List of largest church buildings
This article lists the largest church buildings 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. The list does include at least one building—the Hagia Sophia—that was originally a church but later became a mosque and is now a museum. Inexplicably, the list does not include buildings from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons). Two of their buildings are significantly larger than any buildings on the list - the Conference Center in Salt Lake City is 130,000 square meters and the Salt Lake Temple is over 23,500 square meters.
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 claims 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.
- List of highest church naves
- List of the largest Protestant churches
- List of the largest Protestant churches in the USA
- List of largest Orthodox cathedrals
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- Ellis, Edward Robb Edgewood Apartments p. 413
- 9,240 m² of Lichen Basilica: 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"Sanktuarium Maryjne w Licheniu". Lichen.pl. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
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- data from http://www.bolognawelcome.com, Basilica di San Petronio plus calculations as follows:
- San Petronio de Bologna: The footplan of the building is a simple rectangle
- Area = length of the building x width of the building = 132 m x 60 m
- The volume, without the roofs, can be calculated as a sum of five cuboids, one single (the central nave) and two pairs (the aisles and the files of chapels). The sum each of the pairs can be calculated as one cuboid of double width. Knowing the height of the central nave and the width of the building, the measures of the sections can be calculated by measuring an orthograde photo of the facade.
- Volume = (traverse section of the central nave [width = 22 m, height = 44.27 m] + sum of the traverse sections of the two aisles [width = 20 m, height = 29.06 m] + sum of the traverse sections of the two files of chapels [width = 18 m, height = 22.38 m]) x length of the building [132 m]
- (973.94 + 581.2 + 402.84) x 132 = 1,957.98 x 132 = 258,453.36
- San Petronio de Bologna: The footplan of the building is a simple rectangle
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- http://structurae.net/structures/saint-marys-church give 155,000 only, excluding roofs and turrets, without telllng that
- Description of Tblisi Cathedral: The overall area of the cathedral, including its large narthex, is 5,000 square meters and the volume it occupies is 137,000 cubic meters. The interior of the church measures 56 metres by 44 metres, with an interior area of 2,380 square metres. The height of the cathedral from the ground to the top of the cross is 105,5 metres. The underground chapel occupies 35,550 cubic metres. The height is 13 metres.
- Sergeant, Philip W. (1899). Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Winchester. London: George Bell & Sons.
- Basilica de San Martin de Tours (Taal)
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- "Volumen (Kubatur) der Münchener Frauenkirche". www.gebaut.eu.
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- "I love early morning Sofia". Archived from the original on 30 March 2010.
The church occupies an area of 3170 m² and can accommodate up to 5,000 worshippers inside, which makes it the second biggest cathedral on the Balkan Peninsula after the Temple of Saint Sava in Serbia.
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