20 Of The Most Beautiful Buildings in the World

Neuschwanstein Castle
Photo: robef/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

Neuschwanstein Castle is a nineteenth-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner. Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and by means of extensive borrowing, rather than Bavarian public funds. The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. Since then more than 61 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with as many as 6,000 per day in the …more on Wikipedia

Located In: Bavaria, Germany

Palace of Versailles
Photo: Ninara/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

The Palace of Versailles, or simply Versailles, is a royal château in Versailles in the Île-de-France region of France. In French, it is known as the Château de Versailles. When the château was built, Versailles was a country village; today, however, it is a wealthy suburb of Paris, some 20 kilometres southwest of the French capital. The court of Versailles was the center of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to return to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarchy of the Ancien Régime. …more on Wikipedia

Located In: Versailles, France

Area (km sq.): 67.0

Milan Cathedral Duomo
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

Milan Cathedral is the cathedral church of Milan, Italy. Dedicated to St Mary of the Nativity, it is the seat of the Archbishop of Milan, currently Cardinal Angelo Scola. The Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete. It is the 5th-largest church in the world and the largest in Italy. …more on Wikipedia

Located In: Milan, Italy

Notre Dame de Paris
Photo: Philippe Milbault/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral or simply Notre-Dame, is a historic Catholic cathedral on the eastern half of the Île de la Cité in the fourth arrondissement of Paris, France. The cathedral is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture, and it is among the largest and most well-known church buildings in the world. The naturalism of its sculptures and stained glass are in contrast with earlier Romanesque architecture. As the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, Notre-Dame is the parish that contains the cathedra, or official chair, of the archbishop of Paris, currently Cardinal André Vingt-Trois. The cathedral treasury is notable …more on Wikipedia

Located In: Île de la Cité, Paris, France

Taj Mahal
Photo: sandeepachetan.com/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. Commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal stands on the southern bank of the Yamuna River. The mausoleum is widely recognized as “the jewel of Muslim art in India” and remains as one of the world’s most celebrated structures and a symbol of India’s rich history. Regarded by many as the best example of the Mughal architecture, it is a perfect blend combining elements from Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish as well as Indian architectural styles. The famed mausoleum complex of white domed marble of the Taj Mahal actually is an integrated c… …more on Wikipedia

Located In: Uttar Pradesh, India

Hungarian Parliament Building
Photo: Cost3l/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

The Hungarian Parliament Building is the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary, one of Europe’s oldest legislative buildings, a notable landmark of Hungary and a popular tourist destination of Budapest. It lies in Lajos Kossuth Square, on the bank of the Danube. It is currently the largest building in Hungary and still the highest building in Budapest. …more on Wikipedia

Located In: Budapest, Hungary

Florence Cathedral
Photo: McPig/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is the main church of Florence, Italy. Il Duomo di Firenze, as it is ordinarily called, was begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th-century Gothic Revival façade by Emilio De Fabris. The cathedral complex, located in Piazza del Duomo, includes the Baptistery and Giotto’s Campanile. The three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a m… …more on Wikipedia

Located In: Florence, Italy

Cologne Cathedral
Photo: barnyz/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Cologne Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Cologne, Germany. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cologne and the administration of the Archdiocese of Cologne. It is a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture and is a World Heritage Site. It is Germany’s most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day. Construction of Cologne Cathedral commenced in 1248 and was halted in 1473, leaving it unfinished. Work restarted in the 19th century and was completed, to the original plan, in 1880. It is 144.5 metres long, 86.25 m wide and its towers are approximately 157 m tall. The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the secon… …more on Wikipedia

Located In: Cologne, Germany

Angkor Wat
Photo: jafsegal/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

Located In: Angkor, Cambodia

Mont Saint-Michel Castle
Photo: freestock.ca ♡ dare to share beauty/flickr/CC-BY 2.0

Located In: Normandy, France

Saint Basil’s Cathedral
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/GNU Free Documentation License

The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, commonly known as Saint Basil’s Cathedral, is a church in Red Square in Moscow, Russia. The building, now a museum, is officially known as the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat or Pokrovsky Cathedral. It was built from 1555–61 on orders from Ivan the Terrible and commemorates the capture of Kazan and Astrakhan. A world famous landmark it was the city’s tallest building until the completion of the Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600. The original building, known as Trinity Church and later Trinity Cathedral, contained eight side churches arranged around the ninth, central church of Intercession; the tenth church was erected… …more on Wikipedia

Located In: Russia

Sacré-Cœur, Paris
Photo: IceNineJon/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
Louvre Palace
Photo: manucornet/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Located In: Paris, France

Semperoper
Photo: Rocky Wall/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Located In: Dresden, Saxony, Germany

Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/GNU Free Documentation License

The Eiffel Tower is an iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It was named after the engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower. Erected in 1889 as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair, it was initially criticised by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but has become both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest structure in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.98 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010. The tower is 324 metres tall, about the same heig… …more on Wikipedia

Located In: Europe

Machu Picchu
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain

Machu Picchu or Machu Pikchu is a 15th-century Inca site located 2,430 metres above sea level. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru. It is situated on a mountain ridge above the Sacred Valley which is 80 kilometres northwest of Cusco and through which the Urubamba River flows. Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was built as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti. Often mistakenly referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas”, it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450, but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Span… …more on Wikipedia

Located In: Cusco Region, Peru

Area (km sq.): 13.0

Vienna Opera House
Photo: Bogdan Suditu/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0

Located In: Vienna, Austria

Sagrada Família
Photo: Alejandro Escario Mendez/flickr/CC-BY-NC 2.0

The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, is a large Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, Catalonia, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Although incomplete, the church is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated and proclaimed it a minor basilica, as distinct from a cathedral which must be the seat of a bishop. Construction of Sagrada Família had commenced in 1882 and Gaudí became involved in 1883, taking over the project and transforming it with his architectural and engineering style, combining Gothic and curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Gaudí devoted his last years to the project, and at the time of his death at age 73 in 1926 les… …more on Wikipedia

Located In: Barcelona, Spain

City of Petra
Photo: Merlijn Hoek/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Located In: Ma’an, Jordan

Big Ben
Photo: Metaweb (FB)/Public domain

Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell of the clock at the north end of the Palace of Westminster in London, and often extended to refer to the clock and the clock tower. The tower is officially known as the Elizabeth Tower, renamed as such to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II. The tower holds the second largest four-faced chiming clock in the world. The tower was completed in 1858 and had its 150th anniversary on 31 May 2009, during which celebratory events took place. The tower has become one of the most prominent symbols of the United Kingdom and is often in the establishing shot of films set in London. …more on Wikipedia

Located In: City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom

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