Place of pilgrimage

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A pilgrimage is in different religions a place with a prominent religious significance - a sanctuary - and as such the goal of a pilgrimage . Visiting a place of pilgrimage is said to have special effects, such as healing illnesses.

A pilgrimage tradition can be evoked by an event such as a miracle or an apparition of the Virgin Mary or by the veneration of a personality of the respective religion who worked or is buried in the place; in Christianity these are mostly saints and there is usually a pilgrimage church in the places . On the commemoration days of these people or events, the pilgrimage sites are often visited by thousands of pilgrims.



In Christianity , the first pilgrimages led to places that, according to tradition or tradition, were associated with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ . Evidence from the 4th century shows that there were already pilgrimages to the Holy Land at this time . As Christianity spread, pilgrimages were also made to Rome to the tombs of early Christian martyrs and to places that replicated sites in the Holy Land, such as the Sacri Monti in Piedmont, Italy, and Lombardy. Pilgrimages were also made to the graves of other saints , as well as to places where Marian apparitions and miraculous healings were reported. Over time, a pilgrimage church or a “holy district” was built in such places for the streams of pilgrims .

Important pilgrimage sites

Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Lourdes
The Shrine of Our Lady in Fatima



The Kaaba in Mecca
  • The Kaaba in Mecca is the most important place of pilgrimage in Islam, which every wealthy Muslim should visit and which is visited by over two million people every year. The pilgrimage is known as Hajj .
  • Karbala in Iraq is an important place of pilgrimage for Alevis and Shiites .
  • The popular Islam knows regionally more tombs ( Mazarat , Arabic مزار), to which pilgrimages are sometimes undertaken.


In Hinduism , rivers are considered sacred, the most important of which is the Ganges as the embodiment of the goddess Ganga . Important pilgrimage sites are therefore often on rivers, river sources or at points where rivers meet. Examples:


In Buddhism there are numerous pilgrimage sites. The five most important ones are:


See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Place of pilgrimage  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. 2011: over 11 million pilgrims; Source: Day of the Lord magazine , June 30, 2013.