Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Monday 11 December |
Saint of the Day: Pope St. Damasus I
Aleteia logo
Art & Culture
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Where are the oldest churches in Europe?


Ruslan Kalnitsky | Shutterstock

John Burger - published on 04/11/19

The history of the Church in Europe is an integral part of the continent's own story.

History is full of ironies. Diocletian, the Roman emperor from 284 to 305, presided over the empire’s largest and bloodiest official persecution of Christianity. His “Edict against the Christians” of 303 ordered the destruction of Christian scriptures and places of worship. Diocletian was a native of Dalmatia, and when he died, he was buried in the Mausoleum of Diocletian in Split.

Well, not only did his persecution fail to eliminate Christianity in the empire, Diocletian’s final resting place was turned into a church. Now known as the Cathedral of St. Domnius, it is the second oldest structure used as a Christian cathedral.

That’s just one story in the fascinating history of the oldest churches of Europe. Here are some of the others.

Church History
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.