Here is a list of the top 5 tallest churches in the world.
Most of the tallest churches are built before 20th century and located in European countries. Many of these churches are even taller than some skyscrapers, which generally refers to the habitable structures above 150 meters or 500 ft.
1. Ulm Minster
Height: 161.5 m (530 ft)
Year Built: 1890
Location: Ulm, Germany
Ulm Minster is a Gothic church in Ulm, Germany, as of 2018, it's still the tallest church in the world, and will remain that for another 8 years, until the Sagrada Familia in Spain surpasses it in 2026.
Although it has never been a seat of bishop, the church is still widely referred to as Ulm Cathedral for its large scale.
The church was initially a Roman Catholic church and was transferred to a Lutheran Church in 1529 during the Protestant Reformation.
2. Our Lady of Peace Basilica
Height: 158 m (518 ft)
Year Built: 1989
Location: Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast
This Baroque style building is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Yamoussoukro, which is the capital city of Ivory Coast, a country in West African. The church cost 400 million dollars to build, the dome and the encircled plaza is inspired by the Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, the roof of its dome is slightly lower than that of Saint Peter's Basilica, but the spire is higher, making it the tallest Baroque church in the world. Guinness World Records lists the basilica as world's largest church.
Despite of its large scale and gorgeous appearance, it's not being used as a cathedral, the principal place of worship and the cathedral of the local diocese is the nearby Saint Augustine Cathedral.
3. Cologne Cathedral
Height: 157 m (516 ft)
Year Built: 1880
Location: Cologne, Germany
Cologne Cathedral is the tallest twin-spired church in the world, the towers of the church have been the tallest twin towers for religious use, and will keep the honor for another few years, until a pair of 420-meter Mosque minarets in Mecca arguably surpass it.
Cologne Cathedral is the third largest Gothic church in the world, after Seville Cathedral in Spain and Milan Cathedral in Italy. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne, and houses the reliquary of the Three Kings.
The cathedral survived in the World War II, but still seriously damaged, the building is repaired in 1950s, and maintenance works is carried out every year.
Cologne Cathedral was first began to build in the mid 13th Century, and completed in 1880, took more than 600 years to be built, however, the construction work had been suspended since 1473, only be resumed in 19th century.
The cathedral has been the most popular tourist attraction in Germany, attracting nearly 7 million visitors a year.
4. Rouen Cathedral
Height: 151 m (495 ft)
Year Built: 1876
Location: Rouen, France
Rouen Cathedral is the tallest church in France, like Cologne Cathedral, the construction on this church also started in 13 Century and completed in 19 Century, because the interruptions caused by wars, natural disasters, lacking of funds, etc.
5. Church of St. Nicholas
Height: 147 m (483 ft)
Year Built: 1874
Location: Hamburg, Germany
St. Nicholas Church was once one of five main Evangelical churches in Hamburg, the church was largely destroyed by the bombing of Hamburg in World War II, only some incomplete walls and the impaired tower are remained. The building is no longer being used as a church, but served as a memorial landmark in the city.
The tower of St. Nicholas Church is the second tallest building in the city of Hamburg.
A 75-meter high viewing platform is opened to public for enjoying the aerial view of the city, visitors can access there by taking a elevator, which was added in 2005.