Religious buildings have been around for thousands of years and don’t just provide a place of worship but often play an important role in the local community. But while many church buildings look very similar in shape and size, there are a special few that are a little more unusual. The following are 10 perfect examples of this and are some of the world’s most beautiful and bizarre churches.
Borgund Stave Church – Norway
The Borgund Stave Church in Norway dates all the way back to 1180 and wouldn’t look out of place on the set of Lord of the Rings. The wooden church was one of the first of its kind to be built on stone foundations, in order to stop the wood from rotting. The foundations certainly worked and the church is still standing today, although it is now used as a museum rather than a place of worship.
St Michael’s Golden Domed Monastery – Ukraine
The St Michael’s Golden Domed Monastery is one of the grandest and most spectacular churches on this list. The breathtaking building dates all the way back to the 12th century and is still used as a monastery today.
Church In A Hill – Luxembourg
Luxembourg is home to one of the most unusual churches on this list: The Church In A Hill. Looking like the perfect place for a Hobbit, the church is built right into the side of a rock, with half of the roof being formed from the natural rock of the hill. It’s certainly one way to save on the cost of roof tiles!
Chapel In The Rock – Arizona
Carrying on the theme of rock based churches, Arizona is home to the incredible Chapel In The Rock. The church is built right through the centre of the famous Arizona rocks and offers incredible views from both inside and out.
Saint-Michel D’aiguilhe Chapel – France
The Saint-Michel D’aiguilhe Chapel is not only one of the oldest but also one of the most beautiful churches on this list. Built in 969, the chapel is located right on the top of a volcanic plug, some 85 metres above the town of Aiguilhe, meaning Saint-Michel offers some of the best views and most picturesque setting of any church in the world.
Cadet Chapel – Colorado
The futuristic looking Cadet Chapel in Colorado is part of the United States Air Force Academy and looks more like a spaceship than a church. The breathtaking structure was actually quite controversial when it was first built in 1962 but has since been recognised for its striking design and was listed as a US National Historic Landmark in 2004.
Las Lajas Sanctuary – Colombia
The Las Lajas Sanctuary in Colombia dates back to 1916 and is easily one of the most beautiful places of worship in the world. The huge sanctuary is built right into the side of a cliff face and is connected to the other side of the ravine by a spectacular bridge. The incredible location and beautiful architecture make Las Lajas one of Colombia’s most popular tourist destinations.
Jubilee Church – Rome
The Jubilee Church in Rome is not only one of the newest structures on this list but also one of the most unusual. The three curved walls of the church were designed to reduce thermal peak zones and the cement contains titanium dioxide in order to keep the walls white and reduce air pollution.
Church Of Hallgrimur
The Church of Hallgrimur in Iceland is rather unusual as it functions as both a place of worship and an observation tower. The building dates back to 1945 and took 38 years to build. Standing at an impressive 74 metres tall, the church is actually the fourth tallest building in Iceland.