Holy city

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A holy city is a city important to the history or faith of a specific religion. Such cities may also contain at least one headquarters complex (often containing a religious edifice, seminary, shrine, residence of the leading cleric of the religion and/or chambers of the religious leadership's offices) which constitutes a major destination of human traffic, or pilgrimage to the city, especially for major ceremonies and observances. A holy city is a symbolic city, representing attributes beyond its natural characteristics. Marketing experts have suggested that holy cities may be the oldest brands, and more specifically, place brands because they have value added via the perception of religious adherents.[1]

List of holy cities in the world[edit]


City Country Religion(s)
Axum Ethiopia Ethiopia Christianity
Alexandria Egypt Egypt Christianity[2]
Ewu Nigeria Nigeria Christianity
Ifẹ Nigeria Nigeria Yoruba religion
Lalibela Ethiopia Ethiopia Christianity
Nkamba Democratic Republic of the Congo Democratic Republic of the Congo Kimbanguism
Zion City Moria South Africa South Africa Christianity


Varanasi, a major pilgrimage site for millions of Hindus
Varanasi, one of the oldest and holiest cities of Hinduism

Western and South Asia[edit]

Haram-e-Sharif, or Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a holy city in Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Nazareth a holy city in Christianity
Kaaba in Mecca, the holiest city of Islam
City Country Religion(s)
Amritsar India India Sikhism
Anandpur Sahib India India Sikhism
Ayodhya India India Hinduism
Balkh Afghanistan Afghanistan Islam[3] (Shia)
Beirut Lebanon Lebanon Christianity
Bethlehem State of Palestine Palestine Islam, Christianity, Judaism[4]
Bodh Gaya India India Buddhism, Hinduism
Dwarka India India Hinduism
Haifa Israel Israel Baháʼí Faith
Hebron State of Palestine Palestine Judaism,[5] Islam
Hittin Israel Israel Druze faith[6]
Jerusalem Contested Judaism, Christianity, Islam
Kanchipuram India India Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism
Haridwar India India Hinduism
Karbala Iraq Iraq Islam (Shia)
Kathmandu Nepal Nepal Hinduism
Khalwat al-Bayada Lebanon Lebanon Druze faith[7]
Kufa Iraq Iraq Islam (Shia)
Lahore Pakistan Pakistan Islam, Sikhism
Lumbini Nepal Nepal Buddhism
Mashhad Iran Iran Islam (Shia)
Mathura India India Hinduism
Mecca Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Islam
Medina Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Islam
Meron Israel Israel Judaism[8]
Mtskheta Georgia (country) Georgia Christianity[9]
Nashik India India Hinduism, Buddhism
Nablus State of Palestine Palestine Judaism,[10] Samaritanism[11]
Najaf Iraq Iraq Islam (Shia)
Nankana Sahib Pakistan Pakistan Sikhism
Nazareth Israel Israel Christianity[12]
Prayagraj India India Hinduism
Qom Iran Iran Islam (Shia)
Safed Israel Israel Judaism
Tiberias Israel Israel Judaism
Vagharshapat Armenia Armenia Christianity
Varanasi India India Hinduism, Buddhism

Central and East Asia[edit]

City Country Religion(s)
Beigang Taiwan Taiwan Folk religion
Dajia Taiwan Taiwan Folk religion
Ise Japan Japan Shinto
Kyoto Japan Japan Buddhism, Shinto
Lhasa China China Buddhism
Turkistan Kazakhstan Kazakhstan Sufism

Southeast Asia[edit]

Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh, symbol of Islamic sharia law's application in Aceh
City Country Religion(s)
Antipolo Philippines Philippines Christianity
Bali Indonesia Indonesia Hinduism
Cebu City Philippines Philippines Christianity[13]
El Salvador, Misamis Oriental Philippines Philippines Christianity[14]
Naga City, Camarines Sur Philippines Philippines Christianity/Roman Catholicism
Siem Reap Cambodia Cambodia Buddhism, Hinduism
Valenzuela, Metro Manila Philippines Philippines Christianity
Zamboanga City Philippines Philippines Christianity


St Peter's Square, Vatican City.
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul.
Canterbury Cathedral.
City Country Religion(s)
Assisi Italy Italy Christianity
Athens Greece Greece Hellenism, Christianity
Avila Spain Spain Christianity
Barcelona Spain Spain Christianity[15]
Canterbury England England Christianity
Caravaca de la Cruz Spain Spain Christianity
Cologne Germany Germany Christianity
Corinth Greece Greece Christianity
Częstochowa Poland Poland Christianity
Fátima Portugal Portugal Christianity
Istanbul Turkey Turkey Islam, Christianity[16][17]
Kilkenny Republic of Ireland Ireland Christianity[18][19]
Kraljevo Serbia Serbia Christianity
Leeds England England Christianity
Madrid Spain Spain Christianity
Marija Bistrica Croatia Croatia Christianity
Medjugorje Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Christianity
Milan Italy Italy Christianity
Munich Germany Germany Christianity
Ohrid North Macedonia North Macedonia Christianity
Paris France France Christianity
Prague Czech Republic Czech Republic Christianity
Rome Italy Italy Christianity
Santiago de Compostela Spain Spain Christianity[20]
Santo Toribio de Liébana Spain Spain Christianity
Thessaloniki, Mount Athos Greece Greece Christianity
Toledo Spain Spain Christianity
Trondheim  Norway Christianity
Uman Ukraine Ukraine Breslov Hasidic Judaism[21]
Uppsala Sweden Sweden Christianity
Vatican City Vatican City Vatican City Christianity
Walsingham England England Christianity
Warsaw Poland Poland Christianity
Wittenberg Germany Germany Christianity

North America[edit]

The Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City.
The Flag Building in Clearwater, Florida.
City Country Religion(s)
Clearwater, Florida United States United States Church of Scientology
Mexico City Mexico Mexico Christianity
Quebec City Canada Canada Christianity
Salt Lake City United States United States Latter Day Saint movement
Siparia Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism[22]

South America[edit]

City Country Religion(s)
Aparecida Brazil Brazil Christianity[23]
Luján Argentina Argentina Christianity[24]


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  2. ^ Trigilio, Rev John Jr.; Brighenti, Rev Kenneth; Cafone, Rev Monsignor James (10 May 2011). Catholic Mass For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780470767863 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "Visit Mazar-i-Sharif Afghanistan • The City Of The Noble Shrine". www.joaoleitao.com. 17 January 2020.
  4. ^ "Bethlehem". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Four Holy Cities of Israel: What and Why?". Chabad.
  6. ^ Dana, Nissim. (2003). The Druze in the Middle East: Their Faith, Leadership, Identity and Status, Sussex Academic Press, pp. 28–30.
  7. ^ Nissîm Dānā (2003). The Druze in the Middle East: Their Faith, Leadership, Identity and Status. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 38–. ISBN 978-1-903900-36-9. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  8. ^ "Meron: Tomb of Rabbi Shimon Ben Yochai".
  9. ^ "Historical city Mtskheta becomes "Holy City"". Agenda.ge. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  10. ^ "Shechem (Nablus)". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  11. ^ UNESCO World Heritage Centre (11 October 2017). "Mount Gerizim and the Samaritans". Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  12. ^ Jeffrey, David L. (1992). A Dictionary of biblical tradition in English literature. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 538–40. ISBN 978-0-85244-224-1. Archived from the original on 8 October 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  13. ^ "Pilgrimage to the Philippines for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress, 2016".
  14. ^ BusinessWeek Mindanao 26 August 2011: "Divine Mercy Shrine in Misamis Oriental celebrates Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary" Archived 2018-03-16 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "10 Destinos únicos para todo o peregrino católico visitar".
  16. ^ Parry, Ken (2009). Christianity: Religions of the World. Infobase Publishing. p. 139. ISBN 9781438106397.
  17. ^ Parry, Ken (2010). The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity. John Wiley & Sons. p. 368. ISBN 9781444333619.
  18. ^ "The Kilkenny Cats - Popular Rhymes and Sayings of Ireland". www.libraryireland.com.
  19. ^ "St Canice's Cathedral is Kilkenny's Sacré Coeur - except that it has ghosts". www.kilkennypeople.ie.
  20. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica; Or A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature. Archibald Constable. 1823. p. 500.
  21. ^ "Pilgrimage to Uman • Abbas • Patrick Zachmann • Magnum Photos Magnum Photos". Magnum Photos. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  22. ^ Keith McNeal (March–April 2002). "Miracle Mother — Siparee Mai, La Divina Pastora". Caribbean Beat Magazine.
  23. ^ Humanas, Alexandre De Freitas-Graduado E. Pós-graduado Em Ciências (16 July 2012). "Cidades e Lugares: Cidades sagradas para o Cristianismo".
  24. ^ Martin Gray (2022). "Luján". Sacred Sites.

External links[edit]