The Most Amazing (Unknown) Buildings In the World

  • 26 Oct 2013
  • by
  • Architecture News
Chand Baori. Via Flickr CC User. Image © S. Le Bozec

What makes a building world-famous? The answer is most likely some combination of magnificence, size, and historical importance. But it’s far from an exact science, and many of the world’s most impressive architectural landmarks are therefore not very well known outside of their own locations.

Thankfully, this post on Quora sheds some light on the lesser-known architectural landmarks on the planet. Read on to find out which marvels you may have missed…

Airavatesvara temple. Via Flickr CC User. Image © Vinoth Chandar

The first thing which you might notice is that one part of the world is extremely over-represented on this list: India accounts for about half of all the world’s “little known landmarks” on the list. ArchDaily has previously discussed the forgotten and neglected state of India’s stepwells, and one of the largest and grandest, Chand Baori, tops the Quora list. There are also Indian temples such as the Airavateswarar Temple and palaces such as the one in Kanadukathan.

Stari Most. Via Flickr CC User. Image © Nick Kocharhook

Another trend in “forgotten architecture” is for Eastern European landmarks, whose history is heavily affected by the area’s socialist history. There is a particularly interesting history of Stari Most, a bridge that was the namesake for the town of Mostar in Herzegovina. Built in 1566 and destroyed in 1993 in the Bosnian War (part of the breakup of Yugoslavia), the bridge was finally rebuilt in 2004 and is once again the center of the town’s community.

Parliament Palace, Bucharest. Via Flickr CC user. Image © Gaspar Serrano

Also from Eastern Europe is Romania‘s Parliament Palace. Built in the 1980s by Communist dictator Nicholae Ceausescu, you would think this would be hard to forget about; it is generally regarded as one of the largest buildings in the world (it’s floor area is only exceeded by the Pentagon in the USA and the recently opened Century Global Center in Chengdu). Built in a neoclassical style from a million cubic meters of marble, it may still be the world’s heaviest building.

Choquequirao. Via Flickr CC User. Image © Danielle Pereira

Finally, there are buildings which, whilst impressive, are perhaps forgotten because they are overshadowed by far more famous twins. This is the case for Choquequirao (“The Other Machu Picchu”), Taj of the Deccan (“a poor man’s Taj Mahal”) and the “Great Wall of India” at Kumbhalgarh.

Taj of the Deccan. Via Flickr CC User. Image © Akshay Charegaonkar

Are there any other little-known architectural wonders that you know of? Let us know in the comments below.

Great Wall at Kumbhalgarh. Via Flickr CC User. Image © Dave Poortvliet
Cite: Stott, Rory. "The Most Amazing (Unknown) Buildings In the World" 26 Oct 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • hawari

    Did you forget borobudur and angkor wat ?

    • brothr

      they are probably too famous!

  • Jay

    Fatehpur Sikri ought to be featured here as well.

  • Jenny P
  • Thinh Vo

    Po Nagar, a Cham temple tower in Nha Trang, Vietnam.

  • Vat Jaiswal

    Nice post

  • Matt

    Great Zimbabwe

  • Rob Rickey

    The pyramids at Jebel Barkal in Sudan. Not as big as “the” pyramids but unique in design and remoteness.

  • YH shin

    Come on…
    Where is the Puma Punku?

  • Rohit Patel

    Stepwell at Adalaj, India

  • najib

    Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan in Perak, Malaysia

  • Bry

    Kailasanatha temple,and the Ellora and Ajhanta Caves. Maybe they are not completely unknown, but surely they are underestimated.

  • Sudar Khadka

    Patan durbar square or Bhaktapur in Nepal

  • steve

    Scara brae in the Orkney Islands; Cahokia in/near/under St. Louis, MO

  • anton

    Maybe you should consider the LDS temples that has amazing architectural designs which reflects the Holiness of the Lord. =)