To start off my trip, I started in Varanasi, India, the holiest of the seven cities in Hinduism. Varanasi lies on the shores of the Ganges River, which in Hinduism is sacred as it is believed to be an offshoot of the Hindu god Shiva's hair. Many Hindus will bathe in the river to "cleanse" themselves of sin. Varanasi is a very colorful city, to say the least. Lots of the buildings are painted bright colors! The architecture is typically square with pyramid-shaped roofs on some buildings. The columns aren't perfect cylinder, they're more geometrically shaped.
For the next leg of my trip, I visited Lumbini in Nepal. The temple is believed to be the birthplace of the Buddha. It is the most important of all the temples in Buddhism. Buddhist temples are typically ornate, with lots of gold and slanting roofs. They are typically black, red, or white in color with red and gold detailing. Many may have a small pond in front of them.
Today I got to go to the holy city of Mecca, which is very important to Islam. The city is the birthplace of the prophet Muhammad. Muhammad taught of a moral life worshipping Allah and the five pillars of faith. Mecca's main mosque is mainly white, with tall pillars and wide windows. The mosque is in a oval ring around a large black tower called a minaret. Muslims pray in the direction of the minaret.
My fourth day of traveling the world's religion is in the birthplace of Judaism, Jerusalem. One of the oldest cities in the world today, and has a long extensive history-sometimes even without the Jews! The city was believed to be created from a foundation stone from the beginning of the world-placed there by God. The architecture is mostly sand-colored stone, and the main temple has a gold dome roof.
I only got to check out two places for Christianity, the Catholic and Orthodox branches. On December 19, I visited Vatican City. The Vatican is the absolute head of the Catholic Church, ruled by the Pope. It's very famous for its collections of old art and relics from Italy's past. Even the buildings themselves look like works of art!
On December 20th, I got on a plane and headed to Moscow for my final stop: St. Basil's Cathedral. It was built to mark Ivan the Terrible's capture of the city in 1552. The building may have been made as a homage to the buildings in Jerusalem, but not much is known about the stylistic ideas behind the building. It's super colorful however!