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 "nth-largest church". Since there is no official body governing these claims, there is no generally accepted criterion for being "the largest church".
The lists below attempt 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||Roman 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||Aparecida||Brazil||Roman Catholic||Dimensions of the church given as 173×168 m, yielding a maximum area of 29,000 m². If the volume is indeed similar to St. Peter's, as quoted (see above), then an area nearer that of St. Peter's would be likely.|
|11,520||>500,000||Seville Cathedral||1520||Seville||Spain||Roman Catholic||Largest cathedral in the world.|
|11,200||480,000||Cathedral of Saint John the Divine||1941—present (unfinished)||New York||United States||Episcopal (Anglican)||Unfinished, lacking transepts among other components.|
|10,186||440,000||Milan Cathedral||1386–1965||Milan||Italy||Roman Catholic||According to Touring Club Italiano, 11,700 m². Old source says 8,406 m².|
|10,090||300 000||Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń||1994–2004||Licheń Stary||Poland||Roman Catholic||9240 m² – enclosed main floor incl. transept and apse, 290 m² – enclosed tower floor, 560 m² – open tower and gallery floor (530 m² – porticos excluded); 23,000 m² – total area incl. main, ground & other floors.|
|9,687||Liverpool Cathedral||1904-1978||Liverpool||United Kingdom||Church of England (Anglican)||Largest Anglican cathedral and church in Europe|
|8,700||130,000||Church of the Most Holy Trinity||2007||Fátima||Portugal||Roman Catholic||Area given as 12,000m² in|
|8,318||Basilica-Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar||1681–1872||Zaragoza||Spain||Roman Catholic|
|8,162||170 000||Cathedral of Saint Sava||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||Roman Catholic|
|8,000||Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe||1974–1976||Mexico City||Mexico||Roman Catholic||The basilica has a circular base. Dimensions given as 102 meter in diameter, yielding an area of 8,167 m²|
|8,000||Cathedral of Our Lady||1352–1521||Antwerp||Belgium||Roman Catholic|
|Basilica of Our Lady of Peace||1989||Yamoussoukro||Ivory Coast||Roman Catholic||Enclosed area – just under the dome 90 m in diameter – c. 8,000 m²|
|7,920||San Petronio||1390–1658||Bologna||Italy||Roman Catholic|
|7,914||407,000||Cologne Cathedral||1248–1880||Cologne||Germany||Roman Catholic||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||predates 1218||Amiens||France||Roman Catholic||Gross volume slightly below 400,000 per similarity in size and structure to Cologne Cathedral|
|7,400||Hagia Sophia||537||Istanbul||Turkey||Orthodox||The largest church in the world for a 1000 years, now a museum|
|76,396||Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception||1919–1961||Washington D.C.||United States||Roman Catholic||The largest Catholic church in the United States|
|4,320||Basilica de San Martin de Tours (Taal)||1865||Taal, Batangas||Philippines||Roman Catholic||Largest Catholic Church in Asia|
|4,273||Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire||1375||Ely||United Kingdom||Church of England (Anglican)||3rd Largest Medieval Cathedral in the UK|
|3,170||Alexander Nevsky Cathedral||1882||Sofia||Bulgaria||Orthodox||The 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||1855||St. John's||Canada||Roman 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
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- "Basilica of St. Peter". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
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- "Faith | The Times". Timesonline.co.uk. 2012-03-13. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
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- Quintero, Josephine. "Seville Cathedral, The City of Seville main sights, Andalucia, Southern Spain". Andalucia.com. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- 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.
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- 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.
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- [dead link]
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- "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 Roman Catholic Basilica of St. John the Baptist, St. John’s, Newfoundland Geoscience Canada 31, 1 (Mar. 2004): 1-10.". 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.