The World’s 10 Largest Church Buildings
The 10 largest church buildings in the world today for any recognized denomination of Christianity.
The derivation of the word church has been much debated. For the purpose of this article, it will be defined as any building which was built for the primary purpose of Christian worship, for any recognized denomination of Christianity. In terms of floor area, these are the 10 largest church buildings today. Masses are still held regularly in all these houses of God.
St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
The Renaissance and Baroque architectural style of St. Peter’s Basilica is considered as the greatest building of its age. With a length of 730 ft (220 m) and a width of 500 ft (150 m), it has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, holding more than 60,000 people. The basilica is one of the holiest Christian sites and the greatest of all churches of Christendom. It was built from 1506 through 1626 with Michelangelo among its architects. The building is officially known in Italian as the Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano. It is famous as a place of pilgrimage, for its liturgical functions and historical associations.
Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Brazil
The new Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida was built in 1955 and designed in the form of a Greek cross. It measures 173 m (567 ft) long and 168 m (551 ft) wide, sitting up to 45,000 people. Pope John Pau II named it the most important National Marian Shrine in Brazil. It was officially declared as “the largest Marian Temple in the World” in 1984.
Cathedral of Seville, Spain
Also known as Catedral de Santa Maria de la Sede (Cathedral of Saint Mary of the See), Cathedral of Seville is claimed by some as the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Its construction began in 1402 and continued into the 16th century. The total area covers 11,520 sq m. A great mosque used to sit on the site in the late 12th century. Christian architects later added the extra dimensions of height. Its central nave rises to a height of 42 m (137.7 ft).