Divine by Design: 15 Churches That Could Stand As Wonders Of The World - Travel

These buildings all double as a mecca for design.

Architecture has concerned itself with religious buildings more than any other type throughout history.

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Since most past cultures regarded religion as universally appealing, this reflected in the churches and temples, which they designed to be the most expressive, permanent, and influential structures in any community.

Religious architecture follows no universal design code. Although some features were fairly universal in monumental churches built in the Middle Ages, architectural styles still varied by place and by building.

With the international observance of Lent, we also remember to celebrate the physical return of these places of worship due to the relaxation of pandemic restrictions worldwide.

Here are 15 of the most beautiful churches worldwide that you can visit personally or virtually during Holy Week 2022.

Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida in Brazil

The Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida in Brazil is the largest cathedral and the second-largest Catholic church in the world in terms of interior area. It is dedicated to Our Lady of Aparecida as the principal Patroness of Brazil.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Israel

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was built on the traditional site of Jesus Christ’s Crucifixion and burial. Although Constantine the Great first built a church on the site, its architecture gradually diversified throughout the years.

Iglesia de San Francisco in Bolivia

The Iglesia de San Francisco is an example of Mestizo Baroque architecture, which is influenced by indigenous styles and methods. Its structure is characterized by finely dressed stone detailing in flat patterns similar to embroidery or wood-carving. All of this is contrasted against a Neoclassical interior.

Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco in Peru

The Iglesia y Convento de San Francisco is a Franciscan monastery that dates back to 1774 and embodies the spirit of Spanish Baroque architecture. It also contains a library with 25,000 antique texts on top of courtyards and cloisters.

Matthias Church in Hungary

The Matthias Church is the most visited Roman Catholic temple in Budapest. As of the end of the 19th century, the church has been predominantly renovated in neo-Gothic style.

Notre Dame in France

The Notre-Dame de Paris, also called Notre-Dame Cathedral, is the most popular of the Gothic cathedrals from the Middle Ages. Blaze struck the cathedral in April 2019, destroying most of the roof, Viollet-le-Duc’s 19th-century spire, and some of the rib vaulting.

Rock Church in Finland

The Rock Church is a modern temple literally carved from rock resulting in a copper dome. The Lutheran church project is the fruit of an architectural competition that brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen won in 1961.

Sagrada Família in Spain

The Sagrada Família owes its design to architect Antoni Gaudi, who spent much of his career on the project but did not live to see it finished.

San Marco Basilica in Italy

The San Marco Basilica’s design is Byzantine, with both Byzantine and Italian craftspeople behind the construction. Its interior is decorated expansively with mosaics on gold ground and varieties of marble.

Sent Antuan Kilisesi in Turkey

The Sent Antuan Kilisesi is the largest Roman Catholic church in Istanbul. Architect Giuliu Mongeri rebuilt the church, completed in 1912, in the styles of Italian neo-Gothic and Tuscan-Lombard.

St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Malta

St. John’s Co-Cathedral was designed by architect Gerolamo Cassar. Its interior was renovated in the 17th century in the Maltese Baroque style, complete with marble floors, three-dimensional statues, carved stone walls, and vaulted ceilings.

St. Nicholas Church in Prague

The St. Nicholas Church is the most renowned Baroque church in Prague and one of the most valuable of its kind north of the Alps. Its dome and interior height almost reach 50 meters, making it the tallest interior in Prague.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the US

St. Patrick’s Cathedral is a Neo-Gothic cathedral with landmark status in New York City. It features titanic bronze doors, a high altar, and thousands of stained glass windows.

St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City

St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world and is regarded as the greatest building of its age. It is one of the most famous works of Renaissance architecture and contains many Baroque elements.

Stephansdom Cathedral in Austria

The Stephansdom Cathedral is a key Gothic building in Austria. Its distinguishing exterior feature is the tiled roof with a colored zigzag texture.

Banner Photo via St. Patrick’s Cathedral’s website

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