- Requires the Cathedral Worship Belief to be constructed.
This worship building is most useful for a player going for a Cultural victory. It can augment a Holy Site's Tourism output with its slot for a Great Work of Religious Art. However, the restriction on Great Work type makes this highly dependent on which Great Artists can be obtained. Only 6 Great Artists producing only 12 Great Works of Religious Art are available, and even these are better spent on theming some Art Museums. (Read more here.) Overall, this is a pretty bad and unreliable choice for your Worship belief, even for a cultural civilization, since you cannot control if you will have Great Works of Religious Art or not. If you insist on using your Holy Site to produce Tourism, it is usually better focus on generating some Relics to place in your Temple instead and pick a better worship building. Relics are much more powerful in the long term, especially if you have special benefits from them (Jadwiga, a religion with Reliquaries) or can acquire them more easily.
However, there is one civilization that has great synergy with the Cathedral: Russia. Their Lavras often result in them having more Great Artists than they have space for. When playing as Russia, Cathedrals are a solid choice. Otherwise, don't bother.
Starting in the Modern Era, Great Artists will no longer produce religious artwork, so if your strategy involves Cathedrals it will be most beneficial to recruit Great Artists during the Renaissance and Industrial Eras.
Once there were Catholic churches at every crossroads in Italy, some bishops decided they needed something grander to serve as the seat of each diocese or episcopate. Thus, the cathedral – from the Latin cathedra meaning “seat” or “chair.” The concept of cathedrals begins in 313 AD, when the emperor Constantine adopted Christianity; with that, Christianity went from being a minor faith to the religion of Rome, and the bishops agreed, more or less willingly, to take on the duties and dignity of magistrates across the empire. Since the old Roman magistrates had presided from a throne housed in a highly decorated hall (basilica), it wasn’t long before the bishops (who had never before been seated while presiding over their flock) began building cathedrals, massive edifices designed to impress the peasants with the glory of God. With money, materials and labor “donated” by the faithful peasants, these often took a lifetime to build … but are among some of the most impressive structures in all civilization. The first cathedral was that at Aquileia (c. 319) and they haven’t stopped building them yet.