All the way back through human history, across various civilizations and societies, mankind has built amazing holy sites. Magnificent structures, temples, and places of worship to honor the multiple gods and higher powers of their religious belief systems. These structures are some of the most awe-inspiring and beautiful on Earth, and you don’t even have to be a believer to enjoy the wonder and majesty of these fantastic locations.
Also known as Darbar Sahib or the Golden Temple, this location is the most significant religious structure in the world for Sikhs.
It was constructed back in 1577 by Guru Ram Das and is surrounded by water, which many Sikhs believe to possess healing properties, leading to them bathing in it regularly.
With a history dating all the way back to the 1200s, the Temple of Confucius is one of Taiwan’s oldest religious structures and was dedicated to Confucius himself.
Each year in September, a special ceremony is held at this temple to honor the memory of Confucius, with traditional dances and music.
One of the most iconic temples in all of India, Mahabodhi Temple, is also known as ‘Great Awakening Temple’ and is a hugely important location for Buddhists.
It was allegedly here that Buddha himself attained a state of enlightenment, with a descendant of the legendary Bodhi Tree still being housed at the temple for Buddhists to admire and appreciate.
One of the most intricately beautiful religious structures anywhere on Earth, the Wat Rong Khun Temple takes the breath away from everyone who is lucky enough to admire it, especially on a sunny day.
Also known as the White Temple, this religious structure features many highly intricate carvings, engravings, and details throughout its construction.
The architecture on display at the Shrine of the Bab in Israel is merely breathtaking by its own, but this location really stands out for another feature: its gardens.
There are 19 different terraces at this location, each wonderfully landscaped and decorated with colorful flowers, perfect rows of trees, and impeccable lawsns.
Many holy sites and religious buildings feature lots of intricate details and careful stonework all around the exterior, but the Givat Ram Synagogue in Israel is very different.
Also known as the Rabbi Dr. I. Goldstein Synagogue, this location was designed by the German and Brazilian architectural duo of Heinrich Heinz Rau and David Resnick.
An iconic and visually breathtaking temple in Thailand, Sri Maha Mariamman is one of the most prominent temples in the country that is not associated with the faith of Buddhism. \
This is a Hindu temple, dedicated to Mariamman, the goddess of rain. The temple dates back over a century and a half and is decorated with lots of bright and beautiful colors.
Located in Hasan Abdal in Pakistan, the Gurdwara Panja Sahib is a beautiful structure of the Sikh religion with one extraordinary feature that makes it a hugely important location for followers of this faith.
It is believed that the handprint of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, is imprinted on a boulder inside this Gurdwara.
Not known under any official name, this ancient building complex is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and features a range of Taoist temples and monasteries, seemingly dedicated to the god Xuanwu.
Xuanwu is one of the more powerful gods of Taoism and is said to be able to control the elements and use powerful magic.
As soon as you step inside the Szeged Synagogue, your eyes will be drawn skyward to the fantastic details and decorations featured all over the ceilings of this incredible location.
Blending many different designs and architectural styles, including Art Nouveau and Gothic, this synagogue is thoroughly unique and unequivocally beautiful to every observer.
There are two shrines that make up the Kamo Shrine, which is located in the north of Kyoto on the banks of the Kamo River.
The shrines were actually built as a way of preventing demons from entering the city and host the Aoi Matsuri, also known as the Hollyhock Festival, which is one of the oldest festivals in Japan.
A very unique religious structure, Stonehenge is one of the most iconic locations on Earth, and one of the most visited ancient sites in all of the United Kingdom is located in Wiltshire.
The history of this location is still a mystery in many ways, but it was used as a religious place for druids, with modern druids still celebrating various events at Stonehenge to this day.
Located in the little Arizona city of Sedona, the Chapel of the Holy Cross almost seems like an otherworldly extension of the surrounding red rock formations that have become synonymous with Arizona over the years.
Constructed in 1956, this little chapel is well known for its unique style and location and was designed by a local rancher called Marguerite Staude who took inspiration from the Empire State Building.
One of the most prominent synagogues in all of Europe, the Subotica Synagogue is one of the most important buildings for Judaism in Europe. It is located in the north of Serbia, not far from the border with Hungary.
It was actually built in a Hungarian ‘Art Nouveau’ style, with lots of curved edges and bold colors giving it a beautiful sense of style.
As you roam the valleys and wilderness of Colombia, the last thing you would expect to see is a Neo-Gothic cathedral, but that’s precisely what you’ll find in Narino.
Located right above the Guaitara River, this fantastic Roman Catholic basilica stands in stark contrast to the soft green tones of vegetation all around it with its distinctive, decorative design.
If you observe the city of Quetzaltenango, you’ll see one building that immediately stands out among the sea of browns and greys that dominate much of the cityscape: the Church of San Andres Xecul.
Featuring a lot of bright colors, this church is decorated with close to 200 individually painted sculptures that fuse together images from both Christianity and the ancient Mayan faith to create a totally unique amalgamation of religious iconography.
Situated right in the heart of Isfahan, this incredible mosque is home to hundreds of years of history, dating all the way back to the 8th and 9th centuries.
It’s also known as the Jameh Mosque and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was initially used as a religious location for followers of the Zoroastrianism faith, which is one of the world’s oldest religions.
A Lutheran church in the Icelandic capital city of Reykjavik, Hallgrimskirkja is one of the country’s most recognizable structures and also one of its tallest, reaching a maximum height of 244 feet.
It was named in honor of an Icelandic poet called Hallgrimur Petursson. The style of Hallgrimskirkja is similar to the Grundtvig’s Church in Denmark.
Located in the city of Barcelona, La Sagrada Familiar is actually still under construction. It’s a Roman Catholic church that was designed by Antoni Gaudi, who died in 1926.
The Spanish Civil War and other key events in history interrupted the construction of this church, which is only technically a little over halfway complete.
A religious structure unlike any other, the Akshardham Temple is one of the most beautiful buildings in all of India. The level of detail and depth in the design of this temple is extraordinary.
Workers made use of ancient methods to carve and engrave around 20,000 different figures and creatures into the exterior walls and pillars of this temple, giving visitors many images to admire.
Located in Lalibela in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia, the Church of St George is a fascinating religious location and one of many monolithic churches to be found in the area.
Made from one big piece of stone, the church almost appears to be sunk down into the depths of the Earth and was allegedly built after the ruler at the time had a vision from God.
Japan is well known for its modern metropolis of Tokyo and futuristic lifestyle, but is also home to some of the most ancient and beautiful religious buildings anywhere on Earth, with USA Jingu being a perfect example.
Dedicated to Hachiman, who is the Shinto god of war, this beautiful shrine was constructed over a thousand years ago in the 8th century.
Italy is home to hundreds of beautiful churches and cathedrals, with many dating back hundreds of years, but the Florence Cathedral is one of the most beautiful and awe-inspiring of them all.
Designed by Renaissance master Filippo Brunelleschi, the cathedral stands as an iconic landmark for the city of Florence and is best known for its vast dome.
Even people who have no affiliation with Islam should be familiar with this location. It’s the most critical place in the world for followers of the religion, with the Grand Mosque being the biggest mosque on the planet.
The Grand Mosque is home to many essential items and sites for followers of Islam including the Black Stone, a rock that allegedly dates all the way back to the creation of the world.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this fantastic temple was built in honor of Virupaksha, which is a form of the Hindu God, Shiva. It dates back many hundreds of years.
This temple is part of a large complex which features many different shrines, halls, carved pillars, courtyards, and other structures. It’s the site of various festivals, including an annual chariot festival.
No visit to Cambodia can be complete without a trip to Angkor Wat. Dating back many centuries, this colossal structure is one of the most prominent religious sites on the planet.
It was initially built as a Hindu temple in honor of the god Vishnu but was later transformed into a Buddhist temple.
Also known just as the Pinkas Synagogue, this is one of the oldest synagogues in the city of Prague and has a fascinating history as it was initially used as a public bathhouse.
Nowadays, the Pinkasova Synagogue features a special exhibition with the names of all the Czech-based Holocaust victims written down on the interior walls.
Another beautiful synagogue, Uzhgorod Synagogue is situated in Western Ukraine. It was built over a hundred years ago and was designed in an attractive Romantic style.
Despite technically being a synagogue, this building is actually used as a concert hall nowadays, with almost all Jewish iconography having been removed over the years.
Situated in the iconic Red Square of Moscow, St Basil’s Cathedral is one of the most iconic buildings associated with Russia due to its exceptionally colorful and decorative exterior and interior.
It was built way back in the 1500s and designed to be an image of heaven on Earth. Nowadays, it’s used as a museum rather than a place of worship.
There are many beautiful mosques to be found all over the world, especially in the Middle East, with Nasir Al-Molk being a stunning example with its amazing stained glass windows.
The windows and detailed architecture of this mosque really help it stand out as a prime symbol of the Islamic faith, and it is even nicknamed ‘Pink Mosque’ due to its colorful style.
This temple actually looks a lot older than it seems. It was only built in the 1960s in Hawaii, but the design is based on a similar temple located just outside Kyoto, Japan, which is almost a thousand years old.
This temple was built in 1968 to honor the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the first ever Japanese immigrants on Hawaiian soil.
If you happen to be flying over the Israeli city of Tel Aviv and notice what seems to be a gigantic clam or seashell sitting in the center of the town, it’s actually Hechal Yehuda Synagogue.
One of several hundred synagogues in the city, this location was designed in honor of the seashells of Thessaloniki in Greece, which is where the architect was from.
Jerusalem is one of the most significant religious cities of them all for some different faiths and is home to some of the most iconic and inspiring religious structures on the planet.
Al-Aqsa mosque is a perfect example, being one of the holiest sites in all of Islam and a key pilgrimage location for those wishing to explore and connect with their faith.
Looking more like a fantasy castle from a fairy tale than an old place of worship, the Church of the Assumption sits on a little island in the middle of Lake Bled, Slovenia.
The backdrop of forests and mountains, combined with the shimmering blue waters of the lake itself lend a mystical, otherworldly aura to this particular religious location.
Located in Tel Aviv and constructed back in the 1920s, this synagogue is situated right in the heart of the business and finance center of the city.
The building isn’t actually used by too many people as a place of worship, but its unique architectural style makes it a famous landmark for Tel Aviv visitors and residents alike.
Also known under the name of ‘Tiger’s Nest,’ the Paro Taktsang is a Himalayan Buddhist temple that perches neatly and elegantly on the side of a cliff in the Paro Valley of Bhutan.
The temple complex dates all the way back to the 17th century and has been a cultural and religious icon for the country of Bhutan ever since.
By far one of the most elegant and luxuriously decorated religious locations on the planet, the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in the United Arab Emirates capital city.
It’s the biggest mosque in the nation and is also one of the largest on the planet, capable of holding tens of thousands of people at any one time.
Located in the Czech Republic capital city of Prague, the Jubilee Synagogue is another significant location for Jews in Europe and is perhaps even prettier on the inside than the outside.
The interior of this synagogue features Art Nouveau design, with lots of bright, bold colors on the walls and decorative patterns from top to bottom.