From the famous Notre Dame de Paris to the Rijeka Islamic center in Croatia, these are the ideal places to admire the architecture as well as learn the history and culture of Europe. Let’s discover the list of famous churches in Europe — Top 15 beautiful churches in Europe you should visit at least once in a lifetime.
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St. Basil, Moscow, Russia
St. Basil was completed in 1560. Its beautiful design and sui gernesis architecture remain intact till today. St. Basil is located in Red Square in Moscow.
The church is a museum at present. Each year, there is only one day for prayers at the church in October.
Monastery of Mont Saint-Michel, France
The monastery is situated in a small village on the island off the coast of Normandy, France. The monastery’s history began in 709 when Aubert – Bishop of Avranches – decided to build a small church on the island.
By the 12th century, a grand monastery was built there. Nowadays, visitors can visit the island, climb to the highest point, and enjoy breathtaking views and spectacular architecture.
Hallgrimskirkja Church, Reykjavik, Iceland
Hallgrimskirkja is one of the most special architectural wonders in Iceland’s Reykjavik. The church was designed by Guðjón Samúelsson in 1937.
By 1986, the building was completed. It is said that the unique shape of the church was inspired by the moment when lava reconciled with basalt.
Hagia Sophia Church, Istanbul, Turkey
The church is an architectural masterpiece and used for many different purposes in the course of history. First, this place was used as a church and now turns into a museum.
The building is an excellent example of Byzantine architecture. Besides the magnificent dome and four outer towers, the church also has mosaic paintings dating back to the 9th century.
Cathedral of Milan, Italy
Although the original design of this cathedral was published in 1396, it took a long time to the 19th century to complete. Milan is one of Italy’s most famous churches.
Coming here, visitors may likely to take hours to admire the impressive marble façade and intricate sculptures on the outside, then step inside and look at the wonderful radiant colored glass doors.
Subotica Synagogue, Subotica, Serbia
Subotica synagogue is not only prominent about the architecture but also the cultural symbol of the local community. Situated near the borders of Serbia and Hungary, the church was built in 1902 and survived both World War I and II.
The church has undergone many renovations since 2003 to preserve cultural and architectural values.
Notre-Dame de Fourvière, Lyon, France
Notre-Dame de Fourvière is located at the top of a steep hill just outside Lyon’s city center. Entering the church, visitors will find fabulous mosaics and brilliant gold ornaments.
From the outside of the church, travelers also have a chance to observe magnificent views of horizons and the panorama of Lyon. In addition, visitors can also visit the tomb of St. Joseph below the church.
Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, France
The Notre Dame Cathedral represents the classic French Gothic architecture. It inevitably became one of the most sought-after sites of Paris. The beautiful church is located in Île de la Cité, a small island on the Seine River.
When climbing to the top of the church, visitors not only admire the whole city but also look closer at the famous guard animal-shaped stone statue there.
Neue Synagogue, Berlin, Germany
With a capacity of 3,200 people, the Neue Synagogue in Berlin is Germany’s largest Jewish synagogue when it opened in 1886. It is famous for the gold-plated décor.
During the Second World War, the cathedral was heavily damaged and rebuilt in the late 1980s. By 1995, the Neue Synagogue was officially reopened as a church cum museum.
Westminster Abbey, London, England
Not only is this a beautiful Gothic church, Westminster has been the site of many important royal events during the 700 years since its accomplishment.
Most recently, the abbey was wedding venue of the famous couple – Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011. It is the flawless place for those wishing to explore the fascinating history of Britain and the royal family.
Cathedral of Florence, Italy
There is no better place to enjoy the beautiful city of Florence than from the top of the cathedral in the city, often called the Duomo. The church is famous for its pink and green outlook with white marble, as well as the gold-guided door of the Baptist.
Florence Cathedral was initially built in the 13th century on the foundation of another church dating back in the 7th century. Travellers visit the rock cave of the Duomo these days can still see some remnant of the original church.
St. Peter, Vatican City, Italy Church
St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican is the center of the Catholic church and the largest church in the world.
This is not only a masterpiece of architecture but also a place to preserve the great historical artwork. Michelangelo’s “Pietà” sculpture is displayed in St. Peter’s as well as many elaborate ornaments and other works of art.
Cathedral of Siena, Italy
The city of Siena in Tuscany has many excellent buildings including the Cathedral of Siena. The church with the complexly decorated façades was built of marble.
There are thousands of works of art in the inside from floor tiles, mosaics to magnificent murals on the ceiling. Particularly conspicuous things here are the black and white marble pillars representing the iconic municipal colors.
Rijeka Islam Center, Rijeka, Croatiaic
This mosque’s architecture is the combination of historic Ottoman style with modern geometric elements. The interesting point is that the mosque was designed by a sculptor, Dušan Džamonja, rather than a traditional architect.
Džamonja once told the Journal of Islamic Art that his design brought “a brand new meaning to the old theme.”
Church of Wieskirche, Steingaden, Germany
This over-300-year-old oval-shaped church is located on a low hill at the foot of the Alpes. This is a typical example of Rococo Bavarian architecture.
The distinctive style is characterized by the ingenious use of yellow and light combined with sculptures, decorative patterns, and furniture. Each year, the church welcomes more than one million visitors and honorably recognized by Unesco as a World Heritage Site.