Look Inside Architect Santiago Calatrava's Stunning New Church at 9/11 Site

The church is finally complete.

Photo by Alan Karchmer for Santiago Calatrava

A incredible new beauty has just been unveiled in the Big Apple. Work is finally completed on the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine, which was designed by famed international architect Santiago Calatrava.

Located at the historic 9/11 site, the church is a marvelous sight of both art and design. Highly influenced by Byzantine architecture, the church features 40 windows as well as 40 "ribs," which is a nod to the 40 ribs of Saint Nicholas.

The main attraction, though, is surely the dome. At night, the dome structure is illuminated from within thanks to its materials, namely thin stone and glass laminated panels. When designing the illuminated dome, Calatrava and the design teams, including the DLR Group, wanted to make the church appear as made of solid stone during the day and shine "by the light of 10,000 candles" at night.

Upon walking in, visitors can admire the altar and a gorgeous iconographic program of the church's shrine. The program was originally painted by a priest-monk from a 1,000-year-old monastery in Greece, and it was transported directly to New York and installed by the monk himself.

"To see the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine finally open is emblematic of Lower Manhattan's storied future and defining past," said Santiago Calatrava in a statement. "I hope to see this structure serve its purpose as a sanctuary for worship but also as a place for reflection on what the city endured and how it is moving forward. Architecture can have an intrinsic symbolic value, which is not written or expressed in a specific way but in an abstract and synthetic manner, sending a message and thus leaving a lasting legacy."

The church is one of the final pieces of the reconstructed World Trade Center site, which also includes a museum, memorial, and more. 

Take a look at some photos of the gorgeous church below:

Photo by Alan Karchmer for Santiago Calatrava
Photo by Alan Karchmer for Santiago Calatrava
Photo by Alan Karchmer for Santiago Calatrava
Photo by Alan Karchmer for Santiago Calatrava
Photo by Alan Karchmer for Santiago Calatrava

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Serena Tara is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.