Stephen Travels

And he's ready to take you with him.


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How Great Thou Arch

Queenstown War Memorial, New ZealandThey seem simple: vertical curved structures that span an open space and may, or may not, support weight above it. Of course, arches are much more complicated than that, a complex balance of compression, stress, thrust, bracings, and transference. The Mesopotamians got the jump on them four thousand years ago, but it was the Romans who used them systematically in a wide range of structures, leading eventually to a worldwide adaptation of this most beautiful form. Read about the top five arches >


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Delightful Domes That Grace City Skylines

Salta Cathedral, Salta, ArgentinaDomes. They’re one of the world’s most versatile architectural elements. Whether they’re topping iconic buildings like the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow, and the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, or they’re the buildings themselves, ranging from Eskimo igloos to Central Asian yurts to the geodesic dome in Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, domes add that final splash of panache to our built environments. Found throughout the world, they seem to be appreciated by just about everyone as the perfect way to top off a building in a graceful, elegant style. Read more about the world’s top five domes >


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Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens: An Amusement Park for All Ages

Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, DenmarkOne of Copenhagen’s most visited attractions has a multiple personality…well, I would hardly call it a disorder. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. A multiple personality salubrity, perhaps? Tivoli Gardens is every child’s fantasy, a panoply of diversions for teenagers, and a fanciful urban oasis for adults. At night, lovers inevitably grow all saccharine amid the fairytale lighting, and travelers of every age will be enthralled by an amusement park smack in the middle of one of Scandinavia’s largest cities. Read more about this venue that has something for everyone >


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A Danish Royal Palace for — and of — the Ages

Christiansborg Slot, Copenhagen, DenmarkFor nearly a millennium, the center of Danish government — whether it was headed by an autocratic monarch or a multi-party Parliament — has been located in the same spot in Copenhagen, but most definitely not in the same building. Through centuries of fires, demolition, and construction, Christiansborg Slot has risen, fallen, and returned multiple times. Now in its fifth incarnation, the castle offers a comprehensive look at the way the government of Denmark operates within its lush interior, as well as how the Danes manage to keep such a tremendous place shipshape, despite the 500,000 visitors who pass through it every year. Read more >