Churches and other religious/spiritual sites are some of the world’s most important attractions for travelers. The are typically the focal point of a city or village and reflect the culture and values of the region. Churches, especially, are significant architecturally and represent the best efforts of a community to express itself. Lee & I have been to hundreds of churches in our travels. Many of these have become unforgettable memories of a particular place. To actually rank these sites is virtually impossible. How can you choose between amazing sights such as Hagia Sophia, the Pantheon, and Mont-St-Michel? Therefore, I will present my favorite 150 spiritual places in installments of five (5), listed alphabetically. Many of my choices are World Heritage Sites and deserve to be preserved forever. Many are simply charming or may hold some special historical significance. Peruse the list and compare your list to mine. Obviously I have not been to all the spiritual places on Earth, but most of these would probably make the all-time list of the majority of world travelers.
Installment 8 — #’s 36-40
36. El Castillo, Chichen Itza, Quintana Roo Province, Mexico — Once an extremely important ceremonial city of the Mayan culture, Chichen Itza is a marvelous complex of interesting buildings, and the pyramid of El Castillo is its crowning glory.
37. El Castillo, Tulum, Quintana Roo Province, Mexico — The Mayan ruins at Tulum are the only ones in Mexico to be found along the beautiful Mexican Riviera. El Castillo is where sacrifices were made to the Gods.
38. El Cedral Church, Cozumel, Quintana Roo Province, Mexico — The little church at El Cedral is reminiscent of typical Mayan construction.
39. El Escorial, San Lorenzo de Escorial, Spain — This monastery/palace/museum is a short ride northwest of Madrid. The church is still used for weddings and other ceremonies while the museum draws tourists from all over the world.
40. Ettal Monastery, Ettal, Germany — The glorious Ettal Monastery church is a lesson in the elaborate architecture of the Baroque style.