Amazing Architecture that Can Only be Fully Appreciated from Above

Trista - November 25, 2021
Image Copyright: Amos Chapple

4. A massive tribute to a fallen emperor makes for amazing architecture. 

Let’s continue admiring Russia’s beautiful churches. Here, we have the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood in St. Petersburg. This one is an orthodox church and a secular museum, making it one of the most visited and beloved attractions in St. Petersburg. Construction for it started in 1883, and the building opened in 1907. The Romanov Imperial Family funded everything. They honored Emperor Alexander II with this building. At the time, his son Alexander III was in power, so it was a tribute to his father, who died two years prior. Nevertheless, there is more than just a name to honor him inside the church. 

A bomb killed Alexander II in the same road and place where the church construction was. They wanted to create a permanent shrine in his name. Therefore, they decided to narrow the canal so that the street where he was assassinated ended up inside the church. Inside, they constructed a ciborium on the opposite side of the altar at the exact place where it took place. Semi-precious stones decorate the building, which contrasts with the rest of the area. While the site has primarily baroque and neoclassical buildings, the church has medieval Russian architecture, which makes it stand up from everything else and resembles a 17th-century Yaroslavi church. If the exterior is iconic, a team of the most celebrated artists designed the interior. They collaborated with architect Alfred Alexandrovich Parland. He decorated the walls with intricate mosaics, being the most than any other church in the world.

Image Copyright: The Protected Art Archive/ Alamy

3. Look at a breathtaking aerial view of the most significant capital in the world.

The capital of one of the wealthiest countries globally, Washington DC is home to some of the most well-known monuments in North America filled with the nation’s history. Nevertheless, while there are many in the capital city, one stands up from all of them: the Washington Monument. It stands at 554 feet tall. Plus, it is the tallest obelisk and stone structure in the world made out of bluestone gneiss, marble, and granite. This obelisk within the National Mall came in 1966 as a commemoration of George Washington, the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War and the First President of the United States. 

It was also the tallest structure globally. However, the Eiffel Tower in Paris overtook that record in 1889. The design came from the obelisk found in Egypt and made by Robert Mills. If you look closely at the monument, the marble has two different colors. That is because its construction began in 1848, but they halted it from 1854 to 1877. Why? Because they ran out of money. So for 23 years, the monument was only halfway done, and when they finally resumed construction, the marble they used came from a different source which is why it has two different marble shades. You can climb to the top (or use the elevator). There you will have a spectacular view of the capital and all its monuments.

Image Copyright: Stefano Cavoretto / Alamy

2. The tallest museum in the world has an amazing view from above. 

The Mole Antonelliana in Turin, Italy, is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. So much so that you can see a representation of it on the obverse of the Italian 2 euro cent coin. Named after its creator, architect Alessandro Antonelli, the construction of it began around 1863 and opened for the public in 1889, a year after the passing of Antonelli. They designed and constructed it to be a synagogue. Why? Mainly because of how big the Jewish community was in Turin, which at the time it was the capital of the new Italian state. However, when they transferred the money to Florence in 1864, the community got smaller. Nevertheless, the vision of its architect got more extensive, making the building 151 feet taller than the initial plan. 

Since the Jewish community was running low in funds, they left the project, and the government took over, finishing Antonelli’s vision. When they finally finished it, the building was 550 feet tall, making it the tallest building in Europe at the time. It also received the title of the tallest unreinforced brick building in the world. Today, the building houses the National Museum of Cinema, making it the tallest museum globally. It had become such a big part of the history of Italy. So much that in 2006 it was the inspiration for the official emblem of the Winter Olympics of that year.

Image Copyright: Amos Chapple

1. The biggest tribute to love through architecture.

When we talk about fantastic home architecture, hands down, the one that we can think is the most impressive (and expensive) is the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. Considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007 and part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, this mausoleum is one of the most well-known structures on the planet. Being the symbol of India’s rich history, it is one of the most visited places with around 8 million visitors every year. The story behind this building is one of heartache and a tribute to love in the most expensive way possible. 

Shah Jahan commissioned the building to tribute his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. She passed away while giving birth to their 14th child. His grief was so much that he wanted to make the most lavishing mausoleum he could afford. Experts believe that it cost around 32 million rupees to complete, which with inflation, it be approximately 70 billion rupees in 2020. Likewise, that is about 1 billion US dollars. Construction started in 1632. They completed the main building in 1643. However, it took ten more years to finish its surroundings and the rest of the complex. Shah Jahan passed away in 1666. His body lay with his wife, where they reside to this day.