Some are instantly recognizable for their iconic features, and some may be less known, but these eight churches are some of the most breath-taking in the world. Churches have been around for centuries, and some rely on their grandeur and dazzling artwork while others are more modest. But certainly, many of them are beautiful to look at and worth appreciating for their aesthetic.
1. Church of Our Lady of Remedy, Montenegro
This little stone brick church in the tiny European country of Montenegro, on the Adriatic coast, has a very humble and modest interior. But its dramatic and breathtaking outside landscape puts it on this list. The Church of Our Lady of Remedy sits perched on the hillside of one of the many mountains surrounding Montenegro, and with it has a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains, the lake, and the town below.
2. Duomo di Siena, Italy
Italy is absolutely bursting with beautiful churches to choose from, but the Duomo in the Tuscan town of Siena is completely mesmerizing and probably rather underrated in Italy. The building itself cuts into Siena’s otherwise quaint appearance as a tall and powerful structure, but the mosaics inside are truly inspiring. One can spend hours circling the church, gazing at every inch of the shimmering and intricate designs. There are also many walkways and steps in which you can reach the duomo (dome) itself, where there is even more wondrous artwork to take in.
3. Las Lajas Sanctuary, Colombia
The front façade of Las Lajas is actually not dissimilar to the Duomo in Siena – but its surroundings certainly are. The church itself is beautiful architecturally, with shining white and grey stone, spiraling turrets and stone angel statues. But it is totally unique and breath-taking in that it is built into a 130 feet tall bridge over the River Guaitara, making for one dramatic and awe-inspiring landscape. Oh, and a very special photo op!
4. Wayfarers Chapel, California
If you are amazed by the unconventional, then this modern chapel in California will certainly take your breath away. Designed with tall, dark wooden pillars and glass, Wayfarers shows that modern churches can still be as beautiful as historic ones in their own way. Plus, you may recognize it from numerous films and the Clean Bandit music video for ‘Baby’.
5. Gergeti Trinity Church, Georgia
Quite possibly the most unusual – and loneliest – church in the world, the Gergeti Trinity Church in Georgia (in Eurasia, not the U.S state) stands center stage on a vast green hill with jagged mountains as its surroundings. It is even higher than the clouds, standing at over 7000 feet above the ground. In the 18th century, due to its isolated and therefore safe location, many relics and keepsakes were brought here. You may be thinking this isn’t going to be easy to visit, but there is a perfectly safe new road to access the church.
6. St Patrick’s Old Cathedral, New York
In the heart of Fifth Avenue, St Patrick’s Old Cathedral may not be one of New York City’s tallest landmarks (hey, stiff competition), but certainly one of the most breathtaking. Simple lighting manages to illuminate this sophisticated interior with an almost impossibly high ceiling. The church also features some stunning stain glass windows, and has been used as a filming location for none other than ‘The Godfather’.
7. Rosslyn Chapel, Scotland
Just seven miles from Edinburgh is the wonderful little chapel of Rosslyn in Scotland. At first sight, this 600-year-old church seems quaint and modest, but inside is a different story. In fact, exploring Rosslyn Chapel is literally like discovering an entire story of history, as the interior is adorned with beautiful carvings, from a farmer’s wife to an angel playing the bagpipes. One aspect of the carvings that is particularly fascinating are the ‘music note’ carvings, each an individual carving of symbols said to reveal a piece of music that is divine to the ear. As well as all of that, you may recognize the chapel from the film ‘The Da Vinci Code’.
8. Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood, Russia
This church in St Petersburg is the epitome of grandeur, artistry and spectacular viewing. A fusion of Western and Eastern designs, this church is one of the most unique and visually breathtaking places to see in the world. With its shimmering gold Byzantine-influenced mosaics and iconic spiraling towers, the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood is easily Russia’s most beautiful church and well worth a visit to see the finery and beauty it has to offer.