Journey Around the Religious World #FascinatingSenseOfPlace

Welcome to my blog! I've traveled around the world to find prominent religious structures and photograph them, exposing their beauty and unique architecture to you! So come along on this fascinating adventure as we tour the religious world!

December 9, 2016: Hinduism Today I visited the stunning Angkor Wat in Cambodia as well as nearby Banteay Srei. These amazing Hindu temples are incredibly detailed and contain many sculptural figures. Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world, and the interior was immense! The architecture clearly reflected the art style of Angkor Thom, the last capital city of the Khmer empire, and it was very well preserved. The main color platelet was black, grey, white, and rusty orange. Angkor Wat is an important sacred site to the Hinduism religion as well, because it symbolizes a replica of the universe and cosmic model in stone. It is also dedicated by King Suryavarman II, the builder of Angkor Wat, to the Hindu God Vishnu.

Angkor Wat and Banteay Srei in Cambodia

December 11, 2016: Buddhism I arrived in Lhasa, China to visit the distinctive Jokhang Temple today. I immediately noticed the bright, beautiful colors that were an exact contrast to the Hindu structures. The architecture was very regal and noble looking, an art style adopted from the Tang Dynasty. Standing in the square, the whole structure can be seen, with rows of flickering lights leading from the eastern section all the way to the main hall.

Jokhang Temple in Lhasa

December 14, 2016: Buddhism Next, I traveled by car and boat to Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka to see the famous Buddhist sacred site, the Sri Maha Bodhi, and its temple. On the small island of Sri Lanka, Buddha sat under the Sri Maha Bodhi, the bodhi tree, for seven days and gained enlightment, arguably making the Bodhi tree at the Mahabodhi temple the most sacred Buddhist site.

"Relative" of the Sri Maha Bodhi and Mahabodhi Temple in Anuradhapura

December 17, 2016: Islam Today I arrived in Mecca (Makkah in Arabic), Saudi Arablia to see the well known sacred city, the Masjid al-Haram mosque and the Kabba structures in particular. Masjid al-Haram, The Great Mosque of Mecca, surrounds Islam's holiest place, the Kaaba. While here, I met a Muslim on a pilgrimage to Mecca, all the way from America, and he explained the significance of the site in the Islam religion. He told me how the Kaaba was built around a sacred black stone meteorite Muslims believe was put by Abraham and Ishmael.

Masjid al-Haram and Kabba in Mecca

December 19, 2016: Islam This afternoon I reached Kuala Kangsar, a town in Malaysia, to see the incredibly beautiful Ubudiah Mosque. With golden domes and black and white stripped minarets, as well as several arches, the effect of the architecture is very impressive! The interior main hall is in an octagon shape, and smaller then I imagined. The ceiling is decorated with detail and a chandelier hangs from the ceiling. The mihrab is patterned with Italian red marble as well.

Ubudiah Mosque in Kuala Kangsar

December 22, 2016: Judaism I've traveled to Haram esh-Sharif (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem, Israel. While this site has connections to the Islam and Christian religion, it is the holiest sites of the Judaism religion. This was definitely difficult to get into because of current conflict, and I was only allowed for a short period of time, but it was well worth it. It is where Adam was created and the binding of Isaac occurred. The First and Second Holy Temples stood on this ground, and it housed the Ark of the Covenant, making it very sacred to Jews.

Haram esh-Sharif and Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem

While Temple Mount is a whole walled in area, I focused on the architecture of the fascinating Dome of the Rock. It somewhat resembles that of the Muslim Ubudiah Mosque, since they both have a golden dome. However, the resemblance end there, as Dome of the Rock has a white lower half (and white columns) and a blue patterned top half. The top section is mostly blue, with green, yellow, grey, and white patterns as well.

December 28, 2016: Christianity After spending Christmas back home, today I arrived in Europe, in Vatican City, to see the amazing St. Peter's Basilica. It is built out of travertine stone, with many giant Corinthian columns and thirteen detailed statues on top. The St. Peter's Square, the way to get in to the basilica, is shaped in an elliptical circle. Its beautiful interior is highly detailed with many more statues and painting.

St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City

December 30,2016: Christianity On my last day of travels, I decided to visit the Cenacle on Mount Zion in Jerusalem, Israel. This site is a scared place for Christianity. The Cenacle or "Upper Room" is the room traditionally said to be the site where Jesus shared the Last Supper with the disciples. This makes it a very sacred site to Christians.

The Cenacle on Mount Zion in Jerusalem

Credits:

Created with images by Pexels - "altar ancient architecture" • rosshuggett - "untitled image" • xiquinhosilva - "60346-Lhasa-Jokhang-Temple"

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