Some of the world’s most famous buildings have been inspired by religion and worship. There has been no time and cost spared in constructing these amazing buildings, churches, temples and cathedrals around the world which reflect the highest standards of architecture and workmanship.
These structures have been around for thousands of years and one of the most famous is the Parthenon in Athens in Greece. This temple was built in 438 BC took 11 years to complete and was built to celebrate the Hellenic victory over the Persian invaders. The temple acted as the treasury for Athens and was used as both a mosque in the 15th century and earlier it has been seen as a place of Christian worship. In 1800 Thomas Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, removed sculptures from the temple and moved them to the British museum. These are known as the Elgin Marbles.
The largest church in the world is St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican in Rome. The building was finished in 1626 took almost one hundred years to complete. However, it is renowned for its renaissance architecture, and its designers included Michelangelo, Donato Bramante, and Carlo Maderno. The paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel took him four years to complete.
The Church is home to the Roman Catholic religion and each Sunday there is a pilgrimage of Roman Catholics, to either the Basilica or the adjoining St Peters Square, for addresses given by the Pope. The largest annual pilgrimage in the world is to the Great Mosque of Mecca. Every year 2 million Muslims make the journey to the mosque in Saudi Arabia. One of the Five Pillars of Islam is that every Muslim must make the journey to Mecca once in their lifetime.
The mosque was built in 2130 BC and there are plans to widen its area to 356,000 square meters. This means that it can hold 250,000 worshippers at any one time. At the front of the mosque is the tallest clock tower in the world and there are constant plans to update and improve the areas of worship.
One of the world’s most spectacular religious buildings is the Golden Temple in Amritsar. It is the home to the Sikh worshippers and was founded in 1577 by the fourth Sikh guru, Guru Ram Das. There are four entrances to the temple and it is visited daily by 100,000 worshippers.
The Pashupatinath Temple is the largest Hindu Temple in the world. It covers two and a half square kilometers and is found just to the north of Kathmandu in Nepal. It is a sprawling collection of temples and at various times of the year it attracts up to 800,000 worshippers a day. The temple was built in the 15th century by Lichavi King Shupsuspa to replace the old one which was in a state of disrepair. It is now a World Heritage site and the majority of its visitors travels across the border from India.
One of the holiest sites in the world is the Temple in Jerusalem. This include a series of structures that have been constructed on temple mount in the old part of the city. This is the home to Jewish worship and many of the places in the region are referred to in the Bible.
There are many other major religious buildings in the world. Every major city in the world has its own impressive religious structures, with many cities having separate grand buildings for a number of different religions. The followers of the world’s major religions have never been shy to give their money to projects that will create holy environments where followers can worship their faith.