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Visit These 6 Breathtaking Churches In America

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If you like to play sports, there’s something uplifting about playing in a top-notch facility. It elevates your game and can be inspiring while you compete.

The same can be said for praying and worshipping in beautiful churches across America. Just being there can lift you to a higher place and draw you closer to God. Even if prayer or religion isn’t your thing, there’s no denying the beauty and grandeur of some of the most breathtaking houses of worship in the United States.

Let us bow our heads and take a look at some of the nicest churches across the United States.

Washington National Cathedral – Washington, D.C.

This Episcopal church took 83 years to build, but it was worth the wait. Its exterior bears a modest resemblance to Notre Dame in Paris, and inside you’ll find towering stained-glass windows offering a soft glow to its stone arches, buttresses and vaulting.

The cathedral maintains close governmental ties as several presidents have called it home. There have also been numerous presidential funerals here, as well as significant national prayer services.

You can also find several notable Americans buried on these very grounds, including Helen Keller and Woodrow Wilson. Don’t forget to look for its numerous gargoyles on the exterior, including one of Darth Vader.

Chris M Morris/Flickr

Memorial Presbyterian Church – St. Augustine, FL

This historic church in St. Augustine, Florida was built in 1889 by a wealthy businessman and dedicated in honor of his daughter who died at childbirth.

Accented by huge palm trees, its Second Renaissance Revival design is stunning, and is highlighted by a 150-foot tall copper dome and 20-foot cross. Inspired by St. Mark’s Basilica in Italy, its inside matches its exterior.

There you’ll find a beautiful Siena tile floor, frieze terra cotta decorations, Tiffany-style stained glass windows, a marble mausoleum and mahogany pews, doors and panels carved with intricate detail.

Jason Jacobs/Flickr

Byodo-In Temple – Kaneohe, HI

If you go to Hawaii, you’ll want to check out this non-denominational temple on O’ahu.

Dedicated in 1968, it’s a replica of a 900-year old Buddhist temple in Japan, and it welcomes people of all faiths for weddings and meetings. Its central room isn’t particularly large inside, but you will find a golden statue of the Lotus Buddha, and outside a three-ton, brass peace bell.

The grounds are equally tranquil with two acres full of ponds, lush gardens and exotic creatures like peacocks and black swans – all set near the picturesque Ko’olau mountains.

Alex Begin/Flickr

St. John Cantius Church – Chicago, IL

Not far from downtown Chicago is a Polish neighborhood church which has been dubbed “the most beautiful in America” by some. Its limestone façade is somewhat bland and in contrast to its sumptuous and opulent Baroque interior.

It’s a true feast for the eyes, right down to its hardwood floor with 16 styles of wood, to its eight stone columns ceremoniously fused by colorful stained glass windows, and all the way up to its ornately painted arches and walls. Its overpowering beauty was even featured in two films.

Jeremy Thompson/Flickr

Chapel of the Holy Cross – Sedona, AZ

Completed in 1957, this Roman Catholic chapel has quickly become a favorite tourist stop in the beautiful Sedona area.

It’s technically not a church, as no liturgies are held there, but there is a Taize prayer service every Monday afternoon. It’s hard to miss this narrow, smooth building that juts from the sandstone buttes of the red rocks.

From the outside you’ll notice its majestic cross serves as the frame for four grand windows that aren’t stained glass, but clear. There they offer an inspiring view that bridges its intimate inside with a grandiose view of the world.

Erik Madsen/Flickr

Cathedral of St. Helena – Helena, MT

Modeled after the neo-Gothic Votivkirche in Vienna, Austria, this magnificent church sits resplendent above Montana’s capital city.

You’ll be awestruck at its 230-foot twin spires topped by gold-leafed crosses. Equally impressive is its magnitude and scope of windows:  11,693 square feet of stained glass across 59 windows, which portray scenes from the Old and New Testament.

A look further up finds intricate detailed painted along the sanctuary’s walls and ceiling. Everywhere you gaze finds stimulus for the soul and eyes:  white marble altars, hand-carved oak pews and bronze lighting fixtures. It’s all worth a trip to this great mountain state.

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