There is something about old cathedrals that are fascinating to most people. The intricate architecture, colorful stained glasses, elaborate altars, decorative chandeliers and tall tales of history attract tourists and faithful Catholics alike. They are part of tour itineraries especially in Catholic countries. Here are 5 most stunning Cathedrals in the world.
SAGRADA FAMILIA, BARCELONA
Although unfinished, one can’t deny the beauty of this church. It is a masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi where he combined Spanish Gothic, Catalan Modernism and Art Noveau architectures to create a stunning minor basilica with long slender towers.
PETER’S BASILICA, VATICAN
This magnificent basilica is the official Papal seat and is made by famous artists with the likes of Michelangelo, Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Raphael. The mix of Italian Renaissance and Baroque architectures are evident in one of the largest churches in the whole world. Most popes are buried in its grounds but the most famous grave is of Saint Peter thus the name.
CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE, JERUSALEM
What could be holier than the church built on the place where Jesus Christ was resurrected? Hundreds of Catholic pilgrims journey to visit the tomb of Christ and is a place of worship not only by Roman Catholics but also for Greek and Armenian Orthodox.
SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE, ITALY
It took a century to build this outstanding Florence Cathedral and it is all worth it. By the 1400’s this cathedral was considered to be the biggest and most important building in the whole of Italy. Its architectural design was so majestic that it sparked a new artistic era and inspired artists in the whole of Europe.
BASIL’S CATHEDRAL, RUSSIA
The colorful façade of this cathedral is as colorful as its history. The original structure is composed of 8 churches around a central church, later on a tenth church was also built over the grave of St. Basil. The architectural design of the towers are made to resemble a bonfire.
VINZENZ CHURCH, AUSTRIA
Aside from its beauty, this church is known to have a relic of Jesus Christ – His blood, thus the name of the village Heiligenblut (Holy Blood). A knight by the name of Briccius brought the said relic but, unfortunately, was buried in an avalanche on the site where this stunning church was built.
PAOAY CHURCH, PHILIPPINES
Philippines is popularly a Catholic country and it isn’t a surprise to see Catholic churches in almost every town and city all over the archipelago. With so many lovely churches to see, it is quite hard to choose just one. Notable enough is the church in Ilocos Norte called Paoay Church with its intricate architecture of 24 exterior buttresses and coral belfry on the side.