What makes a town or city beautiful?
And what differentiates one place from another? The answer is simple, it is the architecture and buildings that makes a location unique, and anybody that is inspired by beauty cannot help but be moved by famous buildings.
In this blog we look at some of the most amazing buildings in the world, their beauty may be in their outstanding architecture, the location that they are in, or by the clever use of building materials. Add a spoonful of history and the purpose of the building and you have the origins of a truly great building.
Buildings are unique as an art form as they are lived in, have purpose, or the structures will have a life of their very own and form part of the lives of countless people. This can all go on for hundreds of years after construction.
Forbidden City – Beijing
The Forbidden City is cheating somewhat as it is not just one building, but this iconic part of Beijing’s history has simply got to be mentioned. This fantastic series of buildings was home to the Emperors of China from the Ming dynasty to the very end of the Qing dynasty.
Although the rulers have long departed the Forbidden City is now home to the delightful Palace Museum and has been a World Heritage site since 1987. Also, UNESCO recognizes the Forbidden City and has listed it due to it being the largest collection of preserved wooden structures in the world. Sixteen million visitors come to see this fabulous place each and every year.
Nationale-Nederlanden Building – Prague
Prague is a beautiful city in many respects, from its enchanting medieval squares and cobbled streets to almost Walt Disney inspired churches and religious buildings. Prague is a mix of old and new, ancient buildings rubbing shoulders with 21st Century masterpieces.
One such modern and architecturally stunning building is the Nationale-Nederlanden Building designed by Vlado Milunic and Frank Gehry. Locals call it the Dancing House, caused by the 99 different shaped panels that makes the building almost come alive. It truly is a remarkable example of new-baroque form of architecture and attracts tourists in their hordes.
The Milwaukee Art Museum – Milwaukee
The three buildings that make up the Milwaukee Art Museum form an architectural masterpiece. Each building was constructed at a different period, with the War Memorial Center being the first in 1957. The second building was designed by David Kahler in 1975, and the third and final building was created by Spaniard Santiago Calatrava in 2001.
The art museum’s real beauty is in its stunning location situated right on Lake Michigan but connected to the city by a delicate cable footbridge. It is as though the museum was a modern island perched on the edge of one of the Great Lakes. To the visitor, the whole structure resembles a giant concrete, steel and glass bird that has just flown in from the lake. In part two of our blog we travel to India, Jerusalem and Cologne to visit even more stunning modern and ancient buildings.