A monastery is generally a place reserved for solemn prayer and servicing humanity. They are often located in isolated and far-away places to ensure that the monks or monastics living there can work and pray without any distractions.
Besides from being beautiful as their reason for existence, monasteries are also full of history and beautiful stories that make them a must-see landmark of any given place.
To give you an idea of where to visit next, we are featuring 8 of the most breathtaking monasteries in the world. Breathtaking not only in the sense of their beauty but as well as the stunning remote places where these monasteries are located.
8 Most Breathtaking Monasteries in the World
Be in awe of the beauty and wowed with the location of these 8 most breathtaking monasteries in the world – add these to your bucket list!
1. Holy Trinity Monastery in Greece
The Holy Trinity Monastery, also known as “Agia Triada” is an Eastern Orthodox monastery located in the Peneas Valley of Central Greece.
It was constructed between the 14th and 15th centuries and is one of the oldest existing Meteora monasteries.
Agia Triada is included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites entitled Meteora, which means “suspended in the air.”
The monastery is located and perched on a steep and magnificent rock that offers captivating panoramic views of its surroundings.
Reaching the monastery requires a 1,300-foot climb and a 140-step staircase but all worth it once you witness its beauty.
2. Katskhi Pillar in Georgia
Katski Pillar is one of the most breathtaking monasteries in the world because of its location on top of a natural limestone monolith, located in the western part of Georgia.
It stands approximately 40 meters (130 ft) above ground and overlooks the small river valley of Katsura.
The pillar is said to be made way back in the 9th century but was abandoned around the 1400’s and undisturbed for nearly 500 years.
It wasn’t until 1944 when researchers decided to discover the ruins and it was revived for religious activity during the 1990’s.
This monastery came about through the arrival of a single monk named Maxime Qavtaradze who climbed and occupied the monolith to be closer to God. An iron ladder was used to climb up the pillar, though the public is not allowed to enter.
3. Mount Popa Monastery in Myanmar
Mount Popa, also known as “Taung Kalat” is a monastery built on top of a volcanic plug, caused by the nearby volcano Mount Popa.
A visit to the monastery requires 777 steps to reach the summit plus the challenge of encountering attacks from monkeys that live around the staircases of the monastery.
Taung Kalat is located in the center of Myanmar and when you look from below, the gold from on top shimmers in the Myanmar sun.
Truly a beauty and one of the most breathtaking monasteries in the world.
4. Paro Taktsang Monastery in Bhutan
Paro Taktsang Monastery is also known as “Tiger’s Nest Monastery.” This breathtaking monastery is a Buddhist temple complex located on a clifftop which sits 3,120 meters above the sea level on the side of the upper Paro valley in Bhutan.
With its unique location, the monastery offers a view of its majestic surroundings that is accessible only through a mountainous path.
In the hall of one of the temples, you’ll witness a tiger sculpture that explains why the monastery is named as the Tiger’s Nest.
5. St. George Monastery in Montenegro
St. George Monastery is also one of the most breathtaking monasteries in the world, built on an island in the middle of Kotor Bay, Montenegro.
It was built by monks during the 12th century and is surrounded by tall cypress trees to make it look more beautiful.
The island belongs to the Catholic church and tourists are not permitted to go inside.
6. St. George’s Monastery in Israel
Another breathtaking monastery is St. George’s Monastery in Israel, located on a cliff above Wadi Qelt gorge between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.
The monastery complex dates back to the 4th century and was named after Saint George of Choziba, a Cyprian monk who lived in the monastery during the 6th century.
St. George’s Monastery is still open and can be reach by pilgrims and visitors on foot.
7. Key Monastery in India
Next on our list of most breathtaking monasteries is Key Monastery, also known as “Kye Gompa.” It is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery located on a hilltop, 4,166 meters above sea level.
This monastery is the biggest monastery of Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh and one of the Seven Wonders of India.
From afar, it looks like a gigantic white balloon floating in the air. It dates back to the 11th century with various images of Buddha, wall paintings and ancient texts inside.
The monastery is still active and open to tourists.
8. Sumela Monastery in Turkey
Sumela Monastery or “Trinity” in English is a monastery nestled on a steep cliff in Turkey with a height of about 1,200 metres (3,900 ft). This monastery is carved into the Mela Mountain, facing the Altındere valley.
Sumela Monastery is a Greek-Orthodox monastery that is dedicated to Virgin Mary. It is one of the most important and touristic venues of Trabzon in Turkey.
Visitors can reach the monastery by taking a path through the forest. Just recently the monastery opened it doors again after undergoing a 3-year renovation for visitor’s safety reasons.
These are just some of the most breathtaking monasteries in the world. Built with grand architecture and rich history, these monasteries are really worth the time to discover and explore. Add these stunning sights to your bucket list to make your travels around the world all the more meaningful and memorable.