Be Inspired

Europe is a diverse and inspiring continent, full of fascinating details, places, people and events. Our religious heritage is not only a window into this past, but also provides enjoyment and inspiration for its architecture, its beauty and its splendour. These lists show some of the ways that Europe's religious heritage can be enjoyed today.

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Six religious heritage sites to visit in Veszprém (Hungary)

Veszprém is known for being home to the first and oldest diocese in Hungary. Many of its sacred sites are linked to royalty, especially to Queen Gisela who considered this her favourite city. Of Germanic origin, Gisela of Hungary was the first queen consort of the country and a key figure in the Christianisation of its people. Here are six places of worship to visit in Veszprém, the city of queens!

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Religious heritage sites to visit in Lund

As early as the 13th century, Lund became not only the seat of the archbishop of Scandinavia, but also a thriving religious centre of the expanding Christianity in the North of Europe. In the wake of the Reformation and as Malmo grew, most of the medieval churches in Lund gradually disappeared. Nevertheless, some of its sacred buildings are today landmarks of contemporary Lund.

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Sacred heritage of Odesa, "the pearl of the Black Sea"

On the shores of the Black Sea lies the city of Odesa. Founded on the land of a former Tatar settlement, the city prospered in the 19th century thanks to its strategic location by the sea. Following the Soviet occupation of Ukraine, many of its historic buildings were destroyed and later reconstructed in the 1990s, when the country gained its independence. The historic centre of Odesa has been a delightful display of eastern and western architectural influences ever since, including its sacred buildings.

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Wikimedia Commons/Ștefan Jurcă

Eugeniu Iordachescu, the saviour of Bucharest's churches

The construction of Bucharest's largest and best-known avenue in the 1980’s nearly obliterated dozens of centuries-old churches. Fortunately, the timely response of civil engineer Eugeniu Iordachescu, ”the engineer of heaven”, saved many of them from destruction. Iordachescu devised a system whereby the churches could be lifted from their foundations and relocated by rail tracks to a safe place without having to be dismantled. Pay attention when you visit Bucharest because you may find these saved churches where you least expect them.

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Wikimedia Commons/Øyvind Holmstad

Moorish Revival synagogues

In the 19th century, the emergent Jewish community needed an architectural style that matched their growing wealth. the Moorish style, which originated in Spain when the country was under Islamic rule, and its oriental elements became popular throughout Europe. Domes and horseshoe arches began to abound in the newly built synagogues until the early 20th century. Here are some of the best examples of Moorish revival synagogues across Europe.

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Wikimedia Commons/Mirza Čaušević

A Journey through Europe’s oldest mosques

From the Moorish mosques of Andalus to the Ottoman mosques of the Balkans, these centuries-old temples are part of European history. Some have been converted or adapted for other uses, and others are still active temples, but all of them bear witness to the succession of cultures and beliefs and the mixture of artistic and architectural styles. Embark with us on a journey through the oldest and most fascinating mosques in Europe.

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Wikimedia Commons/Patrick

Europe’s most beautiful stained-glass windows

Stained glass is a fine art that has decorated sacred buildings since the Middle Ages, creating a captivating scene of light and colour to which it is difficult to remain indifferent. Those who pay enough attention will discover the story and mysteries of Christianity written in them. Check out this list of European stained-glass masterpieces which will take your breath away.

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Ten churches featured in films

Whether to convey a solemn, mystical or calm atmosphere, churches are recurrent in films, they are part of all cinematographic genres. The following list, as incomplete as it is eclectic, is proof of the diversity of the use of sacred places in cinema.