Tallest Catholic church: St. Peter’s Basilica?

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The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast, is the tallest Catholic structure and domed church at 518 feet. It cost $300 million and can accommodate 18,000 worshippers. Ulm Minster is the tallest church at 530 feet, while St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal is the tallest in the Americas.

From the Middle Ages onwards until the first appearance of the modern skyscraper, Christian churches were typically the tallest buildings in the world. Today, the tallest Catholic structure and tallest domed church is the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace, which reaches a height of 518 feet (158 m). But it’s not in Rome or Vatican City, as one might expect. It is in Yamoussoukro, the de jure capital of the Ivory Coast.

Construction began in 1985 at the behest of President Félix Houphouët-Boigny, 25 years after the West African country gained independence. The basilica brought Côte d’Ivoire international recognition, including the blessing of Pope John Paul II in 1990. Today, the church stands as a symbol of peace, despite Côte d’Ivoire’s recent tumultuous past, which has included two wars civilians in the 21st century.

The complex, modeled on St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, cost more than $300 million and can accommodate 18,000 worshippers. By some calculations, it is also the largest Christian church in the world.
At 530 feet (161.5m), the tallest church in the world is Ulm Minster, a Lutheran church located in Ulm, Germany. The tallest church with two steeples — and the tallest cathedral church — is the German Cathedral of Cologne, which stands at 516 feet (157.4 m).
If completed, Barcelona’s Sagrada Família will become the tallest church in the world at 566m.
The tallest church in the Americas is St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, Canada, which stands at a height of 423 feet (129 m).

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