The Petit Palais, Paris, France

It was built for the 1900 Exposition Universelle (universal exhibition), it now houses the City of Paris Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des beaux-arts de la ville de Paris). The Petit Palais is located across from the Grand Palais on Avenue Nicolas II, today Avenue Winston-Churchill. The other façades of the building face the Seine and Avenue des Champs-Elysees.

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Château de Chambord, Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France

The royal Château de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France, is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinctive French Renaissance architecture which blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Renaissance structures. The building, which was never completed, was constructed by King Francis I of France.

Leonardo da Vinci, a guest of Francis at Clos Lucé near Amboise, was responsible for the original design, which reflects Leonardo’s plans for a château at Romorantin for the King’s mother, and his interests in central planning and double spiral staircases.

The roofscape of Chambord contrasts with the masses of its masonry and has often been compared with the skyline of a town: it shows eleven kinds of towers and three types of chimneys, without symmetry, framed at the corners by the massive towers.

Hôtel de Ville, Paris, France

The Hôtel de Ville in Paris, France, is the building housing the city’s local administration. Standing on the place de l’Hôtel-de-Ville in the 4th arrondissement, it has been the headquarters of the municipality of Paris since 1357. It serves multiple functions, housing the local administration, the Mayor of Paris (since 1977), and also serves as a venue for large receptions.

In July 1357, Étienne Marcel, provost of the merchants (i.e. mayor) of Paris, bought the so-called maison aux piliers (“House of Pillars”) in the name of the municipality on the gently sloping shingle beach which served as a river port for unloading wheat and wood and later merged into a square, the Place de Grève (“Strand Square”), a place where Parisians often gathered, particularly for public executions. Ever since 1357, the City of Paris’s administration has been located on the same location where the Hôtel de Ville stands today.

Hôtel de Ville was rebuilt in the 1870s in its original French Renaissance style inspired by the Châteaux of the Loire Valley. Reconstruction of City Hall lasted 19 years and was directed by architects Théodore Ballu and Édouard Deperthes, who had won the public competition for the building’s reconstruction.

Armenian Apostolic Church, Church of St. Catherine, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Armenian merchants and artisans appeared on the banks of the Neva River immediately after Saint Petersburg was founded. First written evidence on the activities of the Armenians in Saint Petersburg is dated to 1708. In 1711, Peter the Great gave the following instructions to the Senate: “The Armenians must be treated nicely as much as possible and facilitated where it is proper, in order to motivate them to arrive in greater numbers.”

On 2 May 1770, granting a request made by Ivan Lazarev (1735–1801), the head of the Armenian community and an important statesman and enlightener, Catherine the Great allocated a lot for a construction of an Armenian church, on the north side of Nevsky Avenue. The community immediately started fund raising. The construction of the church and the adjacent parochial buildings was supervised by the author of the design, Saint Petersburg’s major architect Georg Friedrich Veldten (1735–1801). After 8 years, in 1779, opposite the then not yet completed Gostiny Dvor, a slender and smart church emerged; later, an ensemble of the Armenian community’s buildings formed around it.