Every year millions of people travel to see the Vatican. But Rome is not the end-all for religious tourism. Dozens of religiously significant cities and sacred shrines dot the vast and ancient landscape of Europe.
The following list spotlights some of the most visited holy places on the continent, from its western seaboard to its eastern boundaries:
1. Fatima, Portugal
The Chapel of the Apparitions is built on the site of a Marian apparition that appeared before three peasant children in 1917....
On September 16-21, four travel wholesalers specializing in religious tourism and a trade press journalist from the United States visited the four national shrines of Québec: Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal, Our Lady of the Cape, Saint Anthony’s Hermitage of Lac-Bouchette, and the Shrine of Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré. They also learned about the tourist areas of Montreal, Quebec, Mauricie and Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean.
“I truly enjoyed visiting the shrines of Quebec. I was moved by...
The Midwest is surprisingly full of destinations for religious travelers. Historic churches, shrines and even a biblical wax museum help add to the spiritual appeal of this region.
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis is known for its elaborate mosaics that stretch over 83,000 square feet and depict scenes from the Old and New Testament as well as the life of St. Louis, the church’s namesake. The interior contains roughly 41.5 million pieces of glass. The stainless steel sculpture...
Religious tour groups will find a wealth of faith-based attractions and entertainment throughout the American West. Here is a sampling of five popular destinations that abound with both religious and secular sights:
Salt Lake City
Salt Lake City is a place built around Mormonism. In 1847 Brigham Young led a group of followers west in search of a place to worship without persecution. Upon seeing the area at the foot of the Wasatch Mountains and along the Great Salt Lake, he announced, “This is...
Palestine is at the heart of religious tourism in the Middle East. Beautiful, historic and scenic, Palestine offers an unforgettable experience with its abundance of religious travel sites.
Bethlehem is home to the Church of the Nativity, one of the most important holy sites in Christianity and one of the oldest churches in the world. See the Grotto of the Nativity with its large silver star in the floor; the star indicates the believed birthplace of Christ. Enter the Grotto of the...
It’s not the dusty, sleepy biblical village you may have pictured, but the congested Israeli city of 80,000 nonetheless captivates Christian pilgrims from around the world.
Now a regional commercial hub, Nazareth was the site of the first Christian event some 2,000 years ago. Here in this town nestled in the pastoral Galilean hills, the angel Gabriel, sent from God, told the Virgin Mary: “And behold, you will conceive in your womb and...