What makes a place sacred?
Émile Durkheim, one of the founders of modern sociology, believed it was society. The collective conscience of a community comes together to touch certain mountains, trees, buildings and other ordinary objects and infuse them with a divine power, setting them apart for holy purposes.
Our world is filled with natural wonders, churches, synagogues, mosques, pilgrimage sites and other places where people have experienced the power of God and of community.
Here are 50 awe-inspiring sacred sites that you must experience in your lifetime.
*Visit sites marked with an asterisk with extra caution and reverence -- our research indicates that there may be tension between indigenous people and national governments about who should have access to these sacred spots.
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