-December 17th, 2016
My religious tour began within India, as I studied Hinduism and its architecture. The Hindu people have existed for several millenniums, granting me the opportunity to visit some of the oldest temples still standing today. Kanchipuram, a sacred city located in southern India, contains many of these temples. The Vaikunthaperumal temple was erected 1300 years ago as a dedication to Vishnu. it is one of the most sacred sites of worship in the Hindu religion, and Hindus visit very frequently.
Religious architecture is also present in Kanchipuram, as I also was fortunate to visit the Kailasanatha Temple, which contains various aspects of Hindu Architecture, such as carved rock statues and pillars. The Hindu gods were very loved by historic Indian Rulers, as these temples are quite vast. And I do speak from experience, as I saw these myself.
-December 21st, 2016
Buddhism, a derivative of hinduism, Also contains very intricate artwork, architecture, and Religious worship sites. I spent a day in indonesia, viewing Borobudur. Borobudur, as pictured below, is perhaps the most famed Buddhist temple and still a worship site today. The circular design of the temple represents the lotus flower, a Buddhist icon. Monasteries are the predominant worship site of the Buddhist people. They can be found on every continent, and these prime examples of Buddhist architecture utilize bamboo roofs, delicate stone construction, and the lowly-domed roofs.
-December 25th, 2016
Judaism is the second eldest World Religion. Ancient architecture devoted to Yahweh (the Hebrew word for "God") is present primarily in Jerusalem, Israel. The western wall was constructed by Herod when Jerusalem under Muslim rule. This wall was the closest the Jews could get to the original temple in Jerusalem and is composed of 187 feet of limestone. It is know a frequent tourist attraction and a sacred site for the Jewish people
Synagogues is the term used to describe a Jewish temple. Jewish architecture is displayed in ancient synagogues in Palestine. Limestone was used to construct most of the Synagogues I saw, and their stone pillars and high-arcing domes were quite compelling.
-December 30th, 2016
Christianity is yet another religion derived from Jerusalem. However, Europe was swept by the phenomenon of Christ and allowed for me to see some great architecture and churches. St. Peter's basilica covers the shrine of St. peter, and is the largest pilgrimage site of the Christian world to this day. Constructed by the mastermind Michelangelo, St. peter's Basilica is on of the greatest sites to see in Europe, thanks to it's sheer height of 453 feet and a very appealing dome atop the basilica. France was my next stop, as I went to see the Notre-dame cathedral. With it's ancient sculpting and 800-year old architecture, the cathedral was a great sight to see on my journey.
December 31st , 2016
Islam is the youngest of the 5 World religions. it's architecture is nevertheless exhilarating, though. I visited Mecca, Saudi Arabia. A walled off plaza with Kaaba (which we are about to talk about) is centered in the center of Mecca. Every muslim makes the trip to see it and pray towards it once in their lifetime, as it is a significant worship site of the prophet Mohamed, and Mecca is a prime examples of the grand rock pillars and temples of the Muslim faith.
The mosque is the Muslim worship site that can be found in every inhabited continent. The grand mosque is the most famous mosque, hence the name. It is a well-known worship site and is a 25,000 meter-long span with perhaps the most impressive dome I have ever gazed upon.