Europe is home to some of the finest building that have ever been built. Palaces, gothic cathedrals, ancient amphitheaters , castles and even a leaning tower!
European architecture is as rich and varied as just about any other continent on Earth, developed over thousands of years across 44 different countries.
The following list contains some of the most famous buildings in Europe.
Famous Buildings in Europe
1. Eiffel Tower
Out of all the important structures around the world, the Eiffel Tower is without a doubt the building that is recognized the most frequently in any of Europe’s main cities.
The iconic Eiffel Tower can be found in the very center of Paris, right next to the Seine River, which serves as the primary thoroughfare of the city.
Gustave Eiffel, a prominent French architect of the nineteenth century, is honored with the naming of the tower in his honor.
Residents of Paris have historically referred to the structure as “La dame de fer,” which translates to “The Iron Lady” in English. Tourists, on the other hand, name the landmark the “Eiffel Tower.”
Construction of the tower began during the winter of 1887, and just two years later, in 1889, it was completed and made available to the general public for use.
It was constructed to be the man-made structure that is the highest in the globe, taking the title from the Washington Monument in the capital city of the United States.
This distinction was maintained by the Eiffel Tower until the Chrysler Building was constructed 41 years after it, at which point it was passed.
Visitors will not be able to escape seeing the Colosseum, as it is one of the most iconic structures in all of Rome.
This enormous arena, which covers more than 25,000 square feet, used to be the most important institution in the Roman Empire in terms of the attention the public paid to it and the athletic competitions that were held there.
The ancient Roman amphitheater known as the Colosseum may be found in the center of Rome, close to other historical monuments that date back to the first century AD.
The construction and erection of the Colosseum took place under the leadership of Emperor Vespasian; however, it was not completed until the reign of his successor, Titus, decades later.
As soon as it was finished being constructed in the year 80 A.D., the Colosseum became an instantly recognizable building for residents of the imperial city.
Throughout the many centuries that have passed since Rome’s destruction, the Colosseum has maintained its status as one of the most well-known buildings in all of Italy. It is also regarded as one of the most impressive historical structures from the time period that is still standing.
In spite of this, the upper half of the southern section of the Colosseum collapsed as a result of a massive earthquake that struck the city in the year 1349.
3. Leaning Tower of Pisa
There are only a handful of historical landmarks in all of Italy that can compare in notoriety to the Tower of Pisa.
The incredible architecture of this skyscraper pulls in a significant number of curious sightseers every year, all of whom come to take in the structure’s capacity to defy the laws of gravity.
The construction of the tower began in the year 1173; however, it wasn’t long before the builders realized that the foundation had significant problems because it was built on shifting and sinking Earth underneath it.
It was finished in 1372, and ever since then, considerable efforts have been made to ensure that it remains standing.
4. Big Ben
Big Ben is a tower clock in London that is famous for its unparalleled accuracy as well as its massive hour bell that weighs 15.1 tons.
It is a symbol of the United Kingdom and is often used as an establishing shot in movies that take place in London. Due to the fact that it is a British cultural symbol and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visitors to London and the rest of England should not miss the opportunity to see Big Ben.
The Elizabeth Tower, which was formerly known as the Clock Tower, is now home to the iconic Big Ben clock. Big Ben is a nickname given to the Great Bell that is located in the Palace of Westminster in London; nevertheless, the moniker is also used to refer to the clock and the tower that houses the clock.
After its completion in 1859, Big Ben quickly rose to prominence as the largest and most precise clock in the world. The tower contains a total of five bells, the largest of which is known as “Big Ben.”
The bell known as “Big Ben” is rumored to have been named after either Benjamin Caunt, a heavyweight boxing champion, or Sir Benjamin Hall, the man who oversaw the construction of the bell. Since it was first erected, the appearance of the tower clock has been improved via the application of a number of different restoration techniques.
5. Sagrada Familia
This Gothic-style church that was built in the Middle Ages is the largest Roman Catholic church that is still under construction. The Catalan architect Antoni Gaud was responsible for its design, and it can be found in the Eixample neighborhood of Barcelona, which is located in Catalonia, Spain.
It is still unfinished as a result of setbacks caused by war, vandalism, and illness. The project was revived in the 1950s, but progress proceeded at a snail’s pace until 2010, when advances in technology made it possible to construct the structure using methods that were more efficient.
The construction of ten additional spires, each of which would be meant to represent an important figure from the New Testament Bible, is now in the planning stages.
The construction of the spires was originally planned to take place in 2026 as a memorial to Gaudi, who passed away in 1926, however this date has been put back due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
6. Notre Dame de Paris
One of the most famous cathedrals and churches in the world is located in Paris, and its name is Notre Dame. Visitors from all over the world go to the city of Paris, France, each and every year, and the Notre Dame Cathedral is considered to be one of the top attractions in the city.
It is situated in the heart of Paris on the Île de la Cité, which is a portion of the Seine River and is an island in the middle of the river. The enormous Roman Catholic cathedral is one of the most well-known examples of innovative architectural techniques being used by architects. These techniques include the rib vault and the flying buttress.
In the year 1163 after the Common Era (A.D.), construction of Notre Dame de Paris began. It was decided that Bishop Maurice de Sully would be in charge of supervising the initial stages of the project. The cathedral was finally completed in 1345, over two centuries after its construction began and under the supervision of a number of different architects.
Throughout the course of history, Notre Dame de Paris has suffered a significant amount of vandalism and vandalization, most notably during the French Revolution as well as in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
A large portion of the ceiling of the cathedral, which was comprised of elaborate woodwork and pillars, was destroyed by a fire; however, efforts are currently being made to restore it.
7. St. Peter’s Basilica
In addition to being one of the most famous cathedrals in the Roman Catholic faith, St. Peter’s Basilica is also known for being one of the most significant historical buildings that can be found in the city of Rome, which is located in Italy.
It was constructed in the middle of the Italian Renaissance, which was a moment in the city’s history when the production of exquisite and renowned works of art and architecture was at an all-time high.
St. Peter’s Basilica is the most popular destination for tourists who are in Rome to observe some of the architectural marvels that the city has to offer. It is found in Vatican City, which is also the most popular destination for tourists who are visiting the center of the Catholic faith.
Pope Nicholas V, who later collaborated with Pope Julius II to replace the already existing St. Peter’s Basilica that had been constructed in the same location under Roman emperor Constantine the Great during the 4th century A.D., is rumored to have been the architect behind the church’s design. Julius II and Nicholas V worked together to complete the project.
A variety of well-known sculptures and other works of art can be found both inside and outside of St. Peter’s Basilica, which contribute to the building’s notoriety for its aesthetic appeal and intricate architecture.
8. Pantheon Rome
The Pantheon is one of the most venerable and well-known structures that can be found in Rome. During the height of the Roman Empire’s rise to become the most powerful civilization in the known world in the first century B.C., this massive structure, which features an elegant design, was built. Construction began in the year 100 B.C.
The ancient Roman temple known as the Pantheon may be found in the middle of Italy’s capital city, Rome. Its location allows for easy access to the temple for tourists coming from the nearby Tiber River. The word “Pantheon,” which originates from Greek, literally translates to “Temple of all the gods,” according to Greek translations of the phrase.
The Pantheon was created on the site of an already-existing place of worship that had been in use for centuries prior to the year 126 A.D., when the Pantheon, as it is known to us today, was finished and consecrated by the emperor Hadrian.
It is believed that the previous temple was constructed during the era of Augustus, and that Marcus Agrippa was the one who gave the order to build it at some point between 27 B.C. and 14 A.D.
It is because the Pantheon has preserved most of its original layout and design, including many of the stone carvings and relief artworks, that it is considered to be one of the most significant buildings in Italy.
9. Sistine Chapel
Because Michelangelo painted one of his finest masterpieces on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and gave it the title The Last Judgment, it is widely considered to be one of the most famous buildings in all of Rome.
The contents of the building’s interior are the ones that are most likely to be recognized, but the layout and architectural style of the building’s façade make it a distinctive landmark for anyone moving through the streets of Rome.
The Sistine Chapel was constructed during the reign of Pope Sixtus IV, who was in office at the time of the structure’s completion in 1481. The chapel can be found in the centre of Vatican City in Rome.
Each year, the Sistine Chapel is visited by millions of people, making it one of the most popular places of worship in all of Europe.
10. Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace, which can be found in Westminster, is the administrative and ceremonial heart of the British monarchy. The Palace has served as the major Royal residence as well as the administrative headquarters of the ruling Monarch of the United Kingdom ever since it was finished construction in the year 1837.
King George IV was responsible for the expansion of the designs, which called for the construction of three wings around a central courtyard. This was to be done in the fashionable French neoclassical style.
Even though it is being used for official events, during the summer months it is open to guests.
There are 775 rooms at Buckingham Palace. The primary structure of the palace is 354 feet in length along the front, 390 feet in depth, and 79 feet in height.
11. St. Basil’s Cathedral
St. Basil’s Cathedral, which was completed in 1561, also goes by its official name. The building in question is the Cathedral of Saint Vasily the Blessed. The UNESCO World Heritage Site designation has been bestowed upon this Russian Orthodox church, which can be found in the center of Moscow’s Red Square.
Following the laying of the first stone in 1555 for the construction of St. Basil’s Cathedral, this religious structure passed through a number of stages of construction. It is comprised of a number of key parts that have been allocated for use in accordance with a variety of functions, such as the west column, which was created to honor Christ’s arrival in Jerusalem.
A groin vault that is dedicated to Basil the Blessed can be seen in the Northeastern annex. It would appear that he would steal from stores in order to distribute the stolen things to those who were less fortunate. Basil’s body was laid to rest in this basilica after he passed away, and the cathedral is now generally known by his name.
Pokrovsky Cathedral is a short form for the lengthy name of this place of worship, which is Cathedral of the Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat. Before the Ivan Great Bell Tower was constructed in the year 1600, the highest building in Moscow was Saint Basil’s Cathedral.
12. Palace of Versailles
The location of the Palace of Versailles, which is sometimes referred to as the Chateau de Versailles in French, lies about 20 kilometers (12 miles) outside of Paris.
In 1995, the Republic of France purchased the palace, and ever since that time, the French Ministry of Culture has been in charge of maintaining and preserving it.
In the year 1623, Louis XIII constructed a modest hunting lodge. Between the years 1631 and 1634, he tore down the building and constructed the Palace of Versailles in its stead.
His predecessors overhauled the French administration to the extent that Versailles is now de facto the nation’s capital.
The palace and the park that is adjacent to it were both included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1979. This was done because the palace served during the 1600s and 1700s as a political, cultural, and scientific center in France.
13. Arc de Triomphe
The “Arch of Triumph,” also known as the “Arc de Triomphe,” is one of the most well-known structures in all of Paris, and it can be found in the midst of Place Charles de Gaulle. The location of the arc and plaza is dispersed throughout three different arrondissements in the city.
The names of all French victories and generals are written on the interior and exterior surfaces of the Arc de Triomphe as a memorial to those who died fighting for France during the French Revolution as well as the Napoleonic Wars. This memorial includes the names of those who died fighting for France during the Napoleonic Wars.
The Unknown Soldier’s Tomb from World War I can be found beneath the vault of this building.
The iconographic design of the Arc de Triomphe, which was conceived of by Jean Chalgrin in 1806 and constructed in 1806, includes a juxtaposition between courageously naked French adolescents and bearded Germanic troops in chain mail.
It served as a template for the design of subsequent public monuments that declared national victory. Titus of Rome is responsible for the design of the Arc de Triomphe, which stands fifty meters tall.
14. Florence Cathedral
The most important religious structure in the city is the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. The construction of the cathedral, which began in 1296, features the world’s largest brick dome and is considered to be one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of human engineering.
The outside of the basilica is covered in polychrome marble panels that are bordered in white and include varying colours of green and pink in the center. After St. Peter’s Basilica and the Mecca Masjid, it is the third largest place of worship (church or mosque) in the world.
A World Heritage Site, as designated by UNESCO, is comprised of the cathedral complex as a whole as well as the Baptistery and the Campanile designed by Giotto. The basilica is one of the most visited tourist destinations in all of Italy, with millions of visitors coming through its doors every year.
15. Parthenon Athens
One of the most well-known buildings in the world is the Parthenon, which was constructed between the years 447 and 432 BC. It was the most important place of worship for the people of Athens and was dedicated to the goddess Athena.
On top of the ruins of a temple that had been there since the sixth century, the Parthenon was constructed.
As a result of the Persians destroying Hekatompedon in 480 BC, the Athenians were forced to build a new temple in order to house the magnificent gold and ivory sculpture of Athena that was 12 meters in height.
As a consequence of this, they built the stunning Parthenon temple, which was made of white marble and measured 70 meters in length and 30 meters in width.
It had 17 columns on each side of the promenade, and there were 8 columns on the main front of the building. The Parthenon was destroyed over the course of history, but it is currently under reconstruction to look much like the original temple.