A sanctuary is a sacred or holy place, a shrine, temple or a church. It can be a place of worship or a place of refuge.
All through history people have searched for safe havens to escape from the evils of the world.
Stone circles and ancient graves may have been sanctuaries for those in need of refuge from life's mysteries.
In Athens, the Greeks built temples to honor their gods. On the Acropolis, the Parthenon was dedicated to the goddess Athena.
The Romans built temples in all the countries they conquered.
Istanbul is the largest city in the Middle East and contains a great number of mosques. There are over three thousand active mosques in Istanbul.
It is easy to think of the churches in Ireland, with their weathered stone crosses, as places of refuge.
According to legend, the remains of St James were brought to Galicia for burial and the cathedral was built on this very spot.
Every year thousands of pilgrims still travel to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
Saint Mark’s Basilica, built in the 11th century, is the symbol of Venetian wealth and power.
It is known by the nickname “Church of gold”.
In Portugal I get a feeling that churches were more than places of worship. They were also created for the protection of the land. It is common to find symbols relating to Templars and other military orders.
Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris is one of the largest and most well known churches in the world. Even this safe haven suffered desecration during the French Revolution.
On the Greek island of Mykonos, the whitewashed churches blend into the natural beauty of the island.
Saint Peter’s Basilica, the world’s largest church,
is the center of Christianity. It was built on the site where Saint Peter, the apostle, died a martyr and where he was buried in 63 AD.
Antoni Gaudi devoted the last years of his life to the building of Sagrada Familia. He died in 1926 and construction is still in progress.
Gaudí is said to have remarked: "My client is not in a hurry."
A sanctuary for me is a quiet place where one can sit, relax and enjoy life away from the hectic world we live in. There are very few places left.
When I’m home, I go out my back door into my own safe haven.
During World War ll, St Paul's Cathedral was a symbol of hope and strength for the city of London.
Cromlech dos Almendres, Portugal
Helena and Andre at their cafe in Lisbon, Portugal.
Photographs by David S. Rose