If you’re building a temple to God, you’ll want it to look good. You will probably want what you’re building to be the greatest thing you ever did. This is likely why churches are some of our most beautiful and inspiring creations.
1. ST. PETER’S BASILICA, ROME
Saint Peter’s Basilica, the world’s largest church, is the center of Christianity. The imposing structure was built over a span of more than one hundred years by the greatest Italian architects of the era.The church is built on Vatican Hill, across the Tiber river from the historic center of Rome. The location is highly symbolic: this was the site where Saint Peter, the chief apostle, died a martyr and where he was buried in 64 AD. St. Peter is considered the first pope, so it made perfect sense for the papacy to build the principal shrine of the Catholic church here.
2. WESTMINSTER ABBEY, LONDON
Westminster Abbey was initially built by Henry III in 1245 and it is one of the most important Gothic buildings of England. At first home of Benedictine monks, the coronation church since 1066 and the final resting place of 17 monarchs. It contains a treasury full of paintings, stained glass, pavements, textiles, various other artifacts and books plus the most significant collection of monumental sculptures of the UK.
3. CHURCH OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE, JERUSALEM
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, known as the Church of the Resurrection (Anastasis) to Eastern Orthodox Christians, is a church in the Old City of Jerusalem that is the holiest Christian site in the world. It stands on a site that is believed to encompass both Golgotha, or Calvary, where Jesus was crucified, and the tomb (sepulchre) where he was buried. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre has been an important pilgrimage destination since the 4th century.
4.METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL OF RIO DE JANEIRO, RIO DE JANEIRO
The new Cathedral Saint Sebastian of Rio de Janeiro in the center of the city was build between 1964 and 1997. The Cathedral is conical in form with a external height of 75 m. and a external diameterof 106 m. giving room for 20.000 standing worshipers or 5.000 seated people. The architecture of the cathedral was inspired by a Maya pyramid on the island of Yucatan in Mexico.
5. CATHEDRAL OF ST JOHN THE DIVINE, NEW YORK CITY
The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, the mother church of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and the Seat of its Bishop, is chartered as a house of prayer for all people and a unifying center of intellectual light and leadership. It serves the many diverse people of our Diocese, City, Nation and World through an array of liturgical, cultural and civic events; pastoral, educational and community outreach activities; and maintains the preservation of the great architectural and historic site that is its legacy.