Where do you travel to see unique architecture? Holiday Lettings opens the door to meteorites, space ships and jelly geometry – here are the world’s weirdest buildings.
Casa da Música, Porto, Portugal
Photo credit: Marinhopaiva (License) Wikimedia.org
A meteorite’s crashed into central Porto, or at least it looks that way. This cloud-white 12-storey concert hall boasts a shape that’s both insanely irregular and strictly geometric. Join a guided tour, look out for the wave-like corrugated glass, baroque organ and hand-painted blue tiles, then decide for yourself.
How about a sunset walk by the Rio Duoro after? Watch the brightly coloured boats bobbing on the water and listen to the river lapping against the docks. Six bridges hang dramatically over the river: cross any of them into neighbouring Vila Nova de Gaia to reach the port warehouses on the river’s edge and taste their goodies.
The Church of Hallgrimur, Reykjavik, Iceland
Photo credit: Tillea (License) Wikipedia.org
This vast concrete church’s the star of thousands of photos and is so big it can be admired 20 km away. It’s an architectural splendour, mixing prehistoric volcanos with that looks like a space ship of the future. Do try to catch a concert there or admire the city’s colourful buildings, snow-topped mountain backdrop and incredible volcanic surroundings from the top of its 75m-high tower.
Stroll across the street to the Einar Jónsson Museum. You’ll catch a glimpse of this dark sculptor’s bizarre pieces in the garden, and there are lots more weird figures inside. Fancy feeding your imagination with folk-tales, monsters and hallucinogenic landscapes? Look no further than the collection at the National Gallery of Iceland.
Rotating Tower, Dubai, UAE
Dubai’s towering and record-shattering skyline will update again if plans to build the world’s first moving building go ahead. Each of its 80 floors will rotate individually, completing a 360 degree rotation every 90 minutes. Where else could you wake up to a cityscape sunrise but enjoy ocean-view sunsets by dinner?
Float up, up and away over the desert in a hot air balloon later, or watch the world’s current tallest building touch the sky at the Burj Khalifa’s observation deck. Come back down to earth to wander round the old Bastakiya quarter: the classic wind-tower buildings that line its labyrinthine lanes are enchanting.
The Crooked House, Sopot, Poland
Photo credit: Topory (License) Wikimedia.org
Have you fallen into a child’s drawing or a digitally distorted image? This shopping centre’s jelly geometry makes visitors feel they’ve stepped into a surreal cartoon. Bringing to life the fairytale illustrations of Jan Marcin Szancer and the art of Per Dahlberg, it’s the country’s most photographed building.
Sopot is like Brighton and Eastbourne combined. It blends literary-themed cafes with trendy restaurants and a vibrant party scene with (we’re serious about this) bathing pensioners illuminated by strobe lights. Eat waffle with ice cream on hot summer days and go clubbing beachside on balmy Baltic nights.
Ideal Palace, Hauterives, France
Meet Ferdinand Cheval, the postman who single-handedly built a castle in his back garden. After tripping over a stone, he was inspired to build a chateau, and for the next three decades he collected stones on his route and used them in his structures. The exterior mixes Khmer temples, medieval castles, mosques and Hindu sanctuaries with Swiss chalets. A shrine to his wheelbarrow is the palace’s finishing touch.
120,000 travellers a year visit Hauterives. If you visit, you could go to Tricastin to learn about the nuclear power plant’s operations and see it heat the crocodile farm at the neighbouring village of Pierrelatte. Over 400 crocs lounge in luxuriously landscaped tropical pools there.