List of highest church naves

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The nave is the central approach to the high altar, the main body of the church, in Romanesque and Gothic Christian abbey, cathedral basilica and church architecture. "Nave" (Medieval Latin navis, "ship") was probably suggested by the keel shape of its vaulting.[1] The nave of a church, whether Romanesque, Gothic or Classical, extends from the entry — which may have a separate vestibule, the narthex — to the chancel and is flanked by lower aisles[2] separated from the nave by an arcade.

Beauvais 47m
St Peters 46 m
Milan Cathedral 45 m
Licheń Basilica 44 m
Palma. La Seu. 44 m
Cologne 43.35 m
Amiens 42.3 m
Metz 41.41 m
Munich Frauenkirche Interior highlighting No window effect
Cathedral/Church Nave height (meters) Country Comment
Beauvais Cathedral 47.5 m (156 ft)[3] France The "Parthenon of French Gothic", only one bay of the nave was built, but choir and transepts were completed to the same height.
St. Peter's Basilica 46 m (151 ft)[4]

45 m (148 ft)[5]

Vatican City
Milan Cathedral 45 m (148 ft) Italy
Barcelona, Sagrada Família 45 m (148 ft)[6] Spain Still under construction, although the interior of the church is complete. Vaults of the crossing and the apse reach 60 and 75 metres respectively.
Santa Chiara (Naples) 45 m (148 ft) Italy
San Petronio Basilica, Bologna 45 m (148 ft) Italy
Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń 44 m (144 ft) Poland Highest nave in Poland, wide 77m. The highest point inside church (Dome-presbytery) have 85 meters high
Palma Cathedral 44 m (144 ft)[7][8] Spain Pillars sustaining vaults are the narrowest in the world: they measure 1/12 of vault width (at Reims, pillars are 1/6 of vault width)
Cologne Cathedral 43.35 m (142.2 ft)[9] Germany Highest height to width ratio of any nave
Amiens Cathedral 42.3 m (139 ft)[10] France
Seville Cathedral 42 m (138 ft)


Spain Ranked as largest medieval Gothic church
Metz Cathedral 41.41 m (135.9 ft) France Largest glass surface
St Bartholomew's Church, Brighton 41.15 m (135.0 ft)[12] United Kingdom Highest nave in the UK, not vaulted (wooden wagon roof).
Ulm Münster 41 m (135 ft)[13] Germany
Narbonne Cathedral 41 m (135 ft)

40.1 m (132 ft)[14]

France Only the great choir of this French gothic cathedral has been built
Aparecida, New Basílica 40 m (130 ft) Brazil Third biggest church in the world. Biggest temple of all Americas.
Lubeck, Marienkirche 38.5 m (126 ft) Germany Highest brick vault in the world.
Hagia Sophia 38 m (125 ft)[10] Turkey
Notre-Dame de Reims 37.95 m (124.5 ft)[10] France This cathedral possesses the record of the world of statues: 2303 stone figurines are represented to it.
New York, St John the Divine 37.7 m (124 ft)[15] USA
St Paul's Cathedral, London 37.5 m (123 ft) United Kingdom
Cathedral of La Plata 37.5 m (123 ft) Argentina
Nantes Cathedral 37.5 m (123 ft) France
Bourges Cathedral 37 m (121 ft)[10] France
Chartres Cathedral 37 m (121 ft)

36.55 m (119.9 ft)[10]

Basilica of St. Thérèse (Lisieux) 37 m (121 ft) France
Wismar St. Nicolai 37 m (121 ft) Germany
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour 37 m (121 ft)[16] Russia
Liverpool Cathedral 36.54 m (119.9 ft) United Kingdom
Tournai Cathedral 36 m (118 ft) Belgium Highest nave in the Low Countries
Salamanca Cathedral 35.4 m (116 ft) Spain
Paris, Notre Dame 35 m (115 ft)[17]
34 m (112 ft)[18][19]
Cathedral of Malaga 35 m (115 ft) Spain
Wismar (St. Georgen church) 35 m (115 ft) Germany
Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe Zamora, Michoacán 34 m (112 ft)[20] Mexico Tallest neo-gothic church in Mexico, 106 m. Still under construction. Known as the "Incomplete Cathedral" ("La Catedral Inconclusa").
Cathedral of Girona 34 m (112 ft) Spain Widest gothic nave in the world, 22.98 m, and lower ratio high/wide in gothic architecture
Church of Our Lady of the Snows (Prague) 34 m (112 ft)[21] Czech Republic 39 m (128 ft) high nave destroyed during Hussite Wars
Cathédrale St-Julien 33 m (108 ft) France
Segovia Cathedral 33 m (108 ft)[22] Spain
St. Vitus Cathedral 33 m (108 ft)[23] Czech Republic
Speyer cathedral 33 m (108 ft) Germany Highest romanesque vault
Stralsund, Marienkirche 32.95 m (108.1 ft) Germany World's highest building from 1625 to 1647 (151 m). Today 104 m.
St. Mary's Church, Stargard Szczeciński 32.5 m (107 ft) Poland Secound highest nave in Poland
Monastery of Batalha 32.5 m (107 ft)[24] Portugal
Glasgow Cathedral 32 m (105 ft) United Kingdom
Santa Maria del Mar, Barcelona 32 m (105 ft) Spain Greatest separation among pillars in gothic architecture (15 m)
Engelbrektskyrkan 32 m (105 ft) Sweden Highest nave in Scandinavia
Regensburg Cathedral 31.85 m (104.5 ft)[25] Germany
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels 31.7 m (104 ft) United States
St. Martin's Cathedral, Utrecht 31.5 m (103 ft) Netherlands The nave collapsed during a storm in 1674
St. Mary's Church, Rostock 31.5 m (103 ft) Germany
St Bavo's Cathedral, Ghent 31.1 m (102 ft)[26] Belgium
Westminster Abbey, London 31 m (102 ft)[27] United Kingdom
Munich Frauenkirche 31 m (102 ft) Germany
York Minster 31 m (102 ft) United Kingdom
St. Olaf's Church 31 m (102 ft)[28] Estonia
Washington National Cathedral 31 m (102 ft) United States
St. John's Cathedral ('s-Hertogenbosch) 29 m (95 ft) Netherlands
Church of the Assumption of Our Lady and Saint John the Baptist 28 m (92 ft)[29] Czech Republic
Lancing College Chapel 27.4 m (90 ft)[30] United Kingdom
Uppsala Cathedral 27 m (89 ft)[31] Sweden
Salisbury Cathedral 25.5 m (84 ft)[32] United Kingdom
Lincoln Cathedral 25 m (82 ft)[33] United Kingdom A central spire from after 1311 until 1548 had a reputed height of 160 m (520 ft), which would have made the cathedral the tallest structure in the world during the spire's existence.
Canterbury Cathedral 24 m (79 ft) United Kingdom
All Saints Cathedral, Halifax 19.5 m (64 ft) Canada

Note: The lower part of the list probably has many missing cathedrals. For example, St Patrick's Cathedral Melbourne - 24.3 metres

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica, s.v. "nave".
  2. ^ Nave (definition from Accessed 2010-01.20.)
  3. ^ "Architecture". MSN Encarta. Archived from the original on 2009-11-01. 
  4. ^ "The Basilica of St. Peter". Argiletum Tour. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  5. ^ "The Nave". St. Peter's Basilica. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  6. ^ "Informe Del Comité Español Del Consejo Internacional De Monumentos Y Sitios (ICOMOS) Sobre El Posible Impacto Del Tren De Alta Velocidad (AVE) En El Templo Expiatorio De La Sagrada Familia De Barcelona" (PDF). International Council on Monuments and Sites. 1 February 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2007. 
  7. ^ "Restoration of the Cathedral of Palma de Majorca". Gaudi & Barcelona Club. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  8. ^ Roca, P.; Gonzalez, J. L. "Morphology, Structure and History – The Case of the Upper Flying Arches of Mallorca Cathedral" (PDF). Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 January 2004. 
  9. ^ "Measures and dates". Der Kölner Dom. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  10. ^ a b c d e Der Geschichtliche Weg Der grossen Kathedralen Frankreichs, France Monuments.
  11. ^ "Seville Cathedral". Spain (official tourism portal). Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  12. ^ "St Bartholomews Church". Visit Brighton. Retrieved 14 May 2013.
  13. ^ "St. Mary's Lutheran Cathedral". Université du Québec. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  14. ^ "Narbonne". Université du Québec. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  15. ^ "Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine". New York Architecture. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  16. ^ "The Cathedral of Christ the Saviour". Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Façade - Notre Dame Cathedral". Buffalo Architecture and History. Archived from the original on 22 March 2007. 
  18. ^ "Notre Dame en long et en large chiffres et anecdotes". Notre Dame de Paris. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  19. ^ "Notre-Dame de Paris, Paris – Interior". Planetware. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  20. ^ "El proyecto". Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  21. ^ "Church of Our Lady of the Snows". Prague Welcome. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  22. ^ "Social events". CLIP Lab. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  23. ^ "Stavba". Katedrála sv. Víta. Archived from the original on 25 May 2007. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ Hubel, Achim (2010). Regensburg: St Peter's Cathedral. Schnell, Art Guide (4th ed.). Regensburg: Schnell & Steiner. p. 12. ISBN 978-3-7954-6162-1. 
  26. ^ "OKV: De Sint-Baafskathedraal gent. Monument en heiligdom.". Retrieved 21 March 2015.
  27. ^ "Jewels of the Architecture: London". Europanas. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  28. ^ St. Olaf's Church, Tallinn
  29. ^ "Santini". Česká televize. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  30. ^
  31. ^ "Hur hög och hur lång?". Linköpings domkyrkoförsamling. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  32. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". Salisbury Cathedral. Retrieved 24 January 2013.
  33. ^ "Plan and Description of Lincoln Cathedral from an Anonymous guide booklet printed near the end of the Nineteenth Century". The Bourne Archive. Retrieved 24 January 2013.