Touring Religious Attractions And Landmarks By Alden Smith

Many people of the older generation are devoutly religious. In this world, there are many beautiful and historical religious landmarks to be visited. Now that seniors travel more, what better place to go than the religious centers of the world? Combined with a vacation to different locations of the world, it is a fine chance for people to see the roots of their religion. We discuss here religious attractions and landmarks of the world, and list ways to access them.

Famous Religious Landmarks

Around the world, especially in Europe and the Far East, some of the finest religious architecture can be found. Speak to anyone of any religion about the famous cathedrals and temples of their faith, and you can quickly put together an itinerary of places to go. India, for example, has temples and shrines dating back hundreds of years, including Buddhist and Jain temples. Traveling in Europe, a must-see is the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the main basilicas in Rome, Italy. You cannot go to Rome without visiting the Vatican, nor visit Saint Peter’s Basilica, one of four major basilicas of Rome.

The temples of Islam are some of the most beautiful in the world. The Masjid-i Shah in Isfahan has a beautiful emerald green dome, and intricate scrollwork.

Traveling to the Far East, there are many religious landmarks. In China, you shouldn’t miss the Shaolin Temple, which is home to a martial arts discipline that is world famous. In Shanghai, visit the Jade Buddha Temple, the Hall of Heavenly Kings, Great Treasure Hall and 10,000 Buddhas Hall.

Closer To Home

One of the most famous churches in the United States is The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. The church was begun in 1892 and is now two-thirds completed. St Patrick’s Cathedral on 5th Ave is a must-see. Visit Trinity on Broadway & Wall — Alexander Hamilton and Robert Fulton are buried adjacent to each other in its church yard. In Salt Lake City, visit the Mormon Tabernacle in Temple Square.

Getting There

We’ve looked at religious centers; now let’s look at how to get there.

Holy Land – Escorted Christian Tours is a good place for seniors to start. The trips are seasonal – October and November – so plan ahead. The tour is 8-10 days in length. They visit Israel and Egypt, and can accomodate up to 50 people. Airfare is included in the package. Some highlights are a tour of the Rift Valley running parallel to the Jordan along the route Jesus most frequently traveled to Jerusalem. Other places visited are the Upper Room, Mount of Zion and The Mount of Olives. In Bethlehem you visit the Church of the Nativity, the Manger, Crusader’s Cloister and the Grotto of St. Jerome. Visit them on the web.

Tours to European cathedrals are offered through Globus Tours, who serves Britain and Ireland, Holland, Iceland and Scandinavia, Germany, Austria and France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, Morocco, Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean. Airfare and accommodations are handled by the tour group. A normal stay is 2 nights in each location.

Tours of churches and cathedrals in the United States are varied and many. A search of the internet will reveal these tours for just about any destination you desire. An example is Pittsburgh Neighborhood Tours, which lists in its itinerary 14 different churches to visit, including Old St. Patrick’s Church and The Priory Hotel.

Ed Mauger, who is the founder of Philadelphia on Foot, has a unique itinerary for people wishing to visit specific destinations in Philadelphia.

Boston has long been home to churches of historical interest. There are many famous churches there, and a big slice of history to boot. Visit the Old North Church, made famous by Paul Revere’s ride. Trinity Church in the Back Bay is often cited as one of the top architectural beautiful sites in the nation.

In New York City, the famous churches can be seen through guided tours. There is a lot of church history in this great town. Visit the beauty of such places as The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, the Eldridge Street Synagogue, and Abyssinian Baptist Church, which is the first black church in NYC.

There is something for everyone, at every price. Visiting these famous places is no harder than doing a search on the Internet. Visit these places on your next vacation, and don’t forget to take along the camera!

For more information, see our senior travel articles.

Alden Smith is an award winning author and regular contributor to He writes on a variety of subjects, and excels in research.

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