15 of the Most Beautiful Churches in the World

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12) Basilica de Higuey, Dominican Republic

This cathedral is formally known as the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de la Altagracia, reflecting its status as a shrine to the Virgin Mary. A massively imposing building, the current cathedral was constructed from concrete in the 1950’s, and features arches that extend over 79m (approximately 260ft) in the air. The design reflects modern architectural stylization, as well as traditional elements that are so important to the residents of Higuey. The interior contains stunning stained glass windows, framed by massive arches, giving the cathedral a resplendence that is hard to surpass. Known internationally as one of the earliest shrines to the Virgin Mary, the cathedral houses a painting, the Virgen de la Altagracias, which is believed to be brought by Spanish missionaries in the mid 16th century. Each year on January 21st, thousands of devotees arrive at the cathedral to pay homage to the painting.

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