On Friday I had a lovely interview with Mariana from Romanian Diaspora, who asked us for inspirations to travel and how we can manage this pandemic situation while at home, and stay positive.
Full interview you can find here. But, you have to know Romanian to understand it.
So, this interview made me think a lot about our future travels, how we will move, and exactly how we will move ahead with all this pandemic situation. I know that in the nearest future, we will be able to travel as much as within our city, or as much within our region. And if we are lucky enough and this pandemic situation won’t go in the wrong direction, then maybe in just a few months we would be able to travel abroad.
What we can do then? Wait for the better times? In this article I propose you visit virtually one of the most amazing, iconic architectures. Nowadays, travel is performing as never before, and we have to support it.
We cannot leave home to see new places, but we can still travel from home and see famous works of architecture. Let’s jump right into the list.
- Casa Batllo, Barcelona.
Of course, I begin with Barcelona. It is undoubtedly that all of Gaudí’s works are icons of Catalan modernism. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Casa Batllo offers an excellent virtual tour on its website where you can visit a large part of this work that reflects Gaudí’s artistic quality, taking inspiration from nature and its organic forms. It is really a work of art wherever you look at it.
- Buckingham Palace, London.
When one of my colleagues from London shared this info with me, I was so amazed. Buckingham Palace is one of the most well known royal homes, and any traveller is dreaming to see this Palace. These days the palace is an administrative HQ of the Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. It’s also the setting of many official royal events, and the opulent State Rooms at Buckingham Palace open up during the summer for visitors.
- Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, Bilbao.
On our last trip, right before the pandemic, we were in Bilbao, yes, in this amazing city. I was very excited to find out that they do virtual tours too. This building was designed by the Canadian architect Frank Ghery, and it has a quite particular and whimsical shape, with shapes that are rolled up covered with titanium and glass plates. It is a clear exponent of deconstructivism, an architectural movement characterized by fragmentation, the non-linear design process, and opposition to modernist rules where “form follows function”.
- Palace of Versailles, Paris.
I remember that day as yesterday, when we entered this beautiful palace. I was dreaming from a very early age to visit it, and the dream comes true. The only disadvantage was that it was a rainy day, and we visited only interiors not the gardens too. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Palace of Versailles was once a hunting lodge of Louis XIII. Today it is one of the most visited cultural sites on earth. Be sure to check out the famous Hall of Mirrors for nearly 250 feet of beauty, and my favorite space: the glorious gardens.
- Pompidou center, Paris.
If to continue with Paris, here is another gem of architecture that you can have a virtual tour. And I really love all the things I share with you today. It is one of the most innovative designs of the 20th century. With an industrial structure, it reveals ducts, stairs, and other functional elements that are visible from the outside. He is one of the first exponents of high-tech architecture, where the use of technology is the main characteristic of the works.
- Caserta Royal Palace and Park, Naples.
Now, I invite you to proceed to virtual tours of other palaces that we haven’t discovered yet in reality, but after watching those now, I can’t wait to travel again. The royal residence was built by the House of Bourbon, and was used as the main residence of the kings of Naples. As one of the largest palaces built in Europe during the era, the sprawling 18th century estate is complete with some of the most beautiful gardens on earth.
- Villa Savoye, Poissy, France
This house located in the commune of Poissy in France is a manifesto of the 5 points of Le Corbusier: the open floor plan, the garden terrace, the pilots, the longitudinal window, and the free façade. What once functioned as the home of the Savoye family is today a museum open to the public and a World Heritage Site.
- Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
The shy King Ludwig II built his castle in this idyllic setting, as a place to withdraw from public life in 1886. The Neuschwanstein Castle was opened shortly after the King’s death, so that visitors can enjoy its unique beauty.
Known for inspiring Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle, Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular of all the palaces in Europe. Take a look around the fairytale retreat, where you can explore the breathtaking interiors without waiting in a single line.
- Studio Aalto, Helsinki, Finland.
The Finnish architect Alvar Aalto’s studio is an exponent of Scandinavian functionalism, perfectly combining materials and surroundings. This was the architect’s office until his death in 1976. Today the old studio is managed by the Alvar Aalto Foundation and is open to the public for guided tours.
- Sanssouci Palace, German.
Known as the German rival of Versailles, Sanssouci was the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. Since the palace was meant for relaxation, (not as a seat of power) it was named after the French phrase “sans souci”, which translates as “without worries”. Go ahead and take a #carefree virtual castle tour yourself, and see all the remarkable history inside those walls.
- Guggenheim Museum, New York
Thanks to Google Arts & Culture it is possible to visit the Guggenheim Museum inside and learn the history of its collection.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and was conceived as a “temple of the spirit”. Inside, a snail-shaped ramp guides the visitor through the exhibition, allowing them to admire the works from different points. Wright was one of the greatest exponents of 20th century architecture known for its organic architecture. These days, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation is taking virtual tours of several of its projects, they are available here.
- Drottningholm Palace, Sweden.
The Drottningholm Palace is the best-preserved swedish castle, built in 1600. And today, it’s still the King and Queen’s permanent residence. Inspired by the Chateau of Versailles, Drottningholm palace is known for the exotic Chinese Pavilion, and extravagant Palace Theatre. The unique architecture really showcases the changing tastes of monarchs over the centuries, making it a must see royal residence.
The Casa Estudio where Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo lived was one of the first functionalist works in Latin America. It consists of 2 independent houses, built with concrete and linked by a bridge. It is very interesting not only because of the work but because it allows us to imagine a little the life of the two artists. Today the house is a museum and offers an excellent virtual tour on its website.
The Kroměříž Archbishop’s Palace and Gardens are known as a Baroque masterpiece in Czechia. You can take a virtual castle tour, and see the influential interior decor and collections that make it so unique.
The complex grounds give Versailles a run for their money, and it was designed as a romantic park.
- Curutchet House, La Plata, Argentina.
This house was designed for the surgeon Curutchet and his family, serving not only as a home but also as a consulting room. The famous 5 points of Le Corbusier can be clearly seen in the work: the open floor plan, the garden terrace, the pilotis, the longitudinal window, and the free façade. Inside the house, a ramp guides the visitor through the different stages of the route, emphasizing the “promenade architecturale” (architectural walk) proposed by Le Corbusier.