tarap's User Profile - Atlas Obscura
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Paris, France

Shakespeare and Company

This iconic Parisian bookstore doubles as the "Tumbleweed Hotel" for traveling writers.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai Gold Souk

On any given day this sprawling market houses literally tons of government-regulated gold, gems, and precious metals.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The World Islands

This artificial archipelago was supposed to resemble a map of the world.
Oman

Telegraph Island – Jazirat al Maqlab

This remote British Imperial telegraph relay outpost drove men insane.
Istanbul, Turkey

Obelisk of Theodosius

This remarkably well-preserved Egyptian plinth is pretty well traveled for a giant piece of stone.
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)

Shwedagon Pagoda

This gem-encrusted temple is said to contain some of the Buddha's hair which can make the deaf hear and the blind see.
Bangkok, Thailand

Wat Mahathat (Temple of the Great Relic)

The headquarters of the Mahanikai school of Buddhism, Thailand's largest monastic order.
Venice, Italy

Scala Contarini del Bovolo

This palatial spiral staircase was so unusual the name "snail" was given to the noble family who built it.
Venice, Italy

St. Mark's Clock Tower (Torre dell'Orologio)

Go inside to really appreciate this 500-year-old technological masterpiece.
Venice, Italy

Palazzo Dario

Those who own or stay at this 500-year-old, allegedly cursed house often meet terrible fates.
Milan, Italy

The Devil's Column

The mark of the Devil's horns on a marble column in Milan.
Milan, Italy

Bosco Verticale

Two very green residential towers cleaning the air in one of Europe's most polluted cities.
Turin, Italy

Medieval Village

A fake medieval village in the middle of Turin.
Turin, Italy

Plana's Perpetual Calendar

A landmark in the history of technology and computing is hidden in a tiny Baroque chapel.
Turin, Italy

Fetta di Polenta

When this funny little building went up in the 19th century, most people thought it would simply fall over.
Turin, Italy

'Baci Rubati' ('Stolen Kisses')

This building has a giant piercing through one of its corners.
Barcelona, Spain

FC Barcelona Coat of Arms

Barça football fans might see the insignia hidden in a church window as a divine sign.
Barcelona, Spain

Basilica of Saints Justus and Pastor

Possibly the oldest church in Barcelona, this basilica has its pagan and Christian mythologies all mixed up.
Barcelona, Spain

Palau Dalmases

This former Baroque palace on the historic Calle Montcada is a rare architectural gem and was once the meeting place of an aristocratic scholarly society.
Barcelona, Spain

El Caganer

A fantastic Christmas tradition where defecation meets the manger.
Barcelona, Spain

Street Performers of Las Ramblas

The iconic boulevard is the perfect place to catch sight of a bicycling skeleton, a levitating Satan, or a chef with his head stuck in a pizza.
Barcelona, Spain

La Carbonería

One of the most photographed buildings in a city known for its Modernista architecture is an abandoned squat.
Barcelona, Spain

Casa Batlló

One of Antoni Gaudí's most classic buildings is well-known for its "dragon-back" design.
Barcelona, Spain

Sagrada Família

Construction of Barcelona's iconic (but controversial) church is expected to be completed in 2026—a century after the death of its architect.