Orthodox believers celebrate Easter at the end of this week. It’s the reason I’m writing some special texts these days, and this is the first one. A personal selection of ten most impressive cathedrals I’ve seen around Europe – not all of them are famous but each gave me an unique feeling of blessing, light and peace of heart. Maybe I can give you a few ideas of special places to visit, after coronavirus pandemic is over.
I think these days we return, more than ever, to our faith. We pray more, hope more, learn to be patient and to trust. You don’t need to go to an imposing cathedral to pray or feel God close to you – he is everywhere, all the time, in our hearts first. But all these places I will tell you about worth seeing, once pandemic is over – they will fill your hearts with peace, joy, gratitude and love.
The Dome in Cologne, Germany
Is by far the most impressive cathedral I’ve ever seen, visited every year by millions of tourists from all over the world. It’s the biggest church in Germany and in Northern Europe, and also one of the biggest in the world. It was built between 1248-1473 and is UNESCO heritage since 1996.
New Cathedral from Linz, Austria
It’s the biggest cathedral in Austria, construction has begun in 1862 and ended in 1924. The architect was the same who had built The Dom in Cologne, and the capacity of the cathedral is of 20.000 people. It’s the church where I have seen the most beautiful stained glass windows – they show complex scenes, such as town’s history.
Saint Vitus Cathedral from Prague, Czech Republic
The cathedral is located in the charming old citadel of Prague and is the biggest and most impressive church from the country. It was founded in 1344 and inside there are the tombs of several kings of Bohemia and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire.
The Dome from Milano, Italy
The cathedral, one of the emblematic images of Italy and Europe, was built during a few centuries, construction has started in 1386 and ended in 1892. It has 135 spires, and the tallest is of 109 meters. Almost 3.500 statues decorate the cathedral, and two-thirds of them are on the outside. Up to 40.000 people can stay together inside.
The Cathedral from Orleans, France
The cathedral built in the native city of famous French heroine Joan of Arc was built from 1278 to 1329 and 1601 to 1829 (after partial destruction in 1568). It’s one of the most impressive cathedrals I have ever seen, although not so publicized. The cathedral’s stained glass windows now depict the story of Joan of Arc, the defender of Orleans.
Marble Church from Copenhagen, Denmark
The church is one of the symbols of Copenhagen and was built between 1740 and 1894. It has one of the most impressive painted ceilings I have ever seen. Don’t miss it if you get to Copenhagen – it’s very close to Amalienborg Palace, another “must see” in the Danish capital.
Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France
One of Europe’s symbols, the famous cathedral from the French capital was built between 1163 and 1345. If you get there during summer, as we did, take time because you might have to wait in line to enter inside. The place is simply overwhelming, and more than 13 millions tourists visit it every year.
St. Stephen’s Basilica from Budapest, Hungary
The most important church in Hungary was finished in 1905 and it’s extremely beautiful, one of “must see” places if you get to the Hungarian capital. Basilica is a place of pilgrimage, but also a cultural attraction, where organ concerts are held. The importance of the basilica as a place of pilgrimage is due to the presence of the Holy Hand, the right hand of King Stephen the Holy, brought here in 1950.
The Dome from Berlin, Germany
Built between 1894-1905 former royal church is located on Museums Island from Berlin and is one of the most important touristic points from German capital. One of its attractions inside is the organ built in 1905, which has over 7000 pipes. Some members of Hohenzollern royal family are buried here.
Church of St. Nicholas in Stockholm, Sweden
Located next to the Royal Palace, in Gamla Stan, old city of Stockholm, the church was first mentioned in a written source dated 1279 and according to tradition was originally built by Birger Jarl, the founder of the city itself. It has frequently been the site of major events in Swedish history, such as coronations, royal wedding and royal funerals.
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