Unique Architecture Photos From Around the World

The world is full of unique and diverse architecture. Let's take a look at some notable architectural marvels from 12 different countries.

June 25, 2021
. by omid

Above we begin in Shiraz, Iran at the Pink Mosque (Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque) which was completed in 1888. The building was designed by Iranian architect Mohammad Hasan-e-Memār.



The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. Built between 1996 and 2007, this gigantic structure can hold over 40,000 people and covers more than 12 hectares (30 acres).



In contrast to the grand mosques in Iran and the United Arab Emirates, this mosque in Larabanga, Ghana (1455) is much more modest. Called a "Mud and Stick" mosque, it is an example of Sudanic-Sahelian Architecture that can be found across West Africa.



Around the world, museums are often distinctive architectural designs. In France, the Louvre is the world's largest museum and houses famous works such as Da Vinci's Mona Lisa.

Before the museum opened in 1793, the Louvre palace building was a military facility dating back to the 12th century with new additions added in phases in the 800 years since.

One of the newest additions can be seen in this photo, a glass pyramid designed by architect I.M Pei and completed in 1988.



In London, the British Museum features another unique architectural element in the Queen Elizabeth II Great Court. Built in the late 1990's, the tessellated glass roof is reminiscent of the glass panes of the Louvre pyramid and forms a large cover across the courtyard.



This view of Hikone Castle in Japan can only be found at the right time of year when the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. Completed in 1622, it is one of the oldest original castles in Japan.



The city of Barcelona, Spain features many unique architectural masterpieces. Many of which can be attributed to the architect Antoni Gaudí. Once such building is Casa Batlló, which is also called "House of Bones" in English as evidenced by its skeletal structure. Originally built in 1877, it was renovated by Gaudí in the early 1900's. The building is a great example of the Art Nouveau movement which was inspired by nature and featured organic flowing shapes rather than straight lines found in traditional architecture.



The Rookery Building in Chicago is a mix of several architectural styles. This view of the lobby shows some of the Art Nouveau influences in the metal work and curved stairways.



The city of Prague in the Czech Republic is a wonderful blend of architecture spanning more than a thousand years. Not many places feature so many styles including Romanesque (6th - 11th century), Gothic (12th - 16th century), Renaissance (14th - 16th century), Baroque (17th century), and even Art Nouveau and Cubism of 1900's (20th century).

Here we see a glimpse of the old town in the photo on the left including the Charles Bridge which was built in 1402. On the right is the modern "Dancing House" building which was built in the 1990's and stands uniquely among all of this historical architecture.



Several Russian Orthodox cathedrals have their own wholly unique architectural style such as Moscow's renowned Saint Basil's Cathedral (1555) on the left, and the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood in Saint Petersburg (1907) on the right.



Opened in 1973, the Sydney Opera House in Australia is one of the most iconic buildings in the country. It is an example of Expressionist Architecture.

In this photo we see a detailed view of the "shells" which resemble sails from a ship and are a distinguishing feature of this building which sits on the edge of Sydney Harbor.



The two photos above show two very different churches in Iceland. The first is the famous Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral. It is the tallest building in Iceland's capital city of Reykjavík. It was built over a period of 41 years between 1945 to 1986 and similar to the Sydney Opera house is representative of Expressionist Architecture.

The second photo of the Reyniskirkja Church depicts a more modest traditional structure which sits on top of a hill overlooking the village of Vík, Iceland amongst glaciers and black beaches.

Now It's Your Turn

All of these photos have shown you examples of excellent architecture photography.

Even if you do not live or travel near one of these famous structures, you can get ideas of how to photograph buildings near you.

You can try photographing buildings from a distance to see them in full against their local environment, or zoom in on special details like windows, archways, or other unique elements.


Essence of Photography is a series of tips, tutorials, and visual inspiration on a variety of photography skills and techniques.

You can practice these skills and more by purchasing a deck of Photo Cards from Zoom In Reach Out, a non-profit with a mission of teaching to see the world from a different perspective.

All photos in this article were posted to the Aminus3 Photography Community and are copyrighted by their respective photographers.

Click on any photo to see a larger version or to leave a comment for the photographer.

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