Scotland's somewhat controversial Parliament building is dramatically modern, with irregular curves and angles that mirror the twisting shapes of the surrounding landscape. The structure's artistry is most apparent when you step inside, where the gentle slopes, forest's worth of oak, polished concrete and granite, and walls of glass create an understated magnificence. It's worth taking a free tour to see the main hall and debating chamber, a committee room, and other areas.
Call well in advance to get a free ticket to view Parliament in action. Originally conceived by the late Catalan architect Enric Miralles, who often said the building was "growing out of the ground," the design was completed by his widow, Benedetta Tagliabue, in August 2004.