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Top 10 Most Stunning Roman Catholic Basilicas

The following is a list of basilicas (generally speaking a basilica is a large Church of special importance – prior to Christianity they were usually Roman civic buildings) recognized by the Roman Catholic Church that I found to be the most architecturally appealing. Exterior design was predominately considered and the list was made by only scanning available pictures so I apologize if I missed some you thought should be worthy. Surroundings, interior design and historical significance had somewhat of an influence on the rankings, but again, exterior design was the main attribute considered. Click the images for a larger view.

10

Basilica of the Shrine of the Assumption
Baltimore, USA

Basilicaexterior.Jpg

Full title: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or more simply, the Baltimore Basilica, was the first major Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States. It was designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, who also was enlisted by Thomas Jefferson to design the Capitol Building. Construction began in 1806 and was completed in a relatively short period of 15 years in 1821. The Cathedral is a monumental neoclassical-style building designed in conformity to a Latin cross basilica plan — a departure on Latrobe’s part from previous American church architecture, but in keeping with longstanding European traditions of cathedral design. The plan unites two distinct elements: a longitudinal axis and a domed space.

9

Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar
Zaragoza, Spain

Basilica Del Pilar-Sunset.Jpg

The Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar is a minor basilica built in the 1st or 2nd century AD and sits on the banks of the Ebro. It is dedicated to Our Lady of the Pillar, the patron saint of Spain, who is said to have appeared to St. James in the 40 AD and gave him a small wooden statue and a column of jasper and instructed him to build a church in her honor. The statue atop the pillar is present in the church to this day. Amazingly, during the Spanish Civil War, three bombs were dropped on the church, none of which exploded. The architecture is of baroque style, and the present building was predominantly built between 1681 and 1872.


8

Notre Dame de Paris
Paris, France

451Px-Notredamedeparis.Jpg

Notre Dame de Paris is the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris and is widely considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world. It was one of the first constructed Gothic cathedrals and one of the first buildings to use flying buttresses for support. Construction began in 1160 on the Île de la Cité and was completed around 1345. The design also famously includes numerous gargoyles and grotesques incorporated into the rainwater gutter system as well as for ornamental purposes. The basilica was a target of vandalism throughout history, most recently during the Second World War and a restoration project is currently underway to restore the church to its highest degree of magnificence.

7

St Patrick’s Cathedral
Melbourne, Australia

434Px-St Patrick's Cathedral, Irish Nationalist Leader Daniel O'connell Statue.Jpg

St. Patrick’s Cathedral of Melbourne is internationally known as a leading example of the Gothic Revival style of architecture and it the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Construction began in 1858 and, due to long and frequent economic delays, was not officially completed until 1939. The church is the tallest in Australia and was dedicated to St. Patrick as the Catholic community in Melbourne was almost entirely Irish when construction began.

6

St Mark’s Basilica
Venice, Italy

Picture 2-68

St. Mark’s Basilica is Venice’s most famous church and one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture. Churches on the site date back to 828 but construction of the current building did not start until 1063 and was not consecrated until 1094, with constant additions throughout its history with an official completion date of 1617. It was presented as a status symbol of Venetian wealth and power and from the 11th century onwards, the building was known by the nickname Chiesa d’Oro (Church of gold).

5

Basilica of Our Lady of Dolours
Thrissur, India

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The stunningly white Basilica of Our Lady of Delours is located in southern India and is the biggest in tallest church in Asia. The church began construction in 1929 and was consecrated in 1940, yet the tallest of the towers was not completed until 2007 and was dubbed the Bible Tower. The basilica was built in an Indo-Gothic style with three large towers, the tallest of which is 260 feet high. The red cross atop the Bible Tower is lit at night and can be seen from miles away. The church is dedicated to Our Lady of the Dolours in reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary and the seven sorrows of her life.


4

Notre-Dame de la Garde
Marseille, France

800Px-Notre Dame De La Garde.Jpg

Notre-Dame de la Garde is a basilica located in Marseille, France. This ornate Neo-Byzantine church is situated at the highest natural point in Marseille, a 162 m (532 ft) limestone outcrop on the south side of the Old Port. As well as being a major local landmark, it is the site of a popular annual pilgrimage every Assumption Day (August 15). Local inhabitants commonly refer to it as la bonne mère (“the good mother”). The church was built between 1853, when the foundation stone was laid on September 11, and 1864. The church was built on the site of a 13th century chapel, also dedicated to Our Lady of the Watch, the traditional guardian of seafarers.

The basilica is surmounted by a 60 m (197 ft) belfry topped with a huge statue of the Virgin and Child, visible across much of the city and for miles out at sea. Construction of the basilica took five years and required 170,000 tons of material, including 23 shiploads of marble and porphyry from Italy.

3

Basilica of Our Lady of Liche?
Liche? Stary, Poland

Stary Lichen.Jpg

The Basilica of Our Lady of Liche? is located in the village of Liche? Stary near Konin in Poland. It was designed by Barbara Bielecka and built between 1994 and 2004. The construction founded entirely from pilgrims’ donations. With the central nave 98 meters tall, 120 meters long and 77 meters wide, and with a tower 141.5 metres tall, it is Poland’s largest church and on of the largest churches in the world. The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows whose icon, dating back to the 18th century, is displayed in the basilica’s main altar. It is one of Poland’s principal pilgrimage sites.


2

Las Lajas Cathedral
Ipiales, Colombia

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Las Lajas Cathedral is a cathedral located in the municipality of Ipiales and built inside the canyon of the Guaitara River. The architecture of this cathedral is of gothic revival architecture built from January 1, 1916 to August 20, 1949, with donations from local churchgoers with the intention to replace an old 19th century chapel. The story of the cathedral’s creation is that in 1754 an Amerindian named “Maria Mueces” and deaf-mute daughter “Rosa” were caught up by a very strong storm. They found refuge between the gigantic Lajas and to Maria Mueces surprise the girl exclaimed “the mestiza is calling me…” and pointing to the lightning illuminated painting over the laja.

1

St. Peter’s Basilica
Vatican City

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The Basilica of Saint Peter, officially known in Italian as the Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano is located within the Vatican City. St. Peter’s has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, holding 60,000 people. It is regarded as one of the holiest Christian sites and has been described as “holding a unique position in the Christian world” and as “the greatest of all churches of Christendom”. In Catholic tradition, it is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession. Tradition holds that Saint Peter’s tomb is below the altar of the basilica. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century. Construction on the present basilica, over the old Constantinian basilica, began on April 18, 1506 and was completed on November 18, 1626. It is associated with the papacy, with the Counter-reformation and with numerous artists, most significantly Michelangelo. As a work of architecture, it is regarded as the greatest building of its age.

Bonus

Sagrada Família
Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Familia By Night 2006.Jpg

The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, often simply called the Sagrada Família, is a massive, privately-funded Roman Catholic church that has been under construction in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain since 1882 and is expected to continue until at least 2026. Considered the master-work of renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926), the project’s vast scale and idiosyncratic design have made it one of Barcelona’s (and Spain’s) top tourist attractions for many years. A portion of the building’s interior is scheduled to open for public worship and tours by September of 2010. The construction budget for 2009 alone is € 18 million. Since it is not yet open, it is not officially recognized by the Vatican as a basilica, but it this should change as the church nears completion.

This article is licensed under the GFDL because it contains quotations from Wikipedia.

Listverse Staff

Listverse is a place for explorers. Together we seek out the most fascinating and rare gems of human knowledge. Three or more fact-packed lists daily.

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  • danmoo

    i love st marcs. beautiful church. love venice too. i think the cathedral in cologne germany should be added, just because of its impressive size

    • Acer

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  • Baxter In Action

    Awesome list! Las Lajas is absolutely stunning…

  • I4gotmyMANTRA

    St. Marks I think is the only one i’ve never seen before. Its beautiful. Thanks jfrator.

  • rocknopera

    Those pictures… Beautiful.

  • Cholo

    I didn’t know many of this accept number 1…
    T_T…could someone pls tell me t he church that’s made of skull

  • lrigD

    I’ve recently (as in, less than two weeks ago) visited the St Peter, and I’ve fallen in love with it. It really is a beautiful place, and I’m glad I got to be there.

    The other basilicae look beautiful, too – maybe this is the reason that I have a strange obsession with churches etc, even though I’m not a christian.

  • Mullaccio

    Despite the all the damage religion causes there are some positives to come out of it. These amazing archetectural masterworks are a perfect example.
    Great list once again. My hangover does not seem so bad now!!

  • AnonX

    I am sure people who are living under 1 dollar per day are appreciating these architectural masterpieces. Which are, by the way, build by people whose god orders them to help the poor. Jesus would have probably puked, had he seen Sagrada Familia.

  • real big fish

    i like number two

  • msulli222

    I am not Catholic, or even religious, but I can appreciate the beauty of these Basilicas. Las Lajas is absolutely stunning! I can’t believe I’d never heard of it. I am a bit surprised that Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence didn’t make the list. However, all of these basilicas are so amazing that I’m sure it was quite difficult to decide what to include.
    Also, I walk through Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter’s Square) almost every day on my way to run errands. I ALMOST feel bad that this privilege is being wasted on an atheist like myself. However, I try to appreciate it enough to do it justice.

  • Doperhoper

    Lovely pics…I believe no.2 should have been no. 1 actually !

  • ymanzo

    mucha religious hot tacos list! mi amigo! the only basilica i have been able to visit is in mexico, the basilica de gualadupe here is a pic for anyone who would like to look at a pic, http://www.dougsmotorcyclediary.com/photogallery/DSC_2030.JPG not the best but it is cool on the inside at least

  • HAL9000

    Man, the Gods are laughing at us for our misplaced priorities.

  • Anonx: interestingly Judas said the same thing to Jesus when He was having his feet washed in expensive oils. Judas complained that the oils could be sold for money for the poor. Jesus said “the poor will always be with us” in admonishment of Judas. For centuries these churches gave the poor a vision of beauty they would otherwise never have seen. These churches gave us artworks that exist to this day for the joy of everyoone. And let us not forget the thousands of poor workers who had a lifetime job working on building these things. Should they be given charity handouts instead of work which is the alternative. You need to look at the bigger picture :)

  • yousef

    ISLAM IS MY GOD!!!

  • Tori

    God is my God.

  • Someonelse

    Churches give me the creeps, catholic especial so.

  • Shagrat

    Yousef – Islam is a faith NOT a god, you idiot, the name of the God of Islam is Allah: So your statement SHOULD have read – Allah is my God. What a moron!

    BTW: Allah is His Islamic name, Jahweh, or Jehovah is His Jewish name and simply ‘God’ is the title by which He is known by Christians: They/He are/is One and the same.

    Oh, and I can’t see why St.Pat’s in Melbourne made this list – it’s rubish when compared alongside the likes of St.Maria di Maggiore, San Paulo extra Mura and San Giovanni in Laterano – all in Rome

    BTW – this list SHOULD have included both York and West-Minsters and Canterbury Cathedral: They were all Catholic Cathedrals BEFORE the Dissolution of the Monasteries (1536-1541) by Henry VIII. In fact, by agreement, York Minster is to be given back to the Catholic Church when all renovation work is finished – that’s why you’ll never see it without scaffolding somewhere on it: so they don’t have to give it back !

  • meh

    eye-candy *_*

  • smurff

    Great list MichaeLS

    I like No 7 St. Patricks – a lot of people just look at a photo and comment ” thats beautiful ” but when you realy look at it for a while and think – how did they do it?

    It must have been one hell of a job in those days compared to now days where we have mobile cranes and all the know how.

    No. 14 JF well said

  • oouchan

    Beautiful list this morning. Hope one day to see all of these in person. Good job, MichaelS!

  • archangel

    14. Well said JF
    18. Shagrat – I agree, I’ve been to St. Pat’s. It’s beautiful, but not as heavenly as other churches.

    Anyways, I love this list. Am a great big fan of architecture! Will be visiting these sites in my lifetime for sure! Thanks for this list.

  • Italo Canadese

    These Basilicas are all stunning. I Like St.Marks the best. I think though that the most stunning churches were by made Eastern Rite Orthodox Byzantines. They blend interesting architectural styles. The Haja Sophia is a great example of that, although it was transformed in a mosque. There are also many stunning mosques.

  • maximuz04

    Why are people fighting over their imaginary friends?
    Anyways… I dont believe in religion in the slightest but I love architecture, good list. I havent seen any of these, but I have seen some impressive cathedrals in Mexico.

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  • Spange

    Great list! These are some truly incredible buildings. It was interesting to read about some newer buildings like the one in Poland.

    #5 Cholo: I think maybe you mean this place: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sedlec_Ossuary

  • Handrejka

    Lovely list. I’m not religious either but you can’t help but be awestruck by some of these.

  • dchuskerls

    jfrater, i was highlightin the list as i always do, and i gotta tell you, when the numbers (1-10) are highlighted blue, it looks pretty good

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_g8ysN1tGcEc/Shgcy9uCFuI/AAAAAAAAAKU/TgOJy5PEkik/s1600-h/12121.jpg

  • dhlawrence

    I should have expected one of these on the list:

    Cologne (took 600 years to built it)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cologne_Cathedral

    Aachen (not so large, but 1200 years old)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palatine_Chapel_in_Aachen

    St. Stephan’s Cathredral, Vienna
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Stephen%27s_Cathedral,_Vienna

  • psteelers

    I work in and around Baltimore and pass by no. 10 a couple times a week. I never pay any attention to it. I guess I will be starring in that direction from now on. Is that what they mean when they say “Can’t see the forest for the trees.”?

  • Hey – great cultural list there MichaelS! I welcome lists of all varieties; and we certainly have been treated to a variety this week. As some folks have mentioned, I was blown away by #2, #4 and the bonus. Such amazing works of art.

    Why go to the trouble of building these? Well, perhaps some bright souls wanted to build representations of the ultimate perfection – to mirror divine magnificence?? If so, I think they did a great job – even though this may only be one aspect of the divine.

    Names for God? Thats an interesting one, let’s see now:

    Vital Energy Dark Matter (Science) Chi (Chinese)
    Prana (Hindu) Ka (Egyptian) Oki (American Indian)
    Elima (Nikundo) The Light Universal Life Energy
    Mind Energy The Source Metta (Buddhism)
    The Holy Spirit The Creator The Force (Jedi)
    Ki (Japanese) Mana (Kahuna) Pneuma (Greek)
    Odic Power(Norse) Numia (Paracelus) The God Head
    Love Kundalini Spirit Force
    Astral Energy The Universal Mind The Flow
    The Ethers Reiki Bio Plasmic Energy (Russian)
    Jesod (Jewish) Magick Psychic Energy
    The Fifth Element Heaven The Power
    The Divine Consciousness Healing Energy
    The Spirit The Soul Chaos
    Allah (Islam) Jehovah (Jewish) God (Christian)
    The Life Force (New Age) Nature (Darwinians)
    The Trinity (Christian) Ergon (Plato)
    Father Lord The Circle [etc etc]

    Of course, some cultures choose to iconise the many facets of the creator; and have many ‘Gods’. A few cultures have no name for what would be, essentially, an unnamable. Even if one doesn’t believe in ‘God’, there is still often a name to which the subject is refered; which carries those connotations.

    What’s in a name…… ?!

  • timmy the dying boy

    I thought Sagrada Familia was taking a long time to build, but compared to some of these, they’ve just gotten started.

  • #29 Me – Bugger! The parser removed all my spaces!
    (you don’t hear that everyday…)

    • andrei

      You do know that bugger means gay Bulgarian or something like that, right? Ah this is the one “from Old French bougre , from Medieval Latin Bulgarus Bulgarian; from the condemnation of the dualist heresy rife in Bulgaria from the tenth century to the fifteenth”- American heritage dictionary of English language.

  • Anthony N

    Boring. This website has really gone downhill.

  • Honka

    The Notre Dame of Reims is much more impressive than the Notre Dame of Paris.

  • redcaboose

    Stunning pictures. The Las Lajas Cathedral looks like it was a challenge to build, but it is beautiful. I can only imagine what the interior looks like.

    Great list, MichaelS.

  • TopCat2021

    @ Shagrat #18
    While true that Allah is the god of Islam; Jehovah God is the God of the Jews and Christians. Allah exists as one and only while Jehovah exists as a God Head of the Father,the Son and the Holy Spirit. A statement that they are one and the same, especially in a country like Iran would result in a death sentence for heresy.

  • jajdude

    Architectural guns on the list g. The question remains, though, if god is everywhere, does he have a house?

    yo?

  • Ciara

    The catholic church should sell of their basilicas and pay the victims of clerical child abuse in Ireland

  • General Tits Von Chodehoffen

    Awesome list. Number 2 is possibly the coolest building I have seen ever. Yo I finished my new list. It shall be tits

  • Moonbeam

    This list reminds me of the time I went inside St Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. It was during a weekday and no mass was being held, so it was fairly empty. Just being in this building gave me a strange feeling. I’m not talking about a religious or spiritual experience. It was more like being awestruck, like my heart was expanding. It’s hard to put into words.
    I’d love to see the structures shown here and others, mosques, or temples, etc. I saw the Mormon temple in Utah from the outside. They don’t allow the public in. But I imagine it’s something to see, also.
    It does leave me amazed at how it was possible these buildings were constructed at all.

  • lo

    29. Lifeschool-

    “darwinians” do not exist. people who support darwinian evolution do not do so as a religious conviction, therefore “nature” is not a deity to them.

    it is to pagans however (no love for the pagan faiths on your list-in-list?), and an argument could be made for including gaia of the gaian hypothesis..

    p.s. i love places of worship, they’re often very beautiful, and being an atheist doesn’t prevent me from enjoying beauty.

  • real big fish

    14- good point

  • Absolutely gorgeous basilicas. Thank you for these beautiful gifts.
    When I stayed in Zacatecas City, the capital of the state of Zacatecas, Mexico, for a month, one of the things I found, to my delight and surprise, was that every neighborhood had it’s own cathedral. This was not a rich city, indeed, many of the people lived in half finished buildings, and others actually lived in homes dug out of the hillsides, but they had the pride of these beautiful churches and beautiful schools. It was as if they had made a choice as to what was important to them, and they made a decision that gave them peace. I have never seen a city full of happier people, more charming people, more loving people.
    If you ever get a chance to go to Zacatecas, please do go. You will be amazed.

  • #41: lo – Yes, I see what you mean :) perhaps pagans do see nature/Gaia as The God – I believe they also have a myriad of named Gods too – such as the Green Man/Cernonnos. Some Wiccans worship the Greek Gods, or the Roman Gods, or the Norse Gods – and sometimes all of these – and more. I think some Buddhists acknowledge many deities; but perhaps no ‘all encompassing’ creator? Full respect to ’em. The list-in-list wasn’t mean’t to be exhaustive; just my little muse.

    #35: – Yes, there are some hard-line religious views out there – but the way I see it – we all live under the same sky.

    #36 – Jajdude – Good point! Like it. Hmmm….

  • msulli222

    I went to sleep last night at 1:00am. I woke up at 5:15 to catch a flight back to the States. How depressingly early 5:15 am is did not hit me until I got onto LV and saw that it was still too early for there to be a new list. So, I read this one again. Still good the second time.

  • scrumpy

    I’m not religious but I do appreciate beautiful architecture.

    Thankyou for an interesting list.

  • ViveCanta

    hermosas….these places are incredible.
    Im a little religious “hehe” ..these places kick ass.

  • Luisa

    I’m not a religous person, but I have to admit that there are a lot of gorgeous catholic churches.
    It’s nice to see a Colombian place, my mom tells my that Las Lajas is really astonishing.

  • arjaythejive

    Whatever your religious leanings are, these are wonderfully inspiring cultural and artistic gifts to humanity. I can savor their majesty as I, who can neither play a musical instrument nor carry a tune, can enjoy a symphony. I agree with #23 that many Eastern Rite churches and Islamic mosques are even more breathtaking. I toured the Hajia Sofia 2 yrs ago and was awestruck!
    Moonbeam mentioned the strange heart-expanding feeling in one church…I’ve experienced that when viewing natural wonders too. There’s a spiritual component in us that allows us to absorb beauty.

  • Shagrat

    TopCat2021 (#35): While what you say is true – thanks for the purely theological breakdown – let’s look at from the historo-theological premise.

    Both Islam and Christianity can be considered offshoots of Judaism: Christ was God, born of Man and raised a Jew. His Apostles were all Jews as were the later Disciples who went out to the Gentiles. Mohammed was originally Jewish who had his own epiphany and developed Islam.

    Thus the Jewish God; called Jahweh (or, more correctly, the Hebrew characters JWHW said as an expirated breath) became known to the Christians (Jewish and Gentile followers of Christ) as The Father, The Almighty or, simply, God. Mohammed, in his epiphany had the Lord’s name ‘revealed’ to him as Allah.

    Thus: Muslims, Jews and Christians all worship the SAME God – whatever His name and despite the rantings of idiot fundamental radicals!

  • lo

    50. Shagrat –

    i always thought the reference to jews, christians, and muslims as “people of the book” was a reference that they all have in common a scripture equivalent to the jewish torah -which features the same god by different names in different languages.

    of course, these faiths have each added additional scriptures and “further revelations” that make them quite distinct from each other in form, but i thought it was widely acknowledged that they all grew from the same “root” text about the same god.

    i also always thought that when individual practitioners of any of the above faiths forgot this relationship, and began to fight with practitioners of the others, it was like a vicious feud within one extended family, and just as sad.

  • mattayeaux

    I was hoping to see St. Micheals in NYC. I don’t even know if it is a basilicas or not( I am not catholic). But, I do own the grand piano that they replaced with the pipe organ from that huge church in 1897. And I am in the middle of Kansas. More info of how it got here if anyone is interested.

  • Pingback: Top 10 Basílicas Católicas « Se Habla De()

  • AnonX

    14. jfrater. However beautiful these might be, I still claim that the poor would appreciate a image of soap or food even more.

    And about your argument of “work to the poors”: why not make them build hospitals or shelters for homeless? That would have given them the same amount of work. And imagine how many of them could be made with the budget of sagrada familia. There are people living in the streets, but hey, atleast they can look at the beautiful buildings, right?

    It is you sir, who needs to get rid of religios bias and look at the bigger picture.

  • AnonX

    I also find it rather funny how everyone sucking up jfrater for his stupid comment, which delivered the most utterly stupid point I’ve heard all week.

  • JayBe

    good list,

    maybe you miss Santiago de Compostela’s and Firenze’s Cathedral

  • Baxter In Action

    AnonX, you’re living in a fantasy world if you think that more homeless shelters and more hospitals are going to improve these peoples’ lives. As far as I’m aware in Barcelona (to use your example) there aren’t several times as many doctors and nurses as there are facilities for them to help people, and there aren’t thousands dying in the streets. Why exactly can we not build in Barcelona both the Sagrada Familia (which I have visited) and also shelters for the homeless (which I have also visited)? Why should we build homeless shelter after homeless shelter after homeless shelter? And how exactly would turning Barcelona into a city of the rehoused poor help them in any way? How many millions of euros would the city lose from tourism?

    Your moral outrage amuses me.

  • archangel

    53. AnonX

    You make a good point AnonX. However, as practical as your point is, you must not forget that beauty is in itself a reflection of the human spirit, and feeds and enlightens the human soul. Giving me soap and food would make me happy, whilst marvelling at these beautiful buildings would give me awe. Both feelings I would love to feel equally.

    Thus, as 56 Baxter in Action said, we can build beautiful architecture and still help the poor.

  • Carlos Forero Oviedo

    I’m happy. Is good to see something good about Colombia

  • Lester

    Pretty arbitrary list . . . my top 10 would include Santiago de Compostela in Spain and the Duomo in Florence.

  • Mabel

    Notre Dame and St. Peter’s are on my bucket list of things to see before I die. Not because I’m Catholic – I’m not particularly religious despite a rather strict RC upbringing – but because I love the architecture. Glorious!

  • Courtney

    I’ve been to 2, 8, and the bonus, and I have to say, they’re all very beautiful! My favourite was the Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar. It’s located off of a small square with nice little shops, gardens, and a very interesting water fountain. I went on the trip where I saw all 3 of these in March… I would highly recommend going.

  • Courtney

    Oops, forgot to add this. Pope John Paul II promised that La Sagrada Familia would be officially blessed once it was completed.

  • dre

    what about el duomo milano….seconds largest church in the world, at least recently that is

  • GTT

    Well, now I feel blessed… I been able to visit quite a few on this list: 8,6,4,1 and the bonus… And now #9 is definately on my to-do list next time I go to Spain!

    Moonbeam (40): Iknow exactly what you mean and it´s an amazing feeling! I think the time I felt it the most was when I went to St. Peters. I was walking around with tears in my eyes trying to take it all in. :)

  • Blitzen

    Am I the only one who thinks #10 is hideous?

  • Bahar

    wowww!! Las Lajas Cathedral is so beautiful… Stunning… beautiful example of architecture integrated in nature…

  • Ariannah

    Las Lajas is absolutely gorgeous!!

  • braincake

    #2…wow. the location alone…wow.

  • Devon

    Number 2 is my favorite!! Incredible!!! Actually all of them are quite beautiful!

  • DK

    Oh! I’ve been to number 8! It’s absolutely stunning!

  • j

    a little annoyed that the national shrine of the immaculate conception in dc isn’t on this list!

  • david c

    Yay! Monuments to make-believe!

  • Bubbles

    Las Lajas!
    YAY! finally we get mentioned, and the country’s name is well spelled…. very impressed!

  • albedo

    #72: Even more so valid for all those tall steel-glass-and-concrete phalli of all financial companies and “global players”.

  • Suzy

    Baltimore over Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis? Seriously?

    You did get La Sagrada Familia right though :-)

  • jec

    the time is near brothers and sisters. be ready my dear brothers and sisters

  • JustinJ

    Nice list, though I’m a bit disappointed that the basilicas of Lourdes and Fatima didn’t make the list. =)

  • CommanderCoward

    What about the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Voire? It was based off of St. Peter’s and even designed by the Pope himself!

  • Gareth Collins

    Good call Ciara.

    Lough Derg Basillica in Donegal, Ireland should be involved though

  • lafin

    i am from thrissur …this is our church……….

  • kevinqhicks

    Name

  • Amazing photography
    I love it- I’m in awe

  • jake

    the cathedral in cologne should have been number 1. After all it is the largest gothis cathedral in the world.

  • Mukesh

    Thank you for every one of your effort on this web site. Debby take rteeinst in engaging in investigations and it’s obvious why. I hear all relating to the dynamic tactic you provide powerful items by means of this web site and therefore welcome participation from others on this content so our child is starting to learn a lot of things. Take advantage of the remaining portion of the year. You’re doing a useful job.

  • Lydia

    I’ve been reading some comments and believe no matter what religion you believe in or don’t you should respect there’s I’ve been to alot of very religious countries and people take there religions very seriously and it’s best to just respect that. There are evil religions out there but there also good ones that believe in peace and give people good morals.

    P.S I’m a Christian and work with youth groups.

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