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 20 — #’s 96-100
96. Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, Italy — This small church is prominently located at the end of the Grand Canal, where it empties into the lagoon.
97. Santa Maria in Fiore, Florence, Italy — Florence’s Duomo (Cathedral) is one of the most significant and beautiful churches in Europe, with its Brunellesci dome and its façade of green, pink, and white marble.
98. Santa Maria in Trastevere, Rome, Italy — This is one of the oldest churches in the ancient city of Rome. Its square is a major gathering place in this city district which lies across the Tiber from the city center.
99. Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy — This small church near the train station of Florence is a true gem, with its interesting exterior and amazing artwork inside.
100. Santo Domingo Cathedral, Cartagena, Colombia — This beautiful church with orange-colored walls sits on a delightful square with several shops and restaurants.