ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Top Religious Sites of the World

Updated on September 17, 2008

Religion is some form or other has been around for a long time. It is hard to separate religion from for our cultural heritage in terms of art and architecture. All of the major religions: Islam, Christianity and Hinduism have created some fantastic monuments to their gods which all of us can enjoy.

Santa Sophia - Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Built originally in the 537AD as a church it was considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. For a 1000 years it was the largest cathedral in the world. After 1453, when the Ottoman Turks took Constantinople the church was converted to a mosque with the addition of minarets and the covering up of many of the Christian mosaics. In 1935 it was converted to a museum by Ataturk's secular Republic of Turkey.

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul Photo: RK Catch
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul Photo: RK Catch

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat Is a temple near Siem Reap, Cambodia, built for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation-first Hindu, dedicated to Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is the epitome of the high classical style of Khmer architecture.

The site is huge - covering Angok Wat is not just a temple though. To see the entire site can easily take a week even if you do hire a car or tuktuk to get around. The outer wall is around 1000 by 800m an ecloses 820,000 square meters (203 acres). Most of the actual city is gone as it was probably built in wood, but the impressive sandstone temples are some of the most awe inspiring in Asia.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia Photo: lissie
Angkor Wat, Cambodia Photo: lissie

Taj Mahal , Agra, India

Possibly the most romantic building on earth the famous tomb built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal The Taj Mahal (also "the Taj") is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles.

The Taj is even more impressive when you fight your weight through the busy and dirty town of Agra, in the middle of which the Taj sits. Once you enter through the gates though this is the view that you see - it really is from the prosaic to the sublime. In accordance to Islamic tradition there are no images of people in the Taj but the beautiful geometric decorations and calligraphy are a highlight.

Taj Mahal, India Photo: slaptaxi
Taj Mahal, India Photo: slaptaxi

St Paul's Cathedral, London , UK

Christopher Wren's Masterpiece. Built to replace an earlier church raised to the ground by the Great Fire of London of 1660, the dome is inspired by St Peter's Basilica in Rome, but is built in the more sober English Baroque architectural style. The cathedral is in the traditional shape of the cross with three small chapels in aisles adjoining the main nave.

Although the church is open for tours the best way to actually appreciate is to attend a service, preferably a sung evensong which are normally held in the late afternoon. You will be shut into the inner nave and have to remain for the entire service participate and not take pictures - but you will actually get a feel for real beauty of the building and hear the wonderful acoustics.

St Paul's, London Photo:grytr
St Paul's, London Photo:grytr

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Orchia profile image

      Mashuri Rachmad 

      4 years ago from Indonesia

    • infoguider profile image

      infoguider 

      8 years ago

      I am not a religious person, but I have been to two out of the above four listed locations and I've certainly stood in awe at those places. I don't believe it was due to a "Godly" presence, but there is something amazing about those buildings.

    • Lissie profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      10 years ago from New Zealand

      Yes I've been to Hagia Sofia - its an amazing building and that's in a city, Istanbul, which is full of some pretty amazing sites. Istanbul is one of my favourite European cities!

    • DavidSofia profile image

      DavidSofia 

      10 years ago from Sofia, Bulgaria

      Have you been to Hagia Sofia?

      Its few hours from me and I really adore the place.

      Here are my pictures and review about it and the Blue Mosque front of the Hagia http://www.trivago.co.uk/istanbul-32123/church-cat... , hope you enjoy it and if you havent visited them, wish you come around:)

      You can use trivago to plan your trip as well, same I do.

      Cheers, and keep moving! :)

    • Lissie profile imageAUTHOR

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 

      10 years ago from New Zealand

      Unfortunately only the Angkor Wat photo is mine, although I been to all these sites - that was the first trip we had a digital camera on and I haven't got around to scanning hundreds of other photos which are now in storage in another country :-( - maybe when I get home! I have been to the other 2 though. I forgot about Egypt - I should ad in Abu Simbel in the south - it was rebuilt after the Aswan high dam - but its well worth getting there very early by taxi to avoid the crowds that arrive on the 8am flight from Cairo!

    • lavenderstreak profile image

      lavenderstreak 

      10 years ago from Seattle

      Lissie, beautiful pictures of your travels to these religious icons. It's true that the most remarkable architectural and even sculpural achievements around the world were inspired by religion. Have you been to Egypt? I haven't been, but it's on my short list.

      I have been to Angkor Wat. If anyone's interested, we spent 6 days there following Dawn Rooney's guidebook and I took lots of pictures. This was in 2001 before I had a digital camera - it took me 3 weeks to scan them all in. This was my first entry on my marlandc.com website.

      http://angkorwat.marlandc.com/index.html

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)