St. Paul's Cathedral in London has been named the world's most beautiful architecture, having the greatest baroque stylings. The building was created by Christopher Wren between 1631 and 1720 after the previous cathedral had been destroyed in the Great Fire of London.
Other candidates include Gustave Eiffel's tower in Paris and New York's Chrysler Building, both of which are now defunct power plants. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain is also widely regarded as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world.
The design of St. Paul's was influenced by King Charles I who wanted a new church to replace the one that had burned down. The new structure should be "a great monument for the glory of God", he said. Wren was only 30 years old at the time but he took care in designing this church by following these instructions. The result is a unique masterpiece that still influences modern skyscrapers today.
The Basilica of St. Peter is undoubtedly the most renowned Renaissance structure. The building's design was collaborated on by several architects, including Michelangelo. It contains the world's biggest interior of any Christian church and is often regarded as the finest Christian church structure. The original plan for the basilica was drawn up by Michelangelo and it called for a large church with a dome that could have been up to 180 meters in diameter. However, due to financial constraints, this plan was not fully executed and what we see today is a much reduced version of the original design. In addition to Michelangelo, other famous artists who contributed to the project include Raphael and Borromini.
Another important landmark of Renaissance architecture is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Built between 1472 and 1490, this tower is the highest and fastest leaning tower in Europe. The tower is also known for its elegant simplicity and perfect symmetry. It has been listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
The Florentine Cathedral is a magnificent example of Gothic architecture. It was built between 1278 and 1516 and remains an important monument of the city's history. The current building was inspired by the French Cathedral of Notre Dame and it shows the influence of both English and Italian styles at that time. The cathedral's colorful stained glass windows were created by leading artists from all over Europe.
St. Peter's Basilica: Perhaps the most renowned Renaissance edifice is St. Peter's Basilica. Construction on the basilica began in 1564 and it was completed 32 years later at a cost of about $100 million (14 million euros).
The Vatican Palace: Another famous building designed during the Renaissance period is the Vatican Palace. It is an extensive complex of buildings occupying a large area within Rome's city center. The palace is the home of the Curia (the administrative office of the Pope) and its rooms are used for meetings and exhibitions. It has been described as the largest private residence in Europe.
It was built between 1475 and 1546 by various architects working for the Vatican City State. The first stone was laid by Pope Paul III. The last portion built by Michelangelo is the Hall of Mirrors where the Pope holds his weekly audience.
The palace is divided into different areas such as the Papal Apartments, which include the offices of the pope's staff; the Belvedere Tower, which was originally built to provide defense for the Vatican against attacks from land or sea; and the Domus Aurea (Golden House), which includes rooms used by popes when they travel outside of Rome.