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Seven wonders of your country

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In your opinion, what are the seven wonders of your country?

For me, these are the seven architectural wonders of Spain. As you can imagine, it has been a difficult task to include just 7 monuments, so I've decided to choose very different architectural styles, hitorical periods and types of construction.


1. Aqueduct of Segovia

Location: Segovia

The Aqueduct of Segovia is a Roman aqueduct in Segovia, Spain. With the Pont du Gard in France, it is one of the best-preserved elevated Roman aqueducts.(+info)

2. Alhambra

Location: Granada

The Alhambra is a palace and fortress complex located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. It was originally constructed as a small fortress in AD 889 on the remains of Roman fortifications... (+info)

3. Walls of Avila

Location: Avila

The Walls of �vila in central Spain, completed between the 11th and 14th centuries, are the city of �vila's principal historic feature. These fortifications are the most complete in all of Spain. (+info)

4. Santiago de Compostela Cathedral

Location: Santiago de Compostela

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santiago de Compostela and is an integral component of the Santiago de Compostela World Heritage Site in Galicia, Spain. (+info)

5. El Escorial

Location: San Lorenzo del Escorial

The Royal Site of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, commonly known as El Escorial, is a historical residence of the King of Spain, in the town of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, about 45 kilometres (28 miles) northwest of the capital, Madrid, in Spain. (+info)

6. Sagrada Familia

Location: Barcelona

Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family is a large unfinished Roman Catholic church in Barcelona, designed by Catalan architect Antoni GaudÃ* (1852–1926). (+info)

7. Guggenheim Museum

Location: Bilbao

The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry, and located in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain. (+info)

Do you agree with my list? Which monuments would you include in it?
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Here is what I think most would list as the seven architectural wonders (or at at least the most iconic sights) of Norway.

  1. Nidaros cathedral in Trondheim. An Gothic cathedral originally built between 1070–ca. 1300, although the facade seen here was largely reconstructed in the 19th and the early 20th century.

  2. Borgund stave church. Believe to have been built in the 12th century and have largely been preserved since. It is considered to be best preserved of Norways stave church have been used as a model for restorations of other lesser preserved specimen.

  3. Old Fredrikstad star fort. It was built in the years 1663 to 1666 although most of the individual buildings inside the fort dates from the 19th century. It is also claimed to be North Europes best preserved "fortress city" but I don't know how accurate that is.

  4. The Bryggen wooden old Hanseatic commercial district in Bergen. The Bryggen district was established in the 11th century, but fires ravaged the buildings through the years as was customary in Norway at the time. As a result only a quarter of the building stock dates back to the Hanseatic period of the city while the rest are of a younger age.

  5. Oslo city hall. Construction was started in 1931 and the building was largely completed by the outbreak of world war 2, but the finishing touches and the inauguration had to wait until 1950 du to a Nazi occupation issue we experienced at the time. The inside is decorated with frescoes depicting Norwegian folklore.

  6. Oslo opera house. It opened in 2008. Apparently it is supposed to look like an ice berg and people can walk on it.

  7. Kilden concert arena in Kristiansand. It opened in 2012. I'm not sure what it is supposed to look like but I know that the public can definitively not walk on this facade.
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Here is what I think most would list as the seven architectural wonders (or at at least the most iconic sights) of Norway.
I feel like the Troll A platform should be in there somewhere. It may not be pretty to look at, but it's Norway's tallest structure and the biggest object ever moved, which has to count for something. Plus it represents the oil era very well. Then again, it might be more of an engineering wonder than an architectural one.

If I were to rank the engineering wonders of Norway, it would be something like this:

1. Ulla-Førre hydropower complex. A massive webwork of interlinked lakes, ponds, tunnels and pipes covering more than two thousand square kilometers, feeding power plants generating some 7.5 % of Norway's entire electricity production. Not very picturesque, though (and most of it is underground), so here's a picture of one of the dams.

2. The aforementioned Troll A oil platform. 472 meters tall, weighing 684,000 tons, it is the tallest and heaviest object ever moved. It pumps gas from 40 wells on the seabed off the Norwegian shore.

3. The Bergen railroad. Until the start of the 20th century, most transport between Norway's biggest cities happened by ship, as the mountains were considered impassable in winter. I've read somewhere that polar explorer Fridthiof Nansen is considered among the first to travel the overland distance in winter. Then in 1894 Parliament decided to shell out a sum roughly twice that of Norway's national budget to build a railroad across the mountains. It opened in 1909, finally giving Oslo and Bergen a year-round overland route.

4. Langeled pipeline. Another one from the gas industry, this time the 1166 km long gas pipeline sending natural gas from Norway to the UK along the seabed, by way of the offshore gas fields. Building it was one of the most complex engineering projects ever undertaken in Norway.

5. The Lærdal tunnel. Currently the world's longest road tunnel at 24.5 km in length. It ties together Lærdal and Aurland somewhere on the west coast, with a combined population of... uh, less than 4000 people. Yay for the oil-boosted economy! More importantly, it is part of the E16 highway, considered by some to be the main road between Oslo and Bergen. Its construction also finally provided a ferry-free road link between the two cities that was sure to be open in winter. This happened as late as in 2000, by the way.

6. The Hardanger bridge. It's a pretty long suspension bridge, and very narrow because Norwegian roads don't need to have that much capacity.

7. The Holmenkollen ski jump. It might not be the biggest or most attended ski jump in the world, but it is very iconic and is a landmark visible at long distances around Oslo. It was also Norway's most visited tourist attraction, at least until they stopped making the lists because of the high uncertainty in the data. It's a fair bet to say most visitors don't come for the ski jumping competitions (as those happen outside the tourist season), but it manages to be very photogenic in summer too! For the record, Austrian Andreas Kofler currently holds the ski jump record in Holmenkollen, at 141 meters.

All pictures from Wikipedia.
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Hell of a task to name just 7 in such a vast and rich country as Russia, so my list would be most subjective I guess.

Saint Basil's Cathedral, Moscow. Built in 1561.

This colorful teremok have come to be one of the instant symbols of Mother Russia. So, indispensable on any best of... list.

Peterhof Palace. This royal complex from the early 18th century with lush gardens, gilted fountain cascades, ornate sculptures and canals is an epitome of new imperial, European-inclined Russia that tsarPeter the Great had built.

The Motherland Calls!, Volgograd. For a long time upon construcion in 1967, this colossal satute in the heart of a hero city of the WW2 had been the tallest in the world surpassed only recently by few Buddhist ones and is still the largest non-religious sculpture in the world. Also, here's something that cannot be measured by mere meters and sizes — the whole ensemble and its message, formidable and heroic, is a thing to experience.

Kizhi Pogost, Karelia. Wooden complex built some 300 years ago in the Russian Northern tradition, somewhat akin to Norwegian one, without any nails (except the domes' shingles).

The Transsiberian Railway. The longest single railway in the world, whose construction spanned some 60 years overall from mid 19th century to 1916. It traverses 9288 kilometers and 7 time zones from Moscow to Vladivostok and the road can really give you a feel of the vastness of the country. The train travels for a whole week!

Russky bridge, Vladivostok. Completed in 2012 it's the longest cable-stayed bridge in the world by span, and at 321 meters pillars height it's the third tallest bridge globally.

Solovki monastery, since 1436. Eerie and solitary place with the strongest air of history, striving and pain about it. It had seen ravages, fires, a GULAG labor camp even, set up in Stalin's times, now it's a spiritual center as it should have always been.

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