To start my extraordinary experience, I chose to start with Islam, a religion known to inhabit areas of extreme architecture and wealth.
Al-Masjid al-Haram, the biggest mosque in the world.
December 8th, 2016 - Today I woke up extremely early to catch my 4 am flight to Jerusalem, even as I peered out of the small side window of the plane I was taken aback. The city was completely beautiful and blossomed with unique architecture and patterns. As soon as I got there, 5pm, I went straight to sleep as I had to catch a ride to the world renowned Al-Masjid al-Haram, the worlds biggest mosque.
Kaaba, most sacred site of Islam and centerpiece of the worlds biggest and most sacred mosque.
December 9th, 2016- When I arrived to this mosque I was in awe, the impact it had on me was immediate, instantly making me feel the religions power. These structures can be known to alter the religious landscape with their exertion of sheer power. Right after viewing this amazing masterpiece I went to see the Kaaba, which was not very far away, seeing as it is the center and most sacred site of the holy mosque.
The importance of these two structures is both to pray and to impose power and religious values simply through architecture. When you see these structures you immediately think of Islam. You immediately become accustomed to the religion just by being imposed to its architecture and viewing its own special uniqueness.
For my second religion spot to visit, I chose to go somewhere nearby, The River Jordan and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
The River Jordan, Site of Christs baptism
December 10th, 2016 - The river Jordan is immensely beautiful, one of the most natural holy places of nature. When I gazed upon its beauty I was surprised, how could something from nature be so dazzling and bright? It is a very important holy site because it is where Christ was said to be Christened. The waters hold a special spiritual value and have a change in the religious landscape.
Church of Holy Sepulchre, widely seen as Christianity's most holy location.
December 11th, 2016- I chose to see the church of Holy Sepulchre because it is widely admired and conceived as Christianity's most religious location. On top this , I wanted to influence my mind with the intricate designs of Vatican architecture. The church is composed of one color with many tones, making it seem homely and humble. This church is important to the religion because it is rumored to be located above the actual tomb of Christ.
For my third religion to visit I chose Judaism, mainly because it was nearby. Judaism has many great architects and loves to show culture and design through the construction of artwork and buildings. The places I chose were the western wall, and temple mount.
The Western Wall, only piece of second temple left
December 12th,2016- The western wall is located on the temple mount, it is saturated with life and culture. Its is extremely important, seeing as it was the only piece of the second temple left after the Romans destroyed it. Its is customary for Jews to write prayers in the cracks of the immense stone wall, when people see this they recognize Judaism and see the mark on the cultural landscape. It is seen as an example for strength as the older Jews have seen it stand for many years.
Temple Mount, extremely important to Jewish history
December 12th,2016- Temple Mount represents much for Jews, and it is considered to be one of Judaisms most holy sites. Its was constructed by king Herod and is believed to be the place where Abraham offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice, and was the location of two powerful temples. When I arrived upon this sight I was immediately joyed by the insight of this architecture. It was very easy to read values and the sentimental effect this has on the Jewish.
For my fourth religion, I wanted to travel far. For this reason specifically I chose to travel to the city of Varanasi, sacred to the Hindus. The locations I visited here where The Ganges River, and the Vishwanath temple.
Vishwanath temple, pilgrimage to Shiva
December 13th,2016- The Vishwanath temple immediately took me away with its exotic look. Based off a pilgrimage to Shiva it has a rustic, gold look to it. The color scheme combined with the intricate designs instantly told me the tale of the Hindu culture and basic values. Shiva is the "creator" in simple terms, this makes gold a perfect match to show wealth and the creation of knowledge.
December 14th, 2016 - Today I chose to wash away my sins in the River Ganges. This is customary as thousands of pilgrims flock to the city for this event, they also come as they die. They see the city Varanasi as a Sin Liberator, if you here you are instantly liberated from the birth and death cycle. This river is beautiful and is untidy and wild just like nature and the wild.
As my last religion to visit, I chose Buddhism. I chose this because I love the peace and prosperity they stand for, as well as their values and calm demeanor as a whole. The places I chose to visit for this religion were Bodh Gaya and the shwedagon pagoda.
Bodh Gaya, enlightenment place
December 15th,2016- The Bodh Gaya is an extremely spiritual place, as soon as you enter its vicinity you feel peaceful. The reason for this may be that it is believed ti be where Buddha obtained his enlightenment. It is regarded as the most important of the four sacred sites of Buddhist pilgrimage. The temple was built a while after Buddha was enlightened, the general concurrence on this date is roughly 300 years after.
Shwedagon pagoda, Oldest Buddha Stupa
December 17th,2016 - I finished my journey up with a visit to the Shwedagon pagoda, located in Myanmar. The building is extremely stunning and can reach heights of up too 325 feet. Designed with plates of precious materials it is very imposing and can be seen as an example of monumental architecture. Historians do not know when it was built but they estimate it to be the most ancient Buddha stupa in the world. When you see it you instantly recognize the religious footprint it has left on the cultural landscape, fluctuating with colors.