The Largest Orthodox Cathedrals In The World

Orthodox churches often feature ornate designs and statues.
Orthodox churches often feature ornate designs and statues.

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

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

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral of Tallinn, Estonia.

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 Alexander Nevsky Cathedral of Sofia, Bulgaria.

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

The Church of Saint Sava is the largest Orthodox cathedral in the world.

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

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.

The Largest Orthodox Cathedrals In The World

RankNameCapacity (worshipers)CityCountryYear Built
1Holy Trinity Cathedral of Tbilisi15,000Tbilisi Georgia2004
2Saint Isaac's Cathedral14,000Saint Petersburg Russia1858
3Church of Saint Sava10,800Belgrade Serbia1989
4Church of Saint Panteleimon10,000Athens Greece1930
5Church of the Holy Sepulchre10,000Jerusalem Israel326
6Cathedral of Christ the Saviour10,000Moscow Russia1883, demolished 1931, rebuilt 2000
7Agios Minas Cathedral8,000Heraklion Greece1895
8Alexander Nevsky Cathedral7,000Sofia Bulgaria1912
9Transfiguration Cathedral of Ugresha Monastery7,000Dzerzhinsky, Moscow OblastRussia1521
10Kazan Cathedral, St. Petersburg6,000Saint Petersburg Russia1811
11Naval Cathedral in Kronstadt6,000Kronstadt Russia1913
12Saint Andrew of Patras5,500Patras Greece1908-1974
13Alexander Nevsky Cathedral5,000Tallinn Estonia1900
14Saints Boris and Gleb Cathedral5,000Daugavpils Latvia1905
15Timișoara Orthodox Cathedral5,000Timișoara Romania1940
16Church of the Nativity of Christ5,000Kyshtym Russia1857
17Novocherkassk Cathedral5,000Novocherkassk Russia1904
18St. Nicholas Naval Cathedral5,000Saint Petersburg Russia1753
19Sophia Cathedral5,000Saint PetersburgRussia1788
20Poti Cathedral2,000Poti Georgia1906

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