You have never seen such astonishing and beautiful monasteries
We gathered unbelievably amazing and marvelous monasteries that will take your breath away. You can't miss it!
In the past monasteries were of such great importance that they were even put on the map. Since then, monastic cloisters have disappeared from maps but still play important roles as both spiritual centers and historic monuments. Let's see these magical places and check if you know some of them!
#1 Paro Taktsang, Bhutan
This monastery stands on the edge of a cliff, competing with clouds. Paro Taktsang is about three kilometers above the sea level and about 700 meters above the mountain river Paro. This place is incredibly beautiful but the beauty of it is not original: 20 years ago, the monastery burned to the ground and later a detailed copy was reconstructed in its place.
#2 Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Lost in the jungle, Angkor Wat was slowly fading and dying and would have disappeared in the end if not for the Frenchman Henri Muo. This passionate Asian traveler accidentally found this amazing place in the jungles (it's believed that Henri got lost in them). Later he described the monastery in his book. Thanks to the release of this work, the world has discovered the Angkor Wat, a sacred Buddhist monastery.
#3 The Solovetsky monastery, Russia
The monastery is located on the Solovetsky Islands - a mysterious and secret place... The monastery saw rebellions, sieges, prisoners of labor camps, which took place in Soviet Russia. No wonder that on its territory there are long underground tunnels up to six kilometers, which were used to provide the monks with water or to leave the monastery during a siege.
#4 Meteora Monastery, Greece
Meteora is almost an impregnable fortress. Consisting of 24 temples, the monastery was built on pillars of Sandstone rocks some of which reach 600 meters. For thousands of years from 10th to 20th century, the only way to the monastery was a rope ladder. Later trails were paved. Today only six churches survived but they are striking in their power.
#5 Le Mont Saint-Michel, France
The monastery wasn't built at once: it took 500 years to give it a final look. Spreading over an area of 55 000 square meters the monastery occupies the whole island. Today it is home to a few dozen of people. The monastery is really popular - up to three million tourists who come every year.
#6 Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery, Barma
Nga Phe Kyaung exists for 170 years and is famous not only as water based monastery but also as a place with cat rides. The monastery was saved from starvation and neglect by the abbot U Kay Tee, who decided to go into training cats. He did it so well that now all the visitors want to watch how happy and adorable cats jump through rings.
#7 Westminster Abbey, London
Being one of the symbols of the UK, this monastery is officially the main church of the country. It's the place where the kings ascend the throne and the place where they are buried. However, there you can also find outstanding artists, writers and musicians. In the so-called poets' area Chaucer and Dickens are buried. The construction of the monastery took five centuries and today Westminster Abbey is included in the world heritage list.
#8 The Ganden Sumtsenling Monastery, Tibet
This monastery is considered to be the most beautiful of all monasteries existing now. Like many other amazing buildings it is situated on a mountain. The Ganden Sumtsenling Monastery is 600 years old and its main aim is to glorify Maitreya, the Buddha of this Age.
#9 Osiou Gregoriou monastery, Greece
Gregoriou monastery is one of the twenty monasteries located on the Athos Peninsula. To visit this place as the entire territory of the monastic Republic is possible only with a special visa. This is considered to be the most beautiful monastery of those which are situated on Mount Athos. Lying on the sea-shore it is deceptively similar to a beautiful city but instead of ordinary citizens there are monks.
#10 Sumela Monastery, Turkey
Another rocky monastery is believed to have grown in the 4th century A.D. The legend says that the monks who were sent from Athens saw a huge rock and for some reason decided that this is it, the perfect place for a monastery. Most of the rooms are inside the rock, surrounded by massive thousand-year trees. Today Sumela is a museum and the monastery is no longer there.
Have you ever been to any of them? Which place do you like the most? Share your opinion in the comments below!
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