While traveling I find myself amazed by all the gorgeous architecture. Whether we know it or not, I think most of us enjoy architecture while traveling. We may not know it’s Gothic or Rococo or Baroque but we know we like it!
I think it’s also safe to say, we all can name some of the more famous architectural buildings in European cities. Notre Dame in Paris, Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany or the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain are a few examples of well known buildings. But I love exploring those beauties that seem to be unnoticed.
Here are three lovely architectural specimens that may not make it on your
travel list but may be worth taking the time to see!
Majolica House, Vienna Austria
Vienna is full of architectural gems including St. Stephens and Schönbrunn Palace but don’t miss out on the other architectural stars of the city. Majolica House is one of those we may overlook. The building was designed by Otto Wagner who was a prominent architect in Vienna and member of a group of artists that rebelled against the older traditional styles. Built between 1898 and 1899, the façade of Majolica House is actually painted ceramic tiles made in a technique called Majolica. I think Wagner’s use of modern materials, color and traditional decoration has created a very lovely Art Nouveau building.
30 St Mary Axe, London England
I think from its shape you can tell why this building has the nickname “the Gherkin”. Sitting 591 ft tall in the financial district is one of London’s newest and most controversial symbols. The skyscraper at 30 St Mary Axe was completed in 2003 in a modern style of architecture. The diamond shaped light and dark glass help make the building appear to be a spiral. This new building is very modern looking but I’m not really sure how it fits in with London’s other architectural treasures like Big Ben or Buckingham Palace!
Wiblingen Abbey and Library, Ulm Germany
Between Munich and Stuttgart lies Ulm Germany. Besides being the birthplace of Albert Einstein, Ulm is also the home of Wiblingen Abbey and Library. While the abbey was founded in 1093, the current buildings date back to 1714 and are examples of the late Baroque style of architecture. Even though the abbey itself is very beautiful, it is the sunning library that must be seen! Finished in 1744, the frescoed ceilings, columns, statues and other ornamentation combine to make one of the finest examples of Rococo architecture. Ulm itself is not on the normal tourist track but maybe it should be if only to see this lovely library!
What other unnoticed architectural gems should be added to the list?