▎The World’s Most Absolutely Amazing And Beautiful Architecture
Architecture stands at the cross-section of art, technology, and humanity. At the most basic level, it shelters us, and on the grandest level, it seeks to inspire and awe.
Whether inspired to honour their religious beliefs, house their pursuit of knowledge, or pay tribute to the grandeur of their monarchs, mankind has for centuries been dreaming up the most beautiful buildings.
We encounter many of these structures throughout our life’s travels, seeing rich culture reflected back to us in landmarks that serve both to teach us about the past and the future.
Above is the stunning Tiger’s Nest Monastery in Bhutan, built in 1692 and accessible only by a four-mile trek on foot or horseback, and read on to find more of the most beautiful buildings to add to your world travel ‘bucket list’.
▎Church of the Light in Osaka, Japan
This modern study of light and worship in Osaka, Japan, was designed by respected Japanese Architect Tadao Ando in the 1980s. The main chapel, which features a design striking in its simplicity and profound symbolism, showcases Ando’s use of Zen philosophies and his interest in the dual nature of existence.
Light enters the chapel from behind the alter through a large cross cut in a concrete wall. At this intersection of light and solid, the visitor is meant to become aware of the spiritual and secular within himself.
“In all my works, light is an important controlling factor” Architect Tadao Ando once said.
▎Imam Mosque in Isfahan, Iran
This masterpiece of Persian architecture was constructed in the 1600s during the Safavid dynasty at the orders of Abbas I of Persia with the goal of centring political, economic, religious and cultural activities in Isfahan. The seven-coloured mosaic tiles and ornate calligraphic inscriptions give the site its grand beauty and splendour.
Today when visiting the mosque, it is not unusual to see visitors lying down to contemplate the beauty of the mosaic-domed ceilings without straining their necks. In Iran, the Imam Mosque is pictured on the reverse of the 20,000 rial banknote.
▎Taj Mahal in New Delhi, India
A list of beautiful architecture can’t afford to skip the Taj Mahal, a title which literally translates to “Crown of the Palaces”. This ivory-white marble mausoleum, situated on the south bank of the Yamuna River in the city of Agra, India, was built by some 20,000 artisans at the order of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 1600s as a fitting tomb for his wife.
Many regard the Taj Mahal as the best example of the architecture of its period and see it as a symbol of India’s rich history. Annually, the universally admired site receives between seven and eight million visitors. One legend has it that the emperor was so pleased with the grandeur of the tomb constructed for his wife that he had the hands of the architect cut off after the Taj Mahal was completed, ensuring that they would never build another of its kind.