Religion Around the World Austin priebe 1b

First I traveled to Allahabad and saw the Ruins of Old Kaushambi. This is the ruins of a city that is thought to have been very prosperous about 800 years ago. This is important to the Hindus because the city contains old monasteries, sculptures, monuments, and idols.

The Ruins of Old Kaushambi

Next I visited a Durga temple in Aihole, Karnataka, India. This is an example of Hinduism architecture that contains architectural sculptures of Durga and Shiva the first people in the Hindu religion.

Durga Temple

The first kind of Buddhist architecture that I saw was a Stupa. This specific one is called the 'Great Stupa' and is located in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka. This stupa, standing in at over 300 ft, is the oldest but smallest of three giant edifices in brick in the world.

The Great Stupa

The second kind of Buddhist architecture that I encountered was a Chorten in The basic structure of a Chorten consist of a square foundation symbolizing the earth, a dome symbolizing water, and thirteen tapering steps of enlightenment symbolizing the element of fire. These steps lead to a stylized parasol, the symbol of wind, which is topped in the ethereal sphere by the well-known ‘twin-symbol’ uniting sun and moon, which is the shimmering crown of the Chorten.

Chorten

Next I visited Jerusalem and there I visited the Kotel, otherwise known as the Western Wall. Jews from around the world travel to the Kotel in order to lament the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem and to place notes of prayer inside the cracks of its walls. The Kotel has been a place of Jewish worship for centuries, with the earliest source mentioning the holiness of the site dating from the fourth century. The Kotel itself is part of the retaining wall of what is known as the Beit Hamikdash (Holy Temple), the center of Jewish life in ancient Israel.

The Kotel

Next I visited the Mt. of Olives in Olivet, Mount Olivet, Har HaZeitim. It has always been an important feature in Jerusalem’s landscape. From the 3rd millennium B.C. until the present, this 2900-foot hill has served as one of the main burial grounds for the city. The two-mile long ridge has three summits each of which has a tower built on it.

Mt. of Olives

Then I traveled to the Citadel of Aleppo in Aleppo, Northern Syria. It is a large medieval fortified palace. It is considered to be one of the oldest and largest castles in the world. Usage of the Citadel hill dates back at least to the middle of the 3rd millennium BC. Subsequently occupied by many civilizations including the Greeks, Byzantines, Ayyubids and Mamluks, the majority of the construction as it stands today is thought to originate from the Ayyubid period.

Citadel of Aleppo

After that I went to the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. A popular tourist site, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque continues to function as a mosque today. The Blue Mosque, as it is popularly known, was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Külliye contains Ahmed's tomb, a madrasah and a hospice. Magnificent hand-painted blue tiles adorn the mosque’s interior walls, and at night the mosque is bathed in blue as lights frame the mosque’s five main domes, six minarets and eight secondary domes.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Next I arrived at the Great Mosque of Mecca also called the Grand Mosque, is the largest mosque in the world and surrounds Islam's holiest place, the Kaaba, in the city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Muslims face in the Qibla (direction of the Kaaba) while performing Salat (obligatory daily prayers). One of the Five Pillars of Islam requires every Muslim to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, one of the largest annual gatherings of people in the world, at least once in his or her lifetime if able to do so, including Tawaf (circumambulation) of the Kaaba.

Next I traveled to Rome and saw a Catacomb chamber with (from top): Orants, Jonah and the Whale, Moses striking the rock (left), Noah praying in the ark, Adoration of the Magi. c. 200-250

Roman Catacomb

Next I went to the River Jordan in Asia. This is where baby Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist.

River Jordan

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Created with images by Waiting For The Word - "Christian Cross 26"

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