• Hannah Smith

Architectural Marvels and Where to Find Them

There are so many architectural styles around the world that sometimes we forget just how varied the styles can be from place to place. From the towering modernity of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai to the ancient wonders of the Pantheon or the Colosseum in Rome, to the gothic spires of Notre Dame in Paris. Join us on an architectural journey around the world without leaving home.

We begin in the Big Apple, with what is arguably one of the most well-known American buildings the world over: the Empire State Building. This American icon began

construction in the 1930s, and has 102 floors in total. The building was constructed in Art Deco style and is said to be based on the look of a pencil. While it is no longer the world’s tallest skyscraper, tourists and residents alike continue to marvel at the largesse of the building 90 years after its initial construction began.

After a roughly 12 hour flight from NYC, we find ourselves at the feet of the reigning tallest skyscraper in the world, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, India. Construction began in 2004 and finished 6 years later. With its completion at a staggering height of 2,716.5 feet, it broke a number of world records, including the aforementioned tallest building in the world, as well as the tallest service elevator in the world, and the tallest free-standing structure in the world. The design is said to be derived from Islamic architecture at large, with a Y-shaped floor plan. This awe-inspiring wonder is home to a hotel, private luxury residences, and corporate office spaces, along with multiple outdoor sky decks to enjoy the views.

Now we turn the clock backward as we find ourselves in the midst of some of the most famous ancient architecture in the world: the Pantheon, the Coliseum, and the Roman Forum. Built in 27 BC, 70 AD, and 203 AD respectively, these buildings have become major tourist attractions not only for their longevity but for their striking presence as well. The Pantheon was built with a classical design (after having been burned down/destroyed and then rebuilt twice) while the Colosseum was built using ancient Roman architecture, as was the Roman Forum. While these don’t have the height of modern-day skyscrapers, they’re still ingenious pieces of design; beautiful, and provide a connection to what existed thousands of years ago.

We end our journey in Paris, a city known as much for its fine cuisine as for its architecture. While the most obvious choice here would be to take a trip to the Eiffel Tower, we’d like to instead take you towards the gothic visage of the Cathedral of Notre Dame. Built in 1163 it would go on to be one of the most famous churches in the world, and has survived two world wars, and more recently a massive fire in 2019. A paragon of French Gothic architecture, its image is known the world over for its towering spire, magnificent arches, and intricately designed windows.

While we may not have been able to jet-set around the world this year due to COVID-19, we have enjoyed learning much more about our favorite icons and landmarks the world over, and we hope you enjoyed learning more about them, too; with the hopes that one day we’ll get to visit them in person, to drink in the beauty, to revel in the enormity of these wonders, both ancient and modern.