Architecture

by Madam ZoZo
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Shwe Zi Gon stupa in Bagan, Myanmar | Duende by Madam ZoZo

Exploring through architecture

Architecture is a very palpable way to look back at the history of a destination and can be a crystal ball with which to see into its future. A streetscape can be a time capsule chronicling growth and change throughout time. Much can be read in the walls and rooftops, doorways and windows of a city. Politics, religion, economy and trends are all documented in post and lintel. Architectural styles tell us about a city’s jubilant peaks, full of hope; dilapidation and abandonment mark the devastating lows and defeat; while urban renewal signals rebirth and optimism.

Behind the facade

Duende highlights the most interesting built environments around the world and gets to know the stories behind the grand facades. You will even find a little architecture 101 set out in layman’s terms for the traveller who wants to go a little deeper. Duende catalogues the architectural masterpieces and engineering feats discovered by Madam ZoZo on her travels. Structures range from the ancient ruins of Buddhist temples to contemporary city skylines; historic monuments to landmark bridges. Not to mention some personal stories about her relationships with some very special structures.

“Architecture is a visual art, and the buildings speak for themselves” – Julia Morgan, architect

Buddhist Architecture 101: What is a Pagoda

Don’t you hate it when you get your pagodas crossed with your dagobas?! Well maybe not, but if you’re travelling through East Asia you’ll hear a lot of confusing references and generalised…

Buddhist Architecture 101 Part 2: Stupa

In Buddhist Architecture 101: What is a Pagoda?, I mentioned that pagodas evolved from the stupas of ancient Nepal.  In Part 2, I elaborate a little on the interesting history, purpose and symbolism…

Buddhist Architecture 101 Part 3: Wat or Not?

In Part 1 of Buddhist Architecture 101, I defined the purpose of a pagoda; in Part 2 I elaborated on the significance of stupas. Part 3 will delve into the wat. A wat is a complex that…

Laos Highlights

Laos (Lao PDR officially) is one of Asia’s travel destination underdogs. It wasn’t on our original itinerary, but as we researched things to do in Laos it became obvious there was more to…

Thaipusam: Pins and Needles

You have never had pins and needles like this! Thaipusam, a festival commemorating the feats of Hindu God, Lord Subramaniam, is notable for the sacrificial piercing of devotees flesh. Thaipusam is celebrated by…

Incan Symbols: Ancient Mystery or Modern Myth?

Ancient Incan symbols passed down by the mystical empire…or a modern-day myth? While travelling high in Peruvian Andes discovering what was once the centre of the Incan empire, I fell in love…

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