The World’s Most Stunning Sacred Sites

July 4, 2014

History, architecture and faith combined, here are the most stunning sacred sites around the world.

From the enlightening Buddha castles of Asia to the mythological homes of Shiva and Zeus, the world boasts a handful of legendary stunning sacred sites that have magically transformed into major tourist attractions. For decades, these sites have been visited by millions of culture vultures, history buffs and, of course, photography enthusiasts. Long revered for their spiritual power and breathtaking scenery, these sites will evoke you with a feeling of awe, a sense of peace, and the need to take a million of photographs.

Tiger's Nest Monastery, Bhutan

Perched on a 3,000-feet high cliff, Bhutan’s Tiger’s Nest Monastery is truly a dazzling sight to behold. Here, tourists get to lay their eyes on its ravishing historic temples as well as enjoy great views of the region. Besides its awe-inspiring scenery, this site is also known as the one of the holiest places in the country. Founded in the 8th century as a meditation cave, this stunning sacred site as formally built into a monastery in the later parts of the 17th century. In 962, the site became a host to the Chapel of St. Michael, which as built by deacon Trianus and Bishop Godescalc.

Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel, France

Southern France is no stranger to picturesque mountaintop churches. But of all its mountain churches, none is quite as lovely and fascinating as the Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel in Le Puy-en-Velay, Auvergne.  Dramatically extending towards heaven, this remarkable landmark has been a sacred site for over a thousand years. As a matter of fact, this site used to be a home to a prehistoric dolmen built by the ancient Romans in honor of Mercury.

Meiji Shrine, Japan

Drawing millions of tourists every year, Tokyo’s Meiji Shrine is by far one of Japan’s most precious gems. Built a hundred years ago in honor of the holy souls of Empress Shoken and Emperor Meiji, this beautiful and idyllic temple indeed has a very tranquil and dramatic setting, as it is surrounded by a divine forest made up of 100,000 trees. What’s more, the temple has lush gardens teeming with autumn foliage, summer irises, spring azaleas as well as black pines sprinkled in winter snow.

Shwedagon Paya, Myanmar

Embellished with sparking diamonds and glistening in gold, the Shwedagon Paya, or also known as Shwe Dagon Pagoda, is a brilliant work of Burmese architecture that will surely leave its spectators in awe. While no one knows when this stunning man-made wonder was built, legend has it that the Shwedagon Paya was made 2,500 years ago. Archaeologists, on the other hand, believed that this gorgeous Burmese temple was made between the 6th and 10 centuries. No matter what its origins are, a visit here is an absolute must for anyone interested in taking photos of Burmese architecture and sacred sites.

Hagia Sophia, Turkey

The Hagia Sophia is one of the oldest and most influential (in terms of architecture) places of worship on the face of the earth. Known for its majestic Byzantine mosaics and domes, hordes of tourists from all over the world flock to this site to get a load of its breathtaking beauty. Yet, for all its grandeur and beauty, it is the fact that travelers from all religions and cultures come to behold its glories is what makes this sacred site more special.

Batu Caves, Malaysia

The Batu Caves are, without a doubt, among the most amazing sights in all of Asia. Basically, it is a complex made up of lofty limestone caves brimming with intricate shires and a 140-feet tall Murugah (a Hindu deity) statue.

Are looking for a tranquil and holy place to visit for your next vacation? Well, make sure to consider the beautiful and utopian diving spots we have listed above. Also, don’t forget to plan your trip to any of these destinations with Trekeffect!

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Maria Tugayeva
Mariya is a Marketing guru and writer, with a world experience from living and growing up in different countries. Her work quote is: "In a word: pleasure. It's like, my pleasure in other people's leisure." -Daniel "Spud" Murphy, Trainspotting
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