20 Incredible Churches In The US

By molly atherton 11 months ago

1. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine

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Content Source: Femanin.comSituated in Manhattan, New York, this cathedral is the largest in the US and the 6th largest in the world by floor area! To be exact, it's 121,000 square feet! St. John the Divine has actually been under construction for over 130 years - and they're not yet finished. The church is home to many kinds of artwork and often hosts events such as concerts and lectures.

2. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

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Situated in Washington D.C, this is the biggest Catholic church in the US, it can hold over 10,000 people! The Basilica is a stunning piece of Byzantine Revival architecture. There are so many intricate details such as the mosaics, dome and high impressive ceilings. This church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, taking 90 years to build, between 1893 to 1983.

3. St. Patrick's Cathedral

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St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York has been used for a number of significant events throughout history. For example, both President John F. Kennedy and Pope John Paul II's funerals were held here. This has been a key tourist destination since it was built in the late 19th century. The Gothic Revival style of architecture includes a huge 330 foot spire.

4. Grace Cathedral

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Right in the middle of San Francisco, Grace Cathedral is perfect for sightseeing, with amazing views of the city. Inside, it features a labyrinth which is a great spot for meditation and reflection. It is also home to the The Interfaith AIDS Memorial Chapel.

5. Washington National Cathedral

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This iconic cathedral is a Gothic Revival masterpiece. Construction has been ongoing for over 100 years! Washington National Cathedral is known for many different memorials. For example, the World War II Memorial, honouring the soldiers who fought in the war.

6. First Baptist Church

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Founded in 1868, the aim was for the church to be both biblical and socially active - they certainly achieved this! First Baptist Church is responsible for a number of food banks, homeless shelters, and after-school programs. Services are known to be lively, with great music and energy. This vibrant church has attracted over 10,000 members. It's been very influential, as a leader in the civil rights movement.

7. Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

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This huge cathedral can hold up to 6,000 people. This beautiful, artsy building was finished in 2002, after being designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo. There are multiple stained glass windows, designed by artist John Nava, and there are stunning pieces of artwork such as paintings, tapestries and sculptures inside.

8. St. Louis Cathedral

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Founded in 1724, St. Louis Cathedral is the oldest in the United States that is still in continuous use. The original building was burnt down in 1728, reconstructed in 1734. Since then, this cathedral has withstood hurricanes, floods, and even a civil war.

9. Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

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Situated in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is the mother church of the Archdiocese. It was built between 1869 and 1886 and has become a hotspot for tourists. The style of Romanesque Revival architecture features impressive stonework.

10. First Presbyterian Church

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This historic church was founded in 1851, making it the oldest Presbyterian church in the city. Mainly, it's known for commitment to social justice and working to promote peace around the world. There is a varied, vibrant worship style, including children's and contemporary services, as well as traditional ones. The church has been involved in work to help he homeless, the poor, and the marginalized.

11. Cathedral of St. Paul

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Found in the heart of Minneapolis, the Cathedral of St. Paul is a key tourist location. Conveniently, it's situated on the Mississippi River, so is within walking distance of other hotspots, such as the Minnesota State Capitol and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

12. Trinity Church

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Trinity Church is home of the famous mural "The Ascension of Christ" by John La Farge, as well as other stunning artwork. This is one of the main reasons that it's so popular with visitors. It was founded in 1733, making it the oldest Episcopal church in the city of Boston.

13. St. Mark's Cathedral

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St. Mark's Cathedral was finished in 1931, designed by architect Ralph Adams Cram. Since then, it has been at the heart of community life. There are numerous events held here, including services, concerts and lectures. It's located right in the middle of Seattle, nearby the Space Needle and the Seattle Public Library.

14. Cathedral of the Madeleine

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Situated in Salt Lake City, this unique church boasts a beautiful Neo-Romanesque design on the outside. However, once you enter inside, the design is far more Neo-Gothic. There are numerous pieces of art inside, the most notable being the mural "The Life of Christ" by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

15. Cathedral of St. Joseph

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Built between 1958 and 1962, this stunning cathedral was designed by Eggers and Higgins of New York City. On the outside, you can see it is made up of limestone, which has been sculpted into a cruciform. Inside, it is highly spacious, with a breathtaking dome.

16. Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

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Located in Savannah, Georgia, this cathedral was the very first in its state to be built using brick. The beautiful church contains a number of different pieces of art work inside. Some examples are a painting of the Last Supper by John La Farge, and a 12-foot-tall statue of St. John the Baptist.

17. Cathedral of the Holy Cross

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The Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston was designed by Patrick Keely, built between 1869 and 1875. It's the biggest Catholic church in New England. The cathedral has a huge spire, which is 215-foot, a cruciform plan and stunning stained glass windows.

18. Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption

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Located in Baltimore, it's no surprise judging by the name that this church is home of the famous mural "The Assumption of the Virgin Mary" by Constantino Brumidi. It's a beautiful, historic building, built between 1806 and 1821. Inside you'll find a number of tapestries and artwork.

19. Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle

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The Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Chicago is a National Historic Landmark, and the largest Catholic church in the Midwest. It is visited by over 1 million people each year. People mainly come to see the beautiful architecture, as it is decorated with marble, stained glass, and mosaics, beautifully designed by Henry Ives Cobb.

20. Cathedral of the Incarnation

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The Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City, New York was built between 1871 and 1885 by the rich merchant, Alexander Turney Stewart. He built the cathedral as a memorial to his wife, Cornelia. It's a must-see for visitors, situated right by the Nassau County Museum of Art and the Garden City Public Library.

21. Cathedral of St. Andrew

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This stunning cathedral has breathtaking views of the ocean and city. It was built in 1876 and was a vital aspect of religious and cultural life in Hawaii. The exterior is a French Gothic style, with a huge pipe organ inside, which has 3,000 pipes!

22. Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

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The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Denver is known for its Gothic Revival style architecture. There are stunning stained glass windows, ribbed vaults and pointed arches. Outside, the church is made of Indiana limestone. The interior is impressive, crafted from marble and wood.

23. Cathedral of St. John the Divine

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This cathedral is the biggest Episcopal church in the US, and the 6th biggest in the world, accommodating up to 5,000 people! People come here to soak up the tranquility of the peaceful atmosphere. It's the ideal spot for reflection, meditation or relaxation.

24. Cathedral of St. Joseph

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The Cathedral of St. Joseph in Omaha, Nebraska is truly an inspiring place to visit. You'll be stunned by the thick stone walls and heavy ornamentation. It is the biggest Catholic church in its state and hosts a number of social events throughout the year.

25. Wayfarers Chapel

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This unique chapel is open to people of all faiths as a mutual place of worship. It's situated on a cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes, California and overlooks the Pacific Ocean and mountains. It's no surprise that this breathtaking location is popular for many special events, including weddings and baptisms. Designed by Lloyd Wright, made of glass, wood, and stone, the design was inspired by the surrounding landscape.

26. Cathedral of St. Paul

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The Cathedral of St. Paul in Buffalo was the first Episcopal cathedral in New York State west of Albany, built between 1849 and 1851. This beautiful, historic building is made from red Medina sandstone, featuring a tall 275 foot spire. There are plays, concerts and other events held here all year round.

27. Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

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This stunning cathedral was opened in 1907, after being designed by Brooklyn architect Patrick Keely. It's located in downtown Charleston, South Carolina and is quite literally steps away from the Battery and the Charleston Museum. It's a must-see if you're in the area.

28. Cathedral of St. Joseph

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Situated in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, St. Joseph Cathedral is the oldest place of worship in the city. It's listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is definitely worth the visit to soak up the incredible architecture. This church even received an award from the U.S. Liturgical Conference.

29. Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains

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The Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains has a proud flourishing and diverse community. It was the first large church west of the Allegheny Mountains. It's dedicated to Saint Peter's imprisonment and liberation, located at 8th and Plum streets in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio.

30. Cathedral of the Sacred Heart

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This cathedral is situated in Newark, New jersey, built on the highest peak in the city, next to Branch Brook Park. It's home to an extremely impressive pipe organ, recognised as one of the best in the world. Built by Schantz Organ Company, it has over 7,000 pipes! The cathedral is the 5th largest in North America.

31. Here's some more beautiful churches from around the world: Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain

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This has to be one of the most famous churches in the world, and it's also famous for being unfinished! It's an ongoing project after the architect died before it could be completed, but it's expected to be finished in the next few years. That doesn't mean it isn't beautiful in the meantime, though!

32. Notre-Dame de Paris, France

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This beautiful medieval cathedral boasts rose windows and a huge vaulted ceiling - and, of course, home to the Hunchback for Disney fans. There was a tragic fire at the cathedral a few years ago when the roof caught fire, and it's currently in the process of being restored.

33. Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy

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This is one of the most iconic pieces of architecture on the Florence skyline, and it took around 140 years to complete. Also known as the Florence Duomo, it's exterior shows off different colored marble with a recognisable orange brick domed roof. It's an important piece of the region's Renaissance history.

34. St. John's Co-Cathedral, Valleta, Malta

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This Christian cathedral in Malta is even more stunning on the inside than it is on the outside. Originally a 16th century cathedral, it was renovated in the 17th century, and now shows off Baroque style decor, marble, gold and frescos. It also has two famous Caravaggio paintings inside.

35. St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow, Russia

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This incredibly colorful cathedral is also one of the most famous buildings in the world, though you might not have known it was a place of worship. It was an important building within Russian Orthodox worship until it was confiscated during the Soviet Union's anti-theist campaign and is now no longer in use officially.

36. St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

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This is actually the largest church in the world, and it's the central point of the Catholic faith. It's also an important pilgrimage destination because it's said that St. Peter himself - an apostle of Christ - is buried there. You can also take in the beautiful sight outside of St. Peter's Square.

37. Duomo di Milano, Milan, Italy

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This church is actually the largest in the whole of Italy. The architecture of this magnificent building is Gothic, with its sprawling spires, which actually took nearly 600 years to get finished. While it's the largest church in Italy, it's also the third largest church in the whole world!

38. St Stephen's Basilica, Budapest, Hungary

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This incredible basilica stands in the very center of the city, so it's a must-see for a weekend city break! St. Stephen is the patron saint of Hungary, and surprisingly, the cathedral isn't that old, as it was completed in 1905. Inside, you can find a gilded altar.

39. Catedral Basilica Del Pilar, Zaragoza, Spain

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It's believed this church is the very first dedicated to the Virgin Mary herself. The story goes that she appeared to St. James in this located and asked him to build her a church. The cathedral combines the regional Mudejar style on the outside, while it boasts a Baroque style on the inside.

40. Kolner Dom, Cologne, Germany

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The most popular landmark for tourists to visit in Germany is actually this cathedral in Cologne. It is a world heritage site that is also the tallest cathedral in the world! So you'll probably strain your neck taking a look at the interior of this incredible building, and don't forget to look at the towering spires outside!

41. Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

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Alongside the most beautiful cathedrals and churches in the world, this stunning building is the only one to have been used as a mosque. While a lot of Christian elements can still be found in it, it hasn't been used as a Christian church in over 500 years. It's now a museum, perfect for your bucket list!

42. St. Stephen's Cathedral, Vienna, Austria

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This amazing Gothic cathedral is found in the center of Vienna, Austria. The colored tiled roof is absolutely stunning, and something you definitely can't miss in the distance if you're looking where to find it! The tiles offer something completely unique to the rest of the buildings around it.

43. Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik, Iceland

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Offering something a little different in terms of design, this cathedral is beautiful in its own right when you consider its completely modern and simplistic design compared to traditional churches. It's said the design for this church was inspired by Iceland's landscape.

44. St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague, Czechia

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Prague is a beautiful city for stunning architecture, and nothing more so than this cathedral, formed of Gothic architecture. The outside offers you view of the stunning design, while the inside you can see the stained glass windows in all their splendour!

45. Chapel of the Holy Cross, Arizona, USA

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You might be surprised to learn there is actually a church stuck in the middle of the Arizona desert, but there is - and it's worth a visit. This modern church fits in perfectly with the red rock cliffs surrounding it, with an angular and simplistic design you definitely need to see!

46. St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sofia, Bulgaria

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This cathedral has an eye-catching Neo-Byzantine style, including domed roofs plated in gold - which are going to look stunning when the sun catches them! - and this building is one of the most prized in Bulgaria. It's one of the biggest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in the world.

47. Westminster Abbey, London, UK

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Westminster Abbey is not only a church with beautiful architecture, but it's one to visit if you're a fan of kings and queens of history. This landmark is the place for royal weddings and coronations, and the Gothic masterpiece also has a history relating to literature, with poets and writers like Dickens being buried here.

48. Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey, France

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This stunning abbey looks like something out of a fairytale, and it's something instantly recognisable even from a distance. The abbey is found on an island that's just off the coast of France, and it's design and architecture will throw you back to the Middle Ages once you step inside.

49. Borgund Stave Church, Borgund, Norway

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You might be surprised to see a wooden church compared to all these marvels of stone and glass architecture, but this unassuming church found in Norway is a medieval marvel that's even more special simply because it's made out of wood! It has some unique design aspects, including four dragon heads carved into it.

50. Cathedral of Brasilia, Brazil

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Looking at this church in Brazil you might feel like you're in the middle of a very luxury resort with a pool and spa. This extremely modern cathedral shows off very unique blue tiling that casts a glow on the white interior, while there are also three angel sculptures suspended in the air!