Top 10 Great Pieces of Ornamental Architecture

Top 10 Great Pieces of Ornamental Architecture

Architecture has never been only about the function – it has always been an expression of human achievements, of aesthetics and grandeur. Check out these ten fun ornamental patterns found on magnificent buildings.

10. Axelborg, Copenhagen, Denmark

You can find various offices here, including the Danish Agriculture and Food Council. Not especially appealing from the outside, the building, completed in 1920, features this fantastic spiral staircase and an impressive hall inside.

Why to go there?

Historically it is a significant building. Also it is a treat for your eyes.

9. Queen’s House, London, UK

Built in Greenwich between 1616 and 1619, the stairs are an important element of evolving British Renaissance. After a trip to Italy, King James I of England commissioned to build the palace for his wife. The whole palace marked a cultural turning point in Britain. Especially beautiful are the whirling Tulip Stairs.

Why to go there?

Visit the museum and the beautiful palace. It is possible to arrange weddings and other events here.

Top Ornamental-Queen-Photo by Alex López

Photo by Alex López

8. Embarcadero Center, San Francisco, USA

The complex of five skyscrapers is located in San Francisco’s financial district. Although it looks so modern from the outside – like a casual glass skyscraper – it has some beautiful design solutions inside. There are many gorgeous spiral staircases in the Embarcadero Center. Surreal fountains and sculptures make the center an attractive site. The mosaic decorations and pillars create a feeling of historic prominence in the otherwise modern complex.

Why to go there?

These spiral stairs are really popular among the photographers. Find many boutiques, restaurants, cinema and events in the center. You can also stay at one of the two hotels, that belong to the complex.

Top Ornamental-Embracadero-Photo by Sly Vegas

Photo by Sly Vegas

Top Ornamental-Embracadero-Photo by Scott Loftness

Photo by Scott Loftness

Top Ornamental-Embracadero-Photo by Toby Harriman

Photo by Toby Harriman

Top Ornamental-Embracadero-Photo by Mark-Anthony Gabrinez

Photo by Mark-Anthony Gabrinez

Top Ornamental-Embracadero-Photo by Jamie Clark

Photo by Jamie Clark

7. The Vatican Museums, Vatica

The Vatican Museums house an enormous collection of art, which is being visited by approximately 5 million people every year. The magnificent spiral staircase was designed in 1932 by Giuseppe Momo and attracts photographers’ attention.

Why to go there?

Visit the most important museum in Europe once in Rome.

Top Ornamental-Vatican-Photo by Raymond Choo

Photo by Raymond Choo

Top Ornamental-Vatican-Photo by Drew Nicoll

Photo by Drew Nicoll

6. Casa Batlló, Barcelona, Spain

The masterpiece of an architectural genius Antoni Gaudí, Casa Batlló is a surreal work of art. Numerous gorgeous details outside and inside require to approach the building very carefully. These ceilings in the Noble Floor is open to the public to view and admire.

Why to go there?

A must-see site in Barcelona, an architectural wonder.

Top Ornamental-CasaBatlo2

Photo by Unknown

Top Ornamental-CasaBatlo-Photo by Justin Fritts

Photo by Justin Fritts

Top Ornamental-CasaBatlo

Photo by Unknown

Casa Batllo

Photo by Unknown

5. Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse, Kashan, Iran

Built in the 16th century, today the previous bathhouse is a popular tourist attraction. It is registered as a national heritage site. The house is decorated with amazing ornamental tiles, some of which are turquoise and gold.

Why to go there?

A wonderful architecture and décor, historical and cultural significance, one of the most popular sites in the area.

Top Ornamental-Sultan-Photo by Ali KoRdZaDeh

Photo by Ali KoRdZaDeh

Top Ornamental-Sultan-Photo by Ali KoRdZaDeh3

Photo by Ali KoRdZaDeh

Top Ornamental-Sultan-Photo by Ali KoRdZaDeh2

Photo by Ali KoRdZaDeh

Top Ornamental-Sultan-Photo by Saeed Nazari

Photo by Saeed Nazari

4. Jameh Mosque of Isfahān, Isfahān, Iran

The spectacular mosque is a result of continual constructions, that took place from the 7th to the 20th century! However, it is considered to be the oldest shrine in the country. It is also said to be a Persian architectural masterpiece.

Why to go there?

A wonderful Persian architecture, a famous mosque.

Top Ornamental-Jameh-Photo by Photo by Ali KoRdZaDeh2

Photo by Ali KoRdZaDeh

Top Ornamental-Jameh-Photo by Photo by Ali KoRdZaDeh

Photo by Ali KoRdZaDeh

Top Ornamental-Jameh-Photo by Photo by Ali KoRdZaDeh3

Photo by Ali KoRdZaDeh

3. The Alhambra, Andalusia, Spain

The stunning palace and fortress complex was built during the Muslim rule of Spain. Its beauty can be explained by the fact that it was intentionally designed to reflect paradise. Therefore the whole complex is breathtaking: gardens, fountains, streams outside, wonderful artistic details inside.

Why to go there?

The most famous example of Arabic architecture in Europe. Are real treat for your eyes.

Top Ornamental-Alhambra-Photo by Cem Bayraktar

Photo by Cem Bayraktar

Top Ornamental-Alhambra2

Photo by Unknown

Top Ornamental-Alhambra

Photo by Unknown

2. Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque, Shiraz, Iran

Built in 1888 it is considered to be a traditional mosque. However these incredible colored glass ornaments create a breathtaking site. When the sun shines through these windows, the whole space fills with elusive colorful light.

Why to go there?

Historic and architectural significance.

Top Ornamental-Nasir-Photo by Amin Abedini

Photo by Amin Abedini

1. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Comissioned by the late president of the UAE, the mosque’s task was to combine traditional values, architecture and design with the modern ones. The grandiose shrine literally unites the world: its construction material was brought from various, including non-Islamic, countries.

Why to go there?

Architectural, cultural and spiritual significance.

Top Ornamental-Sheikg-Photo by Bjorn Moerman

Photo by Bjorn Moerman

Top Ornamental-Sheikg-Photo by Teguh S

Photo by Teguh S

Top Ornamental-Sheikg-Photo by WK Cheoh

Photo by WK Cheoh