A major in Architecture.
One I chose because I loved sketching and visually pleasant things, as well as creating stuff. And along with other things as my love for foreign languages, meeting interesting people and feeling alive in the great outdoors; architecture helped to pave the way for a life of travel.
Fast forward fifteen years and my passion for this art has not decreased one bit. Instead, it has grown into an obsession. I can’t get enough of design and architecture and everywhere I go, I look for unique buildings and cities that have that special something that makes them unique.
Here’s my choice of the most stunning cities for architecture lovers across the world. Enjoy!
1. Barcelona: Catalan Modernism
Undoubtedly, a visual delight and the best way to start with this list of cities with a special architectural interest.
Gothic architecture, Catalan Modernism, and Art Nouveau meet in this city. A good way to start discovering all that Barcelona has to offer is by visiting Casa Batlló, the Modernist Museum of Antonio Gaudi in Barcelona and one of the most complex Gaudi works, who used many different techniques there.
2. Marrakech: Moorish Architecture
The level of detail I’ve seen in the decorations of many of Marrakech’s most iconic buildings is unparalleled. Chaotic but functional, this is a city of extremes and whose constructions spread until merging with landscapes that are the same color as their facades.
It is not the capital of Morocco but for all lovers of architecture it is undeniable: Marrakech is the most beautiful city in the country.
3. Dubai: Exponential Growth
A unique example of the best and the worst that modern cities offer, Dubai rose up in the middle of the desert and in a few decades, it became a mecca of luxury and excess.
Knowing that oil, which made the United Arab Emirates rich, would not last forever; its governors decided to bet on tourism. And they won.
We will have to wait another fifty years at least to see how it matures, and if the excessive growth slows down, stops, or continues. Time will tell.
4. Chicago: 18th Century Innovation
Every cloud has a silver lining. Something Chicago is well aware of. In 1871, a colossal fire reduced the city to ashes. However, it all came just in time as the perfect conditions for the development of a new architecture in height were about to boom. Thus, with the use of ‘new materials’ such as reinforced concrete and steel, and the invention of useful machines such as the – today worldly – elevator; the first skyscrapers were born.
The rest is history. A dazzling one for that matter, that can be experienced in Chicago.
5. Istanbul: Style Overdose
All you need to do is look at the once basilica, then mosque and now museum Hagia Sophia, in Sultanahmet. One of the best architectural books ever written opens for the visitors, who after waiting the sometimes long entry queues, are suddenly astonished by the large central dome of this Ottoman – Byzantine building.
That dichotomy and coexistence of styles are visible across the massive city of Istanbul. Could there be any better example to wrap up this list of exquisite architectural cities in the world?
Let us know in the comments below!