Category: Travel diary

Top Less Known Architecture Monuments to Visit

When we visit other countries, we always lean towards famous Architectural Monuments in the area. Like many others, we take the same old pictures that are pegged mainstream all over social media. We are not saying that you shouldn’t visit places like Taj Mahal, The Great Wall of China or the Colosseum. The three mentioned are still few of the iconic buildings in the whole world. We are just advising you to get lost and immerse in other cultures because you’ll never what you’ll find.

It’s time to rediscover and explore Architectural Monuments that are yet known to the public. With less popularity, these wonders prove that there is just as much beauty in places hidden from plain sight.

So what are the other Architectural Landmarks yet to be uncovered?

People's Palace - Bucharest [HDR]

Palace of the Parliament, Romania

This extravagant structure stands tall and wide located in Central Bucharest, Dealul Arsenalului. This is one of the most massive and expensive executive construction in the well if it excludes the Pentagon. However, Palace of the Parliament is the most heftiest of all buildings in the world. This place is truly an unrecognized wonder. This was built by Nicolae Ceausescu, a hated communist dictator. It is said that due to its huge scale, It is hard to capture it whole, not doing the place the justice it deserves. In order to create the Palace of the Parliament, most of the Bucharest’s historical buildings had to be destroyed. This building holds 12 stories and 3,100 rooms.

Not contented, there are eight additional stories located underground. This cost approximately 3.3 Billion Euros.


Chand Baori, India

Chand Baori has created to battle the problem of water. These stepwells were created to provide solution along with many others located in New Delhi but Chand Baori was easily the most pleasing to the eye. It is a four-sided structure and on one face, you could see a great temple. Among the largest earliest stepwells, it will never fail to look stunning in real life and in pictures. Constructed in the 10th century, this was offered to the goddess of joy and happiness, Harshat Mata.

Derawar Fort

Derawar Fort, Pakistan

A huge square fort rises in the desserts of Ahmadpur East Tehsil, Punjab Pakistan. Seen several miles in the Cholistan Dessert are the forty outworks of Derawar. This overlooked landmark was built by Rai Jajja Bhatti who was a Rajput Ruler of the Bhatti Clan.

Delaware’s name was changed two times before its present name and this fort was first named as Dera Rawal and Dera Rawar. With great importance to the historical times, this structure is aging at a fast pace thus it is necessary to look for quick preventive measures to conserve this piece of art.

Ultimately, tourists will behold the sight before their eyes.

Roma: Terme di Caracalla

The Baths of Caracalla, Italy

In Rome, Italy, you can stop at this other place of marvel, the Baths of Caracalla. This was the second biggest Roman baths open to the public during the rule of emperors Caracalla and Septimius Severus. Operations were halted when 530s came and without immediate preservation, this had fallen into disrepair. This continued to inspire other Architectural minds and have been the model for beautiful places such as Basilica of Maxentius and Baths of Diocletian, Chicago Union Station and Pennsylvania Station (New York). You can rent a car in Italy to discover all these places. There are also works of art acquired from the decays which became known as sculptures and these were Farnese Hercules and Farnese Bull.

Casa Batlló

Casa Batlló, Spain

Last but definitely not the least is a monument located in the center of Barcelona and one of the masterpieces of Antoni Gaudi. This is a famed building that was a renewed model of a house built. Gaudi put his new touches to it making it as good as new during 1904 and since then, this has been maintained many times after he redesigned it. The building is designed with different shades of color made of broken ceramic trencadis. With unique tracery, the first floor has irregularly shaped windows and carved works of stone. The roof looked to be a dinosaur or dragon’s skin. This building stands out from the others thus earning an awe from any tourist who sets their feet in front.

Write these places on your bucket list and check them off one by one. It’s a scenery you must not miss. Plan your trip on your summer vacation now or any free time you can manage. Take dazzling photographs and share them with the world because sometimes the magnificent places are still left untouched.

Our Cordoba Travel Diary


 morning we packed up and hit the road for Córdoba, which is northwest of Granada. Córdoba, like Granada, had a less than attractive perimeter, but once in the city center it was clear where the historic sites were. We immediately pulled up to a dirt lot on the other side of the Puente Romano that spans the Río Guadalquivir. From our parking spot the Mezquita, the great mosque in the Jewish quarter, loomed in the distance.


Entering Cordoba

The day was rainy, but reasonable since we planned on touring the mosque most of the time. Córdoba’s narrow, cobbled streets are renowned for fine silver jewelry and embossed leather, but first to the Mezquita. We entered the Puerta del Perdón (gate of absolution; Mudéjar-style gate built during Christian rule in 1377) and spilled into the Patio de Naranjas (courtyard with orange trees and rivulets of water where folks washed themselves before prayer). A 305-foot bell tower built on the site of the original minaret (Torre del Alminar) stands near the entrance, but was inaccessible when we attempted to climb it.

Once in the building, the true effect of the Mezquita hit me. More than 850 columns of granite, marble and jasper support the roof. Many of them were stolen from Roman and Visigothic buildings. Some of the columns were encased in plastic to protect engravings in unknown symbols/languages. One column also had a plastic yoke at the bottom and we could see that column continued beyond the existing floor – an indication that we were not treading on the original flooring.

The arches seemed giraffe-like on close inspection, but from a distance were terribly impressive and overwhelming. There was also a highly decorated prayer niche that used to hold a gilt copy of the Koran (mihrab) and a caliph’s enclosure (maqsura). In the prayer niche we noticed the worn flagstones – apparently pilgrim’s used to circle it seven times on their knees.

We also checked out the Capilla de Villaviciosa, which was hard to find because renovations were underway right next to it. Small, but architecturally intriguing because of the multi-lobed arches, it was the first Christian chapel built in the mosque by the Mudéjars (busy guys) in 1371. Even though it seems overshadowed by the other sights in the Mezquita, we were glad to see it.

Probably the most ornate attraction in the mosque is the Christian cathedral right smack dab in the middle. Apparently, part of the mosque was destroyed to allow for the cathedral, and sure enough, it sticks out like a sore thumb. It has an Italianate dome and the choir has intricate, wood-carved stalls by Pedro Duque Cornejo. The choir is so big and the carving so detailed, it must have taken this guy a lifetime to complete the thing.

All in all, we were very impressed by the mosque (Christopher even liked it better than the Alhambra) and as we exited we were treated to classical Spanish guitar played by the dirtiest, laziest looking bum we’d seen on the whole trip. He was hunkered in a dingy corner in tattered rags, but he knew how to play that damn guitar. We tried to figure out how to take a picture of him, but realized it would be impossible to capture the moment without him being cognizant of us.


Stuff to See Everywhere

So we headed across the street into the neighborhood to check out the shops and the food situation. We stopped off in a leather store with lots of well made, embossed leather chests, journals, bookends, belts, bags, and trinkets. All the stuff I liked was too expensive, but the quality was good and the craftsmanship admirable.

During our walk we found some jewelry stores that I wasn’t terribly impressed with and lots of tourist traps with postcards, tacky shirts, plastic gee gaws and lace mantillas that looked like they were made out of plastic. When the rain really picked up, we settled in for lunch at a tucked-away, family-owned place that every other tourist managed to find too.

The family next to us consisted of a pompous patriarch that managed to dominate most of the conversation with his weight-loss techniques, his discounted wife that was attempting to be heard on any level, and his two teenage daughters that were desperately trying to be profound and politically correct. And every other table in the room was occupied by a similarly disastrous microcosm of a different theme.

We attempted to visit the synagogue (Spain’s only other synagogues are in Toledo), but couldn’t find it. So we headed down to the Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos (the palace-fortress of the Catholic Monarchs that was supposed to have neat looking water terraces and fountains in the gardens. Unfortunately, the rain was pretty thick at that point and we couldn’t even get across the dirt lot to the entrance because it had turned into a WWF female mud-wrestling pit. It was closed up tight anyways.

Tired and wet, we decided to head back to the car and hit the road for Seville. Jake volunteered to run across the bridge and pick up the car. When he returned he informed us that the car had been broken into Spanish-style (jack-the-driver’s-side-door-and-crawl-through-the-back-seats-to-the-trunk) and that the laptop had been stolen. Everything was rifled through, but that seemed to be the only thing worth snagging.

So we spent the next hour trying to find the police station in the rain and then we spent three more hours after that trying to obtain a police report from the apathetic cops. Needless to say, the whole experience was stressful, undesirable, and discouraging – we were really enjoying ourselves up to that point.