Most Beautiful Mosques in the World

Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is an historic mosque in Istanbul. The most beautiful mosque in the world was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I.

The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. Its Külliye contains a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. While still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction.

Kul Sharif Mosque, Kazan, Russia

Kul Sharif is located in the western part of the Kazan Kremlin and it is a symmetrical composition with the building in the center of the courtyard of the mosque. The capacity of the mosque is designed for one and a half thousand people and ten more thousand can be set in the square in front of the mosque. There are also two observation balconies inside the mosque for tourist excursions.

Cologne Central Mosque, Cologne, Germany
The Cologne Central Mosque in Cologne-Ehrenfeld was designed by architect Paul Böhm. The building complex in Ottoman style consists of a 35 meter high dome and two 55 meter high minarets. It is supposed to accommodate 1200 believers. Directly below the prayer room there is an auditorium. It is complemented by the administration of the DİTİB (Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs), a library, training and conference rooms, shops and service outlets and an underground parking.

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, Bander Seri Begawan, Brunei
Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is a royal Islamic mosque located in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of the Sultanate of Brunei. The mosque considered one of the most beautiful mosques in the Asia Pacific and a major landmark and tourist attraction of Brunei.

Faisal Mosque, Islamabad, Pakistan 

The Faisal Mosque is the largest mosque in Pakistan, located in the national capital city of Islamabad. Completed in 1986, it was designed by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay to be shaped like a desert Bedouin's tent lacking both the traditional domes and arches of most other mosques around the world. The Mosque has covered area of 5,000 m2. It can accommodate 10,000 worshipers in its main prayer hall, 24,000 in its porticoes, 40,000 in its courtyard and another 200,000 in its adjoining grounds.

Malacca Straits Mosque, Malacca state, Malaysia

The Malacca Straits Mosque is a mosque located on the man-made Malacca Island near Malacca Town in Malacca state, Malaysia. It looks like a floating structure if the water level is high. Construction cost of the mosque is about MYR10 million. The Opening Ceremony was done on the 24th of November 2006 by the Supreme Ruler of Malaysia (Yang di-Pertuan Agong) Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Syed Putra Jamalullail.

Cano Cristales River : The Most Beautiful River in the World

Cano Cristales River – River Of Rainbow
Cano Cristales, the Most Beautiful River in the World,  is a Colombian river located in the Serrania de la Macarena, province of Meta. The river is commonly called "The River of Five Colors."
Also called "The LiquidRainbow" or even "The Most Beautiful River in the World" due to the striking colors like yellow, green, blue, black, and especially the red of the Macarenia clavigera at the bottom of the river giving it a unique appearance.

Caño Cristales River is around 100 km long and 20 meter wide. It is located in a remote, isolated area not easily accessible by road. Adventurous tourists can now fly into the nearby town of La Macarena. From there it is a short trip into "Serrania de la Macarena," the national park in which Caño Cristales is located.

For a brief period of time every year, the river blossoms in a vibrant explosion of colors. During the short span between the wet and dry seasons, when the water level is just right, a unique species of plant that lines the river floor called Macarenia clavigera turns a brilliant red. It is offset by splotches of yellow and green sand, blue water, and a thousand shades in between. This only happens for a brief period in between seasons. During Colombia's wet season, the water flows too fast and deep, obscuring the bottom of the river and denying the Macarenia clavigera the sun that it needs to turn red. During the dry season there is not enough water to support the dazzling array of life in the river. But for a few weeks from September through November, the river transforms into a veritable living rainbow.

Neuschwanstein Castle: The Most Beautiful Castle in the World

Neuschwanstein Castle, Schwangau, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle, the most beautiful castle in the world is a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace on a rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany.
The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner.

The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. Since then over 60 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle. More than 1.3 million people visit annually, with up to 6,000 per day in the summer. The palace has appeared prominently in several movies.

The palace was erected as a conventional brick construction and later encased in various types of rock. The white limestone used for the fronts came from a nearby quarry. The sandstone bricks for the portals and bay windows came from Schlaitdorf in Württemberg. Marble from Untersberg near Salzburg was used for the windows, the arch ribs, the columns and the capitals.

The Throne Hall was a later addition to the plans and required a steel framework.The palace complex is entered through the symmetrical Gatehouse flanked by two stair towers. The eastward-pointing gate building is the only structure of the palace whose wall area is fashioned in high-contrast colours; the exterior walls are cased with red bricks, the court fronts with yellow limestone. The roof cornice is surrounded by pinnacles.

Neuschwanstein is a global symbol of the era of Romanticism. The palace served as a model for the Sleeping Beauty Castle of Disneyland and became a location for films such as Helmut Käutner's Ludwig II (1955), Luchino Visconti's Ludwig (1972) and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968). Today, with 1.3 million visitors per year Neuschwanstein is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. For security reasons the palace can only be visited during a 35-minute guided tour. There are also special guided tours that focus on specific topics. In the peak season from June until August, Neuschwanstein has up to 6000 visitors per day, and guests without advance reservation may have to wait several hours. Ticket sales are processed exclusively via the ticket centre in Hohenschwangau. As of 2008, the total number of visitors was more than 60 million. In 2004, the revenues were booked as €6.5 million.

Malbork Castle: The Largest Castles in the World

Malbork Castle, Malbork, Poland
The castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork is the largest castle in the world by surface area, and the largest brick building in Europe. It was built in Prussia by the Teutonic Knights. 

The castle is a classic example of a medieval fortress and, on its completion in 1406, was the world's largest brick castle. UNESCO designated the "Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork" and the Malbork Castle Museum as the World Heritage Site in December 1997. It is one of two World Heritage Sites in the region with origins in the Teutonic Order.

The castle was expanded several times to house the growing number of Knights. Soon, it became the largest fortified Gothic building in Europe, on a nearly 52-acre site. The castle has several subdivisions and numerous layers of defensive walls. It consists of three separate castles - the High, Middle and Lower Castles, separated by multiple dry moats and towers. The castle once housed approximately 3,000 "brothers in arms". The outermost castle walls enclose 52 acres, four times the acreage of the enclosed space of Windsor Castle. The developed part of the property designated as a World Heritage Site is 44.57 acres.