NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL – PARIS
This very famous medieval church dedicated to Our Lady, is dated back to 1345 and is the seat of the Archbishop of Paris. This cathedral holds a superior place in Christianity because it is where Our Lord’s three of the most precious relics are kept: Christ’s Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of His Holy Nails.
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DUOMO DI MILANO – MILAN CATHEDRAL – ITALY
The largest church of Italy and the fifth largest in the world, this 600-year-old Gothic cathedral is the seat of Archbishop of Milan. This cathedral has the most number of statues, which is 3400 of them, than any other buildings in the world! Dedicated to Our Lady, the gold-colored statue of Mary known as the Madonna stands on the Cathedral’s highest spire and watch over the city of Milan. Above all, the cathedral is also home to a precious relic – one of the nails of Jesus’ crucifixion! The Holy Nail is exhibited at the alter once every year for the worshippers.
LA SAGRADA FAMILIA – BARCELONA
Designed by the renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí and commenced in 1882, this majestic cathedral’s construction is still ongoing! Gaudi passed away in 1926 witnessing only 25% of the construction and it got interrupted during later years by the Spanish Civil War. Construction has resumed intermittently afterward and is now expected to complete in 2026, 100 years after Gaudi’s death. The church is an extraordinary example of Gothic Architecture like you have never experienced anywhere else. In November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated La Sagrada Familia and proclaimed it as a minor basilica. Even if the construction works are going on, visitors can access the Nave, Crypt, Museum, Shop, and the Passion and Nativity towers.
SACRÉ-COEUR- THE BASILICA OF THE SACRED HEART OF PARIS
This beautiful white domed cathedral is situated on the top of the Montmartre hill. It is the highest point in Paris city and the view of the city is breathtaking from here! This church is consecrated in 1914 after the end of World War I. Even if the church is open to visitors all day, there are several beautiful chapels inside the cathedral where you can light a candle, sit down in silence and say a prayer. The mosaic art of ‘Christ in Glory’ at the high altar is one of the largest in the world. It is featured the risen Christ in beaming white clothes, revealing his golden heart surrounded by the Virgin Mary, Saint Michael, Saint Joan of Arc, Pope Leo XIII as well as a symbolic lady figure representing France offering her Crown.
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SALISBURY CATHEDRAL – ENGLAND
This 800-year-old Cathedral is one of the greatest in Britain with many significant features. Its interior is a feast to the eye with magnificent stained windows, decorated tombs, little chapels etc. Other important possessions include the World’s oldest working clock and a copy of the very famous document ‘Magna Carta’ (issued by King John in 1215). Also, Salisbury Cathedral has the tallest church spire in UK.
EINSIEDELN ABBEY (CHAPEL OF BLACK MADONNA) – SWITZERLAND
The Statue of Black Madonna in this beautiful Benedictine monastery is very powerful. Our Lady’s statue looks ever so glorious in elaborately embroidered clothes adorned with jewels. Depending on the celebrations, the color of the clothes of Our Lady is changed. This miraculous statue was created by an unknown artist in the 15th century. It is believed that colour of the statue has become black over the years from dust and smoke from the candles and oil lamps. There aren’t many statues like this in Europe, but there is one in another Benedictine abbey on the Mountain top in Barcelona (Montserrat) called Black virgin of Montserrat which resembles to this statue.
Article by Jain
Jain is a traveler who enjoys visiting old cathedrals and sharing the experiences with other people. Please check out her Travel Blog – Travblog