Travelers will find religious attractions related with our country’s history in every corner of the United States. Religious museums and old churches are the most popular. There’s even a religious theme park in Central Florida.
The following are ten destinations of particular appeal to religious travellers:
Library Of Billy Graham
The Billy Graham Library is the best place to learn about Billy Graham’s life and work. It’s built on a 20-acre site near Graham’s childhood home in Charlotte, N.C., and is modelled after a dairy barn with a cross-shaped entrance. The library is a tribute to Billy Graham’s evangelistic labour, which spanned more than 50 years of ministry and reached more than 215 million individuals in over 185 countries throughout the world.
Through multimedia displays, images, and other memorabilia, visitors to the library can retrace Graham’s evangelical journey. They also get an up-close look at Graham’s past by viewing the meticulously renovated home where he grew up.
Museum Of Creation
The Creation Exhibition, a 70,000-square-foot building with a two-story museum and a gorgeous outdoor garden, brings biblical stories to life. The museum, which is located in Petersburg, Kentucky, aims to present a fresh perspective on biblical history. The museum’s interior is divided into specially designed rooms that allow visitors to engage with the museum’s 160 exhibits. The wonders of creation, the tragedy of the fall, the life and mission of Jesus, and his promise for the future will all be depicted creatively.
Murals, animatronic dinosaurs, and life-size humans, as well as the two-story dinosaur display, the fossil exhibit, the exotic animal petting zoo, the botanical garden, and a mile-long nature trail. Visitors are taken on an imaginary adventure including dinosaurs, dragons, the six days of creation, and more in the special effects theatre, which is equipped with rumbling chairs and mist machines. Visitors who want to learn more can join weekly workshops and special programmes.
Experience In The Holy Land
Visitors to the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Fla., get the opportunity to interact with the sights and sounds of the biblical period. The structures and displays depict the Holy City’s architecture, environment, and way of life during Christ’s time. The Garden Tomb, Qumran Dead Sea Caves, Great Temple and Plaza, and Wilderness Tabernacle are all meticulously described, allowing visitors to acquire a new perspective on their biblical significance. The six-story, brilliant white-and-gold temple, which was the heart of religious life in Jerusalem, sits behind the Temple Plaza, which holds musicals, presentations, and other events. Visitors can enjoy 21st-century facilities such as restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes while immersed in the ancient world.
The beautiful Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California, combines contemporary architecture’s inventiveness and sophistication with the splendour and grandeur of mediaeval cathedrals. The cathedral, created by architect Phillip Johnson and having 10,000 panes of glass, is a stunning representation of light and space as well as grandeur and intimacy, and is recognised as an architectural treasure. The international Crystal Cathedral Ministries, which has a congregation of over 10,000 people, is housed at the mega-church. It’s best known for its “Hour of Power” programme, which featured founding Pastor Robert H. Schuller, who recently resigned from the church’s board of directors following internal strife and the selling of the cathedral to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange County in bankruptcy. There are three years left for Crystal Cathedral Ministries to locate a new home.
Church Of The Trinity
Trinity Church, in the Lower Manhattan neighbourhood of New York City, is an Episcopal parish with ties to the Anglican Communion. Trinity Church, which stands among the tallest structures on Broadway at Wall Street, was completed in 1697 and restored in 1788 after a fire in 1776. The 280-foot spire was the city’s tallest point and a landmark for ships at sea until the 1860s.
The Wycliffe Discovery Center in Orlando, Florida, is a faith-based institution that allows guests to have a unique Bible experience. The facility is named after John Wycliffe, an English scholar who translated the Bible into common language in the 14th century. The discovery centre allows visitors to learn about the Bible’s history, language and cultural difficulties, and continuing Bible translation work through multimedia presentations, computer games and simulations, and hands-on activities. The Cafe Karibuni serves lunch and snacks, while the Village Shop sells one-of-a-kind items and missionary supplies.
Maltz Jewish Heritage Museum
The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Cleveland opened in 2005 with the goal of developing tolerance and understanding through the sharing of Jewish heritage from an American perspective. Artworks, films, interactive displays, oral histories, and other artefacts bring the tales of individuals and families from the past and present to life. The structure is composed of golden Jerusalem limestone, which was mined and sculpted by hand in southern Israel.
The museum is split into seven themed zones, each of which tells a different portion of the storey: from immigration through assimilation, successes and tragedies, and all the culture and religion that came with it. Cleveland’s Jewish immigrants and their contributions to the city’s history are also highlighted.
In The Smokies With Christ
The Christ in the Smokies Museum and Gardens in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, has life-size replicas of key episodes from Jesus Christ’s life. The museum provides a unique experience for visitors as they travel through the Biblical era of 2,000 years ago, using life-size statues, dramatic lighting, music, and special effects. A Christ sculpture, antique coins, and priceless gems are all included in the trips. A broad selection of inspiring products is available in the gift shop.
Cultural Center Of Pope John Paul
The Pope John Paul Cultural Center in Washington, D.C., which was established to house a Roman Catholic museum and think tank, was designed to investigate the intersection of faith and culture through museum exhibitions, scholarly conversations, and interactive displays. The centre was placed up for sale due to financial difficulties. Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, the world’s biggest Roman Catholic fraternal service organisation, revealed plans to buy the centre in August 2011 and turn it into a shrine and museum dedicated to Pope John Paul II’s life.
The shrine is open to the public on a limited basis while new museum exhibitions on Blessed John Paul II’s life and work, as well as Catholic heritage in North America, are being built.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the shrine offers Mass. During Pope Benedict XVI’s 2008 visit to Washington, visitors can see the kneeler where he prayed.
Square Of The Temple
Temple Square in Salt Lake City is the world headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and one of Utah’s most popular tourist destinations. The square is run in part by hundreds of volunteers and missionaries and is open every day of the year. Visitors to Temple Square’s 35 acres will find that a day isn’t long enough to see over 15 attractions and unique events while immersed in Mormon history and heritage.
Historic landmarks, special exhibits, art displays, films, and parks and gardens are all featured in free guided tours and presentations on the square. The world’s largest genealogy library and the renowned Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra are among the other attractions. Restaurants and other catering options are available to make your visit even more memorable.
The Bible Museum
The Museum of the Bible, which opened in November 2017, allows visitors to experience the Bible in a completely new way. The museum, which is located in Washington, DC, has six levels with varied displays that attempt to study the Bible’s narrative, history, and significance. Visitors can walk over the Red Sea on land, enjoy biblically inspired food, see remarkable artefacts from the Vatican and Israel, and learn about the Bible’s influence on American culture. A rooftop garden, a ballroom, cafés, and a 500-seat amphitheatre are all available at the museum.
Cathedral Of St. Patrick
St. Patrick’s Cathedral was built in 1879 to replace a prior cathedral and is now the home of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York’s archbishop. In 1976, the cathedral was also recognised as a historic site.
Temple Emanu-El was the city’s first Reform Jewish congregation, and it has been a vital part of the Reform movement since its founding in 1845. The congregation began with 33 Jewish families and has now grown to include approximately 2,250 Jewish homes.
The temple’s architecture is a mix of styles, ranging from Romanesque with lancet windows to Byzantine with a double-domed ceiling. Its size is comparable to that of Europe’s largest synagogues, such as the Grand Choral Synagogue of St. Petersburg and the Moscow Choral Synagogue.
This 200-year-old Roman Catholic church near Santa Fe is considered one of the country’s most important Catholic pilgrimage centres. The traditional Easter pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayó originated when US soldiers and sailors fighting during the Bataan Death March prayed to Santo Nio for deliverance.
Every year, around 300,000 people travel to the shrine to seek blessings or to fulfil a pledge. Visitors also come in the hopes of receiving a miraculous healing from the “holy soil” found in el pocito, a small room on the premises.