Milan Cathedral Duomo di Milano, Italy ⛪

Milan Cathedral is the cathedral church of Milan, Lombardy, Italy. Dedicated to the Nativity of St Mary, it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan. The cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete: construction began in 1386, and the final details were completed in 1965.

Milan Cathedral, called Duomo di Milano in Italian, is a vast Gothic-style cathedral, located in the heart of Milan. It is 515 ft (157 metres) long and 302 ft (92 m) wide. It can house up to 40.000 people. Duomo di Milano is one of the largest Catholic churches in the world.

First, St Joseph’s Cathedral was temporarily built of wood. The construction of St Joseph’s Cathedral took place from 1884 to 1887, and during this time it was built of brick and plastered by concrete. The church was said to look like a small simulation of Notre Dame de Paris with multiple representative features of Gothic Revival architecture. 

St Joseph’s Cathedral, or “The Big Church” familiarly called by the locals, is one of the first structures constructed by French colonists during their expansion in Indochina and still intact in Hanoi after two fierce wars.

During the French Colonial period, Catholicism was propagated widely and St Joseph’s Cathedral became the center of Catholicism in North Vietnam. There were daily, weekly ceremonies organizing in the church at that time. The church was a place not only welcoming thousands of Catholics in the north of Vietnam but also hiding and catering Vietnamese revolution soldiers. 

St Paul's Cathedral ⛪

St Paul’s Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral in Melbourne, Australia. It is the cathedral church of the Diocese of Melbourne and the seat of the Archbishop of Melbourne, who is also the metropolitan archbishop of the Province of Victoria.

The cathedral was designed by the English Gothic Revival architect William Butterfield and completed in 1891, except for the spires which were built to a different design from 1926 to 1932. It is one of Melbourne’s major architectural landmarks.

St Paul’s Cathedral is in a prominent location at the centre of Melbourne, on the eastern corner of Swanston Street and Flinders Street. It is situated diagonally opposite Flinders Street station, which was the hub of 19th-century Melbourne and remains an important transport centre.

Hsinbyume Pagoda 🛕

The Hsinbyume Pagoda aka Mya Thein Dan Pagoda (White Temple) is just a few hundred metres beyond the Mingun Bell further down the main street of Mingun. It is a very unusual Paya with a lovely gorgeous white structure.

The Paya was built in 1816 by the grandson of the infamous King Bodawpaya, who later became King Bagyidaw, in memory of his first wife, Bodawpaya’s granddaughter Hsinbyume, who died in childbirth in 1812. 

The seven separate terraces of the Paya are meant to represent the seven mountain ranges and oceans in between and around Mount Meru with the stupa at the top representing Mount Meru itself.

Mount Meru is the mythical centre of the universe in Buddhist-Hindu cosmolgy. There are also many small statues on the Pagoda representing various nat spirits, ogres, and naga serpents. All in all it makes for a gorgeous temple. 

Ananda Temple represents the spirit of Mon architecture in combination with influence Indian structural design. The temple has a graceful symmetrical single – storey structure with a gilded tower – like spire, so – called “sikhara”, on top of the temple. The sikhara, whose original design is from India, is placed in the center of the building. The sikhara holds five niches laid over each other, each niche contains a Buddha image. 

Ananda temple has the design of a well – proportioned Greek cross plan with four entrances, each crowned with a stupa finial, creating the structure of a simple corridor. Six pyramid – like terraces rise to the central tower. Each corner of the second terrace lay a miniature of the golden sikhara. The terraces are decorated with many Chinthes, the mythical lion of Myanmar guarding temples throughout the country.

Wat Rong Suea Ten 🛕

The Blue Temple is known in Thai as “Wat Rong Suea Ten”, or “Temple of the Dancing Tiger”. Another ancient temple once stood here, and tigers are said to have roamed freely over the grounds when it was abandoned nearly a century ago. The Blue Temple as it exists today is brand new by comparison.

The stairs to the main entrance are guarded by naga serpents, whose tails ripple with detailed scales and twist and whirl around in entrancing elegance. The temple windows are protected by an angelic figure, posing proudly on a pedestal with feathered wings spread wide, a staff grasped behind its back. Inside, the Blue Temple is a kaleidoscope of colour and patterns, with elaborate and unbelievably intricate paintings completely covering every surface. 

Wat Rong Khun 🛕

We were blown away with the breathtaking architecture and design of the White Temple that was created by the Thai artist Ajarn Chalermchai Kositpipat. Born in Chiang Rai, the same city where the temple was built, Chalermchai Kositpipat has dedicated his life to the restoration and improvement of White Temple, known locally as Wat Rong Khun.

In addition to the pure white color choice, much of the structural choices, mythical creatures, and positions of the White Temple’s guardians and deities depict a religious or symbolic meaning. The common theme of this Buddhist temple is of escaping greed and desire and moving towards enlightenment through Buddha’s teachings.

Oriental Buddha Capital, Leshan China ⛰️

Dongfang Fodu Gongyuan (Oriental Buddha Park), holds more than 3,000 Buddhist statues. The centrepiece is reputedly the world’s longest reclining Buddha, measuring 170 meters, which is the largest in the world.

The Leshan Giant Buddha is a 71-metre tall stone statue, built between 713 and 803. It is carved out of a cliff face of Cretaceous red bed sandstones that lies at the confluence of the Min River and Dadu River in the southern part of Sichuan province in China, near the city of Leshan.

Golden Summit Temple, Leshan China 🏯

The Jinding, elevation 3,077 metres, is the main peak of Mount Emei, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sichuan, China. It is also a common name for the Buddhist Huazang Temple built on the summit. Jinding is the highest Buddhist temple in traditionally Han areas of China.

Located atop Mount Emei is an epic statue at 48 meter so high, is the 22nd tallest statue in the world. But its height is not its most notable feature, so much as its unique head, as this massive graven image faces in ten directions, one for each of the Bodhisattva’s ‘Ten Truths of Universal Worthiness’.

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