Frank Gehry a Canadian born, the world-renowned architect said: “Architecture should speak of its time and place but yearn for timelessness.”
Growing up we have all learnt the seven wonders of the world. These architectural manifestations never fail to make the onlooker awe in their beauty and distinctiveness. Every architectural marvel that stands the test of time talks about the culture and the taste of people around them. It evolves and represents something. There are several recognised wonders around the world but some lie on the unbeaten path. They too need to be given the recognition for what they represent.
Let’s have a look at some of the most beautiful architectures that you architecture lovers can visit.
1.The Great Mosque of Cordoba:
It’s known as the Mezquita-Cathedral, built by the time the Muslims ruled the Al-Andulas or the Muslim Iberian empire which comprised of Spain, Portugal and a small parts of Southern France. The buildings from this era speak a lot about the history. The architectural marvel was first a temple to the Roman God Janus which was then converted into a church and later converted into a mosque by the exiled Umayyads. The building developed over a time period of two hundred years is filled with columns, courtyards, fountains and a beautiful prayer hall with geometric designs and a high and detailed dome.
2. Dresden Frauenkirche:
It is a beautiful 18th Century church that was destroyed during the bombing of Dresden in World War II. It was reconstructed and finished by 2004 and now again proudly stands as an edifice in the city. One of the most unique features of the church is its high dome or also known as the Stenerne Glock. It is a 12,000 tonne stone dome which was placed on eight supports, an engineering feat during its time. The structure has stood the test of time quite literally, being built back after it was bombed down. It has and will continue to be a sign of the war and the strength of the people who chose to rebuild it.
3. The Dome of the Rock:
Located in Jerusalem, Israel was described by the traveller Ibn Battuta as a “building of extraordinary beauty, solidity, elegance and singularity of shape”. It is built over the highest point in the old Jerusalem. The building commonly assumed to be a mosque is not actually one but its original function and purpose are being debated to date by scholars. There is a rock at the centre of this structure which has multiple theories associated with its significance but it is right to say that this structure holds significance in several religions and is truly a breathtaking architectural marvel.
4. Sagrada Familia
This site is known as Barcelona’s unfinished masterpiece. It is one of the world’s longest-running construction projects with the first foundation stone being laid over 130 years ago. If all goes according to plan, the project is set to finish in 2026. The basilica was the brainchild of the master architect of Antoni Gaudi. Now over a dozen architects are engaged with the project and over 200 workers mostly local Catalans. The building is set to reshape the skyline of Barcelona city. Once completed, this spectacular marvel is going to be crowned as one of the most iconic structures around the world.
5. Galden Namgey Lhatse
Located in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, it is known as the largest monastery in India. It is located close to the Tibetian border and was built in accordance with the wishes of the 5th Dalai Lama. The name of the monastery translated in Tibetian means “Celestial Palace in a clear night” and it truly is a beauty to behold. It is a 3 storey building located in a compound with 65 residential buildings. The campus also comprises of a library that holds several important manuscripts. The building was built in 1680-1681 according to historical accounts. Located at 10,000 feet the beauty is truly breathtaking.
6. Rani Ki Vav:
This UNESCO world heritage site has recently become the feature image of the new Rs. 100 notes launched. It was built as a memorial by an 11th-century king for his widowed wife in the state of Gujarat. This site features a deep stairwell that one could stare at endlessly. The building is entirely covered in intricate drawings and carvings. The vav is designed to look like an inverted temple and the structure, also used as a water storage area, was meant to signify the sanctity of water.
Architecture doesn’t just satisfy a specific function that it is built for, it stands for a lot more. A building can speak volumes about a place, its culture, its history. It can also serve as an example for generations together and give inspiration to several others. Travelling around the world witnessing different architectures can be quite rewarding and the saying “travelling is the only expense that makes you richer truly does take form here”.