All posts tagged: Architecture

What Colors are the Empire State Building?

When you are walking in the vicinity of Herald Square, it’s always fun to see what colors the Empire State Building’s lights are and learning what those colors mean. Here are some photos I took using my phone as I just happened to chance upon the pretty colors of the ESB those nice New York nights. Follow the @EmpireLights twitter account or visit their website for a lighting schedule. Weekly photo challenge: Nighttime

World Heritage Site Tuesday: Notre Dame de Paris

“He therefore turned to mankind with only regret. His cathedral was enough for him…The saints were his friends, and blessed him; the monsters were his friends, and guarded him.” – Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre Dame I remember seeing The Hunchback of Notre Dame with my best friend from high school. I don’t recall a lot about the movie. At the time, I knew we were curious about the adaptation of the Victor Hugo novel. It was not until my Contiki trip years after, looking up at Notre Dame itself, that I remembered the film and the book again, which was written to call attention to the importance of the cathedral as it has, throughout history, undergone a lot of destruction.   Notre Dame’s external facade, although not as elaborate as Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, is definitely something to see. Depending on which side you are looking at, you would see something different. Its famous gargoyles and smaller statues, which I learned were added to serve as water sprouts and for support, were very detailed. …

Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia: a Testament of Vision

Vision — I don’t think I truly took to heart what this word really meant until I encountered the works of Antoni Gaudi. When we got to Barcelona, we were almost at the end of a two-week trip that has brought us to many breathtaking churches, but Sagrada Familia was different. On our way to our hotel, the taxi driver gave us helpful tips about the area, including going to the basilica early to beat the crowd. What we wished we knew, and a good travel tip, was that you can also pre-order your tickets online and get on a shorter queue (tickets can be ordered online by clicking here). The lines were long but were moving pretty quickly, and the weather was comfortable (we were there in May). Construction of the Sagrada Familia started in 1882, and is still being worked on until now, following the vision of renowned Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi. The basilica (Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família) is unique in the use of both religious symbolism and Gaudi’s known …

On Skyscrapers, and My Visit to the Eiffel Tower

There was a time when one of the manifestations of man’s search for greatness was how tall he can go with his structures. Not accepting defeat after one skyscraper from another side of the world dares go up, there was this unrelenting drive to prove that it is he who can reach closer to the sky and stand tallest — perhaps brought by the technological discoveries of the time, the sprouting of the then great minds in architecture and engineering, in the case of real estate it was a need, and in some cases purely competition. During my trip to Paris, one of the highlights was visiting Eiffel Tower, knowing that although not tall in today’s standards, it was at a time the tallest man-made structure in the world. The best part about the structure for me personally though was being able to see Paris from the top of it, and it was a beautiful sight. (Whenever my travels take me to a skyscraper nowadays, I can’t help but ask the question, how much higher …