We’ve shared with you some of our favourite celebrity homes, buildings that offer the best view in the city, whether it’s Rome or Paris, Toronto or Machu Picchu, and now we’re going to share with you the Holy Grail of places of worship from all around the world.
Designing places of worship is considered one of the oldest forms of architecture and this post is paying homage to the beautiful synagogues, temples, churches and mosques that have really caught our eye in one way or another.
1/Sakirin Mosque, Turkey
Undoubtedly Turkey has several mosques that have caught our eye for their beauty, including the Blue Mosque, but the Sakini Mosque stands out the most to us. If the name sounds familiar it might be because Sakini Mosque is rumoured to be the first mosque ever to be designed by a team of women – including interior designer Zeynep Fadillioglu, who has designed shops, restaurants and luxury hotels in the past.
The Mosque is a beauty and combines a contemporary design with traditional Ottoman design including the dome, minarets and a courtyard. However, it’s the interior design that really has us in awe. Think beautiful, and an almost futuristic design with a very large prayer area for both men and women, and a funky Minbar (used by the Imam to deliver sermons). The mosque is also adorned with Quranic verses and the names of Allah – as are most mosques.
2/ Thorncrown Chapel, United States
There are so many beautiful churches in the world, from the Sagrada Familia in Spain to St. Peter’s Basilica in Italy, but the Thorncrown Chapel really had us saying “WOW!”
Located right amongst the Ozark Mountains near Eureka Springs in Arkansas, this beautiful church stands 48 feet tall with 425 windows, and over 6,000 square feet of glass. It’s a sight to behold, that’s for sure, but it’s also open for daily visitation, weddings and Sunday services, and has been since 1980 when the Chapel first opened. Over six million people have visited this little chapel – crazy, right?
Take a virtual tour and see for yourself why the Thorncrown Chapel has won numerous awards.
3/ Great Synagogue of Rome, Italy
When it comes to synagogues, there is no traditional design or format that architects and designers have to follow. We’ve seen the SoHo Synagogue which is (as expected) “modern, young, clean-lined, and cool,” and the beautiful and colourful Jubilee Synagogue. It was hard to choose our favourite, but we can’t help but love the historical Great Synagogue of Rome!
The Great Synagogue of Rome (or Tempio Maggiore di Roma, as the locals call it) is one of the greatest in all of Europe. Constructed shortly after the unification of Italy in 1870, when Rome became part of Italy and the Jewish community was granted citizenship.
What catches our eye every time we visit Rome is the beautiful squared aluminum dome – the only in the city, and easily identifiable.
4/ Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar
This Buddhist temple is hard to miss and that could be because it’s GOLD and stands super tall at 98 meters! It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda for the people of Burma and the oldest, having existed for more than 2,600 years. It also has relics of the past four Buddhas enshrined within the pagoda – including eight strands of hair from the historical Buddha, Gautama.
The Shwedagon Pagoda has been rebuilt many, many times because of earthquakes. The Pagoda we see today was constructed back in 1769, and has undergone a few changes and renovations since then.
There are so many more beautiful places of worship that we wanted to include in the list, including the Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) in India, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Dubai along with many others. Maybe we’ll do a part two later this year!
What other places of worship do you think we should we include on the list? Leave us a comment or tweet it to us.