Humanities › Visual Arts The History of Western Architecture in Photos A Photographic Look at Western Architecture Share Flipboard Email Print Stonehenge in Amesbury, United Kingdom. Jason Hawkes/Getty Images Visual Arts Architecture History An Introduction to Architecture Styles Theory Great Buildings Famous Architects Famous Houses Skyscrapers Tips For Homeowners Art & Artists By Jackie Craven Art and Architecture Expert Doctor of Arts, University of Albany, SUNY M.S., Literacy Education, University of Albany, SUNY B.A., English, Virginia Commonwealth University Dr. Jackie Craven has over 20 years of experience writing about architecture and the arts. She is the author of two books on home decor and sustainable design. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Jackie Craven Updated November 05, 2019 What style is that great building? What buildings are beautiful? Join us for a photo tour through architectural history. In this photo gallery you will find buildings and structures that illustrate important periods and styles from prehistoric days through modern times. For more historic periods, also see our Architecture Timeline. Monoliths, Mounds, and Prehistoric Structures Silbury Hill and the Dawn of Architecture Silbury Hill, a man-made, prehistoric earthworks monument in southern England. VisitBritain/Getty Images 3,050 BC-900 BC: Ancient Egypt The Pyramid of Khafre (Chephren) in Giza, Egypt. Lansbricae (Luis Leclere)/Getty Images (cropped) 850 BC-476 AD: Classical Beauty from Order, the Parthenon Atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. MATTES René/Getty Images (cropped) 527 AD-565 AD: Byzantine Church of Hagia Eirene in the First Courtyard of the Topkapı Palace, Istanbul, Turkey. Salvator Barki/Getty Images (cropped) 800 AD - 1200 AD: Romanesque Romanesque Architecture of the Basilica of St. Sernin (1070-1120) in Toulouse, France. Anger O./AgenceImages courtesy Getty Images 1100-1450: Gothic The Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartres, France. Alessandro Vannini/Getty Images (cropped) 1400-1600: Renaissance Villa Rotonda (Villa Almerico-Capra), near Venice, Italy, 1566-1590, Andrea Palladio. Massimo Maria Canevarolo via Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0) 1600-1830: Baroque The Baroque Palace of Versailles in France. Loop Images Tiara Anggamulia/Getty Images (cropped) 1650-1790: Rococo The Rococo Catherine Palace in Pushkin near Saint Petersburg, Russia. Sean Gallup/Getty Images 1730-1925: Neoclassicism The U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Architect of the Capitol 1890 to 1914: Art Nouveau The 1910 Hôtel Lutetia in Paris, France. Justin Lorget/chesnot/Corbis via Getty Images 1885-1925: Beaux Arts Neoclassicism Gone Wild - The Paris Opéra, by Beaux Arts Architect Charles Garnier. Francisco Andrade/Getty Images (cropped) 1905-1930: Neo-Gothic The Neo-Gothic 1924 Tribune Tower in Chicago. Glowimage/Getty Images (cropped) 1925-1937: Art Deco The Art Deco Chrysler Building in New York City. CreativeDream/Getty Images 1900-Present: Modernist Styles De La Warr Pavilion, 1935, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, United Kingdom. Peter Thompson Heritage Images/Getty Images 1972-Present: Postmodernism Postmodern Architecture at 220 Celebration Place, Celebration, Florida. Jackie Craven 21st Century Parametricism: Zaha Hadid's Heydar Aliyev Centre, 2012, Baku, Azerbaijan. Christopher Lee/Getty Images What qualities do you think make a building beautiful? Graceful lines? Simple form? Functionality? Here are some ideas from architecture enthusiasts around the world: All great architecture has balance and symmetry. That's why classical architecture - Greek, Roman - has endured through the ages.I think the most beautiful buildings are the ones that surprise us. They break all the rules. That's why I like Frank Gehry so much.The appearance of a building or its elevational geometric(s) should certainly be the result of the building's functionality. Simply put, it is form deriving from function that equals to aesthetics. The form therefore should be of pure geometry without frills, giving interpretation to all horizontal angulations offered by the plan. There should be no arbitrary interpretation from the horizontal plane to its true orthographical projection directly to its regular verticality. The Designer must relay a clear isometric clarity by crystallographic simplicity accountable to its structural determinants.A beautiful space must satisfy the purpose, place, period, and people for whom it is designed.A building is beautiful, I suppose, When it's sculpted like a rock, Yet unfolds like a rose.To me, the beauty of a building is its functionality. Then I can relate with it perfectly, I can speak to it and it will respond, I can rest in after a hard day's job and I will be soothed. Especially, in Lagos, Nigeria where traffic is always is locked. In the Third World, it's not always about the flowery landscape. Oftentimes, it's about a space to lay your head with plenty of fresh air with two eyes closed.What makes a building beautiful? Balance, proportion, appropriate embellishments, congruity with its environment and evidence of human skill.The town of Bath in England is uniformly beautiful because of the symmetry of design and colour of its primary buildings. A soft yellow sedimentary stone, called Bath stone, has been used to face all the buildings built there since the mid-1700s. When you approach the city from the east, you look down into a large bowl-shaped valley that seems to be full of pale honey. The Bath Crescent, an immense arc of Georgian townhouses, to me is the most beautiful building in the world.Great architecture is when entering or viewing a building, I feel great. HAGIA SOFIA MAKES ME ECSTATIC, I am knocked out by 12th and 13th century French gothic cathedrals, seeing the Taj is breathtaking. Wright's home in Oak Park is very exciting, the light and color in Legoretta's are wonderful, St. Mark's Square in Venice is unforgettable, Palladio and Aalto's buildings are exciting. These are just a few examples.Beauty comes when it tries to please all our senses.