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Brasilia, Brazil

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Av. Manoel Dias da Silva, 864 - Pituba Salvador - BA 41830-001, Brazil

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55 71 3347-0001

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  • Dear Architecture Lovers, You Must Visit These 10 Destinations!

    A city can be defined by its food, its people and culture, however, nothing tells the story of a city better than its architecture. It takes you on a journey through the history of the city, its changing cityscape adapting to cultural movements and modernization while still preserving its old world charm. If you are a lover of architecture this list of 10 destinations is especially for you.   1. St. Petersburg, Russia Credit: Tama66 on PixabayRussia’s eclectic center also known as the Venice of the North is a mixture of architectural styles – from Neoclassical to Gothic, the city is a treasure trove of architectural delights. Witness the glory of imperial palaces, stunning cathedrals, and churches decorating the skyline, romantic bridges, and pathways that the many characters of Dostoevsky’s novels have taken. There is an abundance of Baroque style buildings in the city – intricate gold embellishments against pale pastels. The most worthy contender for the Baroque style would be the beautiful Winter Palace that was home to the Russian monarchy since the 1760s to 1917. It is now the home of the second largest art museum in the world – The Hermitage. You can find the Neo-classical style in Saint Isaac’s Cathedral, Yelagin Palace, as well as the Imperial Academy of Arts. Style Morderne – Russia’s take on Art Nouveau – can be clearly seen in the ornamental styling of the Singer House (the Russian headquarters of the Singer Sewing Machine Company), as well as the Eliseyev Emporium. The grim, dystopian architecture style of the Stalinist and Soviet eras can be witnessed in the House of Soviets – referred to as the “buried robot” by locals – and the Red Banner Textile Factory. The Gothic turrets and spikes of the cake-structure shaped Cheseme Church is a great example of Russian Neo-Gothic architecture.   2. Brasilia, Brazil Credit: David Mark on PixabayIf you are a fan of futuristic architecture, Brasilia is the place to head to. President Juscelino Kubitschek’s decided to build a futuristic city in what was once just barren land back in 1956. He commissioned architect Oscar Niemeyer to commence the project, he built residential, commercial and government buildings within a matter of months. The Cathedral of Brasilia is one of the most notable structures within the city and perfectly shows Niemeyer’s style of architecture. The elegant curving structures, with exposed concrete, bold but simple design elements. The most visited site in the city is the Templo da Boa Vontade, it is a seven faceted white marble pyramid designed by the architect and engineer R. R. Roberto. The pinnacle is set with the largest stone of pure crystal in the world, at a weight of 21 kilograms. Inside the temple is a spiral which represents the journey a human takes in the search of balance and transcendence. Other notable structures are the President’s residence and the Attorney General’s Office.   3. Miami, Florida Credit: Holgi on PixabayWith more than 800 Art Deco buildings in their pastel hues, Miami’s South Beach is a must visit for all those who love the 1930s glamour! In an attempt to make Miami a luxurious holiday destination in the 1920s and 1930s architects looked to Art Deco’s symmetry and geometry as well as colorful floral and animal motifs. You can see quintessential Art Deco design in the Webster, designed by Henry Hohauser who was one of the master architects behind the Deco styling of South Beach. The building follows the architect’s “rule of three”, and is built in thirds. Another famous building is The Carlyle, it has played a starring role in many films like Scarface and Bad Boys II – it is just a 100yards from the famed former mansion of Gianni Versace. Other Art Deco gems are Essex house – built to look like the landlocked ocean liner, the neon-lit Colony theatre, and Miami Beach Post Office.   4. Tokyo, Japan Credit: sayama on PixabayA city that has been through a lot of change from old wooden houses to the concrete and glass jungle it is now, Tokyo has a signature style of architecture. The modern transformation has given rise to many new buildings; the Nakagin Capsule Tower is a great example of rare Japanese Metabolism architecture. The tower is an apartment complex of 140 apartments – only 10m2 each. The funky Reversible Destiny Lofts was built with the idea of helping people attain longevity. It is inspired by Helen Keller; therefore it was made with features for people with different physical abilities and has something for every age group. Another must visit is Tokyo Camii, the largest mosque in Japan. The Mosque is inspired by Ottoman architecture and was designed by the architect Muharrem Hilmi Senlap, with materials such as marble brought in from Turkey. It was completed in 2000 and was built as a replacement of a Mosque previously built by Turkish immigrants in the 1930s. Other notable sites to visit are Reiyukai Sakaden Temple – a temple that looks more like a space-ship, SunnyHills – a pineapple cake shop built with a weaving wooden facade, Tsujiki Hongwanji – a Buddhist temple with a mix of Indian and Japanese design elements, and St Mary’s Cathedral – a futuristic looking modernist structure created by Kenzo Tange.   5. Tel Aviv, Israel Credit: avnernagar on PixabayTaking into account the city’s Mediterranean climate and the influx of Jewish immigrants, Bauhaus trained architects designed and built buildings in the cost effective style. The ‘white city’ is a UNESCO World Heritage site, with 4000 buildings within the sea side city. There are many buildings in Tel Aviv to be admired by the Bauhaus fan, some of the notable ones are the Bruno House, Rubinsky House, and Avraham Soskin House as well streets dedicated to this modern style.   6. Chandigarh, India Credit: David Mark on PixabayProbably not an obvious contender for this list but every student of architecture would know this city for its eccentric concrete designs. After the partition of India in 1947, the country’s first Prime Minister J. Nehru tasked Swiss architect Le Corbusier with building a modern city that is fast moving away from its past into the future. Le Corbusier is a modernist architect and him along with a few other architects like Pierre Jeanneret, Jane Drew and Maxwell Fry changed the cityscape. The city is designed on a super grid, buildings with exposed concrete and masonry as well as modernists sculptures located around the city. a great example of planning and design, it is a must visit if you are a student of architecture.   7. Oxford, England Credit: David Mark on PixabayMedieval era inspired architecture mingling with modern sentiments; Oxford is an academic city but will take your breath away with its beautiful Gothic Revival architecture. Referred to as “the city of dreaming spires” by poet Matthew Arnold, the city stays true to this description with many mid 19th century towers creating Oxford’s skyline. The city offers many sites to see – from the churches to its markets. You can witness military style stone architecture at St George’s Tower, the University Museum which is an example of one of the first non-religious Gothic buildings, the Radcliffe Observatory and many more spread across the city.   8. Barcelona, Spain Credit: Kirk Fisher on FacebookHome of Catalan Modernism, Barcelona is peppered with the world famous architectural structures of the father of this movement – Antoni Gaudí. Some of his notable works are the Casa Milà, Casa Batlló, and his masterpiece the La Sagrada Familia – which has been under construction since 1892, he kept building up until he passed away in 1926 and it is still under construction and will not be finished till 2026 to commemorate his centenary death anniversary. Barcelona is a beautiful city and is definite visit for anyone, even if you aren’t a fan of Gaudi’s peculiar architectural style.   9. Florence, Italy Credit: Michelle Maria on PixabayFlorence is world famous and its architecture has been appreciated in film, and book alike! It is also the birthplace of the famed Master, Leonardo Da Vinci. A city that celebrates art, you will find many architectural monuments here, some of the most famous ones are The Florence Cathedral or Duomo – a great domed cathedral, the Pitti Palace and the Palazzo Vecchio – which was home to Niccolo Machiavelli’s office at one point in history.   10. Hanoi, Vietnam Credit: Leon_Ting on Pixabay Once occupied by the French, the city boasts quite the collection of French Colonial Architecture, a city oozing with old world charm it will appeal to the romantic in you. Three of its most notable buildings are the St. Josephs Cathedral, Hanoi Opera House, and Hotel Metropole. The country may have had a devastating history steeped in blood, but it’s people have been resilient and the romance of the French Colonial era has managed to remain to this day. All you architecture lovers or just travel lovers should definitely add these destinations to your list!...

  • 5 Mosques to Visit in Penang

    Being a Muslim majority country, Malaysia has many stunning mosques scattered all across the country. Make sure to visit Penang while you're there, and in case you were compiling a list of the most beautiful and popular mosques in Penang!   1) Masjid Negeri – State Mosque of Penang     Contact: +60 4-828 2212 Address: Air Hitam Road, Pulau Pinang, 11400, Penang, Malaysia   Designed by a Filipino architect, this mosque’s style draws a lot of inspiration from the Cathedral of Brasilia in Brazil. With the capacity to accommodate up to 5,000 people at any time, this is the largest mosque in Penang since it opened its doors in 1980. The mosque is expansive and cool on the inside. The large dome that stands tall in the front is shaped like a hibiscus flower, representing the national flower of Malaysia.   2) Penang Floating Mosque   Contact: +60 4-250 2800 Address: Tanjung Bungah Road, Pulau Pinang, 11200, Penang, Malaysia   Although the name is not to be taken literally, the mosque is built on stilts above the sea. If you were to gaze at the sea during the time when tides are high, you might think the mosque was actually floating. With a beautiful view of the sea and little fishing boats bobbing in the near distance, this is one of the most popular mosques in Penang.   3) Masjid Abdullah Fahim   Contact: +60 4-569 0012 Address: 13100 Kepala Batas, Penang, Malaysia   This is a relatively new mosque, but one that has already earned a special place in hearts of the locals and tourists due to its beauty and elegance. The breathtaking domes of Persian blue shimmer in the sunlight, standing out against the lighter blue of the sky. The picture-worthy quality of the mosque makes it a popular mosque in Penang for couples to use as a backdrop for wedding photoshoots!   4) Masjid Lebu Acheh- Acheen Street Mosque   Contact: +60 4-432 5231 Address: Jalan Lebuh Acheh, Pulau Pinang, 11200 George Town, Malaysia   There is no missing this mosque when you’re in Acheen Street of George Town, with its striking Egyptian-style ‘lighthouse-like’ minaret that stands tall and proud. Built in 1808 by an Arab trader who came to Penang from Acheh, it is one of the oldest mosques in Penang. A community of Arab and Malay Muslims thrives around the area of the mosque with many houses and shops that sell a variety of goods.   5) Kapitan Keling Mosque   Contact: +60 14-812 1752 Address: 14, Jalan Buckingham, George Town, 10200 George Town, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia   Kapitan Keling Mosque is also situated in George Town in a street known as ‘Street of Harmony’ by the locals. It is more often frequented by Tamil-speaking Indians as Masjid Lebu Acheh is by the Malays. It is a beautiful historical mosque that combines influences from Indian and Western styles of architecture, and is said to be the oldest mosque in Penang. Non-Muslims are also welcome for a friendly, guided tour with informative leaflets about Islam, and complimentary snacks.     ...

  • A Guide to Finding Mosques in Brazil

    There are a growing number of Mosques in Brazil, especially in the cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Pualo, to cater to the growing interest from Muslim tourist to visit the country. Brzail offers so much to do and see, that an opportunity to visit the country cannot just be passed up. Home to picture-perfect white-sand beaches, epic jungles, an incredible variety of fascinating wildlife, renowned waterfalls, and so much more, we think Brazil deserves a spot on every individual’s travel bucket list! Islam in Brazil Although Brazil houses a small population of Muslims, Islam in Brazil has a long history. When Africans were brought to the country as slaves, they brought with them their religion – Islam. Muslims from Arab countries such as Lebanon and Syria followed, and today they, along with reverts, make up Brazil’s Muslim population. While Muslim communities can be found throughout the country, some areas have a larger Muslim population than others, such as the states of São Paulo and Paraná. This means that Muslims will be able to locate more Muslim-friendly facilities such as masjids, and Halal restaurants in these areas. Muslim visitors are also sure to find at least one Halal restaurant in close proximity to a mosque. Mosques in Brazil Today there about 151 mosques in Brazil, and the number is constantly growing. Muslim tourists will be able to find quite a number of mosques in São Paulo. The Islamic Center of Brazil, Masjid Abu Bakr Assiddik, Mesquita Salah Ad-Din Al Ayubi, Centro de Divulgacion do Islam da America Latina, Al Firdaus Masjid, Masjid Hanzala, Sociedade Beneficente Musulmana, and Masjid Hamza are just a few mosques in São Paulo frequented by the local Muslim community, and by tourists from around the world. The Islamic Center of Curitiba and the Mosque of Curitiba can both be found in Paraná’s capital, Curitiba. Muslim tourists will also be able to locate numerous other mosques across some of Brazil’s major cities. The large Omar Ibn Al-Khattab mosque has become a landmark in Foz do Iguaçu as it was inspired by the architecture of the Al Aqsa mosque. Muslims will also be able to offer their prayers at Brasilia’s Islamic Centre Mosque, the Mosques in Cuiabá, as well as the one in Belo Horizonte. Prayer facilities are also available at Centro Islamico de Campinas in Campinas, Cemitério Islâmico De Guarulhos in Guarulhos, Sociedade Beneficente Muçulmana in Rio de Janeiro, the Islamic Cultural Center of Bahia and Arab Islamic Cultural Beneficient Center in Salvador, Centero Islamico Do Amazonas in Manaus, Centro Islamico de Florianopolis in Florianopolis, Centro Islâmico de Porto Alegre in Porto Alegre, the Islamic Center of Ceará in Fortaleza, the Islamic Center of Recife in Recife, and at the Islamic Center of Natal in Natal. Listing of Mosques in Brazil Details of these mosques, including addresses, contact details, facilities offered and more, can be found here. Find out more about the cities in Brazil, in our city guides section here. ...

  • Visiting Brazil for the FIFA World Cup

    Brazil; officially known as federative republic of Brazil is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. It is one of the most beautiful and vibrant countries in the world, and has become one of the most visited in South America. Visitors to the country have much to do and see; from the mysterious wilderness of the Amazon to a rugged coastline, Brazil is such a diverse and unique country. The country is famous for its football tradition and its annual carnival. Football is the most popular sport in Brazil and the national team is ranked among the best in the world in the FIFA world rankings, since they have won the World Cup a record five times. Brazil is the host of the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held between 12th of June and 13th of July, and this is the country’s second time hosting this event. 32 countries will be participating, playing a total of 64 matches in 12 cities across Brazil. An estimated 500,000 football fans are said to attend the World Cup from around the world. The government of Brazil will issue a special visa for spectators and participants free of charge. This is a temporary visa lasting only for the duration of the game. Muslims planning on attending the FIFA World Cup need not worry about finding adequate Muslim-friendly facilities as there are numerous mosques spread across the country for Muslim fans to offer their prayers in, and halal restaurants may not be hard to find as the country is home to a sizeable Muslim population consisting mainly of Middle Eastern immigrants. Muslim football fans can also download an app which has been created by the Federation of Muslim Association in Brazil (FAMBRAS), especially to help visitors during the World Cup to find the nearest mosque and for prayer times, and it also includes a compass to show the qibla direction. FIFA has chosen 12 cities to host the World Cup, these cities are scattered around various regions of the country and is home to a diverse array of attractions and activities. Most of these cities have built new arenas and stadiums, while other existing stadiums have been remodeled. The chosen cities are Belo Horizonte, Cuiaba, Brasilia, Curitiba, Fortaleza, Manaus, Natal, Porto Alegre, Sao Paulo, Salvador, Recife and Rio de Janeiro. Each of these cities will host four to five matches each in the qualifying rounds while a few others will host six to seven matches including the quarter finals, semi finals and the final. The final will be played in Rio de Janeiro, in the Maracana Stadium. This stadium is considered to be the temple of football in Brazil as it was built for the 1950 World Cup when Brazil hosted the event for the first time. This stadium has been recently modernized and will host the final again. Rio de Janiero known famously as Rio is the most popular tourist destination in the country; with its beautiful sandy beaches and many famous monuments. The city has a lot to offer its many visitors who will be traveling to the city for the upcoming World Cup. When it comes to transport within Brazil, the country is connected by good air service with many domestic airports. This would be convenient for those traveling from city to city during FIFA. The metro is also a good option for visitors to get about within the city and it is the fastest way to get to where you need to be. Muslim travelers looking to find mosques to offer their prayer need not worry as each of the 12 host cities do have mosques. However finding halal food may not be as easy. Brazil has only a few restaurants which have been certified halal. Muslims could make inquiries in mosques or even use the special app to find halal food. The app provides users a phone number which could be called for inquiries. The FIFA World Cup in Brazil will be an amazing experience that most fans would love to be a part of, so if you have the chance to travel to Brazil for this much awaited event then do so and enjoy the game, the atmosphere and the fascinating country of Brazil!...



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