Churches are not just places of worship, for over a thousand years, churches have held more significance, and have become symbols as a result of their grandeur and striking structures. These churches have some of the most spectacular and unique architectures in the world. Some of them have lasted centuries, while some are more contemporary.
Here are the 10 most beautiful churches in the world.
1. Mont Saint Michel Abbey, Normandy
Often refereed to as the wonder of the western world, Mont Saint Michel Abbey is a magnificent example of Gothic architecture from early 13th century. The architecture of mount-saint Michel is the evidence of the mastery and expertise of several generations of builders.
The long history of mount saint Michel began in 708, when bishop Albert erected a first sanctuary on mount Tomb in honor of the archangel.
The Abbey comprises a super ensemble of clerical buildings including the abbey church, the cloister, the refectory, the monk’s ambulatory and the gardens of merveille, translated to mean ‘gardens of marvel’
2. St Mark’s Basilica, Venice
The Patriarchal Cathedral Basilica of Saint Mark is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice, northern Italy. It is the most famous of the city’s churches and one of the best known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture.
The basic structure of the church dates back from roughly 1060 to 1100. Subsequent work since then has been to decorate and adjust, rather tan replace some sections.
3. Notre-Dame de Paris, Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris which means ‘our lady of Paris’, is a medieval catholic cathedral in Paris. The cathedral is consecrated to the virgin Mary and considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. Major components that make Notre-Dame stand out include one of the worlds largest organs, and its immense church bell.
The cathedrals construction was begun in 1160 under Bishop Maurice de Sully and was largely completed by 1260. It is one of the most widely recognized symbols of the city of Paris, France as a whole.
On 15th April 2019, a devastating fire engulfed the cathedral which destroyed the spire and most of the roof. President Emmanuel Macron immediately stated that the cathedral would be rebuilt, and launched an international fundraiser which has since raised over $1 billion.
4. St Paul’s Cathedral, London
St Paul’s Cathedral, London is an Anglican cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of London and the mother church of the diocese of London. Its dedication to Paul the apostle dates back to the original church on the present, founded in AD 604. The cathedral dates to the late 17th centuries was designed in the English Baroque style by sir Christopher Wren.
The cathedral is one of the most famous and most recognizable sights in London.
The church has held some important services, such as the funerals of Admiral Nelson, the Duke of Wellington, sir Winston Churchill; Jubilee celebration of Queen Victoria; peace service marking the end of the first and second world wars; the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.
5. St. Patrick’s Cathedral, New York
The Cathedral of saint Patrick is a decorated new Gothic-style Roman catholic cathedral church. The church is a prominent landmark of New York city. It is the seat of the archbishop of the Roman catholic archdiocese of new York, as well as parish church.
It is considered one of the most visible symbols of roman Catholicism of New York and the United States. It is able to accommodate 3000 people.
6. Sacré-Cœur, Paris
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris is a Roman Catholic church and minor basilica, dedicated to the sacred heat of Jesus in Paris. It is popular landmark and second most visited monuments in Paris.
The basilica was designed by Paul Abadie, construction was completed in 1914 and consecration after the end of world war 1 in 1919
7. Las Lajas Sanctuary, Colombia
Las Lajas Sanctuary is a basilica church located in Colombia. The church was built between 1910 and 1949. It is one of the most outstanding architectural monuments in the world. Las Lajas stands over an abyss connected by a 50 meters bridge.
8. Borgund Stave Church, Norway
Borgund Stave Church is a stave church located in the village of Borgund Norway. The church was built between 1880 and 1250 ad with later additions and restorations.
Borgund Stave Church is no longer regularly used for church functions, it is now used as a museum run by the society of the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments.
9. Duomo di Milano, Milan
Milan cathedral is a cathedral church in Milan, Italy. It is the seat of the archbishop of Milan. The cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete, with construction beginning in 1389 and ending in 1965.
The Milan Cathedral is the largest church in Italy, third largest in Europe, and fourth largest in the world. The roof is open to tourists for a fee.
10. Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow
The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed is a church in Red Square in Moscow, Russia, built from 1555 to 1561 on the orders of Ivan the terrible.
The building is shaped like a flame of a bonfire rising into the sky, a design that is like no other in Russian architecture. It has become one of the most recognised symbols of the country, and is now being used as a museum.