Saturday, November 29, 2008

My 5 Favorite Temples

If you follow my blog, you will know that I have a passion for ancient churches, temple and ruins. I have already blogged about the temples in Egypt but I thought I would put my favorite ruins in the world all together in one place.

1) Angkor Wat in Cambodia.
I took this photo at sunrise and what a magical way it was to start our tour of this fantastic building. It's hard to imagine that until not long ago, this complex of many temples was buried in the jungle, its existence only known to the locals of the area. I recommend a visit now before the rapidly increasing tourist numbers create the circus that surround most of the more beautiful, ancient buildings of the world.

2) Abu Simbel in Egypt.
Abu Simbel consists of two temples on the shores of Lake Nassar, which were lifted and moved back onto dry land when the area was flooded due to the construction of the Aswan Dam. I won't write about the history of them again as I have done so elsewhere on this blog. Suffice it to say that they are a sight for sore eyes, isolated away from any main centre as they are and perched on the side of the lake in the middle of the desert.

3) Knossos in Crete, Greece.
I visited this site many, many years ago and so have no digital photos of it. This one is from Wikipedia.
Knossos, built between 1700 and1400BC, was the centre of Minoan civilization. Its ruins were only discovered in 1878 and have now been made much more tourist-friendly. But back when I saw it, its raw state struck a cord with me and so it remains among my favorite ruins.

4) The Roman Forum in Rome.
I have visited this site several times but there's always something more to see. This was the civil centre of Roman life back in Roman times. I love visualizing how it was back then when these buildings were intact. Imagine the hustle and bustle, so different from out main centers, and yet basically the same - just a bunch of human beings going about everyday life.

5) Machu Picchu in Peru.
Okay, so I'm cheating. I have yet to visit Machu Picchu but I just know it will be one of my favorites so here it is. I can't imagine the tireless ingenuity involved in building a small city up so high in the mountains. Built in 1460, it was used only for 100 years before it was abandoned during the Spaniard conquest. One day I will get there.


raine said...

Oh, Suzanne, they're all beautiful.

I've always held a dream to see Machu Picchu too. Not sure exactly why, but the idea excites me.
Thanks for sharing!

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Let's go together, Raine. A good chance to finally meet.


raine said... soon as we make these sales... :D

Mark H said...

I have seen 2, 4 and 5. Machu Picchu is the visually and experiencially the most fascinating and remarkable to me. I also like to envisage life and buildings of Roman times in the wonderful Forum. What a sight that must have been with the Colosseum nearby. Wonderful post.

Suzanne Perazzini said...

Mark, the Angkor Wat complex was incredibly atmospheric with the jungle still winding through several of the temples. I imagine Machu Picchu has a similar atmosphere for its isolated location.


Nature Nut /JJ Loch said...

Squee! Suzanne, your ancient churches, temple and ruins posts are my FAVORITE on the whole Internet!!! I LOVE knowing you have stood at the foot of many of these buildings and toured inside.

Machu Picchu looks like a scene from Lost Horizon. WOW!! I hope you can visit there!!!

If you see my replies with just a "J", it means Jeff was logged on and I posted thinking I was. He doesn't have a blog right now so no profile presents itself.

Have a super day!!!

Hugs, Nancy

Suzanne Perazzini said...

I remember that move, Lost Horizon. It was quite magical.


Anonymous said...

The average people visit these places only on tv or internet (me too).
Thanks for sharing.