Can You Match These Famous Buildings Around the World to Their Cities?

By: Marie Hullett
Image: fiftymm99 / Moment / Getty Images

About This Quiz

From ambitious contemporary works by renowned architects to incredible feats from ancient peoples, every building reveals its own unique story. Some of the most famous tell tales of kings, wars and fire, or demonstrate the impressive intellectual and physical stamina of ancient peoples. They often serve as works of art that remind us of the immense creative potential of humankind. And of course, they have provided shelter and for so many over generations. 

From Rome's nearly 2,000-year-old Colosseum to Dubai's 830-meter-tall Burj Khalifa, many iconic buildings of the world serve as landmarks for the city where they're located. Many people immediately picture the Eiffel Tower when they think of Paris, or the Space Needle when they think of Seattle. They are more than just buildings: They're enduring cultural symbols. Sure, some of these monuments have been destroyed, rebuilt and rebuilt again, but they remain as iconic as ever. 

So, how many of these buildings can you correctly match to their cities? Do you know where the Gateway Arch is? What about the Dancing House or Hagia Sofia? Do you recognize the flying buttresses on that gothic cathedral? Take a look at the following photos to test your architectural knowledge once and for all. 

Under the supervision of Byzantine emperor Justinian I, the Hagia Sophia was built in the 6th century of what was at the time Constantinople. Also called the Church of Holy Wisdom, the Hagai Sophia is considered the most important structure of the Byzantine Empire.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is located in Manhattan, New York City's Upper East Side neighborhood. The Guggenheim is of the most famous galleries in the world, and it shows constantly rotating works of impressionist, modern and contemporary art.

The Taj Mahal, which means "Crown of the Palaces," is a marble mausoleum commissioned in 1632 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the city of Agra. Jahan built the structure for the tomb of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The structure also contains the tomb of Shah Jahan.

Croatian-Czech architect Vlado Milunić and Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry designed this iconic building, which Gehry nicknamed Dancing House or Fred and Ginger. It was constructed on a historic site where the U.S. bombed and destroyed a house in 1945. The 1992-1996 construction of the building received criticism due to the stark difference between the zany style and the Baroque, Art Nouveau and Gothic structures that dominated Prague.

Nestled in France's beautiful Loire Valley, Château de Chenonceau is one of the country's best known châteaux. Historical documents reference the estate as far back as the 11th century, but the current structure was built some time between 1514 and 1522 on the foundation of an old mill.

Architect Oscar Niemeyer designed the Niterói Contemporary Art Museum in 1996 in partnership with engineer Bruno Contarini. In the film "Oscar Niemeyer, An Architect Committed to His Century," the architect is pictured flying over the city in a UFO that lands on the building.

Architects Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano and Gianfranco Franchini designed the Centre Georges Pompidou, which was opened to the public in 1977. The Centre is home to an expansive public library, Europe's largest modern art collection and a center for music research.

The 630-foot-tall stainless steel Gateway Arch in Missouri is the tallest monument in the Western Hemisphere. The architect, Finnish-American Eero Saarinen, designed the structure in 1947; the government commissioned it as a symbol of westward expansion of the U.S. It is often dubbed "The Gateway to the West."

Nicknamed The Gherkin and officially called 30 St Mary Axe, this iconic skyscraper was opened in April 2004. It reaches 591 feet tall and has 41 floors. The name comes from the site it was built on: the former land of the Baltic Exchange (24-28 St Mary Axe), a global marketplace headquarters for shipping freight and commodities.

Also known as the Mezquita, the Mosque-Catchedral of Córdoba is one of the most monumental achievements in Moorish architecture. According to historians, the Catholic Basilica of Saint Vincent of Lérins used to exist on the site. Then, in 784, Abd al-Rahman I commanded the Great Mosque's construction. When Córdoba returned to Christian rule in 1236 during the Reconquista, the building was reverted into a Roman-Catholic church.

The Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, commonly known as Westminster Abbey, is a Gothic church and was formerly a Benedictine monastic church prior to the dissolution of the monastery in 1539. Until 1556, the building maintained cathedral status. Now, it's a officially a "Church of England."

The Dresden Frauenkirche is a Lutheran church. It possesses one of the largest domes in Europe and is a demonstration of Protestant sacred architecture. The original structure was destroyed by the Dresden bombing of World War II and rebuilt in 2004, following the reunification of Germany.

Designed by architect Bruce Price, this historic luxury hotel first opened to the public in 1893 as one of the first grand railway hotels. In 1981, the Canadian government deemed it a National Historic Site of Canada.

Also called the Flavian Amphitheater, the Ancient Colosseum is the largest amphitheater ever constructed. Emperor Vespasian oversaw construction of the project starting in AD 72; it was finished in AD 80 under his successor, Titus. At the time, it could hold an estimated 80,000 spectators, who would gather to watch spectacles like mock sea battles, gladiatorial contests, animal hunts, plays and executions.

The One World Trade Center in NYC is the tallest building in the U.S. and the sixth tallest in the world. It has the same name as the World Trade Center's North Tower, which was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The Lotus Temple is a Bahá'í House of Worship in India, which means that it's open to everyone, regardless of religious affiliation or other distinctions. In 2001, CNN called it the most visited building in the world. Architect Fariborz Sahba built it in 1986; since then, it has garnered numerous architectural awards. It consists of 27 "petals" that form nine sides.

The Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed, also known as St. Basil’s Cathedral, was constructed in 1561. During the 16th and 17th centuries, it was hailed by Byzantine Christians as "Jerusalem." Since 1991, it has served as a State Historical Museum with infrequent church services.

Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik commanded the construction of the Dome of the Rock during the Second Fitna on the site of the Second Jewish Temple, which was destroyed in the Roman Siege of Jerusalem. It was then rebuilt in 1022 after collapsing in 1015. Modeled after Byzantine palaces and churches in surrounding areas, the Islamic shrine is one of the oldest works of Islamic architecture still standing.

Casa Milà is commonly known as La Pedrera, which translates to "the stone quarry." In 1906, wealthy Spanish couple Pere Milà and Roser Segimon commissioned the building, which at the time was perceived as controversial for its twisting facade. In 1984, UNESCO dubbed it a world Heritage Site.

The Forbidden City served as the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty through the Qing dynasty, or from 1420 to 1912. Formerly the home of emperors and their families, the city consists of over 980 buildings and covers more than 180 acres. Today, it houses the Palace Museum.

The Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familía is a Roman Catholic church consecrated in November 2010 by Pope Benedict XVI. Construction of the church began in 1882 under the leadership of architect Francisco de Paula de Villar, who resigned in 1883. Gaudí took over and transformed the project with the implementation of Gothic and Art Nouveau elements; he worked on it until his death in 1926. It remains unfinished.

Called the London Bridge Tower, the "Shard" or the "Shard of Glass," this 1,016-foot-tall skyscraper was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. It was built in 2012 and is the tallest building in the United Kingdom. The viewing gallery and open-air observation deck make it a very popular tourist destination.

Le Mont-Saint-Michel is both an island and commune in Normandy that has a total population of 50. Since 8th century AD, the island has been the seat of the monastery from which it's named. The commune remained undefeated during the Hundred Years' War.

Bran Castle is a fortress that sits on the border between Walachia and Transylvania. Although it's sometimes called "Dracula's Castle," it's not the home of the titular character in Bram Stoker's novel; the person Stoker based Dracula on is from Romania, though.

The 420-acre complex of Angkor Wat was originally built as a Hindu temple devoted to the god Vishnu during the Khmer Empire. Near the end of the 12th century, though, it was turned into a Buddhist temple.

Also known as the Blue Mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque was built between 1609 and 1619 under the rule of Ahmed I. The mosque houses Ahmed's tomb, a hospice and a religious school. It's situated next to the famous Hagia Sophia.

Located in Manhattan and constructed in 1931, the Chrysler Building was the tallest building in the world for just 11 months until the Empire State Building beat it. Chrysler Corporation head Walter Chrysler constructed it, and the building served as the company's headquarters for a couple decades.

Sacré-Cœur is a minor basilica consecrated in 1919. In addition to a holy monument, it's also viewed as a symbol of the defeat of France in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. It sits at the butte Montmartre summit, the highest point in Paris.

During the Chinese invasion of 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama fled Potala Palace and went to India. The palace was named after the mythical dwelling Mount Potalaka, home to Avalokiteśvara, whom represents the compassion of all Buddhas. The 5th Dalai Lama began the construction of the palace in 1645.

Danish architect Jørn Utzon designed the iconic Sydney Opera House in 1973. More than 1.2 million people attend the more than 1,500 performances per year that the center hosts, and more than 8 million people from across the world visit the attraction annually.

Renowned architect Frank Gehry designed the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, which King Juan Carlos of Spain inaugurated in 1997. The building brought a major economic boom to the Basque economy, and architecture experts regularly rank the structure as among the most important works completed since 1980. After the success of Gehry's design, critics started dubbing the revitalization of cities through iconic architecture as the "Bilbao effect."

The Pantheon is a former Roman temple that now serves as a church. The original site held a temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during Augustus' reign from 27 BC to 14 AD, which burnt down. The emperor Hadrian then completed the new temple some time around 126 AD. It remains one of the best-maintained of all Ancient Roman buildings.

Construction on the Burj Khalifa began in 2004 and was completed in 2009, when it officially became the tallest building in the world. Taipei 101 in Taiwan previously held the title. The building design draws inspiration from local Islamic architecture, like the Great Mosque of Samarra.

Renowned Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi designed the São Paulo Museum of Art, which was erected in 1968. The bright red-and-blue building is considered a symbol of modern Brazilian architecture and is home to a extensive collection of European, Brazilian, African and Asian art.

At the time of its 1902 completion, the Flatiron Building was one of the tallest buildings in the world and considered a "skyscraper." These days, it serves as a quintessential NYC landmark.

The Sistine Chapel is a chapel inside the Apostolic Palace, which is the Pope's official residence. The chapel was named after Pope Sixtus IV, who restored its construction between 1477 and 1480. Renaissance painters including Sandro Botticelli, Pietro Perugino and Pinturicchio created the chapel's frescos. Today, it serves as the official papal conclave site.

The Great Mosque of Djenné dates back to 1907, but the original mosque built on the site originated some time around the 13th century. The site remains one of the most famous landmarks in Africa and was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Himeji Castle houses 83 rooms equipped with advanced defense systems, made to combat enemies during the country's feudal times. It's been remodeled several times but has overall remained intact for more than 400 years, surviving even the extensive World War II bombing of Himeji and and 1995 Great Hanshin earthquake.

The Petronas Towers are the tallest twin towers in the world and were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004. Argentine architect César Pelli designed the towers, which incorporated architect Fazlur Rahman Khan's tube-structure invention.

Famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright built this house, called Fallingwater, in rural southwestern Pennsylvania. The house was built partially over a Bear Run waterfall as a weekend home for the family of Lilian and Edgar J. Kaufmann, Sr., the owners of Kaufmann's Department Store. It's now a National Historic Landmark and open to the public as a museum.

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