10 May 2017

5 Most Impressive Architectural Masterpieces Of Athens

5 Most Impressive Architectural Masterpieces Of Athens

Athens is an amazing ancient destination surrounded by picturesque mountains. This Greek city is famous for incredible landscapes, historical monuments and unique architectural constructions. The numerous palaces, fortresses and homesteads of Athens are a real decoration of the city. So, don’t miss to visit the following architectural masterpieces during your next trip to Athens…

Parthenon

Parthenon

Parthenon is a gorgeous temple built in honor of the Greek Goddess, the central construction of the Athenian acropolis. It has been proudly disposed on the main hill of the city for more than 2000 years.

Within the long history of the Greek temple, it served as a church, a fortress, and a treasury. Once Parthenon temple was divided into 2 parts – the first part was a treasury, and the second one became a home of the famous statue of Athena.

Parthenon is built in the classical style, which is very typical for the ancient Greeks. Parthenon is rectangular in shape. There are gorgeous columns at the edges of the building. The facade is decorated with scenes of single combats featuring Amazons and Greeks. Nowadays, Parthenon is visible from anywhere in Athens. The temple is especially beautiful at night due to the light of lanterns.

Temple of Hephaestus

Temple of Hephaestus

Founded in honor of the Greek god of fire, it was constructed by the order of the famous Athenian personality. It was the first building made of marble.

Temple of Hephaestus is a majestic construction created in the true traditions of Greek architecture. Massive columns of the Doric order surround the building along the entire perimeter, and the impressive platform exalts the temple above the city even more pronouncedly. Numerous ornaments and sculptures give elegance and completeness to the decorations.

The interior space is divided into separate sections and rooms, decorated with images of mythological creatures and events. Some sculptural paintings and statues haven’t survived till this day, but there are notations that prove their existence.

Generally, Temple of Hephaestus is a popular spot for tourist walks and educational excursions. Perhaps the walls of the building still contain a lot of undisclosed secrets.

Theatre of Dionysus

Theatre of Dionysus

Theatre of Dionysus is an ancient theater, partially preserved to the present day. In this place, many ancient writers embodied their dramaturgic ideas, the first dramas and comedies were played, and the art of makeup and using masks was born. Any spectacle held in the theater was a truly grandiose event. Theatre of Dionysus was the center of Athenian cultural life.

Today, it remains a popular place for excavations and researches. Each year, scientists discover new architectural elements and building details. Visitors can see the stage and spectator’s chairs, marble columns, statues and sculptures in detail. At the moment, significant restoration work is underway aimed at restoring and preserving the existing values. In summer, theatre festivals are organized there, which is very popular activity among locals and tourists.

Temple of Zeus

Temple of Olympian Zeus /  Olympieion

Temple of Zeus can rightly be called the largest Greek temple. The temple, located in the old town, is often called the Olympus.

The beginning of the temple’s construction dates back to the 6th century BC, but it was completed only in the second century BC. The history of the temple became known through the texts of Pausanias – an ancient geographer and writer. He narrates that the priests began to build a sanctuary to thank Zeus, who saved local inhabitants from the flood. The construction project involved many Greek, and later Roman architects. A huge rectangular construction was surrounded by columns made of marble. Previously, the width of the building reached more than 100 meters, and the diameter of the columns was almost three meters. In the center of the temple there’s a statue of Zeus, made of gold and ivory.

The temple was to surpass the 7 wonders of the world. Nowadays, only about 15 columns have survived. In addition to the enormous columns, you can see there the remains of the Roman baths, basilicas and some ruins of the ancient buildings.

Athenian Agora

Stoa of Attalos (Athenian Agora), Athens, Greece

Agora, which means the city square, was the center of life of the Ancient Athenians. Agora is situated near the Acropolis, at its northern part. This square has a rich history, because historians believe that originally this place was used in the Neolithic age, and only in the 6th century BC Agora turned into the heart of the city.

At the time of Ancient Greece, the square was used for staging performances, theaters, commerce, rallies, gatherings and even sacrifices.

Also, there’s another building, where King Attalus used to live. Scientists refer the building to the second century BC, but despite this, it’s well preserved. Today, there’s a museum.

Unfortunately, you can see only the remains of the construction: foundations, ruins and some colonnades.

Athens is an excellent spot to relax studying ancient architectural constructions. So, if your target is Greek historical monuments, get ready for a trip to Athens! Of course, take care of Athens car rental in advance, in case you like to travel safely and comfortably.

22 Mar 2017

Architectural Miracle: The Highest Buildings In Dubai

Architectural Miracle: The Highest Buildings In Dubai

Dubai is famous for its modern architectural design. The city is growing not only in breadth, but also skyward. There were even plans to build a kilometer-tall skyscraper “Al Burj” (Nakheel Tower), but due to the global financial crisis, this costly project was canceled in December 2009.

Still, there is much to be seen in Dubai. The skyscrapers are as fascinating at a distance, as they are up close. If you rent a car in Dubai, you would be able to become personally certain in it within minutes. The next skyscrapers are capable of astounding you.

Burj Khalifa

Peak of Burj Khalifa, Dubai

The highest and the most famous skyscraper in Dubai is the Burj Khalifa tower, the construction of which began in 2004. Towering above the ground, by almost 830 meters, the 162-storey building became the highest ever-constructed freestanding structure in the world. Thanks to its unique design, resembling a rocket, it seems that the building is about to swiftly soar into the air.

“The tower of Khalif” is a large-scale and innovative, architectural and engineering feat of recent years. It literally pierces the sky! For comparison, its height is seven times the height of London’s Big Ben. The opening of this grand skyscraper took place on January 4, 2010, just six years after the construction has begun. About 13 000 workers, day and night, worked tirelessly to ensure that every new floor of a giant structure was appearing no later, than three days after the previous one. Now in this “Tower of Babel” of Dubai there is a great number of office premises and private apartments. There is also the well-known Armani hotel – the first hotel in the world, which interior decoration was fully developed by the Italian designer Giorgio Armani.

Of the most interest to the visitors is the observation platform, located on the 124th floor of the Tower. Those fearless, who dare to ascend on the high-speed elevators at 442 meters above the ground, a truly worthy award awaits – incredible in its beauty and scale, panorama of Dubai. People say that it is best to watch the beauty of the city from a bird’s eye view from 16 to 18 hours. In that time, there is an opportunity to compare day Dubai and the evening one, as both of them are having their own charm. In order not to deprive yourself of such pleasure, it is best to buy the tickets beforehand, for example, on the official website of the Burj Khalifa.

Almas Tower

Architectural Miracle: The Highest Buildings In Dubai

The Diamond Tower, 360-meter tall skyscraper in the city of Dubai, is having 74 floors, 70 of which are used for commercial purposes, and four are the technical floors. Its construction began in early 2005 and lasted for 4 years. For 2015, the Tower was the fifth tallest building in the city.

The building is located on an artificial island in the middle of the cluster near the Jumeirah Lace. The tower was designed by the architectural company Atkins Middle East. The Dubai Diamond Exchange and offices of companies, engaged in the sale and shaping of diamonds, jewels and pearls, are located in the building. In addition, there is the Dubai Gems Club, the Dubai Pearl Exchange, the Kimberley Process Certification office, meeting rooms, and the offices of companies involved in the guarded transportation of jewels.

Skyscraper “Almas Tower” took eighth place in the prestigious competition “the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2010”.

Emirates Towers

Architectural Miracle: The Highest Buildings In Dubai

This is a complex of buildings, consisting of two skyscrapers, located in Dubai, on the Sheikh Zayed highway. The height of the first, Emirates Office Tower, is 354.6 meters. It consists of 54 floors, where only the offices are located. This Tower is 38 tallest building in the world.

The second, 56-storey tower of five-star Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel is 309 meters tall, what makes it the third tallest hotel in the world. Consisting of four hundred rooms, 10% of which fall in the lux category, the hotel is the fifth tallest buildings in Dubai. Its construction was completed on April 15, 2000. The building has floors one floor especially for women and one more floor-specially for men. On the first floor, women may read fashionable magazines, practice yoga or visit a beauty salon. For the representatives of the stronger sex, there is a magnificent SPA center, with an “oxygen room” and a hydro-pool, where they can relax. Special attention should be paid to the hotel rooms of the tower. There are huge windows, from which you can see the city in details, including the beauty of its sights. Each room is equipped with the modern appliances.

Abutting in the sky, the Emirates towers were built of concrete and glass. Especially fascinating the twin towers look in the evening, when the buildings are illuminated from all quarters.

Both skyscrapers are standing side by side, and they are even connected by huge shopping center Emirate Towers Boulevard. The architecture of the towers is not very different from the general “style” of Dubai, but they are having a catchy feature – two thin spires, pricking up into the sky. Their upper floors command a stunning panorama of the city and its surroundings. The complex has a wonderful 25-meter outdoor pool.

Rose Rayhaan by Rotana

Architectural Miracle: The Highest Buildings In Dubai

The Rose Tower, 333-meter tall building, is located on the Sheikh Zayed highway in Dubai. For 2015, having 72 floors, it was the 55th tallest building in the world. Initially, the height of the tower was planned to be 380 meters, but with the further design, it was reduced. The construction began in 2004, and, 2 years after, it was completed and a spire was installed. The hotel was opened in April 2008, though, the official opening took place only on December 23, 2009. 180 million dollars were invested in the construction of this skyscraper. The Rose Tower hotel is the second tallest hotel in the world.

   Today, the “Rose Tower” is offering the plushest rooms and other delights of a first-class hotel. The service there is at the highest level. It was one of the first hotels in Dubai, where the sale of alcohol was permitted. This fact attracts many foreign tourists. There are two restaurants and a café, working round-the-clock.

Aspiring towards the heavens, the hotel is having 482 luxurious rooms. The guests are offered the apartments of premium room, suite, deluxe room and classic room types. As for the infrastructure of the hotel, it includes a business center, eight meeting rooms and other public halls.  

20 Feb 2017

Architecture Guide: TOP Cities and Places in Portugal to Be Inspired

Architecture Guide: TOP Cities and Places in Portugal to Be Inspired

The oldest European country – Portuguese, is not only the country of luxury beaches, tasty wine and nature. This is also the country of rich history. The big amount of castles, churches, towers are situated in the country cities to be saved and kept in order. This is the article to meet you the cozy little cities of central Portuguese. The time has stopped here. Every wall, every stone tells its own story, legend. Each of these cities is architectural masterpiece, the province of all mankind.

PORTOGALLO2007

Tomar

This is the city, full of Templars’ secrets. This is the place, where the most powerful and respectable knights have been founded their final abode – the Castle of Templars. Every small detail in the city speaks about its glorious founders. You can learn everything about life and fight of the most powerful knights of the Middle Ages.

Batalha

The next stop is a little cute city in the Central Portugal – Batalha. There is the most beautiful building in Europe – Mosteiro de Santa Maria da Vitoria. Charming gothic, stony goffering brings the glory to Portuguese king. The building was constructed by way of gratuity to Portuguese king Joao I to honor his big victory over the Spanish soldiers. This was a place of the king dynasty.

Alcobaca

The city got the name from the name of two rivers Alcoa and Baca. There is the biggest church on Portugal, the oldest gothic building. This is the place, where the most glorious lovers of the Middle Ages were buried – the king Pedro I and Ines de Castro.

Túmulo de Inês de Castro

Obidos

This is the best charming city in Portugal, a real treasure that was built by Portuguese kings. Narrow streets, white houses, decorated with bright flowers, souvenir shops, old churches – this is all about Obidos. The city is called the city of lovers, the city of brides, flowers and the capital of chocolate and famous cherry liquor.

Faro

Faro is the capital of Algarve. This is the province, where the life is in full swing. As a matter of fact, this is a transit city. You can hire a car in Faro and start hunting for architectural relics in Algarve. Thousands of tourists come here. You can have some rest in the street cafe and drive your car to the West of the country or to the East. This is not big, but interesting city. The narrow streets, old houses, ancient churches – peace and quiet.

Obidos Castle, Obidos

The castle is located in Obidos. The city history starts in the 1st century as a Roman colony. The castle was restored and rebuilt as you can see it in our days. It is surrounded by battlement wall, bastion, arcs and bas-reliefs. This was a lovely place for Royal picnics. The city is famous of its ceramic ware, cherry sweets, chocolate festival and colorful feasts.

Mosterio da Batalha, Batalha

Batalha Monastery is situated in the city of Batalha. This is the symbol of Portuguese independence. Anyway, this is an important place in the country life. The Portuguese solders won the battle for independence in 1385. The king ordered to build a church to memorize their glorious win.

Knitting on stone

Mosteiro da Alcobaca, Alcobaca

Alcobaca Monastery is the biggest gothic monastery that is located in Alcobaca. It was founded by the king of Portugal in 1153. Traditionally, the king promised to build a monastery to honor his victory. The foundation stone was laid in 1147. The building was named a church and then – monastery. This is the family vault for Portuguese Royal family recent years. You can see carved sarcophagus of Prince Pedro I and his lover Ines de Castro.

Pena Castle, Sintra

Pena Castle is the most famous complex of Portugal, the best architectural sample of Romanticism of the 19th century. This is the unique building that was constructed according to Prince Ferdinand wish, the husband of the Queen of Portugal Maria II. That was the summer residence, beautifully situated on a top of a hill not far from Sintra. The interior of the castle is historically interesting and informative. You can learn a lot of design tricks from the ages of the latest Portuguese Queen Amelia.

Mosteiro des Jeronimos, Lisbon

Jeronimos is a masterpiece of Portuguese architecture of the 16th century. It was built of while shiny stones with view to Tejo River. The monastery is the greatest historical monuments and architectural samples. It was included into the list of in the world important historical monuments in 1983. The monastery was constructed the 16th century as a big present from the king Manuel I. This is the most admirable architectural samples of the style of Manuel. This is also the most important church in Europe. It has 300 meters facade to be glorious and impressive building.

Casa da Musica, Porto

Casa da Musica cannot tell you about historical battles or old centuries. This is the brightest sample of modern architecture. This is the main concert hall in Porto. The appearance and design are strange and unusual. This is the symbol of the city now. It took about 4 years to finish. There are many problems solved and many interesting configurations are brought to life. It looks really impressive!

Architectural criticism says that this is the most attractive project, where intellectual decisions are masterfully combined with the sense and beauty. In short, this is the best concert hall for the period of 100 years. It is equal in its beauty to Walt Disney Concert Hall and Philharmonic Hall in Berlin.

Jeronimos Monastery, Lisbon, Portugal

Casa da Musica is the popular stage for three main orchestra bands. It is enough space for everyone. Two main halls can be easily adapted for holiday events, seminars and other meaningful occasions. The big hall contains 1238 visitors all together. The Small Hall contains about 300 visitors. Actually, the amount of visitors can be easily corrected according to your wish. This is the place, where architecture inspires. So, be inspired – come to Portugal!