Published April 22, 2016. Beautiful buildings stand the test of time, imprinting in history a reminder of the rich culture of societies past. Raconteur presents the world’s most beautiful buildings as voted for by over 400 readers and architects.

Buildings have the power to transform a space into a place. Whether consciously or not, we all make an emotional connection with the buildings in our milieu. For some this connection may have been established the first time they set their eyes on the glittering Taj Mahal, framed by the arches of the entrance hall. For others, the towering dominance of the Empire State Building is printed in the depths of their memory, reminding them of the foundations of New York’s economic and cultural leadership.

So, what makes a building beautiful? Clichéd as it may sound, beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder. Our individual tastes and personal journeys make us unique and the 1,200 votes in our survey have revealed architectural treasures from far and wide. From the East to the West, remnants of ancient civilisations feature alongside modern high-rise structures. Travel with us through our readers’ pick of the world’s most beautiful buildings, there may even be some undiscovered gems and surprises along the way.

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