Places of Worship

Churches, Mosques, Temples, Synagogues, Cathedrals, and similar structures used primarily for worship (this category is about the buildings, not the religions)

Dream of building a medieval town comes true

Since 1967, Bert Geuten has dreamed of re-creating an authentic medieval town using period tools and techniques. Now the first step of that dream has come to pass. In the small German town of Meßkirch in Baden-Württemberg, a team of craftsmen has started construction on a small church. (photos)

Medieval church wall and remains unearthed by electrical workers

The excavation of a ditch to bury an electrical cable has led to the discovery of a medieval church wall at St Ffinan's Church in Anglesey, England. The original church, believed to have been built in 620 CE, was mostly destroyed when the newer church was built in the 19th century.

"Impressive basilica" unearthed at Moshav Aluma

Archaeologists from the Israel Land Authority have discovered a 6th century Byzantine basilica, featuring "magnificent mosaic" floors, at Moshav Aluma, near Pelugot Junction, in Israel. (photo)

St Piran's Oratory to be excavated

In 1910, the remains of St Piran's Oratory near Perranporth, Cornwall were encased in a concrete bunker to preserve them from the coast's harsh weather, but now archaeologists have received permission to excavate the sixth century chapel, believed to be Britain's oldest place of Christian worship. (photos)

The basilica under the lake

The foundations of a 5th century Byzantine basilica have been discovered beneath the waters of Lake İznik near Bursa in northwest Turkey. The discovery was revealed by aerial photosgraphs. (photos)

Touring Judaic sites in Spain

After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, much of Sephardic Jewish history and culture was destroyed, but some does remain. Gisela Dés of The Jerusalem Post offers a feature article on the "lost Jewish kingdom" in Spain.

"Stunning" St George and the Dragon painting found in Welsh church

Beneath 20 layers of paint and lime, conservators have recently uncovered "stunning" 15th century wall paintings in the small, 13th century church of St Cadoc's in Llancarfan, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. (video)

13th century church unearthed in Poland

Archaeologists working in Kamień Pomorski (West Pomerania), Poland have discovered the remains of a 13th century Dominican church, part of a larger monastery complex. The church was destroyed in the 16th century.

Byzantine monastery to become mosque

The 5th century Byzantium Monastery of Stoudios in Istanbul, Turkey is scheduled to become a mosque after renovation concludes in 2014. The site will be renamed İmrahor İlyas Bey Mosque.

Basilica "of enormous importance" excavated on Cyprus

Archaeologists from the Cyprus Antiquities Department have unearthed the remains of a 7th century basilica the size of Westminster Abbey near the Royal Air Force Station of Akrotiri on Cyprus. Experts believe that the huge church was only used for 30 years.

Restoration allows public to return to St Mary's Priory

Restoration work at 13th century St Mary's Priory in the coastal village of Beeston Regis, England has been completed at a cost just over UK£13,000. Repairs included restoration of 19th century gates and a vandalized roof. (photo)

Cross fragment leads to search for Anglo Saxon village

The discovery of part of a stone cross, dating to Anglo Saxon times, has excited archaeologists from Altogether Archaeology excavating St Botolph’s field in Frosterley in Weardale, England. “This is not the kind of thing that happens every day," said Paul Frodsham, historic environment officer at the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership.

3D laser mapping may help preserve Leaning Tower of Pisa

The campanile of the cathedral of the city of Pisa, Italy has been leaning since its construction in the 12th century. Now, a new handheld 3D mapping system developed by CSIRO, Australia's national science agency, may "preserve" the Leaning Tower in bits if the ultimate catastrophe happens. (photos, video)

Yorkshire chapel may be Richard III's

A team of archaeologists from the University of York believe they have discovered the remains of a 15th century chapel ordered to be built by Richard III to commemorate the Battle of Towton (1461).

Richard III to be given kingly burial in Leicester

Plans have been announced for the interment of King Richard III, whose remains were discovered in 2012, in Leicester Cathedral. The announcement follows news that a legal challenge by distant relatives of the King requesting his burial in York, had been denied. The re-burial, complete with pomp and circumstance will take pace in 2014.

A Walsingham Pilgrimage

The village of Little Walsingham in North Norfolk was the site for a major pilgrimage during the 14th and 15th centuries. What still exists today of that ancient site? Take a virtual trip back to this shrine. (photos)

New scientific techniques to be employed on Rothwell ossuary

Holy Trinity Church in Rothwell, England has a secret: a medieval ossuary lies beneath its floor. Now a team of scientists from the University of Sheffield hopes to learn some of the secrets using the latest scientific technology. (video)

Site of "national importance" trumps carpark in Donegal

“I am hugely excited by the discovery. We have definitely put it up there to be possibly on a par with Clonmacnoise or Inishmurray,” said archaeologist Mick Drumm of Wolfhound Archaeology about the recent discovery of a 7th century monastery at Drumholm, near Ballintra, Co Donegal, Ireland. (photo)

The historic beauty of Rouen

Rouen, france is the home of the Cathedral Notre-Dame de Rouen and of Gustave Flaubert, the spot where Joan of Arc was burned and where painters Claude Monet and Roy Lichtenstein were inspired. Nell Casey of the New York Times visited the city and writes of its beauty. (photos)

Byzantine pilgrimage site found in the Sudan

The excavation of the medieval monastery al-Ghazali in Northern Sudan is astonishing archaeologists who have unearthed a second church on the site as well as a large number of fragments of funerary stelae and inscribed vessels. The monastery is believed to have been a major pilgrimage site before the 13th century. (photos)

Bath Abbey threatened by its dead

Bath Abbey, the late 15th century church that looms over the Roman ruins in Bath, England, is under siege -- by the dead. Not zombies, but over 6,000 bodies, threaten to lift the abbey's floor and collapse the building.

Priory and brewhouse excavation tell story of monks' lives

The land under social services and government buildings in Bicester, England once belonged to a community of monks who worked the land and may have partaken of as much as "10 pints of beer a week."

Secret of Northamptonshire chapel revealed

Under an unassuming village church in Rothwell, England lies a 700-year-old crypt containing hundreds of skeletons, only one of two still remaining in the country. Why were they there? Experts from the University of Sheffield's Department of Archaeology think they know. (photos)

The stonemasons of Lincoln

Medieval cathedrals are awe-inspiring. Equally inspiring are the stonemasons and carvers who originally built the structures and who keep them maintained to this very day. The BBC has a short video on the stonemasons of Lincoln Cathedral, where construction began in the 11th century.

9th century church found beneath Dongola Citadel

A team of Polish archaeologists led by Prof. Włodzimierz Godlewski has discovered fragments of a medieval fortification system and the painted walls of a church, dating to the 9th century along the Nile River in the Sudan. Part of the Dongola Citadel, the medieval church survives alongside a tower and fortifications, dating to the 5th and 6th centuries, and remnants from the 15th century.

Panels "hacked" from Devon church

Sometime in the week of August 2-9, 2013, vandals "hacked out" two 15th century, decorative oak panels, bearing the images of saints from Holy Trinity Church in Torbryan, England. The panels were part of a screen and "one of the best examples of their kind left in Britain." (video)

9th century pumpkin patch revealed in Rome

Experts from the Vatican are excited by a pumpkin patch - one that was part of a Benedictine monastery surrounding the Basilica of St Paul’s outside the Walls.

Situation is critical for Saint Hilarion Monastery

Saint Hilarion, at Tel Umm al-Amr in the Gaza Strip, is considered the Holy Land's oldest monastery. The site, named for a 4th century hermit, is in danger of destruction due to lack of funds.

Looters unearth Byzantine church in Jordan

In most cases, looters are detrimental to archaeological sites, but recently in Jerash, Jordan, the criminals began the process that led to the discovery of a 6th century Byzantine church with an amazing mosaic floor.

Oxford chapel may have inspired Arthurian legend

New research finds that Geoffrey of Monmouth's great The History of the Kings of Britain may have been written in St George's chapel, a teaching base for Oxford students, which was destroyed during the construction of Oxford Castle.