If you’re of the opinion that the church is a place where creativity goes to die, then just consider this: only recently has the church become a drab shadow of its former self. For most of the time since the birth of Christ, the Church was the most powerful (and opulent) organization in the world. For more than a thousand years, the Church employed history’s most talented artists and architects and channeled their passion into some of the world’s most awe-inspiring places of worship. Christianity may not be quite the titanic force it was hundreds of years ago, but the vestiges of that power and prestige are scattered around the world in truly gorgeous fashion. For a long time, Christianity had a monopoly on the world’s coolest buildings, and here are some of the best.
1. The Dome of Florence’s Santa Maria del Fiore Defines the City’s Skyline
The unusually colorful facade of Florence Cathedral features lavish panels of pink and green, proving that the Gothic style can lend itself to a tapestry of color.
2. Notre Dame Sits on the Gently Rolling Banks of the Seine in Paris
One of the city’s most popular tourist spots, Notre Dame is singularly gorgeous cathedral in Paris that’s a satisfying place to visit even if you don’t actually go inside. (Seriously, consider getting some coffee at one of the cafes across the river and just people watch and bask in the beauty.)