Top 10 Tallest Churches in the World
Top 10 Published on 19/03/2012 08:00

1. Chicago Temple, Chicago, USA (173 m/568 ft)

Chicago TempleWhen it comes to sky scraper churches the Chicago Temple Building takes the cake, it is over 568 feet tall. As in its name the church is located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The seemingly heaven reaching church was built in its current location in 1924 and was the tallest building in the Chicago until 1930. There are 24 floors dedicated to religious and office affairs. It is not the tallest church in the world but it is the tallest church building in the world. The congregation of the church was founded in 1831 and the first church was a log cabin on the north bank of the Chicago River. In 1834 the congregation moved the cabin to the site the skyscraper church now sits. There are three sanctuaries within the building the first chapel is two storeys and there are seats for 1,000 people. The second sanctuary is named "Dixon Chapel" and the third "Sky Chapel".

2. Ulm Minster, Germany (161.5 m/530 ft)

Ulm MinsterHolding the record for tallest church in the world is Ulm Minister in Germany, in the 14th century the church was actually built outside the walled city but after great debate a new church was erected within the citys perimeter. The first stone to the foundation was laid in 1377, originally the church was to have three steeples of equal proportion but the master builder, Ulrich Ensingen decided to make the western steeple the tallest and it remains so to this day. The construction of the church took many years to complete and the construction was halted in 1543 right around the time the west steeple reached 330 feet in height. This was caused by many factors, political and religious. The work on the church was not resumed until 1817; the construction of the 530 foot church ended with the three steeples finally being finished on May 31, 1890.

3. Cologne Cathedral, Germany (157 m/515 ft)

Cologne CathedralGermany is known for its grand churches and cathedrals, the Cologne Cathedral is one of them that have brought worldwide attention. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne, the congregation is Roman Catholic. The construction of the amazing Gothic architecture was initiated in 1248 and was left unfinished until 1473. The work was recommenced in the 19th century to complete the original plan, which resulted the overall completed height of the cathedral being 515 feet including the steeples. Cologne Cathedral is a world heritage site and draws more than 20,000 visitors a day making it Germanys most visited landmark. The cathedral has the largest facade of any church in the world. Colognes original medieval builders planned a grand structure to house the religious staff of three kings, now the church stands as "a powerful testimony to the strength and persistence of Christian belief in medieval and modern Europe".

4. Rouen Cathedral, France (151 m/495 ft)

Rouen CathedralProbably one of the oldest church sites in the world, the Rouen Cathedral, took many years to complete as with most medieval churches did. Construction commenced on the present day Cathedral that stands today, there was a church already present in the late 14th century. Eventually the Cathedral was started and many additions carried out the centuries before its original design was complete. In 650 it was enlarged by St. Ouen, Charlemagne made a visit to the incomplete structure in 769. In the 9th century the construction started from ground up again after a Viking raid destroyed all the buildings. Construction on the current design didnt begin until the 12th century in an early gothic style. The final additions and construction were finally finished in 1580 after many trials and tribulations. The structure has stood motionless ever since and the architectural design is one of the most unique, having additions from almost every early period of design leaving the final height is a towering 495 feet.

5. St Nicholas, Hamburg, Germany (147 m/482 ft)

St NicholasThe St. Nicholas church in Hamburg, Germany was one of the Lutheran main churches in the city of Hamburg but since WWII it now lies in ruins. Although it is not used for worship, the Church serves as a memorial and it still has it stardom as one of Hamburgs important architectural works. When Hamburgs residents mention "Nikolaikirche" (Main Church), it is usually to the ruins they are referring too, not the new "Hauptkirche" of St. Nicholas that now stands in another location. For 2 years in the late 1800s the church was the tallest in the world, now it is the second tallest in Hamburg. In present time there is an elevator in the old church that will bring visitors up to some platforms nearly 75 meters high, where they can see some of the medieval writings and enjoy beautiful views of Hamburg that seem to go on forever.

6. Strasbourg Cathedral, France (142 m /466 ft)

Strasbourg CathedralThe Strasbourg Cathedral or as it is also known the cathedral of Our Lady Strasbourg is a Roman Catholic cathedral in of course, Strasbourg, France. The cathedrals design is primarily in the Romanesque style of architecture but it is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of high or late gothic. A major contributor to the construction and design from 1277 until his death in 1318 is Erwin von Steinbach. During the 16th century to the late 19th century the cathedral was the tallest building in the world, today its the sixth tallest church in the world with a total height of 466 feet. The miraculous cathedral was described by Victor Hugo as a "gigantic and delicate marvel" and by Goethe as a "sublimely towering, wide-spreading tree of God". The towering structure can be seen from the Black Forest on the other side of the Rhine Sandstone. The pink hue the cathedral glows is an identifying characteristic.

7. St Peter's Basilica, Vatican (138 m/452 ft)

St Peter's BasilicaCommonly known as Saint Peters Basilica, the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter pieces the sky at 452 feet high. The Late Renaissance church is located in Vatican City and has the largest interior of any church in the world. Even though it is not home to the pope, the basilica is regarded as the one of the most holiest of catholic church sites and it has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom". In the Roman Catholic tradition it is said that the cathedral is the burial site of the apostle Peter, the churchs namesake. Its also said traditionally, that the apostle was the first Bishop of Rome making him the first in the papal succession. There is evidence that St, Peters tomb is located directly below the altar of the grand basilica. Before the current church there was another on the site since the 4th century.

8. St Stephan's Cathedral, Vienna, Austria (136.7 m/448 ft)

St Stephan's CathedralSt. Stephens Cathedral is the home church of the Archdiocese of Vienna and the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn. The Romanesque and Gothic blend of architecture that is strongly noticed today is due to the contributions of Rudolf IV and it stands on the ruins of two previous churches. One of those being the first parish church built in 1147. The cathedral is the most important religious building in Austria and it has witnessed many historical events in the nations history. It is also one of the most recognized places in the city as well, mainly because of its multi-colour tile roof, which seems to add to it sticking out just a bit. The cathedral makes its home in the heart of Hamburg and is easy to find standing tall at 448 ft in the air. Some say it is one of the most important places to visit while in Hamburg.

9. New Cathedral, Linz, Austria (134.8 m/440 ft)

New CathedralA cathedral in Linz, Austria with a unique name is the New Cathedral or otherwise known as "Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception". It is a 19th-century place of worship just having its first stone laid in 1862; although it was begun by Bishop Franz-Josef Rudigier in 1855, the construction took a while to commence. In 1924 the cathedral was finally complete and was donned as the "Cathedral of the Virgin Mary" by Bishop Johannes Maria Gfollner. The plans, drawn by the Master Builder of the Archdiocese of Cologne, Vincenz Statz, were made to be in the French high gothic style. The church can seat up to 20,000 people making it the largest church in all of Austria but not the highest because it only stands at 440 feet. The originally-planned, higher spire was not given the go ahead, because in Austria at the time, no building was allowed to be taller than the South Tower of the St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna.

10. St Martin's Church, Landshut, Germany (130.6 m/428 ft)

St Martin's ChurchThe first church that stood in the site where the infamous St. Martins Church stands now, was erected by the founder of the town of Landshut, Duke Ludwig I of Bavaria the Kelheimer. It wasnt until 1389 that the construction of the present church began and the construction took around 110 years to complete finishing in the year 1500. The work was done by 5 architects and their works took many years to join together. The tower of the cathedral alone took 55 years. The church is home to many important religious artworks on being the churchs crucifix, which is the largest from the late Gothic period, carved from a lime tree trunk with a length of 16 feet and a width of 15 feet.  It was made by Michael Erhard and installed 5 years before the church was dedicated. There are numerous other works that are one of a kind and almost miraculous in their forms.

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