Accessible European Churches - April 2012 Newsletter
Accessible Churches in Europe – When visiting any European city, it is hard to ignore all of the churches or structures for worship that have existed for hundreds of years. They not only make artistic backdrops to the cities, but they also contain much of the city’s history. I make it a point to visit the top churches in any European city that I visit.
Due to their age, most churches have limited disabled access, as laws in some European countries do not require that all areas of the church are wheelchair accessible. Nevertheless, there are plenty of accessible churches in Europe to see with the right advanced planning. Here are some of our favorites:
The Vatican in Rome, Italy
St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City – The Vatican has two entrances for disabled travelers. The Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel are accessed by the entrance on the North side of Vatican City (Viale Vaticano Street). The accessible entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica is located on St. Peter’s Square, on the East side of Vatican City. Most tourists go between these two sites via flight of stairs, but disabled tourists will need to take a 20 minute walk/roll along the outside of the city to do so. A visit to Vatican City will take at least a half a day, so plan accordingly.
Sacre Coeur – Paris, France – Located on a very large hill, it can be accessed by taking a taxi and have them drop you in the back of the church on Rue du Chevalier de La Barre.
With the exception of the dome and crypt, all parts of this enormous accessible Byzantine style church (shown in the photo on the right) are able to be accessed, earning it three stars on our Sage Accessibility Rating scale.
St. Paul’s Cathedral – London, England – This accessible Europe church earned a 4 Star Sage Accessibility Rating, with a flat, smooth, step-free entrance. You can see about 80 percent of this gigantic cathedral with a guided or audio tour. The very top of the building is not wheelchair accessible but don’t sweat this detail. An accessible panoramic view of the city is available at the the London Eye.
Plenty of our accessible travel packages contain these worship themed attractions, along with much more to see. When visiting the churches I mentioned, or any accessible church in Europe, you will find the dramatic architecture and art will add an element to your accessible trip that will not be forgotten.
John Sage, Founder and President of Sage Traveling