Churches around the world are architectural marvels in their own right. It is not only the grandeur and splendour that catches the eye, most are of sizes that are both breathtaking and awe inspiring. Here are the top 10 churches in terms of size and magnificence in descending order.
- Ulm Minister, Ulm, Germany, 8260 sq metres
The church is located in the Ulm city of Germany and at 161.5m is the tallest church in the world. Construction started in 1377 but was stopped for centuries before being completed in 1890. It is a great example of Gothic architecture with a wide frontage and 768 steps to the very top. The 15th century oak choir stalls is the major attraction here.
- Basilica of Our Lady of Pillar, Aragon, Spain, 8318 square meters
It is the first church ever to be dedicated to Virgin Mary. St. James built the church in the 1st century and construction over centuries has been added to it. Today’s model was built in the 17th century and the final works of the pillars was completed in the 20th century.
8. Church of the Holy Trinity, Santarem, Portugal, 8700 square meters
It is the largest church in Portugal with a modern oval design and can accommodate over 9,000 worshippers at a time. It was built between 2004 and 2007 and houses several chapels and 44 confessionary. The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
7. Liverpool Cathedral, Liverpool, United Kingdom, 9687 square meters
It is the largest cathedral in the United Kingdom. It is also the longest in the world at 189m. There are no spires in this church. Construction started in 1904 and the church was finally consecrated in 1978. A notable attraction is the Grand Organ with 10268 pipes making it the largest operational organ in the world.
6. Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen, Konin, Poland, 10090 square meters
Started in 1994, the church took 10 years to complete. The church is replete with symbolisms. It has 365 windows, 52 doors and 12 columns representing the number of days and weeks of a year and the number of apostles of Jesus. It also has 33 steps leading to the church which stands for the early life of Jesus.
5. Milan Cathedral, Milan, Italy, 10186 square meters
With 135 spires crowned with statutes the Milan cathedral is one of the most beautiful churches in the world. Construction was started in 1386 and completed 5 centuries later. It is decorated with 3400 magnificent statues and can accommodate 40,000 worshippers at a time.
4. Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York, United States, 11200 square meters
This is the largest Anglican cathedral in the world. Started in 1892, construction carried on for 20 years. Some parts of the cathedral were destroyed by fire in 2001 and restoration work is going on. The main door is made of bronze with 48 relief panels. One of the primary attractions is a large rose window made of 10,000 pieces of coloured stained glass. It is the largest stained glass window in the United States and the fifth largest in the world.
3. Seville Cathedral, Seville, Spain, 11520 square meters
It is a UNESCO world heritage site and the final resting place of explorer Christopher Columbus. It was built between 1402 and 1528. The major attraction of the cat6hedral is 45 wood carved panels of scenes from the life of Jesus. The interior has a grand decoration made of gold.
2. Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Aparecida, Brazil, 12000 square meters
The large church can accommodate 45,000 worshippers at a time and is dedicated to Virgin Mary. It is built on the spot of an old shrine and construction took place between 1834 and 1888. Today’s version of the cathedral was started and completed in the 20th century. The towers rise to a height of 102 metres.
1. St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, 15160 square meters
It is the largest cathedral in the world and can accommodate 20,000 prayers at a time. Emperor Constantine built the original cathedral in 320 AD and it was redesigned and enlarged by Pope Nicholas V in the 15th century. It is the most important church for Roman Catholics. The centre of attraction is the 41 metres high dome designed by Michelangelo the great Italian artist.
Regardless of the position on this list, each cathedral here is deemed to be a man made wonder that has withstood the test of time.