Thanks to its millenary history and rich cultural heritage, Europe attracts millions of tourists from all over the world every year. The impressive architecture of the old continent is one of the main reasons why tourists flock to cities like Milan, London, or Paris, as these cities are peppered with beautiful churches and cathedrals that are inextricably linked to the history of these tourist destinations. In this guide you will find a handpicked selection of Europe’s most beautiful cathedrals and a description of the elements that make them so unique. Here are the best as chosen by the Radisson Blu Hotel Heathrow.
Photo By: Manuel
4 Gorgeous Cathedrals in Europe:
Notre Dame, Paris
Notre Dame receives more than 13 million visitors every year, and during the busiest times of the year up to 50,000 visitors go through this architectural marvel every day. The construction of Notre Dame took 185 years, and the cathedral’s design was innovative and special right from the beginning. One of the most characteristic features of this church are the gargoyles, which were once painted in vivid colours. To reach the top of the tower, visitors have to go up 380 steps, but the views over magnificent Paris are well worth the effort.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Santiago’s cathedral is one of the main highlights of northern Spain. Santiago de Compostela is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the masterful combination of baroque, gothic, and Romanesque design of the cathedral fits right in with the special character of the city. Legend has it that St James (Santiago in Spanish) was buried at this site, and every July thousands of people commemorate the event with a two-week festival that brings light and colour to the city. The city’s gastronomy and its relaxed feel are other reasons to visit Santiago.
St Paul’s, United Kingdom
There are many reasons to visit London, and St Paul’s cathedral is one of them. This superb example of baroque architecture was the capital’s tallest building for over three centuries, and even today its dome can be spotted from many parts of the city. The 66,000-ton triple dome incorporates many elements of classical design, becoming the masterpiece of leading architect Christopher Wren. Located right in the City of London, the cathedral makes for a great starting point of a day of sightseeing, as it is near London Bridge, the Tower of London, and many world-class museums and art galleries, such as the Barbican, the Museum of London, and the National Portrait Gallery.
Il Duomo di Milano, Italy
Everything about Il Duomo is superlative. This cathedral took more than six hundred years to be built, with the final touches being added in 1965. To many, Il Duomo is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and inspiring constructions in the world. The cathedral is home to over 3,000 statues, 135 marble spires that rise 518 feet above the ground, and nearly 200 stained glass windows. Those who make it to the cathedral’s roof will be rewarded with spectacular views of Milan’s rooftops, and weather permitting, of the snow-capped Alps too.