List of largest church buildings in the world
This article lists the largest church buildings in the world as measured by various criteria.
The term church is open to interpretation and debate. In this article, it means any building that was built for the primary purpose of Christian worship, for any recognised denomination of Christianity. This includes every cathedral (the seat of a bishop), basilica, and other type of church. It does not include temples of other religions, such as mosques, synagogues, and so on. It does include at least one building, Hagia Sophia, that was built as a church and later became a mosque (it is now a museum).
Whilst claims are made about the relative size of churches many of these claims are not easily substantiated. "Largest" is at best a vague term, which is often not qualified by claimants. Accepted measures of largeness could include area, volume, length, width, height, and/or capacity, although the last is far more subjective. It is important to note therefore that churches may claim to be "the largest" based on only one of these measurements; and thus that there may be several churches that have equal claim to be "the largest church". Since there is no official body governing these claims, there is no generally accepted criterion for being "the largest church".
The list below attempts to rank churches by different (more-or-less) objective criteria, and thus may generate different orders depending on the measure used. Churches for which claims are made but dimensions cannot be found are not included on the below lists.
For length, width and height, there is usually a definitive statistic for each church, which can easily be compared. However, for area and volume, the situation is often more complex. It is often possible to find multiple values quoted for the area/volume of a church in references. Many values appear to be estimates or approximations (especially for volume), or may have been calculated by multiplying lengths, widths and heights. In the latter case, the exact dimensions used (internal vs. external, etc.) may give very different figures. Therefore, although area and volume are the most common 'largeness' measures, they are also apt to be the least reliable. This should be borne in mind when comparing church sizes.
|Area in m²||Gross volume in m³||Name||Completion||City||Country||Denomination||Comment|
|1,200,000||St. Peter's Basilica||1506–1626||Vatican City||Vatican City||Catholic
|Area can be verified on a plan printed as 205% size in 1:1000 scale to match a 41.47 m dome internal diameter|
|12,000||1,200,000||Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida||1955-1980||Aparecida||Brazil||Catholic
|Dimensions of the church given as 173×168 m yielding a maximum area of 29,000 m²|
|11,520||500,000 +||Seville Cathedral||1401-1528||Seville||Spain||Catholic
|The largest Gothic cathedral in the world|
|11,200||480,000||Cathedral of Saint John the Divine||1892–present (unfinished)||New York City||United States||Episcopal (Anglican)||Unfinished, lacking transepts among other components|
|According to Touring Club Italiano, 11,700 m² (earlier sources state 8,406 m²)|
|10,090||300,000||Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń||1994–2004||Licheń Stary||Poland||Catholic
|9240 m², enclosed main floor includes transept and apse at 290 m², enclosed tower floor at 560 m², open tower and gallery floor at 23,000 m² (which excludes the porticos at 530 m²), total area includes all floors|
|9,687||450,000 +||Liverpool Cathedral||1904-1978||Liverpool||United Kingdom||Church of England (Anglican)||The largest Anglican cathedral and church in Europe|
|8,700||130,000||Church of the Most Holy Trinity||2004-2007||Fátima||Portugal||Catholic
|Area given as 12,000m²|
|8,318||Basilica-Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar||1681–1872||Zaragoza||Spain||Catholic
|8,260||190,000||Ulm Minster||1377-1890||Ulm||Germany||Lutheran||Tallest church in the world|
|8,162||170,000||Cathedral of Saint Sava||1935-2003||Belgrade||Serbia||Orthodox||Largest Christian Orthodox temple and church in the world|
|8,000||Basilica of the Sacred Heart||1905-1970||Koekelberg (Brussels)||Belgium||Catholic
|8,000||Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe||1974–1976||Mexico City||Mexico||Catholic
|The dimensions of the basilica with its circular base is given as 102 m in diameter yielding an area of 8,167 m²|
|8,000||Cathedral of Our Lady||1352–1521||Antwerp||Belgium||Catholic
|Basilica of Our Lady of Peace||1985-1989||Yamoussoukro||Ivory Coast||Catholic
|The enclosed area approximately 8,000 m²|
|7,960||255,800 ||Hagia Sophia||532-537||Istanbul||Turkey||Orthodox||Was the largest church in the world for a millennium, now a museum|
|Gross volume without buttresses|
|7,875||St Paul's Cathedral||1677–1708||London||United Kingdom||Church of England (Anglican)|
|7,712||Washington National Cathedral||1907–1990||Washington, DC||United States||Episcopal (Anglican)|
|7,700||200,000 (interior only)||Amiens Cathedral||1220-1270||Amiens||France||Catholic
|Gross volume slightly below 400,000|
|76,396||Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception||1919–1961||Washington D.C.||United States||Catholic
|The largest Catholic church in the United States|
|6,825||660,000||Saint Joseph's Oratory||1904-1967||Montreal||Canada||Catholic
|The largest church in Canada|
|5,400||Sagrada Familia||1882–Present Day||Barcelona||Spain||Catholic
|4,968||Winchester Cathedral||1079-1525||Winchester, Hampshire||United Kingdom||Church of England (Anglican)||The longest Gothic Cathedral in Europe.|
|4,320||Basilica de San Martin de Tours (Taal)||1856-1878||Taal, Batangas||Philippines||Catholic
|The largest Catholic church in Asia|
|4,273||Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire||1083–1375||Ely||United Kingdom||Church of England (Anglican)||Third-largest medieval Cathedral in the United Kingdom|
|3,822||Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, Yerevan||1997-2001||Yerevan||Armenia||Armenian Apostolic Church||The largest Armenian Apostolic church in the world|
|3,170||Alexander Nevsky Cathedral||1882-1912||Sofia||Bulgaria||Orthodox||The second largest Orthodox church in the world|
|2,800||Medak Cathedral||1914–1926||Medak||India||Church of South India||The largest Cathedral church in India|
|2,135||64,040||Basilica of St. John the Baptist||1839-1855||St. John's||Canada||Catholic
|The largest church in eastern Canada|
|1,760||32,162||All Saints Cathedral, Halifax||1907-1910||Halifax Regional Municipality||Canada||Anglican Church of Canada||The largest Anglican cathedral church in Canada|
- List of highest church naves
- List of the largest Protestant churches
- List of the largest Protestant churches in the USA
- "St. Peter's - The Nave". Saintpetersbasilica.org. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "Basilica of St. Peter". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Ellis, Edward Robb. The Epic of New York City: A Narrative History pg. 413
- "Faith | The Times". Timesonline.co.uk. 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida (Aparecida, 1984) | Structurae". En.structurae.de. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- Quintero, Josephine. "Seville Cathedral, The City of Seville main sights, Andalucia, Southern Spain". Andalucia.com. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "Seville Cathedral". seville-traveller.com. Retrieved 27 August 2014.
- Ellis, Edward Robb Edgewood Apartments pg. 413
- Paved surface of the cathedral according to the City Planning Assessor. "Corriere della sera", 3 April 2011.
- And third largest after St. Peter and Cathedral of Seville. "Milano", Touring Club Italiano, Milano, 1985. ISBN 88-365-0004-8. Page 130.
- "Sanktuarium Maryjne w Licheniu". Lichen.pl. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "Cathedral". Liverpool Cathedral. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "The New Megachurch For The Sanctuary Of Fátima" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "La Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar" (in Spanish). Goya.unizar.es. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "Hram Svetog Save". Hram Svetog Save. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "Basílica de Guadalupe | Santuario". Virgendeguadalupe.org.mx. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "De Kathedraal - Facts and Figures". Dekathedraal.be. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- Open space surrounded by colonnade. Source: "The world's most extreme structures". Arts.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "Basilica of Our Lady of Peace Yamoussoukro | Buildings". Yamoussoukro /: Emporis. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "Aural Architecture: Music, Acoustics, and Ritual." (PDF). Stanford University. Retrieved 2014-01-27.
- "Dierk's page - Cologne Cathedral's dimensions". Anicursor.com. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- [dead link]
- Structurae. "Structurae - International Database and Gallery of Structures". En.structurae.de. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "Home-National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception". Nationalshrine.com. 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- Basilica de San Martin de Tours (Taal)
- "Welcome to Medak Diocese | Church of South India". Csimedakdiocese.in. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "Geology of the Catholic Basilica of St. John the Baptist, St. John’s, Newfoundland Geoscience Canada 31, 1 (Mar. 2004): 1-10." (PDF). https://www.gac.ca/wp/?page_id=106. Retrieved 2013-04-09.
- "Cathedral Church of All Saints; Diocese of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island Canada". www.nspeidiocese.ca. Retrieved 2013-04-09.