Largest Churches in the World

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Largest Churches in the World

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Largest Churches in the World
Infographic showing Largest Churches in the World

The world is dotted with amazing churches. Some of these are known for their fabulous architecture, while others for their ancient origins. For generations, churches have played vital roles in communities worldwide. In this article, we will learn about the largest church in the world, where it is, some of the interesting facts, and the list of the largest churches in the world.

Largest Church in the World

St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world. One of the most prominent churches in Roman Catholicism, the internal area of the cathedral covers an area of 15,160 square meters and can hold more than 60,000 people. The church’s origin dates back to the Roman Times.

Built by the Roman Emperor Constantine in 320 AD, the Cathedral has undergone many changes over the years. Redesigned and enlarged by Pope Nicolas V during the 15th century, Michelangelo, too, added elegance to it by designing the cathedral’s dome. The basilica is considered a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, representing many centuries of art and spiritual history.

Where is St Peter’s Basilica?

St. Peter’s Basilica is in Vatican City, an independent city-state surrounded by Rome, Italy. Vatican City is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope’s residence. It is one of the holiest sites in Christianity and a major tourist destination.

Interesting Facts

  • It took more than 120 years to build the basilica. They started in 1506 and finished in 1626. Many famous architects like Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, worked on it.
  • The basilica was constructed on the place where Saint Peter, one of Jesus Christ’s apostles and the first Pope, was traditionally buried. His tomb is under the main altar.
  • The Swiss Guards, who wear bright uniforms from the Renaissance period, are in charge of keeping the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica safe. They’ve been guarding the Pope since 1506.
  • One way to enter the basilica is through the Holy Door. It’s only opened during special Jubilee years, which happens about every 25 years. Pilgrims who go through it can receive a special kind of forgiveness called a plenary indulgence.

List of Top 20 Largest Churches in the World

  1. St. Peter’s Basilica – Vatican City: 15,160 square meters.
  2. Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida – Aparecida, Brazil: 12,000 square meters.
  3. Milan Cathedral – Milan, Italy: 11,700 square meters.
  4. Seville Cathedral – Seville, Spain: 11,520 square meters.
  5. Cathedral of Saint John the Divine – New York City, USA: 11,200 square meters.
  6. Basilica of Our Lady of Peace – Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast: 8,000 square meters.
  7. Liverpool Cathedral – Liverpool, England: 9,687 square meters.
  8. Church of the Most Holy Trinity – Fátima, Portugal: 8,700 square meters.
  9. Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls – Rome, Italy: 8,515 square meters.
  10. Ulm Minster – Ulm, Germany: 8,260 square meters.
  11. Cathedral of Our Lady – Antwerp, Belgium: 8,000 square meters.
  12. Basilica of the Holy Trinity – Santarém, Portugal: 7,670 square meters.
  13. Cathedral of St. Sava – Belgrade, Serbia: 7,680 square meters.
  14. Church of Saint Sava – Belgrade, Serbia: 7,500 square meters.
  15. Florence Cathedral – Florence, Italy: 8,300 square meters.
  16. Church of the Holy Sepulchre – Jerusalem: 8,000 square meters.
  17. Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen – Licheń Stary, Poland: 10,090 square meters.
  18. Basilica of the Sacred Heart – Paris, France: 7,500 square meters.
  19. Washington National Cathedral – Washington, D.C., USA: 7,712 square meters.
  20. Sagrada Familia – Barcelona, Spain: 4,500 square meters (expected to be much larger upon completion).

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