Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Best 5 Religious Sites You Must Visit in London

The capital city of London offers travellers some fabulous examples of religious architecture and styles from different world religions. From Protestant cathedrals to Jewish synagogues and Hindu temples, a leisure tourist can explore all in London. London is a multicultural city, and impresses travellers with a variety of historic buildings and religious landmarks. When planning a stay at Central London hotels, make sure you visit these religious destinations in the city.

Read on to know more about religious sites you must visit during your trip to London:

St Paul's Cathedral

Probably the most historic and impressive site in London, St Paul’s Cathedral attracts a hordes of visitors every year. Located in the City, this religious attraction acts as a prime meeting place for people and ideas. It is also regarded as a great centre for learning, arts, and public debate. Here you can explore several parts of Cathedral, including Golden Gallery and the underground Crypt. This elegant underground Crypt features tombs and memorials of historic luminaries, such as Duke of Wellington and Admiral Lord Nelson. The choir here extends towards the East of the Cathedral dome. This choir features great organ, commissioned in 1694, with 7,189 pipes and 138 stops.

Buddhapadipa Temple

Wat Buddhapadipa Temple is an authentic Buddhist Temple, covering 4 acres of land in Wimbledon. This temple boasts a small grove, an orchard, an attractive lake, and a flower garden. You can visit the holy place, Uposatha or Shrine Hall to be a part of all Buddhist activities and ceremonies. The walls inside this hall depict Thai mural paintings, highlighting Lord Buddha’s lifetime. Doorframes and windows here are made using gold leaf gilded teak timbers and have beautiful coloured glass. From Monday to Friday, you can visit temple grounds, and on weekends worship at main temple. 

Westminster Cathedral

Nestled between chic shops and cafes near Houses of Parliament, Westminster Cathedral is a neo-Byzantine Roman Catholic Church in London. You can see a huge campanile here, emerging up to 274 feet into the sky. Church exteriors feature terracotta coloured bricks, while certain parts of its interior are still poignantly bare. Walk up to magnificent campanile, if you wish to have splendid views of the city. Westminster Cathedral Choir, a professional residential choir, sings during the Mass everyday. You have free access to watch daily choir during weekdays at 5 pm and all throughout the day on Sundays.

Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
Located towards north London in Neasden, Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is a Hindu temple, which is dedicated to Bhagwan Swaminarayan. This temple is a masterpiece of Indian artisanship and stonework.
You can see beautiful domes, intricate marble pillars, and white pinnacles, designed especially as per ancient Vedic principles of architecture. While constructing this marvellous Mandir, architects used around 5,000 tonnes of Italian Carrara, Bulgarian limestone, and Ambaji marble from India. On its lower floor, you will find a permanent exhibition, offering insight into values of Hinduism. They have used paintings, traditional craftwork, tableaux, and 3D dioramas to educate people about Hinduism. You can also join in 11-minute documentary about religious significance of this site.
London Central Mosque
Towards the edge of Regents Park in Central London stands this wonderful religious site for Muslims. London Central Mosque was designed by Sir Frederick Gibberd and is easy to recognise by its large golden dome. When you enter the mosque, you will see a large chandelier and lavish carpet in the hall. This main hall can easily hold more than 2000 worshippers, and has a separate women gallery, where they must cover their heads. Interior of dome is inspired by Islamic tradition and offer serene atmosphere to worship.

When on a trip to London, make sure you do not miss these religious destinations. Beautiful architecture and tranquil atmosphere will add more excitement to your trip.

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