Stained glass is an art form that the entire world can appreciate. The art looks similar no matter what part of the world it was created in, bringing all countries and cultures closer together. One thing is for certain is all cultures, no matter how big or small, or where it’s used, stained glass masterpieces are breathtaking. Keep reading to see some of the most intricate and beautiful stained glass pieces from around the world.
Barcelona, Spain – La Sagrada Familia
The cathedral named, “La Sagrada Familia” in Barcelona, Spain is a popular tourist attraction with over three million visitors per year. Construction on the massive church began in early 1882, and it is still being built today; it’s also not expected to be completed for at least another decade. La Sagrada Familia would not be such a famous landmark today if it weren’t for the astonishing stained glass windows that surround the cathedral from top to bottom. Architects who are continuing to create and install the stained glass stay true to the original architect’s, Antoni Gaudí, vision for the church by following specific instructions he made for what the church should look like in the future.
Iran – Nasir-ol-molk Mosque
Built in 1888 by architects Muhammad Reza Kashi Paz-e-Shirazi and Muhammad Hasan-e-Mema, the Iranian Mosque began construction in 1876 and is visited by many tourist every year, many who come solely to view the stained glass that is featured throughout the building. The stained glass windows that are found throughout the Mosque provide a kaleidoscope effect when the sun rises, making 8:00-9:00 in the morning the best time to visit to get the full effect of these windows. Additionally, this building is often referred to as, “The Pink Mosque” because that is the color this particular stained glass gives off inside of the Mosque.
Dallas, Texas – The Chapel of Thanksgiving
The Chapel of Thanksgiving found in Dallas, Texas, was built more recently in 1976 by Philip Johnson, who also designed the Thanks-Giving Square park that the chapel was built in. The spiral of 73 stained glass windows were designed by French artist Gabriel Loire and it is a popular to visit for those traveling to Dallas on vacation. This design is very unique as almost no where else in the world has a spiral of stained glass windows on the ceiling quite like this.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands – St. Nicolaaskerk Church
This church finished construction in 1883 and is Amsterdam’s primary Roman Catholic church. Based on the Neo-Baroque and Neo-Renaissance styles, the church was designed by architect Adrianus Bleijs. There are actually two more chapels within the church with one being named after Mary and the other for Joseph. Found extensively throughout the church, the stained glass windows are found lower, higher and even on the ceiling of the building. The main design for most of them seem to be made up of circular patterns.
Cambridge, United Kingdom – King’s College Chapel
King’s College Chapel in Cambridge is the chapel at King’s College within the University of Cambridge. The gothic chapel began construction in 1446 and was finished in 1515, with multiple Kings throughout the decade building it. The large windows of this church are completely made of stained glass which are some of the finest and most expensive in the world. During the Middle Ages, glass was extremely dangerous, difficult and expensive to make; however, the glass makers were still managed to create various large stained glass panels for the chapel.
Baltimore, Maryland – Lloyd Street Synagogue
Architects Robert Cary Long, Jr. and William Reasin started designing the Synagogue in 1830 and it opened to the public just fifteen years later in 1845. This was the first ever Synagogue in Baltimore and it was the third to be built in the United States. The majority of the stained glass windows in the building feature the Star of David, which is a major symbol of the Jewish religion.
Maringá, Brazil – Cathedral of Maringá
The cathedral of Maringá in Maringá, Brazil is one of the tallest churches in the world and the 25th tallest church in South America, being 124 m tall. It is a Roman Catholic cathedral and it began being built in 1959 and only took about 13 years to complete. José Augusto Bellucci, the architect who designed the cathedral, created it based on his inspiration from the sputnik satellites. The stained glass windows that surround the circular cathedrals start from the bottom and go to the very top of the church.
San Francisco, California – Grace Cathedral
Grace Cathedral is located right in the middle of the busyness that is San Francisco. The church was founded in 1849 but later when another church moved away from a larger building, they moved into it. However, than building was then destroyed in 1906 following a devastating earthquake. The new building for the church was finished in 1964, making it the third largest Episcopal church in the United States. The cathedral’s stained glass covers 7,290 square feet and they it was all created by Charles Connick between 1930 to 1966. Hundred of important figures throughout history are conveyed on the stained glass, including Albert Einstein, Thurgood Marshall and Robert Frost.
Barcelona, Spain – The Skylight at the Palau de la Música Catalana
The skylight of the Palau de la Música Catalana is composed completely of stained glass windows that symbolizes the sky with the sun. Though the stained glass isn’t as vast as La Sagrada Familia which also resides in Barcelona, but the skylight is very unique as it drops inward, away from the ceiling, and it looks as if it is about to drop onto you. The inverted part of the stained glass is what resembles the sun in reds and oranges, with the rest being the sky in mostly blues and greens.
Paris, France – Sainte Chapelle
Construction on this chapel began almost 10 centuries ago in 1248, and it was impressively finished a decade later. Though this chapel has only 15 windows completely made of stained glass, these windows are 50 feet tall which covers the chapel from top to bottom. This stained glass is also some of the oldest in existence, dating back to the 13th century when the church was built. The chapel was damaged due to the French Revolution, but not entirely, and it was restored sometime during the 19th century.