4 Must-See Holy Cities

Spiritual Travel

Many sacred grounds lay across the world under many religious influences.

These cities and sites date as far back as the earliest recorded human civilizations.

Whether you are religious or not, these locations bring a spiritual awakening that cannot be found elsewhere.

Something incredibly valuable and peaceful can be earned by accepting and understanding the many different beliefs that reside on this vast planet.

We will explore four wondrous locations that are sure to awe any person, old or young, who may choose to visit.

SEE ALSO: Buddha’s Philosophy On Sex

 


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Borobudur Temple, Indonesia

 

The intricate and beautiful Borobudur Temple was built all the way back around the 8th and 9th centuries AD.

This Buddhist temple is located in the center of Java, Indonesia.

It is said in Buddhist teachings that there are three spheres of the universe. This temple represents these three spheres of the universe, which include the sphere of our desires, the sphere of our human form, and the sphere of formlessness.

There are three unique sections of the temple that blend together seamlessly to form these three realms, all of which are connected by several staircases that embody the widely known Buddhist spiritual achievement of reaching Nirvana.

Because it was designed to be climbed as a parallel to reaching the ultimate state of Nirvana, this temple forces one to have patience and endurance.

It is so large that it may take more than a few hours to explore completely. The temple is the largest Buddhist monument in the world and draws millions of people each year from around the world to see its beauty.

The breathtaking view is a sight to behold. Not to mention the site is surrounded by volcanos, one of which is still active.

There is undoubtedly an energy that resides in this place, from the over 500 intricate and carefully placed Buddha statues to the lush and thriving island that embraces it.



Jerusalem, Israel

The city of Jerusalem actually houses individuals from three major religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

The city is divided into very specific quarters for each religious group to reside.

Inside and around Jerusalem are numerous sacred places to visit.

Of course, the ever-famous Wailing Wall attracts visitors from across the globe of all different religions.

Millions come to the Wailing Wall to slip folded pieces of paper with prayers written inside into the cracks of the wall, hoping their prayers will be answered.

During certain days and hours of the week, non-Muslims are allowed to enter The Dome of the Rock temple, which is known by Muslims to be the exact spot at which Muhammad ascended to heaven.

The glistening golden temple is simply a covering to encase the holy rock where Muhammad stood.

Jerusalem itself, particularly the Old City area, was built in 1004 BC. Every stone and pebble shows centuries of culture and rich history.

It has been said that is quite humbling to stand in such a historic and ancient place.

It is truly mind-boggling to imagine how many people have stood and lived in the city during many different notable eras.


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Vatican City, Rome

This holy city of Catholicism is home to about only about 800 residents, none of which are reside there permanently.

St. Peter’s Square (shown above) is the entry point to the Vatican City. Built from 1657 – 1667, the area includes 140 statues of saints lining the rooftops around the area, surrounding the iconic obelisk in the center which was brought from Egypt by Caligula in 38 AD.

In the center of town is St. Peter’s Basilica, the most important Catholic Church in the world.

The foundation for the church was built around 1506. Improvements and repairs have been made since that time, in order to keep the church shining in all of its glory.

An almost unimaginable amount of wonders is scattered around the inside of the church.

From sculptures by the legendary Gian Lorenzo Bernini to astounding paintings like the Pietà by Michelangelo.

The sheer craftsmanship and intricacy of the city and church is incredible.

Everywhere you turn, there is more to be seen and admired.

Anyone who chooses to visit the city is likely to have a very moving experience.


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Chichen Itza, Mexico

The ancient city of Chichen Itza has over 4,700 acres of traversable tourist area.

Some very delicate areas of temple are being protected in order to preserve their construction.

The Mayan city is very particularly built, and the placement of each stone is sure to have a valuable meaning or purpose.

The city held the Mayan people from about 700 AD through 1200 AD.

Within Chichen Itza is the popular area of El Castillo, which is the largest temple in the city.

 In perfect harmony with the Mayan calendar, the 4 sides of the pyramid each have 91 stairs adding up to 364 days; the platform on top represents the 365th.

Another awesome feat is that twice per year, exactly on the spring and fall equinoxes, a shadow is cast by the pyramid that falls on the ground in the shape of a serpent.

The Mayans were said to be great astronomists, and as such, an impressive original observatory remains on site.

It is documented that through this observatory they were able to predict solar and lunar eclipses.

The only means of water on site are deep, underground wells that were also sacred to the Mayan people.

Chosen people were sacrificed to the rain god who they believed lived below.

Despite the dark nature of the ceremonies and rituals performed here, the Maya were an advanced and scientific people.



Tips for Planning Your Path to Enlightenment

If you feel so inclined to broaden your horizons by visiting one of these cities, it is entirely possible. Don’t fret about the cost of such a trip.

Although some resorts may be on the expensive side, with the right research, anyone can experience the beauties the world has to offer.

So, if you’re travelling on a minimal budget, make sure that you consider the day of week that you’ll be arriving, time of year, and current holidays.

All of these can play a huge factor in the current price of flights and hotels, depending on the destination.

Do as much research as you can, plan and budget everything possible in advance, and you’ll be on your way to an awe-inspiring and enlightening experience.


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Trisha Miller

Trisha is a freelance writer from Boise, ID. She is a dedicated vegan who promotes an all around healthy lifestyle.

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