- Travel and Places
European Parliament Buildings Pt. 1
This will be a series that collects photos and some information together concerning Europe's parliament buildings. From the amazing to the nondescript, these buildings truly come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and styles. I'll cover states that are European Union members and also those that are not in a truly continent wide survey of the buildings that house the decision making processes of countries.
The Hungarian Parliament is the largest building in Hungary and arguably one of the most beautiful parliament buildings in the world. It is one of Europe's oldest legislative buildings. The building was built upon the plans of architect Imre Steindl after winning an international design competition. Building was started in 1885 and finished in 1904, with the official inauguration having taken place in 1896, during the 1000th anniversary of the Magyar tribes arriving in present day Hungary. The building is in the Gothic Revival style, similar to the Palace of Westminster in London. The building makes for an imposing view when seen from across the Danube from the Buda side of the city.
The National Assembly Building in Ljubljana is in stark contrast to the one in Budapest. It was built between 1954 and 1959 in a typically communist style. Much of the three story building looks like any other bland office building anywhere else in the world. The most interesting features are the oak doors of the main portal, and the intertwined statues of everyday familial scenes around the portal.
The building was built between 1948 and 1950 to the the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia. The building was designed to fit in to its surroundings and to be on a human scale. There is much greenery around the building as well, giving it a park like feel. The building's architect was given the State Prize of the USSR in 1951, as Armenia was then a part of the Soviet Union. It is still considered one of the best architectural designs of the Soviet period. The light orange color of the building mixes especially well with the green grass of the well kept lawn and the blue skies that are common over the city.
Home to Italy's Lowe House since 1871, the building was built by Bernini for Pope Innocent X in 1650. It was only completely finished in around 1700 when it became a law court. Though the building has been much altered from its original state, the clock tower, columns and window sills are the originals. In fact, the back of the building was built in the early 1900s in the Art Nouveau in order to house the expanding size of the Italian parliament.
Probably one of the most cozy parliament buildings in the world, it resembles an old English country estate. Don't let appearances fool you though, the Icelandic Althing houses the oldest parliamentary institution in the world. The institution itself was founded in the year 940 AD. The building itself was built in 1880-1881. The building was designed by a Danish architect and was built using hewn dolerite rock. The University of Iceland was actually housed on the first floor of the building between 1911 and 1940, and the President of the country had his offices in the building as well until 1973. There are plans to build more government buildings on an area currently being occupied by a parking lot next to the building.
- Europe's Parliament Buildings Pt. 2
Part 2 of my series which takes a quick look at the parliament buildings of Europe.