10 Most Famous Cathedrals in the World

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Cathedrals, with their towering spires and awe-inspiring architecture, have been spiritual and cultural symbols for centuries. These magnificent structures represent not only religious faith but also human ingenuity in construction. 

Here, we explore the ten most famous cathedrals from around the world, each with its own unique history, architecture, and cultural significance.

1. Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris, France

Notre Dame Cathedral
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One of the most iconic cathedrals globally, Notre Dame’s stunning Gothic architecture has graced Paris since the 12th century. 

Known for its intricate stained glass windows and the famous Hunchback of Notre Dame tale, this cathedral remains an enduring symbol of French culture.

2. St. Peter’s Basilica  – Vatican City

st. peter's basilica
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Located within Vatican City, St. Peter’s Basilica is the world’s largest Christian church. Its immense dome, designed by Michelangelo, stands as a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. St. Peter’s is also the final resting place of numerous popes.

3. Chartres Cathedral – Chartres, France

Chartres Cathedral
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Chartres Cathedral is an exceptional example of High Gothic architecture. Its stunning stained glass windows, including the Blue Virgin Window, are renowned for their beauty and craftsmanship. The cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a pilgrimage destination.

Fun fact: The Chartres Cathedral in France contains 176 stained-glass windows!

4. Sagrada Familia – Barcelona, Spain

sagrada familia
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Designed by the legendary architect Antoni Gaudí, the Sagrada Familia is a masterpiece of late Catalan Modernism architecture. Construction began in 1882 and continues to this day. Its unique design blends Spanish Late Gothic and Art Nouveau elements, creating a truly awe-inspiring structure.

Fun fact: work on the Sagrada Família started in 1882 and has been ongoing for 140 years. It is currently in the last stages and should be finished completely by 2032 or 2030.

5. Cologne Cathedral – Cologne, Germany

Cologne Cathedral
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The Cologne Cathedral is the tallest twin-spired church in the world. Its twin spires dominate the city’s skyline, and the cathedral’s intricate facade and stunning interior attract millions of visitors each year. It is one of Europe’s most popular tourist attractions!

6. Westminster Abbey – London, United Kingdom

Westminster Abbey
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As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Westminster Abbey has played a central role in British history. It is known for its coronation ceremonies, royal weddings, and as the burial place of numerous British monarchs and notable figures.

7. St. Basil’s Cathedral – Moscow, Russia

St. Basil's Cathedra
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St. Basil’s Cathedral, with its colorful, onion-shaped domes, is an iconic symbol of Russia. Located in Moscow’s Red Square, this cathedral is famous for its distinctive and vibrant architecture.

8. Hagia Sophia – Istanbul, Turkey

Hagia Sophia
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Originally a cathedral, Hagia Sophia later became a mosque and is now a museum. Its immense dome, innovative design, and rich history make it an architectural wonder and a testament to Byzantine and Ottoman influences.

9. Milan Cathedral (Duomo di Milano) – Milan, Italy

Milan Cathedral
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The Milan Cathedral is a masterpiece of Italian Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Its stunning marble facade and intricate spires make it one of the most recognizable landmarks in Milan.

10. Durham Cathedral – Durham, United Kingdom

Durham Cathedral
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Durham Cathedral is renowned for its Romanesque architecture and stunning location on a hill overlooking the Wear River. It is considered one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in England.

These ten cathedrals, with their rich histories and architectural brilliance, serve as both places of worship and cultural treasures. They stand as a testament to human creativity and devotion throughout the ages, inspiring awe and admiration in all who visit them.

World’s Most Recognizable Opera House, Plus 7 Equally as Stunning

Sydney Opera House
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With the birth of opera in the late 16th century came a demand for structures big enough and luxurious enough to hold lavish productions that combined music and theater.

Once the first opera house was built in Venice in 1637, other major cities followed suit. These venues became known as a place where the upper class would gather to attend famous operettic performances such as The Barber of Seville and La Traviata.

Many opera houses built since then have disappeared. Still, some have stood the test of time and have become historical structures recognized worldwide for their stunning architectural design.

While the Sydney Opera House may be the world’s most recognizable opera house, others are equally as impressive. Enjoy this list of eight incredible opera houses around the globe.

World’s Most Recognizable Opera House, Plus 7 Equally as Stunning

15 Fascinating Facts About Famous Landmarks Hardly Anyone Knows.

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There are countless iconic landmarks that dot the globe, each with its own unique story and significance. However, even the most famous of these landmarks harbor secrets and fascinating facts that are often overlooked. These 15 fascinating facts remind us that there’s always more to discover about the world’s most famous landmarks, no matter how well-known they may seem.

15 Fascinating Facts About Famous Landmarks Hardly Anyone Knows

10 Famous Landmarks That Narrowly Survived Catastrophe

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When we think about famous landmarks, it seems as though they’ve been there practically forever. It’s a little strange to imagine a time when they didn’t exist, but it can be even stranger to contemplate that a lot of them came breathtakingly close to being destroyed forever. Some of them are among the most famous and storied landmarks of all!

Let’s look at 10 famous landmarks that narrowly survived catastrophe.

10 Famous Landmarks That Narrowly Survived Catastrophe

No Passport, No Problem: You Don’t Need One to Vacation in These Countries

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If you’re an American citizen traveling out of the country, you have to have a passport to be allowed into somewhere else, right? While that’s mostly true, there are some exceptions. Some are independent countries, while others are U.S. territories that largely operate independently.

Note: Before you visit any of these places, make sure you look into what the entry requirements are. For example, you may need an enhanced ID or proof of certain vaccinations.

No Passport, No Problem: You Don’t Need One to Vacation in These Countries

12 Cool Facts About the U.S. Highway System

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The open road has stories to tell. The Interstate Highway System, the iconic blue signs, and the crucial Highway Trust Fund come into focus in this article, showcasing the interconnected web that binds the nation. Join us on this road trip through time, where Ladybird Johnson’s vision for highway beauty meets the milestones and stories etched into the asphalt of the U.S. highway system. 

12 Cool Facts About the U.S. Highway System

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Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.