With the coronavirus keeping people at home all over the world, here are five of the world's most famous churches which you can visit without leaving the comfort of your own home. All your require is your internet browser...


Westminster Abbey virtual tour

PICTURE: Screenshot of the Great West Door on the virtual tour.

Westminster Abbey, London
Founded by Benedictine monks in 960AD, this abbey minister, part of the Church of England, has served as witness to royal coronations since 1066 and is the final resting place of 17 monarchs. The monumental Gothic building, which now receives more than a million visitors every year, has taken several different forms over its history but the structure found in Westminster today was largely shaped from by King Henry III from 1245. The virtual tours - and, as well as an "Overview" tour, there are several others based around different themes aimed at school pupils - takes in the Great West Door as well as the nave, quire and Lady Chapel - where tombs of historic luminaries like Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Mary I and King Henry VII can be found. You'll also see treasures including the Shrine of St Edward the Confessor, the Coronation Chair, the Grave of the Unknown Warrior, and Poet's Corner where you'll find memorials to everyone from Charles Dickens to Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare to Jane Austen. To access the tours, head to www.westminster-abbey.org/learning/virtual-tours


St Peters Basilica virtual tour

Screenshot of the St Peter's tour.

St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City
St Peter's Basilica stands at the heart of Vatican City and, according to tradition, was built on the site of St Peter's tomb which lies directly under the main altar. While there has been a church here since the 4th century, the present building dates from the 16th and early 17th centuries and is regarded as a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. This virtual tour, provided by the Vatican, allows the viewer to select from one of a range of locations shown on a plan view. They are then taken to a photographic view taken from the selected point which can be rotated 360 degrees. Among the 10 locations on offer are views showing the church's nave, altar and the sculpture of the Pieta as well as views from two locations in St Peter's Square. The tour can be accessed at www.vatican.va/various/basiliche/san_pietro/vr_tour/index-en.html.


Church of the Holy Sepulchre tour

Screenshot of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre tour.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem
Constructed on what are said to be the sites of Jesus' crucifixion and tomb in what is now the Christian quarter of Old Jerusalem, the church was originally ordered to be constructed in the early 4th century on the orders of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. It has been rebuilt and repaired several times since. Created by company 360tr.com, this tour walks viewers through a selection of 360 degree photographs taken in the complex and, like other virtual tours, gives you the ability to control the camera. Head to www.360tr.com/kudus/kiyamet_eng/index.html


Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris
It's a year since this landmark building was partially destroyed by fire but, thanks to the magic of technology, we're still able to take a virtual tour of the building before the fire took place. Construction on Notre Dame started in 1163 and officially ended in 1345 but the building was significantly damaged in the French Revolution and later restored under the eye of architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. This BBC virtual reality tour, which is one of a number on the web exploring the cathedral before the fire, takes the viewer to various locations around and within the church. Simply play the video and you're able to pivot around 360 degrees as it moves through the locations. 


Hagia Sophia tour

Screenshot of the 360tr.com tour.

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
First constructed in the mid 6th century on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I, this former church and later mosque (this conversion followed the fall of what was then the city of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453) has been a museum since 1935. This tour - another by 360tr.com - takes viewers to a range of different locations around the building complex where they're able to control a 360 degree view of their surrounds. For the tour, head to www.360tr.com/34_istanbul/ayasofya/english/