The term ‘Church’ refers to a place of worship and religious activities used by the Christians. If you look at the building plans of traditional churches you will notice that they are made into the shape of a cross; the long vertical part is represented by the aisle whereas the junction of the cross is marked by the altar. Other features of a church include domes and towers which are added to remind the visitors of heaven. In this list of the Top 10 Biggest Churches in the World, you will often come across the words ‘Basilica’ and ‘Cathedral’ thus, it is only appropriate to explain these words. In this case, the term ‘Basilica’ refers to a large and important church which has been given ceremonial rights by the Pope. A cathedral has the seat of the bishop and informally refers to a large church but technically it can also apply to small churches. Here is the list of top 10 biggest churches in the world. The information about world’s biggest churches is given in a descending order.
10. Cathedral of Saint Sava (Serbia)
Cathedral of Saint Sava is not only the largest Serbian Orthodox Church but also one of the top ten largest churches in the World. It is certainly a monumental building with a 70 meters high central dome, making it one of the prominent features of the Belgrade skyline. Its domes, including the central dome, have 19 gold plated crosses in total. This church was completed in 1989 and marks the burial place of Saint Sava. It has a capacity to hold around 10,000 people. Its total area is 8162 square meters. Although it is not technically a cathedral since it does not hold the seat of a bishop, it is known as one due to its great size and importance when translated to English. In Serbian it is called temple and it is largest church building in Serbia.
9. Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar (Spain)
Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar is a magnificent catholic church located in Zaragoza, Aragon (Spain). It is said to be the first church ever to be dedicated to Mary. Its architectural style is Baroque. You must see it from all the angles to take in its beauty. Its view, especially from across the river Ebro, is breath taking. Its total area is 8318 square meters.
8. Church of the Most Holy Trinity (Portugal)
The Church of the Most Holy Trinity is a Roman Catholic Church located in Fátima, Portugal, completed in 2007. This church, dedicated to the Most Holy Trinity, is built completely from donations. It has a total area of 8700 square meters and can hold around 9000 people. The church is decorated with art inspired by Byzantine and orthodox art and made by various internationally renowned artists. Ir is world’s 8th biggest church in the world.
7. Liverpool Cathedral (United Kingdom)
The Liverpool Cathedral is not only the 7th largest church in the World but also it is the 2nd longest church in the World (189 m). It is the Church of England cathedral housing the seat of the Bishop of Liverpool, built between the years 1904-78. It has one tower which is 100.8 meters high. Its bell tower is one of the tallest in the World (67 meters) with the heaviest ringing peal. Its architectural style is Gothic revival. It is a beautiful building with a total area of 9687 square meters.
6. Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń (Poland)
Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń is a Roman Catholic Church built between 1994 and 2004. It is not only Poland’s largest church but also the World’s 6th largest church. It is dedicated to the Queen of Poland (Our Lady of Sorrows). This splendid building has a 98 meters high central dome and a 141.5 meters tall tower. Its 65 meters tall bell tower houses Poland’s largest while Europe’s 3rd largest bell. This church has 365 windows (symbolizing the days in a year) and 52 doors (symbolizing the weeks in a year). Also, it has 12 columns, symbolizing the 12 apostles. Its total area is 10,090 square meters.
5. Milan Cathedral (Italy)
Milan Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church, largest in Italy and the World’s 5th largest church. It houses the seat of the Archbishop of Milan. Its ground breaking goes as far back as the year 1386, taking almost six centuries for it to get complete. Completed in 1965, it turned out to be a magnificent church with a gothic architectural style. It is dedicated to Saint Mary Nascent. It has a 65.5 meters high dome and 135 spires (108.5 meters high). It has a capacity to hold around 40,000 people and has a total area of 10,186 square meters.
4. Cathedral of Saint John the Divine (United States)
The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine is located in New York and is nicknamed as ‘St. John the Unfinished’. The reason for its nick name being that its ground breaking took place in 1892 but it still remains incomplete. Its architectural style is Romanesque and Gothic revival. It has a total area of 11,200 square meters. It becomes the largest church in United States of America.
3. Seville Cathedral (Spain)
The Seville Cathedral (the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See) is a Roman Catholic Church, completed in the early 16th century. It is a magnificent building and the largest Gothic cathedral in the World. In 1987, UNESCO registered this church as a World Heritage Site. Also, Christopher Columbus is buried here. Its total area is 11,520 square meters.
2. Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida (Brazil)
Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida is a Roman Catholic Church located in Aparecida and dedicated to Our Lady of Aparecida. It is one of the well-known pilgrimage sites for the Marian pilgrims. It has a 229 feet high dome. Its total area is 12,000 square meters which has the capacity of holding 45,000-70,000 people.
1. St. Peter’s Basilica (Rome)
Located on the Vatican Hill, Saint Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the World. It is also one of the holiest churches in the Christian tradition. Its location is symbolic since it marks the place where the first Pope and one of the twelve apostles of Jesus, Saint Peter died. It is also a well known place for pilgrimage. It is a Roman Catholic Church spread over an area of more than 5 acres (20,139 square meters). Completed in 1626, its architectural style is Renaissance and Baroque. It has a dome with 137.7 feet outer diameter.