Essential Travel Experience #64 – Admire an Architecturally-Unusual Building

     Architecture is fascinating! Mankind is blessed with a vivid and creative imagination which is often reflected in architecture. Passers-by often marvel and are inspired by the depth and breadth of design, how it captures mood or reflects an ideal.

     I love to wander the streets of a city or town and study the architecture, wondering what the craftsman or designer had in mind — sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s not. Every so often there are structures which are particularly memorable or impressive. These distinct and perhaps extraordinary structures are the ones that I would like to present here. Join me for a tour!

     Religious buildings are frequently included in a list like this one, since the religious concept implies reaching beyond the earth to some spiritual place. So we were not surprised by the Crystal Cathedral in Anaheim, California

Crystal Cathedral

   or the Air Force Academy Chapel, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, in Colorado Springs, CO.

Air Force Academy Chapel

  The use of shiny metal has become fairly common in modern structures. Check out the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles

Disney Concert Hall

 A much older unusual buildings (one of my all-time favorites) can be found in Chicago. It was one of the only buildings to survive the historic fire of 1871.

Water Tower, Chicago

    Frank Lloyd Wright’s designs stress functionality and attempt to blend with the environment. Look at Fallingwater, in Ohiopyle, Pennsylvania.


In New York, the Guggenheim Museum is appreciated as much for the building as the collections.

Guggenheim Museum

The Chrysler Building in New York is one of the most famous Art Deco structures in the world.

Chrysler Building

Speaking of Art Deco, Miami Beach is the Art Deco capital of the United States, with an abundance of interesting buildings. Here are a few.

Art Deco Buildings, Miami

As we move to Europe, there are some striking buildings as well, although not so modern. The Pantheon in Rome has a hole in the roof, known as the Osculum, which allows light to penetrate the interior.


 The Leaning Tower of Pisa was not built as an unusual structure. It was typical of cathedral bell towers, however, it’s settling unevenly has made it a very unusual building.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Fisherman’s Bastion, in the Castle District of Budapest, is essentially a raised promenade overlooking the Danube River. Its architecture is certainly different.

Fisherman's Bastion

Hundertwasserhaus is an avant garde apartment complex in Vienna which is designed to eco-friendly as well as unusual.


The windmills of La Mancha (think of Don Quixote) overlook a broad plain in Consuegra, Spain.

La Mancha windmills

There are two structures in Great Britain which I will mention in this post: the Radcliffe Camera, on the campus of Oxford

Radcliffe Camera

and the Royal Pavilion, in Brighton.

Royal Pavilion


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