8 Most Beautiful Catholic Churches Around the World

Batul Nafisa Baxamusa May 27, 2019
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Catholic churches are known for the most stunning architecture. Some of these Catholic churches have been built eons ago and are engineering marvels. Few have been built on the lines of a traditional Gothic style and some have a unique style of their own. Let us have a look at some of the most beautiful Catholic churches worth visiting around the world.

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1. St. Peter’s Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica is the seat of the Papal power in Vatican City. It was designed during the epitome of Renaissance. It has the tallest dome in the world, measuring more than 136 meters. This Roman Catholic Church is also the largest church in the world and is considered to be the ‘greatest of all churches of Christendom’.

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2. St. Basil’s Cathedral

This is one of the most beautiful Catholic churches with a colorful architecture. It was completed under the reign of Ivan the Terrible in 1561. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it consists of nine chapels built on a single foundation.

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3. Notre-Dame de Paris

This beautiful Catholic cathedral was in the news recently due to the major blaze that destroyed it. It is a major tourist attraction of France, built in Gothic fashion. It has twin towers that go as high as 69 meters and have 387 steps. The south tower has the largest bell Emmanuel Bell that weighs 13 tons.

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4. Sagrada Família

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família or Sagrada Família is a large Roman Catholic Church. It is located in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. The foundation of the church was laid in 1882 and still remains incomplete due to many setbacks faced in its construction during these 130+ years.

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5. Hagia Sophia

It took 900 years for the construction of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. It has been used as a Greek Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and even a Mosque. Today, it stands as a national museum. Overlooking the crossing between the continents of Asia and Europe, this church is an engineering and architectural marvel.

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6. St. Paul’s Cathedral

Located in London, St. Paul’s Cathedral is the seat of the Bishop of the Church of England. It is one of the oldest and famous churches in England, and has one of the largest domes (measuring around 112m) in the world. This architectural masterpiece houses artworks that date back to the Victorian Era.

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7. The Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood

In Saint Petersburg, Russia, it is built on the site where Emperor Alexander II was mortally wounded and died in 1881. Its interiors and exteriors are decorated with detailed mosaics. It was closed for services in the 1930s when the Bolsheviks destroyed the churches. After over 30 years of restoration, it was reopened to its former glory in the year 1997.

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8. Uspenski Orthodox Cathedral

This Eastern Orthodox cathedral in Helsinki, Finland is dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos, i.e, Virgin Mary. The word ‘Uspensky’ comes from the Old Church Slavonic word ‘uspenie’ meaning Dormition. This cathedral was designed by Aleksey Gornostayev; but built after his death in 1862.
These are some of the most beautiful Catholic churches in the world. Most of them are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and have a rich historical legacy. They are not only architectural marvels to be appreciated, but also the holy sites that help the soul be one with God.
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