They say that a skyline serves as a kind of fingerprint of a city, that apparent line that separates earth from sky. According to Paul D. Spreiregen, a member of the American Institute of Architects, a skyline is a physical representation of city´s facts of life, a potential work of art. Some rank skylines in terms of its iconic architecture, others for its beauty and some for the height of its buildings. We decided to keep this in mind, but also throw in two more ingredients: Europe and uniqueness. London, Rome, Rotterdam and Frankfurt.
London´s skyline truly began in the 60´s but it was the White Tower, a 27-meter structure that was added to the Tower of London that first stood tall. Today, the British capital´s horizon shows off its impressive and most iconic buildings while new structures keep erupting. As of March 2012, The Shard London, designed by architect Renzo Piano, became the tallest inhabited building in Western Europe. Canada Square and Heron Tower with its 28-meter spire, followed.
But height is only one of the aspects that make up a city´s skyline. Beauty and uniqueness are the others. These are the best places to view the best perspectives in London:
The London Eye. This giant ferris wheel, located on the South bank of the River Thames, offers electrifying views of London´s ever changing skyline.
Nunhead Cemetery offers a beautiful view of St. Paul´s Cathedral.
The Shard, on floor 72, you´ll be able to take in the views from the open-air platform.
Horniman Gardens 16 acres of gardens that offer stunning views of London´s treasures.
Ah, the sunset in Rome… Just about any angle is worth your while. Compared to London´s height, the Italian city of Rome offers a more human scale of things. The best places to soak up the most romantic views are:
Il Vittoriano A glass elevator takes you up to the top of the King Victor Emanuel monument for a 360-degree panoramic view.
Janiculum or Giancolo Hill, located outside the Ancient City. Travellers suggest you sit perched on a wall to get the best view.
The Orange Garden is perched on the Aventine Hill and has one of the most romantic views of Rome. Remember to bring a bottle of wine.
Campidoglio has stunning views of the Roman Forum, palaces and Capitoline museums.
Palatine Hill overlooks Circus Maximus and the Coliseum.
Rarely mentioned as one of Europe´s most spectacular skylines, Rotterdam keeps pushing the limits with its architecturally diverse and innovative buildings. Take a ferry and begin your viewing tour of Rotterdam when you disembark at the Euromast Tower for a 360-degree panoramic of the city.
The Witte Huis at Wijnhaven 3 was Europe’s first skyscraper and offers an amazing view of the Old Harbour area.
Pedestrians walk under the pedestrian tunnel, parallel to Maastunnel and head for the impressive views on the opposite shore. Here, you´ll be able to enjoy the Millennium Tower, the Montevideo and Gebouw Delftse Poort.
We leave Rotterdam´s best view for last. From the new nhow hotel, located on the Wilhelmina Pier and close to the center of Rotterdam. Designed by visionary architect Rem Koolhaas, this new nhow offers breathtaking views of the Maas River and of the city.
Of all the European cities, Frankfurt has one of the best skylines of all. Nicknamed “Mainhattan”, it boasts 3 of the tallest buildings and the Main Tower is a good place to start with its 200 meters observation deck.
Care for an entirely different perspective? Take a relaxing river cruise to soak in some of Frankfurt´s best views.
If you have any skyline suggestions in these or other destinations, we´d love for you to share them with us!