The 19 Most Stunning Sacred Places Around the World

Since the dawn of time, mankind has been building amazing temples and monasteries in service to mankind’s spiritual needs and practices. We’ve compiled the photos of over a million travelers on minube to find the places that most inspire, astound, and simply take your breath away. From the jungles of Indonesia to the valleys of Tibet, here at the 19 most breathtaking holy places around the world.

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1.) Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar - According to the many travellers who pass it by – Myanmars Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the worlds greatest wonders. The vibe of it is just incredible, and at night it glows with a golden aura that is unparalelled in the world. It’s 100+ yard size is a beacon of connection and inspiration for all of Myanmar, and those who come and visit will be instantly tuned into its incredible vibes from chants, incense, and majesty. (Photo by Gerard Decq)

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2.) Lotus Temple, India - You may not find much peace and quiet in New Delhi, but the amazing Lotus Temple, home of the Baha’i faith is TRULY an oasis of tranquility. This building was built in 1980, surrounded by peaceful gardens and  large interior space for people of all faiths to come and meditate together. The Baha’i faith is based around connection to ALL of the faiths, and an openeness in ones connection to the All. (Photo by Sebastian D. Caicedo)

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3.) Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe Chapel, France - If you were to venture to Southern France, you might find it to generally be dotted with scenic mountaintop churches… and yet, none are quite as breathtaking as the Chapel of Saint-Michel d’Aiguilhe. This incredible chapel floats on the top of a massive craggy volcanic rock, and it will take you over 200 steps to reach the top…. and upon doing so, you will be greeted with one of the most incredible views you have ever seen in your life. (Photo by Soleilhac Marie-Laure)

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4.) Hagia Sophia, Turkey - The Hagia Sophia…What can one really say about it? It’s so unique and incredible that it really does need to be experienced to be described. This is one of the most architecturally influential houses of worship in the world. Travelers from all cultures and religions flock to behold her glory. It is truly a place of Unity and Connection beyond Race or Religion, and that’s what makes her such a stunning space of God. (Photo by Dripta Roy)

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5.) Meiji Shrine, Japan - Way back in Early Japan, the Meiji Shrine was built to honor Japans first Modern Emperor, Emperor Meiji. Today this shrine is surrounded by Tokyo’s ultra-modern skyscrapers, but not before approximately 150 acres of peaceful evergreens to keep it a true space of peace. Many residents of Japan go there to meditate, attend weddings, and even just to enjoy the fresh air. (Photo by Patrick)

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6.) Abu Simbel Temples, Egypt - To be honest, nobody truly knows when Abu Simbel was built. Many will claim that it was built by Pharaoh Ramesses II over 3,000 years ago, but even still there remains anomalies that suggest perhaps it was built a lot earlier than that. Much like the true age of the Sphinx, Abu Simbel stands as a testament to ancient architects and their master crafting ability which today it is unclear how they did it.  (Photo by Jose M. Cuesta)

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7.) Ghats of Varanasi, India - Varanasi is a land of incredible majesty. The Holiest of India’s sacred cities and famous for its ghats, terraced areas on the riverbanks where seekers of connection to the divine come for ritual baths, washing, meditation, and even cremations. It is often described as powerful, visceral, and even overwhelming. A boat ride along the Ghats is something no traveler ever forgets. (Photo by Beatriz)

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8.) Batu Caves, Malaysia - Located just north of Kuala Lumpur, the Batu Caves are one of the most amazing sight in all of Asia. The complex consists of massive limestone caves filled with intricate shrines, a 140ft. tall statue of the Hindu deity Murugah, and lots and lots of mischievous macaque monkeys ready to snatch a snack from unsuspecting tourists. (Photo by Macgreg)

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9.) Basilica of San Vitale, Italy - The Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy is one of the most important churches in early Christianity, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an amazing experience for lovers of art and architecture. The hypnotically colorful mosaics are some of only a few in the world that remain from the time of Emperor Justinian I. (Photo by Ignacio Izquierda)

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10.) Spanish Synagogue, Czech Republic - Widely regarded as Europe’s most beautiful synagogue, the Spanish Synagogue in Prague is one of those places where you could literally spend hours admiring the Moorish-style geometric carvings and paintings covering literally every square inch of the interior. Don’t forget to check out the statue of famous Czech author Franz Kafka near the entrance. (Photo by Alce)

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11.) Boudhanath, Nepal - Located in the outskirts of Kathmandu, Boudhanath is one of the world’s largest stupas and a place of pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists the world over. The stupa is crowned by four sets of peaceful yet watching eyes and is surrounded by a whopping 50 Buddhist monasteries. (Photo by Nice Dalla-Valle)

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12.) Angkor Wat, Cambodia - The mighty Angkor Wat complex in Cambodia is another site which is tough to describe in words. To visit Angkor Wat is to immerse yourself in countless 900-year old temples, massive stone faces, sprawling jungles, and groups of young, saffron-robed monks. If it’s not on your bucket list, it should be. (Photo by Natashi Basso).

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13.) Bet Giyorgis, Ethiopia - Bet Giyorgis (“Church of St. George”) is a 12th-century church carved directly into the rock around Lalibela, Ethiopia. Bet Giyorgis, though, is just the most famous of 11 churches carved into the bedrock originally designed to emulate Jerusalem. Travelers can explore this most unique of holy sites via winding tunnels and passageways dozens of feet below surface level. (Photo by Alfonso N. Tappero)

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14.) Meteora, Greece - Near the village of Meteora in central Greece, massive monolithic stones jut into the sky creating one of the most gorgeous panoramas in Europe. The best part? The hulking cliffs are dotted with historic monasteries, many of which can be visited and are still in use today. After visiting the monasteries, travelers can make the hike back to the bottom while savoring the heavenly views. (Photo by Vlaidmir Bazan)

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15.) Thikse Monastery, India - The Thikse Monastery is one of the most spectacular yet least touristy monasteries in the Indus River Valley near Ladakh, India. Those who’ve explored the Tibetan plateau can attest that coming around a river bend to see the white-washed monastery and its colorful prayer flags against the clear blue Tibetan sky is truly an inspirational sight. (Photo by Gerard Decq)

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16.) Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan - The Tiger’s Nest complex in the small mountain state of Bhutan is perhaps the world’s most famous hanging temple, and with good reason! After a tough three-hour hike, travelers arrive at this stunning monastery perched 3,000ft. above the floor of the Paro Valley. The interior shrines are no doubt amazing, but the view is one you’ll never forget. (Photo by Thomas Willetts)

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17.) Borobudur, Indonesia - Emerging from the jungles of central Java, the 9th-century Borobudur temple complex is a marvel of Buddhist architecture and the most-visited sight in Indonesia. At 7 stories high and decorated with over 500 Buddhas, Borobudur is the largest Buddhist temple in the world and home to what is surely one of the most beautiful sunsets anywhere. (Photo by Oliver P. Martin)

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18.) Tiger Cave Temple, Thailand - Many travelers to Krabi, Thailand spend their time between the bar and the beach, but the area is home to one of the world’s most breathtaking religious sites: the Tiger Cave Temple. Travelers must climb a jungle staircase lined with monkeys and hidden shrines before arriving at the glorious golden Buddha at the 2,000ft. peak. (Photo by Angelo Zinna)

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19.) Salt Cathedral of Zipaquirá, Colombia - The Salt Cathedral in Zipaquirá, Colombia is one of the most unique and otherworldly holy places in the world. The cathedral was built using the massive galleries of an old salt mine and is decorated with colored lights that add a mysterious and dramatic touch to the various chapels and hidden corners within. (Photo by Jose. M.M. Espinar)

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sursa: Huffington Post

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