Places of Worship

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

Norfolk frescoes chronicle medieval past

The discovery of medieval frescoes during repairs to a crumbling English country church has given experts a glimpse in the village's medieval past. The wall paintings at St Mary's at Houghton-on-the-Hill date to around the 12th century.

Blitz reveals history of London's Charterhouse

A combination of Word War II blitz raids and centuries of urban renewal have wrought havoc on the 14th century medieval structures contained in London's Charterhouse. Some of the remaining medieval construction is detailed in a new book The Charterhouse (Yale, UK£80).

Well-preserved Byzantine church found in Turkey

Professor Engin Akyürek from Istanbul University's Art History Department reports that a well-preserved, Byzantine church has been discovered in Demre in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, Turkey.

Rotunda from the Great Moravian Empire found in Czech Republic

Pohansko, in the South Moravian region of the Czech Republic, translates as "Pagan Place," but archaeologists have discovered the remains of a rotunda as part of a 9th century church.

French Gallo-Roman sanctuary is archaeologists' dream

Archaeologists working near the ancient site of Vindunum  (now Le Mans, France) have found an "exceptional discovery," a vast complex of temples dating to the first through third centuries C.E.

9th century Byzantine monastic complex found in Turkey

At first, experts thought they had discovered a 9th century Islamic building, but evidence concluded that Küçükyalı Arkeopark, a large archaeological area on the Asian side of Istanbul, is the only surviving Byzantine monastic complex from 9th-century Constantinople.

5th century Buddhist temple found in Afghanistan

Amidst the fighting south of Kabul, Afghanistan, comes a bright spot: the discovery of a Buddhist-era temple dating back to the 5th century.

Actress stumbles (literally) across medieval burial chamber

An amateur actress rehearsing for a show at St. Mary's Church in Redgrave, England got more than a sore ankle when her foot went through a flagstone near the altar. She inadvertently discovered a long-lost burial chamber.

Stonemasons' university at Edinburgh cathedral

Medieval skills and traditions are passed on to a new generation of stonemasons each year at the stonemasonry workshop at St Mary's Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland. The workshop is a joint effort by the cathedral and Telford College.

Medieval church carvings give hints about ancient animals

Turkish researchers have completed a survey of the animals depicted on the walls of the Armenian Cathedral of the Holy Cross.

CSI: Middle Ages

The corpse was identified as royalty. Bones found in the Magdeburg Cathedral in 2008 proved to be those of a granddaughter of Alfred the Great: the Saxon Queen Eadgyth, the who died in the 10th century at the age of 36.

Touring medieval New York

Paul Halsall of Fordham University has created a website to highlight the medieval treasures of New York City from its architecture to its art and music.

Early medieval church and graves stops construction in Bulgaria

The discovery of an early medieval church and graves dating to the 5th-12th centuries, has temporarily stopped construction of a subway line in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth to be mini-series

In July 2010, Starz Entertainment will premiere an 8-hour mini-series basis on Pillars of the Earth, the novel by Ken Follett which chronicles the construction of a cathedral in 12th century England.

Magdeburg excavation reveals remains of Barbarossa's adviser

Excavations at Magdeburg Cathedral have revealed the grave which experts believe is that of Archbishop Wichmann von Seeburg, a key adviser to Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbaross, who died in the late 12th century. (photo)

Roman temple and early medieval church found in Spain

Archaeologists working on excavations in the chancel of the Church of Sant Feliu Girona in Catalonia, Spain, have discovered the remains of a 6th or 7th century tombs, as well as an ancient Roman temple.

Search on for St. Columba's Scottish monastery

Archaeologists from Orkney College are looking for the original 6th century monastery built by the Irish monk St. Columba on the island of Iona, off Mull in the Scottish Hebrides.

Gothic text found in Salisbury Cathedral

Experts working on restoration of the Henry Hyde monument in Salisbury Cathedral have discovered remnants of Gothic text beneath whitewash on the cathedral wall.

Stonehenge site of midwinter feast

A recent study of pig and cattle bones found near Stonehenge has led researchers to believe that it was the site of huge winter solstice feasts. Experts believe animals were herded to the site and then slaughtered to feed celebrants.

Medieval remains and pottery found in Georgia monastery

Archaeologists working on the excavation at the church of Ayios Nikolaos, on the site of the 10th century Georgian Monastery, at Gialia village in Paphos, have discovered four ossuaries containing human remains.

Saint Nicholas in Turkey

St. Nicholas, the 4th century Christian saint who influenced so many Christmas traditions, is thought to have lived and died in Myra, Turkey. His remains were removed to Bari in southern Italy in the 11th century. Now Turkish officials would like to see Nicholas' basilica restored.

A survey of English cathedrals

In an extensive history article, which looks at major cathedrals in England, the BBC considers several grand houses of worship and their importance in British life.

A short walk through England's cathedrals

Can't afford a ticket to Great Britain this winter? Take a minute to tour England's glorious cathedrals in a short slideshow from the BBC.

Duct tape holding up Canterbury Cathedral

How can you tell when the economic crisis has reached epic proportions in great Britain? When the marble pillars of Canterbury Cathedral, the seat of the Anglican Church and site of the murder of St. Thomas a Becket, are being held together with duct tape.

Sites of conquest

A new series of articles in the online BBC History Magazine will cover famous historical sites. The first article looks at ten "places associated with the momentous events of 1066 and its aftermath."

Canadians to search for New World's oldest church

Experts from the Newfoundland and Labrador archaeological communities are making plans to begin a search for a 510-year-old church on the western shore of Conception Bay, thought to be North America's earliest Christian settlement.

Tudor bells return to Ipswich

Five 500-year-old church bells, believed to be the oldest in England, have been returned to St Lawrence Church, in Ipswich, Suffolk after a UK£100,000 restoration project. The bells had previously not been rung for 20 years due to their poor condition.

Canterbury's oak rafters date to Norman times

Restoration work at England's Canterbury Cathedral has uncovered oak roof rafters dating to the time of William the Conqueror. While much of the cathedral's roof has been destroyed and rebuilt over the centuries, some of the 11th century timbers survive.

UK£138,000 English Heritage.grant saves 14th century chapel

Matthew Saunders, honorary director of The Friends of Friendless Churches in Mundon, England, reports that the organization has received a UK£138,000 grant from English Heritage to preserve St Mary's Church, the medieval chapel of a manor house. (photo)

5th century Byzantine cathedral and human remains found in Syria

An early Byzantine cathedral, complete with columns and stairs, has been discovered by the excavation team in Tal Al-Hasaka site in north eastern Syria. Also found was the "skeleton of a human who died of torture."