Regardless of the religion to which they are dedicated, churches have always been places of prayer and meditation. However, many of them have indeed seen better days, either because faith and vocation are being lost or because it is very difficult to maintain so many buildings damaged by the passage of time.
Churches that are no longer what they used to be — Spiritual Tourism
These churches, which are not what they seem, are among the beautiful places to visit thanks to their new life today.
People used to pray in these magnificent structures, but now they dance, eat, sleep and train there. You can even learn to swim. If earlier we told you about a London church transformed into a garden, here are new applications for the strangest ones.
Italy, Milan: Il Gattopardo
Il Gattopardo Milano Disco Club is located near the headquarters of the Catholic Church and even closer to one of the most impressive cathedrals you can see.
In 2001, it welcomed a new life in Milan. From the early twentieth century, it was deconsecrated in the 70s and transformed into a multipurpose and creative space in the city’s heart. It is a nightclub and restaurant that can be fully rented for events of all kinds.
Ireland, Dublin: The Church Bar
Ireland’s converted church for Catholicism is located in the center of Dublin. The Church Café Bar was built in the early 18th century and is a well-known destination for any visitor passing through the city.
It still retains many of its original features, such as the Renatus Harris organ and its magnificent stained glass window. St. Mary’s Church of Ireland closed in 1964 and remained empty until John Keating bought it in 1997.
It has been tastefully renovated and still retains its historic status, making it a great place to have a meal or a party.
Spain, Madrid: Library of the Escuelas Pias (Pious Schools)
In this case, we have traveled not from church to a place of entertainment, but to a place of learning. Formerly known as the Ermita del Pilar, the Iglesia de las Escuelas del Piar de San Fernando was ruled by Nuestra Señora de la Portería when it passed into the hands of San Fernando.
After the church and school were burned and looted during the Civil War, the San Fernando Market, the Labor School, and a residential building were later built.
If you would like to visit, there is a full program of visits to the church, which now enjoys a wonderful second life as the University Library of the Centro Asociado de Madrid UNED.
Spain, Asturias: Skate Church – Llarena
Let’s continue to be amazed to find new ways to use the house of the Lord. From the church to the temple of urban art, where skateboarding and graffiti coexist. From the outside, it still looks like it did when it was dedicated to the church of Santa Barbara in the early 20th century.
It was abandoned after the Civil War, but a few years ago the Church Brigade collective brought it back to life as a skateboarding area.
The place fascinated the artist Okuda San Miguel, who painted impressive murals on the walls with bright colors full of geometric shapes and unidentified faces. “Kaos Temple” was the name of the project. Although it will remain closed until the end of the year, guided tours are still offered.
USA, New York: Limelight Marketplace
People flocked to the Holy Communion Episcopal Church in Chelsea, a New York City neighborhood, to pray in the 19th century.
In the early 1980s, it became a rehab center, but between 1983 and 2001 it housed a lot of upscale nightlife like The Limelight. Andy Warhol, Michael Douglas, and Madonna, among others, partied there.
That all changed in 2010, when the Limelight Shops, an upscale shopping mall, moved in within its walls. During only two centuries of history, many people have died.
Belgium, Mechelen: Martin’s Patershof Hotel
Inside Martin’s Patershof Hotel in Mechelen, guests can rest among the stained-glass windows of a late 18th-century neo-Gothic church. No prayers are offered unless you request them privately in your room.
Martin’s Hotel Group spent three years transforming this former church of the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor into a very special four-star hotel in 2006. Martin’s Hotel Group acquired the building in 2006…