Most of the religious buildings in the world were made centuries go, but they are still being built even today. Modern churches look nothing like the ones from the distant past and some don’t even resemble a common notion of a church. Here we have a list of the most unusual five churches ever built. We have one from Ukraine, Colombia, Italy, Colorado, and Iceland. You won’t believe that some of them could actually serve the way they do!
The St Michael’s Golden-Domed Monastery, Ukraine
Even though looking modern, this monastery was founded back in the 12th century. It is located in the center of Kiev, standing on the right bank of the Dnieper River. In the 1930’s the Soviets destroyed it because they believed it didn’t have any historical or cultural value. After Ukraine gained its independence the monastery was rebuilt and officially reopened in 1999. Today, it is one of the grandest and most spectacular churches in the world serving as an orthodox male monastery. It is painted in sky blue color having seven golden domes on its top.
The Las Lajas Sanctuary in Colombia
This basilica Catholic church is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Columbia due to its dangerous location and beautiful architecture. It is located in the southern Colombian Department of Nariño, in the municipality of Ipiales, and built inside the canyon of the Guáitara River. It stands 46 meters (150 feet) above the river and looks as if grown from the green cliffs. Some would say it looks like a medieval European castle rather than a church.
There is a legend saying that a woman with a daughter, caught in a storm, were hiding out from the weather in the gorge when the women felt a force calling to them. They looked up and saw the image of the Virgin Mary on the rocks above. At that moment, the girl was cured of her inability to hear and speak. Upon hearing this story, a blind man started collecting donations to build a chapel around the image. It took him 10 years to get enough money and when he returned to Las Lajas, he was able to see again. The church was eventually built in 1916.
The Jubilee Church in Rome
You would probably think that we got the wrong picture here, but NO. This is a real church, actually a Roman Catholic church and community center in Tor Tre Teste in Rome, also known as the Church of God the Merciful Father. As we can see, it is not only one of the newest structures of the religious architecture but also one of the most unusual. The three curved walls of the church were designed to reduce thermal peak zones and the cement contains titanium dioxide in order to keep the walls white and reduce air pollution. Modern times require modern buildings, even the religious ones.
This church was built in 1996 after the Vatican commissioned 50 new churches to be built in areas of greater Rome where as many as 600,000 citizens were deemed to have no nearby church to attend. Its architect was Richard Meier.
Cadet Chapel in Colorado
The Cadet Chapel in Colorado Springs is part of the United States Air Force Academy. You may think that it looks more like a spaceship than a church. This structure was actually quite controversial when it was first built in 1962. Nevertheless, it was listed as a US National Historic Landmark in 2004.
This church was designed to have three distinct worship areas under a single roof. This was inspired by chapels at Sainte-Chapelle in France and the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi in Italy. Its architect Walter Netsch has divided the space inside on two different levels. The Protestant nave is on the upper level, while the Catholic and Jewish chapels and a Buddhist room are beneath it. There is a place even for Islamic services. Each chapel has its own entrance, and services may be held simultaneously without interfering with one another. Such an unbelievably multifunctional building!
Hallgrímskirkja – The Church of Hallgrímur
The Church of HallgrÃmur (Hallgrímskirkja) is a Lutheran (Church of Iceland) parish church in the center of Reykjavík. This is a very tall church reaching 74.5 meters (244 feet) of height. It is the fourth tallest architectural structure in Iceland. The building process lasted from 1945 to 1986 – 41 years in all! While the State and the City supported the building, 60% of the building costs came from parish funds and private gifts.
It is dedicated to the most renowned sacred poet of Iceland, Hallgrímur Pétursson. The whole church was finished on 26 October 1986, the day before the 312th anniversary of Hallgrímur Pétursson’s death, and the same year that Reykjavík celebrated 200 years as a town and now city.