Religious Sites To Visit During Holy Week

April’s Holy Week is a Christian celebration that has Catholics the world over observe holy mass and visit some religiously-inclined destinations in a week-long look back at the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Across the world, we show you some of the most religious places you can visit for your own Holy Week pilgrimage.
La Sagrada Familia
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The cornerstone of this iconic religious landmark dedicated to the Holy Family in Spain was laid back in 1882. The first architect of this Temple was diocesan architect Francisco de Paula del Villar y Lozano then was eventually turned over to Antoni Gaudi. Located in the heart of Barcelona, the temple and its continued construction remain a major tourism draw due to its intricate and grand design, purpose, history.
Monasteries of Meteora
Location: Thessaly, Greece
Monasteries built atop vertical rock formations formed 60 million years ago through nature's forces. During the 14th century, the first-ever monastery was constructed by a monk from Mt. Athos and out of 24 built, since then, only 6 remain today: Great Metéoron, Varlaám, Roussanou, St. Nikolas, Holy Trinity, and St. Stephen. To this day, the monasteries which have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, are each designed with a church, monks' cells, and a refectory. This popular religious destination, surrounded by fascinating views of nature, accessible by paved roads and bridges and continues to be a draw among tourists and pilgrims.
Church of the Nativity
Location: Bethlehem
One of the world's most-visited pilgrimage sites and the reason for going on a Holy Land tour is the Church of the Nativity, believed to be the location where the Child Jesus was born. The history of the church’s construction was authorized by Emperor Constantine dating back to the 326 CE and underwent several reconstructions.
Mount of Beatitudes
Location: Israel
A church located atop a hill on the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee, the historic Mount of Beatitudes, was made to commemorate Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. It was built in 1938 and designed with eight sides, symbolizing each beatitude recounted by Jesus, while also offering a view of where He went during his public ministry.
Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto
Location: Lourdes, France
One of France’s famous places of spiritual importance, this destination has a deep history rooted in its name and location. It was there that Bernadette Soubirous, a 14-year-old peasant girl, began to have several visions of the Virgin Mary in that specific grotto. By the ninth vision, the grotto’s healing powers were said to awaken and millions of pilgrims soon began to visit yearly.
Paoay Church (aka Saint Augustine Church)
Location: Paoay, Ilocos Norte, Philippines
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its European Baroque architectural style. The beautiful, heavy buttresses on the sides support the pyramidal structure of the church that is characterized by strong thick walls made of bricks and coral stones. This unique structure served as a foundation that survived this historical church from several earthquakes since its completion in 1710.
Basilica Minore del Santo Niño
Location: Cebu, Philippines
Established in 1565, it has survived several reconstructions caused by three fires and an earthquake. The church has long been the home to the image of the Child Jesus, popularly known as the Santo Nino, Ferdinand de Magallanes' baptismal gift to the wife of Cebu's Rajah Humabon, Hara Amihan. When the image of Santo Nino was found in a box after a fire in Cebu destroyed the village of Rajah Tupas, it has been proclaimed a miraculous statue.