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Every now and then, we hear about funny architectural fails where lack of taste meets poor aesthetics and greets atrocious execution. Check out our previous features with such examples here, here, and here.

But way more rarely do we hear news about impressive architecture, time-defying buildings, and incredible structures. This is because it’s way more difficult to create an architectural wonder that reflects our environment, values, history, artistic sensibility, and many other aspects of our daily life.

Luckily, there is this corner of Reddit that collects “the beautiful impossibilities that we want to live in” and shares them with its 1.3M members. The subreddit is dedicated to high-quality photographs of some of the most impressive, conceptual, and historical buildings on our planet. So pull your seat closer and scroll down! After you’re done, be sure to share part 1 of the article.

#1

Preserved Edo Period Neighborhood In Japan

Preserved Edo Period Neighborhood In Japan

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Roman Hans
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2 years ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Takayama, about five hours by train from Tokyo. It's wonderful. Will never forget a little store that made their own soy sauce. (Because I was the idiot who thought, "You can actually MAKE soy sauce?")

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#3

Spellbinding Bookstore In Chengdu, Sichuan, China

Spellbinding Bookstore In Chengdu, Sichuan, China

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“We’re fascinated by architecturally unique buildings because we live in a world where most goods are standardized and mass-produced—including the structures we inhabit,” Lisa Yaszek, a Regents Professor of Science Fiction Studies at Georgia Tech, told Bored Panda. Yaszek researches and teaches science fiction as a global language crossing centuries, continents, and cultures, and was happy to share some insights about architectural wonders with our readers.

According to Yaszek, “modern buildings depend on modular construction and prefabricated design, Western architectural trends that date back to the 1600s, when Parliament created the first modern building codes after the great fire of London in 1666 and when colonial settlers in America demanded homes built with English construction methods.”

#4

Ukraine - Lviv, Staircase In The House Of Scientists

Ukraine - Lviv, Staircase In The House Of Scientists

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#5

Hans & Gretel Pancake House In Zeewolde, Netherlands

Hans & Gretel Pancake House In Zeewolde, Netherlands

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#6

Kylemore Abbey In The Fog, Connemara, Galway, Ireland

Kylemore Abbey In The Fog, Connemara, Galway, Ireland

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kathryn stretton
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It's pictures like this that explain why Ireland is known as 'The emerald isle.'

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“Today, modular construction based on simple geometry and industrially produced components is used to create everything from houses to public buildings for the simple reason that it is extremely cost-effective,” the professor explained.

Moreover, “by way of contrast, both the very old and the very new, sometimes still conceptual buildings that people share on the ‘beautiful impossibilities we want to live in’ subreddit are anything but standardized boxes designed with cost-effectiveness in mind. Instead, these buildings tend toward the elaborate and surprising, whether that comes in the form of flowing organic lines, strangely abrupt geometries, or dizzying feats of engineering,” Yaszek explained.

#7

The Reading Room - Royal Portuguese Cabinet Of Reading - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

The Reading Room - Royal Portuguese Cabinet Of Reading - Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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#8

Nasir-Ol-Molk Mosque, Also Known As Pink Mosque, A Traditional Shiraz Mosque, Iran

Nasir-Ol-Molk Mosque, Also Known As Pink Mosque, A Traditional Shiraz Mosque, Iran

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#9

Stained Glass Ceiling Hotel - Gran Hotel Ciudad De México, Mexico City

Stained Glass Ceiling Hotel - Gran Hotel Ciudad De México, Mexico City

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Kevin Ber
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I have seen other hotels call themselves "Grand", this hotel means it.

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“Similarly,” she argues, “whether they are intricately detailed or severely plain, whether they dazzle the eye with a flurry of gem-like colors or invite it to rest peacefully on expanses of neutral blacks, grass, and whites, these beautiful impossibilities remind us that there are other, perhaps more important, values than efficiency.”

Yaszek explained that “instead, these buildings are literal monuments to human creativity, ingenuity, and perseverance—especially since so many of these architectural marvels were constructed before modern materials, machinery, and in some cases, even before modern math!”

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#10

Les Espaces D'abraxas, France

Les Espaces D'abraxas, France

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Moo Moo Futch
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Has anyone been inside one? I look at them and I'm fascinated by how from above you can't really see them but inside I imagine they might be quite dark.

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#11

Hawa Mahal In Jaipur, India

Hawa Mahal In Jaipur, India

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Alexandria Tyme
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Palace of the winds, it was so the ladies of the palace could watch parades without being seen. I went there in 2019, it was amazing, but I love all of India

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#12

A Beautiful House Surrounded By Rock And Trees In Hrensko

A Beautiful House Surrounded By Rock And Trees In Hrensko

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The professor believes that it’s no surprise that many of the people who comment on these images compare them to fairy tales and/or science fiction: "these buildings are so outside our everyday experience that we cannot help but think they must be from other times and worlds.”

“Finally, I love how these images bring people together, as viewers pool their knowledge of history, art, and culture to help each other make sense of the wonderful buildings and their origins. Imagine how fun it would be if we could all exchange our ideas about these buildings from inside, while exploring them together,” Yaszek concluded.

#14

The Inflatable "Gaia" Installation In The 18th Century Baroque Painted Hall Of The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, UK

The Inflatable "Gaia" Installation In The 18th Century Baroque Painted Hall Of The Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, UK

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Robert T
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The "Gaia" installation is doing a tour around various buildings in the UK. See https://my-earth.org/about/

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#15

Pietragalla, Italy

Pietragalla, Italy

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#16

Leuven Town Hall (1448-1469) Belgium, One Of The Best-Known Gothic Town Halls Worldwide & It Took Three Architects And Thirty Years To Build It

Leuven Town Hall (1448-1469) Belgium, One Of The Best-Known Gothic Town Halls Worldwide & It Took Three Architects And Thirty Years To Build It

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#17

Art Nouveau Facade Of A Jewelry Store In Lille, Hauts-De-France, Northern France

Art Nouveau Facade Of A Jewelry Store In Lille, Hauts-De-France, Northern France

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#18

Château Frontenac, Quebec City, Canada

Château Frontenac, Quebec City, Canada

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#19

Wisteria Covered Terraced House In Argyll Road, Kensington, London, UK

Wisteria Covered Terraced House In Argyll Road, Kensington, London, UK

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#20

Kailasa Temple In Ellora, India Made From A Single Rock

Kailasa Temple In Ellora, India Made From A Single Rock

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Izzy
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

my brain can't even fathom the skill of architects, construction workers, planners, designers etc making structures from multiple pieces, never mind ones made from a single rock like this! and the fact that it's a very ancient building as well -- they were crazy freaking talented, and creative to be able to accomplish such feats w just their hands, mind and cruder/basic tools. mind: BLOWN

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#22

Trinity College Library - Dublin, Ireland

Trinity College Library - Dublin, Ireland

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Jody Brown
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

From the rare vantage point of upstairs. I wish we had been allowed to go upstairs when we were there last week.

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#23

Paris, France

Paris, France

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HarriMissesScotland
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I know I can't afford the rent, but just seeing that door everyday would make me happy.

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#24

Mvrdv's Brand New Housing Complex In Amsterdam, Netherlands

Mvrdv's Brand New Housing Complex In Amsterdam, Netherlands

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#25

This Restaurant In Paris Looking Like A Museum

This Restaurant In Paris Looking Like A Museum

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#26

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - Boston

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum - Boston

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Ekaterina S
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There is a documentary of this place concerning a heist which took place there!

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#27

The 18th Babrican Gate Of Tollymore Forest, Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland

The 18th Babrican Gate Of Tollymore Forest, Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland

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Robert Trebor
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Barbican Gate: A barbican (from Old French: barbacane) is a fortified outpost or fortified gateway, such as at an outer defense perimeter of a city or castle, or any tower situated over a gate or bridge which was used for defensive purposes.

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#28

Church In The Rock

Church In The Rock

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#29

A Traditional Medieval Cave House With A Courtyard Found In The Desert Of Libya

A Traditional Medieval Cave House With A Courtyard Found In The Desert Of Libya

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#31

Astronomical Tower In Prague, Czech Republic

Astronomical Tower In Prague, Czech Republic

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Ozymandias73
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I marvel at this every time I see pictures of this. Thanks to my late great aunt, I have a fascination for clocks.

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#32

Baps Akshardham Temple, Delhi, India

Baps Akshardham Temple, Delhi, India

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Robert Trebor
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

If our time doesn't build beautiful places, what does that say about us? We applaud previous generations for beauty, but complain about the now.

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#33

The Iconic San Francisco Cliff House Before It Was Destroyed In A 1907 Fire

The Iconic San Francisco Cliff House Before It Was Destroyed In A 1907 Fire

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#34

Castillo De Colomares, Spain

Castillo De Colomares, Spain

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Katinka Min
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A monument to celebrate Christopher Columbus. It looks great, but I wish it had a different purposse.

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#35

Drachenburg Castle In Germany, Built In 1884

Drachenburg Castle In Germany, Built In 1884

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Mathieu Brouwers
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

In the second half of the 19th century, those who could afford it would build their own folly. This is possibly the world's largest. I agree you can live in it, but for the rest ...

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#36

Four Seasons Resort. Bali

Four Seasons Resort. Bali

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#37

Opera Garnier In Paris

Opera Garnier In Paris

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Pernille.
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Always keep your hands at the level of your head! (Phantom reference, please don't downvote me, I can so rarely remember quotes :))

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#38

Hammam Essalihine Is A Roman Bathhouse Still In Use After 2,000 Years In Khenchela, Algeria

Hammam Essalihine Is A Roman Bathhouse Still In Use After 2,000 Years In Khenchela, Algeria

KantKay11 Report

#39

The Fox Theater's Stage From The Main Floor

The Fox Theater's Stage From The Main Floor

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A.M. Pierre
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is in Detroit, Michigan, USA. There's also a Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia, USA, which is not quite this elaborate but also isn't that far off, either.

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#40

Niagara Mohawk Building Built In Art Deco Style, NYC

Niagara Mohawk Building Built In Art Deco Style, NYC

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#41

Durbar Hall Of Mysore Palace, India

Durbar Hall Of Mysore Palace, India

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#42

Spectacular Adalaj Stepwell In Ahmedabad, India

Spectacular Adalaj Stepwell In Ahmedabad, India

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#43

30th Street Station In Philly Is Like An Art Deco Cathedral

30th Street Station In Philly Is Like An Art Deco Cathedral

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aubergine10003
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

A shame a lot of the walls are covered with giant banners of advertisements...this photo must've been taken during a transition or something.

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#46

Harbin Opera House Designed By Mad Architects

Harbin Opera House Designed By Mad Architects

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#49

Yemen

Yemen

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Brittney Sparks
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2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Love how every other one is a specific building and then it goes .... Yemen! Like the whole thing lol

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#50

Federal-Style House In The Snow, Washington, D. C

Federal-Style House In The Snow, Washington, D. C

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Katinka Min
Community Member
2 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I want tall windows! But it's an attic. I WANT TALL WINDOWS!!

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Note: this post originally had 107 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.