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From time immemorial people have built monuments and places of worship for their Gods. Special places were they can communicate clearly with their creator without interuptions of the daily world. These places of pilgrimage have strong and special attractions and magnetisum that draw people to them from far and near.


Convent of Christ in Tomar, Portugal: Originally designed as a monument symbolizing the Reconquest, the Convent of the Knights Templar of Tomar came to symbolize just the opposite during the Manueline period – the opening up of Portugal to other civilizations. In 1160 the building of the castle was started. The land (like many more around Southern Europe) was given by the Portuguese king to the Order of the Knights Templar, in return for their support against the Moors. The convent was added later, as an extension to the castle. The Templar Order was dissolved in 1312 but their property in Portugal was transferred to the Order of Christ which was created in 1319. This new military order would undertake an important role in Portuguese overseas expansion in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Ward's LakeEuphrasian Basilica at Porec, Croatia: The group of religious monuments in Porec, where Christianity was established as early as the 4th century, constitutes the most complete surviving complex of its type. The basilica, atrium, baptistery and episcopal palace are outstanding examples of religious architecture, while the basilica itself combines classical and Byzantine elements in an exceptional manner.

UmiumChurches of Peace in Jawor and Swidnica, Poland: The Churches of Peace in Jawor and Swidnica, the largest timber-framed religious buildings in Europe, were built in the former Silesia in the mid-17th century, amid the religious strife that followed the Peace of Westphalia. Constrained by the physical and political conditions, the Churches of Peace bear testimony to the quest for religious freedom and are a rare expression of Lutheran ideology in an idiom generally associated with the Catholic Church.

Ward's LakeRoskilde Cathedral, Denmark: Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, this was Scandinavia's first Gothic cathedral to be built of brick and it encouraged the spread of this style throughout northern Europe. It has been the mausoleum of the Danish royal family since the 15th century. Porches and side chapels were added up to the end of the 19th century. Thus it provides a clear overview of the development of European religious architecture.

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sohpetbneng peakRock-hewn Churches, Lalibela, Ethiopia: The 11 medieval monolithic cave churches of this 13th-century 'New Jerusalem' are situated in a mountainous region in the heart of Ethiopia near a traditional village with circular-shaped dwellings. Lalibela is a high place of Ethiopian Christianity, still today a place of pilmigrage and devotion.

Ward's LakeAmiens Cathedral, France: Amiens Cathedral, in the heart of Picardy, is one of the largest 'classic' Gothic churches of the 13th century. It is notable for the coherence of its plan, the beauty of its three-tier interior elevation and the particularly fine display of sculptures on the principal facade and in the south transept.


UmiumBagrati Cathedral and Gelati Monastery, Georgia: The construction of Bagrati Cathedral, named after Bagrat III, the first king of united Georgia, started at the end of the 10th century and was completed in the early years of the 11th century. Although partly destroyed by the Turks in 1691, its ruins still lie in the centre of Kutaisi. The Gelati Monastery, whose main buildings were erected between the 12th and 17th centuries, is a well-preserved complex, with wonderful mosaics and wall paintings. The cathedral and monastery represent the flowering of medieval architecture in Georgia.

Ward's LakePaleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessalonika, Greece: Founded in 315 B.C., the provincial capital and sea port of Thessalonika was one of the first bases for the spread of Christianity. Among its Christian monuments are fine churches, some built on the Greek cross plan and others on the three-nave basilica plan. Constructed over a long period, from the 4th to the 15th century, they constitute a diachronic typological series, which had considerable influence in the Byzantine world. The mosaics of the rotunda, St Demetrius and St David are among the great masterpieces of early Christian art.

UmiumBaroque Churches, Philippines: These four churches, the first of which was built by the Spanish in the late 16th century, are located in Manila, Santa Maria, Paoay and Miag-ao. Their unique architectural style is a reinterpretation of European Baroque by Chinese and Philippine craftsmen. Immaculate Conception: District of Intramuros, City of Manila Nuestra Senora: Municipality of Santa Maria, Province of Ilocos Sur San Agustin: Municipality of Paoay, Province of Ilocos Norte Santo Tomas: Municipality of Miag-ao, Province of Iloilo


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