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Orthodox Sites

Below is an illustrated index of the 10 Orthodox sites profiled on Sacred Destinations so far. For photo credits, please see corresponding articles.



  • Al-Bara
    Dead Cities, Syria
    Al-Bara (also called Bara) is the most extensive of the Dead Cities of northern Syria and one of the last to be abandoned. It held out as a bastion of Eastern Christianity until the arrival of the Crusaders in the 11th century.
  • New Church of St. Mary of Zion
    Axum, Ethiopia
    Emperor Haile Selassie founded this new Church of St. Mary of Zion next to the old one. It was completed in 1964. Unlike the original, the new St. Mary of Zion allows entrance to women.
  • Basilica of St. John
    Ephesus, Turkey
    The Basilica of St. John was built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century over the traditional tomb of John the Evangelist. The site became a major pilgrimage destination in the Early Middle Ages.
  • Church of Mary
    Ephesus, Turkey
    The walls, an arch, and the baptismal pool remain intact at the Church of Mary, possibly the first church dedicated to the Virgin Mary in the world and the site of the Council of Ephesus in 431.
  • Fethiye Camii (Pammakaristos Church)
    Istanbul, Turkey
    The Theotokos Pammakaristos Church was built in 1292 and served as the headquarters of the Orthodox Patriarchate from 1456 to 1528. It is now a mosque.
  • Cathedral of Christ the Savior
    Moscow, Russia
    The khram Khrista Spasitela may well be the largest Orthodox church in the world. The building is magnificent, but not as old as it looks: it was rebuilt in 2000 after the original was demolished by Stalin.
  • Museum at Eldridge Street Synagogue
    New York City, USA
    Incorporating the Eldridge Street Synagogue, an Orthodox synagogue dating from 1887, this Jewish museum tells the story of Jewish immigrants to New York's Lower East Side.
  • Touro Synagogue
    Newport, USA
    Founded in 1763, this is the oldest synagogue in America. Its history represents the religious tolerance that has always characterized Rhode Island.
  • Great Synagogue
    Rome, Italy
    This large Orthodox synagogue dates from 1904 and includes an excellent Jewish museum.
  • Uspenski Cathedral
    Helsinki, Finland
    The largest Orthodox church in western Europe, Uspenski has a striking red-brick exterior and beautiful icons inside. Built in 1868, it is a cathedral of the Finnish Orthodox Church.