Amazing religious buildings can be found all around the world, and in this post, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most famous churches in the world.
Related: Check out this list with some of the world’s famous arches as well.
Famous churches in the world
1. St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world and is located in Vatican City, the little papal enclave within the city of Rome in Italy. It’s one of the most prominent Renaissance buildings ever constructed and was designed principally by Bramante and Michelangelo.
Construction of the present building started in 1506 and was only completed in 1526. The Catholic Church mentions that the site is the burial place of Saint Peter, one of Jesus’ Twelve Apostles, and also of the first Bishop of Rome.
The Sacré-Coeur is also referred to as the “Basilica of the Sacred Heart” and is a majestic church located on Montmartre Hill, the highest point in Paris. It’s one of the most popular landmarks in Paris and is the second-most visited site in the city.
Construction of the Sacré-Coeur started in the year 1875, but because of financial problems, it was only completed in the year 1914. The church was consecrated 5 years later, after the end of the Second World War in 1919.
The Pantheon in Rome is an Ancient Roman temple that was repurposed as a Catholic Church in the 7th century. The church was dedicated to “St. Mary and the Martyrs” and is commonly known as the “Santa Maria Rotonda.”
The original temple was constructed as early as the reign of Roman Emperor Augustus but was rebuilt several times, first by Trajan and finally completed by Hadrian in the year 126 A.D. The main building is famous because it has an opening at the top of its massive dome.
4. Sagrada Familia
The Basilica de la Sagrada Familia, also referred to as the “Basilica of the Holy Family,” is a huge church in the center of the Spanish city of Barcelona. It’s world-famous because of its striking design and the fact that it remains unfinished up until today.
Construction of the church started in the year 1882 and shortly after famous Catalan architect Gaudi took over and created one of the most amazing designs ever created. When Gaudi passed away in the year 1926, only a quarter of the cathedral had been completed.
5. Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey is officially known as the “Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster,” and is a Gothic church located in the City of Westminster in central London. It’s one of the most famous religious buildings in the United Kingdom.
It has been the place of coronation and burial site for English and British monarchs ever since the coronation of William the Conqueror in 1066. It’s believed that a church was founded on its located as early as the 7th century. The current building began in the year 1245 on orders of King Henry III.
6. Cologne Cathedral
Cologne Cathedral is officially known as “Cathedral Church of Saint Peter” and informally as the “Dom.” It’s one of the most important religious buildings in Germany and an amazing example of Gothic Architecture.
Construction of the cathedral started as early as 1248 and upon completion in 1880, it as the tallest building in the world, a record it held only for 4 years though when it was surpassed by the Washington Monument. Right now, it still remains that tallest twin-spired church in the world.
7. Lincoln Cathedral
Lincoln Cathedral is officially known as the “Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln” and is located in the town of Lincoln in the East Midlands in England. It’s located right across another medieval structure, the Lincoln Castle.
Construction of the cathedral started as early as the year 1072 and upon completion in the year 1311, it was the tallest building in the world, surpassing the Great Pyramid of Giza. It held this record for a total of 248 years, and if its spire had remained intact, it would have held this record until the completion of the Eiffel Tower in 1889!
8. Notre-Dame Cathedral
The Notre-Dame Cathedral, also referred to as “Our Lady of Paris Cathedral,” is one of the most iconic churches in the world. It’s located on a small island in the River Seine in the center of Paris called “Île de la Cité” in the 4th arrondissement of Paris.
Construction of the cathedral started in the year 1160 and was just about completed in its current form about a century later in the year 1260. That makes it all the more tragic that the roof of the cathedral caught fire on April 15, 2019, destroying large parts of the upper part of the church. Restorations are underway though to bring back the Notre-Dame to its old glory!
9. Sainte Chapelle
The Sainte Chapelle is a chapel built in the Gothic style and located in the medieval Palais de la Cité, the royal residence of the Kings of France until the 14th century. It’s also located in the Île de la Cité in the River Seine in Paris, France.
Construction of the chapel started on the orders of King Louis IX in the year 1238 and was completed in 1248. It used to hold the collection of Passion Relics, including Christ’s Crown of Thorns, which was later moved to Notre-Dame Cathedral. The chapel is world-famous for its huge 13th-century stained glass collections, the largest of its kind in the world!
10. St. Basil’s Cathedral
The Saint Basil’s Cathedral is officially known as the “Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed” and is a Christian Church located on the famous Red Square in the capital of Russia, Moscow. It’s one of the most iconic churches in the world and has become a symbol of the city of Moscow.
It was built between 1555 and 1561 on the orders of Ivan the Terrible himself, the Prince of Russia who became the first Tsar of the country and ruled between 1547 and 1584. the church has been secularized since 1929 and is now part of the State Historical Museum.
This concludes our list with the most famous churches in the world, a truly remarkable collection of historical buildings!