City landmarks and buildings do not only make for great travel destinations, but they also allow us to look into the past. These cultural legacies are the silent witnesses to many moments in history and illustrations of the social environment of a certain era. Through the years, big cities like Athens, Barcelona, Beijing, Chicago, and Dubai have caught the attention of casual travelers and architecture lovers alike. Today we are going to take a look at the less-mentioned names which hide equally outstanding designs.
Istanbul is well-known for being the meeting point of various culture and ethnicity. Byzantine buildings typically have a circular design and arching ceiling with a dome at the central area. The museum Hagia Sophia displays the combination of such style with the Greek and Roman concepts. The Ottoman style emphasizes semi-domes, columns, and tall towers to play with light and shadow; this is most apparent in the creation of Topkapı Palace and Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque). A mix of other designs such as Neoclassical (Classicism) and Art Nouveau is visible in certain areas such as Istiklal and Beyoğlu.
The first architectural style to stand out in Mumbai is the Gothic-Victorian style which utilizes expressive colors on lancet windows and stained glass. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus is a railway station displaying this style gracefully. The city’s Islamic and Hindu influences produce the Indo-Saracenic style. The characteristic domes, arches, and spires make up the Gateway of India which commemorates the visit of King George V and Queen Mary of the United Kingdom in 1911. Art Deco is the evolution of Art Nouveau and is the latest design to be seen in the city, using linear symmetry in its panels, railings, balconies, and so on. Dhanraj Mahal, which is now rented commercially, is built with Art Deco in mind.
The Széchenyi Chain Bridge is a landmark of Classicism which focuses on flat recessions and panels as well as the shades produced. We can also find Gothic-Victorian buildings and some other architectural styles in Budapest, but the city is popular for its Art Nouveau designs. This predecessor of Art Deco plays on the decorations, covering the iron and glasses with asymmetrical animal, plant, or other shapes in varying colors. The style is best displayed at the Gellert Spa and Bath House. It is full of visitors who are not only looking to relax in a thermal bath, but are also basking in the beauty of stone pillars and the colorful glass ceiling.
Brasilia’s growth comes as surprising given the country’s situation. The capital was built from scratch after its move from the coast with an ultra-modern design as its aim to welcome the new world. Oscar Niemeyer’s modernism is a style he crafted to reflect Brazil: the exaggerated curves, long ramps making a unique entrance, and the almost-impossible ground suspension made with concrete and glass materials. The National Cathedral and the towers of National Congress are the prime products of this concept.