When admiring the stunning architecture of impressive historical buildings, do not forget to step inside to discover the jewels hidden behind the old thick walls. Though the exterior may amaze you, it is the interior that will leave you speechless.
The St. Michael’s Monastery
The Byzantine golden decorations, mosaics, and frescoes embellish the interior of the historical St. Michael’s Monastery in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. Built in the 11th century by Sviatopolk II, the supreme ruler of the Kievan Rus, the complex comprises the Cathedral itself, the refectory and the monastery’s bell tower. Despite the fact that the exterior of the church has been rebuilt several times, the interior has kept its original Byzantine style.
The Shah Mosque
Unique blue tiles form an impressive mosaic that covers the walls of the Shah Mosque, a fine example of Persian architecture. This superb complex is located in Isfahan, the second largest city in Iran. The interior of the mosque, built in the 17th century, glitters with blue light of extraordinary intensity and the superb tile patterns capture the classic Iranian motifs of symbolic appeal for fruitfulness and effectiveness.
The Burgos Cathedral
The Burgos Cathedral, located in Burgos, is one of the most impressive and artistic churches that can be found in Spain. Its construction began in 1221 and went through important modifications in the 15th and 16th centuries. A delicate openwork vault, balconies, altars, chapels, beautiful stained glass windows and monuments make the interior of the cathedral a masterpiece of the Gothic style.
The Oxford Museum Of Natural History
The Oxford Museum of Natural History that emerged in Oxford, England, in the 19th century, can boast of a stunning interior hidden under a glass roof, supported by cast iron pillars and stone columns. The latter pillars were made from various British stone, carefully selected by the famed geologist, John Phillips. Among the museum’s main interior features is also superb stonework ornamentation of leaves and branches that underlines the scientific role of the building.
The Winchester Cathedral
The Winchester Cathedral in England has the longest nave and overall length among Gothic cathedrals in Europe. An amazing construction and a grand interior make the complex one of the most visited tourist attractions in Winchester. The stone vault brightened up by the clerestory windows is constructed of ribs and infill. The Winchester’s vault is one of the most interesting examples in Europe as many of the ribs do not begin at a pillar, but spring from other ribs.
The Museum of Marrakech
While in Morocco, one cannot miss the Museum of Marrakech. Located in the heart of the historic centre of Marrakech, the museum is housed in the Dar Menebhi Palace that was constructed at the end of the 19th century. Since 1997, the palace has served as a museum holding exhibits of modern and traditional Moroccan art. Still, the interior of the complex is far more interesting than the works of art themselves. The design of the building represents Andalusian architecture that can be found both in Spain and Northern Africa. Stunning tiles, mosaic and carvings, fountains in the central courtyard, traditional seating areas, artistically decorated windows, passages, archways and slender pillars – all these architectural elements form an amazing and unique structure of the museum.
The Notre-Dame Basilica
Grand and colourful is the interior of the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal, Canada. The first parish church was built on the site in 1672 and then rebuilt in mid-19th century. Today, the glittering interior of the basilica is one of the most unusual examples of the ecclesiastical architecture. The stain glass windows do not depict biblical scenes, but rather describe the history of Christianity in the city. The basilica is filled with hundreds of intricate wooden carvings, statues, and golden stars decorating the deep blue ceiling of the church.
The Geomineral Museum
The building of the Geomineral Museum in Madrid, Spain, that emerged between 1921 and 1940, is a jewel among the city’s buildings. The artistic stained glass roof supported by metal and polycarbonate frame is a masterpiece of architecture, and the wrought iron balconies as well as the geometrical patterns of the parquet flooring add splendour to the museum. The complex houses 250 glass cabinets where the visitors can admire 8000 mineral specimens from every region in Spain.
The Vatican Museums
The complex of the Vatican Museums, inside the Vatican City, is one of the world’s greatest museums both in terms of architecture and the exhibits. Founded by Pope Julius II in the 16th century and decorated by Raphael, a famed Italian painter and architect, the complex is actually a group of galleries, palaces and museums. Amazing ceilings covered with frescoes, mosaic floors, marble, decorative motifs that can be found in every hall, room and corner of the museums, make the Vatican complex’s interior stunningly beautiful.
The Blue Mosque
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque also known as the Blue Mosque, located in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey, is a stunning example of architecture that combines Byzantine elements with traditional Islamic motifs. The interior of the mosque is lined with around 20,000 handmade tiles of more than 50 different designs from traditional patterns to motifs of flowers, fruits and cypresses. Although the colours of many tiles have faded and changed during several hundreds of years (it was built between 1609 and 1616), the interior of the mosque remains quite impressive.