Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Austraila – Designed by renowned Danish architect Jorn Utzon, the 15-year project resulted in the opening of one of the most opulent structures in the world in 1973. Located against the lavish backdrop of Sydney Harbour, the mammoth theater actually contains several distinct venues, and collectively hosts 1.2 million visitors and 1,500 performances per year. But nothing about the Sydney Opera House is better known than the multiple large shell-shaped sections of concrete roof, which are ornately covered in excess of a million ceramic tiles.
Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand – With initial construction begun in 1782, this legendary home of the King of Siam no longer houses royalty, but has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Asia. Sitting on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, the Grand Palace houses a complex of buildings, and remains used for official state functions. While the inside of the palace is certainly plush, nothing is more eye-catching than the building’s red and gold tiered roof lines that continually plunge and rise. Covered in intricately assembled tiles, the roof gives way to a series of golden spires that highlight this 2.3 million square-foot building.
St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome, Italy – Officially consecrated in 1626, following more than a century of work, this building in the center of the Vatican is one of the world’s largest churches. Designed by a series of the Renaissance’s leading artists, nobody is credited more for its unending beauty than legendary Italian painter Michelangelo, who served as chief architect from 1546-1564 and designed its famous roof of iron and concrete. With a diameter of 138 feet, and an incredible top height of 448-feet above the building’s floor, St. Peter’s Basilica is the tallest domed roof in the world
United States Capitol Dome, Washington D.C. – Though work on the halls of Congress actually began under President George Washington in 1793, an 1850 expansion doubled the building’s size to resemble the structure we know today. However, nothing is more eye-catching about the Capitol building in Washington than its enormous cast-iron roof that rises 289-feet into the air. With an amazing 8.9 million pounds of iron painted to match the stone of the building, the famed dome is currently undergoing a $60 million renovation to remove rust, repair cracks, and re-paint.
St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia – Located in Moscow’s Red Square, this famed image is a symbol of the Russian nation, but has not served as a church since being seized by the Soviet Union in 1928. The decorative building completed in 1561 under Tsar Ivan the Terrible, now functions as a museum and is best known for a colorful series of roofs. Each onion-shaped dome is composed of stone and covered with tin. They creatively seal eight different side churches and are centered around a rising middle structure.