Architecture is a subjective field. Even so, Just like there are several bizarre buildings in the world today, there are also several outstanding buildings around the world that many people find attractive. The world we live in is beautified with beautiful buildings, and this list is just a small portion of what is out there. But a fine selection nonetheless. Coming up with a list like this can be subjective, there are sure to be buildings that you feel would have made this list. We want to know about them, feel free to send us your thoughts and pictures from your trips in the comments section below.
For a building that took 22 years, and required 20,000 artisans, to complete, we can surely say that The Taj Mahal deserves to be amongst the most beautiful buildings in the world. Composed of a series of structures that were constructed during the middle of the fifteenth century, The Taj Mahal was originally commissioned by an Indian ruler to house the tomb of his beloved wife. This touching memorial has since grown into one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions. It was also designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983 thanks to its masterful combination of Turkish, Persian, and other Middle Eastern design influences.
The Potala Palace has been the winter palace of the Dalai Lama since the 7th century and is widely regarded as a masterpiece of Tibetan art. Sitting 3,700m above sea level, it is perched on the mountains of Tibet and is the highest palace in the world. The Potala palace shares much of its style with Buddhist temples but the details put into this massive building is what sets it apart.
The Imam Mosque (also known as the Shah Mosque) is simply Persian architecture at its very best. Located in the city of Isfahan, Iran, the building features an incredible dome and is completely covered with pale blue tiles. It also boasts of some breathtaking calligraphy and as such, it is not surprising that it has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Eiffel Tower is definitely one of the most famous buildings in the world. It has defined an entire city and makes up the mental image that many people associate with the word “France.” Compared to some of the other buildings on this list it seems simple, but there is beauty in its angular and exposed design. It is a symbol of the engineering that is normally hidden behind the glittering walls of a building.
Sydney Opera House
Another architectural wonder which has come to define an entire city and country is The Sydney Opera House. Located in the city of Sydney, Australia, it took 14 years to finish and reportedly cost about $102 million. We can certainly say that this is money well spent. The building has provided the backdrop for many international and national sporting competitions. It has also been included in countless movies. Additionally, it has become a major tourist attraction with nearly 11 million visitors each year.
The Chrysler Building, located in New York City, is one of the most iconic buildings in America. It was even the tallest building in the world for a brief time (1929 – 1930) until it was deposed by yet another famous American building, The Empire State Building. Featuring the Art Deco style which dominated the United States and Western Europe in the 30s, the Chrysler Building houses several offices and still remains one of the most impressive structures in the Manhattan skyline.
La Sagrada Familia
La Sagrada Familia is a massive Roman Catholic basilica located in Spain. It is the most beautiful church in the world and is still under construction to this day. Work has been ongoing since the middle of the 19th century. It is however hoped that, with the help of modern construction methods and other technological advancements, the church would be completed someday.
The Hagia Sophia is located in Turkey and has an interesting history. It was originally built as an Orthodox Church but was then converted into a Mosque. It served as a Mosque for hundreds of years until it was once again converted. The Hagia Sophia is now a museum and features some of the most impressive mosaic art in the world. It is this unbeatable combination of rich history and physical beauty that ensures its place on our list of the most beautiful buildings in the world.
Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al Arab is just one out of the many buildings that have recently risen to define Dubai’s skyline. This building is not anywhere near the tallest, but it is the most beautiful. It rests on its own man-made island and was constructed to look like a full sail. It also has a helipad for easy landing and take-off of its VIP guests. The result is impressive, to say the least, and it is surely the only sixty-story tall glass sail in existence.
The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
The Pyramids of Giza are not just amongst the most beautiful buildings in the world but are also regarded as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Originally intended by the Egyptian Pharaohs as their preparation for the next life, the pyramids are three in number and were built to last forever. Each of them features a palace, temples, and solar boat pits, etc. and they are responsible for Egypt’s booming tourist industry.
Niterói Contemporary Art Museum
Brazil boasts of several architectural wonders such as the National Congress of Brazil in Brasilia, The Sao Paulo Museum of Art in Sao Paulo as well as The Niterói Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) in Rio de Janeiro. We shall, however, focus on the MAC. Just as the name suggests, the MAC is a contemporary art museum located in Rio. It was completed in 1996 and hangs over a body of water. It features a stunning collection of lines and curves inspired by the flowers that are common in Rio’s landscape.
The Gresham Palace is another architectural wonder which boasts of a rich history as well. Located in Budapest, Hungary, the building was originally utilized as a palace by a particular ruling house known as Nako House. It was later converted into an office building and even became an army barracks during World War II. With the dawn of a new Millenium in 2000, The Gresham Palace was reconstituted as a luxury hotel and is now a majestic sight to behold.