A holy city is a city important to the history or faith of a specific religion. Such cities may also contain at least one headquarters complex (often containing a religious edifice, seminary, shrine, residence of the leading cleric of the religion and/or chambers of the religious leadership's offices) which constitutes a major destination of human traffic, or pilgrimage to the city, especially for major ceremonies and observances. A holy city is a symbolic city, representing attributes beyond its natural characteristics. Marketing experts have suggested that holy cities may be the oldest brands, and more specifically, place brands because they have value added via the perception of religious adherents.[1]

List of holy cities in the worldEdit


City Country Religion(s)
Axum   Ethiopia Christianity
Alexandria   Egypt Christianity[2]
Boutilimit   Mauritania Islam
Ewu   Nigeria Christianity
Harar   Ethiopia Islam
Ifẹ   Nigeria Yoruba religion
Kairouan   Tunisia Islam
Lalibela   Ethiopia Chistianity
Marrakesh   Morocco Islam
Médina Gounass   Senegal Islam
Moulay Idriss Zerhoun   Morocco Islam
Nkamba   Democratic Republic of the Congo Kimbanguism
Touba   Senegal Islam
Zion City Moria   South Africa Christianity


Varanasi, one of the oldest and holiest cities of Hinduism
Amritsar, the holiest city of Sikhism

Western and South AsiaEdit

Haram-e-Sharif, or Temple Mount in Jerusalem, a holy city in Judaism, Christianity and Islam
Nazareth a holy city in Christianity
Kaaba in Mecca, the holiest city of Islam
City Country Religion(s)
Amritsar   India Sikhism
Anandpur Sahib   India Sikhism
Ayodhya   India Hinduism
Balkh   Afghanistan Islam[3]
Beirut   Lebanon Christianity, Islam
Bethlehem   Palestine Judaism,[4] Christianity
Bodh Gaya   India Buddhism, Hinduism
Damascus   Syria Islam
Dwarka   India Hinduism
Ajmer   India Islam
Haifa   Israel Baháʼí Faith
Hebron   Palestine Judaism[5]
Hittin   Israel Druze faith[6]
Jerusalem Contested Christianity, Islam, Judaism
Kanchipuram   India Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism
Haridwar   India Hinduism
Karbala   Iraq Islam
Kashmar   Iran Islam
Kathmandu   Nepal Hinduism
Khalwat al-Bayada   Lebanon Druze faith[7]
Kufa   Iraq Islam
Lahore   Pakistan Islam, Sikhism
Lumbini   Nepal Buddhism
Mashhad   Iran Islam
Mathura   India Hinduism
Mecca   Saudi Arabia Islam
Medina   Saudi Arabia Islam
Meron   Israel Judaism[8]
Multan   Pakistan Islam
Mount Sinai   Egypt Christianity, Islam, Judaism
Nablus   Palestine Judaism,[9] Samaritanism[10]
Najaf   Iraq Islam
Nankana Sahib   Pakistan Sikhism
Nazareth   Israel Christianity[11]
Prayagraj   India Hinduism
Qom   Iran Islam
Safed   Israel Judaism
Tarim   Yemen Islam
Tiberias   Israel Judaism
Vagharshapat   Armenia Christianity
Varanasi   India Hinduism, Buddhism

Central and East AsiaEdit

City Country Religion(s)
Beigang   Taiwan Folk religion
Dajia   Taiwan Folk religion
Ise   Japan Shinto
Kyoto   Japan Buddhism, Shinto
Lhasa   Tibet Buddhism
Turkistan   Kazakhstan Islam

Southeast AsiaEdit

Baiturrahman Grand Mosque in Banda Aceh, symbol of Islamic sharia law's application in Aceh
City Country Religion(s)
Antipolo   Philippines Christianity
Bali   Indonesia Hinduism
Banda Aceh   Indonesia Islam[12]
Cirebon   Indonesia Islam
Cebu City   Philippines Christianity[13]
Cotabato City   Philippines Islam
El Salvador, Misamis Oriental   Philippines Christianity[14]
Demak   Indonesia Islam
Jombang   Indonesia Islam[15]
Kudus   Indonesia Islam
Makati   Philippines Christianity
Manila   Philippines Christianity
Marawi   Philippines Islam
Siem Reap   Cambodia Buddhism, Hinduism
Tumpat   Malaysia Islam
Valenzuela, Metro Manila   Philippines Christianity
Zamboanga City   Philippines Christianity


City Country Religion(s)
Assisi   Italy Christianity
Athens   Greece Christianity
Avila   Spain Christianity[16]
Barcelona   Spain Christianity[17]
Bolghar   Russia Islam
Canterbury   England Christianity
Cologne   Germany Christianity
Corinth   Greece Christianity
Córdoba   Spain Islam, Christianity
Częstochowa   Poland Christianity
Fátima   Portugal Christianity
Istanbul   Turkey Islam, Christianity[18][19]
Kilkenny   Ireland Christianity[20][21]
Madrid   Spain Christianity
Medjugorje   Bosnia and Herzegovina Christianity
Milan   Italy Christianity
Munich   Germany Christianity
Mtskheta   Georgia Christianity[22]
Ohrid   Macedonia Christianity
Prague   Czech Republic Christianity
Rome   Italy Christianity
Santiago de Compostela   Spain Christianity[23]
Toledo   Spain Christianity
Uman   Ukraine Breslov Hasidic Judaism[24]
Vatican City   Vatican City Christianity
Walsingham   England Christianity[16]
Warsaw   Poland Christianity
Leeds   England Christianity

North AmericaEdit

City Country Religion(s)
Clearwater, Florida   United States Church of Scientology
Mexico City   Mexico Christianity
Quebec City   Canada Christianity
Salt Lake City   United States Latter Day Saint movement
Siparia   Trinidad and Tobago Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism[25]

South AmericaEdit

City Country Religion(s)
Aparecida   Brazil Christianity[26]
Buenos Aires   Argentina Christianity
Lima   Peru Christianity
Rio de Janeiro   Brazil Christianity
São Paulo   Brazil Christianity


  1. ^ Metti, Michael Sebastian (1 June 2011). "Jerusalem – the most powerful brand in history". Stockholm University School of Business. Archived from the original on 12 June 2011. Retrieved 1 July 2011.
  2. ^ Jr, Rev John Trigilio; Brighenti, Rev Kenneth; Cafone, Rev Monsignor James (10 May 2011). Catholic Mass For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9780470767863 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "Visit Mazar-i-Sharif Afghanistan • The City Of The Noble Shrine". www.joaoleitao.com.
  4. ^ "Bethlehem". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  5. ^ "Four Holy Cities of Israel: What and Why?". Chabad.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Dana, Nissim. (2003). The Druze in the Middle East: Their Faith, Leadership, Identity and Status, Sussex Academic Press, pp. 28–30.
  7. ^ Nissîm Dānā (2003). The Druze in the Middle East: Their Faith, Leadership, Identity and Status. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 38–. ISBN 978-1-903900-36-9. Retrieved 11 September 2012.
  8. ^ "Meron: Tomb of Rabbi Shimon Ben Yochai".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. ^ "Shechem (Nablus)". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  10. ^ UNESCO World Heritage Centre (11 October 2017). "Mount Gerizim and the Samaritans". Retrieved 24 December 2020.
  11. ^ Jeffrey, David L. (1992). A Dictionary of biblical tradition in English literature. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. pp. 538–40. ISBN 978-0-85244-224-1. Archived from the original on 8 October 2020. Retrieved 1 November 2020.
  12. ^ "Sejarah -". Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  13. ^ "Pilgrimage to the Philippines for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress, 2016".
  14. ^ BusinessWeek Mindanao 26 August 2011: "Divine Mercy Shrine in Misamis Oriental celebrates Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary" Archived 2018-03-16 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ {{|title=Portal Resmi Pemerintah Kabupaten JOMBANG|url=http://www.jombangkab.go.id/page/sejarah |website=jombangkab.go.id |access-date=27 September 2018}}
  16. ^ a b "The Top Write Your Own Gadgets & E-commerce Product Reviews". esteponapress.com. 25 December 2020.
  17. ^ "10 Destinos únicos para todo o peregrino católico visitar".
  18. ^ Parry, Ken (2009). Christianity: Religions of the Wold. Infobase Publishing. p. 139. ISBN 9781438106397.
  19. ^ Parry, Ken (2010). The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity. John Wiley & Sons. p. 368. ISBN 9781444333619.
  20. ^ "The Kilkenny Cats - Popular Rhymes and Sayings of Ireland". www.libraryireland.com.
  21. ^ "St Canice's Cathedral is Kilkenny's Sacré Coeur - except that it has ghosts". www.kilkennypeople.ie.
  22. ^ "Historical city Mtskheta becomes "Holy City"". Agenda.ge. 7 April 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  23. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica; Or A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and Miscellaneous Literature. Archibald Constable. 1823. p. 500.
  24. ^ "Pilgrimage to Uman • Abbas • Patrick Zachmann • Magnum Photos Magnum Photos". Magnum Photos. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  25. ^ Keith McNeal (March–April 2002). "Miracle Mother — Siparee Mai, La Divina Pastora". Caribbean Beat Magazine.
  26. ^ Humanas, Alexandre De Freitas-Graduado E. Pós-graduado Em Ciências (16 July 2012). "Cidades e Lugares: Cidades sagradas para o Cristianismo".

External linksEdit