And the answer: Spain.
Nestled inside the caldera of the extinct Santa Margarida Volcano in northeastern Spain, the Santa Margarida de Sacot chapel is one of the most unique churches in the world. A Romanesque-style stone chapel with a single nave and a steeple bell, the church was originally built by the Catholic Church sometime during the Middle Ages. The chapel was destroyed in the 1428 Catalonia Earthquake, but was rebuilt in 1865, and remains there still today.
You’d think the iconic Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona would easily take the cake for Spain’s coolest church, but as it turns out, a region with thousands upon thousands of years of history and conquest has more than a few impressive architectural feats. For example, did you know that one cathedral in Valencia claims to house the genuine Holy Grail? And no, I’m not referring to Monty Python—the church claims this one is the real deal. Regardless of authenticity, the cathedral is one of the most spectacular displays of evolving style and architecture over the centuries, with Romanesque, French Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical elements all side-by-side in one magnificent structure.
But that’s certainly not all. In Toledo, the Primatial Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo is one of the three 13th-century High Gothic cathedrals in Spain, and is considered by some authorities to be the magnum opus of the Spanish Gothic style. Like the Valencia Cathedral, the Toledo Cathedral offers a rich combination of cultural styles, yet these are some which can only be found on the Iberian Peninsula. The Cathedral is recognized especially for its stunning altarpiece, created by Narciso Tomé from 1721-1732. The marble piece is cut and angled so that the sculpted figures appear to float and glow in a halo of light when struck by the sun. Talk about otherworldliness!
Learn more about Spanish architecture here.