Europe is known for its stunning cathedrals and churches. From Notre Dame in Paris to Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy, these buildings are some of the most iconic in the world. Each one has a unique history and architecture that makes it worth seeing.
If you’re planning a trip to Europe, be sure to add at least a few of these famous churches to your itinerary!
1. The Notre Dame in Paris, France
One of the most famous churches in Europe is Notre Dame in Paris, which is known for its stunning Gothic architecture. Construction on the cathedral began in 1163, and it was completed nearly two hundred years later in 1345. The Notre Dame is a masterpiece of medieval engineering, with its massive stone walls and intricate flying buttresses. The interior of the church is just as impressive, with its soaring ribbed vaults and stained glass windows. Every year, millions of tourists come from all over the world to see Notre Dame, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Paris.
2. St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, Russia
St. Basil’s Cathedral is a world-famous structure located in Moscow, Russia. The cathedral was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible and built between 1555 and 1561.
It is situated on the site of the former Trinity Monastery, which was destroyed by the order of Ivan the Terrible. The cathedral is composed of nine churches, each adorned with its own onion dome.
The exterior of the cathedral is a riot of color, with red brick walls and multi-colored tiles. The interior is no less impressive, with its gilded iconostasis and lush tapestries.
St. Basil’s Cathedral is one of the most iconic churches in Europe, and its striking architecture is sure to take your breath away.
3. The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey
As the largest city in Turkey, Istanbul is home to a wealth of historical and cultural treasures. Among the most famous is the Hagia Sophia, a former Byzantine cathedral that was converted into a mosque after the city fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453.
Today, the Hagia Sophia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Istanbul, and it is easy to see why. The building’s massive dome towers over the cityscape, and its interior is adorned with an impressive collection of Islamic art.
But despite its current status as a museum, the Hagia Sophia remains an active place of worship for many Muslims, who come to pray in its spacious halls. For centuries, the Hagia Sophia has been a symbol of religious tolerance, and it continues to be a source of pride for both Muslims and Christians alike.
4. Westminster Abbey in London, United Kingdom
Westminster Abbey is one of the most famous churches in Europe, and it is easy to see why. This Gothic masterpiece has been the site of royal coronations and other important events for centuries, and its architecture is simply breathtaking.
The exterior of the Abbey is dominated by two massive towers, which soar upwards towards the sky. The interior is even more stunning, with its beautiful stained glass windows and soaring pillars.
Westminster Abbey is a truly awe-inspiring church, and it is well worth a visit if you are ever in London.
5. Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany
Europe is home to some of the most stunning churches in the world, and Cologne Cathedral in Germany is one of the most iconic.
The cathedral is located on the banks of the Rhine River and has two massive spires that reach a height of over 560 feet. The construction of the cathedral began in 1248 and took over 600 years to complete.
Inside, the cathedral is adorned with beautiful stained glass windows, many of which date back to the 13th century. Visitors can also see the Shrine of the Three Kings, which houses the remains of three medieval kings.
Cologne Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Germany’s most popular tourist destinations. More than 20 million people visit the cathedral each year, making it one of the most visited churches in Europe.
6. La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain
La Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous churches in Europe, and it is easy to see why. Designed by Antoni Gaudi, the church is a masterclass in unique architecture.
The exterior is decorated with intricate sculptures and colorful mosaics, while the interior features soaring columns and stained glass windows. The church is still unfinished, but even in its current state, it is a stunning sight to behold.
Visitors to Barcelona often make a point of visiting La Sagrada Familia, and it is easy to see why. The church is a truly awe-inspiring sight, and its unique architecture is unlike anything else in the world.
7. Ulm Minster in Ulm, Germany
Ulm Minster is a Gothic cathedral located in Ulm, Germany. It is the tallest church in the world, with a spire that rises to a height of 530 feet.
The exterior of the church is adorned with intricate stone carvings, and the interior is filled with stained glass windows that depict scenes from the Bible.
The Ulm Minster is truly a sight to behold, and its stunning architecture is sure to leave visitors in awe.
The Ulm Minster is just one of many beautiful churches located throughout Europe. Each of these churches has its own unique architectural style, and all are well worth a visit.
Whether you’re a devout believer or simply an admirer of beautiful buildings, be sure to add a few of Europe’s famous churches to your travel itinerary.
8. The Saint Sava Temple in Belgrade, Serbia
The Saint Sava Temple in Belgrade, Serbia is one of the most famous churches in Europe. The temple was built in the 12th century and is dedicated to Saint Sava, the first Serbian archbishop.
The church is known for its beautiful architecture, which includes a mix of Byzantine and Romanesque styles. The Saint Sava Temple is one of the largest Orthodox churches in the world and can accommodate up to 10,000 people.
The church is also home to a number of important relics, including the hair of Saint Sava and his right hand. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people visit the Saint Sava Temple to see its stunning architecture and to pay homage to Saint Sava.
9. St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, Czech Republic
Situated in the heart of Prague, St. Vitus Cathedral is one of the most iconic churches in Europe. The cathedral is home to a number of important relics, including the remains of Saint Wenceslas, the patron saint of the Czech Republic.
The building itself is a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, with soaring spires and intricate carvings adorning its exterior. Inside, the cathedral is just as impressive, with grand stained glass windows and a vast open space.
Despite its medieval appearance, St. Vitus Cathedral is actually a relatively young church, having been constructed in the 14th century.
Today, it remains one of the most popular tourist attractions in Prague, drawing visitors from all over the world.
10. The Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy
The Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy, is one of the most famous churches in Europe. Its stunning architecture and rich history make it a popular tourist destination.
The basilica was first built in the 11th century, and it has been expanded and remodeled several times since then. It is now a massive structure that spans over two acres.
The exterior of the building is decorated with numerous statues and reliefs. The interior is even more impressive, with its soaring ceilings, intricate mosaics, and beautiful stained glass windows.
Every year, millions of people visit Saint Mark’s Basilica to admire its beauty and to learn about its fascinating history.