A fairytale scene: the Assumption Church in the middle of Lake Bled. According to myth, God flooded the Slovenian lake in the Julian Alps with water to protect the church from sheep who desecrated it with their grazing. The centuries-old Gothic church is a popular wedding location. If the groom lifts his bride-to-be up the 99 steps before getting married, it would bring good luck. The wishing bell is also famous: if you ring it while making your wish, it will come true.
The famous Basil’s Cathedral on Red Square in Moscow consists of a main church surrounded by eight small churches, recognizable by the colorful round domes. Red Square’s landmark was built in the mid-16th century by order of Ivan IV, aka Ivan the Terrible. Last year, the building’s 450th anniversary was celebrated. Although it is now one of the most colorful churches in the world, the building was once white with golden domes. It was not until the 17th century that it was painted and took on the look that makes it one of the most beautiful Russian Orthodox churches in the world.
In 1754, when a mother and her deaf-mute daughter took shelter in a gorge from storms, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared before them and the daughter was suddenly able to speak. A painting of Mary remained on the rocks. For that reason, a small chapel was built on that spot, which later became the current one Las Lajas Church arose. In 2007, the basilica in the gorge over the river came in second in Colombia’s most beautiful wonders.
At the base of a 457-foot cliff in the red sand rock formations in Arizona, the Chapel of the Holy Cross built. An eye-catcher is the almost 30 meters high concrete cross that not only symbolizes faith, but also has a constructive function. The architect of the Roman Catholic house of prayer was inspired by skyscrapers. The church received an honorary award in 1957 from the American Institute of Architects, which praised the chapel as a work of art for its ‘universal appeal’.
Nature as inspiration
The architect of the famous Hallgrimskirkja in Reykjavik was inspired by the Icelandic landscape. Fascinated by the shapes of cooled lava, he used the shape of basalt pillars as the basis for the striking façade. The 74.5 meter high tower, the tallest in the country, offers an amazing view over the city. An elevator takes you up. Construction took more than 40 years and was completed in 1986.
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