Throughout history, some cities have been important points for religious activities. These cities, which host millions of people from all over the world every year, are the destinations of spiritual journey. Make sure to visit one of these sacred cities will be an amazing experience.
Mecca, the holy city of Islamic religion, contains places and structures that are important for Islamic religion such as the Kaaba, Masjid al-Haram, Hira cave, Safa-Merve hill and Arafat mountain. It is one of the five commandments of Islam for every Muslim to go to Hajj once in his life. Therefore, it hosts nearly three million visitors every year during the pilgrimage season.
Muslims around the world in 2000 BC with a historical calculation Hz. The Qibla of Islam, which was built by Ibrahim, turned towards the Kaaba and performed their worship. Only Muslims are allowed to enter Mecca, one of the world’s best protected sites.
The Vatican is an independent state in Rome, Italy, the administrative center of the Catholic sect of Christianity. It is home to the central authority of the Roman Catholic Church and all popes elected since 1377. The Vatican, ruled by the Pope, is a spiritual center for Catholic faith. There are many things to see in the Vatican, including Michelangelo, Bernini, Boticelli and Raphael’s amazing artworks, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Library, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum.
Jerusalem or Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world in the Middle East. Jerusalem is a holy city for Jews, Christians and Muslims. It houses more than one thousand synagogues, hundreds of churches and nearly seventy mosques. Many important religious centers such as Al-Aqsa Mosque, Wailing Wall, Temple Mount, Kubbet-us Sahara, Church of the Holy Sepulcher are located in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Although Jerusalem is known primarily for religious reasons, it is also a cultural center.
It has many antique collections, especially the Dead Sea Scrolls. The the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and Yad Vashem (Memorial to the Holocaust Victims) are among the major tourist spots. The Israeli Museum in particular attracts about a million visitors a year.
Haifa is the largest city in the north of Israel and the third largest city in the country. It is built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, which is located 56 km from Tel Aviv. It is an important center for people with many different religions and Baha’i beliefs. The Baha’i faith was an independent world religion that was born in Iran in the 1800s. The Baha’i World Center in Haifa and the six-domed tomb are an important center for the Baha’is and are listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Medina is considered the second holy city of Islam. It is located in the Hejaz Region about 120 km from the Red Sea. Only Muslims, like Mecca, are allowed to enter Medina. One of the most important structures of Medina is the Masjid al-Nabawi.
In 622 AD Hz. The masjid, which was built by Muhammad, was also used by Hz. Muhammad’s house. Inside Hz. The Prophet’s Mosque, where the tomb of Muhammad is located, is one of the most visited places after the Kaaba in Mecca.
Located in Tibet, the autonomous city of the People’s Republic of China, Lhasa is known as the city of the gods. This sacred city, which is called the Dalai Lama, the holy leader of Buddhists, is located on top of the Himalayan mountains. Jokhang Temple, Norbulingka and Potala Palace, Sera and Drepung monastery, Zhefeng Temple has many historical sites which are protected by UNESCO. More than a million people go to Tibet every year. Around the Jokhang Temple, religious pilgrims often kneel or prone to spiritual ascent.
This small town is located six miles outside of Jerusalem, and most Christians by the Prophet. It is thought to be the birthplace of Jesus. Although Bethlehem is a Muslim city, it is home to one of the largest Palestinian Christian communities. David is considered the place where the Prophet was born and became King of Israel. The Church of the Nativity, located in Bethlehem, is the subject of the Prophet Jesus. It is marked as the birthplace of Jesus. That’s why they flock to the city on Christmas and Easter.
Puskhar is one of the oldest cities in India. It is considered one of the five sacred pilgrimage sites for Hindus. The legend is considered to be the place where Lord Brahma (God of Hindu Creation) fell to the earth and landed. Pushkar Lake is a divine place for Hindus. For this reason, they enter this lake in October and November and are purified spiritually. There are thousands of temples, especially the Brahma Temple, in this city which belongs to Brahmans. Another reason to visit this city is to have the largest camel fair in the world.
9. MOUNT OLYMPUS
Mount Olympus is the most sacred place in Greece for Jesus Christ followers. According to Greek mythology, it was believed that gods lived on the clouds at the summit of Mount Olympus. More than 10 thousand climbers climb each year to the highest peak of Greece, which is believed to be holding hands of Zeus and Hera. It is one of the most popular travel destinations in Greece.
Located in northern India, Varanasi is a sacred place for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains. Guatama is one of the four important Buddhist pilgrimage centers appointed by the Buddha. It is said that the first sermon of the basic principles of Buddhism is given here. More than one million pilgrims visit the city every year.
One of the most important points of Varanasi is the Ganges River. It is believed that by taking a bath in this sacred river, the sins are forgiven and the soul of a deceased person is released. Ashes of people burned on the banks of the river are thrown into the waters of the river.