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You've just got to see the Library of Parliament, located within the Parliament buildings in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Ranked as one of the "7 Wonder of Canada," but more famously recognized as the "most beautiful room in Canada," the library is the only remaining piece of the original 1876 Parliament building, surviving the destructive 1916 fire thanks to iron fire doors. Inside are 1 million documents and 11 miles of books and, up until very recently, a "no cameras" zone.
Visitors to the Library fall into one of two groups: members of Parliament and their staff, or members of there public making the official (and free!) Parliament tour. The latter would find themselves disappointed by a major rule: photography was strictly prohibited if the room had anyone in it, either staff or politician. Occasionally a weekend tour would get lucky and find an empty library, but viewing the room with all its lights on, a librarian stationed, and in active use brings out the spirit of the space.
El Salvador Travel / San Salvador Travel / Religion Travel / Architecture Travel / Central America Travel / → All Tags
El Salvador is a country filled to the brim with countless wonderful churches, so choosing just one to visit is quite the challenge. Should you go by architecture? Size? History? Importance? That’s all good, but what about choosing the church with the biggest element of pure surprise? In that case, it's got to be the Iglesia El Rosario in central San Salvador.
Built and designed in 1971 by local architect Ruben Martinez, it was constructed to withstand earthquakes. That practicality means that, from the outside, it resembles a disused wartime airplane hangar rather than an exquisite church. Even the cross in front is rusty and looks like it would be more at home as a mast on a ship. The cement walls have been darkened by nearly 50 years of auto exhaust and weather.
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Travelers to Paris this winter (and from now on) will enjoy improved views as a popular form of tourist graffiti has been cleared from bridges over the Seine River.
The "No Love Locks" movement of earlier this year, which protested the practice of attaching a heavy-duty lock to a bridge rail to "secure" a relationship, has been successful. While gaining signatures for the petition, No Love Locks estimated that the Pont de Arts Bridge alone was covered with 93 metric tons of extraneous metal. Aside from their being unsightly, the heavy use of these locks is a problem for the structural integrity of the historic bridges.
Are they art? No. Are they romantic? Maybe for the fleeting minute you attach a lock and then leave the bridge, making its clean-up Paris' problem. "It's vandalism, and it's taken the ambiance away from the bridges."
City officials began a mass removal of the locks in September, replacing them with plastic panels over the bridge architecture to prevent tourists from attaching more. And the difference is definitely noticeable.
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If you’ve been to San Francisco there’s little doubt that the Golden Gate Bridge was on your travel to-do list, and rightfully so—it’s pretty darn snazzy. Taking things to the next level involves actually getting out of the car and walking or biking across the bridge, but it sounds like there are plans to monetize that experience.
Nothing is official as of yet, but city officials are kicking around the idea of charging tolls to both pedestrians and cyclists making their way across the bridge. We don’t want to get political—nor would we know what we’re talking about—but it was a close vote. So now what they’re going to do is study things to see what kind of impact the tolls would have, and also likely how much cash they could raise. We’d imagine that bridge is pretty expensive to maintain.
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It seems like only yesterday the steel girders began to rise, but in reality that was 2010 and now NYC is on the cusp of welcoming the first tenants to One World Trade.
While Condé Nast (our publisher, in full disclosure) spends this winter moving downtown and into the tallest skyscraper in the western hemisphere, the topmost floors will be putting the finishing touches on the One World Observatory.
Due to debut in spring 2015, the attraction spans three floors (100-102) and 125,000 square feet, and promises "unique, panoramic views of New York City, its most iconic sites, and surrounding waters" after a zippy ride up in the elevators, or "Sky Pod" as One World Trade prefers to call them.
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During the summer Chicago is a paradise of outdoor festivals, concerts, and events, but that doesn't mean the fun must be restricted to warm days. Chicago works with its weather to promote a range of activities throughout the year, well into turtleneck and mitten weather.
Here's our round-up of the best Chicago events during the fall and winter:
Architecture Travel / Design Travel / TWA / JFK / New York City / Free Stuff / Events / OHNY / → All Tags
Attention architecture, history, design, aviation, and photography buffs! The TWA Flight Center at New York's JFK Airport will again be open to the public for one day: Saturday, October 11, from 11am to 3:30pm.
The reason? The 12th annual openhousenewyork festival (OHNY), a weekend event that flings open private doors to showcase typically hidden gems of the city over weekend of October 11-12.
Although OHNY began in 2002, the TWA Center has only been welcoming the OHNY public since 2011, and each year is typically considered the last chance to see it in this raw, restored state before developers re-purpose it. Recent plans, now shelved, involved turning it into a hotel, to be added to the property portfolio of hotelier Andre Balazs. His loss is our gain, and access will again be free on October 11.
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Listen in, because we have the scoop on Tokyo's newest tourist attraction. Tokyo Skytree may already be two years old but, in the grand scheme of things for Tokyo, it's still the hottest attraction for both locals and tourists to enjoy a birds-eye view of the planet's largest capital.
This addition to the expansive skyline serves a purpose higher than being a popular selfie spot; it's also a broadcast tower and the holder of the title of "World's Tallest Tower." Located on the east side of the Sumida River in a neighborhood that went by the name of Musashi, the Skytree revived the district and is now drawing tourists to discover beyond the usual centers of Harajuku and Ginza.
Up next for the airport is some kind of billion dollar shopping dome, so that you can spend that extra foreign currency—or just swipe the credit card—before you head out of town. The whole thing is known as Project Jewel, and included in the construction will be five-stories of fancy pants shops as well as an indoor garden. The icing on the cake is the circular waterfall that will cascade down right in the middle of the whole building.
A little bit of modern design is heading into airports across Italy in the form of new gate furniture. We’re used to the standard look and feel of the seats that fill the concourse and terminal, but now one firm is taking things to the next level with a simple—yet snazzy—"less is more" approach.
Poltrona Frau, whom you may remember as also having done the plush leather seats in Singapore Airlines Suites Class as well as Ferrari sports cars, are branching into airports. The seat has been dubbed "Flair" and it was launched in Milan last year. The first to score the swank seats is Bologna Airport, thanks to a little help from the architecture firm over at Progetto CMR.
Architecture Travel / Winter Travel / Spain Travel / Barcelona Travel / Finland Travel / Snow Travel / → All Tags
It's a must-do on a visit to Barcelona, and tourists can usually immediately identify the most iconic church the city has to offer: La Sagrada Familia. This Gaudi masterpiece stands tall in the metropolis and, despite the fact it's been 131 years since construction commenced, it still remains shrouded in safety tarps and scaffolding.
Now the Spaniards have a little competition thanks to some post-graduate students from Eindhoven University in the Netherlands and their quest to recreate the famous Gaudi structure in ice. This winter, the pair plans to carve an ice castle replica of the cathedral in Juuka, Finland, where the average temperatures hover around -4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
For those headed to Paris this summer, we have something else that you can add to your must-see list, as the city’s Piscine Molitor is back and better than ever. Over 25 years have passed since the public swimming pool was closed and turned into a canvas for graffiti artists, but now things are ready to welcome swimmers once again.
Head over to The Verge to read even more, as they have a great rundown of the before and after—as well as some great pictures of how things have changed over the decades.