Churches are among the most beautiful structures that have ever been constructed. Since the beginning of time, numerous civilizations and cultures have used many of these ancient structures for religious purposes; many of these structures are still standing today.
We have discovered some of the world’s oldest churches, and we are going to offer them to you in the following order:
Table of Contents
10. Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia was one of the greatest churches of any faith and one of the largest churches in the world for more than a thousand years, making it the largest Christian church that was still standing.
The Byzantine Emperor Justinian I first built Hagia Sophia, but it underwent a number of changes over the course of its existence.
The building first served as a Christian cathedral, but during the course of its history, it has also served as a Greek Orthodox cathedral, a Roman Catholic cathedral, and an Imperial Mosque.
9. The Cathedral of Etchmiadzin
The Etchmiadzin Cathedral is the oldest Christian cathedral still standing today, and it was the first cathedral ever constructed in ancient Armenia.
In the year 301 A.D., a church was first constructed at the same location; however, in the year 483 A.D., the present church took its place.
The cathedral is still standing today, and Christians all over Armenia regard it as a significant shrine. One of the most well-liked tourist destinations in all of Armenia is Etchmiadzin Cathedral, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
8. Milan’s Basilica of San Lorenzo
The Basilica of San Lorenzo is considered to be one of the oldest structures in Milan that is still in use today.
When it was first erected, the basilica was the most ambitious building project that had ever been undertaken in the Western world.
It was the world’s biggest circular church after construction was finished, and it served as the model for another building on this list, the Hagia Sophia.
7. The Cathedral of Trier
The Cathedral of Trier in Germany has the distinction of being the country’s oldest cathedral. Originally, it was constructed on a Roman site, and construction began at the end of the third century.
The relics housed inside the Cathedral of Trier are without a doubt the most fascinating aspect of the building.
It is supposed to have one of the Holy Nails, which were used to fasten Jesus to the cross as he was being crucified; nevertheless, this is not the most significant relic that it possesses.
6. Basilica of Saint Peter and the Lateran
St. Peter’s Basilica is the most well-known church on our list. It is also the location of some of the best-known pieces of art in the world, such as Michelangelo’s Pieta.
Originally, Constantine I was the one who gave the order to build the cathedral, and it was there that Charlemagne was crowned when he was elevated to the position of Holy Roman Emperor.
The current edifice, which is the one that is still standing now, was constructed in the 16th century, after the old church had existed until that time.
5. The Church of the Nativity
The Church of the Nativity, which has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is in the process of being renovated at the present time.
The location is also the location of four monastic communities, including those belonging to the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, and the Greek Orthodox Church.
It’s interesting to note that this church is often mentioned in the media owing to conflicts between these populations.
4. Mar Sarkas
It is believed that the monastery and convent of Mar Sarkas were established before the year 325 AD; however, the precise period of construction is uncertain.
Because of this, it is considered to be one of the oldest monasteries in all of Christendom. The nearby convent is home to a number of historic icons, including a number that date back to the fourth century.
There are a few nuns at the location who are able to communicate in English with the rest of the community. When requested, they will gladly give guests a brief tour of the location surrounding the property.
3. The Church of Aqaba
The Aqaba Church had been kept a secret for many hundreds of years until it was discovered by a group of archaeologists in 1998.
It is believed to be the site of the world’s oldest surviving Christian church, or at the very least, the earliest location that was intended to be a church.
During the course of the dig, the crew discovered tombs that had golden crosses affixed to them, in addition to glass lights, a cemetery that included over 20 skeletal remains, and coins in a collecting box.
2. The Church of Megiddo
The fact that the Megiddo Church was constructed on the site of a contemporary jail, and convicts there found the first evidence of an ancient site in 2005, is one of the most fascinating aspects of this religious structure.
Archaeologists jumped right in and started digging there, and very shortly they uncovered some astounding facts.
Archaeologists discovered a well-preserved mosaic as well as other objects related to Christianity within the structure, which had the form of a rectangle.
1. The Church of Dura-Europos
It is quite possible that the Dura-Europos Church is the oldest church still in existence. It is thought that the structure once served its purpose as a private residence prior to being converted into a place of worship.
A group of French and American archaeologists worked together throughout the 1920s and 1930s to completely dig the location, despite the fact that it is now in ruins.
During that time period, a number of paintings were removed; now, the frescoes may be seen in the art museum at Yale University.
In the two millennia since the beginning of Christianity, ancient churches have taken on a wide variety of forms and sizes.
Unfortunately, a significant number of the original church structures have been destroyed over the course of history.
It is quite possible that many of the early churches met in open spaces, such as the ones described in the Gospels; the first buildings of this kind may have been built of wood or stone, but their construction may have been of a lower quality.
These above churches are still stand strong, and look beautiful too. Once should visit to get to know more about the history.
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