The Power of Religion Discover what's Behind what Inspires millions

Hi, I'm going to be showing my trip around the world, delving into the sacred sites of the most popularly practiced religions. On December 1, I started my journey in Jerusalem to take a look at Christianity. The places of worship are churches. One distinct piece of architecture I noticed on these churches are the steeples. The steeple is the spire that is located on the roof of the church, and is normally the tallest part of the church. At the top of the steeples, is a cross showing that they put God higher than anything else. Also, I visited the Church Of The Holy Sepulchre. This is a very important monument for Christians because it is the place of Jesus's crucifixion, burial and resurrection. At the entrance to the Church, there is the Stone of Anointing, where Jesus was anointed before burial.

These are some pictures of steeples and The Church Of The Holy Sepulchre

The next day I looked into Judaism. Luckily, I didn't have to go anywhere because their most sacred site is in Jerusalem. I also took a look at some other synagogues, the place of worship for Jews. One distinct piece of architecture is the Torah Ark. The Ark is crowned by the Ten commandments and might be the most important interior feature of a synagogue. I visited the Western Wall, a wall devoted to Jews. Jewish people from all around come to lament the destruction of the Jewish temple and places prayer notes in the cracks of the wall. The wall is made of limestone and is 488 meters long.

These are pictures of the Western Wall (top two), a synagogue (bottom left), and a Torah Ark (bottom right)

After two days of travel, I spent some time in Mecca, Saudi Arabia to learn more about Islam. After visiting some mosques (place of worship), I saw they all had a sahn. A sahn is basically like a courtyard that was built because mosques are designed to hold the city's entire male population, so the worship space has to be quite large. I visited the Kaaba, the holiest shrine in Islam, so holy that the direction towards it is marked in all mosques. It is a cubular building in the center of a very large courtyard.

Sahns and the Kaaba

After another week of travel, I wound up in Varanasi, India to look at Hindu temples. In every Hindu temple, there is a garbha griha, or womb-chamber. the room is in the heart of the temple and is devoted to one of the gods. They believe that an energy flows out of that room. While in Varanasi, I went to the Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple. It is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and has three domes covered by gold.

Hindu Temples

After two more days, I arrived in Bihar, India. Here, I seeked knowledge of Buddhism. One type of Buddhist architecture is a vihara, which is a buddhist monastery. They were originally shelters for monks, but are now used for Buddhist monasticism. I visited the Bodh Gaya, a very holy vihara. Located there is a large statue of the Buddha, and the Mahabodhi Temple. This temple is where the Buddha attained enlightenment, and is made out of brick, which is uncommon.

The Mahabodhi Temple and Buddhist temples

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