Friday, August 30, 2013


1. Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Notre Dame, Indiana

3. Basilica of the Sacred Heart
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart is the campus cathedral for the University of Notre Dame. Built reflecting neo-gothic elements, the high tower pokes over 215 feet into the sky. Joseph Gregory Dwenger, a bishop for the Catholic Church, completed the cathedral in 1870. It has over 40 windows, which permit natural light to flow into the sanctuary and it has many more paintings, statues, murals, and other decorative features. The university conducts a mass at Basilica of the Sacred Heart every Sunday. The chapel is available to rent for what must be, incredible weddings.

2. Church of Saint Yves at La Sapienza, Rome, Italy

1. Church of Saint Yves at La Sapienza
The Church of Saint Yves is classy example of detailed Baroque architecture. Francesco Borromini built the 85 by 89 foot church throughout the mid-17th Century, finishing in 1660. The dome has a lantern that permits natural sunlight to pour into the sanctuary. The interior of the cathedral contrasts the effects of geometrical shapes, as some corners are smooth while other parts of the rotunda are rough and exhibit triangular artwork. A large courtyard wraps around the “palace” of the cathedral, making the overall layout of the cathedral campus resemble the Star of David. This architectural masterpiece is located on the campus of the University of Rome, which is also called La Sapienza Università di Roma or more simply La Sapienza.

3. Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, Spain

2. Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela
The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is located right off of the campus of La Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, which is one of Spain’s most praised universities. Having been completed in 1211, the cathedral uses dark Romanesque styles, along with Baroque and even Gothic styles. The location is the supposed resting place of the apostle St. James, and according to church legend, this location was one of the stops he made while touring Europe. Consequently, millions of people have made pilgrimages here over the past 800 years. The building may be one of the most elaborate ever made. It includes bell towers, clock towers, side doors, and the infamous Façade do Obradoiro. Spanish motifs over the centuries have modeled this cathedral into a church like none other.

4. Battell Chapel, New Haven, Connecticut

4. Battell Chapel
The Battell Chapel was built to commemorate the fallen troops in the Civil War. After its construction in 1876, Yale college students started using it for their daily chapel services (which were mandatory at that time.) Russell Sturgis, Jr. designed the chapel with a Victorian Gothic style in mind. Using a rustic sandstone, he created a complex color scheme of the cathedral’s interior that emphasized brown. The cathedral has been expanded over the years; for example, the addition of an apse in 1947 served to enlarge the building. Other memorials were erected to honor the veterans of other wars. Today, services are still conducted every week by Yale faculty and students.

5. Chapelle de la Sorbonne, Paris, France

5. Chapelle de la Sorbonne
A well-known French cardinal named Richelieu built the Chapella de la Sorbonne in the early 1600′s. Overlooking the campus of the esteemed Sorbonne University, the chapel has become one of the premier cathedrals in all of France. The exterior uses collegiate Gothic designs, while the interior features a cenotaph of marble stone. Sculptures of the Cardinal Richelieu display some of the most detailed and painstaking artwork from the 17th Century. Eventually, Richelieu was buried inside of the cathedral and his tomb was celebrated with a fantastic, 20-foot sculpture made of marble.

6. Toledo Cathedral, Toledo, Spain

6. Toledo Cathedral
The Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo is one of the few High Gothic cathedrals in all of Spain. Erected in 1226 by the commission of Ferdinand III, it incorporates elements of the Mudejar style. Considered to be priceless by the Catholic Church and the country of Spain, the site has been deemed a “World Heritage Site” and is now a popular spot for tourists and history buffs. Nonetheless, the cathedral is still considered to be associated with the Royal University of Toledo despite the fact that the cathedral’s construction preceded the existence of the university.

7. Saint Mary’s Chapel, Saint Paul, Minnesota

. Saint Mary’s Chapel
In 1891, Cass Gilbert initiated the construction of Saint Mary’s Chapel under the direction of Archbishop John Ireland. The style of the cathedral borrows from the Romanesque-Byzantine, the Renaissance, and the Gothic eras. Its ceiling has long, wooden beams and is flat, as were most churches’ ceilings of the day. It has all the typical characteristics of a cathedral including an apse, a nave, and a sacristies. The color scheme suggested by the rare stain glassed windows add to the richness of the decor. Today, is still serves its original purpose as a church meeting place for the Catholic seminary school called the University of St. Thomas.

8. Great St. Mary’s Church, Cambridge, England

8. Great St. Mary’s Church
The Great St. Mary’s Church (not to be confused with the King’s College Chapel, which is also in Cambridge, England) is a beautiful example of late Gothic architecture. Originally built in 1205, then rebuilt in 1290, the church has a rich history consistent with the Church of England’s records. It has been used by royalty since its construction and was expanded by King Richard III and King Henry VII. The church uses organs that date back to the 19th Century, and the church bells dated back to the 18th Century until they were replaced in 2009. This cathedral is the official church of the University of Cambridge, one of the most prestigious universities in the world.

9. Weaver Chapel, Springfield, Ohio

9. Weaver Chapel
Weaver Chapel is the cathedral of Wittenberg University. Outside of the building stands several statues of important religious figures including Martin Luther. These statues set on a base tower of over 200 feet. The interior of the cathedral has immaculate stained glass windows on which National Geographic published a special. Over 20 panels line the front of the church and entail the university’s history. The chapel is used by the university as an interfaith center throughout the typical school week.

10. King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, England

10. King’s College Chapel
The King’s College Chapel is nestled in the campus of King’s College, which is a division of the University of Cambridge. The chapel is narrow and stretches 289 feet from the North Wing to the South Wing. Twelve tall windows line the corridors of the sanctuary, which may be a Biblical symbol of the twelve tribes of Israel. Aside from its iconic windows, it is known for its fan vault ceiling, which is actually the world’s largest. The chapel uses typical perpendicular architecture common for English cathedrals in the Dark Ages. King Henry VI laid the very first stone of the building, but it was not completed until the rule of King Henry VII in 1515.

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