Rise of Christianity (02:08)
A monotheistic religion rises from the belief that Jesus of Nazareth has been resurrected. Followers of the new belief system practice in secret, but eventually build monuments to their faith.
Church of the Holy Sepulchre (04:52)
The sanctuary tells the founding story of Christianity. It has three focal points that represent stages in Jesus' life: Golgotha, the Stone of Anointing, and his tomb.
Christian Architecture (03:29)
Emperor Constantine converts to Christianity, allowing followers to openly worship after centuries of persecution. Construction of the Holy Sepulchre begins in 326 CE; the original building is destroyed and rebuilt multiple times.
Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey (05:02)
The Benedictine monastery becomes a major center of pilgrimage during the Middle Ages. The Church of Our Lady Underground is the heart of the abbey.
Benedictine Monastery (05:56)
From the 11th century onward, the Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey expands to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims. Elements of Romanesque architecture remain in the mostly Gothic structure; the refectory and the room of the knights are among its most striking rooms.
Notre Dame de Chartres Cathedral (08:40)
In 1194 CE, construction begins on one of the most renowned Gothic structures. The cathedral houses the most important collection of medieval stained-glass windows in the world.
Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral (03:57)
Florence becomes a republic and enjoys immense prosperity at the start of the 15th century. The city is home to the Duomo, one of the largest buildings in Christianity and a beacon of Renaissance design.
Renaissance Architecture (05:29)
Filippo Brunelleschi designs the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral's dome. Giorgio Vasari paints“The Last Judgment” fresco inside and Paolo Toscanelli devises the gnomon.
Trinity Lavra of Saint Sergius Monastery (04:32)
The separation between Catholics and Orthodox can be traced back to a conflict between the West and the Byzantine Empire in 1054 CE. Members of the Orthodox Church travel to Moscow each year to celebrate the life of Saint Sergius of Radonezh.
Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed (07:20)
Saint Basil's Cathedral faces the Kremlin and is the emblem of Orthodox Russia. Legend states that Ivan the Terrible blinded his architects so they could never reproduce the masterpiece.
Credits: Churches: The Quest for Light (00:36)
Credits: Churches: The Quest for Light
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