Some say that architecture as an art needs inspiration and sometimes that calling comes from what some see as the divine. Churches have always been some of the most majestic buildings ever erected in history. The need for men to justify its own existence has taken us to build some of the most lavish, beautiful and enduring buildings in honor to our deities and to further display our ingenuity and capacity to create grandness. Here at Kenny Slaught’s blog, we focus on different categories in order to better explore the world of architectural marvel and design, so today we want to talk about some of the world’s most amazing churches and tell you just a bit about them.
Las Lajas Cathedral – Colombia
Las Lajas Cathedral is simply breathtaking. The church sits at the end of a bridge that overlooks the Guaitara River right inside a large canyon. The legend says that the church was built inspired on the supposed apparition of the Virgin Mary reflected upon a rock. This gothic style church was built between 1916 and 1949 and looks like a sight out of a fairytale with its white and gray exteriors and the surrounding landscape.
Chapel of Saint Gildas – France
The chapel of Saint Gildas sits as if trying to meld into the solid rock besides the Canal du Blavet in Brittany, France. Is almost as if the small church itself was trying to mimic what the monk did during his pilgrimage attempting to bring Christianity and preach to the local pagan population during the 6th century when they church was built. The rustic and beautiful walls have stood the test of time and continue to amaze us today.
Harajuku Church – Japan
This futuristic looking protestant church sits in the center of hectic Tokyo as a spiritual oasis filled with elements that make it quite unconventional. The architecture itself is filled with symbolism based on the number 7, a number that is present in the number of arches and adding the bell tower that complete the structure.
Saint Basil’s Cathedral – Russia
There are few churches in the world as beautiful and as notorious as the cathedral of Saint Basil in Moscow. The building is a display of color, shapes, and lines that combine to guide it a style so unique that experts still debate on its original influences. The structure was built in 1561 by order of Ivan the Terrible to commemorate the conquest of the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan.
Hallgrímskirkja – Iceland
This amazing Lutheran church located in Reykjavík is considered the 6th tallest building in Iceland and also the tallest church in the country standing 244 feet in height. It took local architect Guðjón Samúelsson 41 years to build the church that was completed in 1986. The church has a built-in observatory that can be reached by means of an elevator and its style is said to resemble the flow of lava, something representative of this country with such high volcanic activity.
Temppeliaukio Church – Finland
Another Lutheran church, this time located in Helsinki, Finland. The structure was the idea of architects and brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen who designed the church to be built right into the rock, reason why this place of worship is also called the Rock Church. With more than half a million of people visiting every year, the Temppeliaukio church is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.
Cathedral of Brasília – Brazil
A creation of the amazing of the architect Oscar Niemeyer, this church is deceptively small when you look at it from the outside, but coming inside will surprise you with the ample space designed to house the many visitors that it receives daily. The insides are almost exclusively made of marble and glass with beautiful statues of angels handing from the ceiling.
Borgund Stave Church – Norway
This church is completely made of wood staves and it features a triple nave. The works is absolutely stunning and it is considered the best preserved church in the country. The design is so clever and elegant that it makes you wonder on how such craftsmanship with this limited number of materials is even possible. The church is no longer used for religious purposes but it serves as a museum today.
Sagrada Familia – Spain
You cannot have a list of amazing churches without mentioning the most celebrated work of Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. Sagrada Familia has not yet been completed, but it is already considered an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church combines gothic, art nouveau and modernist influences into one of the most iconic buildings that have ever existed.
Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel – France
Perhaps one of the most beautifully located and celebrated churches in existence. The building is sitting on top of a volcanic plug 279 feet high. To reach the church one has to walk almost 300 steps to enter the building that celebrates the return of Saint James from his pilgrimage.