Data + Design Project

5 of the World’s Most Inaccessible Monasteries

Tuesday 09.25.2012 , Posted by
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Here are some far out places of faith which house followers of many different creeds. Whether it is Orthodox Christianity, Buddhism or Islam, these monasteries were built to be protected from the powers that be – ones that may not agree with their words and lifestyle. They were built on mountains, rocks or cliff sides, overlooking beautiful vistas where one could chant into infinity and be “away from the world.”

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Over the years humans have chosen paths of life they feel is right for them. Some have felt that participating in a monastic life is a higher calling; one which typically brings about honor to the monk’s family. Certain monasteries offered seclusion (and food and water!) to those that would commit their life to the religion, focusing solely on serving and living their faith in that particular culture.

Religions still continue to fight each other, sometimes over economics involved in their area and sometimes over people’s hearts and minds. Battles and fighting in the past would encourage the devout to build hard to reach monasteries. In the event that mass destruction or a conquering took place, the remote buildings would protect sacred scripts and the culture of the faith. Below are photos from Bhutan, Burma, Greece, Turkey and China.

Monasteries of Meteora, Greece

Taung Kalat Monastery, Burma

Taktsang Palphug Monastery, Bhutan



Sumela Monastery, Altmdere Valley, Turkey



Hanging Monastery or Hanging Temple, Shanxi, China

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Shawn Saleme

Written by Shawn Saleme



Shawn Saleme is a full time writer for Visual News. Having traveled to over 45 countries, his international escapades continue to influence his writing and perspective. When not in a foreign territory, he makes his home in his native San Francisco Bay Area. Become friends with him on Facebook and invite him to share drinks and stories with you.

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Comments

  1. How do they even get building materials up there? I couldn’t imagine living on the side of a cliff like that. It’s insane, but looks insanely peaceful too. Maybe I’m in.

  2. I like this. Thanks for keeping the news visual, Shawn.

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