1. Notre-Dame, Paris
A gorgeous example of French Gothic architecture, this Roman Catholic cathedral is quite possibly the most famous one in the country. Although the Notre-Dame suffered extensive damages during the French Revolution of the 18th century, it has since been restored to its full glory. Have yourself a memorable holiday by attending mass at the Notre-Dame!
![Notre Dame Paris full view] (http://content.skyscnr.com/39dd6a32b09fe018afc3105be4132c7c/notre.jpg "Notre-Dame Paris sits regally next to the river Seine")
Notre-Dame Paris sits regally next to the river Seine
An intricate biblical tableaux embellishes each entrance to the Notre-Dame
2. Sagrada Família, Barcelona
Over 130 years in the making, the Sagrada Família has already earned the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site – a testament to its stunning beauty. Despite still being under construction, visitors come in droves to Barcelona to marvel at Gaudi’s awe-inspiring Gothic masterpiece. Don’t forget to snap a picture of its elaborate facade; You’ll never know what else you will see in it!
Construction of the Sagrada Família began in 1882!
Ornate spires of the Sagrada Família reaching into the sky
Gaudi’s interpretation of the Gothic: Elegant arches and intricate patterns inside the Sagrada Família
3. St Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City, Rome
Widely considered as the most sacred site to Catholicism, St. Peter’s Basilica will wow you with its splendour. Not only is it one of the world’s largest church, it also boasts a collection of priceless artefacts and relics, such as the famed works of Michelangelo and Bernini. Attending mass with the Pope at the helm (especially on Easter) will also be a dream come true for the devout!
St Peter’s Basilica is the world’s biggest church and is widely regarded as the seat of Christianity
Opulent gold paneling, elaborate frescos and marble columns: Splendid indeed!
4. Cathedral of Brasília, Brasília, Brazil
Relatively modern compared to the others on this list, the Cathedral of Brasília – completed in 1970 – is no less beautiful despite its minimalist architecture. The facade comprises of a sleek silhouette, which is complemented by waves of blue on its stained glass dome. A refreshing change from traditionally ornate cathedrals!
Originally intended as a place of worship for all faiths, the structure was eventually passed on to the Catholic church
Sleek modern design on stained glass dome sets the Cathedral of Brasília apart from other churches. Photo credit: Edward Stojakovic / Flickr
5. Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
Originally intended as a church, the famously domed Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque and most recently a museum. Through painstaking restoration efforts, conservationists have managed to repair the structure, and reinstate the Christian mosaics that were lost when it was converted into a mosque. Be amazed at the wealth of history and culture steeped within the walls of the Hagia Sophia!
Hagia Sophia – truly a spectacular museum
The interior dome of the Hagia Sophia reflects the evolution of Istanbul’s culture throughout history. Photo credit: Brian Suda / Flickr
6. Saint Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia
Saint Basil’s cathedral stands out in a city full of amazing buildings for its unique design – nothing quite like it exists in Byzantine architecture within and around Russia! The cathedral also represents the geometric centre in the city of Moscow. Snap a photo of yourself with the domes of Saint Basil’s Cathedral for a quirky and colourful memento!
Sitting in the centre of Moscow’s red square, Saint Basil’s Cathedral is candy for the eyes
Intricate carved panellings feature scenes from the bible inside St Basil’s Cathedral. Photo credit: Olga Pavlovsky / Flickr
7. Las Lajas Sanctuary, Colombia
We love the Las Lajas Sanctuary for its epic location. Set dramatically within a canyon of the Guáitara River in the southern Colombian region of Nariño, the minor basilica church towers a hundred metres above the canyon floor and can only be accessed via a 50-metre tall connecting bridge from the other side.
Las Lajas Sanctuary set against lush vegetation makes for a glorious sight
_Up close, Las Lajas Sanctuary will awe you with its splendid detail. Photo credit: Diego Delso / Flickr_
8. Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik, Iceland
This uniquely designed church is said to have been inspired by basalt lava flows native to Iceland. Standing at 74.5 metres tall, the church also serves as a viewing tower offering visitors a spectacular view of mountainous Reykjavik and its awesome landscape.
This eye-catching structure is visible from almost anywhere in Reykjavik
Grand, towering arches and very high ceilings inside the Hallgrímskirkja cast pure divine light upon worshippers and visitors alike. Photo credit: skrytebane / Flickr
9. Westminster Abbey, London, England
Truly iconic in its sombre Gothic magnificence, Westminster Abbey is one of the most remarkable religious structures across the globe. Built in the 10th century, it now holds the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a must-see for visitors to London. On Good Friday, be sure to catch the procession on Victoria street, which ends with a service at Westminster Abbey based on the theme of Jesus’s crucifixion.
Also historically important to the city, Westminster Abbey has hosted almost every royal coronation since 1066
Chessboard flooring contrasts with haunting arches and gold panels inside Westminster Abbey
10. Saint Mark’s Basilica, Venice, Italy
One of the best-known specimens of Byzantine architecture, Saint Mark’s Basilica dates back to the 17th century where its opulent design and lavish golden mosaics mark it as a symbol of Venetian wealth. For the devout, Easter weekend observations start on Wednesday through Good Friday and Easter Sunday.
Saint Mark’s Basilica keeps with typical Venetian opulence
Best of the Byzantine: Golden arches and biblical frescos adorn the interior of the domes in Saint Mark’s Basilica. Image credit: Michael Vadon / Flickr
11. Church of Saint George, Lalibela, Ethiopia
Impressively hewn from red volcanic rock, Church of St George is one of eleven such monolithic structures in Ethiopia, and was the last one built. The church dates back to the 12th century, and is quite possibly one of the oldest structures in the world to have been preserved in its original state!
Church of St George when viewed from the top resembles a cross. Image credit: A.Davey / Flickr