1. Sacred Destinations
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London, England

London silhouettes at sunset. Photo © Sacred Destinations.

London, the capital city of both England and the United Kingdom, is a thriving metropolis of over 8 million people. It encompasses a wide variety of peoples, cultures, and religions, making it one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. London's multicultural character, coupled with its great historical importance, makes it a travel destination with a vast array of sites of religious interest. London's religious attractions range from cathedrals and synagogues to Hindu temples and Methodist historical sites, and its museums house thousands of pieces of religious art and artifacts from around the world.

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Sacred Sites and Religious Attractions in London

  • Aldersgate Flame
    This monument marking the site where John Wesley experienced an evangelical conversion in 1738 is inscribed with his own account of the experience.
  • All Hallows by the Tower
    Founded in 675 as part of an abbey, this church was built over a Roman building. Its proximity to the Tower of London gave it many royal and historic associations over the centuries.
  • Bevis Marks Synagogue
    The Bevis Marks Synagogue was established in 1701 and is the oldest still in use in Britain. The interiors are lavish and detailed and contain all of the orignal furnishings.
  • Christ Church Spitalfields
    A 1729 masterpiece of Sir Christopher Wren's associate, Nicholas Hawksmoor.
  • London Jamme Masjid
    This building has an interesting life story that reflects the history of immigration into the area. It became a mosque for the local Bangladeshi community in 1976.
  • Mill Hill Synagogue
    This synagogue is the home of the Orthodox Jewish community in northwest London. Its current membership is around 1,200.
  • Neasden Temple
    This huge Hindu temple was constructed of marble on the outskirts of London in 1995. Full of intricate carvings of Hindu deities created entirely in India, it also houses an exhibition on India and Hinduism.
  • Regent's Park Mosque
    Officially named the London Central Mosque, this 1960s-style mosque was built in recognition of the British Empire's vast Muslim population.
  • Southwark Cathedral
    This 15th-century cathedral was the place of worship for William Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer. A Shakespeare birthday service is held here every year.
  • St Bartholomew the Great
    Founded in 1123 as a priory church, Great St. Bart's is one of the oldest churches in London and has appeared in several films. Today it is an active Anglican church known for its choral services.
  • St Bride's
    Dubbed the "Church of the Press" due to its location on Fleet Street, this London landmark with a wedding-cake tower was designed by Christopher Wren.
  • St Giles Cripplegate
    In this old church in the Barbican, Oliver Cromwell married Elizabeth Bourchier (1620) and the poet John Milton was buried (1674).
  • St Paul's Cathedral
    This grand cathedral was beautifully designed by Sir Christopher Wren in 1675 after its predecessor was lost in the Great Fire of London.
  • Temple Church
    This 12th-century Norman church, known for its rare round shape and stone effigies, was built by the Knights Templar and contains several fascinating details.
  • Temple of Mithras
    Foundations of a 3rd-century temple to the Roman god Mithras were discovered during construction work in 1957 and are now on permanent outdoor display.
  • Wesley's Chapel
    This historical site includes John Wesley's 18th-century chapel, house and tomb, plus the interesting Museum of Methodism. The chapel is still a thriving place of worship.
  • Westminster Abbey
    This former abbey church is the national church of Britain, used for coronations and filled with important tombs and monuments.
  • Westminster Cathedral
    A few doors down from Westminster Abbey, this is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church in Britain. Completed in 1903, it has a unique Byzantine design.