The things we do for love go beyond the rational into the realm of illogical. Writers have tried for centuries to wrap their fingers around the drives of this instinctual emotion that translates into grandiose actions defying common sense. But writing is not the only form of expression for love. In the currents of time love based architecture was instructed as a display of this everlasting concept.
While architecture by itself can be a thing to love, castles and towers have been build and erected as a token of romance. There are few things that make a more powerful statement of love than creating architectural marvels in its name. Although the stories behind these structures often balance between love and tragedy, they still stand tall today as a remembrance of this scorching emotion. Hence, with Valentine’s Day knocking on our doors, in today’s instalment of this series we focus on love based architecture.
The first castle in our love based architecture list is a nexus between love and tragedy. The world famous Taj Mahal, was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as the last resting place of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The mausoleum is considered among the 7 wonders of the world. If you want to honor love after death, there are few better ways to do it!
The mausoleum is comprised by a dome, with four standing minarets adjacent dressed in breath-taking white marble and outlined by buildings made out of red sandstone. The tomb complex is a crisscross of various architectural types, taking influences from Persian, Indian and Islamic rhythms.
Shallows’ Nest Castle
With a name “The Castle of Love”, the Shallow’s Nest in South Crimea couldn’t but earn its spot in our love based architecture list. Of course, there are little references that this impressive structure was built to display grandiose love. It is more likely that it functioned as a love nest for incurably romantics.
It was built in 1912, but after only two decades the castle suffered from an earthquake of 6-7 points in the Richter scale. As if some hubris was committed, the devastating earthquake cracked the Aurora Cliff, putting the love nest under closure for nearly 40 years. Of course, the cliff was repaired and the castle was opened to the public. If you hadn’t make any plan for Valentine, there’s a restaurant inside the castle walls that you can have a romantic dinner with the Black Sea at your footsteps.
Dobroyd Castle in Todmorden, England
The Dobroyd Castle in Todmorden has 66 luxurious rooms, a stable large enough for 17 horses and compiled by four small battlements and a main tower. A lavish exhibition of love based architecture you would say. Well, you’ll be slightly wrong.
The castle was instructed by John Fielden, a decedent of a wealthy industrialist family, who fell incurably love with a local girl name Ruth Stansfield. However, she put a condition to his love. In order for her to accept his marriage proposal, he had to build her a castle. Obviously John obliged, but the castle didn’t warm the heart of Ruth after all. The couple grow apart and when she died John remarried, but he would be injured by a horse and spend the rest of his life crippled inside the unloved walls of his castle. A true tragic story of unrequited love.
Prasat Hin Phimai in Phimai, Thailand
Our next love based architecture follows the mythical story of Orapima and Prince Pajiit.
The story stars when the Prince choose Orapima to be his wife while still unborn, considering her as a star crossed lover. As Orapima grew into a woman, they felt vividly in-love. However, a mad woodsman took the Prince life. Orapima return the evil deed to the woodsman and build the Prasat Hin Phimai as a sanctuary to pray for the reincarnation of the her beloved Prince.
The walls of the sanctuary were-and still are-painted and sculpted with their tragic love story. In the end, their legendary story end on a happy note, as the Prince’s spirit, reincarnated into the body of a young man, returned to her. Hence, the sanctuary stands today in the small town of Phimai to remind its inhabitants the legend of Orapima and Prince Pajiit.
Boldt Castle on Heart Island, New York
Finally, we will finish our love based architecture list, with a castle that was actually build on Valentine’s Day in the far 1905. The Boldt Castle that extends to five-acres was built by George Boldt as a token of love to his wife.
The castle, was intended to stretch to an eleven-building complex, following medieval and Victorian architectural rhythms. The Yacht house, the Alster Tower and the Power House were among the marvelous buildings of the love castle. However, Boldt’s wife died before the completion of the castle complex, leaving George heartbroken and with little desire to finish his masterpiece. He left and never return to the island. However not all is gloom, as couples can use the Boldt Castle nowadays to get married.
There you have it. Some of the most incredible love based architecture around the world. While the myths and stories that surround these castles involve tragic love stories, they are an indisputable example of how this basic emotion can be a creative force.
If you like our love based architecture list then check our previous installment of this series with the some of the tiniest houses around the world.