Marvels of Peace

Marvels of Peace

Often to find calm amidst the storm, we seek solace in places of religious and spiritual importance. Churches are known to be the tranquil institutions to connect with your mind and soul. Not only that, these monuments have often witnessed events of utmost historical significance.It is beautiful how they narrate tales of art and architectural inspirations of its founding era. No wonder churches top the charts of the most visited tourist spots in any part of the globe. If we have intrigued you enough, then let’s take a look at our must-vist sanctums of design grandeur from all around the world.

Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

Have you ever thought how an unfinished building can be a feast for the eyes? Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia’s construction began in 1882 by architect Antoni Gaudí. Although, it is a large unfinished Roman Catholic church, yet it remains as an unforgettable part of Barcelona’s skyline. Taking years longer than the construction of the Egyptian pyramids, this towering building is the haven of ornate sculptures and mosaics. The Sagrada is a symbol of inspiration  refering to cultural significance. It’s stunning ceiling reaches 200 feet in height which presents a mesmerising view of spiritual forests with incredible colour tones. This masterpiece resembling Gothic architecture is the most visited attraction of Barcelona. Of course, why wouldn’t people come back to a magical atmosphere and sink in the positive vibe? 

Borgund Stave Church, Norway

Going back in time and reliving history can be anybody’s favourite. Wouldn’t it be beautiful to visit an 800-year old building still standing tall with all of its majestic stature? Built around the year 1180 with only wood, Borgund Stave Church still manages to captivate everyone with its splendour. Being the most distinctive church of Norway,  the area surrounding it is rich in historic cultural heritage. One can take advantage of the church’s location at Vindhellavegen, a part of the ancient Kongevegen (King’s Road) over the mountains which have been long used as a bridleway and packhorse track, and now, offers magnificent walking grounds. Some of its finest features are the lavishly carved portals and the crosses and carvings of dragon’s heads on the roofs, a reminiscence of the old Viking tales. Norway’s stave churches are truly iconic ones.

St. Sophia’s Cathedral, Ukraine

Time can come to a standstill whilst looking at a masterpiece of art and architecture. This 18th-century wonder, St. Sophia’s Cathedral with astounding interiors stand as one of the oldest churches of Ukraine. Although, many of the mosaics and frescoes date back to 1017–31, the building’s gold domes and 76 meters tall wedding-cake bell towers are the 18th century baroque additions. It’s worth climbing the bell tower for a bird’s-eye view of the cathedral and 360 degree panoramas of Kyiv, Ukraine. Apart from a praying ground, it includes a museum displaying archaeological artefacts and architectural displays. It’s old dome-shaped silhouette on the exterior, yet the modern and contemporary styles on the interiors have been a design inspiration for other churches and monuments. 

Church of Seven Martyrs, Greece

Churches, big or small, can be seen scattered everywhere in Greece. The Church of Seven Martyrs in Sifnos island is located on a rocky, isolated islet that emerges from the sea. The elegantly simple, sacred place is located in a picturesque setting and voted as one of the most photographed locations on Sifnos. For good reasons, it is. Although Sifnos is famous for its quaint chapels and monasteries, this beautiful Cycladic-style church painted with scenic hues of white and blue stands out against the pristine blue waters in the backdrop. Built a little afar from the main island, it is linked by stairs along the rock. When the wind tide blows strong, the church is hit by the strong waves and creates a wild, yet picturesque scene. 

Cathedral of St. John The Divine, New York

For anything to be in New York, it got to be the grandest affair. The Cathedral of St. John the Divine is one of the world’s largest church. A building made in the revival style of Romanesque architecture with stained-glass windows, gardens and wandering peacocks, remains the most visited place in New York. Also standing as one of the most fascinating marvels, this historic cathedral has many secrets, from a gold triptych by Keith Haring to a very unusual sculpture featuring the Archangel Michael, the decapitated head of Satan, and nine giraffes. A landmark open to all people of the world, St. John The Divine is a refined example of the 13th-century Gothic architecture.

Chitman Kanwar Ahuja

Chitman Kanwar Ahuja is a feature writer at L'Officiel India. She is a silver jewellery hoarder and an aesthete of all arts. You can find her unraveling new stories day in and day out.