Al Struckus House (L.A./ California)

Perched atop a steep hill, the Al Struckus House looks over the San Fernando Valley.
Renowned Modern architect Bruce Goff designed the house for engineer, woodworker, and art collector Al Struckus, but sadly Goff died just a few months after construction began in spring 1982 so Bart Prince oversaw the completion of the design.

It has a four-story-high central cylinder surrounded by five smaller connected cylinders clad in natural redwood, glass tiles, and undulating stucco.
The house embodies Goff’s philosophy of organic architecture, stating that each design should be as unique as its owner, reflecting and enhancing their style of living.

Meteora Monasteries (near Kalambaka/ Greece)

Sitting atop towering sandstone rock pillars there's a cluster of medieval Eastern Orthodox monasteries rising 400 m above the Peneas valley and the small town of Kalambaka on the Thessalian plain.
Meteora translates from Greek to "suspended in air" or "middle of the sky" and originally you could only gain access by being pulled up in a hanging net or basket or by climbing flimsy rope ladders. According to legend, one monastery founder was carried to the top of the mountain peaks on the back of an eagle.
From the 11th century on, the region's caves sheltered hermitic monks, but by the 14th century the orthodox monks were constructing elaborate stone and terracotta buildings, safe from marauding raiders below. During the 18th and 19th century, the monasteries were secure hideouts, housing not just persecuted monks but also guerrilla fighters called klephts who fought for Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire.

Today, of the 24 original monasteries, only six are active. In the 1920s steps were cut into the rock, making the complex accessible via a bridge from the nearby plateau.

Abandoned Bulgarian Communist HQ (Buzludzha/ Bulgaria)

The Buzludzha Monument was built in 1981 on top of a historical peak in the Central Balkan Mountains. The Bulgarian communist regime created it to commemorate the events in 1891 when the socialists led by Dimitar Blagoev assembled secretly in the area to form an organised socialist movement with the founding of the Bulgarian Social Democratic Party, a fore-runner of the Bulgarian Communist Party.

No longer maintained by the Bulgarian government for lack of financial resources it was left abandoned after the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.

Teapot Shaped Building (Meitan County/ China)

The world's biggest teapot stands 73.8 meters tall and measures 24 meters at the maximum diameter. It houses a tea museum which is very fitting as Meitan County is known as the “hometown of Chinese green tea”.

China's Atlantis - the Underwater City of Shicheng (Qiandao Lake/ China)

Shicheng (literally meaning "Lion City") was built during the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25 - 200). The name comes from Wu Shi Mountain (or "Five Lion" Mountain), which lies behind the city.
In 1959 the whole valley got submerged for the construction of the Xin'an River Hydropower Station, creating Qiandao Lake ("Thousand Island Lake").
The city is now a time capsule shielded from erosion by wind, rain and sun and remains undisturbed at a depth of 26-40m. Stairs in ancient houses, walls and memorial arches remain surprisingly intact.
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