Skylines of the World
By Lauren Shaw
What classifies a beautiful city skyline? Is it an abundance of towering skyscrapers that seem to redefine the circumference of the world? What about flashy neon lights, innovative architecture, and cutting-edge technology? Is it the natural beauty of buildings with decades of history and meaning behind them?
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the truth is that if there is no awe-inspiring or wanderlust-awakening aspect of a city’s skyline, it most likely will not be remembered or draw visitors to see it. That’s why we’ve rounded up a list of some of the world’s most stunning cityscapes, whether their beauty comes from groundbreaking human engineering or a colorful past.
The world-famous harbor in Sydney, known as Australia’s showcase city, has contributed greatly to making it one of the most recognizable skylines in the world. Looking beyond the natural beauty of its vibrant green parks and turquoise waters, Sydney Harbour is an ideal vantage point to view many famed landmarks. While taller skyscrapers typically steal the spotlight in most cities, the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge are the stars of the show here.
Widely considered the Gem of the Aegean, Santorini is a crescent-shaped island known for its picturesque villages that, at a glance, resemble an oil painting. The illustrious skyline of Oia, the island’s most popular town, is instantly recognizable by its whitewashed cubist houses with pops of color from sapphire rooftops, yellow doors, and red window shutters. The buildings are beautifully stacked, clinging to the cliffs of the rugged landscape, while the royal blue waters of the Aegean Sea swim below. It’s no wonder Santorini is Greece’s most popular island for romance.
China’s largest city is located on the central coast of the East China Sea and is the fastest-growing city in the world for skyscraper construction. The Shanghai skyline outlines a futuristic metropolis that is distinctly original when it comes to the shapes and colors of its structures. Standing out in the crowd and resembling a space module is the Oriental Pearl Radio and TV Tower, lined with multiple large spheres and bright pink hues. This cityscape is a true representation of creative architecture and the ways ultramodern concepts are being brought to life.
Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a cultural tapestry that boasts magnificent castles, sweeping landscapes, and bewitching cathedrals. It is a charming mix of the Old Town, the medieval part of the city, and the New Town, home to elegant gardens and neoclassical buildings. The skyline wouldn’t be the wonder it is without the iconic Edinburgh Castle, whose towers and buildings were built over the span of nearly a millennium, overlooking the city.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This Asian cybercity is full of historic monuments, steel-clad skyscrapers, and lush parks boasting trendy design. While most of the world’s memorable skylines are located on large bodies of water, Kuala Lumpur’s skyline dominates with its unique combination of modern skyscrapers and natural greenery. Clearly distinguishable among its other buildings are the Petronas Twin Towers, with the world’s highest two-story bridge connecting them at 558 feet. The identical landmarks standing against the horizon are truly a sight to behold.
Manhattan, New York
As the true skyline standard, New York City is the epitome of impressive skyscrapers and classic vision. Due to the devastating attacks on September 11, 2001, its skyline has seen a drastic change in the last fifteen years, but the city has never been a stronger symbol of unity and perseverance. With world-renowned structures such as the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, and the new One World Trade Center, also known as the Freedom Tower, it’s no surprise that other cities look to New York for their skyline inspiration.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Like a mirage that suddenly appears in the desert, Dubai has an almost magical essence in the midst of an ocean of red sand. Marvel at this sparkling jewel on the coast of the Persian Gulf, where the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa (2,722 feet high at its tip), soars into the sky and seemingly into space. The impressive truth of Dubai is that the city never rests on its laurels and continues to push the limits of architecture and engineering. An unnamed new building addition to the Dubai skyline will be completed in 2020, amazingly surpassing Burj Khalifa in height.
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