7 of the Most Splendid Stained Glass Windows in the World

La Sagrada Família

Sagrada Familia

Designed by master of modernisme Antoni Gaudí in the late 19th century, La Sagrada Família is one of Barcelona's most famous destinations. On top of its whimsical towers and mesmerizing mosaics, the ever-growing church is known for its fantastic stained glass windows. Capturing the “expressivity and grandeur” of Gaudí's vision, the multicolor windows range in shape and color scheme, making the basilica's avant-garde interior even more eye-catching.

Sagrada FamiliaSagrada Familia


The Rosary Chapel

Matisse Chapel, Vence

Nestled in Vence, an idyllic commune in southeastern France, the Rosary Chapel was designed by modern artist Henri Matisse and built between 1943 and 1949. In addition to its minimalist spire and mosaic decorations, the tiny chapel features spectacular windows reminiscent of the artist's famous series of cut-outs. Each work of art features strong color contrasts and bold forms that, when illuminated by the sun, put a transcendent twist on Matisse's signature abstract aesthetic.

A21c Matisse chapel, VenceIMGP0344

The Grossmunster

Famous Stained Glass Windows

Stained-glass window in the Grossmunster (Photo: Evgeny Murtola via Shutterstock Royalty-free stock photo)

The Grossmunster is an 11th-century Protestant church in Zurich, Switzerland. While the church was built in the Romanesque style—an approach known for its thick walls and subsequently small windows—it boasts a beautiful selection of stained glass. These spectacular windows were added in the 20th and 21st centuries, and include striking pieces by Pop Art icon Sigmar Polke.

Zurich (6 of 23)


The Chapel of Thanksgiving

Famous Stained Glass Windows

Photo: Daniel Parks via Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

The Chapel of Thanksgiving is a non-denominational building in downtown Dallas, Texas. Built in 1976, the site was designed “to promote the concept of giving thanks as a universal, human value.” The contemporary chapel celebrates this idea through a striking stained glass spiral that appears to change color as it twists toward the sky.

Famous Stained Glass Windows

The Chapel of Thanksgiving (Photo: James Kirkikis via Shutterstock Royalty-free stock photo)


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Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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