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Grundtvig’s Church – Copenhagen, Denmark
A great example of ‘expressionist church architecture,’ it was built from 1921 to 1940 in honor of N.F.S. Grundtvig, who was a reformer and one of the most influential people in Danish history. Located in the Bispebjerg district in Copenhagen, Denmark, the yellow-brick church’s architecture was influenced by the national-romantic movement. Its cathedral proportions were of special historical and cultural combination, as it was divided between a cathedral and an ancient Danish church with crow-stepped gables.
Cathedral of Maringa – Parana, Brazil
Also known as the Catedral Basílica Menor Nossa Senhora da Glória, this Roman cathedral located in Parana, Brazil was considered the tallest church in South America and the 16th tallest in the world. Designed by architect Jose Augusto Bellucci, it was intended to replicate the Soviet sputnik satellites under Archbishop Dom Jaime Luiz Coelho. Its cornerstone was a piece of marble from St. Peter’s Basilica and blessed by Pope Pius XII. It was constructed from July 1959 to May 10, 1972 in time for the city’s 25th founding anniversary.
Sanctuary of Madonna delle Lacrime – Sicily, Italy
Located in Syracuse, Sicily, this is also known as the “Sanctuary of the Mary of Tears,” a statue that supposedly wept human tears for 5 days in the 1950s. Its concrete coned roof was designed to replicate the shape of a teardrop. Created by Michael Arnault and Pierre Parat in 1994, it has a conical structure that rise 74 meters from the ground and has vertical windows that stretch towards the apex of the roof.
Hallgrímskirkja – Reykjavik, Iceland
A Lutheran church in Iceland, it was named after Hallgrimur Petursson, who was a 17th century poet and clergyman. One of the tallest buildings in Iceland, its design was supposed to represent the volcanic columns that are rising between the steeple towers. State Architect Guðjón Samúelsson was commissioned to build the church in 1937 though it took 38 years to finish it from 1945 to 1986. Known as the city’s best landmark, the church is visible all throughout the city of Reykjavik and is often used as an observation tower.
Chapel of St. Gildas – Britanny, France
A chapel that was built like a stone barn at the base of the rocky cliff at the bank of the Canal du Blavet in Britanny, France, it marks the site where St. Gildas, an Irish monk, preached Christianity to the locals who were mainly of pagan population. A rough pulpit, where St. Gildas used to preach on, is now contained within the chapel. The cave at the base of the rock where the chapel now stands is believed to have had miraculous healing powers by the locals.