There is no other place in the world that is more peaceful and solemn than a church. In fact, it is more than just a mere building itself. It is the home of God and this is where people can talk closer to Him.
Religious buildings come in different shapes and sizes. From the ceiling to floor, they all have diverse styles and colours. It is a place where people responsibly come together to praise and do their oath. Though there are different religions, surely each of them have their own home— church.
Way back many years ago, churches already existed and they remained standing despite of all the calamities. Through some renovations, the people were able to preserve these buildings. Here are the lists of the oldest churches in the World.
The Oldest Churches in the World
1. Dura-Europos Church
Located in Syria, Dura-Europos Church is the oldest Christian church dating back to 235 AD. Some of its notable features are frescoes that include images of the Good Shepherd, David and Goliath, Adam and Eve, and Christ healing the sick.
2. Etchmiadzin Cathedral
Built by Saint Gregory the Illuminator between 301 and 303 AD, Etchmiadzin Cathedral is the oldest church in the world originally built by a state.
3. St. Peter’s Basilica
If there were one church that is as popular as Disneyland, it would be St. Peter’s Basilica. Located in Vatican City in Italy and built 333AD, St. Peter’s Basilica attracts millions of visitors annually. Catholics find it the holiest location in the world.
4. Church of St. Peter
Carved along the side of Mount Starius, Church of St. Peter located in Antakya, Turkey features an altar, frescoes, and mosaics on the cave’s floor.
5. Megiddo church
One of the oldest church buildings discovered by archaeologists is Megiddo Church located in Israel, dating to the 3rd century AD. The mosaic is very well preserved and features geometrical figures and images of fish, which is an early Christian symbol.
6. Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains basilica
Built in 380 AD, Saint-Pierre-aux-Nonnains basilica is a historic church building in Metz, France. It is also one of the oldest churches in Europe. Originally, the building is part of a Roman spa complex. However, in the 7th century they use the structure as a church and became the chapel of Benedictine monastery.
7. Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion
Built during the 4th century AD and the reign of Ezana, the first Christian emperor of Ethiopia, Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the most important church in Ethiopia. The church is in the town of Axum in the Tigray Province.
8. Church of Saint Simeon Stylites
Located about 30 km northwest of Aleppo, Syria, Church of Saint Simeon Stylites is a well-preserved church that dates back to the 5th century.
9. Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia served as the cathedral of Constantinople from the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453. It was a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey.
10. Church of the Nativity
Located in Bethlehem, Church of the Nativity is one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world. Christians considered it sacred.
11. Monastery of Saint Anthony
Standing in an oasis in the Eastern Desert of Egypt, The Monastery of Saint Anthony is a Coptic Orthodox monastery. Located 334 km (207 miles) southeast of Cairo and hidden deep in the Red Sea mountains, it is one of the oldest monasteries in the world.
12. Cathedral of Trier
Cathedral of Trier is a church in Trier, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany and the oldest cathedral in the country. With Its dimensions, 112.5 by 41 m, it is the largest church structure in Trier.