Architecture is a common medium through which cultures express their artistic style on a grand scale. The timeless structures are unique pieces of mathematical and artistic genius, often characterized by features of their culture of origin. Whether it be through iconic patterns or colours, it’s often possible to trace a distinct style in each culture’s architecture. Here’s a quick guide to the most renowned structures from around the world (you’ll probably recognize many of them!)
Russia: St. Basil’s Cathedral
Image courtesy of BoomsBeat
Not to be confused with the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral was built from 1555 to 1561 under the rule of Ivan the Terrible. The cathedral showcases some very prominent elements of Russian culture, namely the use of bright colours and the onion-shaped domes. Although originally used as a church, the Soviet Union confiscated the building and converted it into a museum, which it remains as today.
India: Taj Mahal
Image courtesy of UNESCO
You’ll like this story if you’re a romantic: the Taj Mahal, a massive and monumental structure, was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan a tribute to his late wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Made of white marble and built from 1631 to 1648, the Taj Mahal is considered one of the greatest architectural feats in the world. The 240 feet tall mausoleum includes extremely complex details and a 300 metre garden.
Vatican City, Italy: St. Peter’s Basilica
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
Located in Vatican City, this massive church is considered to be the most esteemed piece of Renaissance architecture. The design of St. Peter’s Basilica, which included Michelangelo’s contributions, has been emulated by many churches around the world. Some sources claim that the remains of St. Peter are buried under the altar of the Basilica.
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
The Parthenon can be excused for its bad shape: it was originally built in 432 BC, making it one of the oldest remaining man-made structures in the world! Despite its wear and tear, the Ancient Greek temple still emanates an iconic Greek style through the ornate columns. Originally used as a temple, the remains are now a frequent site for tourists.
China: The Gate of Divine Might, Forbidden City
Image courtesy of Travel the World
Also known as The Palace Museum, this attraction averages 80’000 visitors a day. Built in the early 15th century, the Forbidden City is a notable cultural landmark. Pictured above is the iconic Gate of Divine Might, known for its beautiful colours and design.
Those are just a few of the many incredible pieces of cultural architecture that can be found around the world. Each structure is made unique by the great influence of culture and style, combining to create some of the best buildings in the world!