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Which structure in Europe do you most admire, like, or find inspiring?

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Dec 26th, 2011, 03:49 PM
  #1
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Which structure in Europe do you most admire, like, or find inspiring?

Please answer in the broadest manner possible as to the type of structure and how it engenders a positive notion. This question is meant to elicit answers not be a narrow response on a test.
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Dec 26th, 2011, 04:13 PM
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I think the cathedrals are the most memorable. Of course, they were generally designed to be awe-inspiring. Some of my favorites are the Duomos in Florence and Orvieto, Italy.

In Florence, it is so imposing, just almost envelops its surroundings, and is so solidly planted in the earth it almost overwhelms. I once read a quote that it looks like a huge space ship that landed in the middle of the city. The pink and green and white panels on the exterior are very unusual and intriguing. The interior is strangely austere and I have not found it inviting. The climb up the inside to the lantern is memorable.

In Orvieto, the experior is so light and lovely with its golden mosaic facade and the interior with its bands of dark and light stones is beautiful. The light inside enhances the effect. The series of frescoes over the altar of the life of Christ are lovely. The side chapel with the Signorelli frescoes are breathtaking in their scope.
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Dec 26th, 2011, 04:26 PM
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domed buildings; the pantheon, duomo in florence and st peters in the vatican to name a few.

charnees, I found your description of the duomo interesting. I quite dislike the rest of the building and love the dome. Your focus was on everything but the dome

The other architectural feature I love are flying buttresses such as in the Notre Dame.
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Dec 26th, 2011, 04:30 PM
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There are so many beautiful buildings in Europe, but I'd have to say that the Karlskirche in Vienna is one of my favorites. Also another church by Fischer von Erlach, the Collegiate church in Salzburg. They're both just gorgeous, but not over the top as are many baroque churches.
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Dec 26th, 2011, 05:36 PM
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York Cathedral. Stunningly beautiful in its use of stark white.
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Dec 26th, 2011, 05:50 PM
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The cathedral in Prague with its beautiful stained glass windows.

The British Parliament for what it represents.

The exterior of the Duomo in Florence.

St. Mark's Bascilica in Venice

The interior of the small church in Rome designed by Boromini.

I saved the best for last-the Alhambra.
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Dec 26th, 2011, 06:30 PM
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I like the churches too - especially those with dramatic trompe l'oeil ceilings.
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Dec 26th, 2011, 08:14 PM
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I admire and find inspiration in the buildings that speak to progress and genius. The Effiel Tower represents the technology of the day and it's beautiful but it means so much more. I can miss a train in Belgium if the station is a cast iron building. These represent the begining of the industrial revolution and kept so many people employed, while making lots of money for other. That was monumental. Just like the cathedrals that are amazing when you stop and consider they are built on sweat, muscle and compression. Awe inspiring when I consider that the architects and developers knew they would never see their finished project.

I love the half timbered houses give me a feeling of comfort. People have perserved and loved these houses for centuries. Again they represent the prosperity of the time, they've withstood and moved into a new time. Plus, I love finding whole streets of them, leaning in and talking to each other. It's just charming.

There are churches that are really impressive to me, not so much because of size but the feel of them. I like the churches and cathedrals that I can feel people had walked in with faith.
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Dec 26th, 2011, 08:15 PM
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Yeah, I know. It'd be nice if I spelled Eiffel correctly
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Dec 26th, 2011, 08:51 PM
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St. Stephens Basilica in Budapest. Clean new looking interior, neo-classical design symmetrical bell towers, vivid colors and the most beautiful red marble ever!
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Dec 26th, 2011, 09:32 PM
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Sagrada Familia; the inspiration in its design, the motives behind the individuals who continue to contribute time and effort to her construction, and its awesome beauty.

Not structures in the strict sense of the word: the mosaics in Ravenna, Italy, and the prehistoric cave paintings in the Dordogne (I know there are other cave paintings, but those are the ones that I've seen).

Pont du Gard. A stark reminder, in the middle of of the countryside (now), of what Rome engineering accomplished.
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Dec 26th, 2011, 09:37 PM
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There are so many beautiful structures. Some impress by sheer scale (Hagia Sofia), as well as beauty. Others evoke some sense of life (the peacefulnes created by the repetition of designs and materials in the Alhambra).

For me, the most spectacular or emotionally moving:

San Marco in Venice, especially when it has been raining or is foggy or misty, then the sun shines. First it is mysterious, then ethereal, then the sun comes and it absolutely glitters. Coming from the far side of the piazza, seeing it that way for the first time makes your heart stop. It seems unreal. It, to me, is the symbol of all the wonders of Venice and I think about all the Venetians who have lived their whole lives with that facade to inspire them.

Sagrada Familia. Fantastic and Fantastical. All of Gaudi's work is so powerful and broad in scope. The organic shapes with spiraling heights makes it feel as if he connects earth to heaven and lets us live in between. I would love to live in one of his houses (apartments).

The Greek temples in Agregento are stunning and amazing. Makes you really think about how great a civilization had been reached during those times.

Then, a very small, but wonderful masterpiece, is the Teatro Olimpico, in Vicenza by Palladio. By contrast to the big cathedrals, it is intimate. The contrast of the complex and colorful stage to the simple stark seating arena is perfection in design.

The Toledo Cathedral. Coming up under the transparente behind the high altar and looking up makes my jaw drop every time. It is beautiful and so real looking. Makes you believe in devine gifts.
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Dec 27th, 2011, 12:00 AM
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The Acropolis
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Dec 27th, 2011, 12:07 AM
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The church next door.

Admittedly indistinguishable to most people from England's 8,000 other fully-functioning medieval churches. But attend the Xmas Eve midnight service, realise your predecessors have been making exactly the same short walk for 1,400 years to attend almost exactly (give or take the odd change in language and gender of celebrant) the same service on exactly the same spot, and wondering just as much during the gospel why those Judaean sheep were such wimps they needed looking after while our neighbours' are happily bleating away untended outside.

And you wouldn't swap it for all the St Mark's, Salisbury cathedrals, or Santa Maria Maggiores (well, possibly I might for Santa Maria Maggiore...) in the world.
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Dec 27th, 2011, 02:48 AM
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I am a big Art Nouveau fan and love the florid lines of that style as well as the sometimes squarish and linear touches, especially in the Secession movement of Vienna. The building that took my breath away was the Kirche am Steinhof, last commission of Otto Wagner on the grounds of a psychiatric hospital on the outskirts of Vienna. Stunning!
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Dec 27th, 2011, 02:55 AM
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Viaducts from Roman to the Millau with particular emphasis on the great UK rail viaducts of the 1800s.
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Dec 27th, 2011, 03:41 AM
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I think that the Eiffel Tower inspires me to rise to greater heights.

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Dec 27th, 2011, 03:44 AM
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Hey flann,

>wondering just as much during the gospel why those Judaean sheep were such wimps they needed looking after...<

Because back in those days there were wolves, mountain lions and other unpleasant critters.

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Dec 27th, 2011, 03:46 AM
  #19
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I most dislike the outrageous pyramid at the Louvre.
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Dec 27th, 2011, 06:36 AM
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Which structure in Europe do you most admire, like, or find inspiring?

Sophia Loren in 1960s.
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