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These are the 50 largest Catholic churches in the world

Digital rendering largest churches

Gravity | Fair Use via YouTube

J-P Mauro - published on 12/25/23

Measuring by total capacity, Gravity put together this excellent video that uses digital models to show the scale of Catholic architecture.
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Readers who, like this Millennial correspondent, have a deeply seated urge to compare giant churches with other giant churches to see just which one is the biggest of them all will appreciate this brief video featuring the 50 largest churches in the world. Beginning with Finland’s Helsinki Cathedral and continuing to St. Peter’s Basilica, rather than by height or grandeur, the churches are ranked by the number of seats in the pews.

Created by the YouTube channel Gravity, the video features digital renderings of all 50 selected churches. While some of the renderings are a little more detailed with others, the lighting and shadow used in each figure catches the eye and makes the graphics look a lot more realistic. Each church is presented to scale, which is why Spain’s Palma Cathedral (44 meters) looks to be about a third of the height of Germany’s Cologne Cathedral’s towers (157 meters).

The entries are each listed with their country of origin’s flag to help viewers keep track of where each of these historic Church buildings is located. While the majority of entries are from Europe and North America, there are a few from Central and South America, as well as Africa.

According to the video, the top three largest churches in the world stand as: St. Peter’s Basilica, which can hold a crowd of 80,000; second place goes to Brazil’s Cathedral Basilica of Aparecida, able to accomodate 75,000; while third place is a tie between Italy’s Milan Cathedral and the UK’s St. Paul’s Cathedral, both having room for some 40,000. It’s almost dizzying to think that the third and fourth biggest churches in the world could both fit in St. Peter’s Basilica. 

Gravity is a channel that almost exclusively concerns itself with comparing the sizes of different things, from the tallest buildings and best selling mobile phones; to military strength and natural gas reserves per country. Each video presents its subjects in digital models that bear much the same quality as their church video. Click here to see more.

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