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 and includes every cathedral (the seat of a bishop) and basilica. It may however not include (all) modern megachurch buildings, many of which are larger in area and volume than many of the "classic" church buildings listed here. 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.
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 (m²)||Gross volume (m³)||Name||Built||City||Country||Denomination||Comment|
|5,000,000||St. Peter's Basilica||1506–1626||Vatican City||Vatican City||Catholic (Roman Rite)||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 (Roman Rite)||Church dimensions 173×168 m yielding a maximum area of 29,000 m²|
|11,520||500,000 +||Seville Cathedral||1401-1528||Seville||Spain||Catholic (Roman Rite)||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|
|10,186||440,000||Milan Cathedral||1386–1965||Milan||Italy||Catholic (Ambrosian Rite)||Touring Club Italiano claims 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 (Roman Rite)||9,240 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)|
|8,700||130,000||Church of the Most Holy Trinity||2004-2007||Fátima||Portugal||Catholic (Roman Rite)||Area given as 12,000m²|
|8,515||Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls||IV-1823||Rome||Italy||Catholic (Roman Rite)|
|8,318||Basilica-Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar||1681–1872||Zaragoza||Spain||Catholic (Roman Rite)|
|8,300||Florence Cathedral||1296-1436||Florence||Italy||Catholic (Roman Rite)|
|8,260||190,000||Ulm Minster||1377-1890||Ulm||Germany||Lutheran||Tallest in the world|
|8,000||Basilica of the Sacred Heart||1905-1970||Koekelberg (Brussels)||Belgium||Catholic (Roman Rite)|
|8,000||Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe||1974–1976||Mexico City||Mexico||Catholic (Roman Rite)||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 (Roman Rite)|
|Basilica of Our Lady of Peace||1985-1989||Yamoussoukro||Ivory Coast||Catholic (Roman Rite)||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|
|7,920||270,000||San Petronio Basilica||1390–1479||Bologna||Italy||Catholic (Roman Rite)||World's largest Gothic brick church|
|7,914||407,000||Cologne Cathedral||1248–1880||Cologne||Germany||Catholic (Roman Rite)||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 (Roman Rite)||Gross volume slightly below 400,000|
|76,396||Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception||1919–1961||Washington, DC||United States||Catholic (Roman Rite)||interior decoration remains unfinished|
|6,825||660,000||Saint Joseph's Oratory||1904-1967||Montreal||Canada||Catholic (Roman Rite)|
|6,650||Reims Cathedral||1211-1275||Reims||France||Catholic (Roman Rite)||The longest church in France|
|6,044||Strasbourg Cathedral||1015-1439||Strasbourg||France||Catholic (Roman Rite)|
|6,038||Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels||1998-2002||Los Angeles||United States||Catholic (Roman Rite)|
|6,020||43,300||De Hoeksteen, Barneveld||2007-2008||Barneveld||Netherlands||Protestant|
|5,600||Esztergom Basilica||1822-1869||Esztergom||Hungary||Catholic (Roman Rite)|
|5,500||Notre Dame de Paris||1163-1345||Paris||France||Catholic (Roman Rite)|
|5,400||Sagrada Familia||1882–present||Barcelona||Spain||Catholic (Roman Rite)||Unfinished|
|5,170||New Cathedral, Linz||1862-1924||Linz||Austria||Catholic (Roman Rite)|
|5,017||Westminster Cathedral||1895-1910||London||United Kingdom||Catholic (Roman Rite)|
|5,000||155,000||St. Mary's Church||1343–1502||Gdańsk||Poland||Catholic (Roman Rite)|
|5,000||Holy Trinity Cathedral||1995-2004||Tbilisi||Georgia||Orthodox||The overall area of the cathedral, including its large narthex, is 5,000 square meters and the volume it occupies is 137 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.|
|4,968||Winchester Cathedral||1079-1525||Winchester||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 (Roman Rite)|
|4,273||Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire||1083–1375||Ely||United Kingdom||Church of England (Anglican)||Third-largest medieval Cathedral in the United Kingdom|
|4,188||217,000||Frauenkirche||1468–1525||Munich||Germany||Catholic (Roman Rite)||The largest Gothic brick church north of the Alps and the largest hall church|
|3,822||Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, Yerevan||1997-2001||Yerevan||Armenia||Armenian Apostolic Church|
|3,650||170,000||Cathedral of Saint Sava||1935-2003||Belgrade||Serbia||Orthodox|
|3,170||Alexander Nevsky Cathedral||1882-1912||Sofia||Bulgaria||Orthodox|
|2,800||Medak Cathedral||1914–1926||Medak||India||Church of South India|
|2,135||64,040||Basilica of St. John the Baptist||1839-1855||St. John's||Canada||Catholic (Roman Rite)||The largest church in eastern Canada|
|1,760||32,162||All Saints Cathedral, Halifax||1907-1910||Halifax||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. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "Basilica of St. Peter". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Ellis, Edward Robb (21 December 2004). The Epic of New York City: A Narrative History. Basic Books. p. 413. ISBN 978-0786714360. Retrieved 2015-05-29. (subscription required (. ))
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- 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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- "La Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar" (in Spanish). Goya.unizar.es. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
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- Woszczyk, Wieslaw (27 January 2014). "Aural Architecture: Music, Acoustics, and Ritual" (PDF). Onassis Seminar on music acoustics and ritual. Stanford University. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
- 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
- "The Cathedral's dimensions". Dierk's page. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
- "Architectural History". Washington National Cathedral. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
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- "Histsory: Architecture". National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Retrieved 2015-06-08.
- Sergeant, Philip W. (1899). Bell's Cathedrals: The Cathedral Church of Winchester. London: George Bell & Sons.
- Basilica de San Martin de Tours (Taal)
- "Facts & Figures". Ely Cathedral. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
- data from www.muenchen.de Frauenkirche (Dom Zu Unserer Lieben Frau) plus calculations as follows: Munich Frauenkirche is a hall church without a transept, but with an ambulatory ao full height around the choir. Therefore the volume of the hall can simply be calculated as the sum of a cubiod and half of a cylindre of the same height. With a length of 109 m and a width of 40 m and a height of the interior of 37 m, that makes
- (89 m x 40 m + π x 20 m x 20 m ÷ 2) x 37 m = 4,188 m² x 37 m = 154,956 m³.
- roof above the cuboid: (58 m – 37 m) x 40 m x 98 m ÷ 2 = 21 m x 40 m x 49 m = 41.160 m³
- roof above the hemi-cylindre: 20 m x 20 m x 21 m x π ÷ 6 = 4396 m³
- sum of the roof = 45,556
- sum of nave and roof = 200.512
- estimated volume of the towers (98 m) above the roof 2 x 13 m x 13 m x ( 98 m - 48 m) = 16.900 m³
- "Димензије и архитектонске карактеристике Храм Светог Саве гатара" [Dimensions and Architectural Features] (in Serbian). Hram Svetog Save. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
- "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" (PDF). Geoscience Canada (Geological Association of Canada) 31 (1): 1–10. March 2004. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
- "Welcome". Cathedral Church of All Saints. Retrieved 2015-05-29.