Incredible Temples Around The World

The path to Angkor Wat is peaceful and serene, surrounded by lush and vibrant grass and trees, and is sprinkled with reflection ponds along the way. Once you arrive at the berth of the 500-acre temple city—a term derived from its name, Angkor—you're greeted by a staggering 213-foot-tall central tower protected by a gentle moat that trails all the way around the 650-foot perimeter. Constructed to pay homage to the Hindu god Vishnu, this ancient mammoth of a temple still stands in modern day Cambodia. Travel the world, and you'll find hundreds of both similar and vastly unique vestiges of loyalty to religious, political and spiritual leaders in the form of elaborate temples. The oldest known temple to date is the Turkish Gobekli Tepe temple believed to be built more than 11,500 years ago. The remaining walls are filled with pictograms and engravings of animals, plants and other life forms thought to be sacred to the region's gods. In Beijing, China sits the Temple of Heaven, where grand stone staircases represent a pilgrimage to heaven, while all the life below symbolized all that was sacred on Earth. Conversely, the temple at Wat Rong Khun is decorated with tortured human arms and hands reaching up from the afterlife below.

From the mountains and foothills of Asia, to the towering and sturdy temples of Greece, these architectural monuments have served as places of gather for thousands of years. While many have perished over the course of history, many have withstood the test of time and remain in use or as tourist attractions. Travel through this playlist and witness some of the most beautiful structures of all time.

Written by Curiosity Staff September 24, 2014

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