With the holiday season at our door steps, travelling is first and foremost in most of our minds.  Although we are usually more concerned with the hotels we stay at, the food we eat and the company we keep while travelling, taking in the local architecture can be an exciting way to learn about a country or place.

Amazing architecture exists all around the world and it doesn’t have to be new to catch our attention. We took a look at some of the most fascinating iconic buildings and structures around the world. And the various design movements in which they were born. If possible, we recommend a visit to at least one of these sites.

The Giza Pyramids are situated in Cairo, Egypt. The fact that these structures were built over four and a half thousand years ago amazes current day engineers.  The group of structures consists of three pyramids.  Pharoah Khufu built the first and largest pyramid.  Heavy Limestone blocks were used to build the pyramids, which is a feat in its own right. This was then encased in smoother limestone.

The second pyramid was built by Khafu’s son, Khafre. The Sphinx was also included in this complex.  It represents the sun god but has Khafre’s face.  Menkaura- the son of Khafre, built the third pyramid. This pyramid was less than half the size of the original pyramid of Khufu.  Red granite was used in the construction of this pyramid.

Pyramids at Giza
Pyramids At Giza, Egypt
Although severely dilapidated, the Parthenon in Athens, Greece is still an amazing structure.  Construction of this marble temple began in 447BC and forms part of Ancient Greek architecture.

It was built to honour the deity Athena. The Dorian style columns and pediment- although now destroyed, are typical of the Ancient Greek architectural movement.

One of the most famous buildings situated in Barcelona, Spain is the Sagrada Familia Basilica. The building is a church designed by the famous architect Antoni Gaudi and is known for being incomplete due to his death before completion.

The 170 meter tall church is built in Gothic style and is made from materials such as sandstone and marble. Construction of the church began in 1882 and it is said to be finished by earliest 2026.

Sagrada Familia Barcelona
In North-East England, stands one of the most famous cathedrals in the world, built just over nine hundred years ago in 1093.  Durham Cathedral was originally build for monks of the order of St. Benedict and has survived well over the years.

The cathedral’s architecture is of Romanesque style and is widely recognised for its appearance in the first two Harry Potter films.

Durham Cathedral
In France, a popular tourist attraction also serves as an example of the luxury of the Rococo movement. The Palace of Versailles is known for being the home of King Louis XVI in the Seventeen Hundreds.  The Hall of Mirrors is an example of the over-the-top nature of the movement.  Luxurious looking materials and motifs have been utilised throughout the building. Palace of Versailles
Hotel Tassel by architect Victor Horta is situated in Brussels, Belgium. The Art Nouveau style building was completed in 1893.  It exerts typical Art Nouveau characteristics.  Its famous Art Nouveau style curvilinear staircase, naturally curved wall décor and exterior facades are well recognised.  Popular materials of the designs movement, including cast iron, were used within the building design. Hotel Tassel
New York City is famous for its high-rise buildings and city skyline.  One of its more famous buildings would be the Empire State Building.  The Art Deco style buildingstands 443 metres tall when the tip of the building is included and consists of 102 floors. Construction on the building first began in 1930. William Lamb was the designer responsible for the famous building. Empire State Building
It is fascinating to look at iconic architecture over the years and the above-mentioned buildings are a few of many out there.  Will you be visiting any of these places this holiday?  Whether you will be travelling overseas, having a quiet get together at home or working over the holiday season– we wish you a happy and safe one!  Don’t forget to admire the architecture around you!
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