Titan travellers are given the opportunity to visit the world’s most iconic buildings on a variety of fantastic tours. In the spirit of World Monuments Day (18 April), here are some of the breathtaking buildings you can see around the world with us – buildings which truly add to the unique character and charm of the cities in which they are located.
Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain
Designed by Frank Gehry and opened in 1997, the magnificent Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a spectacular building made of limestone, glass and titanium. As beautiful and arresting as many of the artworks displayed within, visitors to the Basque city of Bilbao in northern Spain should ensure they take the opportunity to see this fantastic architectural work.
Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The incredible 88-storey, 451.9 metres high Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur is an unforgettable sight. Designed by visionary architect Cesar Pelli and completed in 1996, the elegant modern design of the Petronas Twin Towers has made the building famous around the world. The outline of the structure resembles an immense ‘M’, symbolising Malaysia and the grandeur of the country’s aspirations and ambitions.
Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy
The Leaning Tower of Pisa, whose turbulent construction began in 1173 and continued over 200 years of wars, is one of the truly iconic works of medieval European architecture. Its distinctive lean makes it instantly recognisable; while the 207 columns spaced around its eight stories are make it an astonishing example of Romanesque architecture. Visitors can climb its 297 step spiral staircase to look out over Pisa from the top of the tower.
St Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia
Completed in 1560, St Basil’s Cathedral was commissioned by Ivan the Terrible to mark the capture of Kazan from the Mongol army during his military campaign of 1552. The wonderful hip-roofed bell tower was added in the 17th century and today the cathedral is a museum which enables visitors to learn about Russia’s fascinating past.
Empire State Building, NYC, USA
Few buildings have come to symbolise a city as strongly as the Empire State Building in New York. Completed in 1931 and standing 102 stories tall, the Empire State Building has featured in more than 90 Hollywood films, most famously as the setting for the moving conclusion of King Kong. It is visited by close to 3.6 million people a year and if you desire stirring sights of New York’s sprawling metropolis you should ensure you are among them.
Taj Mahal, India
Built from 1631 to 1653, the Taj Mahal is perhaps the finest example of Mughal art. Shah Jahan had the Taj Mahal built as a mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. His devotion inspired the creation one of the most famous buildings in the world, whose 240 foot high dome never fails to draw gasps from observers. The historical and cultural importance of the Taj Mahal is recognised by the fact that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sydney Opera House, Australia
Designed by Danish architect Jorn Utzon, the Sydney Opera House, renowned for its elegant sail-like structures, is a multi-venue art s complex and one of the 20th century’s most iconic works of architecture. It hosts more than 1,500 performances and exhibitions a year, which draw the attendance of 1.2 million people. The sheer beauty of the Sydney Opera House draws more than seven million visitors a year to marvel at the building, which has also been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey
The Hagia Sophia, which means ‘Holy Wisdom’, has a unique and fascinating history. Originally built from 537 to 1453, it was first a Greek Orthodox church, briefly a Roman Catholic cathedral from 1204 to 1261, then a mosque from 1453 to 1931, until it was secularised and made a museum from 1935 to the present day. Mirroring the enormous historical, cultural and religious changes of the history of its country, the Hagia Sophia is a truly unique building and a must-visit attraction for those who travel to Turkey.