15 Awe Inspiring Stained Glass Designs Around the World

RealClear Contributor


There is so much more to stained glass windows than meets the eye. The design, light placement, color selection, technique, and glass type are all factors that go into making even the simplest stained glass designs.

As Elisabeth Kübler-Ross once said, "People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within."

Here are 15 of the most beautiful and inspiring stained glass works of art from around the world.

15. Frank Lloyd Wright Abstract

The most famous American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright believed in the total unity of the design of a home, including not only the building but also the furnishings and windows as well. This is an abstract stained glass window design from the famed designer. 

14. Grossmunster Cathedral

These unusual stained glass windows were added to the 500 year old Grossmünster Cathedral in Zürich in 2009.

The "glass" is actually real slices of agate rock, which gives it a unique look and feel.

13. Scottish Stained Glass

This is from the Scottish Stained Glass company, which is a Denver, Colorado based stained glass studio. They claim to be the most successful custom stained glass studio in the United States.

12. Coventry Cathedral

This is the baptistry window from Coventry Cathedral in Coventry, United Kingdom, which the church has a history of nearly 1,000 years.

11. Tiffany Stained Glass

This Tiffany stained glass window with Hudson River landscape is from 1905, and on display at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning New York.

10. La Sagrada Familia

The construction of Sagrada Família in Barcelona, Spain commenced in 1882, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. In 1926, it was less than a quarter complete. It was finally consecrated in 2010.

9. St. Nicolaaskerk Church

The Basilica of Saint Nicholas is located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The 19th century architect, Adrianus Bleijs, designed the church basing himself on a combination of which Neo-Baroque and neo-Renaissance styles.

8. Mapparium

The Mapparium is a stained glass sphere, 30 feet in diameter, 3 stories high. It features the map of the world as it was in 1935, and is located at The Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston, Massachusetts.

7. Frank Lloyd Wright Cactus Flowers

Another beautiful Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass piece entitled, "Saguaro Forms and Cactus Flowers," which is featured at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, in Phoenix, Arizona.

6. Chicago Cultural Center Dome

The Chicago Cultural Center, which was originally designed in 1887, has a 38 foot tall Tiffany glass dome, which claims to be the largest Tiffany stained glass dome in the world.

5. King's College Chapel

King's College Chapel is the chapel to King's College of the University of Cambridge, and was built during the Wars of the Roses. The large stained glass windows were not completed until 1531, during the reign of King Henry VIII.

4. Notre Dame Cathedral of Reims

The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris has one of the most famous stained glass rose windows in the entire world. The North rose window was completed in 1250, making it over 750 years old.

3. Erawan Museum of Thailand

The Erawan Museum features ancient, priceless Thai artwork and memorabilia, all of which are displayed within the building’s 3 magnificient floors.

The incredible stained glass represents the conflation of Eastern and Western cultures, the stained glass depicts an atlas framed by a zodiac.

2. Chapel of Thanksgiving

The Chapel of Thanksgiving is part of the Thanks-Giving Square complex in Dallas, Texas 

The Chapel of Thanksgiving is a spiral that is topped with a stained glass "Glory Window," one of largest horizontally mounted stained-glass pieces in the world.

1. Royal Danish Library Plaza

The most amazing work of stained glass art is— a colorful house! 

It is called Kolonihavehus, and is located in plaza of the Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen.

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