By Katy Cowan

'The Grand Mosque' by Richard Cartwright/

Some of the world’s most beautiful, imposing and culturally significant buildings are dedicated to worship. From the Taj Mahal in India and the Vatican in Rome to the humblest of chapels in the middle of nowhere – they’re a constant source of fascination and inspiration.

Online photography community, Photocrowd, recently set its members a challenge – to see their best photographs of these magnificent structures – inside or out, old or new, famous or unknown. Winners would be chosen by an expert judge – in this case, architectural photographer Sue Barr – and also by the actual community.

The community chose ‘The Grand Mosque’ by Richard Cartwright – as featured above. Meanwhile, Sue chose ‘Todiji’ by Scott Sim. Speaking of the photograph, she said: “This is the winning image because it is so wonderfully mysterious and evocative. I love the monochrome (well, blueish-chrome) of the colour palette. The composition is perfect, the central line leading the eye towards the back of the image. The foggy pagoda type building in the background is a perfect choice for this winning composition and the trees in silhouette add a wonderful asymmetry to the shape of the image. Overall a very sophisticated and original interpretation of the competition brief.”

To find out more about all of the featured work, visit Photocrowd. If you want to take part in future competitions, then you should join as a member.

Main image credit: ‘The Grand Mosque’ by Richard Cartwright/

1st prize: 'Todaiji' by Scott Sim/

1st prize: ‘Todaiji’ by Scott Sim/

2nd prize: 'Taj Mahal Reflection' by Mohammed Abd El Kader - AFIAP/

2nd prize: ‘Taj Mahal Reflection’ by Mohammed Abd El Kader – AFIAP/

3rd prize: 'Pray and study at Western Wall, interior' by Andrew Cohen/

3rd prize: ‘Pray and study at Western Wall, interior’ by Andrew Cohen/

'Chapel in snow' by Sherry Pratt/

‘Chapel in snow’ by Sherry Pratt/

'Deep Silence' by Sandi Bertoncelj/

‘Deep Silence’ by Sandi Bertoncelj/

'Burning incense' by Björn Svensson/

‘Burning incense’ by Björn Svensson/

'Worship in Color' by Tim Crabb/

‘Worship in Color’ by Tim Crabb/

'Church on the marsh' by Justin Minns/

‘Church on the marsh’ by Justin Minns/

Photo by June Reynolds/

Photo by June Reynolds/

'Cambodia, ancient temple' by Enrico Mariotti/

‘Cambodia, ancient temple’ by Enrico Mariotti/

'Looking towards the light' by BECKSC/

‘Looking towards the light’ by BECKSC/

'The Pantheon, Rome' by Dennis Jacobs/

‘The Pantheon, Rome’ by Dennis Jacobs/

'St Georges church' by Trevor Cole/ Location: Lalibela, Ethiopia

‘St Georges church’ by Trevor Cole/ Location: Lalibela, Ethiopia

'Road to worship' by Dylan Nardini/

‘Road to worship’ by Dylan Nardini/

Read more here:: Places of Worship: Incredible photographs of some of the world's holiest buildings