The church is a building that has been given a sacred meaning due to the spread of Christianity and Catholicism in Europe. During the Middle Ages, Europe was dotted with churches of all sizes, which were used as a symbol of sanctity and authority, representing the abode of God on earth. Although most churches have collapsed over time and lost their authority, leaving only their religious significance, they are still places to which people aspire, but to which they are strangers. Especially the cathedrals, it is hard to imagine how people could build those magnificent, art-like buildings in the backward environment of the Middle Ages.
If you are also looking forward for a journey like this, schedule your trip now and put it on your NFT project calendar! However, this article will introduce some of the best churches to visit in Europe and around the world.
Notre Dame de Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris, built in 1163 and completed around 1250, is a Catholic church located on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, France, and is the cathedral of the Catholic Archdiocese of Paris. The church, dedicated mainly to St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, is the pinnacle of French Gothic architecture. Its huge stained glass windows and intricate carvings have become important reasons to admire this fine building. In addition to its exquisite exterior design, Notre Dame de Paris also carries an important historical significance. In 1302, King Philip IV of France convened the first National Council of the Three Ranks (a national meeting of the class, nobility and commoners) here. In 1431, Henry VI was crowned King of France.
In addition, the relics of Christ’s crucifixion, including the crown of thorns, the nails of the cross and the fragments of the cross, were kept by Louis IX at Notre Dame de Paris. Later, from the 19th century onward, Napoleon’s coronation and the funerals of many French presidents were held at Notre Dame. The church has seen almost the entire history of France, which has made it the most important religious center and one of the most widely known symbols of the country.
Although in 2019, Notre Dame de Paris was hit by a fire that caused damage to the exterior of the church. However, fortunately the relics were not damaged and the restoration of the church is currently in full swing and is expected to reopen between 2024 and 2025.
Saint Basil’s Cathedral
This is the most representative building in Moscow, and in Russia as a whole, and one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world. It was built in 1555 by the order of Ivan IV, the first tsar in the history of Russia and the master of the Russian Empire, to commemorate the conquest of the Kazan Khanate, and was designed by the architect Postnik Yakovlev. The exterior design of the church is extremely rich and colorful, consisting of nine small chapels with onion-shaped tops, which are easily recognizable from a distance as unique and eye-catching, and look like buildings from fairy tales. On the inside, almost all the walls and the dome are occupied by frescoes.
In addition, the church has a solid structure, with stone walls as thick as 3 meters. As a result, the interior of the cathedral holds a lot of gold and silver jewels of the old nobility. At the time of its construction, the church was not very symmetrical in structure, and because it was built on uneven ground, it was at risk of sinking and even collapsing. For this reason, the Russian government has carried out numerous maintenance works on St. Basil’s Cathedral from the past to the present.
Westminster Abbey, built in 960 AD, was first enlarged in 1045. Located on the north bank of the Thames in London, west of the City of London, this building is one of the oldest and best known churches in the world. It can be described as the largest Gothic building in the world, with its charmingly set stained glass spires. Its main building is the 287-meter-long palace building, which is connected at both ends and in the middle by seven horizontal buildings. In the southwest and northeast corners of the palace, there is a tall tower each, all of which are stone structures. At the top of the tower is Britain’s world-famous Big Ben.
In the past, Westminster Abbey was the seat of the English royal palace, and since 1547 it has been the seat of the English Parliament. Inside the church, the King’s throne still stands. In addition, Westminster Abbey, as the exclusive royal church, is also known as the place where the kings of England were crowned, and those kings who had great influence in the world (George V, Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth, etc. ….) They were all crowned here, and after their deaths, their bodies will also rest here. In addition to the royal family, many influential figures in British history are also buried here, including Dickens, Darwin, Newton, Hawking, Churchill and others.
In addition, due to the all-stone construction of the church, it is very strong. As a result, important archives of the British Parliament, important art collections of the royal family, and historical materials are stored here.
This church, whose name means “divine wisdom” in Latin, was built in 532 AD by order of Justinian I, the Byzantine Emperor. Its huge dome, its long history, its status as a central church of the Orthodox Church, and its status as a monument to the Byzantine Empire era are the main reasons for the church’s fame. And in 1453, after the Ottomans conquered Constantinople, this church had been turned into a mosque and the vessels used by the Orthodox Church were removed, and many Islamic buildings were added. It was not until the establishment of modern Turkey that it was reused as a church. In addition, due to its long history, it is also used as a museum.