Most beautiful churches and cathedrals in the U.S.

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If you are living in the US, then you should know that you don’t have to travel to Europe for beautiful, historic churches. The architecture of some of our churches can compete with the intricate design and build of so many European cathedrals. The list below will make you want to travel throughout the US and visit these incredible religious establishments.

#1. The Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Augustine, Florida

Located at 36 Valencia Street in St. Augustine, Florida, the Memorial Presbyterian Church is one of the most impressive pieces of architecture across the US. Many television channels catalogued the cathedral in the past as one of the most impressive Protestant churches in the world.

The religious establishment was built in the 19th century. The architectural plan is Carrère and Hastings’ creation, maybe one of the most acclaimed and appreciated architectural firms across the US. Inspired by the Cattedrale Patriarcale di San Marco in Venice, many of the architectural details of the building were created by using terra cotta. The same technique was used by the vast majority of the architects of the era. Today, tourists can observe the church’s interior with plenty of vibrant colors and a plethora of detailed architectural elements.

#2. The Washington National Cathedral, Washington DC

The Washington National Cathedral is a religious establishment owned by the Episcopal Church in Washington DC. The cathedral was built in an English Gothic style that dates back from the 14th century.  It is the second largest clerical establishment in the US.

The construction of the building started at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1907. Theodore Roosevelt was part of the ceremony in which the cornerstone of the building was placed. The building’s architecture is what differentiates the cathedral from others in the US.

The Rose windows contain more than 10.000 pieces of individually installed painted glass. The “Creation” window was installed in 1976 to celebrate the mystery and beauty of God’s creation.

The Ex Nihilo sculpture is Hart’s opera and was completed in 1982. The sculptor’s creation is a depiction of the birth of mankind and represents a male and a female that were born from the void.

The custom church sings placed at the entrance blend beautifully in with the general design and offer information on the establishment.

#3. The Wayfarers Chapel, California

Also known as the Glass Chapel, this is one of the most intricate creations of modern times. The church was designed in the ‘40s by Lloyd Wright. The chapel serves as a memorial to Emanuel Swedenborg, its founder and prominent philosopher, Lutheran theologist and scientist.

Lloyd Wright created a modern, geometric design for the chapel. The design and build are based on glass, in an attempt to incorporate the building into the natural landscape. The delicate building and its inclusion into the landscape, made out of the chapel a popular spot for weddings.

#4. Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis King of France in New Orleans, Louisiana

Built in 1789, the cathedral is one of the most remarkable landmarks in Louisiana. The cathedral was built in the historical part of the city and makes it one of the most impressive cities in the US. The building is one of the oldest Catholic religious establishments in the US that has been used continuously. The church was initially built in 1718 from wood and had a simplistic, crude design. In time, the building has been enlarged to satisfy the need for a bigger space of a growing congregation.

The St. Louis Cemetery is annexed to the cathedral. Here rest various prominent New Orleans figures, including Bernard de Marigny, Homer Plessy and Benjamin Henry Latrobe.

The cathedral is the centerpiece and the soul of New Orleans and attracts thousands of visitors each year.

#5. The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis in St. Louis, Missouri

The building was finished in 1914 and since then, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis is one of the most prominent landmarks in St. Louis, Missouri. The cathedral is located in the Central West End area of St. Louis. While of recent creation, the plans for a majestic cathedral in the area began in the 1870s.

The remarkable cathedral was beautified in 1912 with a series of mosaics. With more than 41.5 million glass pieces, the mosaics at the St. Louis Cathedral make out of it a stunning architectural attraction. They also are the second largest mosaic collection outside Russia.

Hidden in the church’s basement, visitors can find a series of crypts and a museum.

#6. The Cathedral of Saint Paul, Minnesota

The Cathedral of Saint Paul in Minnesota is a roman catholic church. The current body of the church was built in 1915 as the fourth cathedral of the archdiocese. Some interesting architectural elements are the 24 stained glass windows that illuminate the church. Also, visitors can find here a series of sculptures of impressive dimensions. The sculptures depict the four evangelists and were created by John Ange. The placement of the sculptures is also an impressive one, each evangelist being placed in a corner of the church.

The cathedral is built in the Classical Renaissance-style and features plenty of elements that can be explored and enjoyed by visitors.

#7. The Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs, Arkansas

This is an impressive chapel, designed by E. Fay Jones. The construction features 425 windows and 6,000 square feet of glass and is part of the modern churches built post-WWII. The church has a minimalist architecture and design in an attempt to minimize the costs associated with bringing the materials in the area. Until the present time, it has been visited by more than 6 million people.

These are some of the most impressive architectural buildings that fall into the religious establishment category. Each of them has its own particularities and remarkable design and was built to offer comfort and peace to each congregation. In time, these churches became landmarks of the cities where they were built.

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