Are you wondering about the biggest churches in the world? A church’s size can be determined using a variety of criteria. Area, volume, length, width, height, and capacity are examples of such measurements. Several churches claim to be “the largest church,” which could be due to any of these criteria.
This list includes existing churches with a known area of more than 2,000 square meters (22,000 sq ft). Entries are included even if they are not currently in use as a church. The Hagia Sophia, for example, is included; it was originally built as a church but was later converted into a mosque. Churches are not included if no reliable sources for their stated sizes are available.
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Top 10 Biggest Churches In The World
1. St Peter Basilica, Vatican City
The largest church in the world is St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, which measures 15160 square meters.
St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City is the world’s largest cathedral. It is 186 meters long and has an internal area of 15160 square meters. The cathedral’s magnificent central dome rises to 136 meters in height. The most important church in Roman Catholicism is St. Peter’s Basilica. The massive cathedral can hold up to 20000 prayers at once.
Emperor Constantine built the original cathedral in 320 AD. Pope Nicolas V redesigned and expanded it in the 15th century. The 41-meter-high dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral was designed by Michelangelo, a great Italian artist.
The top level of the colonnade houses 140 statues of saints. The sculpting of the statues began in 1662 and continued for the next 41 years. St. Peter’s Basilica contains 100 tombs, including those of popes, Roman Emperor Otto II, and Swedish Queen Christina. In addition, there is a holy door in the cathedral that is only open during holy years.
2. Basilica of Our Lady of Apericida: National Shrine, Aparecida, Brazil, 12000 square meters
With a floor area of 12000 square meters, the Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida is the world’s second-largest church. It is located in the city of Aparecida and is the most important Marian pilgrimage center in Brazil. The large church has a capacity of 45000 worshipers.
According to legend, a group of fishermen caught a headless statue of the Virgin Mary while fishing in the Paraiba River in 1717. On another cast of the nets, they haul up the statue’s head. They brought the Virgin Mary sculpture to their house. In 1945, they housed the sculpture in the shrine.
The statue is thought to have been sculpted by a Brazilian monk named Frei Agostino de Jesus. Between 1834 and 1888, a new church was built on the site of the old shrine. The cathedral as it stands today was built in the twentieth century.
The church’s towers reach 102 meters in height, and its dome is 70 meters in height.
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3. Seville cathedral Spain; 11520 square meters, Seville, Spain
The Seville Cathedral in Seville, Spain, is the world’s largest cathedral. The cathedral’s interior space is 11520 square meters. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Spain and the world’s third-largest church. Christopher Columbus, the great Genoese explorer, is also buried in the cathedral.
The cathedral was built to commemorate the city’s power and wealth. The cathedral was built between 1402 and 1528 on the site of the Almohad mosque to commemorate the city’s power following the Reconquista of Iberia from the Moors. Rouen Cathedral, a French architect, designed the massive cathedral.
The central nave of Seville Cathedral is 42 meters tall. The vast interior is lavishly decorated in gold. The cathedral’s 45 wooden carved scenes are a major draw.
4. Milan Cathedral Italy; 10186 square meters, Milan, Italy
Milan Cathedral, located in Milan, Italy, is the world’s second-largest Catholic cathedral. It is also one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in the world. The church has a total of 135 spires. The spires are also crowned with statues of important people in Italian history.
The tallest spire of the Milan Cathedral is 108.8 meters tall. A golden statue of the Virgin Mary is also mounted on the spire (Milan the Madonnia).
The construction of the Milan Cathedral began in 1386 and continued for the next five centuries. The massive cathedral is 157 meters long and can hold 40000 worshipers at once. 3400 magnificent statues adorn the cathedral.
5. Cathedral Of Saint John The Divine, 11200 square meters, New York, United States
The cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City is the world’s largest Anglican cathedral. The massive cathedral spans 183.2 meters in length and has an internal area of 112000 square meters. The cathedral’s construction began in 1892.
It was created by two well-known American architects, George Heins and Christopher Grant Lafarge. The cathedral’s choir and domed vault were built over a period of more than 20 years. Following George Heins’ death, new architects chose the Gothic design for the cathedral.
During World War II, construction was halted for many years. A portion of the cathedral was also destroyed by fire in 2001, and restoration work has yet to be completed.
6. Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen, Konin, Poland;10090 square meters.
The Basilica of Our Lady of Lichen is one of the world’s largest churches, with a ground area of 10090 square meters and a height of 141.2 meters. This magnificent church can be found in the Polish city of Konin. The church’s construction began in 1994 and took ten years to complete.
33 steps lead to the church, which represents Jesus Christ’s early life. This church also has 365 windows, 52 doors, and 12 columns, which represent the number of days and weeks in a year, as well as the 12 Apostles.
7. Liverpool Cathedral; Liverpool, United Kingdom, 9687 square meters.
The Liverpool Cathedral is the largest cathedral in the United Kingdom, with an internal area of 9687 square kilometers. Liverpool Cathedral is also the world’s longest cathedral, measuring over 189 meters in length. It is a non-spired church that stands 101 meters tall.
The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King is another name for the large cathedral. The construction of Liverpool Cathedral began in 1904 and was completed in stages throughout its history. The cathedral in Liverpool was finally dedicated in 1978.
The main altar is arranged in a circular pattern inside the church. The interior is also brightly colored. The Grand Organ of Liverpool Church, with 10268 pipes, is the world’s largest operational church organ. Another notable feature of this cathedral is its 67-meter-high peak, which houses the world’s heaviest and highest peal.
8. Holy Trinity Church, Santarem, Portugal, 8700 square meters
The Holy Trinity Church is Portugal’s largest church. It is situated in Portugal’s Santarem district. This church has an 8700 square meter internal area and a modern oval design. The large church has a capacity of 9000 worshipers at any given time.
The church is named after the Virgin Mary. Alexandros Tombazis, a Greek architect, designed it between 2004 and 2007. There are also several chapels and 44 confessionals in this church.
9. El Pilar Basilica, Spain
The El Pilar basilica in Spain’s Argon community was the first church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. According to popular belief, the Virgin Mary appeared to Apostle Saint James while he was praying on the banks of the Ebro River in Spain’s Iberian Peninsula.
The Virgin Mary presented a wooden statue of herself and a pillar. She then told him to build a church. Saint James, on her advice, built a small church in the province of Zaragoza in the first century A.D.
Several churches were added to the site over the centuries. That time also distorted the first chapel on the site. However, the Virgin Mary statue and the pillar have not been damaged. The current model of the El Pilar basilica was constructed in the 17th century.
A century after it was renovated by Spanish architect Ventura Rodriguez. The church’s final pillar works were completed in the twentieth century.
The internal area of this large church is 8318 square meters. The church has four impressive towers and eleven cupolas. The 15-inch-tall Virgin Mary statue is housed in the church’s holy chapel. Today, El Pilar Cathedral is one of Spain’s most popular pilgrimage sites. It is also one of the biggest churches in the world.
10. Ulm Minster Church, Germany, 8260 square meters
The tallest church in the world is the high Ulm minster in Ulm, Germany, which stands at 161.5 meters. The internal area of this church is 8260 square meters. It is also a fine example of Gothic church architecture. The church’s roof is reached via 768 steps. The church’s top-level provides a spectacular panoramic view of Ulm.
The construction of this church began in 1377 and was put on hold for a long time. It was finally finished on May 31, 1890. It is now a protestant church, having been converted in the 16th century. The church’s tall spires represent the path to heaven.
The most notable features of Ulm Minster are the 15th-century oak choir stalls and the carvings of hundreds of busts. Jirg Syrin the Elder, a well-known German sculptor, created the stalls. The main hall is also crowned with a statue of a sparrow, Ulm’s signature symbol.