Christianity has an extensive and detailed history, with numerous events of lasting significance occurring throughout the ages.
Each week brings the anniversaries of notable milestones, tragedies, triumphs, and other events that have helped shape the world of today.
Here are just a few things that happened this week, Oct. 15-21, in Church history. They include the election of a famous pope, the completion of a prominent cathedral, and the destruction of a holy site.
Cologne Cathedral Construction Completed - October 15, 1880
This week marks the anniversary of when the construction of one of the most famous cathedrals in the world was finally completed.
Germany's Cologne Cathedral took a long time to complete, as its construction began in 1248 but was not completed until 1880.
"On 15 October 1880 the last stone was laid at the top of the 157-m high south-west spire," noted the Cathedral's website.
"All the medieval parts of the cathedral were built of trachyte from the Drachenfels, but the 19th-century builders employed sandstones."
Additional work regarding repairs and restoration were done during the twentieth century. Still, the Cathedral maintains a prominent cultural presence in modern Europe.
"As well as being the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe, it is also Germany's most popular monument of medieval art, receiving an average of 20,000 visitors a day," noted Art Encyclopedia.
"Located close to the River Rhine, the cathedral is famous for its architectural statues, steep gables, blind tracery and unifying series of spires, as well as its rare works of religious art."
John Paul II Becomes Pope – October 16, 1978
This week marks the anniversary of the election of Polish bishop Karol Józef Wojtyla, who would take the papal name of John Paul II.
Ordained in 1946 and made archbishop of Krakow in 1964, John Paul II became the first non-Italian pope in over four centuries.
"A vocal advocate for human rights, John Paul often spoke out about suffering in the world. He held strong positions on many topics, including his opposition to capital punishment," noted Biography.com.
"A charismatic figure, John Paul used his influence to bring about political change and is credited with the fall of communism in his native Poland."
John Paul would reign until his death in 2005. In 2014, he was canonized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
Church of the Holy Sepulcher Destroyed – October 18, 1009
This week marks the anniversary of when a Medieval Muslim ruler ordered the destruction of one of the holiest sites in Christendom.
Over eighty years before the First Crusade was launched, Egyptian Caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah had the Church of the Holy Sepulcher destroyed.
"The destruction of the sanctuary was virtually complete, including the demolition of the church of Calvary and of what remained of the structure of the Martyrium, and the complete dismantling of the Edicule of the Tomb," noted the Holy Land Timeline blog.
"The structure of the church in our time is based almost entirely on building from the Crusaders era, with additions and reconstructions which were made in subsequent years."