Two greek cave churches in the Top 20 of the world
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Two greek cave churches in the Top 20 of the world

Though many of the world’s most impressive churches feature high ceilings and soaring spires, sometimes you have to go underground to find the real gems. Jesus called the apostle Peter, the rock on which «I will build my church,» but these churches are built inside the rock or carved into it. Cave churches and monasteries have been around since the beginning of the church, often as a way to seek out spiritual succor in a remote and solitary place. Carved into the rock, or located inside caves, they have a raw appeal that often contrasts with urban cathedrals with stained glass windows.

See below the list of  the 20 most impressive cave churches:

 1. Μonastery of Saint Simon

St Samaans (Simon) Church is also known as the Cave Church in the Mokattam village, nicknamed as “Garbage City”. Once a week hundreds gather at the Cave Church in Moqattam, after the prayer, a coptic priest performs exorcism or healing blessing to some of the believers. With a cross and holy water he fights spiritual entities and demons. The Monastery of St. Simon the Tanner is the largest and it has an amphitheater with a seating capacity of 20,000 making it the largest church in the Middle East. It is named after the Coptic Saint, Simon the Tanner, who lived at the end of the 10th century, when Egypt was ruled by the Muslim Fatimid Caliph Al-Muizz Lideenillah. Simon the Tanner is the Coptic Saint who is associated with the legend of the moving of the Mokattam Mountain. AFP

2. Coober Pedy church – Australia

3. Saint Stephanos cave church – Syros Greece

4. Panagia Hrysospiliotissa cave church – Athens Greece

The Panagia Hrysospiliotissa (Chapel of Our Lady of the Cavern) in a grotto under the Temple of Dionyso, in Greece.

 5. Zipaquira – Colombia

The Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá is an underground Roman Catholic church built within the tunnels of a salt mine 200 meters underground in a Halite mountain near the town of Zipaquirá, in Cundinamarca, Colombia.

6. Troglodyte Sainte-Marie Madeleine cave church – France

France, Provence, Sainte-Baume Mountain: woman burning candle at Troglodyte Sainte-Marie Madeleine Holy Cave.

7. Church Goreme – Turkey

8. Piedigrotta cave church – Italy

9. Callao Cave, Philippines

10. Hermitage Saint Antoine cave church – France

The Hermitage Saint Antoine and his troglodyte chapel, located at the bottom of the Gorges Galamus. The gorge is the border between the Aude and Pyrenees-Orientales, Languedoc-Roussillon, France, Europe

11. St. Peter cave church – Turkey

12. Agioi Saranta cave church – Cyprus

13. Geghard Monastery – Armenia

Tomb at back of Geghard Monastery complex in Armenia.

14.  Monastery of Temptations

A man gets out of a chapel built on the rock inside the Orthodox Christian monastery of the Temptation near the West Bank city of Jericho. The monastery of the Temptation was built during the 6th century CE above the cave traditionally said to be that where Jesus spent forty days and forty nights fasting and meditating during the temptation of Satan.

15. Mihalich church – Bulgaria

16. Chapel of the Blessed King – Poland

Chapel Of the Blessed King, Wieliczka Salt Mine, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Krakow, Poland

17. St. Stephen’s cave church – Hungary

18. Jonas cave church – France

19. Barranco cave chapel

Small underground chapel carved into the rock of the Barranco de Guayadeque valley.

20. Cave Chapel – South Africa

Cave Chapel at Modderpoort Prior, near Ladybrand, Free State, South Africa

 Source: Huffington Post