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Amazing Catholic Churches, Churches like St. Peters
By: Dianna Beaufort (justin) 2013.01.27

3centsSo you thought St Peter’s basilica in Rome was one of a kind? Guess again. It has inspired numerous replicas throughout the Catholic world. One stipulation remains however: the Vatican will not allow a copy to be bigger than St Peter’s in Rome. Its dome is 395 feet high, its nave is 692 feet long and it can accommodate 60,000 worshippers.


Montréal, Canada
Montréal’s Cathedrale de Marie Reine du Monde is exactly half the size of the original and is known as “Little Basilica”. While Christ and his twelve apostles crown the entrance of St Peter’s basilica in Rome, Montréal’s cathedral has 13 saints personally chosen by the benefactors who made this cathedral possible in the late 19th century. The interior is also graced with a reproduction of Bernini’s famous baldachin above the altar. 

Oudenbosch, Holland
In Oudenbosch, the south of Holland, the Basilica of Saints Agatha & Barbara towers majestically over the small town with a cupola at 223 feet. Construction began in 1867 when, in contrast to the Protestant north, the southern Dutch provinces were still strongly Roman Catholic. It was designed by the architect Cuypers, the same architect of Central Station and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. He freely adapted the façade of his basilica by copying the front of another Roman church: St John Lateran.

Yamoussoukro, Cote d’Ivoire
The mother of all replicas, the Basilique de Notre Dame de la Paix is a surreal imitation, complete with a 3-hectare square that, in size, outdoes the original. President/dictator (you choose) Felix Houphouët-Boigny commissioned the mega-structure and ordered day and night labour so that it was completed in 1989 after only three years. Inside “Michelangelo’s” Pieta is hewn from the very same Carrera marble as the original. It can hold 18,000 people, 7000 of which have the luxury of individually air conditioned seats.

—Dianna Beaufort

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