Local churches provide a safe haven for their congregation, and some look beautiful, but none of them are in the top 4 most beautiful churches around the world. After months of research, we found four jaw-dropping churches you might have never seen:
#4 Saint Mark’s Basilica (Venice, Italy)
Constructed in 1650, Saint Mark’s Basilica church is considered the most famous in Venice, Italy. We believe it’s the fourth most beautiful church in in the world thanks to a combination of Byzantine, Gothic, and Italian Gothic architecture. When you visit this magnificent church, most of the “to-do” options are free, but there are still areas you have to pay to see. Our favorite is being able to see St. Mark’s tomb.
St. Mark, the patron saint of notaries, wrote the second Gospel. History only takes an educated guess and believes it is some time before 60 A.D. He was a part of the missionary journey to Cyprus along with St. Paul and St. Barnabas (his cousin). He even brought for St. Peter’s teachings to the Romans.
The next time you visit this top 4 most beautiful churches in the world, be sure to go straight to the top. The views of Venice are nothing short of enchanting.
#3 Westminster Abbey (London, England)
Creating a top 4 church list wouldn’t be the same if Westminster Abbey was missing. It is considered one of the biggest landmarks the entire country of England, and one of the most beautiful structures. Built in the 10th century, Westminster Abbey mainly utilized Gothic architecture when it was built. A renovation of the abbey took place around 1245, but lasted an astonishing 200+ years.
In 1539, King Henry VIII changed the status of the abbey to a cathedral. This was due in part to most of the abbeys in England were being destroyed. By turning it into a cathedral, Henry VIII was able to keep Westminster Abbey from crumbling. However, today it is neither a cathedral nor an abbey, but it’s still #3 on our top 4 most beautiful churches in the world.
#2 Hagia Sophia (Istanbul, Turkey)
This Greek Orthodox patriarchal church was built in 537 A.D., and served as a premier church in Turkey for over 900 years. By 1453, the Hagia Sophia was switched over to an Eastern Orthodox cathedral. However, due to wars in the first half of the 13th century, it was even a Roman Catholic Church.
Over the next 475+ years, Hagia Sophia was transformed into a mosque (Muslim place of worship), and continued this practice until 1935 when it became a museum. It is by far one of the most magnificent architectural structures in the world, especially when compared to other churches.
Even though it became a museum, the building is still in existence today. We were going to remove the Hagia Sophia from our top 4 most beautiful churches in the world list, but with such beauty and appeal; we couldn’t resist.
#1 Sagrada Familia (Barcelona, Spain)
The first time you see images or visit the Sagrada Familia, you will be taken-back by its surreal setting. Even though this beautiful church starting being built in 1882, it still isn’t complete today. However, architect Antoni Gaudi’s vision was far more advanced when compared to other church structures.
If the Sagrada Familia ever gets completed, this Roman Catholic Church will still look like its well ahead of its time. Standing 558 feet tall, seeing it in person will be quite overwhelming. Once you get inside, Gaudi’s vision was for us to see three vaults (nave, crossing, and apse) as soon as we entered.
Long story short, once you see this for yourself, it’s easy to understand why it’s our #1 choice of the top 4 most beautiful churches in the world.