Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
Credit: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels has the third largest exterior of any Cathedral on Earth and serves as a major hub for the Los Angeles Catholic community. The edifice is all angles and deco detailing, but don't let the ornamentation fool you: Fundamentally, Our Lady is a thick-walled mission church, not unlike all the many of houses of worship that once dotted El Camino Real, the road north from Los Angeles to San Francisco followed by Spanish friars. In fact, the cathedral sits on that road, which is now covered by the Hollywood Freeway. The Cathedral attracts the faithful and architect buffs interested in the interplay between the Latin-American and Spanish architectural tradition and the more grandiose American aesthetic. Spanish architect Rafael Moneo walked the line between the two when creating this church, creating a fitting tribute to a shared history.