Architectural Adventures around the world
Many people I know chase the adventure on a trip, whether it's snorkelling or bungee jumping. It always seems that adventure must be something active. I love a bit of adrenaline as much as the next person, but I cannot ever give up exploring the cultural side of things. Museums, architecture, exhibitions and plays are things I love exploring around the world. Don't say no to learning more about these significantly rich historical landmarks instead of just Instagraming them.
What makes a place an "architectural adventure"?
Frankly, anything that has a story. It's as simple as that. Any place or building that has a history and story behind which I can really dig into and learn more, I find a fascinating adventure to have.
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
Did you know that this church broke ground 135 years ago and is still incomplete? It's one of the most insanely creative designs for a church I've ever laid eyes on. The church has 3 main facades that each have a different style to it. What is most amazing is the architect himself, Antoni Gaudi, who was so inspired by nature that he said "buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners." The interior of the church is thus inspired to look like a forest canopy rising above ground.
Tower of London, London
I have a fascination with Tudor history so this was a bit of a nerd joy for me, to see the not so secret tombs, hope to spot a ghost, imagine the last days of Queen Anne Boleyn. At £50 (cheaper if you buy it online) it's one of the most expensive entry fees we've ever paid but it is so worth it. Yeomen who live on the grounds give daily tours and they are absolutely hilarious while giving you a bit of England's notorious history.
This Gothic cemetery is designed as a park, which was common in Victorian times. Only the wealthy were buried here when Glasgow was known was the "Second City of the British Empire". It's lavishly serene, and I loved strolling through here.
Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin
During our walking tour of Dublin our guide told us that one of the most successful uprisings of Dublin's history happened quite by accident, because the Irish were always late to everything. Dublin's history is painful but they are one of the most resilient people I've ever met, from their humour to their good nature. Did you know this prison was initially designed to give prisoners a more positive environment to serve time? Eventually it became known for much darker and significant issues throughout Ireland's history.
Did you know that this place isn't just one fancy stretch of those famous orange pillars but an entire spiritual universe in itself built into a mountain called Inari? This spot may be Instagram famous but don't treat it as such, because there's so much more that isn't said in one photo. Smaller shrines dot the 4KM trail up the mountain lined with almost 5,000 orange torii gates which are engraved with the names of businesses who donated them.
Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
These 2 structures have such an incredible history to them, not chiefly that its Byzantine architecture changed the history of architecture itself upon its construction. The Byzantine Empire is also known as the Eastern Roman Empire, a period that thrived for almost 1,000 years before it collapsed. I felt so in awe on my first trip to Istanbul because this period in time produced such a wonder yet I was so ignorant of the history of the land and the landmark.
Chand Baori, Abhaneri
Written as a catalyst in the Dark Knight movies makes this place one amazing place to visit. What's incredible too is the story of how the stepwell came to be. It was built by a King to win over the Queen of the man he dethroned. When it was created the King asked the craftsmen if they could create such beautiful wonders again anywhere in the world, and when they said yes, he had them killed so this stepwell would be one of its kind. When he unveiled the creation to the Queen, she plunged into the depths of the stepwell to join her late King. This place is a marvel.
These beautiful achievements of history throughout time now have the designation of "tourist attraction" which comes with so much negative connotation, but they deserve a lot more respect and thought than a few photographs! Of course these are only a few I've visited and there are so many others around the world! Do you have any that you admire?
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