Most Beautiful Buildings in the World

Written By Hajra Khatoon, Travel Story

What comes to your mind when we say beautiful buildings? Do you instantly think of Taj Mahal or the Red Fort or the Pantheon? A hundred years ago, naming the most breathtaking building was easy. But not anymore! With so many choices to pick from, we had a tough time picking out the choicest. But here you go, feast your eyes to some of the most wonderful architecture from across the globe with a little bit about each.

  • Burj Al Arab, Dubai

    Burj Al Arab Exterior Burj Al Arab interior

    Opened in 1999 and often referred to as the world’s seven star hotel (though often debated), Burj Al Arab is the fourth tallest hotel in the world. Standing at 321 m (1053 ft), the hotel is located on its own private island and is connected to the mainland via a private curving bridge. Shaped like a dhow (a sailing vessel), the hotel boasts of one of the most beautiful atrium standing at 180 m tall.

  • Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision, Netherlands

    Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision

    Conceived as a perfect cube, half of which is underground, this building is the storehouse of the largest audiovisual archives of Europe. The structure’s panels are imprinted with famous images from Dutch television: the justice minister riding his bicycle, say, Johan Cruyff scoring a goal. Using computer technology, the architect ran the images together and baked them into the glass.

  • St Mark’s Square, Venice

    St. Mark's Square in Venice Piazza

    Piazza San Marco, known as St. Mark’s Square in English or more popularly as the Piazza, this is the public square in Italy. Described by Napoleon as the “most beautiful drawing room”, the piazza is a grand structure and stands beautifully.

  • The Guggenheim, Bilbao Spain

    The Guggenheim, Bilbao Spain The Guggenheim, Bilbao Spain

    When this building was opened in 1997, it was described as the most important building of its time. Built of limestone, glass and titanium, the museum features exhibitions organized by the Guggenheim Foundation and by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, as well as selections from the permanent collection of the Guggenheim Museums. Built along the Nervion River, this museum is often referred to as the most important work since the 1980s, among architectural experts.

  • Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

    Hagia Sophia, Istanbul Interiors of Hagia Sophia, Istanbul

    Initially started as a Church, then a mosque and now a museum, this building is the epitome of old world charm in Istanbul. One of the greatest surviving example of the Byzantine architecture, its interiors is decorated with mosaic and marbles and coverings of great artisitic value.

  • Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

    Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar Aerial views of Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar

    The oldest historical pagoda, standing for over 2,600 years, the pagoda is 99 mts high and dominates the skyline of the city. It is the most sacred Buddhist pagodas and the gold seen on the stupa is made of genuine gold plates, covering the brick structure and attached by traditional rivets. People from Myanmar and monarchs from all over have donated to have the gold setup and for it to be maintained.

  • King Ludwig’s Castle, Bavaria

    King Ludwig’s Castle in Bavaria King Ludwig’s Castle in Bavaria King Ludwig’s Castle in Bavaria

    Famously known as the Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Kind Ludwig’s Castle or Neuschwanstein Castle is every girl’s dream castle. Built under the commission of Ludwig II, King of Bavaria, in the 19th century; this palace was far from built when Ludwig died. Though an incomplete structure (according to the original plan) this castle attracts over 1.3 million visitors every year. The majestic exteriors makes in one of the most popular attraction of Europe.

  • Sistine Chapel, Rome

    Sistine Chapel in Rome Italy

    The official residence of the Pope in the Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel is best known for its ceiling. The ceiling which is probably one of the greatest works of Michelangelo, took about four years to complete. The painted area of the ceiling is about 40 m (131 ft) long by 13 m (43 ft) wide. This means that Michelangelo painted well over 5,000 square feet (460 m2) of frescoes. To understand the full impact and beauty of this structure, one has to read this quote which sums it beautifully.

    "Without having seen the Sistine Chapel one can form no appreciable idea of what one man is capable of achieving." -- Johann Wolfgang Goethe, 23 August 1787
  • The Taj Mahal

    The Taj Mahal in India

    We cannot do a list of beautiful buildings without mentioning India’s pride - The Taj Mahal. Known for its beauty for the love, Taj Mahal is the epitome of Mughal architecture. Built as a tribute, Taj Mahal is a tomb for Mumtaz Mahal, wife of emperor Shah Jahan, the centre of Taj Mahal is the tomb of both of them. The minarets are over 130 ft high and every aspect of the structure has elements of Persian architecture in it. With over 20 years required to build the monument of love, this beauty is definitely one to lay eyes on.

  • The Pantheon, Rome

    The Pantheon in Rome Italy Aerial view of Pantheon in Rome Italy

    A Roman Temple built for the Gods of Ancient Rome, Pantheon is over 2000 years old. The dome of the Pantheon is the world's largest unreinforced concrete dome. The only source of light is the interior is the entry door and the oculus (or the circular hole at the apex of the dome). Two kings and a queen of Italy are buried in the Pantheon. It is one of the marvels of architecture.

What remains to be understood is that there so many more which could have made it to the list. As they say, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Do tell us what your favorites among the list or any that you would like to mention. And if you got the time and money go visit them and find out for yourself!

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