Places of Worship

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

BBC series on German art begins with Cologne Cathedral

In the first of a series of videos on German art, British art historian and broadcaster Andrew Graham-Dixon looks at German art of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

Greyfriars church next subject for Richard III archaeologists

Richard III has been identified. Now focus has shifted to the church where he was buried. The archaeological team from the University of Leicester, which discovered the remains of the king in 2012, plans to return to the site to further investigate Greyfriars Church.

Is this the oldest European image of Native Americans?

Restoration of a fresco in the Vatican has revealed a small group of naked dancing men with feathers in their hair. Researchers think these figures may be depictions of Native Americans. The fresco was painted by Renaissance master Pinturicchio in 1494, just two years after Columbus sailed to America.

Stone from medieval church found in Welsh stream

An archeologist taking a walk in the woods discovered an inscribed stone that likely belonged to a nearby medieval church in Wales.  The decoration on the stone dates to the 9th or 10th century. The stone features an unusual cross only seen in two other stones.

Plantagenet descendants battle for bones of Richard III

Descendants of King Richard III have launched a legal challenge to the burial of the king's remains in Leicester Cathedral, near the site where his skeleton was discovered. Sian Lloyd of the BBC reports in a short video.

Umayyad Mosque minaret destroyed in Syrian fighting

The iconic minaret of the Umayyad Mosque complex in the Syrian city of Aleppo has collapsed during fighting between rebels and government troops. The minaret dates to the 11th century.

"Exciting" find may point to Anglo-Saxon monastery

Work on the heating system of St Hilda’s Church, on Hartlepool’s Headland in England, has unearthed an Anglo Saxon grave, leading experts to believe that the church was constructed over site of St Hilda’s Anglo-Saxon monastery. Dr Steve Sherlock, of Tees Archaeology, said: “It’s an exciting thing."

Flanders monks cultivated wetlands to ease overpopulation

Evidence from an archaeological excavation at Boudelo Abbey, once part of the medieval county of Flanders, Belgium, shows that the monks who lived there went to great lengths to cultivate the area's wetlands, building structures on artificially raised soil and providing new lands for occupation.

Canterbury Cathedral May Close

Lack of funding for needed repair work threatens to close Canterbury Cathedral. Allegedly, duct tape has been used on pillars to hold them together.

A tour of the Border Abbeys

Planning a trip to Scotland? You may want to visit the four Border Abbeys, Melrose, Jedburgh, Dryburgh and Kelso, founded by King David I of Scotland in the 12th Century. A recent BBC article looks at the history of the religious sites in a troubled area. (photos)

Unidentified Winchester bones could be exhumed for testing

The recent discovery of the remains of Richard III have led experts to wonder if an unmarked grave in Winchester, England might hold the bones of King Alfred the Great.

"Whispers in stone" on Norwich Cathedral walls

"Just about everything that would have been important to the citizens of Norwich during the Middle Ages" has been found scrawled on the walls of Norwich Cathedral report volunteers from the Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey, who are cataloging the grafitti. (photos)

History of Reading Abbey on display for first time

A manuscript chronicling the history of Reading Abbey is on display for the first time at the Berkshire Records Office in Reading, England. The manuscript, consisting of parchment folios bound into a book, was created in the 1340s, and was purchased from a private owner for UK£36,000.

New subway station construction shakes Cologne Cathedral

Wide cracks with water seepage have appeared in the walls and ceiling of the 13th century Cologne Cathedral in Germany, damage many feel has been casued by vibrations from a new subway station being constructed next to the cathedral.

"Mini dome" may be clue to Brunelleschi building secrets

A team of Italian archaeologists has uncovered the remains of a "mini dome" during excavations to expand the museum of Florence’s cathedral, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in the 15th century. The structure might be a scale model of the cathedral and the first use of a building technique in Italy.

Tiny coin tells story of post-Roman York

The discovery of a tiny silver coin has had a big impact on archaeologists studying medieval York, England.

Residents hope to raise UK£3m to save Cornish church

Residents of south east Cornwall are hoping to raise the UK£3m needed to save the priory at St Germans, a 9th century church in dire need of modernization. The fundraising efforts hope to attract such organizations as the Heritage Lottery Fund to their cause.

Our Lady of Paris to receive new bells

Notre Dame de Paris, on the River Seine, has seen over 8 centuries of history, from the Crusades to World War II. Now the city will fête the world's best-known church in a year-long celebration that will include recasting of its bells.

Torre Abbey restored ahead of schedule and under budget

A restoration project completed on time is a rare happening. Even rarer is one completed 6 months early and under budget, but that is the case with work on the 12th century Torre Abbey in Torquay, Devon.

The re-emergence of Myra

In the 14th century, the city of Myra near Demre, Turkey, disappeared under the silt of the Myros River. Now, 700 years later, the city, once an importance pilgrimage site of the Byzantine Empire, is re-remerging - building by building. (photo)

Medieval graffiti in Norfolk churches

In the Middle Ages, some church members had what, in modern life, would be considered an odd way to express an idea or offer a prayer: they wrote on the church wall. Now the Norfolk Medieval Graffiti Survey hopes to record pre-Reformation graffiti in area churches.

Constantinian basilica found in Bulgaria

The discovery of a 4th century basilica in Sofia, Bulgaria leads experts to speculate that emperor Constantine the Great might have had plans to create a centre of Christianity in the area.

Town and Gown unite for East Oxford Community Project

Oxford University and members of the community have joined forces to excavate and document a medieval nunnery at Minchery Farm Paddock near Oxford. Littlemore Priory, a nunnery established in around 1110 was closed by Cardinal Wolsey in 1525.

Mosaic floors highlight Byzantine excavations in Turkey

“During these excavations, we found the ruins of a church and mosaics that are believed to date from the late Roman and Byzantine periods,” said Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Abdullah Kılıç about recent excavations in Isparta, Turkey. (photo)

Adopt a spire in Milan

Philantropists around the world have been invited to "adopt" a spire of the 14th century cathedral in Milan, Italy. For the gift of 100,000 euros (UK£80,000), donors will receive the right to have their names inscribed on one of the church's 135 spires.

Dramatic light fills Norwich Cloister

A UK£200,000 donation has made possible new lighting of the 13th century cloister at Norwich Cathedral. "This is a scheme we've been working on for some years and with the help of a generous personal legacy we've at last been able to achieve it," said the Very Reverend Graham Smith, Dean of Norwich. (photo)

Lacock Cup to be sacrificed to pay for church roof

Some parishoners of St Cyriac’s Church in the village of Lacock, Wiltshire, England are upset over the proposed auction of the town's cherished medieval chalice, the Lacock Cup, in order to finance repairs to the building's roof. (photo)

The beauty of Devon's bench carvings

Historian Todd Gray believes the English often marvel at the beauty of craftsmanship in other countries without realizing what they have in their own backyards. In a short BBC video, he looks at the church bench carvings of Devon.

Bali's "biggest ancient Hindu temple" found

Construction workers in Denpasar, Bali have discovered the remains of a stone temple at a Hindu study center believed to be the largest Hindu temple ever found on the island. Archaeologists have identified the foundations of the 20-metre-long east wing of the structure.

British MP calls for hunt for the remains of Henry I

England's Reading East MP Rob Wilson has been paying attention to the possible discovery of te remains of Richard III, and would like to have the same experience in his district. King Henry I, son of William the Conqueror, founded Reading Abbey in 1121 and is thought to have been buried there in 1135.