Feeling stressed or in need of a break? It doesn’t matter whether you’re religious or not, if you’re thinking of taking a trip why not visit a spiritual place to put life into perspective? Here is a carefully constructed list of spiritual places in Europe that you can visit this year – just don’t forget to pack your passport or your European health card. This will help people from the UK gain access to state-funded healthcare while on the continent.
Vatican City, Italy
The Vatican in Rome is one the most religious and spiritual places in the world. At the heart of Vatican City is St. Peter’s Square, where you can see St. Peter’s Basilica. St Peter’s Basilica is the most important church in the world, dating back to 1506, where on Sundays you’ll be able to see the Pope give Mass. The Vatican museum is where you will find the Sistine Chapel as well as housing other famous works of art.
Lourdes is a town in the southwest region of France, known for being a major Catholic pilgrimage site. Every year millions of people flock to visit the Grotto of Massabielle, the site where the Virgin Mary appeared numerous times to Bernadette, a poor shepherd girl in 1858. To this day, the Lourdes spring is meant to be a place of miracles that has healing properties.
The circular formation that is Stonehenge is still a wonder to the world and one of the most famous prehistoric monuments that still stands. Nobody knows what exactly Stonehenge was built for, but its vast history has become a spiritual place and an inspiration to those that visit the site. You are now able to extend your visit with a trip to the museum, seeing the Stonehenge exhibition and wander around Neolithic houses. As winter solstice rolls round, Druids, Wiccans, Pagans and curious visitors gather to celebrate and witness the sunrise of the shortest day in the year.
The small town of Fatima homes the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima and its shrine to the Virgin Mary. The shrine stands in honour of several events in 1917, when the Virgin Mary appeared several times to three shepherd children in the fields outside the village of Aljustrel near Fatima. At the Basilica of Our Lady of Fatima there are 15 altars dedicated to the 15 mysteries of the rosary. At the chapel you can see a painting at the high altar depicting the message of Our Lady of Fatima with the three children.
Mdina Cathedral, Malta
Malta may be a small country in Europe but it is home to some of the world’s oldest buildings. Although Mdina Cathedral (also known as St. Paul’s Cathedral) is not the oldest building in Malta, it is an incredibly spiritual place. Paul and his missionaries were shipwrecked in Mdina for three months and during this period Paul was bitten by a snake, remaining curiously unharmed. St Paul’s Cathedral is known for miracles as well as having a luxurious interior with the 15th Century Tuscan panel painting of the Madonna and Child.