Do you know of any GREAT architecture?

Sep 9th, 2000, 04:52 AM
  #1  
Matt
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Do you know of any GREAT architecture?

I am looking to visit cities with great buildings and houses. I like architecture, and was wondering if anyone knew of any good cities to see it in. I will be visiting Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Czech R., and Germany. Any Suggestions? Thank you
 
Sep 9th, 2000, 12:55 PM
  #2  
elaine
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I'm confused
There is "architecture" everywhere in the countries you mention, and some of it is even centuries (or millenia) old.
Italy has countless treasures. Rome alone has ancient, medieval, and renaissance architecture, but you must know that? Then there are the churches, tower, and basilicas in cities and towns like Assisi, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Sicily, and everywhere in between. And that's only Italy, among the countries you mention. Was there something specific you were interested in?
 
Sep 9th, 2000, 02:13 PM
  #3  
Maira
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You have got to go to Prague. This breathtaking city was not bombarded during WWII and it is, literally, a time machine, with amazing examples of different architectural eras standing next to each other. Just impressive. In Germany, Regensburg was pretty impresive, too. In Austria, Innsbruck had beautiful architecture, then again, never been to Vienna.
 
Sep 9th, 2000, 03:31 PM
  #4  
Matt
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Ok, I love this board and everything, and most of the people here are great, and very helpful. But I am not asking you guys to tear apart my every post. I posted that I would like to see GREAT architecture. Not just architecture. I just want to see if anyone has been to a city and thought that it's buildings were beautiful.
 
Sep 9th, 2000, 08:01 PM
  #5  
wes fowler
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Matt,
My response to your query is apparently so lengthy that it's more than Fodor's can accept. I'm going to piecemeal it to you.
I don't wish to appear a snob or elitist but I take it that you are American and have not previously visited Europe. Be aware that the European mind, when it comes to architecture, is considerably different than that of we Americans. Our philosophy of bigger, better, newer has resulted in American cities with ever changing skylines, characterless sameness and little of historical significance retained. What does remain is lost in the steel and glass canyons of urban America. Think of Trinity Church in New York for example, buried in the city's financial district. European architecture is designed to last and does so for a number of reasons, firstly the superb engineering skills of artisans from antiquity to the present and secondly because of a European mind that appreciates, reveres and cherishes the skills and artistry of its creative geniuses, be their style Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classic or Modern. Finally, European citizenry makes every effort to ensure that the areas surrounding an architectural treasure are compatible with that treasure. St. Peter's Square in Rome with it's view of Michelangelo's Renaissance church and the colonnades of Bernini; piazzetta San Marco in Venice complementing the Doge's Palace, the Basilica of St. Mark and the Campanile; Brussels' Gran 'Place with its magnificent square enhanced by the Maison du Roi on its north side, Hotel de Ville to the south and elegant guild houses to the east and west are truly "great" in the eyes of the beholder and unlike anything you'll find in American cities.

 
Sep 9th, 2000, 08:02 PM
  #6  
wes fowler
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You'll find little "great" architecture in Switzerland. In my mind the most interesting building in proximity to Switzerland is LeCourbousier's chapel of Notre Dame in Ronchamp, France not too distant from Basel.

Italy offers a wealth of architectural greatness from the Duomo of di Cambio and Brunelleschi in Florence to Milan's lacy, yet immense, Gothic cathedral to the wonders of Rome's Roman and Renaissance artisans.

Germany has a wealth of architectural wonders. One of the most outstanding is the massive Gothic Munster of Ulm with the tallest cathedral spire in the world. Begun in the late 14th century, it was not completed until over 400 years later. Despite the length of time for construction the integrity of the Gothic design has lasted throughout. At the other end of the spectrum is the Asamkirche, St. Johannes Nepomuk in Munich built in 1733 by Bavaria's greatest builders, Cosmas and Damian Asam. Unlike most religious buildings in Europe funded by the Church, the Asam brothers bought the property themselves, designed the building and managed the construction. It is one of the great architectural feats of Europe. Not far from Munich, Linderhof castle is one of the jewels of Europe, unique in that it combines the architectural styles of the Italian Renaissance with the Baroque. It's far less ostentatious than King Ludwig's two other castles, the flamboyant Neuschwanstein and Schloss Herrenchiemsee, Ludwig's rather vain attempt to replicate Versailles, Louis XIV's masterpiece designed by Le Vau and Mansart.

Regarding houses, perhaps the finest in Europe are those in Paris' Place des Voges. Thirty six houses, two storeys high, with red brick and stone facades are supported by arches that form galleries. Built by France's Henry IV, with one of the homes designated for his mistress, the houses and the tree and fountain laden square offer a delightful respite to the traveler.

 
Sep 9th, 2000, 08:04 PM
  #7  
wes fowler
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The final piece!

Now, finally, THE place to find diverse and fascinating architectural wonders is Vienna. All of the major architectural styles, from Gothic to present day are much in evidence beginning with a tour of the Ringstrasse at the eastern end of the Ring by the Danube Canal. The first building you'll see is the Postsparkasse dating from the early 1900's in Jugendstil (Art Nouveau). Opposite is the Osterreichisches Museum fur angewandte Kunst in Florentine Renaissance style. Continue on the ring to the Staatsoper, the national opera house, in French Renaissance style, continue past Maria-Theresien-Platz to Parlament with its elegant Classical Grecian design. Just past the Law Courts is the Neues Rathaus, the town hall in Neo-Gothic design followed by the Burgtheater with a Renaissance exterior and neo-Baroque interior. Now, for pure Baroque architecture visit the palaces of the Belvedere, the former residence of the Prince of Savoy. For a unique architectural experience, visit Karlskirche which harmoniously combines Baroque and Roman design. As you exit the U-bahn at Karlsplatz, notice the building that serves as the U-bahn entrance. A combination of glass, marble, green painted ironwork and a corrugated copper roof, it's the definitive example of Viennese Jugendstil. For pure Viennese Baroque, visit Schonbrunn, Maria Theresa's palace designed by Fischer von Erlach. Finally, visit the Hofburg a veritable city within a city where, with the exception of Jugendstil, you'll find one immense complex with all of the architectural eras noted above!

Rest assured, too, that nowhere in the Western Hemisphere, and few places in Europe will you find the diversity of great architectural styles and design that Vienna offers. I hope I've answered your question without "tearing apart your every post"!
 
Sep 10th, 2000, 04:47 AM
  #8  
Maira
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Again, you have got to go to Prague!

GREAT architecture by Antonio Gaudi in Barcelona, also the Roman Aqueduct in Segovia is an architectural wonder, the Alhambra Palace in Granada will blow your mind; you have seen nothing until you see Moorish architecture in Southern Spain. Strongly suggest you include this in your plans.
 
Sep 10th, 2000, 04:53 AM
  #9  
Matt
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Thank you all for the great posts, and thanks for the great post wes! I really appreciate it. Glad to see that I plan to visit all the cities you all have mentioned.
 
Sep 10th, 2000, 05:36 AM
  #10  
Ttam
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Wes was unbelievably gracious to you. I think university professors have had to become infinitely patient with students who don't know much and expect others to just pour information into their heads without their doing any work at all. Wes's essay should be filed somewhere permanent as a classic of thought and analysis. You get 2 grades off for using such an imprecise and ultimately meaningless term as "great." Too many frosted flakes?
 
Sep 11th, 2000, 02:57 PM
  #11  
wes fowler
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Whoops!
Think I'd better clarify something with regard to the previous posting of [email protected] I'm neither an architect, engineer or university professor nor have I ever been one. Simply a traveler with an inordinate curiosity that prompts me to be fairly well prepared to understand what I see and experience as I travel. Thanks, nevertheless Tony, for the kind words.
 
Sep 11th, 2000, 06:29 PM
  #12  
Vanessa
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Matt, baby, you're killing me!!! I certainly don't see how Elaine was tearing apart your post! She was just being honest and hoping you could be a little clearer about what you wanted to see. I think she was really hoping you would send a second post saying you meant smaller cities (other than the major ones) or something like that.
If you really meant that you didn't know that the major cities in each country are famous precisely because of their architecture and beauty then.... Well, nevermind. Well, just hit the big cities in each country Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice, many others), Switzerland (Geneva, Lucerne, Zurich), Austria (Vienna), Czech R.(Prague), Germany (Munich, Berlin,), etc.... These cities are famous for a reason! Please invest in a good guidebook of Europe to peak your interest, and go from there.
Good luck and enjoy yourself,
 
Sep 11th, 2000, 06:33 PM
  #13  
Vanessa
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Oh, how could I forget to say what i meant to say in the first place! Wes, wonderful, insightful response. Thanks for the history primer!
 
Sep 18th, 2000, 12:11 PM
  #14  
S. C. DIXON
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Although as much as half of the city was destroyed at the hands of German bombers in WWII, when discussing great architecture one should also consider London. Whether it be The Tower, Wesminster Abey, or any number of palaces, Romanesque, Elizabethan, Gothic, Victorian, whatever. London is a microcosim of all that is eccentric about the British in general and the English in particular. While we're at it, Edinburgh and Bath are nothing to sneeze at, old fellow. Have a splendid trip and enjoy wherever it is that Fate takes you.
 
Sep 18th, 2000, 01:33 PM
  #15  
Janice
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Wes, as always, you are the greatest! If you're not a professor, it's only because you don't choose to be; you could lecture to me any time. Just a vote for a couple of the places Wes mentioned: Milan is very drab, but the Duomo is worth a trip - you can go up on the roof, climb all over things, see spires, carvings, etc it's like no other church in the world in terms of access to the roof.
Place des Vosges in Paris - you never realize how beautiful a neighborhood can be.
Venice - architecture adapting itself to the world's wierdest topography - all with an eastern flair that's impossible for me to describe with my limited architectural vocabulary.
Rent videos, read guidebooks - research - and listen to the regulars who post here - they know of what they are speaking...
 
Sep 21st, 2000, 02:41 PM
  #16  
alan
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Hi! i have read the postings that you have receeived and would like to add one more. It is a town called "Telc" and it is in the Czech Rep southeast of Prague. It has one of the most stunning rennaissance town squares that I have ever seen. Telc is in South Moravia. The colors of the buildings as well as the layout was unforgettable. They are also known for ceramic and glass shops there, cheaper than Prague. Another site I recommend if your not too squemish is the Ossuary just outside Kutna Hora in Central Bohemia east of Prague in the Czech Rep. The Czech Rep is one of the best cvountries that we have visited in 15 yrs of travel.
enjoy alan
 
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