A (VERY BRIEF) GUIDE TO CHICAGO

Chicago, the birthplace of the modern skyscraper is still a trendsetter in urban architecture and a must for people interested in 20th century urban architecture. But the Windy City offers a lot more than architecture alone. Chicago is a thriving center of international trade and commerce and a city of world-class status and unsurpassed beauty. It features world-famous museums and galleries, amazing architecture, lake front parks and a huge variety of restaurants and shops. It is a bustling city, with a vibrant nightlife and is also a great

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A (very brief) Guide to Tokyo

Tokyo is Japan’s capital and the world’s most populous metropolis. It is also one of Japan’s 47 prefectures, consisting of 23 central city wards and multiple cities, towns and villages west of the city center. The Izu and Ogasawara Islands are also part of Tokyo.

Prior to 1868, Tokyo was known as Edo. A small castle town in the 16th century, Edo became Japan’s political center in 1603 when Tokugawa Ieyasu established his feudal government there. A few decades later, Edo had grown into one of the world’s

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A (very brief) Guide to Bruges

The Historic Town of Brugge hides stunning architectural monuments within its egg-shaped boundary. It is the home of both modern and medieval masterpieces. It was honored in 2012 with the title of European Capital of Culture. It boasts of its grand Royal Theater and of the Concertgebouw, where one can hear contemporary music or watch ballet performances. The city preserves many amazing landmarks within its walls.

Predominant Architecture:
Unspoiled for hundreds of years, the city’s canals, churches and

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A (very brief) Guide to Tirana

Tirana is Albania’s largest city and serves as the country’s capital. Although Tirana’s history is relatively recent compared to that of the Albanian people, Tirana has managed to become the country’s economic, cultural and administrative center.

Tourists usually find Tirana a beautiful and charming city, with a lively night life. Tirana is undergoing a major renovation from its communist days. Many of the ugly dull buildings have been repainted,

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A (very) brief Guide to Jerusalem

Jerusalem, Yerushalayim in Hebrew and Al Quds in Arabic, is the capital and largest city of Israel. The city is considered a holy city by adherents of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; it contains sites sacred to all three religions. The city has been a focal point for conflict between Arabs and Israelis since the establishment of Israel in 1948.

The city is located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea. It straddles the Judean Hills, which run north-south in Israel. The city is built on a cluster of hilltops and valleys.

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A (very brief) Guide to Bangkok

Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, is not just an old city, but also a crossroads where people of different races, regions and religions have for centuries converged.

Ancient Buddhist temples that sparkle in the sun, the Grand Palace and the Emerald Buddha – this is just the beginning of what Bangkok, the City of Angels has to offer.

Boasting some of the most lavish hotels in the world, Bangkok is also known for its extraordinary museums, shopping centers and street stalls with incredible bargains.

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A (very brief) Guide to Beijing

In Beijing, the slew of construction for the 2008 Summer Olympics gave shape to an emerging national identity. China wanted to prove it had more to offer the world than its ancient culture and architecture. And so the world watched as Bejing built Western-inspired buildings that went above and beyond the limitations of Chinese architecture.

Now, Beijing is home to a collection of both traditional and contemporary buildings.

Predominant Architecture:
The traditional style reflects Chinese beliefs and

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A (very brief) Guide to Dubai

Short a construction crane for a building project? Blame it on Dubai. It’s estimated that this architecture capital has 25% of the world’s cranes working around the clock. Although Chicago gave birth to the skyscraper, in recent years Dubai has been the city to master constructing these tall and extravagant buildings.

Dubai’s economy was initially built on oil, but its oil reserves have already been significantly depleted and only account for a small percentage of the economy. So the government recently decided to reinvent its

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A (very brief) Guide to Brasilia

The basic structure of Brasilia was completed in just four years, from 1956 to 1960, under the leadership of President Juscelino Kubitschek, with the slogan “fifty years of progress in five”, and the city is in a sense a memorial to him.

In less than four years, this place went from an idea to Brazil’s living and breathing capital city. Thought up by urban planner Lucio Costa in 1957, with buildings designed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, the city was laid out as a cross, but better resembles a butterfly or airplane shape

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A (very brief) Guide to Rome

No city in the world equals the history of the Eternal City. Founded 2700 years ago, Rome long reigned as Capital of the World. Rome’s history spans two and a half thousand years. It was the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, which was the dominant power in Western Europe.

Monumental buildings like the Colosseum are reminiscent of the era when emperors like Nero and Trajan ruled the Roman Empire. But today’s Rome owes much of its attractiveness to the Renaissance period when new squares

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A (very brief) Guide to Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires, the capital and largest city of Argentina, is one of the most mesmerizing cities in the Americas. Plenty of magnificent buildings and monuments recall the city’s heyday in the 19th and early 20th century when Europeans emigrated to this prosperous metropolis.

Despite its European connections, Buenos Aires has a flavor all its own. Street performers doing the tango are as much a part of the landscape as famous buildings like the opulent, French-designed Teatro Colon. Local culture is celebrated in the weekly

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A (very brief) Guide to London

London, the capital of England and the United Kingdom, was founded 2000 years ago by the Romans as Londinium. The city has been Western Europe’s largest city for centuries: as early as in 1700 more than 575,000 people lived in London.

Today London is not only the largest city but also one of the most visited thanks to its numerous famous attractions such as the Tower Bridge and the Big Ben.

Predominant Architecture:
The city of London is not characterized by any particular architectural style,

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A (very brief) Guide to Vancouver

Vancouver is a very young city; it wasn’t until after the World Exposition in 1986 before Vancouver changed from a sleepy provincial city to a booming metropolis.

Even today the city continues to expand at a high rate: once abandoned industrial areas have thus turned into fashionable and lively districts such as Yaletown and Coal Harbour.

Predominant Architecture:
Vancouverism is a term that refers to tall, but widely separated, slender towers interspersed with low-rise buildings, public spaces,

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A (very brief) Guide to Stockholm

Stockholm, the largest city in Scandinavia, has a surprisingly large number of interesting sights, with plenty of palaces and monuments that are reminiscent of a time when the Swedish empire was one of Europe’s largest powers.

The city is defined by its location on a large archipelago, and it is spread over 14 islands. The abundance of water and the many riverboats have given Stockholm the name ‘Venice of the North’.

Predominant Architecture:
Stockholm has a history that dates back to

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A (very brief) Guide to Vienna

Vienna, the capital of Austria, boasts an impressive number of palaces, monuments and other landmarks due to its centuries-long position as the heart of the Habsburg Empire.

Most of the city’s main sights are located in Vienna’s compact center or at the boulevard encircling the historic center, which makes it easy to visit the city on foot. Other neighborhoods are easily accessible thanks to the efficient subway.

Predominant Architecture:
A variety of architectural styles can be found in

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A (very brief) Guide to Istanbul

Istanbul is located on both the continents of Europe and Asia. Most citizens practice Islam, but the city also claims strong Christian and Jewish communities. Istanbul is thus known as a cultural melting pot, and the city’s architecture certainly lives up to that reputation.

Visitors to Istanbul will find more than 2,000 mosques, 100 churches and 20 synagogues. Over time, Istanbul has served as a capital for Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman Empires, and is now Turkey’s capital. Each period built a new architectural layer on top

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A (very brief) Guide to Berlin

Ever since the creation of a unified Germany in 1871, the nation’s tumultuous history has had a profound impact on the history of its capital Berlin.

Many historic neighborhoods and monuments were destroyed during the Second World War, but since the reunification after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, historic areas like Potsdamer Platz and Pariser Platz have been completely revamped. Nowadays, Berlin is once again one of the greatest European cities: lively, dynamic and inviting.

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A (very brief) Guide to Paris

The world’s most popular city destination has plenty of must-see places but make sure you spend at least a day strolling off the beaten path, as this is the only way to discover the real Paris: a lively cosmopolitan but undeniably French city.

The center of Paris is divided in 20 arron-dissements with the majority of the world known attractions (Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysées, Louvre, Panthéon, Notre-Dame,…) situated in the first 8 arrondissements.

Predominant Architecture:
The architecture of

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A (very brief) Guide to Milan

The capital of Lombardia, the richest and most populous region of Italy. The city, the second largest in the country, is best known as an economic and financial center but it also has its fair share of cultural and architectural attractions.

Predominant Architecture:
As a city with a millennium long history, Milan has an amazing array of architecture. Over the centuries, the city of Milan has been home to some of the best artists and architects of the world. Masterpieces of Baroque, Neoclassical, and Renaissance

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A (very brief) Guide to Seville

Seville, the capital of the Spanish community of Andalusia, is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Its architecture is a reflection of its tumultuous history with long spells of occupation by the Romans and later the Moors.

In the 16th century, after the reconquista by the Christians the city reached its Golden Age thanks to a monopoly on trade with the New World. Many of the city’s magnificent landmarks such as the Cathedral, the Royal Alcazar and Golden Tower were built earlier, in the 13th and 14th

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A (very brief) Guide to Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg was founded in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great. During the following two centuries, when Saint Petersburg was the capital of Russia, the city quickly developed into one of the world’s most magnificent cities thanks to the construction of impressive edifices such as the Winter Palace, the Admiralty, the Mariinsky Theater and St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

Despite the many monumental buildings the city has an unmistakable charm thanks to the numerous channels and bridges which give Saint Petersburg a romantic

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A (very brief) Guide to Venice

Venice is one of those cities that are truly unique. Once the center of a powerful maritime empire, Venice is a city dotted with magnificent palaces and churches. Mostly devoid of cars and modern buildings, time seems to have stood still here. The city is located in the middle of a lagoon and is dissected by about 150 channels.

Predominant Architecture:
The city’s architecture is unique, a mixture of Gothic and Byzantine styles. If you are into modern art, the world-renown Biennale exhibitions is held

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A (very brief) Guide to Budapest

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, was formed at the end of the 19th century when the 3 cities Pest, Buda and Óbuda merged but its history goes back more than 1,000 years.

The city may be known for its thermal baths but there are also plenty of other attractions such as the vast Buda Castle, the majestic Chain Bridge and the romantic Fisherman’s Bastion.

Predominant Architecture:
Budapest’s Classicist, Romanesque, Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture is predominantly shaped by the works of

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A (very brief) Guide to Hong Kong

In 1841 Hong Kong Island – not much more than ‘a barren island with few houses’ – was ceded to the British.
In 1997 negotiations between Britain and China resulted in the handover of Hong Kong back to China. Under the credo ‘one country, two systems’, Hong Kong is now a Special Administrative Region (S.A.R.) of China.

Hong Kong is a dazzling commercial city where east meets west. The lack of space in Hong Kong has led to the largest concentration of tall buildings in the world, even ahead of

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A (very brief) Guide to Barcelona

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. The city combines modern and historic architecture in a unique way.

The modernist movement of which Gaudi was the most prominent exponent left its mark on the city with magnificent buildings like the Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà and Casa Batlló.

Predominant Architecture:
Don’t let anyone tell you that Barcelona’s architecture is simply about Gaudí. The three predominant architectural styles to be found in

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A (very brief) Guide to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, even though neither the Dutch government nor the head of state resides in Amsterdam. The largest city in the Netherlands is also the country’s biggest tourist-draw.

Most of Amsterdam’s top attractions date from the city’s heyday during the seventeenth century when it was a financial and political powerhouse. Most of the cities’ famous canals and harmonious architecture stems from this era.

Predominant Architecture:
The dominant styles in

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A (very brief) Guide to Agra

Agra, in Uttar Pradesh is a city full of history. Once the capital of the Moghuls, Agra can boast a number of marvelous buildings, the most magnificent and well known being the Taj Mahal. Besides this mausoleum, one of the greatest buildings on earth, there are other attractions in Agra like the massive Agra fort and Akbar’s mausoleum.

Agra is located in the western corner of the northern province Uttar Pradesh. Together with Delhi and Jaipur, the city forms the ‘golden triangle’, India’s most popular tourist

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A (very brief) Guide to Prague

Known as the “golden city of spires,” Prague in the Czech Republic has architectural splendors that span a thousand years. During the Middle Ages, Prague was the most important city in Central Europe. After emperor Charles IV had all the city gates’ roofs covered with lead, Prague was dubbed the ‘Golden City’. It would remain one of the most influential cities in Europe until the 20th century.

Today ‘the City of a Hundred Spires’ is a magnet for tourists, with numerous magnificent towers,

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