Architecture and design are becoming increasingly important for tourism. Nowadays, many travellers are interested not only in the historical sights that a city has to offer, but progressively also in extraordinary architecture, be it a new skyscraper, a museum or a residential building.
Architecture is playing more and more an important role for the identity and tourism of a city. Even in ancient times, temples were built to honour the gods. Just like other public buildings, they attracted large amounts of visitors. Architecture was, and still is, an expression of the lifestyle, way of life and culture of a certain epoch. Even today, many cities still exude the zeitgeist of past eras, and are a popular travel destination for precisely that reason. Over the past decades, however, there has been a shift in focus: While it used to be mainly the historical landmarks which attracted those interested in culture, it is now the modern architecture which is becoming increasingly relevant.
Cities are no longer associated only with their historical buildings, but are also branded by modern buildings and architecture. The building itself becomes an attraction, a symbol of the city, and a popular subject for photos. If you think of Australia, for example, one particular building comes to mind: The Sydney Opera House. The building in the shape of a sail on the high seas, which is perfectly adapted to its location in a coastal city, is regarded not only as a landmark of the city, but has become a global symbol of the fifth continent.
Extraordinary architecture also influences the travel behaviour in Europe. The Spanish city of Bilbao owes its record tourism numbers to the construction of the Guggenheim Museum, which resulted in the so-called Bilbao effect. The “Museo Guggenheim Bilbao”, which was built according to the plans of architect Frank O. Gehry, is the reason for the Basque industrial metropolis experiencing a never seen before recovery after a period of economic decline. Even the exterior of the spectacular cultural building is a modern work of art in its own right, and worth the journey for anyone who loves unconventional shapes and forms.
New York’s skyline is characterised by tall skyscrapers. The varied scenery begs to be photographed and attracts millions of tourists to the Big Apple each year. While there were 28 high-rise buildings in 2004, another 47 will be added in the coming years. Star architects Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid and Herzog & de Meuron are just a few of the many architects contributing to NYC’s skyline with spectacular designs.
In order to ensure that you will not miss out on any architectural highlights during your next city trip, we recommend you put aside your classic travel guide this time around and consult a special architecture guide instead. Apart from presenting historical buildings, it also offers extensive information on contemporary buildings, allowing the reader to become a true architectural expert.
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