spiritual sites



a journey or search of great moral or spiritual significance. Typically, it is a journey to a shrine, sacred place or other location of importance to a person’s beliefs and faith, although sometimes it can be a metaphorical journey in to someone’s own beliefs. Many religions attach spiritual importance to particular places: the place of birth or death of founders or saints, or to the place of their “calling” or spiritual awakening, or of their connection (visual or verbal) with the divine, or to locations where miracles were performed or witnessed, or locations where a deity is said to live or be “housed,” or any site that is seen to have special spiritual powers. Such sites may be commemorated with shrines or temples that devotees are encouraged to visit for their own spiritual benefit: to be healed or have questions answered or to achieve some other spiritual benefit. A person who makes such a journey is called a pilgrim.

Etymology: from Middle English pilegrimage; replacing earlier pelrimage, alteration of Old French pelerinage, from Mediaeval Latin pelegrīnus.

[Joon Ahn - Pilgrims]

Executed a decade after Oller’s second Parisian sojourn, this painting demonstrates how he blended European painting with uniquely Puerto Rican subject matter and light effects. In this lush tropical scene, he captured the dappled light of the Caribbean in a loose, Impressionist-inspired style. He depicted a ceiba (silk-cotton tree) under which the indigenous Taíno had worshipped in the days prior to the first contact with Europeans. This tree still stands in the Puerto Rican city of Ponce.

The work features daily life (women washing clothes in the river) while referencing a historically and spiritually charged site on the island, thereby reinforcing the painter’s intense identification with the place of his birth.

Francisco Oller (Puerto Rican, 1833–1917) Old Ceiba Tree at Ponce, 1887–88. Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico, The Luis A. Ferré Foundation, Inc.


10 Sacred Sites Damaged Or Destroyed In The Last 10 Years – And What Some Are Doing To Rebuild

Ten years ago, the 11th century minaret of the Umayyad Mosque stood in splendor above the city of Damascus, Syria. Today, the wreckage of the mosque offers a stark reminder of the cultural loss the world has experienced over the last ten years, as iconic spiritual sites have been destroyed as a result of war, short-sighted economic expansion and natural disasters.