100 Buildings Every Student of Architecture Should Know

#100 – Palazzo Rucellai

The Palazzo Rucellai was one of the first buildings of its time to display ideas of Renaissance architecture.  The ground floor was for business, the second floor was meant for holding formal receptions, and the third floor was the sleeping quarters.  There was also a fourth “hidden” floor for servants.  The building was completed in 1451 and is located in Florence, Italy.

#99 – Church of the Holy Apostles

The Church of the Holy Apostles is a 14th century Byzantine church located in Salonica, Greece. The building’s exterior is decorated with brick work patterns and fancy archways. It was converted to a Mosque sometime between 1520 and 1530. Over the years its pillars and mosaics had diminished in quality because of aging and earthquakes, but have since been refurbished.

#98 – Diocletian’s Palace

Built by the Roman emperor Diocletian in the 4th century (305 AD) in Split, Croatia.

#97 – Durham Cathedral

The Durham Cathedral was founded in 1093 in Durham, England. It is one of the world’s finest examples of Norman architecture.

#96 – Kailash Temple

Kailash Temple is a famous collection of temples also known as the Ellora Caves in Ellora, India. They were created by digging into a basalt cliff and it is estimated that over 400,000 tons of rock had been excavated to create the ruins over the years. It was built in the 8th century by the Rashtrakuta king Krishna I.

#95 – Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu (meaning Old Peak) is a 15th century Inca site located 7970 ft. above sea level. It is located in the Cusco Region of Peru, in South America. It was built around 1450 by the Inca civilization, and in 2007 was voted one of the New Sever Wonders of the World.

#94 – Alcázar of Seville

Alcázar of Seville is Europe’s oldest royal palace that is still in use today. It is located in Seville, Spain, and was constructed in the 14th century.

#93 – Angkor Wat Temple-Mountain

Angkor Wat Temple-Mountain is the largest Hindu temple and largest religious complex in the world. It was built in the 12th century and is located in Angkor, Cambodia.

#92 – Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine is an arch situated between the Roman Colosseum and Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy.. It was created by the Roman Senate to commemorate one of Constantine I’s victories on October 28th, 312.

#91 – Audience Hall of the Temple

The Audience Hall of the Temple, or The Audience Hall of Darius, is a temple built in 491 BC in Persepolis, or modern day Iraq.

#90 – Basilica of Sant’ambrogio


Built in 379 by St. Ambrose. The Basilica is a church in Milan, Italy, and was heavily damaged in WWII but was rebuilt after the war. The church houses two bell towers, the taller of which is the most recent to have been resurrected.

#89 – Basilica of St Denis

The Basilica of St Denis is a medieval church first built in 475 in a northern suburb of Paris, France. It is one of a kind and is well known for its unique structure and aspects of architecture. It is also well known to have been the burial site for many French Kings.

#88 – Borgund Stave Church

Built somewhere in between 1180 and 1250 in Borgund, Norway; the Borgund Stave Church is the best preserved of Norway’s 28 remaining stave churches. The interior of the church has many visible different types of support beams and structures. There can also be runic inscriptions found on different walls in the church.

#87 – Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral located in Chartres, France, southwest of Paris. It is one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture. It was constructed in 1194, and its original stained glass windows are still intact.  The church houses the “Sancta Camisa”, the tunic that is believed to have been worn by the Virgin Mary at Christ’s birth.

#86 – Château de Chambord

Château de Chambord is arguably one of the world’s best displays of French Renaissance architecture. It was built around 1519 and it has been speculated that Leonardo da Vinci may have designed it.

#85 – Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza was a pre-Columbian city located in Yucatán, Mexico. It was inhabited by the Maya civilization. The city is believed to have had a diverse Maya population, accounting for the number of different architectural styles visible in the city.

#84 – The Colosseum

The Roman Colosseum is the largest and most notorious amphitheatre in the world. It is located in the center of the city of Rome, Italy. It was built in 80 AD from stone and concrete, and is widely considered to the the best work of Roman architecture. The Colosseum was used for gladiator battles, executions, dramas, and animal hunts. The amphitheatre itself is capable of holding up to 50,000 spectators. Parts of the Colosseums walls have collapsed, but it is in the process of being refurbished to its original structure.

#83 – Erechtheion

An ancient Greek temple located on the northern side of the Acropolis of Athens, Greece. Construction started 421 BC.

#82 – El Escorial

El Escorial is the residence of the King of Spain. It is used as a museum, a monastery, a royal palace and a school. The museum in the palace is specifically an architectural museum. Built 1563.

#81 – Forbidden City

Forbidden City is an imperial palace located in the center of Beijing, China. For nearly 500 years it served as the house for reigning emperors, and has also served as a ceremonial and political center for Chinese government.

#80 – Roman Forum

The Roman Forum is a plaza surrounded by the ruins of some of Rome’s most important structures at the city center. Most of the Forum has been standing in Rome since 78 BC.

#79 – Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut

The Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut is located on the west bank of the Nile River in Egypt. The temple is dedicated to the sun god Amon-Ra. It is Egypt’s finest example of Classical architecture, and was built in 1504 BC.

#78 – The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is an east to west wall guarding China’s northern border. It consists of many fortifications conjoined by walls made of stone, brick, wood, etc. Some parts of the wall can be dated back to the 7th century. The total length of the Great Wall is estimated to be about 21,196 km long.

#77 – Qutub Minar

The Qutub Minar is the tallest minaret (similar to lighthouse) in India. It is an Ancient Islamic monument made of red sandstone and marble, with Arabic inscriptions carved into the materials. It is believed to have been erected in 1052 CE.

Library of Celsus, AD 135, Ephesus, Turkey
Mausoleum og Galla Palcidia, AD 420, Ravenna, Italy
Mont Saint Michel, 1203-1264, Mont Saint Michel, France
Mosque of Cordoba, 8-9th Cneturies, Cordoba, Spain
Palace at Knossos, c150 BC, Crete
Pantheon, 118 BC – AD 25, Rome, Italy
Pisa, Leaning Tower and Cathedral complex, c 1063-1173, Pisa, Italy
Pont du Gard, 27 BC-AD 14, Roman aqueduct, Nimes, France
Puerta del Sol, 1200, Toledo, Spain
Pyramids of Giza, 2530-2470 BC, Gize, Egypt
San Vitale Church, 526-547 AD, Ravenna, Italy
St. Basil’s, 1554-1560 AD, Mosco, Russia
St. Mark’s Cathedral, begun in 1063 AD, Venice, Italy
Stonehenge, c2000 BC, Salisbury Plain, Wiltshire, England
Stupa at Borobudur, 8th Century AD, Java, Indonesia
Stupa at Sanchi, 1st Centruy AD, India
Taj Mahal, 1630-1650 AD, Agra, India
Temple of Athena Nike, c. 427 BC, Athens
Temple of Bacchus, 2nd Century, Baalbek, Lebanon
Temple of Poseidon, c 550 BC, Paestum, Italy
Temple of Heaven, 15th Century, Beijing, China
Temple of Horus, Edfu, 327 BC, Egypt
Temple of Horyu-ji, Asuka period, begun AD 607, Nara, Japan
Temple of Quetzalcoatl, 770-829 AD, Teothuacan, Mexico
Temple of Rameses II, c. 1257 BC, Abu Simbel, Egypt
Temple of Tirukalikunram, South India
The Alhambra, Court of the Lions, Moorish, 1333-1354, Granada, Andalusia, Spain
Toledo Cathedral, 1732, Toledo, Spain
Treasury of Atreus, c 1300-1250 BC, Mycenae
Tula Ruins, 12-13th Century, Toltec, near Mexico City
Houses of Parliament, 1836 – 1860, London, England ~ Sir Charles Barry
Colonnade of St Peter’s, Begun 1656, Rome ~ Gianlorenzo Bernini
San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane. 1665-1667, Rome ~ Francesco Borromini
Tempietto, San Pietro in Montorio, 1502, Rome ~ Donato Bramante
Cupola of Santa Maria del Fiore, (cathedral), 420 -436, Florence ~ Filippo Brunelleschi
Chiswick House, 1725-1729, London ~ William Kent, Lord Burlington
Eiffel Tower, 1889, Paris, ~ Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel
Opera House, 1861 – 1875, Paris ~ Charles Garnier
Church of the Sagrada Familia, 1883-1926, Barcelona, Spain ~ Antoni Gaudi
Casa Mila, 1905-1910, Barcelona, Spain ~ Antoni Gaudi
Bauhaus, 1925-1926, Dessau, Germany ~ Walter Gropius
McGraw Hill Building, 1930, New York City ~ Raymond Hood
Parthenon, 447-432 BC, Acropolis, Athens ~ Ictinus and Callicrates
Pyramid of King Djoser, c 2630 BC, Sakkara, Egypt ~ Impotep
Hagia Sophia, 532-537 AD, Istanbul, Turkey ~ Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles
Monticello, 1772, near Charlottesville, Virginia, USA ~ Thomas Jefferson
Notre Dame du Haut, 1955,  Ronchamp, France ~ Le Corbusier
Villa Savoie, 1929 – 1931, Poissy, France ~ Le Corbusier
Versailles, c 1669, France ~ Louis Le Vau and Jules Hardouin Mansart
Louvre, east front, 1667 Paris ~ Le Vau, Lebrun, Perrault
Church of Sao Fransisco, 1766-1794, ouro Preto, Brazil ~ Antonio Fransisco Lisboa
Chapel of the Rosary, 1950-1951, Vence, France ~ Henri Matisse
Cupola of St Peter’s, 1546-1564, Rome ~ Michelangelo Buonarroti
Medici Chapel, Church of San Lorenzo, 1524-1534, Florence ~ Michelangelo Buonarroti
Royal Pavilion at Brighton, 1815, Brighton, England ~ John Nash
Palazzetto dello Sport, 1956-1957, Rome ~ Pier Luigi Nervi
Church of Vierzehnheiligen, 1743-1771, Vienna, ~ Balthasar Neumann
Wurzburg Palace, 1720-1724, Wurzburg, Germany ~ Balthasar Neumann
Palace of National Congress, 1960, Brasilia, Brazil ~ Oscar Niemeyer
Quelez Palace, 1747-1752, Lisbon, Portugal ~ Mateus Vicente de Olivera
Villa Rotunda, 1567, Vicenza, Italy ~ Palladio
Crystal Palace, 1851 London (destroyed in fire) ~ Sir Joseph Paxton
Melk Monastery, 1702-1738, Melk, Austria ~ Jakob Prandtauer
Marshall Field Warehouse, 1885-1887, Chicago, Illinois ~ Henry Hobson Richardson
Jefferson Arch, c 1965, St Louis, Missouri ~ Eero Saarinen
Dulles International Airport, 1958, Washington DC ~ Eero Saarinen
Pantheon (Ste Genevieve), 1755-1792, Paris ~ Jacques Germain Soufflot
Carson, Pirie, Scott Store, 1899. Chicago, Illinois ~ Louis Sullivan
Opera House, 1956, Sydney, Australia ~ Jorn Utzon
Seagram Building, 1958, New York City ~ Mies van der Rohe
Blenheim Palace, 1705 – 1724, Oxfordshire, England ~ Sir John Vanbrugh
Church of the Madeleine, 1806-1843, Paris ~ Alexandre-Pierre Vignon
Karlskirche, 1716-1737, Vienna, Austria ~ Johann Fischer Von Erlach
Saint Paul’s Cathedral, 1675-1710, London ~ Sir Christopher Wren
House of Falling Water, 1936, Bear Run, Pennsylvania ~ Frank Lloyd Wright


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