Climbing Mount Shasta

The landmark Mount Shasta is the 14,162-foot (4,249-m) centerpiece of northern California, rising like a giant diamond in a field of evergreens. Long regarded as a place of intense energy, Mount Shasta has a...

Nan Madol – Venice of the Pacific

Early European explorers called Nan Madol the “Venice of the Pacific” because the ancient city was built upon a coral reef and is intersected by artificial water canals. On the remote Micronesian island of Pohnpei...

Thebes – Ancient Center of Egyptian Religious Life

The cyclical rhythms of nature — the annual flood of the Nile that made agriculture possible and the daily phases of the sun — became the basis for Egypt’s worldview. The cycle of birth,...

Putuo Shan – Sacred Peak

Just an hour’s flight from Shanghai, Putuo Shan is worlds away from the bustling Chinese metropolis. This tiny, 12-sq.-km (4 2 ⁄ 3 -sq.-mile) island, 32km (20 miles) off the China coast in the...

Sacred Valley of Vilcabamba

Nestled in a verdant valley tucked away in the Southern Andean highland is a location long revered by indigenous people. Vilcabamba has been termed the “sacred valley of longevity,” whose average inhabitants are said...

Lourdes – The Most Visited Pilgrimage Destination in Europe

Lourdes was hardly more than a hamlet until 1858, the year a 14-year-old peasant girl named Bernadette Soubirous had the first of 18 visions of the Virgin Mary at a location called Grotte de...

Pyramids of Saqqara & Dahshur

The pyramids at Giza didn’t arrive fully formed – it took the ancient Egyptians around 400 years to perfect their building art. Evidence of this architectural experimentation lies a short drive south of Giza...

Wind-Blasted Ruins of Tiahuanaco

High on the treeless plains just south of Lake Titicaca stand the wind-blasted ruins of Tiahuanaco. Here reside the remnants of a once-great ceremonial center called the “Gateway of the Sun,” appropriately elevated on...

Assisi – Sacred Place of Italy

North of Rome, in the quiet Umbria countryside, is the charming hill-top town of Assisi. Although its early founding remains questionable, there seems to be evidence that the town was inhabited by the Etruscans...

Mount Sinai and Saint Catherine’s Monastery

Mount Sinai and Saint Catherine’s Monastery have been the inspiration of Christian, Jewish, and Moslem pilgrimage for over 1,300 years. The Monastery is the oldest continuously used religious retreat on earth. Perhaps the most sacred...

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

The temples of Mesopotamian soared above the flat river valley, rising tier upon tier to the sanctuaries that crowned their parapets. As centuries passed, their walls grew even higher, culminating in the colossal neo-Babylonian...

Saint Joseph’s Oratory

The world-renowned basilica dominating the southwestern Montreal skyline started out as a small wooden chapel on Mount Royal. The founder was a simple brother who lived a childhood of poverty, and was orphaned at...