10 Most Iconic Buildings In Europe

By Antonia Čirjak on April 15 2020 in Travel

The architecture in Europe is as rich as it is anywhere else in the world.
The architecture in Europe is as rich as it is anywhere else in the world.
  • Parthenon has also been called the Temple of Minerva. It is because it was built in honor of the Greek goddess Athena, and Minerva was her Roman name.
  • Big Ben got its name after a massive, 13.5 tons bell on top of its tower.
  • The Italian name for Michelangelo's masterpiece on the wall of the Sistine Chapel is Il Giudizio Universale.

The architecture in Europe is as rich as it is anywhere else in the world. The tradition is long: thousands and thousands of years of building churches, cathedrals, and other monumental buildings, show us the methods and different views on design, as well as underlying political and cultural turmoils that exist in the European continent.

10. Parthenon

Parthenon was finished on 432 BCE, and even though it sustained substantial damage in 1687 during the Morean War.
Parthenon was finished on 432 BCE, and even though it sustained substantial damage in 1687 during the Morean War.

It took 15 years to create this monumental Greek temple. Parthenon was finished on 432 BCE, and even though it sustained substantial damage in 1687 during the Morean War, the most recognizable massive white columns still stand tall in Athens.

9. Leaning Tower Of Pisa

Bonanno Pisano, the architect, imagined a straight building, but it started to lean from the very beginning.
Bonanno Pisano, the architect, imagined a straight building, but it started to lean from the very beginning.

They did not build it like this on purpose, as it was 1173 when the construction started. Bonanno Pisano, the architect, imagined a straight building, but it started to lean from the very beginning.

By the end of it, when it was finally completed in 1372, the angle of the slant was 5.5 degrees. To maintain the safety of selfies for millions of people that visit this tower each year, the slant was later reduced to 3.9 degrees with modern architectural interventions in 2001.

8. Big Ben

Probably the most famous Gothic clock tower in the world was finished in 1859.
Probably the most famous Gothic clock tower in the world was finished in 1859.

Probably the most famous Gothic clock tower in the world was finished in 1859. It is almost a 100 m high, and you can tell what the time is far away from Big Ben in Westminster, London.

7. Colosseum

The Flavian Amphitheatre, or the Colosseum as the whole world knows it, was completed in 80 AD. Image credit: Charles Bowman / Shutterstock.com
The Flavian Amphitheatre, or the Colosseum as the whole world knows it, was completed in 80 AD. Image credit: Charles Bowman / Shutterstock.com

The Flavian Amphitheatre, or the Colosseum as the whole world knows it, was completed in 80 AD. Although it served different purposes, it is most famous for hosting gladiator battles. Around 80,000 people in Rome, Italy, could see this live-action, as well as an occasional execution by emperor Titus.

6. Notre-Dame de Paris

The fire last year heavily damaged the roof, but this 760 years old church will be rebuilt once again.
The fire last year heavily damaged the roof, but this 760 years old church will be rebuilt once again.

The home of Victor Hugo's Hunchback, Our Lady of Paris, is one of the greatest achievements of the French Gothic architecture. Along with the next entry on our list, it is one of the most recognizable symbols of not only Paris but the whole of France. The fire last year heavily damaged the roof, but this 760 years old church will be rebuilt once again.

5. Eiffel Tower

Gustave Eiffel had the idea to build a 324 meters long tower. 10,100 tons of wrought iron later, his vision came true in 1889.
Gustave Eiffel had the idea to build a 324 meters long tower. 10,100 tons of wrought iron later, his vision came true in 1889.

Gustave Eiffel had the idea to build a 324 meters long tower. 10,100 tons of wrought iron later, his vision came true in 1889. Today, it is not just the most attractive building in Paris. Still, it also has a practical use, and it transmits radio and TV signals from the top.

4. Casa Milà

Speaking of wrought iron, it was also used together with stone to create the most recognizable facade in Barcelona, Spain. Image credit: Jaroslav Moravcik / Shutterstock.com
Speaking of wrought iron, it was also used together with stone to create the most recognizable facade in Barcelona, Spain. Image credit: Jaroslav Moravcik / Shutterstock.com

Speaking of wrought iron, it was also used together with stone to create the most recognizable facade in Barcelona, Spain. Despite the initial adverse reactions in 1912 upon completion (and name-calling it "The Quarry"), Casa Milà is one of the most astounding buildings of modern Spanish architecture.

3. La Sagrada Família

The city of Barcelona is home to another Gothic/Art Nouveau monumental church. Image credit: Felix Lipov / Shutterstock.com
The city of Barcelona is home to another Gothic/Art Nouveau monumental church. Image credit: Felix Lipov / Shutterstock.com

The city of Barcelona is home to another Gothic/Art Nouveau monumental church. Basilica of the Sacred Family broke ground in 1882, and architect Antoni Gaudí will, unfortunately, not see the final moment of completion as it is planned for 2026.

2. Saint Basil's Cathedral

Located in Moscow's Red Square, this cathedral is a symbol of Russia.
Located in Moscow's Red Square, this cathedral is a symbol of Russia.

Located in Moscow's Red Square, this cathedral is a symbol of Russia. It is unique and now serves as a museum to tell the history of the country, including Ivan The Terrible, under who the construction started.

1. Sistine Chapel

In the city of the Vatican, the most famous chapel lies in the Apostolic Palace. Image credit: JurateBuiviene / Shutterstock.com
In the city of the Vatican, the most famous chapel lies in the Apostolic Palace. Image credit: JurateBuiviene / Shutterstock.com

In the city of the Vatican, the most famous chapel lies in the Apostolic Palace. This is the place where the pope lives, and enjoy the world's most celebrated fresco painting called The Last Judgement done by Michelangelo.

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