Igloo - a house made of snow, Grasgehren, Germany
Last winter I spent 3 days with the Institute of Building Material Teaching, Building Physics, Building Technology and Design of the University of Stuttgart in the german mountains to experiment with the great building material snow and its´characteristics.
During these 72 hours we spent every single moment in the cold snow and even slept two nights in the Igloos that we built the first day. It was very interesting to learn how much the climate conditions, the place and the surrounding have an influence on the quality of the snow. This material has many qulities like a good insulation, it is translucent and it doesn´t need any supporting structure or any adhesives.
A modern traditional house, Bregenzerwald, Austria
The young architect Georg Bechter has renovated and retored this traditional house in the Bregenzerwald. From the outside the house looks quite typical. It is covered with the typical shingles and towards the valey it has a huge glass-wood facade. Inside Bechter has created a modern, open space that embraces the beautiful landscape of the Bregenzerwald via the big glass front that can be opened.
Wood Workshop, Hittisau, Austria
This Wood Workshop is a great example for the importance of good craft in the Bregenzerwald. They work only with local wood and know everything about it. The high quality products are all handmade and wonderful works of art. Since seenig how respectfull they work with the material, you do not want to buy anything of less good quality.
Werkraum, Andelsbuch, Austria
In the region of the Bregenzerwald you can find a lot of high-quality design and architecture and also many good designers, architects, artists and of course good craftsmen.
The Werkraum is a platform for all these work groups, where they can meet, communicate and issue their products. In 2008 the Swiss architect Peter Zumthor has designed a representative building for the society of Werkraum as well as the public.
Islamic Cemetery, Altach, Austria
The area of of the cemetery looks like a hand with five fingers, which are defined by wall segments in different hights. You enter this complex from the south into the headbuilding, where you have several halls. Through the main facade you can get a first glimps through a wooden structure into the headbuilding of the cemetery.
The main material is red coloured concrete - a really beautiful contrast with the surrounding landscape.
Rauch Residence, Schlins, Austria
Mud is a natural material which can be found everywhere in the ground in Austria.
Mr Rauch has developed a special building technique using mud which can also be used in Austria where it has lots of snow and rain. The Rauch Residence was one of his first buildings, built between 2005 and 2008. It looks still very good. Since then he has realised several projects, like the Ricola Herb Center in cooperation with the architects Herzog De Meuron.
In the capital of the Kanton Graubünden the architect Peter Zumthor has designed two buildings. The first one is a home for senior citizens, built in 1993. The mainly used materials are wood, glass and whinstone. The shelters for Roman ruins were built in 1989 out of wood and metall. Their interior is not thermally separated from the outside wherefore the old wood is still in a very good condition.
Chapel Sogn Benedetg, Graubünden, Switzerland
This small chapel was built in the 1980s in the Weiler Sogn Benedetg in Graubünden, Switzerland. It is not easy to find it and to get there.
There was an old baroque chapel, which was destroyed by avalanches at the beginning of the 1980s. The convent wanted a new and conteporary chapel, that was designed by the architect Peter Zumthor who won the competition.
Vals is a quite small and very beautiful village in a valey of Graubünden. Many who are interested in architecture may know it because of the famous Therme Vals designed by Peter Zumthor. The therme is tucked in the lanscape and the rest of the facade is cladded with the local stone Gneiss. Unfortunately the surrounding hotels were built with less awareness for the spectacular landscape.
A quite new building is the luxury holiday house Villa Vals, that is stuck into the mountain.
These three holiday houses were built in Weiler Leis in a hight of 1500m over sea level. The architect Peter Zumthor has done a lot of research about wood buildings before designing these inventional houses. Their structure is made out of different wooden sheets. More than 5.000 massive wooden beams, which were prefabricated and cut, based on digital drawings, were used.
Two of these luxury holiday houses can be rented.
About 1.000 000 bricks were used for the Landtag in Lichtenstein. This is a huge amount and in some parts it seems to be a little bit too much brick. Anyway it is a very interesting building composition of the high house and the longhouse.
Close by, there is the Art Museum Lichtenstein. The facade is made of black concrete, polished by hand, work that took about two weeks.
Schwäbisch Hall, Germany
Nowadays this very medieval city is well known for it's beautiful traditional timbered houses and the Würth Museum. The museum is sponsored by the successful screw manufactures Würth. Artworks of the most famous artists like Picasso, Matisse, Chagal and many more are shown in temporary exhibitions. Many of these masterpieces (around 17.000) belong to the Würth Collection, others are loan. Today there are a few Würth Museums and the pieces of the collection are exhibited in places all over Europe.
This old city was founded next to the river Main in Bavaria. It was not only an important city for the Duke, but also for the catholic church. Today you can find many beautiful old buildings like the Residence, the cathedral and the New Minser, just to name the main sights. The staircase of the Residence was designed by Balthasar Neumann and is an architectural must see. Unfortunately it is not allowed to take pictures inside the Residence.
Munich is a wonderful city that attracts in many ways. Not only because of soccer and the Oktoberfest, but also because of it's great architecture.
After the second WW many destroyed buildings were restored, so the city has a beautiful old town today. Furthermore famous contemporary architects like Herzog De Meuron, Coop Himmelb(l)au, and Stefan Braunfels have made buildings of urban significance. I really loved spending a lot of time in the Museums Quarter next to the L.M. University.
Casa de Musica, Porto, Portugal
This freestanding edgy volume was designed by OMA - Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon in 2005. Its shape stands out of the surrounding urban situation, that is characterised by residential blocks. This icone is like an foreign object that takes up the the typical portuguese architectural elements like the Azulejos on the terrace.
It´s a wonderful city and after Lisbon the 2nd largest city in north Portugal. Beside the facades that are covered with the typical colorful painted Azulajos, there are also some in built in the classical style with many ornaments and great examples of modern architecture. I think that Porto is more authentic than Lisbon. You can feel the pulse, the charm and the character of a portuguese city.
Cento de Alto Rendimento, Villa Nova de Foz Coa, Portugal
In the valley of the Rio Douro and close to the town Vila Nova de Foz Côa there is a white structure wiggling up the hill. The greater part of this building was tuck into the hill and covered with local stone in order to smoothly blend into the unique landscape. By aimed cuts into the organic structure of the building the architect creates a nice connection between the interior and the exterior. For me this is a great example of architecture for place and a how to integrate the surrounding landscape.
The North, Portugal
The northern part of the country is less touristic and you might find sleepy towns, old men riding on their donkeys and fantastic examples of local and vernecular architecture constructed by farmers. In the many natural parks some old, very original authentic villages of the local stones have been preserved and sometimes it seems like nothing except the advertisments has been changed over time. The beautiful city Coimbra has an important University which is hosted in fantastic old architecture.
The South, Portugal
The south of Portugal is known for its tourism, the beautiful beaches, many hotel complexes, golf yards and fisher villages. Originally the landscape was shaped by white painted houses, and some covered with azulejos. Because of the hot summers the most of the plants are yellow and brown. Today the coast is aligned with huge hotel complexes and the concrete architecture from the seventies. But never the less it has still its own charme as you can see in the photographs.
Belém Lisboa, Portugal
In this district of Lisbon many important sights and museums can be found. Definitely well worth seeing are the Torre de Belém, the Centro Cultural de Belém, the National Carriages Museum and the Padrao dos Desobrimentos. Another must see are the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos with its wonderful patio and the monastery church.
EDP Headquarters Lisboa, Portugal
Walking through the city and getting a first impression of the famous Lisbon I discovered this office building by mere chance. Immediately I was fascinated by the atrium which was covered with the white steel swords aswell as the facade. The stunning composition between light and shaddow created a unique atmosphere as well as a pleasent clima for taking a break on a hot summer day.
The EDP Headquater was designed by Aires Mateus architects and is located close to the sea in the same quarter as the University and many residential buildings.
EXPO 98 Lisboa, Portugal
Today this busy area hosts many offices, residential complexes, cultural offers like museums, aquariums, bars, restaurants and many more. The great Gare Oriente by Santiago Calatrava welcomes you when you arrive by train. One of the highlights are the Portuguese Pavillion by Álvaro Siza, the Pavilhao dos Oceanos and the Torre Vasco de Gama. When spending a couple of days in Lisbon this part of the city certainly is worth a visit.
Every year anew many tourists are attracted by the beautiful capital of Portugal, famous for its many facades coverd of Azulejos - the wonderfully painted tiles. The atmosphere of the city at the atlantic ocean is like in no other european city. It is full of stunning places, beautiful roads a ligned with wonderful facedes and squares with cafés, vine bars and restaurants. After the crisis 2010 the city regenerated a new and important scene of designers, artist, musicians and creatives who fill the city with their creativity and spirit.
This wonderful andalusian city at the foot of the great Alhambra shines in a bright white. The houses on the hills are painted with white lime plaster to protect the interior of the sun and the heat of the hot summers. Even the modern public architecture was adapted to these outer conditions as you can see at the Andalucia´s Museum of Memory by Campo Baeza od at the Granada Science Park by Ferrater + Jimenez Brasa.
Alhambra, Granada, Spain
Since 1333 AD the Alhambra is a Royal Palace and until today it was constantly extended. This architecture is just magic and you can´t stop watching and discovering new details of the architecture in perfection. But it is not only the architecture, the gardens are also a dream. The most important highlights are the Courtyard of the Palace of Charles V, the Hall of the Abencerrajes, the Generalife and of course the Court of the Lions.
By entering this little town you´ve got the impression that you are entering former times. You can wander through many tiny lanes with white painted houses. The Mezquita-Catedral is a must do for your general education, the Torre de la Calahorra and the Roman Bridge are also important sights of the old city. Examples for modern Architecture are the Art Center and the Zahra Medinat Museum by Nieto Sobejano, the Visitors Center and the Education Center of the University by Rafael de La-Hoz Arquitectos.
Young Seville, Spain
For the architecture of the younger city it is not easy to compete with these fantastic monuments. The leftovers from the EXPO ´92 are not more than ruins and neglected constructions The Metropol Parasol has its own chapter, but there is still young potential. For example the train station Santa Justa which was designed by the local studio Cruz y Ortiz, which also has several good projects in the city centre.
Metropol Parasol, Seville, Spain
Close to the historic centre of Sevilla the german architect Jürgen Mayer H. has designed the biggest wooden construction in the world. But big is not always best. On the photographs the organic construction looks very impressive but after having a closer look on it I was quite disappointed. You can´t see the wooden stucture of the material because of yellow-creme weather protection color, the details are made with gross metal elements and the sun protection which is the main purpose of this construction doesn´t really work.
Historic Seville, Spain
Seville is a wonderful city in Andalucia in the south of Spain with history of Christians, Jews and Muslims. The historic part of the city, that is one of the largest in Europe is also the city centre. The main sights are the fascinating giant Cathedral of Seville with the muslim patio, the mosque tower the Giralda,the unique moorish architecture of the Palace Alcázar and the Torre del Oro and the Plaza de España.
This younger part of the city (città Bassa) hosts many commercial offices, bars and restaurants. In between you discover beautiful squares with fountains and old buildings like the Viale Roma, the Puerta Nuova or the Torre dei Caduti. All in all this city represents the typical italian flair.
Bergamo old town, Italy
The old city Bergamo (città Alta) was founded up on a hill and is still completly surrounded by a townwall from the 16th century. You can climb the hill or take an elevator from the new city centre at the bottom of the hill all the way up. This historic centre is very well preserved and hosts beautiful sights in a fantastic atmosphere. The highlights are the dome with wonderful ceiling frescos, the Capella Colleoni, the Piazza Vecchia and the townhall with the Palazzao della Ragione.
This beautiful lake in northern Italy is located in the region Lombardy. In summer 2016 the artist Christo made an installation of orange peers that were connecting different islands in the lake. I visited this region in 2015 and was just amazed by the beautiful Italian villages and towns and their very authentic charme. Touristy shops, cafes and bars are quite rare.
Winery Antinori del Chianti, Italy
Antinori is an Italian winery with vineyards all over the world and very fine wines. With their winery in the hills before the gates of Firenze the company wants to present their return into nature and the importance of nature for their bussines. The building was stucked into the vineyards. At some cuts the architecture appears with a facade of corten steel and glass facades.
50 km in the inland of the Tuscany, up on a hill you can spot the small city Volterra. The Medici Family lived in this town and influenced the architecture with their great residences. Today the family palace is used as a prison. Other parts of the city centre are architectonical witnesses of the Middle Ages. Today most ancient houses in the small streets are hosting shops for tourists.
This mideval town is famous for its fantastic architectural and urban centre - the Piazza del Campo. It is a slightly descending square out of its famous red brick and is lined by medieval very beautiful buildings. The gothic dome of Siena is built in black and white marble and constructed as a three-aisled Basilica. Beside these two most important sights you can visit many more churches, enjoy wandering through the little streets or just spend the day sitting in the Piazza del Campo and watching the local people as well as visiting tourists.
As you may know - this city is one of the most important centres of built architectural history in the world. Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Donatello and many more grandmasters had been working and living in this city. At every corner you can find palazzos, skulptures, churches and cathedrals. Probably the most impressing one is its great urban structure and how perfectly the individual building structures are fitting together. Wandering through this perfect urban setting is an unique experience.
San Gimignano, Italy
This wonderful typical Italian town is located in the hills of tuscany between Siena and Firenze. Already from far away you can make out the fifteen noble towers which are the reason for the gorgeous skyline of this old town. The town centre was built in the medieval and you can find great architectural examples of the romanesque and gothic epoques. Since 1990 San Gimigiano is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
EXPO 2015, Milan
The current Universal Exposition EXPO 2015 is hosted by Milan, Italy. Beside the architecture exposition, the theme „Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life“ is the big issue.
Over 140 countries and several organisations have a pavillion on the EXPO site.
It is a university city in the North of Bavaria. In the 18the century Bayreuth had it´s cultural zenith under Friedrich and Wilhelmine von Bayreuth.
They have built for example the Eremitage and the New Castle.
It is also the hometown of Richard Wagner, a famous German composer. The town is also very well-known for the „Bayreuther Festspiele“ which take place there yearly.
The lovely centre of Nancy has several buildings from the middle - and the modern age.
Place Stanislas, Place d´Alliance and the Place de la Carrière are worth a visit; you can find them on the UNESCO list of World cultural heritages.
These squares are designed by the architect Emmanuel Héré in the style of french king´s squares. The style of the facades is unifomed as a symbol of the central monarch.
Centre Pompidou Metz, France
Three Galleries are crossing and swapping in different heights. In the centre of the building is a 77m high pylon as an hommage to the first Centre Pompidou (1977). The whole construction is out of wood; the walls and the roof are white.
The architects Shigeru Ban & Jean de Gastines have designed the roof remembering of a chinese hat.
Central Train Station, Stuttgart, Germany
The original train station desgined by the famous Paul Bonatz who was an important member of the Stuttgarter Schule as well as a Friedrich Eugen Scholer, is no longer able to cope with the increasing traffic volume. Aware of this need and due to a limited amount of space available in the centre of Stuttgart plans were made to organize most of the traffic underground and to also maintain parts of the old train station building. Only in 2010 work on the new central station, designed by the Ingenhoven architects and the engineer Frei Otto, has been started.
Pavillo Barcelona, Spain
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe designed the German pavilion for the International Exposition (Expo) in 1929.
The construction of the pavilion persists of shear walls and supports.
He used many different materials and worked with open and fluent spaces.
All the work of the architect was based on the proverb "Less is more".
Antoni Gaudi was not the only famous architect who created his magnum opus in Barcelona. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe made the famous German pavilion; Le Corbusier was a member of an urban planning group; as an advanced urban planner Ildefons Cerda
designed the district of Example and also Jean Nouvel made with the Torre Agbar a new sight.
This beautiful region in the North of France is not that famous for it´s architecture. But it is worth a visit anyway. While traveling through it you can discover very good architectural examples. Those old french farm houses sometimes seem to belong to the landscape as if they had been there always.
In le Havre, a city nearby the Atlantic, there are also very nice architectural works. For example the cultural centre of the city, designed by Oscar Niemeyer and a church out of concrete, a masterpiece from Auguste Perret.
This part of Zürich, the biggest city of Switzerland, is a former industrial area. After a lot of processing industry had left the place the city realized the potential of it and took the great chance to develop another city centre.
With modifications, new constructions and conversion Zürich got a second centre of an industrial flair. The first buildings of this big project were finished at the beginning of the 1990s.
Today there are hotels, a theatre, some famous jazz clubs and bars, apartments, flats and gastronomy.
This city in the West of Switzerland is at the beautiful Lac Leman. It is a famous centre of sports, economy and education. It existed already in the fourth century and in the 11th century it had also an important role as political, economical and religious centre.
Today you can find many young, motivated and talented architects in Lausanne. Very impressing examples for good architecture in the city are the Rolex Learning Centre (designed by SANAA), the SwissTech Convention Centre (designed by Richter Dahl Rocha) or Villa Le Lac (designed by Le Corbusier).
Rolex Learning Centre, Lausanne, Switzerland
The new library building of the University of the Swiss city Lausanne was designed by the Japanese architect SANAA. Its structure slightly resembles the well-known Swiss cheese with holes. With these holes the architect created varied spaces both inside and outside. To get this dificult structure of concrete the engineer used technics from the field of bridge construction. The interior has a diversified variation of working spaces, group spaces, a library and an auditorium.
Vitra, Weil am Rhein, Germany
After a fire had destroyed most of the manufacturing plan in 1981, the managing director Rolf Fehlbaum took the chance and developed together with the architect Nicholas Grimshaw a new masterplan for the whole Campus.
Until today many of the elite architects have built their design on the Vitra Campus.
Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart, Germany
This no comparable significant housing estate was built in 1927 for exhibition.
It was an international showcase for modern architecture.
The twenty-one ( only 11 survived the 2nd WW ) buildings were designed by seventeen architects.
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe was the head of the project.
The elite of this time has designed and worked at this project and avowaled for the modern style.
The quarter Riesenfeld of Freiburg, a city in the South of Germany, has since March 2004 a new ecumenic church for Catholic and Protestant community.
The walls of the building are inside and outside out of lightweight concrete.
The competition of who would design the building was won by the architecture office Kister Scheithauer Gross who have designed a very expressive square-edged structure.
Inside, the building is open, flooded with light and you can feel the architectural thought of the christian church.
The swiss city is divided in two parts by the river Rhein and is located where the French, German and Swiss borders meet. It has a beautiful old town with buildings from several epochs, but also a lot good contemporary architecture. Already nine award winners of the Pritzker Price have built in Basel.
In 2020 the finale of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) will take place there.
Kunstmuseum, Ravensburg, Germany
The architects Lederer+Ragnarsdóttir+Oei have designed the first museum worldwide of passive house standart in the Southern German city.
The bricks for example, that were used for the fassade, are old ones and come from an abbey in Belgium. For this museum the architecture firm was honored with the German Architecture Award 2013. It preserves the Selinka collection, one of the largest private collections of Southern Germany, and temporary exhibitions.
The Austrian city is the capital of the state Vorarlberg and situated at the eastern end of the lake constance, next to the border to Germany.
Bregenz has only 28.500 inhabitants, but therefore it has a lot of culture.
Besides the famous music festival "Bregenzer Festspiele", there are also several museums, art galleries and theaters. And of course you can find a lot of good architecture there.
In 1715, the city of Karlsruhe in Southern Germany was designed with an fanlike layout. The centre of this fan was the palace of Karlsruhe.
Today it is known for the Federal Constitutional Court (designed by Paul Baumgarten), the castle of course and the Institute of Technology.
Furthermore there are several objects worth a visit like the Protestant Church (1807, by Friedrich Weinbrenner), the „Dammerstocksiedlung" (1928 by Otto Haesler), the "Badische Landesbibliothek" (1987, by Oswald Mathias Ungers) or the Mensa Moltke ( 2007, by Jürgen Mayer H.).
The capital of Germany, a beautiful city with many faces and a lot of good, impressing architecture. It is a centre of attraction not only for politics, but also for start-up companies, creative minds, the scientists and the media.
Most of the great architects have already built, worked or lived in Berlin. If you are interested in modern architecture you are going to find more than one good example there.
To name just a few: Französischer Dom (1780-85, by Cayart), Altes Museum (1825-30, by Karl Friedrich Schinkel), Neue National Gallerie (1968, by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe), Jüdisches Museum Berlin (2007, by Daniel Liebeskind).
The beautiful city of Romeo and Juliet has many more beautiful spots besides the world-famous balcony. In the city center there is a great Amphietheater, la Arena from the roman times, the perfect place to enjoy the performance of Italian operas in warm summernights. The Piazza delle Erbe is framed by gorgeous ancient buildings and amongst them the Torre dei Lamberti, creating an unique sphere of an urban space. When wandering through this city you will discover ruins and ancient architecture at every corner and every square.
Les églises de la Normandie, France
During the two weeks, that I have spent in the Normandy, I´ve viseted so many wonderful churches, cathedrals and chapels.
Many of them were built in the gothic style with very high naves and absolutely exact details.
There was also one modern church out of concrete in Le Havre. In it´s interior there was an unexpecting colourful light that made it as gracefully as the old gothic ones.
Kunsthalle Bregenz, Austria
A museum, planned for art expositions and the human beeing.The architect Peter Zumthor (Switzerland) has used the materials glass, steal, stone and concrete. The character of the fassade is designed with translucent glass panels.From the outside, the building seems to be like a luminous element.
Saint Tropez & Grimaud, France
These are two beautiful towns at the Côte d´Azur. Grimaud is a little place near famous St. Tropez. Already the artists Matisse, Bonnard and Marquet went there to paint because of the special light.
There is no special or iconic architecture, but the colorful houses, the narrow streets and the mediterranean light fit perfectly together and create a wonderful atmosphere.
The capital of the french region Languedoc-Roussillon is situated next to the Mediterranean coast. In 1289 the Pope gave the school of medicine the status of an University. During the industrialization in the 19th century, Montpellier turned into an industrial centre of the region and the population startet to grow rapidly. Although the city is known for industry, it is very beautiful and definitely worth a visit!
Lyon is a french city, divided by rivers. Le Rhône and la Saône flow through it and cut the city into three parts. The old town and parts of the peninsula are on the UNESCO list of world cultural heritages.
The Opéra national de Lyon is quite famous and for everyone who is interested in architecture, it is a „must see“. In 1993 the architect Jean Nouvel has redesigned the whole interior and the roof, only the facade is old.
Saint Étienne, France
This modern church of pilgrimage was designed by Le Corbusier between 1953 and 1955. The design is very sculptural and not as straight and geometric as the other buildings from Le Corbusier. The magical light and colours in the interior are the results of a very thick wall, the aperture, that is formed like a funnel and the small colourful windwos.
London, Great Britan
There´s obviously not much to say.
The capital of England. Home of the Queen. Centre of art, fashion, architecture, music and much more.
London is probably one of the most inspiring, diversed and multicultural cities, that i´ve been too. Each borough has it´s own character with a special atmosphere and every time you will visit this great and beautiful city, you are going explore the same place and get it to know in a new way.
This part of the biggest island of Europe is very famous for the bagpipe, the kilt, the beautiful Highlands and of course the Scottish whisky.
If you think about their architecture, you may have some image of an ugly seaport, suburban rowhouses or of big mansions and castles. But do you think of modern architecture? Maybe not.
But there is and it is quite good.
York, Great Britan
What is the construction material, of which you think first, when you think about Great Britain? Bricks!
The city of York is one of the most beautiful cities in England. And if you want to see traditional and modern buildings out of brick, you´re right there!
And did you know, that right by the romantic city centre is the second biggest gothic cathedral is there?
....I think there´s not much to say. If you are interested in architecture and haven´t been to Rome yet, you really, really have to go!!! All great men like Bramante, Raffael, Michelangelo, Bernini, Borromini, etc - and also modern architects have worked and built there. It is a wonderful city, full of history and the Italian charm.
Venice, also called the "city of water", is the only city in the world that is built on pilars in the sea. For this reason year after year it attracts myriad tourists crowding its streets and bridges. Many ancient buildings border the bewildering network of channels, where only bridges connect different neighbourhoods. Although most of these beautiful buildings are on the brink of dilapidation they are still stunning like old ladies, telling stories from other times, firing one's imagination with their fascinating scenery.
This is one of my favourite Italian cities, so that I visited it twice in one year. The centre of Vicence is full of buildings from Andrea Palladio which were realised in a unique arcitectural perfection which is impossible to recreate nowadays. The proportions his buildings were complex determined, the incidence of light and shodow creates a fantastic effect and the materials used as well as the building structure itself are so good that neither chemical adhesives nor industrial inventions are necessary for their maintenance.
Istanbul is a city full of muslim and christian culture and traditions.
It´s the only city that is spread on two continents which is also a reason for the cultural influences from Europe and the Orient. It lives from the contrasts of the coexistence and is a great place to visit, full of history and fascinating architecture.
By entering one of those beautiful muslim mosques you will get the same fascinating feeling of being small like in a huge christian church. Those colorful, giant buildings take your breath!
The must sees in Istanbul are, besides numberless other buildings, definitely the Hagia Sofia and next to it the Blue Mosque.
Stockholm is the capital and cultural centre of Sweden.
In 1998 it was the European Capital of Culture.
Gamla stan is the famous old town of Stockholm with small alleys and lovely colorful houses.
The city is spread on several islands and different parts of the mainland. This makes you feel comfortable, as if you were in a small, romantic town, not in a capital. The little shops and cafés (with great scandinavian interior design) intensify this atmosphere.