Seven Stunning Sacred Sites in the World that You Need to Visit
Whether die-hard Atheists or fervent believers, all travellers are inspired by history or curious about sacred sites since ages. All over the globe, people of different religions and beliefs, have created amazing edifices to honor the mighty God(s).
From remote monasteries to colossal sculptures to architectural masterworks, some of the outstanding, spectacular religious houses of worship keep all enthralled. A review of the most stunning revered sites from all over the world, serve as potent reminders of people’s faith and the unwavering devotion of humans and ought to be visited whenever possible.
Lalibela, Ethiopia – Rock-Hewn Churches
The incredible churches situated in northern Ethiopia show off the efforts of builders in making these amazing sacred sites. Lying close to the small town of Ethiopia’s Lalibela, there are a total of 11 medieval churches – carved from monoliths or enormous blocks of rock in 12th century as commanded by King Lalibela. He had envisioned a “New Jerusalem” for Catholics who were being stopped from going on their pilgrimages to the Holy Land due to regional Muslim conquests. This Heritage Site remains a popular pilgrimage spot for Coptic Christians, even today. The most captivating of these old churches is the Biete Ghiorgis or House of Saint George, famous for the cross-like design and deep network of ceremonial passages and trenches connected to other churches.
Czech Republic – Spanish Synagogue
Prague has a total of 6 synagogues, but the one named Spanish Synagogue is said to be the most spectacular one. The wonderful stylized Oriental motifs, colorful stained glass, and the use of gold makes for a spectacular view, and you’re transported to earlier times. This Synagogue’s name come from the Spanish Moorish architecture style in which it is crafted. This particular place of worship is the latest of the significant Prague synagogues, built by a local Reform congregation in 1868. The building also has two permanent exhibitions, the first depicting the history of the Jewish community in Moravia and Bohemia while the other showcases silver artifacts from another local synagogue.
Malaysia – Batu Caves
To visit one of the most popular shrines outside India dedicated to a Hindu god, visit the Batu Caves which lies in the Gombak District, very close to Kuala Lumpur. Devoted to Lord Murugan, most people prefer to visit the shrine when the Thaipusam festival starts and devotees bring with them colorful kavadis, poles decorated with bells, peacock feathers and flowers for carrying offerings and perform dances for the deity. The statue took 15 sculptors and 3 years to build and was unveiled in 2006. The 140-foot sculptor is the tallest statue in Malaysia while the caves themselves are 400 million years old, which acted as shelters for the indigenous Temuan tribe.
Bhutan – Tiger’s Nest
Paro Taktsang is universally called “Tiger’s Nest,” and is the holiest Buddhist site in Bhutan and is also the world’s most famous dangling temple! This is where Tibetan Buddhist demi-god Guru Rinpoche manifested in the 8th century, having flown aback a flying tiger, to conquer a demon and converted the local people to Buddhism. The site is difficult to reach as you climb up the mountainside for about 3 hours. Once you get up there, you have incredible views of the Paro Valley below. The shrine is amazing as well and you won’t regret making this awe-inspiring trip.
Nariño, Colombia – Las Lajas Sanctuary
The incredible cathedral which was completed in 1949, the Las Lajas Sanctuary actually dangles perilously over a woody gorge in the border area between Ecuador and Colombia and the story of its founding is amazing. In 18th-century, a native woman and her hearing & speech impaired daughter took shelter in the gorge from a storm. The Virgin Mary was said to have appeared before them and the little girl miraculously spoke and was able to hear for the very first time in her life. Since the miracle, Las Lajas became a pilgrimage site as news of the incident spread. An arched stone bridge enables you to admire the colossal church standing in contrast to the cascading waterfalls and green cliffs.
Abu Dhabi – Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque
One of the biggest mosques across the globe is located in UAE’s capital city of Abu Dhabi. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is big enough to hold 40,000 people in one prayer session. This unique mosque captures the collaboration between the other cultures on the planet and Islam as the architects were Emirati, British and Italian drawing inspiration from Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey and Morocco. The Grand Mosque welcomes all tourists, believers and otherwise. As you traverse this modern architectural marvel, you are awed by splendid reflective pools, onion-top domes, and a breathtaking sun-lit prayer hall.
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