The majestic look of Roman Catholic basilicas is akin to the religion’s rich and colorful history. Throughout the religion’s history, major and minor basilicas, churches, and even chapels have become part of its identity in the modern era.
Catholic basilicas and cathedrals are known for their grand and impressive architectural design and concept. This fact makes them unique and truly eye-catching. Today, many of these churches are still intact and continue to be a place of worship of Catholics and destination to tourists. Additionally, there are particular basilicas that are world-famous because of their unique and striking structural design and the history they bear.
Although there are many Catholic basilicas across the globe, there are few ones that have been made famous, thanks to their bold and interesting architecture. The following are some of the more popular Catholic structures with respect to their architectural designs:
• Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Maryland, USA) – Simply known as the Baltimore Basilica, this structure is recognized as the first major Roman Catholic cathedral established in the United States. The man behind the design is Benjamin Henry Latrobe, the same person enlisted by Thomas Jefferson to design the Capitol Building. This basilica was opened in 1821, 15 years after it was initially constructed. The Baltimore Basilica is easily recognizable from a far because of its neoclassical design, conforming to its Latin cross basilica plan.
• Notre Dame de Paris (Paris, France) – Also known as Notre Dame Cathedral, this structure is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris. The cathedral is touted as one of the best examples of French Gothic architecture. It is famous among architects because of the fact that it was the one of the first constructed Gothic cathedrals in the world. Additionally, it is one of the first structures built with flying buttresses for support. Being built in 1345, the cathedral had witness different historical events throughout its history. It also became a target of vandalism throughout its almost 700-year history, especially during the World War II.
• St. Patrick’s Cathedral of Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia) – Considered as one of the finest examples of Gothic Revival style of architecture, this structure is the cathedral church of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. St. Patrick’s is dedicated to St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, as many Catholics in Melbourne are of Irish decent. The church is likewise is the tallest cathedral in Australia.
• The Basilica of Saint Peter (Vatican City) – The Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano is one of the four Papal Basilicas and the most famous one in Rome. St. Peter’s has the largest interior of any Christian church, having the capability of holding more than 60,000 people. The pope presides a number of services in the cathedral, drawing a crowd of not more than 80,000. The construction of the basilica started in 1506 and was completed in 1626. Dubbed as the greatest basilica of all, it is a perfect example of Renaissance and Baroque style architecture.
These basilicas are just some of the many architectural wonders that religions gifted to the world. Christians, Muslims, Protestants, Buddhists, among others have shared a lot in world of architecture.