Architecture is more than just physical structures — it’s a glimpse into the history of a place. In fact, it allows you to get a real feel for the culture and the fabric of its region. This can hardly fail to intrigue us, can it? Which is why we’ve taken the trouble to identify some of the world’s most eclectic cities whose architecture speak for themselves. So whether you’re an architect, a photographer or simply an admirer of well-designed buildings, get set to be bowled over.
Rome – A tale as old as time
Say the word architecture and the first city that comes to mind is Rome, and with good reason. With a history of more than 3,000 years, its architecture brings to life the grandeur of the glory days. And if you’re a fan of classical and renaissance architecture, Rome is undoubtedly your paradise. From the world-famous Colosseum and Pantheon to the majestic Palazzo Farnese and Basilica of Santa Sabina, every structure is symbolic of its times and carries with it a wealth of stories. However, while it’s easy to think of Roman architecture as a thing of the past, its signature domes, vaults, and arches have gracefully endured the test of time and continue to influence contemporary architecture. In fact, if you look closely enough, there’s a good chance you’ll find traces of it within your home!
Prague – An architecture melting-pot
There is no dearth of iconic architecture in Europe. But if you’re on the lookout for some place truly unique, Prague is the place to be.
Many European cities are home to a distinctive style of architecture that forms the character of the city — and it’s here that Prague is different. The city is one of those rare places that allows you to witness the coming together of different types of architecture. From classical European styles to the Oriental-inspired Moorish Revival, as well as traces of Stalinist architecture, you can see a myriad of styles in Prague. You can visit the Powder Tower for a glimpse of Gothic architecture, St. Nicholas Church for its splendid Baroque interiors and the Kinsky palace for its fairytale-like Rococo style — there’s simply no shortage of breath-taking sights.
And, here’s a bit of trivia. Did you know that the Czech capital is one of the few places in Europe that was not destroyed in World War II? Almost all the buildings you see are in their original state — something of a rarity in eastern Europe!
Tokyo – A peek into the future
If classic European buildings are not your cup of tea, Tokyo will satisfy the contemporary architecture enthusiast in you. The best way to describe Tokyo’s cityscape is ‘creative minimalism’. Characterised by straight lines and geometric patterns, the architecture is sleek and makes innovative use of space, without compromising on utility.
And that’s not all, this fast-paced city — with its technology-driven architecture — successfully balances the dichotomy between flashy extravagance and modest minimalism. And this ability to think outside the box comes in especially handy in Tokyo’s property market, where depreciation is among the highest in the world. This shorter life cycle means architects are given the freedom to impose their own styles, leaving the Japanese capital to boast a plethora of avant-garde structures and buildings!
Isfahan – Where history comes to life
The Middle East is often overlooked when it comes to architectural prestige. But its ancient civilization has given rise to a unique style — one that is best embodied by Isfahan. The once-capital of Iran might not be on everyone’s bucket list, but it’s one of the best places to experience the sheer grandeur of Perso-Islamic architecture. Replete with tiled mosques and minarets, grand bridges and enchanting palaces, Isfahan tells architectural secrets and stories like no other city.
For a glimpse of some of these treasures, which include intricate marble sculptures and sprawling courtyards, you can visit the historic Naqsh-e Jahan square and the Masjed-e Shah mosque, or even the Zayandeh River Bridges. Their stunning architecture is testament to its rich history and continues to lure travellers from the farthest lands!
As you can see, we’re not short of architectural marvels in the world. No matter what floats your boat, there are many more waiting to be explored. All that’s left to do now is to get your camera, pack your bags, and set off on an adventure of a lifetime!