60 World’s Most Famous Buildings to Discover Before You Die

Some of the most famous buildings in the world carry a lot of history. Tourists looking to visit the most iconic buildings have a lot of destinations to choose from. Historical architecture also reveals a lot of construction trends during medieval times.

Famous Buildings

It reflects the long-established culture and serves as a source of design inspiration. These cool buildings with contemporary architecture are also prime destinations for architects looking often for ideas.

Here’s a list of the famous architecture in the world.


Empire State Building — New York, USA

Empire State Building — New York, USA

The Empire State Building stands 1250 ft (380 m) tall, excluding the spire and antenna. It’s a 102-story building. During construction, it was intended to be the world’s first 100+ story building.

Empire State Building hosts millions of visitors annually, including athletes who race to the building’s 86th floor. The observation deck lets visitors experience an epic view of New York City. Plus, the tower lights up to commemorate holidays, important events, and organizations.


The Famous Eiffel Tower – Paris, France

The Famous Eiffel Tower – Paris, France

The Eiffel tower commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution. It was once the world’s tallest structure for four decades. The Chrysler Building surpassed its height in 1930.

The famous architectural piece was named after Gustave Eiffel, the engineer who designed and built it between 1887- 1889. He was later hired to create a skeletal support system for the Statue of Liberty. Eiffel Tower measures 324 meters in height. It’s as tall as an 80-story building.

Visitors can access three levels, two of which have restaurants. The top floor features a platform that sits 276 meters above the ground. It’s the highest observation deck in the EU.


Shanghai Tower — Shanghai, China

Shanghai Tower — Shanghai, China

Shanghai tower has the world’s highest observation deck. It also features the world’s fastest elevators. The tower belongs to a coalition of state-owned development companies. It’s made of a stack of nine cylindrical buildings.

Each zone has a separate atrium and various amenities, including retail spaces. The Shanghai Tower has several sustainable architectural elements that make it a green skyscraper. It can also accommodate 16,000 people at a go.


The Guggenheim — New York City, USA

The Guggenheim — New York City, USA

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, or The Guggenheim, is a popular art museum in New York. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed the iconic building. It has a cylindrical shape with a wider top.

The museum is famous for its unique ramp gallery, which starts at the ground level. The helical ramp spirals up along the edges of the building, ending just under the ceiling skylight.


The Gherkin Building — London, UK

The Gherkin Building — London, UK

The construction of the Gherkin was completed in December 2003 and opened in April 2004.

Formerly known as 30 St Mary Axe, the Gherkin is situated in the primary financial district of London. The building has bagged several contemporary architecture awards.

It features reliable power-saving technology, cutting power consumption by half. Gherkin building’s aerodynamic design helps it reduce wind load. The tower has a range of tenants, including restaurants, offices, and bars.


Musée du Louvre – Paris, France

Musée du Louvre – Paris, France

France has some of the most ancient buildings in the world. King Phillip II of France built the fortress to protect the city from intruders. The Louvre first opened on August 10, 1793. Back then, it only featured an exhibition of 537 paintings.

Louvre’s collection has grown since then, making it the world’s largest art museum. The Nazis used the Louvre to store stolen art. However, During World War II, the Louvre was empty. Over 3,690 paintings and sculptures were moved to safe places. Louvre’s galleries cover an area of over 15 acres.

In 2017 the Louvre was the world’s most visited art museum. It hit the 10 million visitor mark in 2018. It’s situated inside the Louvre Palace in Paris. The structure was initially built as a fortress in the 12th and 13th centuries.


The Leaning Tower – Pisa, Italy

The Leaning Tower – Pisa, Italy

The Leaning Tower’s construction occurred in three stages over 199 years. The tilt began during the 12th century due to the murky foundation. First, the ground was too soft on one side and couldn’t support the entire structure’s weight.

Then, the tilt became more prominent in the period before the completion of the tower. It escalated, but the structure stabilized in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. More than 5 million tourists visit the leaning tower each year.


One World Trade Center — New York City, USA

One World Trade Center — New York City, USA

One World Trade Center, also known as Freedom Tower, is the 6th tallest building in the world. Architect David Childs designed the tower. It sits in Lower Manhattan, New York City. People take the city’s best images from an observatory near the top.

The building shares a name with the original World Trade Center that was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Most of the building’s structure consists of recycled material. The famous building from NYC is one of the most environmentally sustainable skyscrapers in the world.


Centre Georges Pompidou — Paris, France

Centre Georges Pompidou — Paris, France

The Centre Pompidou features fascinating historical architecture. It opened to the public in 1977, then was shut down for a while. The Centre Pompidou later reopened in 2000. On the exterior, its colorful facade resembles an oil refinery.

Aside from its controversial architecture, the Centre Pompidou is Europe’s most valued modern art museum. With over 50,000 works of art, the building has welcomed 145 million visitors. It rivals New York’s MoMA.

The building is a vast collection of different art forms. Each year, the art collection center receives over three million visitors. The building’s unique appearance features plumbing, wires, pipes, and escalators on the outside.


Chrysler Building — New York City, USA

Chrysler Building — New York City, USA

The Chrysler Building symbolizes the Art Deco architectural style. The iconic building is on the East Side of Midtown Manhattan in New York City. It was constructed and owned by Walter Chrysler, the head of the Chrysler Corporation.

The building served as the corporation’s headquarters from 1930 until the mid-1950s. It has since changed ownership and is currently an office building.


Westminster Abbey — London, UK

Westminster Abbey — London, UK

King Henry III commissioned Westminster Abbey in 1245. The Abbey is a Gothic church that serves as the traditional place of coronation. It’s also the burial site for English and British monarchs.

There have been many royal weddings here over the years. Westminster Abbey has also been used for religious purposes for over 1000 years. In 1987, the building was given a UNESCO World Heritage Site status.


Famous Musée d’Orsay Building — Paris, France

Famous Musée d’Orsay Building — Paris, France

The Musée d’Orsay was the first electrified urban rail terminal. It’s situated in what used to be a railway station built between 1898 and 1900. While it was transformed into an art museum, its original architectural design remains intact. The massive clock in the museum has also stood the test of time.

Musée d’Orsay first opened in 1986. It holds French art, including paintings by Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Degas, and other famous impressionists. The museum also has a vast selection of sculptures, furniture, and photography.

Other museums which ran out of space contributed to its collection. They include the National Museum of Modern Art, the Louvre, and the Jeu de Paume museum.


Burj Khalifa — Dubai, UAE

Burj Khalifa — Dubai, UAE

Burj Khalifa has been holding the title of the world’s tallest structure since 2008. It’s three times as tall as the Eiffel Tower. Initially, it was named Burj Dubai but later changed to Burj Khalifa. It was renamed in honor of the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The construction of the building began in 2004. The exterior was completed in 2009, featuring a reinforced concrete structure. In 2010, the inauguration of this iconic mixed-use development took place. 


Statue of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty is an iconic landmark on Liberty Island in New York Harbor. The copper statue was designed by sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel.

It was a gift from France to the United States. The statue is a symbol of freedom for the U.S. and people worldwide. Over time, the Statue of Liberty’s copper skin oxidized to a distinctive green color called verdigris.


Château de Chenonceau — Chenonceaux, France

Château de Chenonceau — Chenonceaux, France

The Château de Chenonceau features a historical architectural design inspired by some influential women. It’s the reason why it also goes by the ‘Ladies Castle.’ The Chateau has had several previous owners who made many changes and renovations.

It features a cocktail of Gothic and Renaissance architectural styles. During World War II, the castle was converted into a military hospital. The Germans later bombed it in 1940.

Today, its interior carries lots of history and art collections. Both the castle and surrounding gardens are open to visitors.


The Flatiron Building — New York City, USA

The Flatiron Building — New York City, USA

The Flatiron Building is a globally recognized structure thanks to its unique triangular shape. It was originally called the Fuller Building. Its name later changed to reflect the structure’s visual resemblance to a cast-iron clothes iron.

Construction of the structure was completed in 1902. It was one of the tallest buildings in New York City. With only 22 stories, the building has been exceeded by larger skyscrapers.


Notre Dame Cathedral — Paris, France

Notre Dame Cathedral — Paris, France

King Louis VII, who ruled from 1120-1180, commissioned Notre Dame cathedral. The landmark is a notable illustration of French Gothic architecture. It’s one of the most famous churches in the world, holding some of Catholicism’s most important relics.

The Notre Dame cathedral is home to the Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails. It’s also famous for its ten bells, Emmanuel being the largest. It dates back to 1681 and weighs over 12 tons.

Napoleon was crowned an Emperor in the cathedral. The exterior is whitewashed, while the interior got a Neoclassical makeover to give the cathedral a modern look.


Lincoln Center — New York City, USA

Lincoln Center — New York City, USA

The Lincoln Center is an arts-performing venue in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Manhattan. The center houses 11 performing arts organizations from across the globe. It was built as part of the “Lincoln Square Renewal Project” in the 1950s.

The Lincoln Performing Arts Center holds festivals, ballet programs, jazz, and more. They also have kids’ performances and programs designed for individuals with autism and dementia.


Villa Savoye — Poissy, France

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Wikipedia

Villa Savoye is located on the western outskirts of Paris. It’s named after the family who commissioned it. The mansion is an example of early modern architecture. Its design includes long horizontal windows to enhance natural lighting.

However, the Germans looted the villa and made it inhabitable during World War II. The building was almost demolished in the 1950s. There were some structural defects, and the contractors demanded extra payments.

The Savoye family had a few issues with the building and only lived there between 1931 and 1940. It later became the property of the local government. The Villa Savoye was added to the French registry of monuments in 1965.

There’s also a roof garden, thanks to its flat roof design. Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (1887-1965), a Swiss architect, designed the building. Although the building was intended to bear modern architecture, the plan had some classical elements.


Arc de Triomphe — Paris, France

Arc de Triomphe — Paris, France

In 1806, Napoleon I commissioned the monument two years after taking control of France. It was meant to celebrate the French army, which had conquered a sizable part of Europe.

Arc de Triomphe was once the world’s biggest arch. North Korean dictator Kim II Sung got inspired and built a bigger arch in 1922. It measures 162 feet tall and 150 feet wide.

The famed French monument receives more than 1.5 million visitors each year. It was completed after 30 years. The arc was huge–it took more than two years to lay its foundation.


Le Mont-Saint-Michel — Normandy, France

Le Mont-Saint-Michel — Normandy, France

Mont Saint-Michel is one of the most notable pilgrimage destinations. The Gothic Benedictine abbey dates back to 708 A.D. Mont Saint-Michel was built over 1300 years by multiple generations. It demonstrates the structural hierarchy of feudal society.

There’s God on top, followed by the abbey and monastery. Below the monastery, there are stores and houses. At the bottom, near the walls, there’s housing for farmers and fishermen. Bishop Aubert of Avranches got the idea to build a church on a rocky island from a dream.

Due to the abbey’s solid reinforcement, the Kingdom of England failed to seize it. During the French Revolution, the abbey was a prison for high-profile politicians. Mont Saint-Michel has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1979.


Sacré-Coeur — Paris, France

Sacré-Coeur — Paris, France

Sacré-Coeur is a blend of art and worship. It sits on the hill of Montmartre, the second-highest point of the city. The Sacré-Coeur is the second most visited church, with more than 10 million visitors annually. It’s also among the top 50 monuments in the world.

It features the romano-byzantine architectural style. Churches like San Marco in Venice inspired the design. The construction took almost 39 years, and seven architects helped build the Sacré-Coeur.


Parthenon, Athens, Greece

Parthenon, Athens, Greece

The historic structure was built at the pinnacle of the Greek empire. It took six years to complete all its decorative elements. The Parthenon is dedicated to the patron saint of Athens, a Greek goddess.

Some of its treasures, including Parthenon’s surviving sculptures, now reside in a British museum. The structure showcases the incredible ancient Greek architecture. It’s worth noting that there’s a detailed replica of the Parthenon in the United States.


The Shard — London, UK

The Shard — London, UK

The Shard was built using 95% recycled materials. It is the tallest building in Western Europe, standing at 306 meters. It’s the fourth tallest in Europe and the 96th tallest in the world. Formerly called the London Bridge Tower, it features 11,000 glass panels.

Its glass panels cover an area equivalent to eight football pitches. The Shard has 72 habitable floors, the most impressive being the 72nd level. It has a viewing gallery and an open-air observation gallery.


Tower Bridge – London, UK

Tower Bridge – London, UK

You’re likely to mistake Tower Bridge for London Bridge. The final architectural style of Tower Bridge was picked from 50 design options. Tower Bridge was built by five major companies and took eight years to complete.

The Royal family opened it in 1894. An electrical and oil-driven electro-hydraulic system powers the bascules. Tower Bridge features a glass walkway that was fitted in 2014. It’s considered London’s most famous bridge, with over 500,000 annual visitors.


Houses of Parliament — London, UK

Houses of Parliament — London, UK

Formerly the Palace of Westminster, The Houses of Parliament is an iconic government building. It was once a sizeable royal palace. Visitors are welcome to watch committee hearings. Its architectural design still holds some medieval elements.

Architect Charles Barry later redesigned the Houses of Parliament. He incorporated a Gothic Revival style into the design. While the building is now home to the current government, it’s designed to uphold traditions.


Big Ben — London, United Kingdom

Big Ben — London, United Kingdom

The landmark where Big Ben sits was renamed the Elizabeth Tower in 2012. Big Ben is a bell that weighs 13.7 tons. Edward Dent, a clock master, came up with the initial design.

Big Ben features in seventeen Disney films. They include The Parent Trap, Peter Pan, A Christmas Carol, and more. The bell has hung on through the eras of six monarchs. However, visiting inside the tower is limited to United Kingdom residents.


The Colosseum – Rome, Italy

The Colosseum – Rome, Italy

The Colosseum made its way onto the Italian version of the 5-cent euro coin. Its construction began in the year 72 AD under emperor Vespasian. It was completed in AD 80 under emperor Titus. Some modifications were made much later during the reign of Domitian.

It was first used for public events and gladiatorial contests. The Colosseum later became a hub for animal hunts, reenactments of famous battles, and executions. Although it’s an iconic tourist attraction, a large part of the structure got damaged by earthquakes.


The Pantheon — Rome, Italy

The Pantheon — Rome, Italy

The Pantheon is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman structures. Unlike most other old structures, the Pantheon was never abandoned. It has been in continuous use throughout its history.

It’s unclear when the Pantheon was built. It was completed by the emperor Hadrian. The Pantheon is still the world’s most unreinforced concrete dome on record. It’s free to visit this ancient Roman structure. Over 6 million people visit the Pantheon each year.


Parliament Building — Budapest, Hungary

Parliament Building — Budapest, Hungary

The Parliament building is Hungary’s most iconic building for various reasons. It’s one of the tallest buildings in Budapest. The Parliament building is also the world’s third-largest national assembly.

Until 1994, ice blocks were placed in its underground mines to cool the building. It now features a modern ventilation system. The building’s ceiling is decorated with over 40 kilograms of 22 to 23-carat gold. There are official guided tours in the building that last about 45 minutes.


Dome of the Rock — Jerusalem, Israel

Dome of the Rock — Jerusalem, Israel

The Dome of the Rock wasn’t originally a mosque. It commemorates Prophet Muhammad’s ascent to heaven. Its structure is made of limestone and was built over a sacred stone. The golden dome hasn’t stood the test of time. It has been restored a couple of times.

The Dome of the Rock has four entrance doors and no official entrance. According to Islamic texts, its motifs are symbols of paradise. Non-Muslims are also welcome to visit the Dome of the Rock.


Sagrada Família – Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Família – Barcelona, Spain

Basílica I Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família is its complete name. The structure is located in Barcelona. Architect Antoni Gaudi designed it. He combined Gothic and Art Nouveau influences. The construction of this Roman Catholic church began in 1882.

It was first under architect Francisco de Paula del Villar, who resigned a year later. Some progress was made in the 1950s, and by 2010 the project was 50% complete. There are plans to finish it by 2026, when 100 years have passed since Gaudi’s death.


Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao — Bilbao, Spain

Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao — Bilbao, Spain

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is one of the largest museums in Spain. It’s also one of several Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation museums. The museum put the city on the map by attracting over 100,000 visitors per month.

It’s a design by architect Frank Gehry and was inaugurated in October 1997. The museum is home to many exhibits of artwork by international artists. Some exhibits are permanent, while others are temporary. It has twenty galleries spread over three floors.


Famous Casa Milà Building – Barcelona, Spain

Famous Casa Milà Building – Barcelona, Spain

Casa Milà is also known as La Pedrera or the Stone Quarry. It’s the last private residence designed by architect Antoni Gaudi. It was built between 1906 and 1912 for Pere Milà and his wife, Roser Segimon.

The design of the building was unusual during the period. The undulating stone facade and the twisting wrought iron balconies weren’t common. Its self-supporting facade, open floor plan, underground garage, and roof terrace made it unique.


Mosque of Córdoba — Córdoba, Spain

Mosque of Córdoba — Córdoba, Spain

The Mosque of Córdoba represents Spain’s ancient architectural designs. Over the centuries, the structure has been swapped between Christians and Muslims several times. It receives about 1.5 million visitors per year. The entrance fee is about $14 for adults. Inside the mosque, there’s a prayer hall.

It has high walls with decorative elements that depict Islamic tradition. Some of its doors date back to the original monument. Various festivals take place in Córdoba. They include the Holy Week, Carnival, and Courtyards Festival.


Dresden Frauenkirche — Dresden, Germany

Dresden Frauenkirche — Dresden, Germany

The church is a blend of copulas, domes, and artwork. Dresden Frauenkirche means the Church of Our Lady. Its design was influenced by Baroque architecture. The church is a solid illustration of Protestant sacred architecture.

Its interior has a circular design with various galleries on four floors. It has vibrant paintings, and an elevator runs to the church’s top. Dresden Frauenkirche receives over two million visitors each year.


Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate

King Frederick William II built the Brandenburg Gate in the 18th century. Its role was to represent peace. The gate continues to be a symbol of unity in Europe.

In terms of design, the gate has 12 Doric columns, six on each side, forming five passageways. At the top, there’s a sculpture of a chariot with four horses. The original name of this landmark was the Peace Gate.


Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle

Neuschwanstein Castle is an iconic structure in southwest Bavaria, Germany. Also known as the New Swanstone Castle, it was built to serve as a home for the king. Ludwig II of Bavaria commissioned the castle.

When the king died in 1886, the castle no longer served its intended purpose. It became open to the public and has remained so ever since. More than 61 million people have visited the castle over the years.


Burj Al Arab – Dubai, UAE

Burj Al Arab – Dubai, UAE

Burj Al Arab is the 18th tallest hotel in the world. It was once the world’s tallest hotel. The hotel sits on an artificial island in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its iconic structure resembles the sail of a ship.

Burj Al Arab is owned by “Jumeriah Hotels and Resorts,” a chain of luxury hotels in the UAE. The hotel also has the highest helipads in Dubai. You can access the building and its small island via a private bridge.


Cayan Tower — Dubai, UAE

Cayan Tower — Dubai, UAE

Cayan Tower is the world’s tallest twisting skyscraper. It’s ranked the 76th tallest tower in the world. The building has been honored at the EMPORIS Skyscraper Awards.

It was designed by the same team that came up with Burj Khalifa’s architectural elements. Each floor rotates about 1.2 degrees around a barrel-shaped elevator. When Cayan Tower opened in 2013, 80% of the space was sold out.


The White House — Washington, D.C., USA

The White House — Washington, D.C., USA

The White House serves as the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. Built between 1792 and 1800, The White House is situated at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington. It has served as a presidential residence since 1800.

Its first occupant was John Adams, the second president of The United States. Architect James Hoban designed the famous piece of architecture. Its exterior is made of white Aquia Creek sandstone.


The Gateway Arch — St. Louis, Missouri, USA

The Gateway Arch — St. Louis, Missouri, USA

The Gateway Arch, formerly the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, is a significant iconic structure. The stainless steel arch is the world’s tallest arch, at 630 feet. The Gateway Arch is also 630 feet wide, with a park surrounding it.

The arch is a monument to the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century. It was designed by the American-Finnish architect Eero Saarinen. The arch contains a tram system that leads to an observation deck at the top.


Fallingwater — Mill Run, Pennsylvania, USA

Fallingwater — Mill Run, Pennsylvania, USA

Fallingwater was designed in 1935 by one of the greatest architects, Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s not a general structure but, in fact, a private home. It was to serve as a weekend retreat for Liliane Kaufmann and her husband, Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr.

The famous structure was built partly over a waterfall, hence the name. Fallingwater was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1966, and Time magazine called it Frank Lloyd Wright’s “most beautiful job.”


Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

The Golden Gate Bridge is the most photographed in the world and links the city of San Francisco to Marin County. It has also been named one of the Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

The Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937, and at that time, it was the longest and tallest suspension bridge in the world. It is 746 ft (227 meters) high with a main span of 4,200 ft (1,280 meters).


Space Needle — Seattle, Washington, USA

Space Needle — Seattle, Washington, USA

The Space Needle is an iconic building and a city landmark. It was built for the 1962 World’s Fair. Space Needle’s design is a mixture of ideas proposed by architects Edward E. Carlson and John Graham Jr. It’s now an observation tower featuring a height of 184 meters.

The tower is 42 meters wide and weighs 8,660 tonnes. It can withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour (89 m/s or 320 km/h) and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitudes. The building also has 25 lightning rods to handle lightning strikes.


Washington Monument — Washington, D.C.

Washington Monument — Washington, D.C.

The Washington Monument was built to commemorate George Washington, the first president of The United States. It resembles an Egyptian obelisk, which symbolizes the timelessness of ancient civilizations.

Constructed from granite and marble, the building stands at 555 feet. The observation deck is accessible to the public through a modern elevator. Iron staircases spiral up the walls but are inoperable due to safety concerns.


Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles

Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles

Walt Disney Concert Hall is home to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, a widely recognized orchestra. Lilian B. Disney donated towards the building’s construction in honor of her late husband, Walt Disney.

Walt Disney Concert Hall’s exterior consists of a stainless steel exterior that folds into a wooden auditorium. The orchestra plays on a central stage, surrounded by 2,265 seats. The arrangement offers a clear view of the artists from any seat in the hall.


Taj Mahal — Agra, India

Taj Mahal — Agra, India

The Taj Mahal is one of the most iconic buildings in India. It’s a complex composed of a marble mausoleum surrounded by gardens. The mausoleum was built between 1632 and 1643 at the orders of Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

It holds her tomb and remains a symbol of the love story between the emperor and his wife. Work on the complex’s garden and other buildings continued for ten years after the mausoleum’s completion.


The Lotus Temple — New Delhi, India

The Lotus Temple — New Delhi, India

Located in Delhi, India, the Lotus Temple is a Bahāʾī House of Worship for people of all religions. Anyone can enter regardless of religious orientation, sex, or other distinctions.

The Lotus Temple is unique for its flower-shaped structure. This iconic building features 27 freestanding marble-clad petals arranged in clusters of three. Nine doors open onto a central hall which is more than 40 meters high. The temple can accommodate up to 2,500 people.


Acropolis of Athens — Athens, Greece

Acropolis of Athens — Athens, Greece

The Acropolis of Athens is a collection of monumental buildings. It’s an ancient citadel that contains the remains of the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Propylea.

The most famous one is the Parthenon, a Greek temple built for the goddess Athena. It is a place of great architectural and historical significance. In 1975, a restoration project began to reverse the effects caused by pollution and military actions.


Château Frontenac — Québec, Canada

Château Frontenac — Québec, Canada

Château Frontenac is located in Quebec, Canada. It’s one of the “château” style hotels built for the Canadian Pacific Railway company between the late 19th and early 20th century.

It’s a design by architect Bruce Price and contains more than 600 rooms structured on 18 floors. Fun fact, Château Frontenac is the most photographed hotel in the world.


St. Basil’s Cathedral — Moscow, Russia

St. Basil’s Cathedral — Moscow, Russia

The official name of the Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed is the Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat. This iconic building with no parallel in Russian architecture is located in Red Square in Moscow. It comprises ten churches covered in scarlet red walls with colorful domes.

It was built between 1555 and 1561. The church has been functioning as a museum since 1928. During that time, it was confiscated from the Russian Orthodox community as part of the state atheism project.


Dancing House — Prague, Czech Republic

Dancing House — Prague, Czech Republic

The Dancing House is an iconic structure in Prague, Czech Republic. It was initially named Fred and Ginger after dancers Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The Dancing House adopts the deconstructivist style, lacking obvious harmony or continuity.

Architects Vlado Milunić and Frank Gehry collaborated on this unique project. The building was designed in 1992 and completed in 1996. On top of the building lies a twisted metal structure nicknamed “Mary.” It resembles a hat on the ‘male’ side of the building.

The building’s entrance is made of a flowy glass structure, which symbolizes a ‘female.’ There is a rooftop restaurant, gallery, office spaces, and the Dancing Hotel’s rooms.


The Pyramids of Giza — Giza, Egypt

The Pyramids of Giza — Giza, Egypt

The Pyramids of Giza are tombstones built for three pharaohs. The Great Pyramid is the largest and oldest of the three pyramids in the Giza complex. It’s the oldest of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Plus, it’s the only one that remained intact (for the most part).

It’s also known as the Pyramid of Cheops or the Pyramid of Khufu. Construction took 10 to 20 years. It was completed around 2560 BC. The Khafre and Menkaure are shorter than the Pyramid of Khufu, at 471 feet and 218 feet, respectively.

The pyramids were originally covered in limestone. But today, that layer is almost entirely gone due to earthquakes, causing them to crumble. Inside the pyramids are passageways that lead to the burial chambers of the pharaohs.


Forbidden City — Beijing, China

Forbidden City — Beijing, China

The Forbidden City is a complex of 980 buildings spread over 72 hectares in Beijing, China. It served as the Chinese imperial palace between 1420 and 1912. This was from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty.

The Forbidden City was named so since most of the buildings were not accessible to the people. Imperial bodyguards were stationed at the gates to protect the emperor and his family.

Today, the complex houses the Palace Museum and ranks as a World Heritage Site. It’s the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.


Potala Palace — Lhasa, Tibet, China

Potala Palace — Lhasa, Tibet, China

This vast structure was the residence of the Dalai Lama until the 1959 Tibetan uprising when the 14th Dalai Lama fled to India. It’s located in Lhasa, Tibet, and serves as a museum. Its construction started in 1645 under the 5th Dalai Lama.

The building measures 400 meters by 350 meters and has thick sloping stone walls. Copper was poured into its foundation to offer protection against earthquakes. It has 13 floors, over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines, and around 200,000 statues.


The Sistine Chapel — Vatican City

The Sistine Chapel — Vatican City

The Sistine Chapel is a famous religious structure and home to the pope. It was built between 1473 to 1481 for Pope Sixtus IV, thus its name. Frescoes adorn the walls and ceiling of the chapel, portraying the religious context of God, The Last Judgement, and Adam.

The chapel hosts numerous papal conclaves and visitors who come to see Michelangelo’s famous artwork. There are replicas of the Sistine Chapel in Mexico and Tottenham, London.


Petronas Towers

Petronas Towers

The Petronas Towers are located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They’re two twin skyscrapers designed by architect Cesar Pelli in a postmodern style. Upon completion in 1998, the towers stood as the tallest buildings in the world until 2004. The towers are still the world’s tallest twin towers, standing at 1,483 ft (452 m).

Petronas twin towers have 88 stories, with a sky bridge joining both buildings on the 41st floor. Tourists visit the sky bridge for scenic views of Malaysia. There is also an observation deck on the 86th floor.


São Paulo Museum of Art — São Paulo, Brazil

São Paulo Museum of Art — São Paulo, Brazil

The Museum of Art of São Paulo (MASP) stands out on Paulista Avenue in São Paulo, Brazil. Lina Bo Bardi designed its concrete and glass structure in the 20th Century.

The museum exhibits more than 8,000 pieces of art, antiques, and other gallery pieces. It also has a collection of books that appeal to many artists from all over the world.

São Paulo Art Museum hosts several festivals and art fairs. The art museum is suspended and supported by four concrete beams on the corners of the building. Underneath the structure is 74 meters (243 ft) of space, the largest in the world during its construction.


The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is the subject of an international myth that, as it turns out, is false. Many still believe that the structure is visible from space despite evidence disproving this fact.

The Great Wall of China stretches 21,196 km (13,171 miles) along China’s mainland. It stretches from the present-day Sino-Russian border in the north to Qinghai in the south. The Great Wall is not just a wall; it consists of fortresses, barracks, beacon towers, and barriers to fortify China’s northern border.

It took more than 1800 years to complete The Great Wall. Different emperors oversaw construction, and a large part of it was built during the Ming Dynasty. The Great Wall is one of China’s greatest cultural icons and receives millions of visitors annually.


Final Thoughts

If you’re a seasoned traveler, there’s a lot of history to learn from old architecture buildings. There are also contemporary structures that have been celebrated on a global scale.

Iconic buildings with present-day designs represent how the world is continually changing. Most of all, architects and engineers will keep developing more sustainable and futuristic architectural structures.