Thursday, March 31, 2011

World's Most Beautiful Architecture (Part 2)

The previous post listed five of ten Lonely Planet's "world's most beautiful buildings."  Here we continue with comments on the final five of Lonely Planet's selections.

Imam Mosque, Iran

2. Blue Mosque.
1. Iman Mosque.
I've never been to Iran (yet). So, I can't speak with firsthand knowledge about the architectural qualities of the Imam mosque. From pictures, the pale blue mosaics of the interior remind me of many mosques I have seen. In particular: the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. In both cases light is refracted and becomes mystical in its effects.

Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

Also on my "to do" list. Much documented in pictures and tales of palace intrigue, there are many layers of interest here.
3. Hermitage

Crac des Chevaliers, Syria

Why would Lawrence call this the "finest castle in the world"?  My vote goes to the fortress city of Carcasonne. Crac des Chevaliers is a lonely little castle. Carcassone is a vast medieval compound. The later was spectacularly restored by Violette-le-Duc in 1853 and stands largely intact to this day.

4. Crac de Chevaliers.
5. Carcasonne.
Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, Brazil
6. Museu Oscar Niemeyer.

Any building by architect Oscar Niemeyer is worth studying. His best-known works are for the capitol city Brasilia where (like Walter Burley Griffin in Canberra) he created an "ideal" city out of nothing. Niemeyer's contribution to twentieth (and twenty first) -century architecture is his skill in combining mid-century modern aesthetics with the sensuous forms of Brazil. His buildings look as if the undulating sidewalks at Copacabana coalesced into three-dimensional structures.

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

This vast enclosure is always near the top of my list of great buildings. (See March 4, 2010 blog entry.) There are other great mosques, like the Blue mosque and the Imam mosque, but Hagia Sophia was the first of the greatest. Intended as the center of Christendom when built by Justinian in 360 A.D. it became a prototype for hundreds of mosques and is now a museum. Keep in mind that for a millennium it was the largest enclosure in the world.
7. Hagia Sophia.

Photo credits:

1. Nick Taylor
2. Classical geographer
3. Robert Broadie
4. Xviun
5. Jean-Pierre Lavoie
6. dani.sonksen
7. Philz

No comments:

Post a Comment