Top 5 Facts: Largest churches in the world

They’re big… but how big? Read on to find out.

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Top 5 Facts: Largest churches in the world
St Peter’s Basilica

1. St Peter’s Basilica

Location: Vatican City, Rome
Built: 1506-1626
Area: 21,095 square metres (227,065 square feet)
Spire height: 138 metres (452 feet)

Built to replace a church built by the Emperor Constantine, St Peter’s Basilica is one of the holiest sites in Christianity. It contains the tomb of St Peter and many art treasures, including works by Michelangelo.

2. Basilica of Our Lady of Aparecida

Location: Aparecida, Brazil
Built: 1955-1980
Area: 12,000 square metres (129,167 square feet)
Spire height: 100 metres (328 feet)

The second largest church in the world, only just smaller than St Peter’s Basilica, it can hold up to 45,000 people and is a major pilgrimage destination in South America.

3. Seville Cathedral

Location: Seville, Spain
Built: 1401-1507
Area: 11, 520 square metres (124,000 square feet)
Spire height: 105 metres (344 feet)

The third largest church in the world, Seville Cathedral was built using a former mosque which stood on the site. It contains 80 individual chapels, along with the tomb of Christopher Columbus.

4. Cathedral of St John the Divine

Location: New York
Built: 1892-unfinished
Area: 11,200 square metres (120,555 square feet)
Spire height: 70.7 metres (232 feet)

Also known as ‘St John the Unfinished’, it is the largest Anglican church in the world and the seat of the Bishop of New York. Despite its huge size, about half has yet to be built.

5. Milan Cathedral

Location: Milan, Italy
Built: 1386-1965
Area: 10,186 square metres (109,641 square feet)
Spire height: 45 metres (148 feet)

The cathedral church of the Archbishop of Milan, it took almost six centuries to complete and houses the shrine of St Ambrose. Built in many different architectural styles, the exterior and interior nevertheless harmonise remarkably well.

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