Praycation Destination: five sacred spots
Tuesday 14, September 2010
The Pope visits the UK this week, with millions across the country expected to turn out to catch a glimpse of the first papal visit to the UK since Pope John Paul II’s six-day tour in 1982.
With plans for Mallorca to offer Europe’s first Christian theme park where visitors will be able to enjoy such holy attractions as ‘live resurrections’ and the last supper, flight comparison site Skyscanner reveals five top ‘praycation’ destinations!
Mecca, Saudi Arabia
This Saudi Arabian city hosts the largest annual pilgrimage in the world where some two million pilgrims come to participate in ‘Haji’. Here, each person walks counter-clockwise seven times around the Ka’bah, a cube shaped building at the centre of the Masjid al-Hraram, the largest mosque in the world, creating incredible scenes as the pilgrims jostle for space.
Bethlehem, West Bank
This biblical city in the West Bank is hugely important playing host to many holy sites, including the Church of Nativity which is considered the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth and considered sacred by both Christians and Muslims.
Turin Shroud, Turin, Italy
This linen cloth which bears the image of a man who appears to have suffered from crucifixion is said by some to be the actual cloth which was placed on the body of Jesus Christ at the time of his burial. Thousands of pilgrims flock to Turin to see the shroud, when it periodically goes on display to the public at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
The Vatican, Rome, Italy
The Pope may be on tour in the UK this week, but visitors flock to his home in the Vatican City in huge numbers each year. Established in 1929, this walled enclave in Rome has an official population of 800 but employs 2,000 people, many of whom work in its museums and art galleries, which include some of the finest art collections in the world. The Vatican is the only state in the world to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in its entirety.
The Holy Land Experience, Orlando, USA
For those looking for a family-friendly religious experience, The Holy Land Experience is a theme park with a difference – there are no rides, and the exhibits and attractions focus on biblical themes. The $15m, 15 acre attraction features the world’s largest indoor model of Jerusalem, a replica of the Garden Tomb where Jesus’ body was laid to rest and a Last Supper Communion where guests can partake of the last supper with Jesus and disciplines. There are future plans to upgrade the attraction by adding a film studio to produce Christian films.
More and more travellers think that researching and planning a European city break is half the fun and they're not interested in pre-arranged trips or escorted tours. Self-guided tours offer a lot of advantages but require some guidance and good resources.
With the recent wild fires, disrupting flights and increasing air pollution, environmental quality is a growing factor in attracting tourists.
The hotel price comparison site www.trivago.co.uk has put together a list of the fifteen most spectacular hotel rooftop terraces in the world.