Stained glass elevates these spaces from Gothic cathedrals to art galleries to concert halls.

1. Sainte-Chapelle, Paris


(William Perry/Alamy)

2. Thanks-Giving Square, Dallas


EYY684 Low angle view of spiraling stained glass windows in church (Blend Images/Alamy)

In 1977 Philip Johnson designed a delicately spiraling white chapel to anchor a tranquil three-acre oasis in the heart of downtown Dallas. The ornate structure is crowned by the Glory Window, which comprises 73 stained-glass panels crafted by French artist Gabriel Loire.

3. Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Sebastian, Rio de Janeiro


EFPGEF Interior of the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Sebastian, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America (Robert Harding World Imagery/Alamy)

4. Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago



The Louis Comfort Tiffany dome at the Chicago Cultural Center measures 38 feet in diameter, making it one of the largest stained-glass domes in the world. Held together by an ornate cast-iron frame that features some 30,000 pieces of glass shaped like fish scales, the dome was finished in 1897, the same year the building opened as the city’s first public library. The dome underwent a meticulous restoration in 2008 and is now lighted electrically.

5. Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, Shiraz, Iran


EGC0AK Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz. Image shot 2014. Exact date unknown. (Swiss Photos/Alamy)

Finished at the end of the 19th century, this Technicolor mosque in southern Iran dazzles with intricate stained-glass windows, richly colored tiles, carved pillars, and woven rugs. Due to its strategic positioning, early morning light produces a kaleidoscopic effect within the structure, which has survived numerous earthquakes thanks to the flexible wood struts within its walls.

6. King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, England


CF1PAC Interior of King's College Chapel, Cambridge 4 (Jon Bower Cambridge/Alamy)

Check out more of the world's most beautiful stained-glass windows.

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