The sacred to me is not necessarily religious, though it could be. I define “sacred spaces” as locations – some mundane, some awe-inspiring – that give one a sense of being a part of something greater than oneself.

The very opposite of sacred space, profane space, would be locations that give oneself a sense of being lesser than oneself, and in that category I’d include shopping centers, the Eisenhower Expressway, and most office spaces.

So, here are some sacred spaces – the exhilarating, expansive and, dare I say, cosmic places? – I wandered within during the past year.

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...