Going to church — great churches to visit

1. Church of Saint Simeon Stylites in Syria

In northern Syria, the ruins of this Byzantine church still display a very beautiful architectural ensemble dating back to the 5th century. The church was built on the spot where St. Simeon had retired atop a pillar to pray. This is the origin of the name “Stylite,” the Greek term stylos referring to a column.

2. The Mont-Saint-Michel

Wonder of French architecture, Mont-Saint-Michel has been a major place of pilgrimage since the 9th century.  Its origin dates back to the early 8th century, when Saint Aubert, bishop of Avranches, claimed that in an apparition the Archangel Michael himself ordered him to build a chapel on the island and dedicate it to him.

3. Cologne Cathedral

A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, the cathedral dates from the middle of the 13th century and was inspired by the cathedrals of Amiens and Beauvais. The towers were completed according to the old plans only in the 19th century. Rising 157 meters high, it is the second highest church in the country and the most visited monument in Germany: perhaps you caught a glimpse of it during the 2005 WYD?

4. The Slovenian Church of St. Mary of the Assumption

This small church is built in the middle of Lake Bled in Slovenia. Ninety-nine steps lead to the shrine at the top of the island. The building was built in the 15th century — frescoes of that era remain — then remodeled in the 17th and 18th centuries. A real curiosity!

5. The Basilica of Saint Peter in Rome

Built on the site of St. Peter’s tomb, the basilica is an inescapable pilgrimage destination. If you are not lucky enough to see the pope, you can always admire the spectacular architecture of the building. Artists who participated in its construction — the architect Bramante, sculptors Michelangelo and Bernini — are nothing less than absolute geniuses. Continue reading

Source & Image:

  • Aleteia, article by Marie Fournier


Additional reading

News category: Features.

Tags: , ,