Buildings and other large showcases of infrastructure are truly an astonishing sight to see, particularly for people who love travel and tourism. However, some buildings are not famous for their architecture, rather they are known for their odd features and unique stories which have made them somewhat suspicious as well. Surprisingly, religious places such as churches are often strange and unusual in many ways.
Top Unusual Churches of the World
While most churches anyone visits are fine and have no odd elements, there are definitely a few which might make you shake your head.
Sedlec Ossuary, The Czech Republic
If we talk about one of the spookiest churches of all time, it would be the Sedlec Ossuary. This chapel is located beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints. The church and its small chapel, both are considered to be horrifying, yet they attract many tourists every year. The primary reason why Sedlec Ossuary is considered spooky is that it contains skeletons of more than 40,000 people. A few surveys show that this number could be as high as 70,000 people. What’s even more unusual is the fact that the bones of these people have been arranged in an artistic manner for the furnishings and fixtures of the chapel.
Coat of arms, leg bones, ribs, and other such bones are decorated as well. Beware! This place is not for the weak heart and truly sends a shiver down your spine. This ossuary has been a part of many televised shows and media films as well. Over 200,000 people visit it annually.
Basílica de la Sagrada Família, Spain
One of the finest pieces of architecture and design in the world is Basílica de la Sagrada Família also known as Sagrada Família. The basilica is the term assigned to an important church of the city. This church was designed by Antoni Gaudí who was a Catalan Architect. An important reason why this church has stayed quite important for a long time is that it has existed as an unfinished structure. Even then, it is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are plenty of good reasons to visit a church and tourism is just another one of them. As a matter of fact, the Sagrada Familia has stayed popular with tourists. Tourists who come here can visit the museum, Nave, Crypt, Shop, and Nativity Steeples as well.
The construction of this fine building was started on 19th March 1882. One year later, Antoni Gaudí took over the project and began enhancing the construction through a series of curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. In 1926, he died and only one-fourth of the project was completed. Efforts were made to resume the construction but various issues such as fund problems occurred. It is expected that the building will be finalized by 2028.
Temppeliaukio Church, Finland
While modern architectures have the finest finishing that represents elegance, few structures have been designed in a conventional manner. This church is a classic example of that which has been made of rocks only. In fact, this church has been made inside a solid hard rock which is why it is also named the Church of the Rock. Over 500,000 people visit this church every year.
This church was designed by Timo and Tuomo, who were two brothers. In 1969, the church was opened to the public as well. The main reason why it is considered an unusual church is because there aren’t any other churches designed like that. The abstract look of this church gives it an exceptional overview. Another unusual fact? There are no bells at this church and the sound of a bell is played by a loudspeaker.
The churches just don’t stop getting stranger by the minute and the Schneekirche Church is just another example of that. Unlike many other churches, this one gets in its structure every year. This unique church is made out of snow annually and represents the shape of an igloo. This is one reason why this church is also known as “The God’s Igloo”. With no architectural design and engineering concept, this church becomes quite odd. It was made in 1911 when a group of villagers decided to make a church out of the snow when they were not given sufficient money to build one.
Initially, it looked impossible but with time, God’s Igloo came out as a reality. The villagers were able to finish this church at a height of 4 meters with a length of 14 meters and a width of 7 meters. After this news broke in the media, the church got donations for the construction of a stone church. However, the church has still not been made of stone. It is only used for the purpose of worship. No weddings are allowed in this church.
Chêne Chapelle, France
Now that you have learned about churches in rocks, unfinished churches, and spooky churches, let’s move on to a church that has been made inside an oak tree. Although it is a small chapel considered to many of the large churches, it is still somewhat important in terms of religious significance. But the main question is: Who came up with the idea of having a church inside an oak tree?
For one, the oak tree is said to be about 1200 meters old with 15 meters of height and 16 meters of base circumferences. It is said that as this tree approached the age of 500 years, it got struck by lightning which resulted in the outer part staying intact while the inner trunk started to burn down. This resulted in a hollow trunk. At that time, the village priest named Father Du Cerceau said that this was an event occurring for a holy purpose. Eventually, this oak tree was turned into a chapel and many people still visit it for the purpose of pilgrimage on the 15th of August.
Drowned Church of Potosi, Venezuela
It seems very unusual but there have been churches that have been fully or semi-submerged underwater. They were not built underwater rather a series of events such as floods led to these churches going underwater. This is one reason why the Drowned Church of Potosi is quite popular. Prior to 1985, there was a small town called Potosi and just like many other buildings, it had a church too. In 1985, the government of Venezuela deliberately flooded this whole town so that a new hydroelectric power dam could be built in this area.
This led to the drowning of the church as well. Pictures taken at that time show that only the cross of the church was seen while the rest of it was submerged in water. This indicated that the level of water in this area was substantially high. This area was then used as a reservoir but not for long. In 2010, there was a 30-meter drop in the height of water which was caused due to a severe drought in Venezuela. This is the time when the church seems to have reappeared. Although it was quite damaged, it was still standing in one piece.
There is another submerged church in North Italy as well.
Below is a picture of the church after the water swept out from the area.
The world is surely a surprising and mysterious place with unknown and strange phenomenon coming in now and then. Just like many other mysterious places of the world, the churches are on the list too. From the spookiest church to an underwater church, above we have discussed the different types of odd and unusual churches of the world.