Every culture around the world has some form of religious or divine tradition that honors the supernatural and the mysterious – the questions of existence that we can’t explain. These sacred sites are designed to honor the spiritual world and they are often places of worship or pilgrimage.
Here are some of the most amazing religious sites in the world:
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1. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
You can spend an entire day exploring the overgrown ruins of Angkor Wat and still not see all of the temples, as this is the largest religious monument in the world. It was constructed in the early 12th century and it was dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, later becoming a Buddhist temple. Some of the temples are in better condition than others, but it is quite fascinating to see how the vines of the jungle are trying to reclaim the stone walls, carvings and arches. Make sure that you get there before dawn, as watching the sunrise over the main temple is a soul-stirring experience you will never forget.
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2. Mont Saint Michel, Normandy, France
One of the most recognizable landmarks in France, Mont Saint-Michel is a tiny island commune and the seat of a monastery located on an island only 247 acres in size. The Gothic Benedictine abbey is named after the archangel St. Michael and it has been a place of pilgrimage for many thousands of devout visitors. Since it was built in stages over the 11th-16th century, the building has a very unique architectural structure that is fascinating to explore.
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3. Sultan Ahmed Mosque (The Blue Mosque), Istanbul, Turkey
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul is known as “The Blue Mosque” because of the gorgeous blue tiles that decorate the inside. It was constructed from 1603-17 on the site of the Great Palace of Byzantium and it is still a working mosque to this day. Listening to the Muslim call to prayer from the minarets and marveling at the grand scale of the interior is a truly amazing experience.