Architecture

These Churches Will Make You Believe In God

Magda Michalska 18 November 2021 min Read

Churches are fascinating buildings where time seems to stand still. Allow us to lead you by the smell of incense into the dark Gothic interiors. Watch out for chimera statues! Here are churches that will make you believe in God!

Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

Antoni Gaudí, Sagrada Família, 1883-present, Barcelona, Spain.
Antoni Gaudí, Sagrada Família, 1883-present, Barcelona, Spain. Viator.

Sagrada Familia is Antoni Gaudi’s probably most ambitious and stunning design. It’s an enormous basilica covered in metaphorical sculptures, sinuous Art Nouveau-ish lines, Gothic elements, and towers. Although still unfinished, it has become a landmark and a symbol of Barcelona. People love it for its uniqueness and magical atmosphere. Since the construction has not yet been finished, you can contribute to its completion by making a donation.

Antoni Gaudí, Sagrada Família, 1883-present, Barcelona, Spain.
Antoni Gaudí, Interior of Sagrada Família, 1883-present, Barcelona, Spain. Catalan News.

Notre Dame in Paris

notre dame
Notre Dame de Paris, 12th century, Paris, France. Wikimedia Commons.

A cathedral of Paris called “Our Lady of Paris” is a stunning example of medieval French Gothic. It contains a few of the precious Catholic relics like the Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails. Its Gothic dark and mysterious interior, thin and brittle-looking columns, and rosetta windows filled with colourful stained glass, make one feel pretty small and humble – at least in my case they do. The white western façade covered with chimera statues is unique, and it is one of the first churches to use flying buttresses (the external support of the building). Unfortunately, on April 15, 2019, the cathedral burnt down and the entire world watched live as the towers of this architectural gem collapsed. You can read the coverage from the fire here, and some thoughts on the event a year later here.

Notre Dame de Paris, 12th century, Paris, France.
Interior of Notre Dame de Paris, Paris, France. MyWoWo.
Interior of Notre Dame de Paris, 12th century, Paris, France.
Interior of destroyed Notre Dame de Paris, Paris, France. The New York Times.

Paul’s Cathedral in London

St Pauls Cathedral London
Sir Christopher Wren, St. Paul’s Cathedral, completed 1710, London, UK. Wikimedia Commons.

Sir Christopher Wren accepted the challenge of rebuilding London’s churches after the Great Fire of London of 1666. He designed over 70 churches which were executed in a relatively short time for a church. Wren redesigned St Paul’s Cathedral completely to make it look like St Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The neoclassical grandeur stands out in London’s cityscape and still attracts crowds of visitors.

Sir Christopher Wren, St. Paul's Cathedral, completed 1710, London, UK.
Sir Christopher Wren, St. Paul’s Cathedral Interior, completed 1710, London, UK. Sky News.

Florence Cathedral

Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy.
Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy. The Creative Adventurer.

This church is just a collection of masterpieces which make up a stunning whole. Next to the main cathedral, which is devoted to Saint Mary of Flowers, there is a baptistery of St John that has two stunning sets of doors, one made by Andrea Pisano and the other by Lorenzo Ghiberti. The latter was called the Gates of Paradise by Michelangelo because it is so beautiful. The dome of the Cathedral, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and completed in 1436, is an ingenious mix of engineering and art. Here you can read more about the entire complex in Florence.

Let us know what your favorite church is!

Recommended

St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican, Photograph by Alvesgaspar Architecture

St. Peter’s Basilica—Layers of History

St. Peter’s Basilica is one of the most iconic buildings in Western culture.  But, the facade we see today is the culmination of centuries of...

Ledys Chemin 18 November 2021

Stained-glass windows, Nasie Al Mulk Mosque, Iran Architecture

7 Extraordinary Stained-Glass Wonders You Need to Know

The practice of decorating pieces of glass with the aim of adorning a room seems to originate in the ancient Roman Empire. Later stained-glass...

Camilla de Laurentis 22 November 2021

Roberto Burle Marx, landscape designer, in his studio. Photo Tyba Architecture

Roberto Burle Marx: The Artist of Landscape Design

When you think about Modernist architecture, probably Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, or Oscar Niemeyer comes to mind. But have you paid attention...

Natalia Tiberio 8 November 2021

Architecture

The Masterpiece of the Week: Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright

There are many iconic buildings, and it feels like more and more are being called that by the hour. But the list is a lot shorter if we only consider...

Joanna Kaszubowska 13 June 2021