Tag Archives: architecture

Silent Retro Sunday: Palace of the Parliament, Bucharest

Palace of the Parliament (the former Palace of the People – Casa Poporului) in Bucharest, the world’s largest civilian building

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Geghard Monastery: carved from the mountain

Remember I wrote about the ruins of Zvartnots Cathedral with the spectacular view of Mount Ararat? And a bit later, the monasteries at Haghpat and Sanahin? Armenia’s third world heritage site is Geghard Monastery with its scenic surrounding canyon, the Upper Azat Valley. As you may have noticed, all three of Armenia’s sites are churches, [...]

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Hospital de Sant Pau

Antoni Gaudi isn’t the only famous Barcelona modernist architect. Another one is Lluís Domènech i Montaner. I was introduced to some of his spectacular buildings during a walking tour of Barcelona. The walk did not comprise Hospital de Sant Pau, but I had the opportunity to wander about the grounds of this hospital during another [...]

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Berlin Modernism Housing Estates: architecture with a conscience

In my quest to see sites that UNESCO has deemed worthy of special protection and preservation for future generations, I sometimes stumble upon rather curious ones. These can be quirky and fascinating sights off the beaten path, like these ruins in Armenia or this tiny island in the River Gambia. Other times, well, I’ll be [...]

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Exploring Suomenlinna

At the entrance to Helsinki’s harbour lies a group of islands that is home to Suomenlinna Maritime Fortress, a popular day out in the Finnish capital. And what is the meaning behind this intriguing name, you ask? Well, Suomenlinna means Finnish Castle. You’ll also see the name Sveaborg – meaning Swedish Castle. Suomenlinna was constructed [...]

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World at a Glance: A Victorian Mosque in Malaysia

Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque is the state mosque of the state of Johor in southern Malaysia, just across the border from Singapore. Notice how this Islamic house of worship is built, at least partly, in a Victorian English style? There are other influences as well, of course – Moorish, and Malay – but look at [...]

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Atomium, a Brussels icon

I’ve been to the capital of Europe countless times. I even lived there for a few months after uni, while I was contemplating what to do with the rest of my life – amongst friends persuading me to join them in diplomatic/bureaucratic service. Idly contemplating, I should hasten to add, involving many a late night [...]

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