The 7 Most Beautiful Churches on the Planet

Religion isn’t always the easiest subject to discuss. People of different cultures and upbringings often have vastly different views on religion and its role in society. However, there is one aspect of religion that almost everyone can appreciate and that is the spectacular architecture used in religious buildings around the world. Here is a list of the 7 most beautiful churches that grace this world with their awesome presence.

Bogrund Stave Church – Norway
Take yourself back to the time of the Vikings in Northern Europe. Giant men wearing fur coats, wielding huge axes with ruthless warfare tactics. If you can believe that these men were actually religious and spent time going to church, the Bogrund Stave Church is where they would go. Located in the heart of Norway, this ancient, wooden church is truly something out of this world.

Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel – France
This chapel is located in such a unique location that anyone who even sees a picture of it is guaranteed to look twice and make some remark of splendor. It is located in Aiguihe, France and sits atop a 279 ft high volcanic formation that violently protrudes from the earth in the middle of the town.  It is said that the fabled Joan of Arc used to pay hommage to this truly unique site for a place to pray.

Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood – Russia
This very famous Russian Orthodox Church is one of the most iconic buildings in St. Petersburg, Russia. The architecture of this very grand structure is nothing short of spectacular and it is not uncommon for large groups of tourists to spend the better part of a day staring at it. The church was built over the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and it is considered to be a monument to memorialize him.

Las Lajas Sanctuary – Colombia
In a steep valley of a sleepy town in Southern Colombia lies a church built in in what seems like an absolutely impossible place. Constructed in gothic style and spanning a narrow canyon over the Guaitara River the church makes you rub your eyes to make sure it is actually real. Trying to imagine how in 1949 this church was built in such an idyllic setting surrounded by lush mountains and waterfalls is quite perplexing, but when you get lost staring at its splendor you are thankful that someone did.

Sagrada Familia – Spain
A very well known icon in Barcelona, Spain, the Sagrada Familia is quite an immense site. The church was originally designed by the famous Catalan architect, Antoni Guadi, but he did not live long enough to see its completion. In fact, the church was actually less than a quarter complete at the time of his death. This crazy church is absolutely bewildering to look at and although construction began in 1852 it is still not complete and not projected to be until 2026.

St. Peters Basilica – Italy
In a list of famous churches it would seem to be a sin not to include what is considered to be ‘the greatest of all churches in Christendom.’ St. Peters Basilica is located in the capital of Italy and its close location to the Vatican affords it many appearances by the Pope every year. Every nook and cranny of this enormous church is hand painted with gorgeous religious art from the best Italian painters of the Renaissance period.

Hallgrímskirkja – Iceland
Located in the capital of Iceland is not only the largest church in the country, but also the 6th largest building. The Hallgrímskirkja  church quite literally looks like something from the future, although it is said to be modeled after the Basalt Lava Flows of Iceland’s beautiful landscape. It is one of the best known structures in the country and can be seen from virtually anywhere in the nation’s capital.

By Alex Vere Nicoll