The Spanish Language Blog

When it comes to culture, Spain's greatest churches are definitely among them. Spain has a rich religious history. The deep-rooted Catholic faith prevailed for centuries and this caused many churches to be constructed. Today, these churches are the most special sights and monuments in Spain. Spain possesses some very special churches, "La Giralda" and "La Sagrada Familia" are just a small sample of these....

  • 'La Giralda' in Seville is the third largest and the largest Gothic church in the world.
  • The ninth largest church in the world is 'La Catedral-Basilica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar' in Zaragoza.
  • The 'Sagrada Familia' is likely to be one of the tallest churches in the world when construction is completed.

Seville: La Giralda

The very largest church in Spain is located in the city of Seville, in southern Spain. The church called 'La Giralda' has an area of up to more than 11,000 m2 and also ranks third among the largest churches in the world. The name 'La Giralda' stands for turning and is derived from the statue that sits atop the church. When it is windy in Seville you can sometimes, with luck, see this statue spinning. The style in which the church was built is Gothic. You can tell by the many arches and the somber character on the outside, due to the use of dark color bricks. It is also the largest Gothic church in the world.

Zaragoza: La Catedral-Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar

This Roman Catholic church is number nine in the world ranking of largest churches and has a total area of more than 8,000 square meters. Its architectural style is baroque. In the interior of the church is the fresco painting "Adoración del nombre de Dios," by the famous Spanish painter Goya. The sacred chapel is composed of jasper (speckled stone derived from quartz), marble, bronze and silver. On the outside, the church is characterized by four large towers placed on each side.

Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia

'La Sagrada Familia' has a total area of more than 4,000 m2. The Sagrada also has a distinctive Gothic appearance. However, this is only on the outside of the church, as the inside again has Romanesque influences. The colorful reflection of light entering through the stained glass creates a true work of art an sich. On either side of the church, four meter-high towers stand stately in the urban landscape of Barcelona. When construction is completed, this could possibly be the tallest church in the world. Until then, though, it is the tallest church in Spain, followed by "La Catedral Vieja de Santa María" in Salamanca.

Now the question can also immediately be asked whether the "Mezquita-Catedral" in Cordoba does not also belong to this list of the largest churches in Spain. With more than 23,000 m2, one could say that this would otherwise have been the largest church in the world. However, every list has some exceptions. Namely, these are real churches, something that is just a little different for this mosque-cathedral. Even though its use now seems to be entirely as a Catholic church, the "Mezquita-Catedral" does not fall under this list. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth a visit.

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