Top 10 Famous European Churches
Among the most fascinating sights throughout Europe are the continent’s many beautiful churches. These buildings, fueled by deep devotion, are where art met architecture and astonishing craftsmanship. They just don’t make buildings like these any more. Here are our top picks for the most picturesque churches in Europe.
It’s no wonder the fashion capital of the world would also have one of the most beautiful churches, too. Bright, white Milan Cathedral, a.k.a. il Duomo, is a gem among European churches. It took about 600 years to build and remains the largest church in Italy.
St. Peter’s Basilica: Vatican City
In addition to being the world’s largest church, St. Peter’s in Vatican City is gorgeous inside and out. You might recognize this Renaissance-style gem from the Pope’s Christmas and Easter masses, said here and broadcast throughout the world. The church is also the burial site of the first Pope, Apostle St. Peter (among other popes), and it’s considered the center Roman Catholic world .
Sagrada Familia: Barcelona, Spain
This 135-year work in progress is the only incomplete church on the list, but its already incredibly impressive. The Barcelona church was the vision of artist Antoni Gaudí, but he died in 1926 with the project far from complete. The Sagrada Familia expected to be finished in about 10 years, roughly 100 years after Gaudí’s death.
Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore: Florence, Italy
Another beautiful renaissance church can be found in the beloved Italian city of Florence. The builders of this church were not afraid to use a bit of color when constructing this grand church.
Hallgrimskirkja: Reykjavik, Iceland
A church like none other can be found in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik. This towering ultra-modern take on a church is eye-grabbing, to say the least. Construction started in 1945 and ended in 1986.
St. Vitus Cathedral: Prague
Rising high above the Prague Castle compound of buildings are the Gothic spires of St. Vitus Cathedral. These dramatic features are visible from across the river and across the city.
Westminster Abbey: London
Every visitor’s favorite church in London is the beautiful Westminster Abbey. In addition to hosting royal weddings, it’s also served as the backdrop to every British monarch’s coronation since 1066. In true Gothic style, the church towers over central London with spires reaching toward the sky.
Le Mont Saint-Michel: Normandy, France
Among the most picturesque sights made by man has got to be the Le Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, and at the top is… you guessed it, a church. This island wasn’t always out at sea. When it was built the Le Mont Saint-Michel was on dry land, but as water levels rose it became the fairytale-like island that it is today.
The Monasteries of Meteora, Greece
Perched high on massive boulders in Meteora are numerous Eastern Orthodox monasteries. Churches high on these rocks were built here as early as the 9th century and some built on 1800-foot-tall cliffs.
Church of San Martino, Portofino
In a city such as Rome, full of man-made wonders, the minor Basilica of San Martino ai Monti would appear modest.
However, in Portofino, the Church of San Martino is a richly appointed church once you go inside, with lavish marble decorations and golden textures, stained glass windows and impressive artwork on the walls.
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