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 14 — #’s 66-70
66. Milan Duomo, Milan, Italy — One of the largest churches in the world, the Duomo of Milan has a striking exterior, with numerous statues. Its top is adorned with a golden Madonina.
67. Mission San Juan Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, California, USA — Made famous by the swallows who return to this region each year, Mission San Juan Capistrano is one of a series of mission churches established by Father Junipero Serra in the late 1700’s.
68. Mission San Xavier del Bac, Tucson, Arizona, USA — Known as the “White Dove of the Desert,” this beautiful mission church was founded in 1692. It has become a popular pilgrimage site.
69. Mission Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, California, USA — Perhaps the most beautiful of all the California missions, Mission Santa Barbara was twice extensively damaged by earthquakes, but has been lovingly restored.
70. Monastery of St John the Theologian, Patmos, Greece — This monastery is enclosed within a fortress high above the harbor of the island of Patmos. St John the Theologian wrote the “Apocalypse” in a cave next to the monastery church.