Places of Worship

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

"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.

Archaeologists find evidence from "one of the saddest hours in Scottish history"

An archaeology team in Stracathro, Scotland were working on a Roman fort when they discovered something very interesting: The possible ruins of the church where John Balliol abdicated his throne to Edward I in 1296.

6th century baptistery found in Kosovo

Turkish archaeologists have discovered a baptistery dating from the Byzantine period in Kosovo’s ancient city of Ulpiana. “Baptisteries are rarely found in this region. We have succeeded in making a very important finding, as part of the first excavation Turkey has carried out abroad," said Professor Haluk Çetinkaya who led the team. (photo)

Dwynwen's church to be restored

Santes Dwynwen, daughter of Welsh King Brychan Brycheiniog, who died in the 5th century, is considered the patron saint of Welsh lovers. Now a ruined church at Llanddwyn on Anglesey has been scheduled for restoration.

Driving Russia's Golden Ring

Despite the aggrevation of Russia's roads,  a road trip around the country's Golden Ring, "a circuit of about 10 ancient towns northeast of Moscow, each with its own set of glittering onion-domed churches and medieval fortresses," can be rewarding. Freelance writer iand a former Moscow correspondent for The New York Times, Celestine Bohlen, discusses her recent trip.

Anglo-Saxon artifacts found at Polesworth Abbey

Excavations at Polesworth Abbey near Tamwoth, England, have yielded a variety of exciting artifacts including a brooch and decorates ceramic tiles. The site was originally a Benedictine nunnery founded in the 9th century.

Istanbul patriarchate plans to restore world's third oldest church

The Başmelekler Church, built in 789 by Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogennetos, is believed to be the world's third oldest church. Now it has been purchased by the Istanbul patriarchate which hopes to "restore this historical structure to its past glory."

Controversy continues over role of Hagia Sophia

Devout Muslims in Istanbul are calling for the re-opening of the historic 6th century Hagia Sofia as a mosque. The move would break a Turkish law prohibiting worship in the monument.

Public invited to view ancient remains in Wakefield

Officials at Wakefield Cathedral in England have invited visitors to pay respects to recently unearthed remains, dating to the Middle Ages, discovered during renovations to the church. The remains are scheduled to be reburied.

Medieval crozier and ring found at Furness Abbey

Furness Abbey, one of the most powerful and richest Cistercian abbeys" in England, was the home of well-fed, well-heeled monks and abbots. Now it is the site of several rare archaeological finds including a silver-gilt crozier and a jewelled ring in remarkable condition. (photo)

Experts gather to study historic Iona, Scotland

The island of Iona was recently the site of a gathering of international experts to study the island's carved stones and grave markers, and its unique history. The workshop was sponsored by Historic Scotland and the Iona community.

Samson mosaic graces "monumental synagogue" discovery in Galilee

A team of archaeologists has discovered a "monumental" synagogue dating to the 4th or 5th centuries C.E. in excavations at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee. The excavations revealed a "stunning" mosaic depicting Samson "placing torches between the tails of foxes." (photo)