When we think of churches, we usually don’t think of amazing feats of architecture and engineering. Most churches have the basic structure associated with places of worship. However, there are some churches in the world that have gone above and beyond to set themselves apart from the rest. In order to do this, they have built magnificent structures that rival the architecture of the most amazing houses and businesses in the world renown for their design alone. Below is a list of the top 10 most amazing churches in the world.
Number 10 – “Chapel in the Rock” – Arizona, United States
The Chapel of the Holy Cross, or “The Chapel on The Rock” as it is nicknamed, is a half-century old church located in Sedona Arizona. It is built on top of messa which overlooks the city of Sedona. While the church was originally a Catholic chapel, nowadays it is open to visitors of all faiths and religions. The church’s unique architecture was commissioned by a local sculptor in Sedona named Marguerite Brunswig Staude. It is said that Staude was inspired by the architecture of the Empire State Building that was constructed shortly before the blueprints of the church were laid out. After 18 months of construction, the church was completed in 1956. Even after many decades, the church is still considered one of the most beautiful and unique pieces of architecture in Arizona. Not only does it serve as a church, but also as a popular tourist attraction.
Number 9 – Cathedral of Brasilia, Brazil
The Cathedral of Brasilia is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in the city of Brasilia, Brazil. It was built in 1970 under the leadership of famous Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. The uniqueness of the structure is attributed to the 16 concrete columns that circle the base of the building. Known in architecture as a hyperboloid structure, this church is the only one of its kind in the world. In addition to its unique appearance, the church is equally impressive in size with each concrete column weighing 180,000 pounds. This gives you an idea of just how massive the structure really is. The view from inside the church is also amazing as the pieces of glass situated between the concrete columns allow visitors a view of the sky while church services are going on.
Number 8 – Hallgrímskirkja Church, Iceland
Iceland is known for its array of different tourist attractions and other things not found anywhere else in the world. The Hallgrimskirkja Church is one of those many attractions that are on the list of things to see for tourist visiting Iceland. It is located in the city of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland located on its east coast shore. It ranks as the largest church in the country and is among its tallest structures at 244 feet high. The church is home to those of the Lutheran faith, a large branch of Protestant Christianity. It was designed and built in 1937 by architect Guðjón Samúelsson. It remains today as one of the most iconic places in Iceland.
Number 7 – Las Lajas Cathedral, Columbia
The Las Lajas Cathedral is located in the southern part of Columbia, in South America. What sets this church apart from the rest of this list is that it was built inside the valley of a canyon in the Guaitara River. The church is designed in a Gothic Revival style, a popular architectural style in the early 20th century. Construction started in 1916 and continued until 1946 when the completion of today’s design ended. Not only is this church a sacred place of worship for many citizens of Columbia, but is also one of Columbia’s biggest tourist destinations attracting tens of thousands of tourist each year.
Number 6 – Sea Ranch Chapel, California
The Sea Ranch Chapel is a non-denominational church located in Sonoma County California in the town of Sea Ranch. Due to there being no specific denomination of the church, people of all faiths can use the chapel as a spiritual ground. In addition to the practice of religion, the Sea Ranch Chapel is also one of the most popular places to meditate. It was constructed in 1985 as a gift to the residents of Sea Ranch by local residents Betty and Robert Buffum.
There is a uniquely spiritual and divine feel to the design of the chapel. In addition to this, the location of the chapel adds to that spiritual and divine feel. The chapel is located in the middle of a forest out in the wilderness. While at the chapel, you will not see any sign of modern human civilization such as businesses, houses, or commercial buildings. It is just you and nature in what was mans natural environment for millions of years. There is no spiritual experience quite like the one at Sea Ranch Chapel.
Number 5 – La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Barcelona
The La Sagrada Familia Cathedral is famous for being the largest unfinished catholic church in the world. What is more amazing though is the history of this church. Construction on the church began in 1882 under spanish architect Francisco Paula De Villar. Villar drew up the initial blueprints for the church and supervised the construction. However, just one year after beginning the project, Villar resigned and the project was left for dead. This was until Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi took the project upon himself and made it his life’s work until his death in 1926. After Gaudi died in 1926, no one would take over the project after that. Since the church has been left in its unfinished state for nearly 100 years. While unfinished, this church is far from an abandoned building. It is actually one of the most revered buildings in all of Spain. In 2010 the pope of the Catholic church named it an official minor basilica, a designation given to only the most sacral religious buildings.
Number 4 – Saint Basil Cathedral, Moscow Russia
The Saint Basil Cathedral is basically the most infamous place in all of Russia. When you see travel brochures to Russia, see Russia mentioned in an article, you will almost always see this image associated with it. That is because the Saint Basil Cathedral is like the White House of Russia. While it is not a government building, it is more famous than any other building in the Country. Located in Moscow, the capital of Russia, the Saint Basil Cathedral was constructed in 1551 and completed in 1561. That is almost 500 years ago. The church remained active until 1928 when the Soviet Union began a program of state atheism designed to consolidate the power of the communist party. Since 1928, the church has served as a Museum. It is most notable for being constructed by the order of Ivan The Terrible, one of history’s most ruthless dictators hence the name.
Number 3 – Temppeliaukio Kirkko(Rock Church), Helsinki
Before we say anything about the facts or history of this place, it should be stated that there is no church in the world that has an inside view quite like this. Just look at the inside of this church and how amazing this place is. This article is worth sharing with a friend just to see this picture alone. Anyways, the Temppeliaukio Church is located in Helsinki, the capital city of Finland. It is also known as the “Rock Church” because as you can tell, it is built directly into the side of a giant rock. The church was built and designed in 1969 by the Suomalainen brothers. Brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen were the masterminds behind this amazing feat of engineering who began drawing up their blueprint in 1930. Nearly 40 years later, they completed their vision. Today the church is home protestant Christians in the town of Töölö, a prominent neighborhood in Helsinki.[hr]
Number 2 – Inspiring Body of Christ Church, Dallas Texas
If you watched the discovery channel show “Tanked”, then chances are you saw the episode which featured the construction of the mega aquarium in the Inspiring Body of Christ Church located in Dallas, Texas. This church has the largest aquarium of any church in the world, securing it a solid spot on this list of the most amazing churches. In addition to the massive size of the aquarium, the location of it and shape of it equally impress. The aquarium is located at the entrance of the church and is shaped with two prominent holes at the bottom that serve as entrance ways for guest.
Number 1 – Gergeti Trinity Church, Georgia
The Gergeti Trinity Church is not only one of the most amazing churches in the world, but also one of the most scenic and majestic landscapes on the planet. It is located in the Country of Georgia, not to be confused with the state of Georgia in the United States of America. Sitting at an elevation of over 2000 meters, this church towers over the town of Gergeti. The church was built all the way in the 14th century and is still standing over 700 years later. It is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole country of Georgia. It can be reached by trekkers via a route that takes about 3 hours. The other option to see the church up close is to rent a jeep and make the 30-minute drive to the top of the summit where the church lies.