There's no cathedral in Europe quite like Barcelona's Sagrada Familia. Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí began work on it in 1883 during the Modernist period, which is reflected in its nature-inspired forms (inside, the naves look like a forest canopy) and symbolic characters (three stylistically different façades represent various periods in the life of Christ). There are spectacular views of the mountains and sea from its towers, and since the temple is unfinished, you get the chance to see a work in progress.
The best building in the world has to be the Guggenheim Bilbao. Despite all the press it has received, and the photos in every travel and design magazine, there's nothing like seeing it—and walking around it—in person. The titanium sparkles, the curves and angles hypnotize.
New York, N.Y.
Undoubtedly the Petit Trianon at Versailles, which was built for Madame de Pompadour. It's one of the most perfectly proportioned Neoclassical buildings in the world.
Jeffry L. Smith
Watching the sun rise over Wat Arun, the temple of the dawn, in Bangkok, cannot be compared. It used to be the tallest structure in the city, so it was the first to catch the light. The sun glistening off the porcelain tiles is still dazzling.
Los Angeles, Calif.
The triangular Flatiron Building in New York turns my lunchtime walk into a special event. When you approach it head-on, you behold its prow jutting into 23rd Street. Another great view is from the adjacent Madison Square Park, where you see only one thin facet of the building. It looks like a single plane, a wall braced against the sky for support. No wonder people feared it would topple over when it was completed in 1902.
Mary C. Kelly
Colts Neck, N.J.
One of my all-time favorites is St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow's Red Square. I have the utmost respect for the architect who, according to rumor, was blinded by Ivan the Terrible so he could not create a more beautiful building for anyone else. What might have been will never be known because of one man's selfishness.
Wayne J. Reynolds
Gloucester Point, Va.
The Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. It's different every year and requires an enormous labor of love to create. Where else but in the United States would you find something so absurdly beautiful?
What's your favorite shop in the world?
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