Largest Churches in the World 2024

A church is a building used for worship service or other religious activities in Christianity. In traditional Christian cathedrals such as the famed Notre-Dame de Paris, the church building’s plan view often forms the shape of a cross when viewed from above. Modern church designs often have different layouts.

Churches vary greatly in type and size. The earliest identified Christian church is a simple domestic home, located in the ancient Syrian city of Dura-Europos, which was converted to a church between 233 and 256. This reflects the humble (and often illegal) beginnings of the Christian movement, which frequently met not in public locations but in private homes. Centuries later, the church had grown immensely in size and influence, enabling denominations such as the Catholics, Anglicans, and Eastern Orthodox churches to construct massive cathedrals with seating capacity rivaling that of athletic stadiums.

Largest Churches in the World

The term "largest" can be interpreted multiple ways. One church may be the largest in terms of indoor seating capacity, another may be the largest in terms of interior floor area, and others may be the largest when considering factors such as building height, exterior grounds, or weekly attendance. Moreover, not all data is available for all churches, and in some cases the data that is available is disputed. Finally, terminology can cause confusion, as some sources differentiate between a church (Christian house of worship), a cathedral (a church that serves as the office for a bishop), and a basilica (a church which has additional ceremonial functions). Thus, it is possible to create multiple lists of the world's largest churches, each different but also accurate, depending upon the variables being measured and compared.

Top 10 Largest Churches in the World by Interior Area (m²):

  1. St. Peter's Basilica (Vatican City) — 15,160
  2. Cathedral Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida (Aparecida, Brazil) — 12,000
  3. Cathedral of St. John the Divine (New York, NY) — 11,200
  4. Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń (Licheń Stary, Poland) — 10,090
  5. Milan Cathedral (Milan, Italy) — 10,000
  6. Seville Cathedral (Seville, Spain) — 9,800
  7. Basilica of the Holy Trinity (Fátima, Portugal) — 8,700
  8. Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls (Rome, Italy) — 8,515
  9. Liverpool Cathedral (Liverpool, England) — 8,400
  10. Basilica Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar (Zaragoza, Spain) — 8,318

Profiles of the World's Largest Churches

St. Peter's Basilica (Vatican City)

The largest church in the world by interior area and known capacity is St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, which was constructed over 120 years from 1506 to 1626. One of the most famous churches in the world, St. Peter's has an interior area of 15,160 m², an exterior area of 21,095 m², and a visitor capacity of 60,000 people—more than that of many football stadiums. For comparison, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles is the largest baseball stadium in the United States and can seat 56,000 people.

Basilica of Our Lady of Peace (Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast)

By some measures, this massive church is even larger than St. Peter's Basilica. Although its internal area (7,989 m²) and interior visitor capacity (18,000) are lower, its exterior area of 30,000 m² is notably larger (though it includes a rectory and other structures, which are arguably not part of the church). Yamoussoukro Basilica also boasts a larger and taller dome than St. Peter's.

Basilica of Our Lady Aparecida (Aparecida, Brazil)

The largest cathedral in the world (as St. Peter's is a basilica rather than a cathedral) and the second-largest Catholic church in terms of interior area is Brazil's colorful, blue-roofed Basilica of Our Lady Aparecida. The cathedral is 12,000 m² on the inside and 18,331 m² on the outside and can accommodate 45,000 worshippers. Its parking area can hold 4,000 buses and 6,000 cars.

Milan Cathedral (Milan, Italy)

Italy's Milan Cathedral took nearly 600 years to build, with construction lasting from 1386 to 1965. The cathedral's precise size is a matter of some debate, but most sources place its internal area between 10,000-11,700 m² and its capacity at 40,000 people. One of the cathedral's more unique features is an array of 135 stone spires, each topped by a statue (saints or martyrs in most cases), which led to a creative fund-raising opportunity. Church officials introduced a program in 2012 through which devotees can "adopt" the spire of their choice.

Yoido Full Gospel (Seoul, South Korea)

When it comes to exterior area, Yoido Full Gospel is the largest church in the world, spanning over 44,000 m². Yoido is unusual among large churches in that its denomination is neither Catholic nor Orthodox, but Pentecostal. Located in Seoul, South Korea, Yoidi has the capacity to hold 12,000 worshippers at a time. The Yoido church is also known for its massive congregation, which is the largest in the world. Collectively, the main church and all its satellite churches included 830,000 members in 2007, and even after the spinning off of 20 satellite churches into independent churches in 2010, documented membership remained as high as 480,000 in 2020.

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Church Name
Interior Area (m²) (m²)
Visitor Capacity
Exterior Area (m²)
Years built
St. Peter's Basilica15,16060,00021,095Vatican CityVatican City1506–1626Catholic (Latin)
Cathedral Basilica of Our Lady Aparecida12,00030,00018,331BrazilAparecida1955–1980Catholic (Latin)
Cathedral of St. John the Divine11,2008,600United StatesNew York City, NY1892–present (unfinished)Anglican (Episcopal Church in the U.S.)
Basilica of Our Lady of Licheń10,090PolandLicheń Stary1994–2004Catholic (Latin)
Milan Cathedral10,00040,000ItalyMilan1386–1965Catholic (Latin)
Seville Cathedral9,800SpainSeville1401–1528Catholic (Latin)
Basilica of the Holy Trinity8,7009,000PortugalFátima2004–2007Catholic (Latin)
Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls8,515ItalyRome4th–5th century; rebuilt 1825–1929Catholic (Latin)
Liverpool Cathedral8,4003,500United KingdomLiverpool1904–1978Anglican (Church of England)
Basilica-Cathedral of Our Lady of the Pillar8,318SpainZaragoza1681–1872Catholic (Latin)
Florence Cathedral8,300ItalyFlorence1296–1436Catholic (Latin)
Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe8,16710,000MexicoMexico City1974–1976Catholic (Latin)
Rio de Janeiro Cathedral8,00020,000BrazilRio de Janeiro1964–1976Catholic (Latin)
Cathedral of Our Lady8,000BelgiumAntwerp1352–1521Catholic (Latin)
Basilica of the Sacred Heart8,000BelgiumKoekelberg (Brussels)1905–1970Catholic (Latin)
Basilica of Our Lady of Peace7,98918,00030,000Ivory CoastYamoussoukro1985–1989Catholic (Latin)
Hagia Sophia7,960TurkeyIstanbul532–537Eastern Orthodox (Greek)
San Petronio Basilica7,92028,000ItalyBologna1390–1479Catholic (Latin)
Cologne Cathedral7,914GermanyCologne1248–1880Catholic (Latin)
Washington National Cathedral7,712United StatesWashington, DC1907–1990Anglican (Episcopal Church in the U.S.)
Abbey of Santa Giustina7,700ItalyPadua1501–1606Catholic (Latin)
Cathedral of the Nativity7,5008,200EgyptCairo2017–2019Oriental Orthodox (Coptic)
Yoido Full Gospel7,45012,00044,000South KoreaSeoul1973Protestant (Pentecostal)
St. Vitus Cathedral7,440Czech RepublicPrague1344–1929Catholic (Latin)
St Paul's Cathedral7,300United KingdomLondon1677–1708Anglican (Church of England)
Basilica Natn. Shrine of the Immaculate Conception7,09710,00010,234United StatesWashington, DC1920–2017Catholic (Latin)
Cathedral of La Plata6,968ArgentinaLa Plata1884–1932Catholic (Latin)
Saint Joseph's Oratory6,825CanadaMontreal1904–1967Catholic (Latin)
Shrine of St. Paulina6,7406,0009,000BrazilNova Trento2003–2006Catholic (Latin)
Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral6,732MexicoMexico City1573–1813Catholic (Latin)
Chartres Cathedral6,70010,875FranceChartres1145–1220Catholic (Latin)
Amiens Cathedral6,4507,700FranceAmiens1220–1270Catholic (Latin)
Berlin Cathedral or Berliner Dom6,2702,000GermanyBerlin1451–1905Protestant (Lutheran)
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels6,038United StatesLos Angeles, CA1998–2002Catholic (Latin)
De Hoeksteen6,0202,531NetherlandsBarneveld2007–2008Protestant (Calvinist)
People's Salvation Cathedral6,0007,000RomaniaBucharest2010–present (unfinished)Eastern Orthodox (Romanian)
Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church6,0006,500ItalySan Giovanni Rotondo1991–2004Catholic (Latin)
Ulm Minster5,9502,000GermanyUlm1377–1890Protestant (Lutheran)
York Minster5,927United KingdomYork1230–1472Anglican (Church of England)
Bourges Cathedral5,900FranceBourges1195–1230Catholic (Latin)
Reims Cathedral5,800FranceReims1211–1275Catholic (Latin)
São Paulo Cathedral5,7008,000BrazilSão Paulo1913–1954Catholic (Latin)
Esztergom Basilica5,660HungaryEsztergom1822–1869Catholic (Latin)
Diocesan Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe5,415MexicoZamora, Michoacán1898–2008Catholic (Latin)
Sagrada Familia5,4009,000SpainBarcelona1882–present (unfinished)Catholic (Latin)
Primate Cathedral of Bogotá5,300ColombiaBogotá1807–1823Catholic (Latin)
Strasbourg Cathedral5,300FranceStrasbourg1015–1439Catholic (Latin)
Palma Cathedral5,200SpainPalma, Majorca1220–1346Catholic (Latin)
New Cathedral, Linz5,17020,000AustriaLinz1862–1924Catholic (Latin)
Speyer Cathedral5,038GermanySpeyer1030–1103Catholic (Latin)
Provo ward conference center5,038United StatesProvo, UT2012The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Westminster Cathedral5,0173,000United KingdomLondon1895–1910Catholic (Latin)
Holy Trinity Cathedral5,000GeorgiaTbilisi1995–2004Eastern Orthodox (Georgian)
Medak Cathedral5,000IndiaMedak1914–1926Anglican (Church of South India)
St. Mary's Church5,000PolandGdańsk1343–1502Catholic (Latin)
Lincoln Cathedral5,000United KingdomLincoln, England1185–1311Anglican (Church of England)
Winchester Cathedral4,968United KingdomWinchester1079–1525Anglican (Church of England)
Notre Dame de Paris4,8009,0005,500FranceParis1163–1345; 2019–present (reconstruction)Catholic (Latin)
Dresden Cathedral4,800GermanyDresden1739–1755Catholic (Latin)
Almudena Cathedral4,800SpainMadrid1883–1993Catholic (Latin)
Basilica of St. Thérèse, Lisieux4,500FranceLisieux1929–1954Catholic (Latin)
Basilica de San Martin de Tours (Taal)4,320PhilippinesTaal, Batangas1856–1878Catholic (Latin)
Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire4,273United KingdomEly1083–1375Anglican (Church of England)
Frauenkirche4,188GermanyMunich1468–1525Catholic (Latin)
Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart4,1812,000United StatesNewark, NJ1898–1954Catholic (Latin)
Se Cathedral4,180IndiaGoa, India1619–1640Catholic (Latin)
St. Stephen's Basilica4,147HungaryBudapest1851–1906Catholic (Latin)
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis (St. Louis)4,130United StatesSt. Louis, MO1907–1914Catholic (Latin)
Saint Isaac's Cathedral4,0007,000RussiaSaint Petersburg1818–1858Eastern Orthodox (Russian)
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour3,9809,5006,829RussiaMoscow1839–1883Eastern Orthodox (Russian)
Saint Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral, Yerevan3,822ArmeniaYerevan1997–2001Oriental Orthodox (Armenian)
Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral3,820United StatesRaleigh, NC2015–2018Catholic (Latin)
Catedral Evangelica de Chile or Jotabeche Cathedral3,7157,000ChileSantiago de Chile1967–1974Protestant (Pentecostal)
Church of Saint Sava3,6504,830SerbiaBelgrade1935–1989Eastern Orthodox (Serbian)
Blessed Stanley Rother Shrine3,5121,859United StatesOklahoma City, OK2021–2022Catholic (Latin)
Yeonmudae Catholic Church3,360South KoreaKorea Army Training Center2008–2009Catholic (Latin)
Grace Cathedral3,357United StatesSan Francisco, CA1910–1964Anglican (Episcopal Church in the U.S.)
Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul (Lewiston, Maine)3,2642,200United StatesLewiston, ME1906–1936Catholic (Latin)
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral3,170BulgariaSofia1882–1912Eastern Orthodox (Bulgaria)
Christ Cathedral3,030United StatesGarden Grove, CA1977–1980Catholic (Latin)
Westminster Abbey2,9722,200United KingdomLondon960–c. 18 cent.Anglican (Church of England)
Sümi Baptist Church, Zünheboto2,8858,500IndiaZunheboto, Nagaland2007–2017Protestant (Baptist)
St Andrew's Cathedral, Patras2,600GreecePatras1908–1974Eastern Orthodox (Greek)
St. Patrick's Cathedral (Manhattan)2,5002,400United StatesManhattan, NY1858–1878Catholic (Latin)
Beomeo Cathedral2,463South KoreaDaegu2013–2016Catholic (Latin)
Helsinki Cathedral2,4001,300FinlandHelsinki1869–1887Protestant (Lutheran)
Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (Santa Fe)2,322United StatesSanta Fe, NM1869–1887Catholic (Latin)
Our Lady of Dolours Syro-Malabar Catholic Basilica2,300IndiaThrissur1929–2005Catholic (Syro-Malabar)
St. John's Church, Seongnam2,260South KoreaSeongnam1994–2002Catholic (Latin)
Basilica of St. John the Baptist2,135CanadaSt. John's1839–1855Catholic (Latin)
St. Joseph Cathedral2,125United StatesSan Diego, CA1941Catholic (Latin)
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption13,900SpainCórdoba785–1607Catholic (Latin)
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Largest Churches in the World 2024

What is the biggest megachurch in the world?

Based on its size, St. Peter's Basilica, which is located in the Vatican City, is the largest church in the world. It can also hold the highest number of visitors -- 60,000.

Frequently Asked Questions