There are many places around the world that are considered sacred. These sacred sites normally have been places of worship or have some spiritual significance. There are sacred places that are mentioned in the Bible and the religious association of such places still exists today. There are also certain places around the world that are considered power centers. These places are believed to have an unusual energy and many people who have visited these places have claimed to feel the energy. Sacred places are found around the world. Practically every culture mentions places where healings, heavenly communications or other miracles have taken place. Some of the places that are considered sacred are natural formations such as mountains whereas others are man-made such as temples.
Mount Kailash is a sacred mountain in Tibet. According to Hindu mythology, the god Shiva resides on the peak of the holy mountain. In Hindu belief, Shiva is the god of destruction and regeneration. According to some Hindu sects, Mount Kailash is believed to be the paradise resting place of souls. The sacred mountain also plays a significant role in three other religions of the region. Tibetan Buddhists believe that the Buddha Demchok, who represents supreme bliss, resides on Mount Kailash. Followers of Jainism believe the mountain is the sacred place where the founder of their faith attained liberation and rebirth. According to the Bon religion, the sky goddess Sipiamen resides on Mount Kailash. The mountain is located in one of the most rugged areas of the Himalayas. It reaches 22,028 feet. Each year, people walk around the sacred mountain in a pilgrimage known as the Kailash Kora. The processions have been a tradition for thousands of years. It is believed that one complete trip around the mountain will wipe out the sins of the current lifetime. According to religious belief, climbing Mount Kailash would be an act of sacrilege.
Mount Sinai is located on the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. The religious significance of Mount Sinai stems back to the biblical story of Moses. According to the Bible, Moses received the tablets of law, also known as the Ten Commandments on the sacred mountain. Mount Sinai, also known as Mount Horeb and Jebel Musa, is a 7507 foot peak. There is a mosque and a chapel at the summit of Mount Sinai and pilgrimages are made each year to worship at the holy mountain. Although Mount Sinai is credited with being the location where Moses received the commandments of God, there is no actual archaeological evidence to support the belief that it is the actual mountain peak referred to in the Bible. Believers and worshippers are not deterred and Mount Sinai is still considered a sacred place.
The Great Pyramid is one of the most intriguing structures on the planet. It is located in Egypt on the Giza plateau. It was also designated one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The Great Pyramid is the largest structure ever built and its magnificent stature inspires awe and intrigue. It originally stood 479 feet tall but has lost some of its height due to stripping of its limestone casing. It is believed that the Great Pyramid was commissioned to be built by the Pharaoh Khufu who reigned during the fourth dynasty (2575 to 2465 BC). However, some scholars contend that the Great Pyramid is much older. It was constructed from 2.5 million limestone blocks weighing an average of 2.6 to 50 tons each. The Great Pyramid has spawned many theories surrounding its construction, builders and function. There is no actual evidence that it was Khufu who decided to build the Great Pyramid. Both scholars and onlookers are still mystified by the construction of the Great Pyramid and its precise mathematical alignment. Although it was originally believed to be a burial chamber, the true purpose of the Great Pyramid remains a mystery.
The Great Sphinx is another mysterious and sacred site found in Egypt. The Great Sphinx is a statue with the face of a man and the body of a lion. It is carved of limestone and located next to the pyramids of Giza. The Sphinx is approximately 240 feet long and 66 feet high. It is believed to have been built around 2530 BC by the Pharaoh Khafre of the 4th dynasty. Archaeological and geological evidence continue to mount that indicates the Sphinx may be far older than believed. In fact, the geological evidence indicates that the Sphinx may have been sculpted sometime around or before 10,000 BC. The proposed age of the Sphinx has raised several questions and sparked scholarly debate. It is uncertain who or what the Sphinx may have originally represented. There are native people who believe the Sphinx was a guardian to ward off evil.
The Cave of the Apocalypse of Patmos is a sacred site connected to the biblical figure of St. John. Patmos is one of 163 islands of the Dodecanese group of Greek islands. During the time of the Roman rule, the island was used as a place of banishment for criminals as well people who were considered political and religious rebels or troublemakers. John the Apostle was banished to the island of Patmos. During the time that John was exiled to the island of Patmos, he lived in a cave and received messages through a small hole in the rock wall. John’s disciple Prochoros transcribed the messages that later became known as the biblical Book of Revelation. The earliest temples on Patmos were dedicated to the deities Diana and Apollo. Later, a church was erected on the foundation of Diana’s temple and dedicated to St. John.
The Tomb of Lazarus is located in Bethany, Jerusalem and is the site where Lazarus was buried. According to the biblical story, Bethany was the home of Lazarus, Mary and Martha as mentioned in the New Testament. The well-known story depicts one of Jesus’s greatest miracles in which he raised his friend Lazarus from the dead. Because of this miracle, the tomb of Lazarus has religious and holy significance. People travel to Jerusalem on yearly pilgrimages to walk in the same places where Jesus is believed to have walked and visiting the tomb of Lazarus is one such spiritual place where Jesus walked, and indeed, performed a miracle.
Greece is home to some of the world’s most beautiful architecture. The Parthenon is one of the most famous ancient buildings in Greece. The temple was built from white marble and had 46 columns. The building was originally called the Temple of Athena the Virgin. The Parthenon was built to house a 40 foot statue of Athena. Later, the Parthenon was converted to a Christian Church and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The Parthenon eventually underwent another conversion to a mosque. The beauty of Ancient Greek temples such as the Parthenon inspired works of literature and art for centuries. Still today, even the ruins that remain serve to display the beauty and magnificence that once adorned the hillside.
The most intriguing landmark of Greece is found on Naxos Island. It is called the Portara, a massive doorway that leads nowhere. Scholars believe that the doorway is the entrance to an unfinished temple that may have been dedicated to Apollo or Dionysus. The 26 foot high doorway overlooks the Aegean Sea. The doorway is made of four blocks of marble, weighing 20 tons each and measuring 16 feet long. Even in ruins, the beautiful doorway stands as a legacy to the incredible buildings that once decorated the Grecian landscape. Greece is home to many of the monumental temples dedicated to various gods and goddesses, such as the temples of Zeus, Poseidon and Hephaestus. Each temple was a splendid work of art in architectural design.
Chichen Itza is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Mexico. The Temple of Kukulkan is the largest structure at Chichen Itza. Kukulkan was a ruler god who was referred to as the Feathered Serpent by the Mayans. The Toltec and Aztec knew him by the name Quetzalcoatl. The ninety foot pyramid was built between the 11th to 13th centuries, directly on the foundations of previous temples. Most of the architecture found at Chichen Itza was a mixture of Mayan and Toltec styles. The structures of Chichen Itza were in a state of decay and covered with overgrowth when they were excavated in the 1920s. Some restoration has been done due to an influx of tourism to the site. The architecture of Chichen Itza embodies archeoastronomy and sacred geography in the alignment of the temple in connection to the Mayan calendar. Visitors to the site should plan to spend the day as the Chichen Itza is quite extensive and should be explored with sufficient time.
These are just a few of the world’s sacred sites. There are many places that hold mysteries of the past that carry through time like a magical echo. The beautiful natural formations and constructed monuments of these sacred sites stand like stoic guardians, never faltering in their duty to bring the past into the future. Whether you are in search of a miracle or just love to travel, these are few of the places you may want to consider visiting among your journeys.
- Who Built the Pyramids? (bridgethall.wordpress.com)
- Giza (daddyliu.wordpress.com)
- Giza Necropolis – Egypt, Africa (place2visit.wordpress.com)