Sacred Sites from Around the World
Are you are fascinated by spirituality, history, or just curious, sacred sites are appealing to travelers from all over the world.
Throughout history, people across all religions and belief systems have erected structures to honor the higher powers.
From isolated monasteries to heraldic statues to architectural masterpieces, these spectacular spiritual houses of worship are awesome.
Below is a review of the 7 sacred sites from around the world that serve as strong reminders of the faith and devotion of humankind.
Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia
The most stunning part of the rock-hewn churches of northern Ethiopia lies in the effort that the builders put into creating these inspiring sacred sites.
Near the small town of Lalibela, there are 11 medieval churches, all carved out of massive stone slabs. The churches were built in the 12th-Century at the direction of King Lalibela.
The King had a vision of a “New Jerusalem” for Christians who were prevented from making the pilgrimage to the Holy Land because of Muslim conquests across the region.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a popular pilgrimage site for Coptic Christians.
The most fascinating of the ancient churches is the House of St. George, or Biete Ghiorgis, famed for its cross-shaped design and network of trenches and ceremonial passages which connect it to the other churches.
Spanish Synagogue, Czech Republic
There are 6 synagogues in Prague, but the Spanish Synagogue is the most stunning.
The wonderfully colorful stained glass, stylized Oriental motifs and glow of Gold makes this sacred site absolutely spectacular.
The Synagogue got its name from its Spanish Moorish style of architecture.
The Spanish Synagogue is the newest of the historic Prague synagogues and was built in Y 1868 for a local Reform congregation.
The building hosts 2 permanent exhibitions. One depicts the history of Jewish people in Bohemia and Moravia and the other displays Silver artifacts from a synagogue in the same region.
Batu Caves, Malaysia
If you want to visit the most popular Hindu shrine outside of India, you have to head to the Batu Caves in the Gombak District just 8 miles North of Kuala Lumpur.
The shrine is dedicated to Lord Murugan and most people visit during the Thaipusam festival.
During the festival, devotees carry colorful kavadis, it is a pole to carry items, decorated with strings of bells, flowers and peacock feathers and perform dances for the Lord Murugan.
The construction of the statue took 15 expert sculptors 3 years to build and was unveiled in January 2006 during the Thaipusam festival. This 140-ft statue is the tallest in Malaysia and 2nd-tallest Hindu deity in the world.
This is an ancient place, as the caves are believed to be 400-M years old and were used as shelters by the indigenous Temuan people.
The Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan
Paro Taktsang, commonly called the “Tiger’s Nest,” is said to be the holiest site in all of Bhutan and the world’s most famous hanging temple.
This site is where the Tibetan Buddhist deity Guru Rinpoche appeared in the 8th-Century riding on the back of a flying tigress to subdue a local demon and convert the locals to Buddhism.
It is not easy to get to the site. You will have to hike up the mountainside for 3 hours. Once there, you will receive spectacular views of the Paro Valley.
La Sagrada Família, Barcelona, Spain
La Sagrada Família is a huge Basilica in Barcelona that has been under construction since the late 1800’s and is not expected to be complete for many years to come.
The large unfinished Roman Catholic church was designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. This sacred site caught the eye of Pope Benedict XVI in Y 2010 and he consecrated it, proclaiming it a minor Basilica.
It is important to the church because it is now the seat of a Bishop. This amazing cathedral was designed to mimic nature and was built without any straight lines with the interior featuring tree-like columns (the feature picture shows this beautifully)
The best way to experience the church is to book the guided tour. It lets you in on some interesting facts and skip the line of people waiting to enter.
Las Lajas Sanctuary, Nariño, Colombia
This Cathedral at Las Lajas Sanctuary is poised over a forested gorge on the border between Colombia and Ecuador.
The Cathedral was completed in Y 1949 and the story related to its founding is inspiring.
Legend has it that in the 18th-Century, an Amerindian woman and her deaf/mute daughter took shelter from a storm in the gorge where the Cathedral now sits.
The Virgin Mary appeared to them and the daughter was miraculously able to hear and speak for the 1st time. News quickly spread and Las Lajas became a place of pilgrimage.
The best views of this Cathedral are from the arched stone bridge where you can admire the massive church set against the green cliffs and cascading waterfall.
Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi
In Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) you will find the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque It is so big that it can hold 40,000 worshipers at once.
The Mosque is unique in that it captures the unique collaboration between Islam and other world cultures.
The Mosque’s architects were British, Italian and Emirati and drew inspiration from parts of Turkey, Morocco, Pakistan, and Egypt.
The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has an open-door policy and welcomes tourists and believers from all around the world.
As one walks through this modern architectural marvel you cannot help but be in awe of its onion-top domes, reflective pools and the breathtaking sunlight prayer hall.
Enjoy your travels…
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