Biggest church in the world: top 10 largest buildings ever

Biggest church in the world: top 10 largest buildings ever

There are many churches worldwide, with many built decades ago and still standing. The biggest churches in the world are not only large in physical size but carry massive cultural and historical significance. They are eye-catching and made in unique designs. What is the biggest church in the world?

Largest churches in the world
Crowd outside St. Peter's Basilica to see Pope John Paul II, Rome, Italy. Photo: Independent Picture Service (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

Churches vary in size, types and layouts around the world. There are many tall church buildings around the globe, but some have been recognized as the largest. They are also considered the most beautiful because of their aesthetic value.

Biggest churches in the world

The largest church in the world can be measured based on different criteria such as length, height, width capacity, volume and area. Large worship houses around the globe add aesthetic value to their area, and others represent sacred materials and incredible architectural styles. Below are the top 10 biggest churches in the world.

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1. St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City

Biggest church in the world
A view of the St. Peter's Basilica during hot weather as Nero heatwave prevails Europe, in Rome, Italy on August 22, 2023. Photo: Pablo Esparza
Source: Getty Images

Which church is the biggest in the world? St.Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, is the largest church in the world, with an internal area of 15,160 square metres (163,181 square feet). It was built by Emperor Constantine in 320 AD and was designed in the 15th century by Pope Nicholas V. It is an essential building in Roman Catholicism and one of the most visited sites in Rome.

S.t. Peter's Basilica is the world's largest and most magnificent Catholic church. It has a capacity of 60,000 attendees. It stretches over 186 m (610 ft) in length. Its dome rises to 136 m (446 ft) high. It houses many significant works of art, such as Bernini’s Baldacchino and Michelangelo’s Pieta.

2. Basilica of The National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Aparecida, Brazil

Biggest church in the world
The Cathedral Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida in Aparecida, Brazil, on Sunday, April 4, 2021. Photo: Jonne Roriz
Source: Getty Images

This is the second-largest church in the world. The building has an internal area of 12,000 sq m (129,167 sq ft). It has a capacity of 45,000 people and its towers rise to 102 m (335 ft). The Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida has a dome of 70 m (230 ft) high. It is considered the most important Marian pilgrimage centre in Brazil.

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The church's construction is believed to have happened between 1834 and 1888, and many developments have been made since then. The building has a colourful blue roof. It was dedicated to Our Lady of Aparecida as the principal Patroness of Brazil.

3. Seville Cathedral, Seville, Spain

Largest church in the world
A woman rides a bike near to the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See, better known as Seville Cathedral, on May 16, 2022, in Seville, Spain. Photo: Maja Hitij
Source: Getty Images

Seville Cathedral is the world's third-largest church building. It has an internal area of 11,520 sq m (124,000 sq ft) and a central nave standing of 42 m (138 ft) high. It is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites in Spain. Aside from being famous as one of the biggest church buildings in the world, it is the final resting place of great Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus.

The construction of the church began in 1403 and completed in 1507. It was built on the site of Almohad mosque, which was destroyed in the 13th century. The interior has a decoration of gold.

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Seville Cathedral is a tourist attraction where people go to see wooden carved scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. The church offers insights into the timeless history of the city. It attracts over 2 million tourists yearly.

4. Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York, United States

largest church in the world
Vintage colorized historic souvenir photo postcard published circa 1935 depicting the vibrant architectural landmarks of grand St John the Divine Cathedral. Photo: Nextrecord Archives
Source: Getty Images

The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine is the largest Anglican cathedral in the world and the biggest house of worship in the United States. The fourth largest church building has an internal area of 11,200 sq m (121,000 sq ft). Its length is 183.2 m (601 ft). It has a rose window of 10,000 pieces of coloured stained glass.

The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine was designed by architects George Lewis Heins and Christopher Grant LaFarge. Its construction began in 1892. Its dome is almost 50 m (162 ft) tall. The building is a concoction of Byzantine, Romanesque and Gothic styles.

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5. Milan Cathedral, Milan, Italy

Largest church in the world
View of the Duomo of Milan. The Duomo is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Milan. Photo: Friso Gentsch
Source: Getty Images

Milan Cathedral is located in Milan City, Italy. It is one of the largest churches in the world, with an area of 10,186 sq m (109,641 sq ft). It is the second-largest Catholic cathedral in the world.

It is constructed with a unique design, with 135 spires crowned with statues representing significant people and those considered heroes and heroines in the history of Italy. The tallest spire has a height of 108.8 m (357 ft) and is mounted with the statue of the Virgin Mary.

Milan Cathedral is known as one of the world's church buildings with Gothic designs. The construction of Milan Cathedral began in 1386 and ended in 1956. It has a capacity of 40,000 people and houses a collection of paintings and sculptures.

6. Basilica of Our Lady Of Lichen, Konin, Poland

The Basilica of Our Lady Of Lichen has a ground area of 10,090 sq m (108,608 sq ft). It is located in Konin, Poland. It has a height of 141.2 m (463 ft). Its construction began in 1994 and finished in 2004.

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Thirty-three steps that lead towards the church represent the early life of Jesus. It has 365 windows, 52 doors, and one column representing the days, weeks and 12 Apostles in a year, respectively.

7. Liverpool Cathedral, Liverpool, United Kingdom

Liverpool Cathedral is the seventh-largest worship house in the world. It has a floor area of 9,687 sq m (104,270 sq ft). Its length is 189 m (620 ft). The building is non-spired, with a height of 101 m (331 ft). It is one of the most attractive cathedrals in Britain, with an interior decorated with many colours.

The construction of this house of God began in 1904 and was consecrated in 1978. The main altar has a circular design inside the worship house. Its construction, which was done in different phases, took over 74 years. The church has a 67-metre-high peak (220 ft), the highest and heaviest in the world.

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8. Church Of Holy Trinity, Santarem, Portugal

Largest church in the world
Visitors walk by "Suspension", a big rosary created by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos in front of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Fatima Sanctuary, on May 07, 2017. Photo: Horacio Villalobos
Source: Getty Images

This is the largest worship house in Portugal, located in the Santaren District of Portugal. It has an internal area of 8,700 sq m (93,646 sq ft). The construction began in 2004 by Greek architect Alexandros Tombazis and took three years to complete.

The Church of Holy Trinity is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It accommodates 9,000 worshippers. It has several chapels, 44 confessionaries, and a modern oval design.

9. Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, Aragon, Spain

Largest church in the world
Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar, a Roman Catholic church in the city of Zaragoza, Aragon, Spain. Photo by: Nano Calvo
Source: Getty Images

Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar is a Roman Catholic church in Zaragoza, Aragon. This is the first house of worship dedicated to the Virgin Mary. According to Christian beliefs, the Virgin Mary appeared to Saint James while conducting prayer, gave him a column of jasper and told him to build a worship house in her honour.

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About a year later, Saint James made a small chapel in Zaragoza and dedicated it to the Virgin Mary. Other worship houses were constructed on the site through the years. The enormous Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar church has an internal area of 8,318 sq m (89,534 sq ft). There is a 15-inch (38 cm) tall statue of the Virgin Mary located in this house of God.

10. Ulm Minster, Ulm, Germany

Largest church in the world
Ulmer Münster- 1997. Photo: Werner OTTO
Source: Getty Images

Ulm Minster is the 10th largest worship building in the world. It was constructed in 1377 and completed in 1890. The building stands at a height of 161.5 m (530 ft) high. Its internal area is 8,260 sq m (88,910 sq ft).

It is designed with spires, and the longest spire symbolizes the way to heaven. Ulm Minster is one of the examples of Gothic house of worship architecture. One has to go up to 768 steps to reach the top of the building.

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What are the largest churches in the world by membership?

The largest house of God in the world by attendance is South Korea’s Yoido Full Gospel Church, with over 830,000 members as of 2007. Victory Metro Manila is also known as a worship house with a large membership.

What is the largest church in the world by attendance?

Yoido Full Gospel Church is also the largest house of God in attendance. The average number of weekly attendees is more than 200,000. Others include Calvary Temple Church and Victory Metro Manila in the Philippines.

Which is the most populated church in the world?

The world's most populated church is the Catholic Church, or the Roman Catholic, with about 1.3 billion followers.

Large houses of worship are impressive in terms of volume, internal area and height. They are constructed in beautiful designs. The biggest church in the world is St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City.

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Legit.ng recently published an article about the largest hotel in the world. The largest hotels in the world are appealing and provide luxurious amenities such as bars, cafes, spas, pools and travel and tourism services.

There are many enormous hotels in the world, some bigger than others. First World Hotel in Malaysia is the biggest hotel with many services and recreational amenities.

Source: Legit.ng

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Brian Oroo (Lifestyle writer) Brian Oroo has been working as a writer in Legit.ng since 2021. His main area of specialization is on topics regarding lifestyle, celebrities, news, and many more. He won the Writer of the Year Award on Legit in 2023. Brian graduated with a Bsc. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Jomo Kenyatta University (JKUAT) in 2021. In 2023, Brian finished the AFP course on Digital Investigation Techniques. His email is brianoroo533@gmail.com

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