Places of Worship

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

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)

1000 years in Sicily: from Roman villa to monastery

For over 1,000 years, a farmland estate in the northeastern Sicilian village of Torrenova was in constant use, according to archaeologists from the University of Vienna. The land is believed to have hosted a Roman villa in late antiquity and a monastery throughout the Middle Ages. (photo)

15th-century mosque attacked at Timbuktu

A group of Islamist militants bearing pickaxes has attacked and damaged the Sidi Yahya mosque in Timbuktu, a World Heritage site, breaking down a door that "locals believed had to stay shut until the end of the world."

Restoration of famed "Gates of Paradise" complete after 33 years

Restoration is complete for Lorenzo Ghiberti's masterpiece, the bronze and gilt doors that he created for the Florence Baptistry in 1452. Michaelangelo called them the Gates of Paradise.

Thieves steal crusader statue from church window

Sometime between May 13-16, 2012, thieves chiseled the small stone statue of a knight from a window frame in St Michael's Church in Castle Frome, near Ledbury, England. The little knight is thought to commemorate a knight in the Crusades.

Remains of St. John the Baptist found (again)

Archaeologists excavating a church in Bulgaria have found a small ossuary with an inscription claiming to be the remains of St. John. Radio carbon and DNA testing have given some collaboration to the claim.

Altar of Ghent recreated in Easter Eggs

Artist Oksana Mas has recreated a fragment of the 15th century Flemish masterpiece made entirely of pysankas (painted easter eggs). The current piece is 8 stories high and is on display in Kiev, Ukraine.

New excavations may shed light on York's Saxon past

Archaeologists have long known about the Roman and Viking heritage of York, England, but little of its Saxon past, but new excavations of York Minster may shed some light on the unknown era.

Holy Robe shines spotlight on Trier

In 1500, the Holy Robe, believed by Catholics to have been worn by Jesus, was installed as a relic in the ancient Catholic cathedral in Trier, Germany, once the Roman capital north of the Alps. Since then, the robe has been exhibited only 17 times, and is currently on display until May 13, 2012.

12th century relics found at site of Eynsham Abbey

Contractors for a housing development at Abbey Farm in Eynsham, England, always expected to discover archaeological artifacts, but they were nonetheless surprised to find extensive remains relating to the 12th century Eynsham Abbey.

Saxon glass industry at Glastonbury Abbey

A researcher examining excavation reports from Glastonbury Abbey has found that the glass fragments and glassmaking remains found there date to the 680's, much earlier than previously thought.

Cathedrals: "our greatest architectural glories”

In a recent article and podcast for BBC News Magazine, David Cannadine "looks at a selection of the world's cathedrals and the important contribution that they have made to the broader lives of their respective cities and countries."

Medieval monastery town to be built in Germany

A team of researchers and historians have begun a decades-long project to build a Carolingian monastery town near Messkirch, Germany using only techniques and materials from the 9th century. (photos)

13th century Jewish marker Germany's oldest

A tombstone, bearing the name of  “Frau Dolze” daughter of “Herr Asher,” has been discovered in Erfurt, Germany near the city’s Old Synagogue. The marker, one of 58, dates to the year 1259. Officials in the city have applied to make the cemetery a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site.

Replica 13th century stave church door on display in California

A hand-carved replica of the Borgund Stave Church door will be on display this weekend at the Scandinavian Festival at California Lutheran University in Thousan Oaks, California (USA).

New Discoveries inside York Minster

Recent excavation for a "lift" inside York Minster has turned up the remains of 50 bodies in a charnel pit that probably dates back to the 12th century.

Child's burial slab missing from Herefordshire church

Police in the village of Foy, near Ross-on-Wye, England, are looking for a medieval burial stone stolen from St Mary's Church on January 5, 2012. (photo)

Grant awarded to preserve 15th century "deadly sins" paintings

The devil is in St Cadoc's church in Llancarfan, Wales, and officials from the Heritage Lottery Fund have decided to award the church UK£500,000 to keep him there. (photos)

Dragon lanterns shine light on centuries past

In honor the the Year of the Dragon, the Chengdu Temple Fair in China is displaying 43 dragon-themed lantern sets, some dating back centuries.