Orthodox cathedrals are central to the worship and religious practices of Orthodox adherents around the world. The construction of the cathedrals takes into account important aspects of religion and often incorporate symbolism in the design and architecture of the cathedral. The cathedrals usually share some common aspects such as domes (that vary in number and color), crosses on the domes, a narthex, nave and sanctuary, and icons. The buildings are in circular, cruciform, linear or tripartite arrangements.
In this article, five beautiful Orthodox cathedrals from the list are examined in more detail. A full list of the world's largest Orthodox cathedrals can also be found below.
5. Poti Cathedral
The Poti Cathedral in Georgia was built in 1906 as an imitation of Hagia Sofia in Istanbul. It was the mayor of Poti, Niko Nikoladze, who made major contributions and chose the center of the town as the location of the cathedral in an effort to make it visible from all sides of Poti. The church had a capacity of 2000 people and was constructed using the Neo-Byzantine architectural style. In 1923, when the Red Army invaded Georgia, the church was turned into a theater by the communist government. However, in 2005 the cathedral was restored to the Orthodox Church of Georgia.
4. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral - Tallinn
The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral of Tallinn, Estonia is the fourth largest Orthodox cathedral in the world with a capacity of 5000 worshippers. The cathedral, built in 1900 as a dedication to Alexander Nevsky, is the largest in Tallinn. During the 20th century, the Estonians neglected the cathedral as they saw it as a symbol of oppression by the USSR. Restoration efforts began after Estonia gained independence in 1991. The church includes features such as a mosaic of Alexander Nevsky, five onion domes, iron crosses and numerous icons.
3. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral - Sofia
The third largest Orthodox cathedral located in Sofia, Bulgaria, and also called the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral. The cathedral, built in 1912 using the Neo-Byzantine architectural style, has a capacity of 7,000 worshippers. The cathedral is a monument of culture with a museum, market and religious relics that attract tourists to the area. Like other Alexander Nevsky cathedrals, the Cathedral was built as a dedication to Saint Alexander Nevsky, a Russian prince who was part of the 19th century Russo-Turkish war.
2. Church of Saint Sava
With a capacity of 10,800 and a ground floor area of 37,674 square ft., the Church of Saint Sava Cathedral in Belgrade, Serbia, is the second largest Orthodox cathedral in the world. The cathedral, built in 1989, is a dedication to Saint Sava who founded the Serbian Orthodox Church in the medieval ages. Architectural styles used in the cathedral reflect both Serbo-Byzantine and Neo-Byzantine features. The church still goes through improvements and additions to the structure and interior of the building.
1. Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi
The Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi is the world’s largest Orthodox cathedral capable of holding 15,000 worshipers in one sitting. The eastern orthodox cathedral, based in Georgia, was completed and consecrated in 2004. The cathedral is one of the world’s largest religious buildings by area and the third tallest eastern orthodox cathedral. Also called Sameba, is an important national and religious symbol for the people of Georgia. The design of the cathedral incorporates both Georgian and Byzantine architectural features.