Architectural Wonders of the 18th Century

            A century that presaged the world as we know it, and that witnessed some incredible history is well-represented with interesting and important architectural achievements. Here is my list of the most significant of these accomplishments.  

        1. Melk Abbey, Melk, Austria (1702) – Here is a prominent Baroque masterpiece, on the Rhine River, between Salzburg and Vienna. Its church (Stift) and Library are both magnificent.                                     

Melk Abbey

        2. Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, England (1705) – Sir Winston Churchill was born in this elaborate country house and its historical importance makes it a significant tourist attraction in this country of elegant palaces.                           

Blenheim Palace

        3. Sao Francisco Church, Salvador de Bahia, Brazil (1708-1723) – This Colonial church is one of the holiest sites in the entire country of Brazil.  It is located in Pelourinho District of the city, its most historic area.
        4. Old State House, Boston, MA, USA (1712) – Prominent during the American Revolution, this historic structure houses the National Historic Site headquarters and Visitor Center.                            

Old State House

         5. Belvedere Palace, Vienna, Austria (1714-1722) – This glorious residence sits on a hill just above Vienna’s Altstadt. It now contains a museum of the Austrian republic. Wandering the rooms of the castle gives the visitor a glimpse of the wealth of the time.                                  

Belvedere Palace

        6. Peterhof Palace, St Petersburg, Russia (1714) – One of the most luxurious and opulent palaces in all of Europe, the grounds of this mansion, strewn with scultures and fountains, are among the most elaborate in the world.
        7. Catherine Palace, Pushkin, Russia (1717) – This Rococo summer palace of the Russian Tsars was built by Catherine I. The gilded exterior is particularly stunning.
        8. Residenz, Wurzburg, Germany (1722) – Another of Europe’s grand palaces, this Baroque masterpiece has wowed generations of tourists and heads of state.
        9. Winter Palace, St Petersburg, Russia (1732) – This huge and magnificent mansion, built by Peter the Great, is now the home of the world-famous Hermitage Museum.
        10. Trevi Fountain, Rome Italy (1732) – Probably the world most recognized fountain, this elaborate fantasy of sculpture and water occupies an entire city block in the Eternal City.                                      

Trevi Fountain

        11. Radcliffe Camera, Oxford, England (1737) – This circular building is a prominent landmark on the campus of Oxford University.                        

Radcliffe Camera

        12. Palacio Real, Madrid, Spain (1738) – This light-colored mansion in the heart of the royal city of Madrid is done in the style of Versailles and and the other great chateux of France.                                   

Palacio Real

       13. Mount Vernon, near Alexandria, VA, USA (1743) — The family home of America’s first president, George Washington, is a Federalist-style icon.                     

Mount Vernon

         14. Ettal Monastery, Ettal, Germany (1744) – This ornate, Baroque masterpiece is near the charming village of Oberammergau, at the foot of the German Alps, and is a frequent stop along the Romantic Road.                                      

Ettal Monastery

        15. Wieskirche, Wies, Germany (1745) — Located along the Romantic Road in southern Bavaria, this incredibly ornate church has a rather drab exterior. Inside, however, the lavish walls and altar are dream-like.                            


         16. Summer Palace, Beijing, China (1749) – The idyllic residence of Chinese rulers is located, picturesquely, on a lake in the outskirts of Beijing, and contains the longest covered walkway in the world.                          

Summer Palace

        17. Reggia Caserta, Caserta, Italy (1752) – Here is another royal palace which harkens to the grandiose design of Versailles. The interior is just as respendent.                             

Reggia Caserta

        18. Lazienki Palace, Warsaw, Poland (1764) – This “palace on the water” is located on an artificial island in the middle of a lake in the outskirts of Poland’s capital city.
        19. Schwedagon Stupa, Yangon, Myanmar (1774) – This is one of the most important and stunning Buddhist pagodas in the world. Unfortunately, the country of Myanmar does not encourage tourism, so the temple is not well-known outside the area.
        20. La Scala, Milan, Italy (1778) — Here is the world’s greatest and most famous opera house. It has hosted opera’s greatest stars since the late-eighteenth century.                                    

La Scala

        21. Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand (1782) – This amazing, gilded complex also houses the Wat Phra Kew, home of the Emerald Buddha, and still features a Changing of the Guard ceremony daily.                                    

Grand Palace

       22. Cibeles Fountain, Madrid, Spain (1782) — This glorious fountain of the Goddess Cibeles in a chariot pulled by lions graces a busy traffic circle in the Spanish capital.                                

Cibeles Fountain

         23. Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, Kandy, Sri Lanka (1784) – This temple, within the Royal Palace complex, is the holiest religious site in the country, because of the presence of this important relic of Buddha.

         24. Royal Pavilion, Brighton, England (1787) — This fanciful mansion was a favorite getaway for King George IV. The interior is filled with far eastern furniture and artifacts.                             

Royal Pavilion

         25. Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany (1788) – The backdrop for the famous Ich bin ein Berliner speech of US President, John F Kennedy, this monumental arch has become a symbol of a unified Germany.

        26. Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand (1788) – This beautiful temple complex houses the huge Reclining Buddha and is an extremely popular tourist attraction in the center of Bangkok.                                    

Wat Pho

        27. St Louis Cathedral, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA (1789) – A symbol of the city, this distinctive, two-towered church sits on the elegant Jackson Square, in the heart of the French Quarter.                           

St Louis Cathedral

        28. White House, Washington, DC, USA (1790-1800) – Built during the early days of America’s independence, this palatial residence has become a symbol of freedom and democracy throughout the world.                                            

White House

        29. Monticello, Charlottesville, VA, USA (1794) — Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and third president of the United States, built this house for himself in the foothills of the Appalachians.                                  


         30. Hawa Mahal (Hall of Winds), Jaipur, India (1799) – The most noticeable and exquisite sight in the Pink City, this building is part of a huge complex.

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