February 20, 2015

Monthly Musings with Marc - February

My Top 10 European Churches

Everyone has something they have to see or do when they go on trips: old ruins, local cuisine, famous landmark, or things like that. Me, I'm a steeple chaser. I love cathedrals! The architecture, the stories, the feeling I get every time I walk into a holy place, it never gets old for me. Below are the Top Ten Churches I have seen on my travels in Europe. This is not a ranking, just a list, because, for me, no church is better than another; each has a great story, and is beautiful in a different way.

1. Notre Dame

Paris, France

Team Amplify were some of the first visitors Swags and I took to see Notre Dame. Thank you to Victor Hugo for saving this Parisian gem.

2. Sagrada Familia

Barcelona, Spain

This cathedral was designed by Gaudi, started construction in 1882, and is still being built!

3. Basilique St. Sernin

Toulouse, France

Beautiful symmetry and use of bricks for this Romanesque style church.

4. Berlin Cathedral

Berlin, Germany

Not usually a must see for people that visit Berlin, but for me it was the first sight that I sought out. Awesome domes!

5. Mont St. Michel

Bretagne, France

Built on a sand bar and only accessible when the tide goes out, this is a must-visit when exploring the Brittany region of France.

6. Westminster Abbey

London, United Kingdom

The most famous of English cathedrals did not disappoint, and is easily one of the best kept of the old cathedrals in Europe.

7. St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral

Nice, France

A throwback to the days when Russian royalty would vacation in southern France, it is the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in Western Europe.

8. Temple Expiatori Sagrat Cor

Barcelona, Spain

A newer cathedral, but its location and unique structure - built on a crypt - make it one of the coolest churches I have visited.

9. Notre Dame de l'Assomption

Sainte-Mère-Église, France

Around 13,100 paratroopers of the U.S. 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne Divisions took part in the D-Day invasion. One unfortunate soldier got stuck on this church.

10. Saint Peter's Basilica 

Rome, Italy

The Vatican, if you like churches, is the Holy Grail of sacred places. While St. Peter's is technically not a cathedral, it definitely deserves to make my list, anyway!