Houses of worship make great places to experience peace and beauty. Here are seven of the most beautiful churches in the U.S.
As RV Lifestyle fellow travelers know, we're always looking to deliver great destinations to visit while out there RVing – from quirky roadside attractions, the best places for stargazing, and just about everything in between.
But, as many of you know, our churches can provide a glimpse into the past (and maybe even ourselves) while offering some of the most spectacular architecture and overall structural beauty in the world.
That's why the story called “7 Most Beautiful Churches in America” by One Country caught my eye.
To make things easy, I put the list below (along with some Instagram images) to help you plot out some stops while living the RV lifestyle. (Of course, feel free to offer your contribution to the list in the comments below.)
The Most Beautiful Churches
7. Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis King of France – New Orleans, Louisiana
The Cathedral-Basilica of St. Louis King of France, one of the oldest Cathedrals in the U.S., is located in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter. With its triple steeples and close location to the statue of General Andrew Jackson, the cathedral serves as an iconic piece of history and beauty for the city.
6. Thorncrown Chapel – Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Nestled in a woodland setting, Thorncrown Chapel rises 48 feet into the Ozark sky. This magnificent wooden structure contains 425 windows and more than 6,000 square feet of glass. It sits atop more than 100 tons of native stone and colored flagstone, making it blend perfectly with its setting. The chapel's simple design and majestic beauty combine to make it what critics have called “one of the finest religious spaces of modern times.”
Since the chapel opened in 1980, over six million people have visited this woodland sanctuary. Designed by renowned architect E. Fay Jones, Thorncrown has won numerous architectural awards such as the American Institute of Architects’ Design of the Year Award for 1981 and AIA’s prestigious 25 Year Award. Recently, members of the American Institute of Architects placed Thorncrown Chapel fourth on its list of the top buildings of the 20th century.
5. Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis – St. Louis, Missouri
Named for Saint Louis, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis was completed in 1914 and designated a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1997. This church is best known for its large mosaic installation.
4. Wayfarers Chapel – Racho Palos Verdes, California
Designed by Lloyd Wright (son of Frank Lloyd Wright) in the late 1940s, the Wayfarers Chapel is also known as “The Glass Church.” Its architecture and surrounding landscape that include views of the Pacific Ocean make it a popular place for weddings and visiting tourists.
3. Washington National Cathedral – Washington, D.C.
Built in the Neo-Gothic design featuring 112 gargoyles and 215 stained glass windows, the Cathedral attracts more than 400,000 visitors every year. U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was present when the foundation stone of the cathedral was first laid in 1907, and the late George H.W. Bush was present 83 years later when the “final finial” was placed in 1990.
2. Cathedral of St. Paul – St. Paul, Minnesota
This Roman Catholic Cathedral opened in 1915 and overlooks St. Paul, Minnesota. The cathedral was dedicated to the Apostle Paul. In 2009, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops declared the cathedral to be a national shrine.
Memorial Presbyterian Church – St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine Benefactor Henry Morrison Flagler provided the funds for the building of Memorial Presbyterian Church in 1889 to honor his daughter who died following complications from childbirth, hence the name Memorial. Inspired by St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the church was built in the Second Renaissance Revival style.
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