The Top 6 Unmissable Basilicas of Europe

Have you ever imagined yourself hunting down the most impressive Christian religious structures around the globe? Well, if you have, then you are a lucky person for we are going to aid you in your endeavour. We are going to explore the most awe-inspiring and jaw-dropping basilicas of the world. May this be both an inner and an outer pilgrimage for your heart!

1. Saint Stephen’s Basilica:
This Roman Catholic Basilica is one of the main jewels of Budapest (Hungary) and one of the most photographed buildings in the world. This neo-classical church serves as host to numerous musical concerts and performances. It is located at the Szent István (Saint Stephen) Square – both the cathedral and the square being named after the first King of Hungary (969-1038). It is widely known that the sacred right hand of the King is housed within the bounds of the basilica. It also has two towers, six bells (one of them being the largest bell in Hungary) and a sublime interior with a cupola that offers an unforgettable view of the city.

2. The Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar:
One of the most spectacular Roman Catholic basilicas of the world is definitely the Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, situated in Zaragoza, Spain. This baroque heritage carries a legend about the Apostle Saint James, to whom Virgin Mary appeared while he was praying by river Ebro and told him to build the aforementioned establishment. Thus, the basilica has been dedicated to the Holy Mother of Christ. Refurbished and completed in the 18th century, it is regularly visited by pilgrims with the intention of kissing the wooden statue of the blessed honoree.

3. Saint Mark’s Basilica:
Those who visit Venice should undoubtedly stop at Piazza San Marco to catch a glimpse of this Italo-Byzantine cathedral and its fascinating architectural intricacies. Its unique mosaics, as well as the richly ornamented exterior, attract tourists from all around the world. The basilica is adjoined with the Doge’s Palace – another magnificent building that is worth thoroughly scrutinizing. The church offered shelter to the stolen relics of Saint Mark in days long gone. The basilica covers a vast history starting from the time when it had been the chapel of the Doges up until it became the city’s cathedral in 1807.

4. The Santa Maria Maggiore:
When it comes to basilicas, we have to say that the most imposing ones are to be found in Italy. As almost every cathedral can be connected to a legend, Santa Maria Maggiore is not an exception. It is rumored that Virgin Mary appeared to Pope Liberius and to Patrizio Giovanni and enjoined them to build a church dedicated to her, indicating the place via miracle. In the morning of the 5 August, snow had fallen above Esquiline Hill and thus the cathedral was built there. It is one of the biggest and oldest basilicas of Rome. Built in the 5th century, it fascinates tourists with its seamless blend between the Roman and Baroque architectural styles.

5. The Sacré-Cœur (The Basilica of the Sacred Hearts):
Sacré-Cœur is a splendid masterpiece that Paris should well be proud of. This church sits upon the highest point of the city (Hill Montmartre) and so it can easily be seen from afar. The interior of the basilica is decorated with stained glass windows and a huge mosaic representing Jesus in white with his arms open, entitled Christ in Majesty. As it is known, the church was dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Notable attractions inside the church include the Savoyarde bell, which is the heaviest in France (19 tons), and a large pipe organ built by Cavaillé-Coll. The 5 domes and the white aspect of the structure make it look like a spectacular oriental castle. In addition to that, the exterior is decorated with the statues of King Saint Louis and Saint Joan of Arc – the entrance appears more grandiose. Definitely a must-see!

6. The Sagrada Familia:
The Sagrada Familia is probably the most visited attraction of Barcelona due to its architectural excellence. This basilica is the masterpiece of the famous architect Antonio Gaudi, although it is not completed yet. Its groundwork has been laid in 1882 and specialists claim that it should be finished by 2026. The cathedral is supposed to have 18 spires, 3 façades and a unique interior characterized by abstract shapes and colourful stain glass windows that reflect nothing but creative brilliance. This basilica is often considered the most prominent symbol of the city and a one-of-a-kind heritage.

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