in front of it.The cella of the temple contained the most important object, the statue of the divinity, which stood on a pedestal against the rear wall opposite the entrance.Among the Greeks, also, the worship of trees seems to be indicated by the word for temple, naos , which according to some authorities originally signified "tree" or "tree trunk".