Religion is as old as man, even BC (Before Christ) various religions were being practiced despite the introduction of Christianity other age old religions are still being practiced in the world. Till date, statistics have it that “Christianity is by far the world’s largest and practiced religion with 2.2 billion Christians worldwide which translates to more than 30% of the would population estimated to be of about 6.9 billion people on planet Earth.
In this post, we will be discussing about the top 10 biggest churches in the world both by landmass and population, this could come in form of a cathedral, a basilica or other building meant specifically for the purpose of worship and prayers.
I’m sure the reader as i write this post would most likely not be able to tell us the name of the biggest church in Nigeria not to talk of the world What are the largest churches in the world?
Most times there is a degree of relationship between size and age in this context. The oldest churches in the world are are the cathedrals of Milan (Italy) and Sevilla (Spain) but for the sake of this post, we will be talking of sizes in terms of Square Metres.
From the list below, the top ten biggest churches in the world are represented by the Catholic, Anglican and Orthodox denominations.
Top 10 Biggest Churches In The World By Landmass For 2021
Cathedral of St. Sava, Belgrade, Serbia.(8,162 m²)
This is currently the world’s largest Orthodox church dedicated to Saint Sava, founded by the son of Stephen Nemanja, ruler and founder of the Serbian medieval state. The church is built in the neighborhood of Vračar, about where the saint’s remains was cremated in 1595 by the Ottoman Turks.
The history of this cathedral dates back to 1905 though construction began in 1935 and was funded exclusively through donations, it was still under construction when the world war broke out in 1945 and construction was put on hold. In 1984 construction began was was finally completed in 2003. This would tell of the size of this cathedral. It is the 10th biggest church in the World as at today.
Basilica del Pilar, Zaragoza, Spain (8,318 m²)
Construction of the current Basilica of Our Lady of Pilar de Zaragoza has its rationale in increasing the Marian devotion throughout the seventeenth century, the Catholics would under what the Marian devotion is all about. The Basilica del Pilar, Zaragoza had become small in size to accommodate the growing number of faithfuls and the need for a bigger building became necessary.
In 1660 when John of Austria, by then Viceroy of Aragon, promotes the construction of a basilica. The current appearance of El Pilar is the result of a long construction process that begins with the project architect Felipe Sanchez, in 1681, and would be subsequently reviewed by Francisco de Herrera ‘the Younger’ , painter and architect of Carlos II.
In 1750 royal architect Ventura Rodriguez renovated the interior decoration according to the new currents classicists of the time. In the Basilica is a preserved and venerated Pillar, a column of jasper, which according to tradition was put by the Virgin Mary, who is still living in Jerusalem, would have appeared to the apostle Santiago on January 2 of the year 40. The Basilica Pilar brings together works of great artistic value and from different periods, among which are those painted by Goya frescoes, which were restored in 2007. It is the 9th largest church in the world.
Church of The Holy Trinity, Fatima, Portugal (8,700 m²)
It is located in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary in Fatima, 11 kilometers from the town of Ourem and 120 of Lisbon occupying a landmass of 8,700 square metres. The church of Holy Trinity in Portugal was built within three (3) years, That is from 2003 and 2007 and is the most modern of the list. It is an extension of the Shrine of Fatima, who already had a -the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary built in the second quarter of the twentieth century.
The new church was consecrated on October 12, 2007, on the day of the 90th anniversary of the Marian apparitions of Fatima. In 1917, three children, Lúcia de Jesus, Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto; They claimed to have witnessed several apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the area. In one of those appearances I would have told them to build a chapel in that place. So in 1928 he began to rise the original basilica, which would be consecrated on October 7, 1953 and has 15 altars.
It was built in neo-Baroque style, according to a project by Dutch architect G. Van Kriecken, and received one year after opening the title of Minor Basilica . It is currently the eight (8th) biggest church in the world.
Liverpool Cathedral, United Kingdom (9,687 m²)
The Liverpool Cathedral is the world ‘s second largest business considering the square footage of your plant Anglican church. It was built in the last century. work began in 1904, shortly after the Liverpool City Council decided in 1901 that it was necessary to give the city a cathedral of elephantine dimensions. Construction of the church building was not completed until 1978. It was built by British architect Gilles Gilbert Scott, who could not see finished his work, since he died 18 years before the last stone was laid. The building is built in red sandstone and neo-Gothic style.
Besides being the seventh largest in area in the world church basilicas including non Cathédrales and the fifth largest cathedral, is the second longest cathedral building in the world (188.7 meters), surpassed only by San Peter’s Basilica (211.5 meters). History have it that the church has been able to “survive two world wars and periods of recession” in Great Britain.
Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń, Poland.(10,090 m²)
The Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń is located in the village of Licheń Stary in Wielkopolska .It was designed by the Polish architect Barbara Bielecka and built in just 10 years, between 1994 and 2004. Its construction was funded by donations from pilgrims.
The church is dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows, patron saint of Poland. The temple revolves around a copy of the eighteenth century from an earlier portrait of the Virgin. It has a ship 120 meters long and 77 meters wide and a central dome 98 meters high. The tower is 141.5 meters high and, besides being the world’s largest sextra, is the larger church of Poland and the second place of pilgrimage in the country, behind only Czestochowa, the considered “spiritual capital “Polish.
Cathedral of Milan, Italy.(10,186 m²)
Milan Cathedral -Duomo di Milano- is the oldest church in the world on the list but was not completed until 1965. The cathedral of Milan is 157 meters long and can accommodate up to 40,000 people inside at a stretch. The windows of this Cathedral are considered the largest in the world.
The history of this church dates back to the late fourteenth century. In 1386, Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo started the new project that had many unusual aspects in Italy. The plan was heir to the French Gothic architectural tradition. The construction of the temple gives a Renaissance twist under the bishopric of Carlo Borromeo, when Pellegrino Tibaldi, as chief architect, redesigns the project to reach a new Renaissance appearance.
Thus, the tempo accentuate its Italian nature in front of the Gothic style. In 1577, Carlo Borromeo finally consecrated the whole building though this did not affect the construction work going on as at then and in 1649, the original Gothic style returns to the main facade. In 1762, he stands one of the distinctive elements of the cathedral, the Madonnina needle, which has a height of 108.5 meters. In 1812 the facade was finally completed. Although, as we said, the final details of the cathedral were already completed in the twentieth century, today, some blocks are not carved statues waiting to be converted. In 2013, the duomo of Milan has requested formally be included in the list of world heritage sites of UNESCO.
Cathedral of Saint John The Divine, New York, United States.(11,200 m²)
The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York Liverpool dispute with the “title” of the world’s largest Anglican cathedral, which depends on the dimensions measured. According to its landmass, it is “the biggest Anglican Church in the world” with an 11,200 m², compared to Liverpool Cathedral of 9,687 Square Metre. The Cathedral of Saint John The Devine has a length of 183.2 meters and 70.7 meters high, while the interior height of the nave is 37.8 meters, the sight of this edifice is a world class master piece.
The cathedral was designed in 1888 and four years later ripped the construction work. The style was initially a neo-Romanesque and neo-Byzantine mix, but in 1909, the neo-Gothic design morphed, for which currently identifies the building. Thus, as it appears today, it seems the design basically established by the prolific Gothic Revival architect Ralph Adams Cram.
In 1991, the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava was chosen to complete the temple, a project that never took place. After a major fire occurred on December 18, 2001 it was closed and after seven years, it was again reopened in November 2008. Though still unfinished due to the current state of permanent construction and reconstruction which has led to the Cathedral being referred to as San Juan San Juan Unfinished or the Interminable (St. John the Unfinished). It is the Fourth largest church in the world.
Cathedral of Seville, Spain.(11,520 m²)
The Seville Cathedral (Cathedral of St. Mary of the Sea) is the only one of this list, along with St. Peter’s Basilica, which is part of the list of cultural heritage world heritage of UNESCO title won in 1987. It is built in late Gothic style, which makes it the world’s largest Gothic cathedral.
Construction of Cathedral of Seville in Spain began in 1401, although there is no documentary evidence to the start of work until 1433. The building was made in the lot that was after the demolition of the old city mosque Guadalquivir, which was poorly maintained after the earthquake in 1356 that severely affected the building.
Specifically, the lower two thirds of the cathedral tower (the Giralda) correspond to the minaret, built in the late twelfth century the Almohad period . The upper third is already Christian era and was built to house the bells. At its peak the Giraldillo, a statue that makes the functions of vane rises. By extension, he came to naming the whole tower, which began to be called Giralda ( “spinning”).
On October 10, 1506 proceeded to the laying of the last stone on top of the dome. Thus, the cathedral was completed symbolically. However, over the centuries they continued adding elements, mainly in the interior. He also had to rebuild twice the dome, which collapsed in 1511 and in 1888, due to structural failure.
Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Ladyof Aparecida , Aparecida, Brazil.(18,000 sqm)
The basilica, located in the city of Aparecida, in the State of São Paulo, southwest of Brazil;a central part of the whole National Shrine of Aparecida . It is built in Romanesque style, with Greek cross. Is 173 meters long by 168 high, so its volume is comparable to that of St. Peter’s Basilica, although the area is somewhat smaller (18,000 sqm, according to most sources consulted).
Our Lady of Aparecida is patroness of Brazil since 1930 so decided Pius XI. The origins of the sanctuary date back to 1717. Legend has it that some fishermen in the area should get food for a delegation from the governor of the captaincy of São Paulo. His task was fruitless until they took the waters a figure of ceramics and discovered that it was the image of Our Lady of Conception. Since then, according to tradition, they got lots of fish. Years later a small chapel was built in the area, dominated by the image of the Virgin.
In 1745, before the avalanche of pilgrims called for miracles, a chapel was built and stood around her a small town. The number of faithful continued to increase and the construction had to be getting bigger. It was expanded in 1852 and 1888. But it still was not enough.Already in 1955 he began construction of the new temple, which is the world’s second largest. On July 4, 1980 Pope John Paul II visited and consecrated the sanctuary. Last summer the Pope Francisco became the third pope who visited him.
San Pedro of the Vatican City, Vatican (20,139 m²)
The largest church in Christendom is St. Peter’s Basilica. St. Peter’s Basilica stands on which is supposed tomb of the Apostle, located in a necropolis of century I. The first Vatican basilica was built by Constantine in the fourth century, and stood for over 1,000 years. Until the Renaissance popes tore it down to build a new over the tomb of Peter.
Its size is so huge that it is seen an unreasonable. The construction of this church lasted for over 120 years, and the engineers that carried out the construction of San Pedro of The Vatican City were regarded as the best Civil Engineers of that era. The facade is Carlo Maderno , the dome of Michelangelo and the square, designed for large celebrations.
The works of the current basilica began in 1506, under Pope Julius II, and were terminated in 1626, when it was consecrated by Pope Urban VIII, although there were still many details to finalize.
However, the San Pedro of the Vatican is the main church pontificia for hosting most papal ceremonies in it because of its size, its proximity to the papal residence and its location within the Vatican City, which is a whole World Heritage Site.
From the above, you would agree that the biggest and largest churches in the would for 2019 are the Catholics, Anglicans and Orthodox churches, 80% are in Europe while the United States of America and a few share the 20%.
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