I love architecture, both old and new, though I have an obvious bias for older buildings. When travelling I really enjoy seeing buildings that I have, until then, only heard or read about, or seen photos of. There’s just something different about seeing a building in person, because no matter how good technology and virtual reality get, they just can’t replicate the tingly feeling of actually, finally, seeing and experiencing a site for real.
Sometimes, a space just needs to be experienced in order to truly appreciate it. This was certainly the case with La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi’s masterpiece of a cathedral in Barcelona. Photos just can’t convey the feeling you get standing beneath the leaf-vaulted ceiling and seeing how the light comes through. It was truly an “Aha!” moment in recent travels.
More than spatial experience, there is the sense of being among history when you see iconic buildings, whether it’s walking along the Great Wall of China or gazing up at a Greek temple. And of course there’s the “wow, cool!” factor that comes from standing on the special spot and seeing the four rows of columns become one in Bernini’s great architectural illusion at Piazza San Pietro. You can’t try that at home!
Much as I have seen, there are many places I’ve missed and still want to see and experience. At the top of the list is Ravenna, and its Byzantine mosaics. Also on my list in Italy is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. I’ve been so close so many times I am confident I will get there soon. One of the benefits of seeing buildings in Italy, of course, is the food that accompanies them!
Further away, but equally fascinating, are the round houses of Fujian. Though I have helped arranged for people to go and see these magnificent structures, I have yet to see them myself. Someday soon I hope.
Those are the top three sites on my Building Bucket List. What buildings do you most want to see?