Wednesday, June 1, 2011

10 Unusual Places to Find a Church

Churches can be found in all sorts of unusual places, from atop a lonely mountainside to an isolated or even uninhabited island. Churches have been built for over a thousand years, many of them in very inaccesible places, although when they were built they were situated in the heart of a thriving community.  This article is not about unusual churches, although most of them here are, but about churches in unusual places

1. In a Tree - Chêne Chapelle, France
                             photo source
The Chêne chapelle is an oak tree located in Allouville-Bellefosse in Seine-Maritime, France. The oak tree is between 800 and 1,200 year old. It is 49 ft (15 m) high and its base has a circumference of 52 ft (16 m). Its hollow trunk hosts two chapels, which were built there in 1669: Notre Dame de la Paix ("Our Lady of Peace") and the Chambre de l'Ermite ("Hermit's room").  A spiral staircase around the trunk provides access to the chapels. The oak is the site of a pilgrimage on August 15.

2. In a Cave - Temppeliaukio Church, Finland
photo source
Places of worship inside caves are not unusual, especially in Asia, but a modern church in Europe, that is unusual. This fine example is the Lutheran Temppeliaukio situated in Helsinki, Finland. Designed by brothers Tino and Tuomo Suomalainen and completed in 1969, the church is often used as a concert venue due to it’s fine accoustics. The church was excavated from the glacial rock that runs under the city. The only part visable from above ground is a large glazed dome which gives the church it’s daytime interior lighting. 

3. On a Bridge - Chapel of Our Lady of Rotherham Bridge, U.K.
photo source
The Chapel of our Lady of Rotherham is situated on a bridge that spans the River Don in Rotherham, Yorkshire, U.K. Built in 1483 by Thomas de Rotherham, this stone chapel is now a grade I listed building. The chapel has had many identities over the years including a tobaccanist’s shop and a private dwelling, but is now back to being used for the purpose in which it was intended.

4. On a Volcanic Plug - Our Lady of Le Puy, France
photo source
We have all seen examples of churches precariously situated on the top of a lonely mountain, but this one in France is no ordinary mount, this church, built in 962, stands proud upon a volcanic outcrop known as a volcanic plug. A volcanic plug is created when magma hardens within the vent or opening of an active volcano. This church stands 279 ft ( 85 m) above the surrounding countryside of Le Puy - en Velay, France.

5. On a Side Of the Canyon - Basilica of Las Lajas, Colombia
photo source
The vast Basilica of Las Lajas clings precariously to the side of a canyon overlooking the Guaitara River in Narino, Colombia. The building took 33 years to construct, finally being completed in 1949. This church was declared a basilica by the Catholic Church in 1954. As you can see the church and canyon are accessed by way of it’s own bridge. Word las lajas refers to the granite rock from which the building was constructed. 

6. In a Disused Mine - Serbian Orthodox Church, Australia
photo source
In a town where people both live and work underground , it’s only fitting their church be underground too.  Situated in the opal mining town of Coober Pedy, South Australia, this underground Serbian Orthodox church was constructed from a disused opal mine, just like most of the residents homes.  Coober Pedy day time temperatures often reach 40 degrees centigrade or more, so constructing homes and public buildings undeground is definately the cooler option.

7. In a Hill - " Church in a Hill", Luxembourg
photo source
This church is built into the hillside on which it perches. One of the reasons the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg has survived as an independent state for a thousand years against such powerful neighbors as Germany and France, is that the area is eminently fortifiable. Even in the capitol, the gorges are deep and difficult to pass, with only a few bridges spanning the distance high above. It's easily one of the most dramatically sited capitols in Europe. If you look at the top of the picture closely, you can see the road that passes over the hill

8. On a Cliff Face - Felsenkirche, Germany
photo source
There are many ancient sites built into the sides of cliffs, but most are inaccessible and defunct, but this rock has weathered the test of time admirably and is not only still accessible but still in use as a house of worship. Known as the Church of Rock it’s official title is Felsen Kirche. The Catholic church stands 60 metres above the Rhineland town of Ida Oberstein in Germany, and dates back to the 13th century

9. Most Northerly Church - Longyearbyen Lutheran Church, Norway
photo source
Longyearbyen church is the northernmost church in the world, lying at 78' 13, 11 N on the Island of Spitsbergen (part of the Svalbard Archipelago). It is the local Lutheran church for the people of Longyearbyen (the Administrative capital of Svalbard).

10. Most Southerly Church - Russian Orthodox Trinity Church, Antarctica
photo source
Trinity Church is a small Russian Orthodox church on King George Island near Russian Bellingshausen Station in Antarctica. It is the southernmost church in the world and also is the evidence of great human architecture at the south pole. Built in 1990s, the church is a 49 ft (15 m)  high wooden structure built in traditional Russian style. It can accommodate up to 30 worshipers at one time. The structure was built out of Siberian Pine by Altay carpenters, then dismantled, taken by truck to Kaliningrad and shipped to King George Island by the Russian supply ship. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  1. The growing harbour of Antwerp swallowed a few villages that have been demolished. Two of the villages churches are still there. One is in a small woodpatch (Church of Oosterweel,, the other surrounded by barracks and factories (Church of Wilmarsdonk, Be sure to check them out on Street View!


    Church in the Salt Mine. Poland near Cracow.


Web Statistics


If you are the original creator of material featured on this website and want it removed, please contact the webmaster .

THE WORLD GEOGRAPHY | Copyright 2009 Tüm Haklar? Sakl?d?r | Free Blogger Templates by GoogleBoy Download Free Wordpress Templates. Unblock through unblock myspace proxy, Hillsongs by Guitar Song Chords