I have always been interested in beautiful domes around the world, gardens and lighthouses. While lighthouses remind me that there is always a glimmer of light to follow in the storm of life, gardens make me feel free. I love the shape and material of domes. Their wonderful architecture is the expression of a historical era. They can be colorful, multifaceted, spherical, squared. I also like the idea of what kind of wonderful masterpiece can be hidden inside a dome. Looking at them from a terrace at sunset while I enjoy a drink is really amazing! Here’s an overview of the most beautiful domes around the world not to miss on your vacation.
1) Gur-e Amir Mausoleum, Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The Mausoleum is the place where the conqueror Timur and some member of his family were buried. There is a curious legend about it: in 1941 the archaeologist Mikhail Gerasimov opened the tomb and confirmed that Timur and his grandson Ulugh Beg were there. He also found an incision that said “Whoever disturbs my tomb will unleash an invader more terrible than I”. Creepy! The gorgeous blue dome is decorated with stars and white dots.2) Church of Santa Maria Assunta, Positano. The Church overlooking the Marina Grande beach has a wonderful dome made of majolica green, yellow and blue tiles shining under the rays of the sun. The yellow is the symbol of the sun, the green is the symbol of vegetation and blue of the sea.3) Putrajaya Mosque, Malaysia. The mosque of Putrajaya has a beautiful pink granite dome with a tall minaret.4) Hofburg Palace, Vienna. The Palace is the winter residence of the Habsburgs. It overlooks the square Michaelerplatz. The elliptical and green dome is really awesome!5) Kizhi Pogost, Church of the Transfiguration, Kizhi, Russia. This beautiful church in Kizhi island is considered UNESCO World Heritage Centre. It is the expression of Russian and Finnish Scandinavian region. It consists of 22 domes covered in aspen and the roofs are made of spruce planks. It overlooks the Lake Onega.6) Budapest Parliament, Hungary. The red dome of Hungarian Parliament contrasts with the blue sky. The sloping roofs are enriched with spiers, arches, windows and turrets which are the expression of neo-Gothic architecture. The dome is 96 meters high.7) San Pietro Church, Rome. The Church of San Pietro in the Vatican is the most imposing and colossal church of Catholicism. The majestic dome was designed by Michelangelo Buonarroti. You have to climb it, if you want to enjoy a breathtaking view of Rome.8) Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi. This is one of the biggest mosques in the world. It has 80 domes. The first ceremony of the mosque was the funeral of Sheikh Zayed. His body has been buried here. The stunning white domes sparkle in the sun. At night the domes are lightened by a system which reflect the phases of moon.9) Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. The silver dome of Hagia Sophia is something extraordinary. The bricks have been brought from Rhodes to build the dome.10) Taj Mahal, Agra, India. This stunning white marble palace, UNESCO World Heritage Centre, was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife died. The white dome is a fine piece of art!11) St. Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow. Nine churches are built around a central church; each chapel is dedicated to saints and historical events. It is said that the architect was blinded not to build a copy of it! The domes are bright and colorful!12) Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock was built by the Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan. It is an excellent example of Byzantine art. The golden dome is stunning!13) Shah Vali Shrine Nematollah, Iran. The Mausoleum is dedicated to Shah Nematollah Vali, the renowned Iranian mystic and poet. The dome and twin minarets are covered with turquoise tiles.14) Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence. Santa Maria del Fiore is the Cathedral of Florence. The dome by Brunelleschi is an octagonal dome built without the use of ribs (wooden or iron) to support the masonry. If you are planning a romantic day in Florence don’t miss my tips!15) Sheikh-Lotfollah Mosque, Iran. This mosque was known as “the mosuqe of women” because in the past it was a tunnel which linked it with the palace of Ali Ghapu, and allowed women of the court to attend the religious services without being observed. The exterior dome exterior is covered with cream tiles that change hue according to the light of day. The summit tiles are turquoise and white.16) St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. The dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral gives you a stunning view of London!17) Sant’Agata Cathedral, Catania. The dome of the Cathedral dates from the early nineteenth. Here is my 3 days Catania itinerary.18) United States Capitol. The US Capitol’s dome, made of cast iron, was designed by Thomas U. Walter and constructed from 1855-1866.
19) Blue Dome, Santorini. Santorini is not only popular for its fabulous sunsets, but also for its lovely white blue-domed Orthodox churches that often stand out of the caldera.20) Qolsarif Qol Sharif Mosque, Kazan, Russia. The Qolsharif Mosque is the main Muslim temple in Kazan. The minarets and blue domes are really stunning.21) Sultan Hassan & Al-Rifa’i Mosque, Cairo. Al-Rifa’i is one of the largest mosques in Cairo and an expression of Islamic architectural styles. It is next to Sultan Hassan Mosque and took 43 years to be built. The mosque houses the remains of several members of the Egyptian royal family.22) Catherine’s Palace, Pushkin, St. Petersburg. The Catherine Palace is a Rococo palace which is located in the town of Tsarskoye Selo (Pushkin). Empress Elizabeth chose it as her summer residence. Lokk at the golden onion domes!23) Church of the Trinity in Nikitniki, Moscow, Russia. The Trinity Church in Nikitniki was completed in 1656. The decorations are typical of Russian baroque. It has 5 wonderful green onion domes with painted tiles.
24) . The central golden dome is surrounded by four blue domes with bright stars. Ivan the Terrible commissioned it in 1559 to celebrate the victory over the Mongols. It was completed 26 years later. It is even more fascinating when snow covers the domes.25) Holy Trinity Monastery, Kostroma Ipatievsky. Ipatievsky Holy Trinity Monastery stands on the banks of the River Kostroma. The monastery with onion domes was built in the 14th century.26) Basilica of San Marco, Venice. The charm of this Chruch is priceless. It is characterized by domes covered with mosaics and dominates San Marco Square.27) Church of the Grand Palace, Peterhof. Peterhof is a town 47 Kilometres from St. Petersburg. It was the summer residence of the Russian tsars and it is often called the “Russian Versailles”. The Palace is UNESCO World Heritage Centre.28) Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Sofia, Bulgaria. This Cathedral was built in Neo-Byzantine style. The gold-domed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral to remember the 200,000 Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian and Bulgarian soldiers, who died in the Russo-Turkish War. The golden dome is 45 metres high.29) Shwezigon Paya, Bagan. The golden Shwezigon Paya is one of the most significant religious buildings in Myanmar.
There are a lot of beautiful domes around the world! Let me know if you would want to add some domes to the list! 🙂