Believers and nonbelievers alike can appreciate the architectural prowess and artistic splendor of these holy monuments.
St. Basil's Cathedral, Russia
Also known as the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, this colorful church is found in Moscow's Red Square. Now acting mainly as a museum with occasional religious services, St. Basil's Cathedral is an unparalleled architectural curiosity.
With its Disneyland-like shape, onion domes and intricate design, the cathedral is probably Moscow's most intriguing and fascinating oddity.
© Viacheslav Lopatin/123RF
Church of San Andrés Xecul, Guatemala
This Catholic church is probably one of the most fun-looking and psychedelic religious sites in the world. The bright yellow facade, the striped dome and the colorful sculptures of humans, animals, angels and even fruit give the church a festive and jovial look.
This one-of-a-kind monument fuses Mayan, Christian and agricultural imagery, faithfully representing the local folklore and mirroring Guatemala's multifaceted culture.
© Tiago Lopes Fernandez/123RF
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, United Arab Emirates
The ubiquitous white, geometric patterns and impressive domes give the mosque a look that is both timeless and modern. This place of worship situated in Abu Dhabi was designed by Syrian architect Yousef Abdelky, and merges multiple architectural traditions, including Arab, Moorish and Persian.
Objects from all over the world were imported to embellish the mosque, notably chandeliers made of Swarovski crystals from Germany and the world's largest carpet from Iran. Gold, marble and semi-precious stones can also be found embedded in different parts of the monument.
© Luciano Mortula/123RF
Paro Taktsang, Bhutan
Nestled in the Himalayan mountains, this superb gravity-defying Buddhist temple is one of Bhutan's most emblematic cultural sites. Located on a cliffside, the remote monastery is built around a cave that is known for having been Padmasambhava's meditation spot, the illustrious figure who brought Buddhism to Bhutan.
The temple's beautifully decorated interior is as captivating as the monument's awe-inspiring exterior, with its breathtaking view of the Paro Valley.
Subotica Synagogue, Serbia
Built in the Art Nouveau artistic tradition at the start of the 20th century, the second largest synagogue in Europe is considered to be one of the most impressive renditions of fin-de-siècle architectural innovation in the Habsburg Empire.
The monument's central dome is a particularly avant-garde construction, entirely self-supportive and magnificently decorated. Evoking both Byzantine and Florentine architecture, this Serbian synagogue has combined many influences to create its own unique style.
© Ioan Florin Cnejevici/123RF