10 Most Beautiful Churches In The World
If you’re building a temple to God, you’ll want it to look good. This is likely why churches are some of our most beautiful and inspiring creations. Bulding the temple takes time (800 years sometimes), and it’s never going to be easy. Here is our list of the greatest churches in the world.
1. Notre Dame de Paris, France
Notre Dame de Paris, also known as Notre Dame Cathedral or simply Notre Dame, is a Gothic, Roman Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. The cathedral treasury houses a reliquary with the purported Crown of Thorns.
The cathedral was built between 1163 and 1345 and listed as one of the largest religious buildings in the world. One of the famous churches in the world was designed in Gothic fashion with its twin towers go as high as 69 meters and have 387 steps. It has numerous statues outside walls of Notre Dame and interior of the church looks astonishing. The south tower of the church is home to Notre Dame’s largest bell that weighs around 13 tons and popularly known as the Emmanuel Bell.
Unfortunately, while undergoing renovation and restoration, the roof of Notre-Dame caught fire on the evening of 15 April 2019. Burning for around 15 hours, the cathedral sustained serious damage.
2. Sagrada Familia, Spain
The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família commonly known as the Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926). Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 was consecrated and proclaimed a minor basilica by Pope Benedict XVI.
Though construction of Sagrada Família had commenced in 1882, Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style—combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms.
3. Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Russia
This famous church is located in Moscow, the capital of Russia and marks the exact centre of the city. It was completed in 1561 under the reign of Ivan the Terrible and has a very colourful architecture unusual for a church. Like the Sagrada Familia, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is perhaps one of the most famous Churches in the world because it appears in many movies.
4. Hagia Sophia, Turkey
Hagia Sophia is the former Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal cathedral, later an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum (Ayasofya Müzesi) in Istanbul, Turkey. Built in 537 AD at the beginning of the Middle Ages, it was famous in particular for its massive dome. It was the world’s largest building and an engineering marvel of its time. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture and is said to have “changed the history of architecture”.
5. The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, Colombia
The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is an underground Roman Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine 200 metres (220 yd) underground in a halite mountain near the town of Zipaquirá, in Cundinamarca, Colombia. It is a tourist destination and place of pilgrimage in the country. The temple at the bottom has three sections, representing the birth, life, and death of Jesus. The icons, ornaments and architectural details are hand carved in the halite rock.
6. Las Lajas Sanctuary, Colombia
Las Lajas Sanctuary is a basilica church located in the southern Colombian Department of Nariño, built inside the canyon of the Guáitara River.
The inspiration for the church’s creation was a purported miraculous event, a apparition of the Virgin Mary in 1754. This apparition instigated popular pilgrimage to the site.
The first shrine was built here in the middle of 18th century from straw and wood. It was replaced with a new, larger shrine in 1802, which in turn was extended and connected to the opposite side of canyon with a bridge.
The present church was built in Gothic Revival style between 1916 and 1949.
7. Gergeti Trinity Church, Georgia
The popular name is Holy Trinity Church situated near the village of Gergeti in Georgia. It was located right near the river Chkheri at an elevation of 2170 meters under Mount Kazbegi. The Church was built in the 14th century and it is the only cross-cupola church in Khevi province. One of the famous churches in the world because of its isolated location situated on the steep mountain and surrounded by the beautiful landscape of nature.
8. Hallgrimskirkja, Iceland
The Hallgrímskirkja is a Lutheran (Church of Iceland) parish church in Reykjavík, Iceland. At 74.5 metres (244 ft), it is the largest church in Iceland and the sixth tallest architectural structure in Iceland after Longwave radio mast Hellissandur, the radio masts of US Navy at Grindavík, Eiðar longwave transmitter and Smáratorg tower. The church is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrímur Pétursson (1614 to 1674), author of the Passion Hymns.
State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson’s design of the church was commissioned in 1937. He is said to have designed it to resemble the basalt lava flows of Iceland’s landscape. It took 38 years to build the church. Construction work began in 1945 and ended in 1986, the landmark tower being completed long before the church’s actual completion.
9. The Chapel of the Holy Cross, Arizona, USA
The Chapel of the Holy Cross is a Roman Catholic chapel.
Unusual among churches as it’s been wedged into the side of a rocky hill in the middle of the Arizona desert.
The chapel was inspired and commissioned by local rancher and sculptor Marguerite Brunswig Staude.
In 2007, Arizonans voted the Chapel to be one of the Seven Man-Made Wonders of Arizona.
10. Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Metropolitan Cathedral of Rio de Janeiro, sometimes known as the New Cathedral. From the inside this church looks more like a stadium than a cathedral.
The New Cathedral is located in the center of the city. Conical in form and with a 96 metres internal diameter — 106 metres of external diameter — and an overall height of 75 metres. Inside, the area measures 8,000 square meters and sufficient 5,000 seats (it has a standing-room capacity of 20,000 people).
The cathedral was designed by Edgar de Oliveira da Fonseca in a modern style based on Mayan architectural style of pyramids.