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Nakagin Capsule Tower
Nakagin Capsule Tower
#About the Tower Built out of Small Capsules

The Nakagin Capsule Tower located in the city of Ginza, looks more like a bunch of washing machines placed on top of each other, than a residential apartment tower. This tower is built out of 140 condensed capsules, small housing units, designed for single residents, especially individual businessmen.

The tower was built in the beginning of the 70’s and was completed in 1972. It was planned by the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, as an apartment and office building. Since the day it was launched it became an example of a groundbreaking building, which offered an alternative solution that seemed well suited for the most crowded metropolis in the world called Tokyo.

The tower, which is mostly made of mass-produced capsules or
cells, is one of the most important and famous buildings in Japan. The capsules were originally intended to be used as individual residential units, or as small offices. In each residential capsule is a shower and toilet, along with a bed, television and telephone. The idea was to allow cheap accommodation in the city, for people who live far away and want to stay in Tokyo for the night.

But vision is one thing and reality is another. Although it
is considered an icon of the Japanese avant-garde movement, this eccentric tower is destined to be destroyed. The reason is that the capsules, which were originally supposed to be replaced every 25 years, were not replaced at all and reached a state of severe neglect, which led the building to its predicament and turned it into a target for demolition

As predicted, the tower was designated for demolition after being purchased by a local investment fund, but instead, the owners of the land announced that they would build a new and prestigious tower.
By the time you get to Tokyo, it might have already happened, and you might not see this ‘washing machine like’ tower, but instead a different, modern one.

A Closer Look:


Another Look:

Greek Parliament
Greek Parliament
#About the Greek House of Parliament

The Hellenistic Parliament is the Greek Parliament building, located in a building that is very impressive in the Syntagma Square. The Parliament was built between 1836-1842 and was used at first as a palace for the kings of Greece. Today it is the seat of Parliament, and it is possible to visit the central library located inside.

Many tourists visit here, especially to watch the ceremony of the changing of the guards next to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This ceremony is conducted by the Royal Guards, wearing traditional Greek uniforms.

In 1843, when the building was inaugurated as a palace for the new king, Otto from Bavaria, the building was supposed to be used as a royal palace for the king. This king was from Austrian origin, and was crowned by the superpowers, who had given their protection to Greece, after a few years earlier, the country had declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire.

By the way, the king, who was also a Bavarian Prince, did not get to rule Greece for a long time. After a cultural revolution in October of 1862, he was exiled from Greece and the monarchy ended completely.

#The Greek Parliament's Architecture

The impressive building where the Greek Parliament sits today, was designed and built as a royal palace in the mid-19th century. It was built according to the accepted European standards, though with an economical budget.

The style of building was geometrical, and it was designed in the Neo-Classic style. Maybe you noticed that it is missing most of the decorations popular with this style of design. The reason is that during construction, the budget was running low, and not enough was left to decorate the palace, so it was left mainly bare.

There were many other issues with the unlucky palace. It is interesting to note that there are 365 rooms here, and until the renovations made in 1910, the entire building had only one restroom!

A Closer Look:


A View from Above:

Grand Palais
Grand Palais
#About the Grand Palais - The Largest Glass and Metal Structure in the World

The Grand Palais and the Petit Palais, also known as the National Gallery, are located in central Paris close to the Champs Elysées and the Seine.

These buildings were built at the end of the 19th century for the Paris International Exposition in 1900, the same one for which the Eiffel Tower was built. This world exhibition was designed to sum up the 19th century and celebrate the opening of the 20th century in the center of the "Belle Epoque" period (The Golden Age of Europe, that was created thanks to the peace that prevailed at the time between the powerful countries, it brought prosperity and growth in the fields of science, and also for a significant improvement in quality of life). At that time, the exhibition was the largest ever to exist and included 50,000 visitors. The exhibition covered 120,000 square meters.

Within the framework of the magnificent buildings that were created for the exhibition, we can also find the Grand Palais and the Petit Palais.

In the beginning, the Museum of French Art was dedicated to the traditional Parisian art galleries - the French Artists' Salon and the Spring Salon. Here the works of Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse and others were first exhibited. The first works of cubism were also exhibited in the museums space for the first time. The museum has three different halls, each with its own entrance. The largest art exhibitions in Paris are held here.

In the main gallery you can see exhibitions of modern art, fashion exhibitions of the biggest designers, and exhibitions of antiques. Among the important collections of the place are the famous bronze sculptures, sculptures from the Greek and Roman period and ivory and jewelry from the French Renaissance period.

Today, the museum includes various galleries, displaying alternating exhibitions of modern and contemporary art in various fields: art, fashion, photography, music, dance, cinema, theater and even sports. The exhibitions are considered very high quality and present significant works in the world of modern art.

#The Architecture of the Grand Palais

The building is an impressive combination of classic stone work alongside iron and glass work in an Art Nouveau style. Thanks to its magnificent beauty and the title it received as the world's largest glass and iron structure, the Grand Palais is one of the most famous buildings in Paris. At its center you will find its impressive glass dome, built by three different architects.

Alexander the 3rd's Gate is also part of the complex of these buildings and continues their design line.

In 2006 the Grand Palais and its twin palace (Petit Palais) underwent serious renovations. As part of the renovations, the foundations of the showroom, made entirely of steel and glass, were reinforced. If we raised the issue of glass, it is interesting to know that since 1993 the building was closed after a metal screw that fell from the ceiling from a height of 35 meters plunged into the display case. A showcase in the Grand Palais is the dome in Art Nouveau style made up of 9,370 tons of green steel.

#The Grand Palais In Times of War

During the World War I, the Grand Palais served as a military hospital that employed local artists who were concentrated in the front area of the hospital rooms, so that they could create molds for prosthetic limbs for the wounded.

During the World War II and the occupation of France, the Nazis used the Grand Palais - initially as a warehouse for trucks and then as a place of exhibition for Nazi propaganda.

The Parisian Resistance used the Grand Palais as its headquarters during the struggle to liberate Paris. On August 23, 1944, shots were fired from one of its windows at a German row advancing on the next street. The Germans returned fire with tanks to the palace and the shells set fire to a pile of hay from a building set up for a circus show. Thick black smoke had engulfed in the fire that burned for the next 48 hours and caused serious damage to the structure. On August 26, American jeeps parked in the main hall, followed by tanks from the 2nd French Armored Division, marked the completion of the palace's liberation.

A closer look




Fashion show:


Tour Guide:

De Beers Ginza Tower
De Beers Ginza Tower (today building 88)
#About the De Beers Diamond Mining Tower

The De Beers Ginza Tower located in the city of Ginza is a modern building built between 2005-2008 and designed by the Japanese architect Jun Mistui.

In the center of the building is the flagship store of the
Tokyo Diamond Corporation. Here, De Beers markets its diamonds from mines, mostly from South Africa and Botswana.

De Beers is a global diamond mining and trading corporation that controls most of the world’s diamond market. The corporation which is based in Johannesburg and London, deals with the process of activity in diamonds - from mining, through the sale of rough diamonds, to the production and marketing of the polished diamonds.

De Beers is also known for its establishment of the connection between diamonds and romance in its successful advertising campaign, in the late 1930's. This campaign instilled the message of "a diamond is forever" and set the tradition of giving a diamond as an engagement gift.

A Closer Look:


The Well-Known De Beers Commercial:



Htel de Ville de Paris
Hôtel de ville de Paris
#About Paris's Town Hall, Hôtel de Ville de Paris

The town hall of Paris is located in the fourth district and has been there since 1357. In the year 1871, during the days of the Paris Commune, the building was burned down, after France surrendered to Germany that same year. The archives, municipal library and the important document collections had a similar fate.

Even today, being a site of power and luxury, where the council of Paris sits, and where the mayors guests are welcomed, part of it is open for exhibitions.

The town square in the west front of the building, turned into a pedestrian space in the year 1982. Throughout history, this was a place of gatherings for rebels, insurgents and protestors. Some of the greatest criminals in French history met their maker here by means of hanging, decapitation and fire.

This site is recommended for lovers of history, art and architecture. A guided tour can be organized with the municipality. Visitors can visit the conference room, which was designed with inspiration of the halls of Versailles. Free art exhibits are on display and are very popular amongst tourists and locals.


After it was destroyed in a fire during the Paris Commune in 1871, the building was rebuilt between the years 1874 and 1882, according to the plan of the architects Theodore Boulou and Ediard Deporte. The front of the building was designed in a neo-Renaissance style, imitating the look of the burned building.

On the front side of the decorated building you can find gothic style windows and figures of 146 famous Parisian figures that have contributed to the city's art, science and politics.

The building is characterized by windows that tell a story and by many sculpted niches. The interior is filled with decorative furniture and wall hangings.

The main facade is decorated with figures that define Paris - including artists, scientists, politicians and industrialists.

In the inner courtyard, there are two bronze statues. One symbolizes art and the other, science. The main staircase leads to a ballroom and to other halls designed in a mixed "Renaissance" and "Belle Epoch" style (The beautiful era, a period of modernization and vast improvement in quality of life).

#Hotel de Ville Restaurant

One of the most expensive restaurants in the world is located right here. This Michelin three-star restaurant was managed by the couple Bridget and Benoit Valiard not too long ago. Both of them come from families with a rich culinary history. The restaurant uses fresh, high quality ingredients and the design of the place is very similar to the visuals of the food served there. Each serving at the restaurant looks just like a work of art and provides a multi-sensory experience.

In spite of the Pastoralism, a tragic story accompanies this place. In 2016, a few hours before Benoit's participation in the Michelin awards ceremony in Paris, he was found shot near his house with his hunting rifle next to him. The chef's death shocked the global culinary world. Two days after the incident, his wife, Bridget, who runs the restaurant, decided that the show had to go on and opened the restaurant to the general public. In the morning, she convened the restaurant staff and shared her plans for the future according to her husband's vision.

In December 2016, the restaurant won the "Best Restaurant in the World" title from the French Foreign Ministry's ranking the 1,000 restaurants in the world. The restaurant has a waiting list of 3 months.

#Days of the Paris Commune

This period of time, when the original Hotel de Ville was burned, was a period of innovation conducted by Napoleon the third. Napoleon appoints Baron Osman to make changes that will help Paris reach the 20th century and help it cope with its growth and with the industrial revolution.

Osman does some very dramatic things: he destroys the small alleys and builds large boulevards and new buildings instead. These are also years of architectural breakthroughs, an era of culture and intellectualism, in which artists such as Victor Hugo create. The city full is full of creation, thought and art.

In the early 70s of the 19th century, Paris once again suffered from the war between France and Germany. During the war Paris is under siege. The Persians even manage to conquer it and impose harsh taxes on France. The instability of the French government created an internal struggle and Paris suffered a revolutionary-anarchist outbreak as the Paris communes operated and controlled the city. These communes did take care of the masses and the values of equality, but damaged quite a few symbols of culture, especially those identified with the monarchy and the church which caused killings and the rule of terror. This situation put Paris in a difficult civil war.

In May of 1871 there was a "Bloody Week" - the Versailles army attacked Paris, killing tens of thousands of citizens and supporters of the communes and executed some of the leaders of the communes. The peace and quiet returns to France for a couple of decades until the beginning of the twentieth century.

#Fires and Politics

During the Franco-Prussian War the building played a central role in several political events.

On the 30th of October 1870, revolutionaries broke into the building and took over the government of the National Defence, with repeated demands for the establishment of the commune government. The current government was saved by soldiers who broke into the Hotel de Ville through an underground tunnel that connected the building with the nearby barracks.

On the 18th of January 1871, crowds gathered outside the building to protest against surrendering to the Prussians. They were dispersed by soldiers who fired from nearby buildings and even hit several of them.

The Paris Commune was a Municipal authority established in Paris with the fall of the Bastille. The first mayor was Jean-Sylvain Beau and he chose the Hotel de Ville as the town hall. In 1871, when the members of the commune saw opposing forces approaching the building, they set fire to the building in order to destroy all existing public records. The building, the archives, the municipal library and the important collections of documents were burned down. The enormous flames burned the whole building from the inside, leaving only an empty shell.

Reconstruction of the town hall began in 1873 and ended in 1892 (19 years).

A Closer Look:

Torre Agbar
Agbar Tower
#About the Building that Looks like a Blue Cigar

The impressive skyscraper of Barcelona is nicknamed by locals, the "Blue Cigar," and you can probably guess why. The shape of the building reminds of a cigar, and the blue lights and emerge from it at night attract the attention of many visitors to Barcelona. Those who arrive at the area where the building is will immediately notice that the entire area is a business, shopping, and tech area in the city. The building was inaugurated on September 2005 by the King of Spain.

The Agbar Tower was planned by the Frech architect Jean Nouvel, known for his architecture in the neo-Gothic style, called Modernism, and characterized by decorations and round lines. The inspiration for the shape of the building came from the clifts of the Montserrat Mountain, located west of Barcelona and the Cathedral towers of La Sagrada Familia in the city.

The building is made of cement and covered in an aluminum and glass cover. There are 38 floors, and the building reaches a height of 145 meters. It is located at the center of Barcelona, and belongs to the international Agbar Group, who has ownership of the water company of Barcelona.

If we mentioned above the blue lights of the building, the truth is that the building is covered with 4,500 LED bulbs, that can switch colors quickly. The light show of Agbar Tower is great in the night hours, and should not be missed.

#What is the Modernism Style?

Modernist style is actually the Catalan version of the style of architecture and plastic art called in French "Art Nouveau." It is characterized by strong vegetation inspiration, an emphasis on colorfulness, natural and rounded lines, and simple and local materials. The most famous Modernist architect is Gaudi, whose style is identified with him. He used style principles over and over again and used motifs like curved walls reminiscent of waves and almost constant avoidance of straight surfaces. He was not the only one to design in the Modernist style - there were other architects who starred in this style in Barcelona, ​​such as Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

A Closer Look at the Skyscraper:

The Shard
The Shard
#About the Tallest Tower in Western Europe

The Shard Tower, an impressive skyscraper, is also known as the London Bridge Tower, due to its location. The height of the Shard Tower is almost 310 meters and has 95 floors. The interesting building is reminiscent of "a glacier rising from the Thames." It was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the same architect who designed the Pompidou Center in Paris. This tower is one of the tallest buildings in Britain and the European Union.

Construction of the building began in 2009 and ended in 2012. It was not easy to convince the local residents and activists in the area that it was an environmental building. At one point, even UNESCO warned that the status of the London Bridge as a world heritage site could be damaged in consequence. The space where the building was located was a poor and underprivileged neighborhood.

The Shard Tower was built in an underprivileged area, struck with poverty and unemployment. This was the complete opposite to what this exclusive tower brings to the table: five-star hotel and Michelin star restaurants.

The most interesting part of the tower is its spectacular view, which offers an observation post overlooking London. Take the elevator to the 69th floor where you will find the observation post. The 72nd floor also offers a view, having an external section for visitors..

For souvenir and trinket fans, there is a souvenir shop on the 68th floor.

#Getting Stuck in the Tallest Building Ever

We do not mean to startle or frighten you, especially if you decide to enter the tallest skyscraper in Western Europe, but by 2013 the attraction became a particularly unpleasant event for some visitors. More than 200 tourists who crammed into the building's elevator were stuck at a height of 243 meters above ground, after it stopped working due to fear of a fire. The visitors remained trapped in the building for more than an hour. We can only imagine what the claustrophobics went through. The impressive building, which probably offers the most spectacular vantage point in London, must have been less pleasant that day ...

#About Disputes and Luxury

One of London's known controversies is whether it is right to build skyscrapers or not. Those who support high-rise construction explain that the city must adapt itself to the 21st century, broadcast a modern and innovative vision and let the glass buildings take their place as part of the city's appearance.

Other opinions are that the beauty of the city is found in the shorter, lower houses from different periods, mainly from the Victorian and Georgian periods. Building tall skyscrapers is simply submitting to falling in love with other modern cities around the world.

The Shard Tower is one of the most controversial buildings, mainly because it is blatant excess. The building has impressive offices, a luxury apartment hotel and expensive restaurants. Rumor has it that during the week the most beautiful people in London gather in the bars of the building, those on the 31st and 32nd floors, sipping some quality alcohol while taking in the breathtaking view.

A Closer Look at the Tower:

The Gherkin
The Gherkin
#About the Tower that Became a London Icon

Thanks to its unique shape, the 40-story and 180-meter Swiss Re Tower is one of London's best known towers. But this official name is generally unknown, making way for more amusing nicknames, including names such as "the sour cucumber", the erotic sour cucumber, the "Dick" and the "high hint."

This famous skyscraper was given these amusing nicknames due to its unique shape, reminiscent of something between a cucumber and a vibrator. Designed by architect Norman Foster, one of the world's leading architects who has already built some iconic buildings which are hard to forget.

Since the inauguration of the "Gherkin" tower, or simply the "cucumber," it has become one of London's most prominent symbols. Its location in the city of London, the central business district of the British capital, has made it one of the most sought after office buildings among London businessmen.

The unique building has appeared in several films and television series that have been filmed in London since it was founded. It can be seen in movies like "Harry Potter", "Basic Instinct 2" and "Star Trek."

#History of the Gherkin

The "cucumber" tower was built in the city of London upon the ruins of the Baltic Stock Exchange, an old building destroyed by a bomb planted in 1992 by members of the Irish underground, the IRA. After the stock exchange building was completely destroyed to with no hope of reconstruction, the landowners decided to build an entirely new, modern and environmental building in its place.

Construction began in 2000 and the "cucumber" tower was completed in 2004.

#Architecture of the Building

Shortly after its construction, the "cucumber" was chosen as the world's most prestigious new building by a panel of judges comprised of professional architects in 2004. Currently, the "cucumber" is the second tallest tower in the city of London. The "cucumber" is not only an impressive building in its shape, it is also a "green" building, a structure that optimizes the use of environmental resources and reduces its environmental pollution to a minimum.

A Closer Look:


Virtual Tour:


Lloyd Building
Lloyd Building
#The Tower of Radical Architecture

The Lloyd building is a relatively old landmark in London, an icon that was opened in 1986, and remains a controversial building to this day. Its futuristic style is rich in glass and metal, mostly silver, cold and metallic, a structure that exposes its pipes and stairwells and preserves its softness and its beautiful rounded columns for its interior.

Richard Rogers, one of Britain's most famous architects and architectural stars planned and designed Lloyd's Building. The style was rightfully named the "Inside Out Architecture", because he took out all the systems that generally lie inside a building – pipes, ventilation ducts, air conditioning systems, power cables, elevators and more.

The debate over what made it one of the most important modern buildings in the world is related to the fact that the building, designed for the Lloyds insurance company in the 1980's, is the London equivalent and ultra-modern version of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Richard Rogers was a partner in the design of the Pompidou Center as well. This masterpiece of the high-tech style of architecture is followed through the in the Lloyds Building.

There are those who consider the building a masterpiece of high-tech architecture. Others criticize the building’s style saying it reminds one of an oil refinery befalling London. The argument is that the architect forced his ideals and ideas of innovative design on the residents, and didn’t take their basic needs as tenants into account.

The supporters on the other hand, emphasize the advantage of removing the innards, enabling for a large, open interior space once the systems were removed.

Either way, the famous exterior staircases and its strikingly exposed design, despite their stunning visual effect, makes the Lloyds building a difficult and expensive building to maintain. It requires constant (and expensive) maintenance.

Despite its misgivings, this building is easily one of the most architecturally prominent in London. Before the construction of the Gherkin (the "cucumber" building) also located in London, Lloyds was the symbol of modern construction in the rich business district of London. It provoked debates on beauty and perverseness. One thing is certain; this building is not to be overlooked.

A Closer Look:


A Virtual Visit:

Vertical Forest
#The Veritcal Forest Towers in Milan

The Vertical Forest (Bosco Verticale) Towers in Milan are examples of towers that arouse wonder, not because of their height or grandeur, but because they are the first in the world to restore the glory of the hanging gardens of Babylon. These are "living towers," in which tenants grow trees in the air, real trees.

There is a reason why the Vertical Forest Towers in Milan were chosen as the international top skyscrapers of 2014. The towers, designed by the Italian architect Stefano Boeri, were cited as a striking example of the integration and symbiosis between architecture and nature. For the towers that are over 100 meters high, there are over one thousand plant species. Gray water systems have been installed in them, which enable irrigation with shower water and are equipped with solar panels for electricity generation and water heating using solar energy. Thus, they created a microclimate environment that saves energy, contributes to the environment, rehabilitates the environment and enables the existence of a harmonious life of man and vegetation side by side.

Another environmental advantage in these towers is the acoustic coverage and reduction of noise pollution blocked by the trees and vegetation on the balconies of the apartments in this vertical forest. They also help reduce air and dust pollution in apartments, block the direct sunlight entering the apartments during the hot seasons, and reduce wind disturbance to the occupants' lives.

A Closer Look:


A View from Above:

Humboldt Box
#About the Modern and Impressive Building

Next to the eastern edge of Den Linden Avenue, across from the Museum Island, West Garten and the "Dom," is a hexagon shaped structure with a futuristic appearance, made of metal and glass beams called the Humboldt Box.

The Humboldt Box was supposed to be a temporary building in the city which was designed originally to be deconstructed at the end of its use, but became an attraction for curious architects, and drew interested people from around the city and tourists, and was decided to be permanently kept.

The building, was built with a large investment for money and creativity, was designed by thtee architects, Kruger, Schubert and Oandriich. The project cost over 590 million euros.

It is 28 meters in height, made out of steel and covered in blue glass. It has a variety of spaces, used for events, exhibits and art displays, having to do with the site's planned palace.

The Humboldt-Terasen Restaurant, located in the building, has two external balconies 21 meters above ground. The balconies are a viewpoint of the wonderful view of the city center.

A Closer Look:

#The Historic Building with the Modern Glass Dome

If one is interested in understanding the revolutions that Germany has undergone in the past few hundreds years, there is no place like the Reichstag, the German parliament building. This building is very impressive, and was built during the 19th century. Since the German unification, the Reichstag building has resumed its role as the building for the unified German parliament. Inside sits the Bundestag, the German House of Representatives.

The burning of the original Reichstag building gave Hitler the excuse he needed to constitute anti-democratic laws, and begin his crazed path, that will lead to the death and destruction of all of Europe and millions of people.

The famous photo of Russian soldiers waving the Soviet flag on the roof of the destroyed Reichstag was the strongest symbol of the victory over the Nazi regime.

It is no surprise that with the unification of Germany in 1988, it was decided that Germany will resume their parliament at the Reichstag, but with a modern and new twist to the building. In a big renovation effort, a transparent glass dome was added on the roof, signaling the transparency of the new democratic German government. This glass dome enables a beautiful outlook upon the city of Berlin. The center of the dome has an area which tells the story of the history of the building, and many these opem areas are to the public viewing, where from the terrace it is possible to see a panoramic view of Berlin.

From here is it possible to see the wonderful gardens of Tiergarten Park, which is located nearby, and the modern Potsdam Square.

From the inside of the dome it is possible to observe the plenary hall, where German Parliament sits and makes decisions.

#About the Reichstag Fire

Until 1933, the Reichstag building was used as the seat of German Parliament. The fire that erupted in the building, less than one month after Hitler’s rise to power, is futured to change the history of Germany and the entire world.

The fire erupted in the Reichstag during the evening hours of February 27th, 1933. When the police received warning of the fire, the fire seemed as though it was spreading from several locations inside the building simultaneously, a sign that the building was purposely set on fire. A huge explosion ended up destroying the Plenary Hall of the German Parliament. Police members who arrived on the scene found a half-naked Dutch young man in the yard, who was very confused, named Marinus van der Lubbe.

This Marinus van der Lubbe was an unemployed communist, who arrived in Germany with the purpose of stopping the Nazi rise to power. The police claim that Mr. van der Lubbe admitted to starting the fire, with the intention of causing a riot against the Nazis. Later on, while being tortured, he denied that the fire was a part of a communist plan against the Nazis.

Regardless of his confession, Hermann Goering rushed to notify Hitler and the heads of state that the fire was a communist act. Hitler ordered to arrest the communist party leaders in Germany. The next day, Hitler hurried to declare a state of emergency and convinced President Paul von Hindenburg to sign the ‘Reichstag Fire Decree.’ Hitler claimed this was done in order to “protect the nation against dangerous violence from the Communists.”

This decree overruled seven articles in the laws of the Weimar Republic, and gave the government the ability to infringe on personal freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom for the right to privacy. The government was therefore allowed to conduct house searched as they wished, confiscate property, and even impose the death punishment on a long list of crimes.

Hitler hurried to ensure a list of 4,000 people to be taken into custody as part of the decree. Mostly communists, but some were also rival Nazi leaders, some social- democratic liberals, religious figures and of course, Jewish people. Even with their Parliamentary status, some German Parliament member were also arrested. In a note of sarcasm, they were all arrested for ‘defensive custody,’ as though to protect them…

And so the Reichstag fire was a monumental time for the Nazi regime in Germany and its reign of terror. Hitler hastened to use this event to get rid of his opponents, and to establish his anti-democratic government, while at the same time releasing himself from the laws placed by the Weimar Republic. This is how he begun what 6 years later would start the biggest and most horrifying war in the history of the world.

#The Reichstag Architecture

As a city that was almost all reconstructed after World War II, the style that combines the preservation of the old together with the new, characterizes modern Berlin. In this style the Reichstag was also remodeled.

When looking at the Reichstag building is seems as though nothing correlates between the building and the modern glass dome that was added to it. The combination between the classic building to the modern glass dome ensures that the building is without a doubt a spectacular thing to look at.

And truly, the dome belongs to a new era, a different time from when the facade of the building was built. It was added 100 years later, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, when the Reichstag was being restored and became the Parliament building for unified Germany.

Even after the remodeling, the original exterior of the building remains, which creates to a big contrast between the emerged dome and the building’s exterior. The original building was built on columns. The front exterior has arc like windows, lined by many statutes along the entire facade.


You must register for a visit to the Reichstag building.
Do this in advance, via the Reichstag building website (see link below).

Visiting the Reichstag building is free of charge.

Be sure to pay attention to opening days. The building is closed during German holidays.

A Closer Look:

Sony Center
#About the Futuristic and Tourist Shopping Attraction

The Sony Center, the huge glass and steel building at Potsdam Square, is a futuristic tourist attraction for shopping. A few thousand tons of steel and glass were installed here (some of the glass panels are actually electric solar panels). The glass and steel, who shine bright during the day, make this building quite remarkable. During the evening hours the building is lit up with many different color lights.

The building is built on 132,500 square meters and contains a huge amount of stores and offices, a hotel and conference center, movie theater and an impressive film history museum.

The building was designed by architect Helmut Jahn in 2002, and was built for the price of 750 million euros, and it is not difficult to imagine which company it was built...for Sony of course. In 2008 the center was sold for 600 million Euros to investors.

Before World War II the square was a trading area full of people and cars. With the bombings over Berlin, almost the entire area was destroyed. Because of its proximity to the Berlin Wall, the square was abandoned, and only after the Berlin Wall was taken down was the square reopened.

By the way, your kids would be really thankful if you would take them to the Legoland Discovery Center.

A Closer Look:

A'DAM Lookout
#About the Observatory

The stunning iconic building of A'DAM's Observatory is right next to the EYE Film Institute and across from the Central Station. It was once an abandoned high-rise building that became one of Amsterdam's leading tourist centers. You can reach it by ferry. This is Amsterdam's most impressive observation post. From here you can see the historic center of the city, the harbor, the scenery and the canals. Beyond that, you can see an interactive exhibition here to complete the experience. The exhibition deals with the history and culture of Amsterdam.

However, you must not skip the most exciting attraction in the observatory. The highest swing in Europe is right here. It is called "Over the Edge" and it opened to visitors recently, in 2016. A hundred meters above ground, with all of Amsterdam under your feet, you will not be able to relax from the adrenalin that will flow through your body. Enjoy!
Centre de Cultura Contemporània
#About the Center of Musical and Dance Events

The Centre de Cultura Contemporània is located right next to the Museum of Contemporary Art. The center is used to house music and dance events. Courses take place here, as well as exhibits, discussions, lectures, and more.

The center is located inside a building that was built as a monastery in the 13th century, and was used as a "Charity House." Throughout the years, the facade of the building was preserved, however, the inside became in 1994 a cultural center. In the current building you can see part of the original interior - three wings that together make three sides of a rectangle, around a large courtyard, called the "Women's Courtyard." As can be assumed, the building's courtyard was originally meant for women only.

Pay special attention to the northern wing in the inner court, built by a pair of Spanish architects, Villaplana and Piñón. They built a wall covered in mirrors, at the height of 30 meters. You can see the changing light off the mirrors and the city up to the sea.

In the center are different changing exhibits, having to do with special urban topics. There are the alternative film festival, festival for electronic music, courses and seminars about different topics - from art, politics, dance, cinema, and more.
Torre de Collserola
#About the Communication Tower

The tower with the unique design is located at the top of Tibidabo Mountain in Barcelona. It was built in 1991 for the summer Olympics that took place in 1992.

The tower was planned by the architect Sir Norman Foster, and two Spanish citizens who helped with the effort of the design. The futuristic and impressive design hints at the purpose of TV and radio offices. The diameter of the tower is 4.5 meters, and it weighs 3,000 tons.

The upper antenna reaches the height of about 290 meters, and it is the height observation point over the city. The tenth floor of the tower is open to the general public.

The cables you see around the tower are holding the tower up: the lower cables are made of three groups of 180 cables, stretched and made of metal, 15 millimeters in diameter. The upper cables are made of three groups of 7 cables, 56 millimeters in diameter.

In the building there a venue for events at the height of 560 meters above sea level.

A Closer Look at the Torre de Collserola:

Gaudí House Museum
#About the House in the Park, Where the Famous Architect Lived

The Gaudi Museum is located in the cute pinkish house, with green windows, and a pointed green chimney. The interesting Gaudi House is also characterized by the colorfulness that is seen, the Modernist style, so connected with Gaudi, is a little more held back here than in his other works. This is actually the Catalonian version of the French architectural style called Art Nouveau. It is characterized with strong inspiration from nature, an emphasis on vibrant colors, natural and round lines, and simple and local elements.

In the house lived Gaudi with his family between the years 1906 - 1929. The house overlooks Park Güell, probably the most well-known and popular work by Gaudi. The house is actually right inside the park, at the heart of a green area full of trees.

In an exhibit shown at the museum, you can see the everyday life of Gaudi, as well as rooms, personal items, and furniture, that were an inseparable part of the original house. The museum also shows Gaudi's work as a designer, for if you though his strong suit was large and impressive buildings, you can see different art pieces he created - interesting chairs, metal gates, statues, and more.

There is a reason it is so interesting to wander around this museum. It is interesting and fascinating to discover where Gaudi sought inspiration for his buildings from, how he lived, and what interested the genius.

#What is the Modernism Style?

Modernist style is actually the Catalan version of the style of architecture and plastic art called in French "Art Nouveau." It is characterized by strong vegetation inspiration, an emphasis on colorfulness, natural and rounded lines, and simple and local materials. The most famous Modernist architect is Gaudi, whose style is identified with him. He used style principles over and over again and used motifs like curved walls reminiscent of waves and almost constant avoidance of straight surfaces. He was not the only one to design in the modernist style - there were other architects who starred in this style in Barcelona, ​​such as Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

A Closer at the House:


Casa Amatller
#About the Modernist House Designed by Cadafalch

Casa Amatller, the amazing house with the crown, combines the neo-Gothic style with the Art Nouveau. The facade is designed with inspiration from Dutch houses. The building was planned by the architect Josep Puig i Cadafalch, who worked together with a few of the best artists and craftsmen in Barcelona, among them Eusebi Arnau and Alfons Juyol. The house was built between the years 1898 - 1900.

Casa Amatller, together with Casa Battló (designed by Gaudi), and Casa Lleó Morera, are a part of the House of Discord (Mansana de la Discordia). These three houses are renovations of older buildings that already stood here. The original building of Casa Amatller was built by Antoni Robert in 1875.

The architect based his design on the typical Catalonian Mansion, while combining German elements, with bold ridged cornice, highlighted with ceramic tiles. The house might look like a little palace, but is actually houses many apartments.

Originally, the house was planned as the residential home of chocolatier Antoni Amatller. You can visit the chocolate store that is located inside the building's kitchen. Notice the interesting glass ceiling inside.

#What is the Modernism Style?

Modernist style is actually the Catalan version of the style of architecture and plastic art called in French "Art Nouveau." It is characterized by strong vegetation inspiration, an emphasis on colorfulness, natural and rounded lines, and simple and local materials. The most famous Modernist architect is Gaudi, whose style is identified with him. He used style principles over and over again and used motifs like curved walls reminiscent of waves and almost constant avoidance of straight surfaces. He was not the only one to design in the modernist style - there were other architects who starred in this style in Barcelona, ​​such as Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

A Closer Look at the House:

Güell Palace
#About the Building

One of the pretty and impressive buildings by Gaudi in Barcelona is the Güell Palace (Palau Güell), the residential house of the Güell family. It is located in the La Rambla neighborhood, right near the Ramblas Avenue. There is a reason the rich industrial tycoon Eusebi Güell hired the services of the talented Gaudi. Güell was impressed by Gaudi's previous works and wanted some of the magic for himself. There is no doubt that this creation was important in turning Gaudi into an architectural icon. Thanks to the beauty, the Güell Palace was announced as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Except for summer days when the family was gone for vacations, the Güell family lived in this house from 1890 until 1936. In 1914 the father of the family moved to a village, that has since become the famous Güell Park.

Even though during this time the artist was inexperienced, Gaudi was given an endless budget to build the house. He himself built and designed all aspects of the building. Many motifs that characterize Gaudi come alive here: neo-Gothic symbols, animal symbols, and many (original) arches, and reminders of ancient Catalonians symbols. Here Gaudi also used his typical natural building elements, like marble and wood, that throughout his lifetime he developed in different pieces.

In the building, Gaudi also planned a special entrance for the family's carriages. The entrance was large enough for a carriage to even turn around and drop off guests. In the receiving room, there are peeking holes, where the house's residents can peek to see who came to visit them, without being seen. In the ceiling of the dining room, small windows were places to give the feeling of a sky full of stars. This was thanks to lanterns that were lit during the evening hours above the windows.

#What is the Modernism Style?

Modernist style is actually the Catalan version of the style of architecture and plastic art called in French "Art Nouveau." It is characterized by strong vegetation inspiration, an emphasis on colorfulness, natural and rounded lines, and simple and local materials. The most famous Modernist architect is Gaudi, whose style is identified with him. He used style principles over and over again and used motifs like curved walls reminiscent of waves and almost constant avoidance of straight surfaces. He was not the only one to design in the modernist style - there were other architects who starred in this style in Barcelona, ​​such as Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Lluís Domènech i Montaner.
Casa Vicens
#About Gaudi's first Home in Barcelona

Casa Vicens is another of Gaudí's masterpieces, in fact, the first of his works in Barcelona. In the building you can see the eastern influence on Gaudi in these years - simple lines, stone and red brick construction exposed, walls coated with ceramic tiles that create colorful mosaics and flower decorations, across the ceiling of the rooms of the house. The walls of the building were partly straight and some were rounded. On the roof chimney are small towers in the form of temples. Most of the furniture in the building was also designed by Gaudi.

The funny story is that because of the extensive use of the tiles (including the inner walls of the house), the rumor spread its wings and many mistakenly thought that Vicens, the owner for whom it was designed, was a tile manufacturer.

Indeed, this residence, Casa Vicens, was built for the industrialist Manuel Vicens i Montaner between 1883 and 1888. The work lasted five years. The landlord encountered financial difficulties, which delayed the work. The building, like many of Gaudí's, is built in the modernist style. It has four floors - the first serves as a warehouse, the second and third are used for residential purposes and the fourth is for servants. In 1899 the house was sold by Vicens's widow. In the years that followed it was renovated more than once.

In 2005 the house was declared a World Heritage Site. In 2017 the house was opened and served as an open museum for visitors. Originally the house expressed the Orientalist style, which is very much identified with Gaudi's beginning. It is important to note that privately owned buildings, even if designed by very well-known architects, are not open to the public. But this is one of the most unusual structures of them all.

#What is the Modernism Style?

Modernist style is actually the Catalan version of the style of architecture and plastic art called in French "Art Nouveau." It is characterized by strong vegetation inspiration, an emphasis on colorfulness, natural and rounded lines, and simple and local materials. The most famous Modernist architect is Gaudi, whose style is identified with him. He used style principles over and over again and used motifs like curved walls reminiscent of waves and almost constant avoidance of straight surfaces. He was not the only one to design in the modernist style - there were other architects who starred in this style in Barcelona, ​​such as Josep Puig i Cadafalch and Lluís Domènech i Montaner.

A Closer Look at the House:

#About the 19th Century Convention Center

In the National Gardens you can see the Zappeion. This is a nice modern building with a short history compared to Athens, but still impressive. Originally it was built in the 19th century. During the Olympics of 1896, the house was used for fencing competitions and also for different events. Right here, in the Zappeion, Leonidas Pyrgos, the winner of the fencing competition, the first Greek in the modern era to win, became an Olympic champion.

Actually, the Zappeion is named after Evangelis Zappas, the person who organized the Greek Olympic games in the mid-19th century. These games were the bases for the modern Olympic Games of today. Outside the Zappeion is a statue of that same Zappas, the revivalist of the Olympics, and under his statue, the head of the man is buried

In the Zappeion in 1938, a radio station began operating. This station was the first national radio station in Greece. The Zappeion continued to operate as the center for the national radio organization up to 1970, the year when the radio house was inaugurated.

In the Zappeion, throughout the years, many historic events took place. One that sticks out was the signing of Greece joining the EU in 1979. The ceremony was in the central atrium of the building - the open and impressive section, surrounded by columns.

One of the impressive halls in the Zappeion is a hall that was built for the Olympic games of 2004, and was used as the official press center for the Olympics.

Today the Zappeion is used to hold conferences and national ceremonies for the public, as well as private events. From time to time the Zappeion is used for professional exhibits, and Athens' elite have private functions here.

A Closer Look:


Another Look:

New York City Hall
Manhattan Bridge
Flatiron Building
Hundertwasser House
House of the Black Madonna

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