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Although religion is playing a less prominent role in European civilization nowadays, churches, mosques, synagogues, cathedrals and basilicas still play a very important role in the city landscapes of most European cities, and tourism as a result of that.

Erik, the Europeish editor with the most spare time, got the assignment to select the most beautiful religious buildings in Europe. As Erik also has a difficult time making choices, the result is a list with 79 impressive (Wieskirche), unusually located (Santuario di San Besso, Meteora), or uniquely designed (Hallgrimur, Chiesa di Dio Padre Misericordioso) churches.

1. St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow (Russia)

Moskou - Basilius cathedral

Moskou - Basilius cathedral interior

2. Sagrada Familia, Barcelona (Spain)

Barcelona - Sagrada Familia

Barcelona - Sagrada Familia interior

3. Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (Turkey)

Istanbul - Hagia Sophia

Istanbul - Hagia Sophia interior

4. Kölner Dom, Cologne (Germany)

Keulen Dom

5. Catedral de Santa Maria de la Sede, Sevilla (Spain)

Sevilla - Catedral de Santa Maria de la Sede

6. Borgund stavkirke, Borgund (Norway)

Borgund Stavkirke

7. Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence (Italy)

Florence - Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore

8. St. Sava Cathedral, Belgrade (Serbia)

Belgrado St Sava Cathedral

9. Winchester Cathedral, Winchester (England)

Winchester Cathedral

10. Notre Dame, Paris (France)

Paris - Notre Dame

11. Duomo, Milan (Italy)

Milaan - Dom

12. Pechersk Lavra, Kiev (Ukraine)

Kiev - Perchersk Lavra

13. Basilica di San Marco, Venice (Italy)

Venice - Basilica di San Marco

14. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna (Austria)

Vienna - St Stephans Cathedral

15. Chartres Cathedral, Chartres (France)

Chartres Cathedral

16. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn (Estonia)

Tallinn - Alexander Nevsky

17. Notre-Dame of Amiens, Amiens (France)

Amiens Cathedral

18. Cadiz Cathedral, Cadiz (Spain)

Cadiz Cathedral

19. St. Stephen’s Basilica, Budapest (Hungary)

Budapest - St Stephans Cathedral

20. Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp (Belgium)

Antwerpen - Church of our Lady

21. Basilica di Sant’Antonio, Padova (Italy)

Padova - Basilica di Sant’Antonio

22. Bruges Cathedral, Bruges (Belgium)

Bruges Cathedral

23. Hallgrimskirkja, Reykjavik (Iceland)

Reykjavik Hallgrimskirkja

24. Notre-Dame de l’Immaculée-Conception, Lourdes (France)

Lourdes Cathedral

25. Basilica di San Pietro, Vatican City

Rome - Basilica di San Pietro

26. St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral, Brussels (Belgium)

Brussels Cathedral

27. Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi, Assisi (Italy)

Assisi Cathedral

28. Saint Bavo Cathedral, Ghent (Belgium)

Gent - St Bavo

29. Duomo Santa Maria, Pisa (Italy)

Pisa Duomo

30. Münster Unserer Lieben Frau, Freiburg (Germany)

Freiburg Munster

31. Nagy Zsinagóga, Budapest (Hungary)

32. Speyer Dom, Speyer (Germany)

33. Catedral de Santa Eulàlia, Barcelona (Spain)

34. Santa María la Real de La Almudena, Madrid (Spain)

35. St Paul’s Cathedral, London (England)

36. Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow (Russia)

37. St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague (Czech Republic)

38. Echmiatsin Cathedral, Echmiatsin (Armenia)

39. Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, Mtscheta (Georgia)

40. Cathédrale Notre-Dame-Immaculée, Monaco (Monaco)

41. Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, Saint Petersburg (Russia)

42. Oudenbosch Basilica, Oudenbosch (The Netherlands)

43. Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp (France)

44. Saint John’s Cathedral, Den Bosch (The Netherlands)

45. Beauvais Cathedral, Beauvais (France)

46. Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Metz, Metz (France)

47. St. Andrew’s Church, Kiev (Ukraine)

48. Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire (England)

49. Ulm Cathedral, Ulm (Germany)

50. Temppeliaukion Kirkko, Helsinki (Finland)

51. Utrecht Cathedral, Utrecht (The Netherlands)

52. Riga Cathedral, Riga (Latvia)

53. Santuario di San Besso, Ronco Canavese (Italy)

54. Basilica of Sts. Stanisław and Vaclav, Kraków (Poland)

55. Westminster Abbey, London (England)

56. Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre, Paris (France)

57. Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Lisbon (Portugal)

58. Aglona Basilica, Aglona (Latvia)

59. Meteora, Kalambaka (Greece)

60. Le Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy (France)

61. Chiesa di Dio Padre Misericordioso, Rome (Italy)

62. Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, Liverpool (England)

63. Catedral de León, León (Spain)

64. Taidekappeli, Turku (Finland)

65. Wieskirche, Wies (Germany)

66. Durham Cathedral, Durham (England)

67. St. Stephan’s Church, Istanbul (Turkey)

68. St. Mark’s Church, Belgrade (Serbia)

69. Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim (Norway)

70. Burgos Cathedral, Burgos (Spain)

71. St. Bavochurch, Haarlem (The Netherlands)

72. Bremilham church, Malmesbury (England)

73. Saint Sophia Cathedral, Kiev (Ukraine)

74. Sveti Jovan Kaneo, Ohrid (Macedonia)

75. Stavanger domkirke, Stavanger (Norway)

76. Kizhi Pogost, Kizhi (Russia)

77. Esztergomi Bazilika, Esztergom (Hungary)

78. Asamkirche, Munich (Germany)

79. Graun Tower, Lago di Resia (Italy)

Image sources: 1-25: Shutterstock.com, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 79.

We probably missed at least a few wonderful churches, basilicas, cathedrals, mosques or synagogues. Feel free to share your favorite religious building in the comments, and maybe we’ll add it to the list!

Category: Buildings | Europe

62 comments on "The 79 Most Beautiful European Churches";

  1. Reply Ben Cook 14.12.2010 Now *that* is what I call a collection of church photos. Bravo :)
  2. Reply Matteo 14.12.2010 excuse me, reschensee, or Lago di Resia is not located in Austria, but in Italy!!!
  3. Reply Europeish 14.12.2010 @Matteo: thanks for pointing that out! We have updated the post with the appropriate location.
  4. Reply Europeish 15.12.2010 Thank you Christian Today for suggesting the Asamkirche, which is now listed at #78!
  5. Reply Lloyd Westgard 21.12.2010 Amazing photos...
  6. Reply Darko 26.12.2010 Have a look at this one, St. Clement & St. Panteleimon church: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plao%C5%A1nik
  7. Reply nottellingmyname 01.03.2011 OMG some of the churches are beautafull ! and some not but some are not rated right ! some are ugly and the beautafull but rated tooooo low i mean come on !
  8. Reply cfaa 15.03.2011 how did you possibly create a list of the most beautiful churches in europe and not include ONE from ireland?
  9. Reply required 22.03.2011 Hagia Sophia is a museum - not a church nor a Mosque.
  10. Reply MIKE WALLACE 04.05.2011 OH MY GOD... I'd like to thank the creator of this web site for taking the time to compile this beautiful collection
  11. Reply sinafa 27.06.2011 So beautifull collection indeed but I think you can add the Cathedral of Vilnius in Lithuania. Part of the UNESCO patrimony... I visited it last year it's just gorgeous ! :)
  12. Reply Jacques CLEMENT 08.07.2011 I have visited around 200 cathedrals in Europe; You made an outstanding work there but some huge cathedrals are missing as Strasbourg, Albi, Bourges, Reims in France all UNESCO CLASSIFIED and Rouen or Toledo and perhaps the most beautiful of all: the Mezquita of Cordoba in Spain! There are many wonders also in germany as Regensburg (Ratisbonne), in Italy as Siena and Orvieto or the major basilicas of christianity in Roma (San Juan Laterano, Santa Maria Maggiore and San Paolo extra muros....only to list some huge ones! Jacques
  13. Reply Raúl 26.08.2011 I think you should have a look to the York Minster, just amazing!
  14. Reply Raúl 26.08.2011 Ah! I forgot it! You can't leave Santiago de Compostela behind!
  15. Reply DoozieWD 28.10.2011 Some really good ones, although your missing the best of all and historic story... Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal. The New church they built on the grounds is nice but very modern. If you read up on the history on the original church and what happened with the 3 kids is pretty remarkable. Being there is COMPLETELY breath taking, you literally feel the religious calm atmosphere Take care
  16. Reply Sanja 01.11.2011 St. George′s Church (crkva Svetog Djordja)Topola, Serbia should be in this list. Great list!
  17. Reply Tauraus Reed 17.12.2011 no Rosslyn Chapel...how?
  18. Reply Jonathan 18.01.2012 Stunning compilation! Only one thing I can't get over: the fact that Rheims Cathedral is missing. Other than that: simply awesome.
  19. Reply Pedro 16.02.2012 unbelievably beautiful churches. hard to believe men built such beautiful creations. no one builds anything such as this anymore. its why so many tourists still visit the old structures, no beauty today anymore, just ugly condos and artificial buildings. its is tragedy of modern age.
  20. Reply Agnes Bezzina 11.04.2012 St John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta, built by the Knights of St John in the 16th Century is undoubtedly one of the finest baroque churches in Europe. Definitely suggest this addition ... See website for more details ... http://stjohnscocathedral.com/
  21. Reply What I know to be true « Art Teach Travel 22.04.2012 [...] items we see in our travels are artworks. All that we enjoy as tourists, such as palace and cathedral architecture, historical bridges and walls, woven fabrics, rugs and tapestries, marble sculpture [...]
  22. Reply luis 27.06.2012 I think Saint Jame's Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela (Spain) is a must. It's so beautiful and quite important in the european history.
  23. Reply Josephine 20.08.2012 This is awesome!!! I mean to watch or see the most popular and beautiful churches around europe..Amazingly beautiful…
  24. Reply mauro 27.08.2012 Nice photos indeed.. though, with all due respects, I think n.53 and n.79 shouldn't stand among the others; considering how many European Jewels are still missing in this list. Mauro, Ferrara -Italia
  25. Reply mauro 28.08.2012 BTW: Just in case someone is interested to insert it.. here a photo of San Petronio Basilica that's facing Piazza Maggiore in Bologna down-town (Italy) http://www.bulgnais.com/pmaggiore_01_small.jpg or http://www.bulgnais.com/images/pmaggiore_01.jpg
  26. Reply Artemisia 02.09.2012 Marvellous! Where will I ever find the time to visit them all? An extensive collection but even if you doubled it I doubt the list would be complete. Some of the lovliest churches are smallish (compared to St Peter's, Rome), and are mostly tucked away in places not usually reached by the descent of the touristy hordes: what about beautiful Trani Cathedral in Puglia, Italy: blindingly white at midday on a summer's day against the turquoise sea just beyond it, the enigmatic Basilica di Collemaggio, L'Aquila, Italy with its rose and cream stone facade like a pillow lace design, a Templar banner put up long after the Templars were gone...? And York Minster, Yorkshire,UK? Burgos Cathedral, Spain where El Cid campeador, Ruy Diaz de Vivar and his wife Ximena lie buried...? Not intended as criticism, only suggestions for our greatest churches hunters. Last but not least, many compliments for the lovely photos, that have the power to take us where we cannot go.
  27. Reply aa 08.09.2012 no Romanian monasteries, you can't call this the most beautiful churches without romanian ones
  28. Reply England 10.10.2012 I travelled in serbia last year, i think that you need to put more serbian cathedrals here, like Gracanica, Visoki Decani, Holly Virgin of Ljevis, Studenica or Pecka Patrijarsija.
  29. Reply Clint Spiteri 30.11.2012 What about St.John's Co Cathedral in Valletta, Malta? http://stjohnscocathedral.com/
  30. Reply Sacré-Coeur: The Heart of Paris | Travel in Paris 10.01.2013 [...] proves that the French are not only masters of wine and cancan, they are the masters of one of the most breathtaking basilicas of Europe too. Sights La Basilique du Sacré-Coeur, the Basilica of the Sacred [...]
  31. Reply peter 08.02.2013 One should consider the interior of Notre dame Cathedral in Montreal! http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8159/6977424908_7e086f9bfd_z.jpg
  32. Reply peter 08.02.2013 sorry, the list was for european churches....... disregard my earlier post
  33. Reply Ivo 19.06.2013 What about Bulgaria? There are maybe 3-4 that should be on this list
  34. Reply Raymond Anthony 21.06.2013 How can you miss the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Same thing for the Mesquita of Cordoba.
  35. Reply david 06.07.2013 i like the Bogrund Stave Church in Norway...Take yourself back to the time of the Vikings in Northern Europe. Giant men wearing fur coats, wielding huge axes with ruthless warfare tactics. If you can believe that these men were actually religious and spent time going to church, the Bogrund Stave Church is where they would go. Located in the heart of Norway, this ancient, wooden church is truly something out of this world.
  36. Reply Peter Sollie 31.07.2013 You might never have seen the Tromsdalen kirke (Ishavskatedralen) in Tromsø Norway. Its the most beautiful modern church built after second world war.
  37. Reply Jakub 30.09.2013 What about Slovakia? Check the Cathedral of the Saint Martin in Bratislava and Cathedral of the Saint Elizabeth in Košice!
  38. Reply David 30.10.2013 I'm unpleasantly surprised that the Alexander Nevski cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria is not on this list... Shame on u
  39. Reply erikur 02.12.2013 What about the old church of uppsala in sweden or the blue mosque in istanbul,turkey?
  40. Reply Silwer 17.04.2014 There´s no church from Romania? The fact that you have not put in your list monasteries like Stravopolous in Bucharest or the in Curtea de Arges is a disgrace for humanity.
  41. Reply Anahit 19.04.2014 Do you know that 38th church,that of the Armenian Ejmiatsin church, is the first official Christian church,established in 301AD
  42. Reply tp 30.04.2014 Nonsense. Not a single English cathedral...
  43. Reply mohan mulchandani 29.06.2014 I like structure of churches many places i have no money to see go there but i saw on internet its very good and peacefull i liked very much if im become millonare i will see all churches go there so please bless for me
  44. Reply harendra 29.06.2014 amazing awesome beautiful pic of churches......:)
  45. Reply Blagovesta 27.08.2014 Excuse me, but what about Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sofia, Bulgaria?
  46. Reply Kone 01.10.2014 I recently visited the Primate Cathedral of St Mary of Toledo, a beautiful church inside and out, and I think certainly worthy of a feature on this list.
  47. Reply Earl White 06.10.2014 I did not see The Church of Our Savior on the Spilled Blood in St Petersburg, Russia.
  48. Reply LP 09.10.2014 I wonder why the Church of Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg was not included in the list. It's magnificent!
  49. Reply cbcbbccbcb 19.01.2015 What? And Trinitarian Church of Bratislava? or Church and Convent of St. Elisabeth in Bratislava or rather to find out how beautiful is that convent, Kostol a Kastiel Svätej Alžbety !!!! One of these two has to be there or atleats Blumenthal Church
  50. Reply Thetis 28.01.2015 #47 is mislabelled. It is not St. Andrew's Church in Kiev; it is The Junilee Church in Rome!
    • Reply Erik Lammers 09.02.2015 Actually, no - the Jubilee Church (or Chiesa di Dio Padre Misericordioso) is listed at #61 ;)
  51. Reply Jenny 02.02.2015 One of the most beautiful churches in Germany and in my opinion in all of Europe is the Aachen Cathedral. It's not only an important coronation site but also just a stunning cathedral. It should definitely be added to this list of grand churches.
  52. Reply eric 19.02.2015 beautiful location and beautiful churches nice ...///
  53. Reply Angela Tongson 23.06.2017 You did not include Our Lady of Rheimes Cathedral, Champagne region, France.
  54. Reply Amr 05.07.2017 I'd think of other churches to be added to your list from my own travels; STRASBOURG CATHEDRAL in Strasbourg, SAINTE-CHAPELLE in Paris, ST. PETER's CATHEDRAL in Bremen, ASSUMPTION of MARY PILGRIMAGE CHURCH in Bled (located above an island in Lake Bled), and SÃO FRANCISCO CHURCH in Porto.
  55. Reply 991 20.01.2018 What about Croatian churches and catedrals, for example Zagreb,Osijek,Đakovo,Vukovar,Split,Rijeka,Pula,Zadar,Šibenik,Dubrovnik,Trogir etc. ?
  56. Reply Justinas Kulakauskas 05.02.2018 What abouth St. Stanislvan and St. Vladislav Cathedral in Vilnius? How many of European capitals have purely classict cathedral?
  57. Reply Genesis 09.06.2018 You should consider including St Michael's Cathedral in Kiev, also known as the golden domed cathedral.
  58. Reply mona 31.10.2018 Unfortunately hundreds of churches in Europe are closing and some of them were sold to Muslims they turned them into mosques !!!! where are the Catholics for God sake ?????? how can the Pope agree to sell the churches??????? The Christians in Europe are too far from the Church too far from Jesus,unfortunately!!! they will face many problems ,and they will regret too much,i am afraid that it will be too late :(
  59. Reply Ed Dickson 14.03.2019 St. Sulpice in Paris is a must see. It is a ten minute walk from Notre Dame and has pure raw beauty.
  60. Reply Keith Warwick 16.04.2019 It is absolute folly to try to rank religious buildings in any kind of order of beauty! It is such a wholly personal, subjective, sociological issue that any such list is pointless! Sorry, but anyone who has ever seen Kings College Chapel in Cambridge United Kingdom, or Rouen Cathedral of France, would not understand at all WHY these great works of art are not listed! This illustrates why lists are so ludicrous and absurd!

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