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Religious tourism is gaining more and more popularity today. Moreover,   sacred sites are fascinating in themselves, regardless of personal believes.  There are countless impressive constructions with spiritual purposes and picking 10 meant excluding numerous others which would have deserved a place on this list as well.

Ta Prohm

ta prohm

Ta Prohm is one of the temples of Angkor. It was built in the late 12th century AD by the Khmer king Jayavarman VII to serve as a Hindu temple. Isolated and neglected, unlike the rest of the temples, Ta Prohn was conquered by the jungle. It is particularly this aspect that attracts most visitors.

The Ka’ba

ka'ba

The Ka’ba is the most important sacred spot of the Islamic World. The history of the site, as a sacred destination, goes back longer than the time of Mohammad, having been used as a shelter for the statues of Arabian gods. The Ka’ba stands in the courtyard of the Haram Mosque, a beautiful place as well.

Borobudur

borobudur

Borobudur was only discovered in the 19th century, in the jungle of Java, Indonesia. It is an astonishing construction, featuring 504 Budha structures and as many as 2, 700 relief panels. Its entire history remains a secret up to this day, as no one knows who built it and why..

Las Lajas Cathedral

las lajas

One of the most impressive sacred places in the world, Las Lajas Cathedral was built in 1916, as a result of a miraculous appearance of Virgin Mary. Apparently, a woman was carrying her mute daughter on her back in that area. When she stopped to rest, the child suddenly spoke for the first time, telling her mother of a strange vision in a cave. The vision turned out to be a mysterious painting which remained mysterious even after detailed scientific analysis was conducted: there was no proof of pigment on the surface of the rock. However, the painting had deeply penetrated it.

Hagia Sophia

hagia sophia

Hagia Sophia is truly an amazing place, whether you visit it for religious or touristic purposes. It has a long history which goes back to the 4th when Sophia was the greatest and the most important church of the Christianity. When Mehmet II conquered the Constantinople in 1453, the church was transformed into a mosque, but the Christian paintings and symbols were not destroyed.

Saint Peter’s Basilica

saint peter

Basilica Papale di SanPietro” is located in Vatican City. One of the most sacred places of Christianity, this church was built in the  17thcentury . It is not only a very beautiful site,  but a very spacious one as well, accommodating a maximum of 60.000 people in the same time. It is also said that the tomb of Saint Peter is right underneath the altar.

Sanctuary of Apollo

apollo sanctuary

Vestige of a disappeared, yet unforgotten world, the Temple of Apollo was built 3500 years ago and was considered “the center of the world” by the Greeks who used to come here (as did numerous pilgrims from different countries) in order to hear the predictions of the Oracle of Delphi, a drugged priestess, through the mouth of whom Apollo himself addressed to the believers.

Mahabodhi Temple

mahabodhi

The Mahabodhi Temple is one of the most impressive sacred places in the world and the holiest site of Buddhism. Consequently, it is every year visited by thousands of Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims, as well as tourists. It is believed that this place is the site where Siddharta Guatama attained enlightenment and became Buddha.

Luxor Temple

luxor

Luxor Temple is magnificent. It is so large that an entire village was arranged within its walls. Built in the 14thcentury BC, it was dedicated to Amun (later, Amun-Ra), the creator god of the Egyptian theology. At night, the temple is lightened, offering a spectacular view to its visitors.

Notre Dame Cathedral

notre dame cathedral

Notre Dame Cathedral is a famous cathedral of an extraordinary beauty, in Paris. It was built between 1163 and 1250 and it is considered one of the most iconic examples of gothic architecture. Having witnessed numerous historical events, it was often damaged and several times restored. Today, it is one of France’s symbols and a great place to visit for spiritual and cultural purposes.



The Men-An-Tol Stones

The Men-An-Tol Stones in Cornwall are famous in local folklore for their supposed healing properties. Located near Penzance, pilgrims should crawl through the centre stone in the direction of the sun to cure such ailments as rheumatism and spinal problems. Many people who have made the trip tell of feelings of euphoria after passing through the stone.

Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus is the traditional home of the Greek gods. The spiritual powers that are said to emanate from Greece's tallest mountain have, for hundreds of years, drawn hermits and hippies to live in the nearby caves and forests.

Greek Orthodox Monastery of Roussanou

The remote Greek Orthodox Monastery of Roussanou sits perched atop spires of ancient sandstone rock. Paleolithic remains suggest the presence of settlements as far back as 100,000 BC, though the 24 monastries - only six remain today - were not built until the 16th century.

Shrine of Nemrut Dagi

The mysterious mountaintop shrine of Nemrut Dagi, in south-central Turkey, was known only to local herders until it was 'discovered' in 1881. Believed to be the burial site of Antiochus, a king from the first century BC, it is a mixture of temples, sculptures and terraces built at an altitude of over 7,000 feet.

The Holy City in Jerusalem

The Holy City in Jerusalem has existed as a place of spirituality for thousands of years, and remains one of the world's most important holy sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Nantai-San

The mountain of Nantai-San in Japan is a favoured site for Buddhist meditation and has been a place of pilgrimage since the fourth century.

Mount Kailash

At 22,000 feet Mount Kailash is one of the world's most venerated, but also least visited sacred sites. The few thousand pilgrims each year who do make the trek include Hindus, who believe Kailash to be the home of Shiva.

Rapa Nui

The hundred of carved heads that adorn Rapa Nui (Easter Island) were in use as early as 500 BC. They are said to represent an ideology of male, lineage-based authority.

Machu Picchu

In a remarkable setting in the Andean mountains, Machu Picchu is undoubtably one of the world's most beautiful sacred sites. The Inca retreat, rediscovered in 1911, is believed to have existed as both a ceremonial and astronomical site.

Swayambhunath Stupa

The Swayambhunath Stupa in Nepal is the oldest holy shrine in the Kathmandu Valley, existing as a pilgrimage destination for Buddhists since the fifth century. The large eyes on each side of the temple are symbolic of God's all-seeing perspective. Also called Monkey Temple, the site is crowded with simians after dark.

 

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