Lonely Planet pays an architectural tribute to some of the world’s greatest (and coolest) man-made constructions in their new book, Amazing Architecture: A Spotter's Guide. Recommended for design enthusiasts who love to travel, the book showcases 120 spectacular architectural marvels from around the world.
Here is a selection of a few of these architectural wonders ranging from the classic to the contemporary, and from the beautiful to the intriguing.
Winter Palace Square, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Featuring baroque architecture, the Winter Palace located in the heart of Saint Petersburg is a striking white and azure vision designed by an Italian architect, Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli in mid-18th century. The palace was home to the Russian Emperors and also the site of many historic events.
Image: Brian Kinney/Shutterstock
Shukhov Tower, Russia
A broadcasting tower in Moscow named after its designer, Vladimir Shukhov, the Shukhov Tower – Russia’s Eiffel Tower to some – is a 160-metre tall steel structure featuring a series of hyperboloid sections stacked to form a conical shape. When lit up at night, it loosely resembles a Christmas tree.
Image: Pavel L Photo and Video/Shutterstock
Masjid-I Imam or Shah Mosque, Iran
A classic example of Persian architecture, the mosque features colourful mosaics, intricate calligraphic inscriptions and an arched entranceway with striking stalactite tilework along with amazing acoustic properties within, which allow the Imam to be heard by everyone in the building.
Image: Ravi Tahilramani/Getty Images
The Pompidou Centre, Paris, France
The final outcome of France’s first international design competition, The Pompidou Centre is a museum featuring a playful design and colourful construction.
Image: Pics Factory/Shutterstock
Parkroyal on Pickering, Singapore
Singapore’s ‘hotel in a garden’ features 15,000sqm of elevated terraced gardens and is designed by Singapore-based architecture firm WOHA. Green walls, water features and numerous tiered 'sky gardens' are some of the highlights of this garden hotel.
Image: Ariyaphol Jiwalak/Shutterstock
The Crooked House, Poland
Taking the fairy-tale illustrations of Jan Marcin Szancer and Per Dahlberg as inspiration, the architects designed a crooked building at the Rezydent shopping centre. Built in 2004, the building is located in the seaside city of Sopot.
Image: Konstantin Tronin/Shutterstock
St Basil's Cathedral, Kremlin, Russia
Also inspired by a fairy-tale – but in a pretty picture book way – this stunning cathedral features spires that curve like the flames of a bonfire.
Image: Francesco Vaninetti Photo/Getty Images
The Alhambra Palace, Granada, Spain
Once a sprawling fortress that became the royal palace, the structure remains a prime example of stunning Moorish architecture.
Image: Renata Sedmakova/Shutterstock
The Atomic Dome, Hiroshima, Japan
This historic building serves as a memorial for those who were killed in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, and is a stark reminder of the ensuing devastation.
Image: Luciano Mortula/Shutterstock
Pena Palace, Sintra, Portugal
Perfectly capturing the Romanticism architectural style of the 19th century, the Pena Palace features ornate towers, statues and brightly hued terraces.
Image: Tatiana Popova/Shutterstock
Cube houses by Piet Blom, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Architect Piet Blom’s Cube houses came about when he set out to create a village within a city. Residents of the Cube houses opened up a sample 'show cube' for visitors to view and tour to stop the constant attention and curiosity.
Longaberger Company 'basket' office building, Ohio, USA
When you have an office building shaped like the product you supply, you must be at The Longaberger Company headquarters in Ohio, USA. The company is a distributor of handcrafted maple wood baskets among other lifestyle products, and the whimsical design reflects its core business.
Image: CJM Grafx/Shutterstock
Chapel of Holy Cross, Yavapai County, Sedona, USA
Built into a mountain, the church was voted by native Arizonans as one of Seven Man-Made Wonders of Arizona in 2007.
Image: Fdevalera/Getty Images
Museum of Contemporary Art, Niteroi, Brazil
Just a 20-minute ferry ride from Rio de Janeiro, the museum overlooking Boa Viagem beach is shaped like a spaceship.
Millau Viaduct, France
Spanning the valley of the Tarn, Millau Viaduct is a cable-stayed bridge that is considered one of the greatest engineering feats of all time. The $628-million bridge is also the tallest in the world.
Image: FraVal Imaging/Shutterstock
Beijing Olympic Stadium (Bird's Nest), China
The stadium that made news at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the Bird’s Nest is constructed of a series of 1000-ton trussed columns and twisted steel, and is still considered a symbol of confidence and pride in China.
Image: LU JINRONG/Shutterstock
Wat Chaiwatthanaram temple, Ayutthaya, Thailand
Built in the Khmer style in 1630, this ancient structure is part of the historic city of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Thailand and features reliefs depicting scenes from the life of Buddha.
Image: Tortoon/Getty Images
Casa Terracotta House, Colombia
Is this the biggest piece of pottery in the world? The jury is still out on that but it probably is the only piece of pottery that's habitable too. This clay house is built over two floors with multiple rooms and furniture, all made from locally sourced clay.
Astronomical Observatory, Jantar Mantar, Jaipur, India
Located in close proximity to the Jaipur City Palace in Rajasthan, India, the Jantar Mantar - a UNESCO World Heritage site - features the world's largest stone sundial.
Image: Kenneth Dedeu/Shutterstock