10 post-war era churches

The Second World War was a landmark event in Europe. The period that followed was forever changed politically, economically and also artistically. These 10 churches testify to the radical shift in architecture in the post-war era.


St. Roch's Church, Poland

The church or church of St. Roch - Monument of Poland’s Regained Independence began to be built in 1927 and was completed, despite several stops in its construction, in 1945. This church was built in the Modernist expressionist style with reinforced concrete.

St. Roch's Church
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Notre Dame du Haut, France

The chapel Notre-Dame-du-Haut is a building designed from 1953 to 1955 by the architect Le Corbusier. It is erected on the site of an ancient Roman sanctuary and an old chapel rebuilt between the two wars. In 2011, around the chapel, a convent was built by the architect Renzo Piano. The site is on the UNESCO World Heritage List 2016.

Notre Dame du Haut

Notre-Dame de Royan, France

Notre-Dame de Royan Church was founded in 1958 based on the plans of architects Guillaume Gillet and Marc Hébrard. Royan was particularly affected by Allied bombardments at the end of the Second World War and its main church (dating from 1874) was destroyed. Its replacement is considered a masterpiece of modern architecture.

Notre-Dame de Royan

Memorial Church, Germany

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (also known as the Memorial Church) is a world-renowned monument in Berlin. Severely damaged during the Second World War, much of the ruins of the 19th century neo-Romanesque church were demolished in the 1950s. A new church was rebuilt (1959-1961) by Egon Eiermann, keeping part of the ruins as a reminder.

Memorial Church

St Bride's Church, United-Kingdom

St Bride Church, designed by Gillespie Architects, Kidd & Coia, is a modernist church built from 1957 to 1964. The cubic structure is considered a masterpiece of modernist architecture and, since 1994, has been classified as a Scottish monument.

St Bride's Church

St. Agnes church, Germany

The St. Agnes church, built from 1964 to 1967, is a former brutalist church designed by Werner Düttmann. Partially abandoned in the 2000s, it has been taken over by the König Gallery since 2015, which has turned it into a museum of contemporary art.

St. Agnes church
Wikimedia Commons

Böhm's pilgrimage church, Germany

The Nevigeser Wallfahrtsdom is a pilgrimage church built between 1963 and 1972. The architectural style of the current building, designed by Gottfried Böhm, is attributed to brutalism. The shape of the building is meant to resemble that of a large tent, and the frequently recurring symbol of the interior design is the rose, symbol of the Virgin Mary.

Böhm's pilgrimage church

Temppeliaukio Church, Finland

The church Temppeliaukio is an Evangelical Lutheran church completed in 1969. The church, carved into the rock, was designed by Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen. Thanks to its acoustic properties, the church is a popular venue for concerts.

Temppeliaukio Church

Wotruba Church, Austria

The church of Wotruba was built from 1974 to 1976 according to the plans of Fritz Wotruba (sculptor) and Fritz Gerhard Mayr (architect). This church, made of concrete blocks, is of a markedly brutalist style.

Wotruba Church

Arka Pana, Poland

The Lord's Ark church (Arka Pana) was built in the years 1967-1977 according to the plans of the architect mgr. Eng. Wojciech Pietrzyk. The roof of the building makes the church look like not only the arch but also the chapel of Ronchamp, designed by Le Corbusier. This church is one of the many modernist churches of Poland, a country that suffered tremendous damages during the Second Worl War. Between 1945 and 2016, 3,587 churches were erected in Poland.

Arka Pana