ARCHITECTURAL WONDERS OF THE WORLD
This post originally appeared on Flight Centre Australia by Jessica Holmes
Right across the globe, architectural masterpieces soar sky-high, showcasing their structural brilliance. From Dubai’s monumental Burj Khalifa to the majestic Taj Mahal in India, each one has become more than a building: they are world-renowned attractions. Breaking all the rules and even a few world records along the way, these man-made wonders will take your breath away.
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING, USA
Proudly situated in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, the Empire State Building is the star of New York’s glittering skyline. Built in 1931, the 103-story skyscraper held the title of the world’s tallest building for over 40 years and is now the fifth-tallest skyscraper in the United States of America. Including its spire, the Empire State Building stands at 443 metres tall, has 6,514 windows and 73 elevators. Crowned as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers, the building is lauded for its striking Art Deco design. Inside, two observations decks offer sprawling views of the city and beyond, attracting millions of visitors every year.
BURJ KHALIFA, DUBAI
The soaring Burj Khalifa is not only Dubai’s most iconic monument but at 828 metres, it takes the crown as the tallest building in the world. This modern masterpiece was officially launched in 2010, and has since won many awards, including a world record for the highest installation of an aluminium and glass facade at 512 metres. The spire alone is composed of more than 4,000 tonnes of structural steel. The restaurant on the 122nd floor and the nightclub on the 144th floor are also considered the world’s highest. The observation deck, At The Top, is the highest outdoor observatory in the world and offers truly spectacular views across the shimmering city.
Dreaming of sunsets by the Taj Mahal? Explore India's Golden Triangle.
TAJ MAHAL, INDIA
The Taj Mahal encompasses an extensive complex of buildings and gardens, but its beautiful domed marble mausoleum remains its most recognisable feature. Boasting four identical sides of white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones, the central dome reaches a height of 73 metres. Covering almost 17 hectares of land, the Taj Mahal is located on the southern banks of the Yamuna River and took more than 20 years to build. It is considered one of the most impressive examples of Mughal architecture to date and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. To this day, it remains a stunning symbol of India’s rich history and attracts millions of visitors annually.
EIFFEL TOWER, FRANCE
Synonymous with the city of Paris itself, the world-famous Eiffel Tower is a truly stunning landmark. The intricate tower was built by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 to commemorate the 100th year anniversary of the French Revolution. Standing at 324 metres, today it is considered to be the tallest structure in Paris, although at the time of construction, it was the tallest man-made structure in the world. Visitors to the tower can tour three levels, with the top platform reaching 276 metres and offering sensational city views in the evening. Millions of people visit the Eiffel Tower every year, making it the most visited paid monument in the world.
BEIJING NATIONAL STADIUM, BEIJING
The Beijing National Stadium, also known as the Bird’s Nest, is easily recognisable by its unique intertwining steel structure. Covering approximately 258-thousand square metres, the stadium boasts a seating capacity of 80,000, plus 11,000 temporary seats. The futuristic exterior is its most recognisable feature but the stadium also sets global standards in regards to the spectator experience, with optimum views from every seat. Officially opened in 2008, the stadium was originally designed for the 2008 Summer Olympics and Paralympics and is currently used for football matches and various events. It is expected to host events for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
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A foodie at heart, I love to travel to the USA and explore their expansive culinary culture. You’ll typically find me satisfying my sweet tooth in an American candy store, sampling macarons in a quaint New York patisserie or stocking up on American baking supplies.