Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

Sacred Sites of Europe

Posted by Fredsvenn on June 12, 2015

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Sacred Sites of Europe

This poster depicts 34 of Europe’s most sacred sites. It includes ancient temples, megalithic structures, bronze age tombs and prehistoric artifacts. If you’re planning to visit the most hallowed grounds of Europe, this poster is an essential tool for planning your unforgettable journey.

UK poster available here
USA poster available here
Australia poster available here
This post focuses on Europe’s most ancient sites, dating from the Stone Age to the Iron Age. This was a period before the advent of monotheism, where our European predecessors worshipped a myriad of divine figures, such as nature spirits, ancestors or gods.

The early Europeans sought to secure the presence of these divine beings by erecting shrines, temples and megalithic structures in their honour. These sacred sites were believed to be as a link to the spirit world, and were chosen for several different reasons: 1. It was a place of great beauty, conceived by a divine creator. 2. It was touched by a god or hero, giving it a legendary status. 3. A holy-person sensed its divine energy radiating from the land. 4. A miracle took place at the site, bestowing it with divine energy.

The earliest sites known to convey a ritualised activity were caves. There are hundreds of grotto’s in prehistoric Europe which are full of art depicting beasts, hunting parties, strange glyphs and even therianthropes (part man, part animal). La Pasieha, Chauvet, Coliboiai and Magura caves are abundant in such imagery, which is indicative of shamanism. It appears these caves were used as a canvas for their cultural beliefs, depicting images of worship, shape shifting, and perhaps fertility rites.

Later, during the Neolithic, many of these sites were used to worship a god or goddess, such as the Odin in Gamla Uppsala, or Athena in the Parthenon. These temples acted as a direct link to a particular deity, and by leaving them offerings, it was believed you could procure their favour. Perhaps they would call upon the Svetovid in Jaromarsburg to protect them from raids, or the Tailtiu at the Hill of Tara, for a bountiful harvest.

As well as a link to the heavens, certain landmarks were also believed to act as gateways to the nether world. The Gordium and Mount Nemrut were both tombs, housing legendary kings. These crypts were designed to ensure their safe passage into the underworld, along with all their favorite possessions.

The sacred sites of Europe remain spiritually meaningful to millions of people today, who often travel to the temples of Greece or the stone circles of Britain for a direct experience with the divine. With the re-emergence of pagan traditions, many of these sites are being used once again, summoning the spirits of our past, and reconnecting modern humans with their deep, spiritual roots.

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