As familiar and known a sight as that of the Giza Pyramids, the medieval Citadel sits conspicuously over the haze of Cairo’s minarets, with the Mohammed Ali mosque glimmering like a beacon to all travellers, visitors and Cairenes alike. The gentle breeze from the hilltop location brings to mind a legend about Saladin, the builder of this medieval fortress in the 12th century. In the search to build a proper fortress against the Crusaders, he hung pieces of meat throughout Cairo and swore that wherever the meat stayed fresh the longest would become the location of his fortress. All the meat he placed was ruined in a day except for the meat hung on a hilltop near Cairo, where the fresh breeze kept the meat fresh for days. Who knows? Maybe he built the Citadel on a hill because in his native mountainous Syria most fortresses were built in strategic high locations, or maybe fresh meat was a big deal to Saladin.
The Citadel is a popular destination for tour groups and local school field trips. While most tourists are taken to the Hagia Sophia inspired Mohammed Ali mosque, they might miss the great sites that lie nearby, marking massacres, harem palaces, spiral wells, royal court drama, crime, and ancient Egyptian ruins.
Mada’en Saleh, also known as Al Hijr, is a series sandstone outcrop of various sizes and heights surrounded by a ring sand mountains. It is a pre-Islamic archaeological site located in the Al-Ula sector, within the Al Madinah Region of Saudi Arabia.
The Monastery of Zermbitsa is located in a prominent location atop a hill of Mt Taygetos. This setting gives visitors to the monastery a rare treat because from here you can behold the splendor of the magnificent Evrotas River valley. Looking westward, we see the highest peak of our proud and majestic Mt. Taygetos.
St. Peter's Square is one of the largest and most beautiful squares in the world. It is located in Vatican City, at the feet of St. Peter's Basilica.The dimensions of the square are spectacular: 320 meters long and 240 meters wide. In the liturgies and more noticeable events St. Peter's Square has held more than 300,000 people.The most impressive part of the square, besides its size, are its 284 columns and 88 pilasters that flank the square in a colonnade of four rows. Above the columns there are 140 statues of saints created in 1670 by the disciples of Bernini.In the centre of the square the obelisk and the two fountains, one of Berni ni (1675) and another of Maderno (1614) stand out. The obelisk, which is 25 meters in height, was carried to Rome from Egypt in 1586.
Sistine Chapel, located in the Vatican Palace is famous for its Renaissance frescoes by Michelangelo, painted between 1508 and 1512. The frescoes are the cornerstone work of High Renaissance art and a must see while visiting Vatican City.
The largest church in the world, St. Peter’s Basilica is more than just the most important building in Christendom. It is a jewel within Vatican City from where Popes have spread the word of God throughout the world. The Basilica is a focal point of millions of pilgrims each year, but it is also a true cultural, historical and architectural landmark. The classic Renaissance structure holds within itself treasures from millennia including paintings, sculptures, artefacts and the art decorated on the walls. A visit to St. Peter’s Basilica is a treat to the senses and the soul!
Loreto, a small town of Ancona Province, is known all over the world for its Sanctuary that makes it one of the most important places of pilgrimage and pray for the Catholics, together with Medjugorje and Lourdes. The believers go to Loreto to give prays of devotion to the ruins of the Holy House where Jesus lived in Nazareth.
The 19th-century Amir Chakhmaq Complex with its imposing three-story facade is one of the abundant tourist hotspots of Yazd, an oasis city in central Iran. Located on a square of the same name, the prominent complex is noted for its eye-catching rows of symmetrical sunken alcoves, which are perfectly lit up following the sunset.
The structures that make up the complex include a mosque, a caravanserai, a bathhouse, a cold-water well and a tekyeh where Shiite Muslims come together for observing special religious ceremonies, all of which have been designed in accordance with traditional layout principles.
The perfectly proportioned niches on the façade may seem at their best and most photogenic late in the afternoon, when towering exterior appears to glow against the darkening sky and copper-coloured sunlight is captured within each alcove.
A pedestrianized square overlooking the complex is usually full of visitors. It is landscaped with a vast pool, illuminated fountains, well-manicured trees and shrubs that lend an attractive foreground to the splendid vista at night.
The devotion towards the patron martyr is expressed in the participation of the faithful in the period preceding the festivities, with the development of the novena at the Basilica dedicated to the Saint, and with the expectation of the same throughout the year.
The Medici Chapels form part of the monumental complex of San Lorenzo. The church of San Lorenzo was the official church of the Medici from their period as private residents in their palace in Via Larga (now via Cavour), becoming their mausoleum up to the time of the extinction of the line.
If you are in Venice you cannot miss the opportunity to visit St Mark’s Church, the famous San Marco Basilica. It is one of the most valuable treasures of history, art and faith in the world, located in St Mark's Square, the so-called ‘drawing room of Europe’.
When you visit St Mark’s Cathedral you cannot avoid gazing at the vast amount of decorations, mosaics, architectonic structures, precious objects and sacred and allegorical images that adorn the church inside and outside. To face all this in the best way before delving into the details, it is important to let oneself be swept away by this abundance, which changes time after time depending on the lighting, one’s stance and many other details that all together turn San Marco Basilica into a constantly new and deep experience to live in Italy.
A visit of St Mark’s Basilica means entering into an intricate world imbued with religion, art and sacred images that narrate in detail the history of Venice: the beauty of this place is nonetheless blindingly evident and one does not need to decipher it in order to appreciate it.
The exuberant Santa Maria della Spina Church in Pisa, Italy, is a beautiful work of Gothic fantasy rendered in miniature, that sits on the banks of the Lungarno Gambacorti.
The eye-catching Santa Maria della Spina was originally a simple oratory for seamen, who would come here to pray for a safe return. The church was originally closer to the river bank.
The church needed to reflect the value of the relic that it contained, so the best artists of the time went to work on it. These included Lupo di Francesco, Andrea Pisano with his sons Nino and Tommaso, and Giovanni di Balduccio. The “Madonna and the child with two angels” in the tabernacle on the façade is attributed to Giovanni Pisano, an important master who also worked at the Cathedral. The sumptuous decorations on the right side and in the tabernacles were made in the workshops of the Giovanni Pisano school.
In contrast with the outside, the interior is quite ostentatious. It’s essentially one open space, at one end of which stands the “Madonna of the Rose” by Andrea and Nino Pisano, one of the most notable achievements of Gothic sculpture.
The Baptistery of San Giovanni was founded on 15 August 1152. It is here that the Sacrament of Baptism is administered and the Christian embarks upon the path of Faith. The reason that such a fascinating and enigmatic building was constructed was certainly the wish to endow the cathedral with a worthy adjunct: a Baptistery that, in terms of position, size, materials and style, would be in harmony with the majestic building that already stood opposite.
Enjoy a degustation session of quality wine in the cool cellars of the monastery in Louka, where the largest producer of wine in the Czech Republic, the joint stock company Znovín Znojmo, is currently located.
A Romanesque basilica rebuilt after the earthquake in 1117 round a nucleus dating from the 4th or 5th century.Note on the outside the façade with the large rose window called the “Wheel of Fortune”, the marble bas-reliefs on either side of the porch, the famous bronze doors, the bell-tower and the Abbey Tower
The biggest, most important, most beautiful. The Gothic St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle is a place of so many superlatives. Above all, it’s the spiritual symbol of the Czech nation and the resting place of Czech history’s greatest rulers. Come and learn the story of this fascinating architectural masterpiece which is among the most important cathedrals in Europe.
Once you are standing in the heart of the cathedral you will feel a real rush of history. Massive pillars support magnificent vaulting, and everything is illuminated by the sun’s rays glinting through the beautifully decorated stained glass windows. The most important part of the cathedral is the exquisite St. Wenceslas Chapel, where the priceless Bohemian coronation jewels are stored behind seven locks. In the cathedral you will also find the tombs of saints, kings, princes and archbishops, the most important of which are the resting places of St. John of Nepomuk and King Charles IV. You can conclude your visit to the cathedral with an ascent of the top of the south tower, where you will be rewarded with an amazing panorama of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The Maison Carrée – the only fully preserved temple from Antiquity – has recently been restored. Inside you can watch the film the “Nemausus, the birth of Nîmes”, that presents the Imperial cult and the heroic past of Nîmes and its surroundings.
The basilica dates back to the days of Duke Liudolf of Swabia in the 10th century and is the only church in the world dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Alexander. In 982 Aschaffenburg – and therefore the former abbey – was incorporated into Mainz and the church and monastic college came to be a dominant factor in the Mainz archbishop's choice of residence.
The cathedral "Notre-Dame" of Luxembourg was built between 1613 and 1621 by the Jesuits to serve as a church to their college (now the National Library). The north gate is characteristic of the semi-Renaissance, semi-Baroque style of the period. Since 1794, it has housed the statue of the Consoler of the Afflicted. A cathedral church in 1870, it was enlarged from 1935 to 1938. The choir screen in richly sculpted alabaster, columns decorated with arabesques, stained glass from the 19th and 20th centuries, neo-Gothic confessionals, modern sculptures in bas relief, bronze gates by Auguste Trémont, are all worthy of this splendid sanctuary. The crypt is the resting place of John the Blind, King of Bohemia and Count of Luxembourg, as well as deceased members of the Grand Ducal family; the two lions flanking the entrance are also the work of Auguste Trémont.
The Cathedral is still the second highest building in Cologne after the telecommunications tower. Its footprint is no less impressive, with the full length of the Cathedral measuring 145 m and the cross nave 86 m.
Holy Trinity Ipatievsky Monastery is Orthodox monastery of the Russian Church. The monastery played significant role in Russian history of 16th and 17th centuries. It was first mentioned in chronicles in 1432.
Inside the cathedral, the famous astronomical clock of Beauvais contains a mechanism composed of 90 000 pieces and 68 automatons. Imposing from the height of its 12 meters, this masterpiece of the nineteenth century presents in its dials information on the seasons, eclipses, etc
Completed in 1969, Temppeliaukio Church is carved right from the bedrock in the center of Helsinki.
The underground house of worship, called Temppeliaukion kirkko in Finnish, was designed by architect brothers Timo and Tuomo Suomalainen in the charmingly named Töölö neighborhood. On all sides of the circular church are roughly hewn stone, where sometimes water still seeps in to create miniature waterfalls. A dome coated with copper covers the rock church, with a skylight open in a belt below it to make the dome appear to hover. Even further below the church is a Cold War-era air raid shelter, which now serves as parking.
Despite its cave-like appearance, Temppeliaukio Church actually has marvelous acoustics, where the sound beautifully bounces from the craggy stone.
One of the most spectacular monuments in Marrakesh and one of the most beautiful mosques in the western Muslim world. Marked by a complex history, it is actually a double sanctuary with a minaret. The first koutoubia was inaugurated in 1157 and the second one as well as the minaret were built a year later on the initiative of abdelmoumen. The two sanctuaries are distinguished by the T-plan giving great importance to the wall of the qibla (orientation of the prayer). outlined against the landscape, the 77-m ashlar minaret has a ramp which leads to the top, soberly decorated with carvings and white and green tiles on the upper parts of the façade and the pinnacle.
Chamunda Mataji was Rao Jodha’s favourite goddess and so her idol was bought to the Mehrangarh Fort. Thus, the fort became a place of worship and was turned into a temple. Since then, locals have followed the culture of worshipping Chamunda Mata.
Kabir Math is located at Lahartara, Varanasi on the Saint Kabir road. Kabir Jayanti is specially celebrated at the Kabir math every year. Many people come to the Kabir math to take part in the Kabir Jayanti celebration
arnath is a famous place in Varanasi and it is the destination for cultures like Hindu, Buddha and Jain. Sarnath is the place where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma then Buddhist Sangha has originated as well as came into existence because of the enlightenment of Kondanna.
Kashi Vishwanath Temple is one of the most famous temple in Varanasi, also known as the Golden temple dedicated to the Lord Shiva. It was constructed in the year 1780 by the Maratha monarch, Maharani Ahilyabai Holkar of the Indore.