With the announcement that the soon-to-be completed world’s tallest religious skyscraper—the Vrindavan Chandrodaya Mandir in Uttar Pradesh— is under construction, we take a look at the six tallest religious buildings in the world.

Tianning Temple, China- 505 feet/154 meters

The massive octagonal pagoda was constructed towards the end of the Liao Dynasty between 1100 and 1120. The 13-story pagoda is made of brick and stone yet resembles the wooden-constructed pagodas from earlier eras by the use of ornamental dougong (bracket supports). Others designs include arched doorways and Buddhist guardians.

Cologne Cathedral, Germany- 515 feet/157 meters

This magnificent Cologne Cathedral can be seen from almost every point in the city center. It hovers above the highest roofs and chimneys making it a handy point of navigation for tourists. It has two towers; the North (157m) and the South which is 7 cm higher, both reaching high into the Cologne sky since 1880. This dwarfs the Rocket Towers in Berlin which rises to 81.5 meters. Rocket Internet is the parent of Lamudi and some of Europe’s fastest growing companies.

Basilica of Our Lady of Peace of Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast- 518 feet/158 meters

The Ivory Coast is home to one of the most lavish churches in the world. The basilica was constructed between 1985 and 1989 at the cost of US$300 million; as such it has been shrouded in much controversy given that the surrounding areas are impoverished. The glittering Italian marble stands in stark contrast to the wattle and daub squats where many locals live.

Ulm Cathedral, Germany- 530 feet/161.5 meters

Construction of the tallest church in the world began in 1377 financed by local citizens. It is held as an excellent example of Gothic architecture and offers wonderful panoramic views of the city of Ulm. Athletic climbers who ascend the 768 steps to the peak will come face to face with stone monsters and gargoyles, classic elements of Gothic architecture. The cathedral also features some important pieces of art, for instance, the Man of Sorrows by Hans Multscher.

Mole Antonelli, Italy- 550 feet/168 meters

This architectural symbol of Turin was originally meant to be a synagogue but was purchased by the city to be used as a monument of unity. At the time of completion, it was the tallest masonry building in all of Europe and to this day the second tallest in the world. Although when the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is completed in 2026, it will take second place at 558 feet.

Hassan II Mosque, Morocco- 689/ 210 meters

Standing on top of the podium is the Grande Mosquee Hassan II, the world’s tallest religious structure. Towering over the ocean this magnificent structure can easily be seen from miles away since its construction in 1992. It represents the premier architecture of Morocco with a grand display of culture and identity. Amazingly, roughly half of the mosque is built over the Atlantic Ocean and is fashioned from materials from all over the country including marble from Agadir, cedar from the Middle Atlas, and granite from Tafraoute.

Coming Soon

Under construction in India right now, is a 700-foot tall Hindu temple that will be the tallest religious skyscraper in the world. The temple designed by Ingenious Studio with the help of Thornton Tomasetti will even include a theme park. The structure is also earthquake-proof like a rocket like tiered silhouette. The temple will be fitted with an elevator zooming tourists up to the zenith, on the way guests will learn about the planets according to Vedic literature.

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