Amazing Houses from Around the World

Unique Beach and Lake Houses

amazing and unique beach and lake houses

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A house with a water view is a dream come true for house hunters and vacationers alike. The tranquil sound of lapping waves, the beauty of sunsets over the water, and the feeling of being in one’s own paradise retreat make beach houses and lake houses perennial favorites for everyday living and relaxing getaways. Sometimes, the proximity to the water inspires owners or architects to create homes that are truly unique masterpieces. Whether you will ever find any of these beach houses or lake houses for sale is another question entirely!house between the rocks
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Castel Meur, also known as The House Between the Rocks or La Maison de Plougrescant, was built in 1861. It’s nestled between two natural granite pillars on the English Channel coast in Brittany, France. Those rocks and the waterside location make Castel Meur an extremely photogenic abode. The house became somewhat famous when postcards featuring a beautiful photograph of the property were sold in gift shops around the world. Unfortunately, tourists lacking respect for the residence have caused damage to the home and property, prompting the owner to prohibit commercial sale of images of the home.

amazing beach houses klein bottle house
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This amazingly creative weekend beach getaway near Melbourne, Australia was dreamed up by McBride Charles Ryan Architects. The Australian firm based their design on the Klein bottle, a mathematical conceptual shape with no discernible interior and exterior sides. Although it sounds like an odd (not to mention impossible) concept for a home, they pulled it off brilliantly. The home’s black metal roof folds down in some places to change the shape of the home and form part of the exterior walls. The central courtyard and flexible living space make the occupants of this amazing house feel like they exist indoors and outdoors at the same time.

amazing beach houses bruno steel house
(images via: Robert Bruno)

Some of the most beautiful houses are the result of the owner’s direct involvement. So it is with Robert Bruno’s steel house, a creation that he’s been working on for more than three decades. The architectural sculptor began building his home near Lubbock, Texas in the mid-1970s. Today, its impressive form – part 1950s Chevy, part airplane, part sci-fi spaceship – rises tall above the surrounding landscape to give those inside a spectacular view of the nearby lake. The interior is reminiscent of a huge steel cave, filled with curves where one would expect angles.

amazing beach houses dome of a home
(images via: Dome of a Home)

After a series of devastating hurricanes and tropical storms battered their home in the 1990s, Mark and Valerie Sigler decided that there must be a home design that would withstand the most severe Florida weather. Working with architect Jonathan Zimmerman, the Siglers brought their dome home to life. It’s a sturdy structure, but it also has its share of beauty and uniqueness. And if you’re ever in Pensacola Beach with $5600 a week to spare, the five-bedroom Dome of a Home is available for rent.

boat houses encinitas
(image via: Queenodesign)

Although technically a block away from the beach and not right on it, these boat houses in Encinitas, California certainly embody the beach culture. Plus, the story behind how they got there is pretty interesting in itself. Entrepreneur and businessman Miles Minor Kellogg was ahead of his time in the 1910s and 1920s, building structures from recycled and reclaimed materials. After building a small silent movie theatre from the discarded top story of a hotel, Kellogg set his sights on building a home from reclaimed material. Since he’d always had an interest in boats, they became the focus of his project. He and his son, Miles Justin Kellogg, worked on the houses together until they were completed in the late 1920s. Recently, the Encinitas Preservation Society purchased the property on which the boats – now used as apartment buildings – sit.

amazing beach houses orchid house
(images via: Daily Mail)

This spectacular piece of architecture isn’t even built yet, but that didn’t bring down its price any. It recently sold for $14.4 million to an undisclosed buyer. The eco-friendly Orchid House, built on a lake in a privately-owned Cotswold (U.K.) nature reserve, is predicted to produce more energy than it uses. The house, which was designed by Sarah Featherstone, won’t be finished until approximately 2011. If the owners ever put it up for sale one has to wonder if anyone else would pay so much for something so strange.

amazing beach houses mushroom house la jolla ca
(left image via: OaklandNative and right image via: San Diego Daily Photo)

The Mushroom House in the Black’s Beach area of La Jolla, California is one of those landscape features that you just get used to if you live nearby, but if you’re seeing it for the first time it strikes you as incredibly strange. Designed by Dale Naegle in the 1960s, the house was built for Sam Bell of Bell’s Potato Chips. The unusual design of the house was meant to withstand earthquakes and inclement weather, all while looking futuristic…well, futuristic for 1968, anyway.

Beach and Lake Houses
(locations unknown – images via: Hemmy)

precarious clifftop homes

(images via: Casa Pauline and Nathan Snider and BurlingameBarley)

We humans like a bit of adventure, as a rule. We drive fast, we hang glide, we even eat bacon with breakfast. But for the most adventurous among us, nothing is better than living in a dangerously precarious house. These houses are perched high on cliffs and mountains, giving their residents thrilling and, we would imagine, somewhat frightening views.

cliff houses hanging houses of cuenca
(image via: Bornemania)

Among the most famous of all cliff houses are the hanging houses of Cuenca in Spain. This ancient village found itself with a need to expand in the 18th Century. Instead of building out, they built up. The resulting buildings look like they will topple down into the ravine any day, but they are apparently quite stable. These clifftop homes are now a tourist attraction for the town.

cliff houses holman house australia
(images via: Coolboom)

When the owners of this piece of cliffside real estate wanted to build a home here, the architects nearly wouldn’t take it on. The stunning finished product features panoramic views of the sea enhanced by the unique geometric architecture. Located in Australia, the view from this living space is not for the faint of heart. The owners have remarked that during a storm, it seems that the waves will simply wash the structure away.

cliffside village manarola
(image via: Bzmch)

Italy is full of picturesque seaside villages, but Manarola, Cinque Terre is certainly one of the most precariously placed. It’s hard to say just how old this village is, but ancient Roman texts have been found which celebrated the wines produced there. Today, you can still enjoy strolls through the vineyards or a walk on the Via dell’Amore (Path of Love).

precarious cliff village bonifacio
(image via: Jacob Metcalf)

Along the limestone cliffs of Bonifacio in Corsica are a number of precariously perched buildings that look to be at risk of collapse any day. But the buildings hold strong against the constant battering of the Mediterranean Sea, and Bonifacio is a popular tourist attraction. Although huge numbers of tourists flock to the island city every year, Bonifacio has somehow maintained its charm and its decidedly French atmosphere.

precarious cliffside monastery phuktal
(Top image via: Peter Wolledge. Bottom images via: Sajith)

If you are hardy and adventurous enough to trek high into the Himalayas, you will eventually spot one of the most breathtaking monasteries in the world. Phuktal Monastery, home to the Gelug (or Yellow Hat) Buddhist monks, is only reachable by foot. It is built into the side of a cliff at the mouth of a cave and contains a natural spring. It is amazing that this structure has existed as long as it has, being constructed of mud bricks, stones, and sticks.

clifftop village castellfollit de la roca
(image via: Ajuntament de Castellfollit de la Roca)

The tiny town of Castellfollit de la Roca takes up less than one square kilometer in Catalonia. The houses and other buildings are built right up to the edge of the cliff on which the town is situated. The basalt cliff was formed from ancient lava flows and is over 50 meters high and nearly a kilometer long. The spectacular vista is a favorite of photographers and painters everywhere.

cliff dwellings meteora monasteries
(Top image via: JLBG. Bottom image via: Leo Palmer)

It would be impossible to gather a collection of precarious dwellings without a mention of the Meteora monasteries in Greece. Meteora translates literally to “hovering in the air.” They were built hundreds of years ago by monks who initially lived in caves in the area. During the times of Turkish invasions and occupation, the monks climbed higher and higher, finally building their monasteries atop the tall rocks. Although they were once accessible only by climbing the rock faces, the monasteries can now be reached by roads and steps.

Design-wise, condos and townhouses are known for being less-than-thrilling examples of architecture. They are typically boxy and boring with little variation between them. Believe it or not, there are some condos and townhouses that are truly unique and interesting. These buildings push the conventional applications of the architectural styles and prove that living in a condo or townhouse doesn’t have to mean living in a boring, cookie-cutter building.

crazy condos and townhouses tribeca geothermal house
(images via: Paul Warchol)

The popularity of “green” architecture has most definitely been on the rise in recent years, and this townhouse in Tribeca is the perfect example of how style and Earth-friendly design can happily co-exist. The home features a unique geothermal climate system which controls the heating, cooling, and water heating. The home was completed in 2002 by architect John Petrarca who lived there with his wife, but he sadly died the year following its completion. In addition to its forward-thinking geothermal system, the house boasts over 6,000 square feet of space and five stories.

crazy condos urban cactus
(images via: Daily Dose)

In an increasingly urban world, outdoor space is highly coveted. Apartment and condo dwellers especially are at a shortage of green and airy spaces to connect with nature in their homes. The designers of the Urban Cactus in Rotterdam want to change the experience of condo inhabitants by giving them amazing views and a personal garden space. The shape of each unit is dictated by the outdoor space it provides, with the terraces arranged in a staggered configuration so that each terrace features an open space overhead rather than the floor of the above unit.

(images via: WallyG and: New York Architecture Images)

New York City is famous for its eclectic architecture and tiny (but expensive) living spaces. These townhouses are both historic NYC abodes that also happen to be some of the most visually interesting. The house on the left was once the hideout of radical leftist Weathermen group. It was here in 1970 that part of the group’s bomb factory exploded, destroying the house in the process. It was then rebuilt in 1978 with this oddly tilted angle.

The house on the right is known as the narrowest house in the city. Featuring a maximum interior width of 8 feet, 7 inches and a minimum width of just two feet, this house requires some getting used to. It has been the home to several notable people, including the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, cartoonist William Steig, and actors John Barrymore and Cary Grant. Today it’s something of a tourist attraction for architecture and history buffs, although it’s still a private residence.

crazy condos and townhouses the 505 houston
(images via: Collaborative Designworks)

The forward-thinking team at Collaborative Designworks in Texas are working to change the image of townhouses. They were tired of seeing the same boring boxes, so they set out to design townhouses that were not only more attractive to look at from the outside, but that would offer more outdoor space and fewer shared walls for occupants. The result was The 505 in Houston. The units feature abundant windows with a spectacular view of the newly rejuvenated downtown area along with roof decks on the third floor. The clever design of the building means that occupants share only one wall and can enjoy a much greater sense of privacy than most townhouse dwellers.

museum plaza louisville skyscraper
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Although it’s not yet completed, the Museum Plaza Skyscraper in Louisville, Kentucky promises to be a giant of the downtown Louisville skyline. When finished it will feature 1.5 million square feet and be filled with luxury condos, offices, a hotel, retail shops, and a huge contemporary arts center. The designers and architects involved are striving to create a city within a city to combat urban sprawl and rejuvenate the area of downtown Louisville which was previously full of derelict buildings.

crazy condos habitat 67 montreal
(image via: Space 1999)

One of the best-known unusual condo complexes in the world is Habitat 67 in Montreal. Designed to give condo dwellers a better living experience than the plain urban skyscrapers, these condos allow inhabitants great views and a unique urban environment. The stacked-boxes appearance of the units creates interesting outdoor spaces as well as reducing the possibility that residents will glance out of their window and directly into another resident’s window.

cramped houses

(images via: Wikimedia and Wickedblog and House Alive! and Freshome)

As the world’s population density climbs and cities become more crowded, it’s becoming necessary to fit even more housing into existing urban areas. Even in places where overcrowding is not an issue, home buyers are looking for housing that more ecologically friendly, use fewer resources and contain no wasted space. These concerns have given rise to some surprising new trends in housing: the extremely tiny house and the extremely cheap house.

tiny crowded house epu

(image via: Tumbleweed Tiny House Company)

In 1997, Jay Shafer decided that he wanted to do something tangible to reduce his footprint and still live in a comfortable and affordable house. That desire resulted in the birth of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. The company sells itty-bitty prefab houses (most under 150 square feet) as well as plans for those who want to build their own tiny houses. Most Tumbleweed houses are built with attached wheels so that they can be moved around as the mood for new surroundings strikes. Of course, the wheels also mean that the houses are classified as trailer homes and can escape many building codes. And if you’re looking for a more permanent, slightly larger home, Tumbleweed also sells plans for houses up to 774 square feet.

cheap houses boklock neighborhood

(image via: Gizmag)

Fans of Ikea’s ingenious flat-pack furniture will be happy to know that they have partnered with property company Live Smart @ Home to create affordable housing that can be assembled on-site in just one day. The BoKlok are both tiny and cheap, and we bet putting one together will finally give you a use for all of those odd Ikea allen wrenches you’ve got left in the drawer. The high ceilings, Ikea-fitted kitchens, and exterior green spaces make these out-of-the-box homes feel inviting and homey. Not sure you want to buy one? You can rent a BoKlok for 6 months before taking the big plunge.

cheap houses cob house

(image via: Clay and Straw)

Cob buildings have been around for centuries, but these days they are redefining the phrase “dirt cheap housing.” Cob structures are built using dirt, sticks, sand, rocks, straw, and water to create sturdy mud walls. Cob homes are usually made by the people who will be occupying them, as opposed to modern wood-frame homes that are built by contractors. The construction of a cob home can be a truly artistic experience; many modern cob builders sculpt their homes’ interior surfaces to include nooks, crannies, and whimsical shelves at every turn. The result is an absolutely beautiful home that lets the personality of the builder shine through.

cheap houses converted bus

(image via: VonSlatt)

If you’re looking for a house that’s cheap, small, and comes with ever-changing scenery, you won’t find a much better solution than a converted bus. Doing the conversion yourself might take a considerable amount of work, but when you’re done you’ll have a totally unique and personal home that you can take on the road whenever you feel like seeing something new.

cramped houses micro compact home

(image via: Micro-Compact Home)

Although the Micro-Compact Home (m-ch) isn’t exactly cheap at 50,000 Euro (about $77,000), it definitely qualifies as a tiny house. This miniature domicile was designed to be a temporary housing solution. As such, the suggested life span is only about five years. However, the house can be recycled by the factory once it is ready to be retired from regular use.

amazing glass houses and greenhouses

Most of us see our homes as our own personal sanctuaries. Home is a place where you can let loose, be yourself, and walk around in your underwear whenever you please. But for people who live in glass houses, home is more like a fish tank. While some of these glass houses seem impractical for everyday living, others serve a very real purpose. Greenhouses are constructed of glass to harness the power of the sun for growing plants. Whether they are meant for people or for plants, these houses made of glassare visually stunning.

amazing glass house ring houseamazing glass house ring house

(image via: World Architecture News)

This striking home is located in a forest in the Japanese town of Karuizawa. Its solid glass walls are punctuated with bands of wood that both connect it to and separate it from the surrounding forest. The building site itself was a dark and uninviting space, but the architects managed to make this incredibly beautiful home look perfectly in sync with its surroundings.

amazing glass house christiania glass house

(image via: Wikipedia)

The glass house in Christiania, Copenhagen, proves that high-powered architects are not the only ones who can build beautiful glass structures. This building was constructed from salvaged materials and the exterior glass walls are composed of old windows. The old window frames add character and charm to the home. Since glass houses can often appear cold and clinical, this is an interesting take on building glass walls.

yume no shima tropical greenhouse

(image via: apike)

The tropical greenhouse on the man-made Japanese island of Yume No Shima (Dream Island) is a magnificent example of how beautiful greenhouses can be. The structure is composed of three domes that tower over the landscape of this former garbage dump which was reborn as a park in 1978. The domes have been open since 1988 and today house impressive examples of greenery like giant bamboo and carnivorous plants.

amazing glass house farnsworth house

(image via: Architecture Week)

Another glass house that has achieved some measure of fame is the Farnsworth house. Built by famed architect Lugwig Mies van der Rohe in the late 1940s, the home was commissioned by prominent Chicago doctor Edith Farnsworth. The gorgeous house was a feat of modern design, but it was the subsequent legal battle between the homeowner and architect that focused the public’s attention on the structure. The Farnsworth house is now a national landmark open for tours.

amazing greenhouses curitiba botanical garden

(image via: Bartimaeus)

The Botanical Garden in Curitiba, Brazil, is home to this massive greenhouse. It was modeled to resemble the Crystal Palace which once stood in London. In operation since 1991, the gardens and greenhouse have become one of the most popular attractions in Curitiba.

amazing glass house maison de verre paris

(image via: Erin Cromwell)

The Maison de Verre (House of Glass) in Paris is a graceful and memorable example of modern architecture using glass. When the property was purchased in the late 1920s, the tenant of the top floor refused to sell their home. The new owner placed the top floor on jacks and demolished the lower three levels to make room for the Maison de Verre’s construction. The interior features of the house move and glide to create a fluid living space that can be changed at will. The Maison de Verre is a French treasure, and to this very day architecture students around the world are assigned to study it.

Not all well-known houses are famous because of their stunning architecture. Some houses receive attention because of the alleged paranormal activity that goes on there. From sites of suicides to the eventual sets of ghost-hunting television shows, here some of the (supposedly) scariest haunted houses and hotels from around the world.


chillingham castle haunted house

(image via: North of the Tyne)

Chillingham Castle, Northumberland, England

Chillingham Castle has been used as a monastery, a military stronghold, an army barracks, and a private residence. During the days of William Wallace, it played a crucial role in England’s defense and was the site of untold amounts of unspeakably gruesome torture. It’s said that you can still feel the presence of those who were tortured and killed here, and Chillingham Castle is often referred to as one of the most haunted places in Britain.

whaley house haunted house

(image via:

Whaley House, San Diego, California

The Whaley House claims to be the most haunted house in the United States. It is located in San Diego and once housed several different businesses and a court house. It was also, at different times, the scene of a hanging and a suicide. The house has been a museum since 1960. Since then, visitors have reported seeing the ghosts of the man who was hanged, the master of the house, and the lady of the house wandering the halls. People travel from far and wide to see this historic building and the mysteries inside.

stanley hotel haunted hotel

(image via: Wikipedia)

Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado

The Stanley Hotel may seem familiar, especially if you’re a Stephen King fan. King was staying here when he developed the idea for his book The Shining. Later, the television miniseries based on the book was filmed at the Stanley. Even more interesting than its connection to Hollywood is the Stanley Hotel’s multitude of ghosts. Guests have seen the ghosts of the hotel’s original owner and his wife, along with various other apparitions. Employees and guests have often reported hearing strange noises from unoccupied rooms or seeing the piano in the parlor play by itself.

haunted house old slave house crenshaw house

(image via: Wikipedia)

The Crenshaw House, Gallatin County, Illinois

The Crenshaw House, built in 1838, is most often referred to as the “Old Slave House.” This home was the residence of John Crenshaw, who committed shocking acts of cruelty within its walls and without. As a landowner and salt mine owner, Crenshaw was in need of cheap labor to keep his businesses running. His solution was to kidnap black men, women and children – mostly freed slaves – and force them to work for him. They were kept in the third floor of the Crenshaw house in tiny, cramped cells. They were bolted to the floor and beaten mercilessly. After the Crenshaws moved out of the house, the new owners began to experience paranormal activity. The souls said to occupy the house are those of the brutally tortured slaves once held captive within. Almost everyone who has tried to spend a night in the attic has run terrified from the house before morning. The house was once open for tours, but is now owned by the state of Illinois and closed to all visitors.

haunted house winchester house

(image via: Winchester Mystery House)

The Winchester House, San Jose, California

The Winchester Mystery House story begins and ends with ghosts. In 1881, William Wirt Winchester, founder of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, passed away. He left behind his wife, Sarah, who had never quite been the same since her only child died 15 years earlier. Shortly after his death, Sarah visited a medium to contact her dead husband. Reportedly, William Winchester told his wife that there was a curse on their family. William’s inventions had taken countless lives, and the ghosts of the dead were coming for Sarah. William’s ghost informed Sarah that in order to stay alive, she had to go West, find a spot, and start building a home. If she ever stopped building, William warned, she would die. Sarah settled in San Jose and began building on a 162-acre parcel of land. She kept carpenters and architects at work every single day. From 1884 to her death in 1922, Sarah built constantly. Eventually the house grew to approximately 160 rooms and is referred to as a “labyrinth.” There are useless features, such as stairs that go up to the ceiling, and it has been said that it’s nearly impossible to find your way around. Some say that the ghosts who followed Sarah Winchester to the home can still be seen there today. The house is now a California landmark and guided tours are offered.

loftus hall haunted house

(image via: Wikipedia)

Loftus Hall, County Wexford, Ireland

Loftus Hall has a long and fascinating history of hauntings. The first home to stand on this side was Redmond Hall, built in 1350. The original Loftus Hall was built on its ruins, then demolished in 1870 and the building that stands today was built. Legend has it that when a stranger came riding through in the mid-18th Century and asked for shelter for the night, the family living in the home agreed. When one of the ladies dropped a playing card during a game, she bent over to retrieve it and noticed that the stranger had a cloven foot. The stranger immediately disappeared, leaving a hole in the ceiling that is said to still exist today. After that encounter, the young lady who noticed the cloven foot, Anne Tottenham, fell very ill and eventually died. The house continued to be plagued by supernatural occurrences and poltergeist activity. The family asked a priest to perform and exorcism, and presumably the poltergeist activity stopped. However, it is said that the ghost of Anne Tottenham still roams the house. Due to constant vandalism, the vacant house is now closed off and the windows and doors are boarded over.

historic anchorage hotel haunted hotel

(image via: yummytofu)

Historic Anchorage Hotel, Anchorage, Alaska

The Historic Anchorage Hotel may not look like a haunting hotspot, but employees and former guests say that seeing a ghost there is not at all unusual. Most notable is the ghost of an abandoned bride, who hung herself in the hotel, in her wedding dress, when her intended husband failed to show up for their wedding. Guests have also reported seeing pictures fly off of walls, shower curtains ruffle unexpectedly, and various specters appearing in the rooms and the halls. The hotel’s employees are so used to these reports that they keep a “ghost log” to track the sightings.

Beauregard House, New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is widely regarded as the most haunted city in the United States. People in the Big Easy talk about ghost sightings the way people in other cities talk about going to the grocery store. There are many haunted houses and other attractions in the city that promise to put you up close and personal with spirits. One of the lesser-known haunted houses in New Orleans is the Beauregard house. It was once the home of General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, an important general of the Confederate Army in the Civil War. After his death in 1893, the house was quiet for many years. It was purchased in 1909 by the Giacona family and later was the scene of a mob-related shooting that left three men dead. The Giaconas moved out in the 1920s, and two decades later the first reports of supernatural activity began. Oddly enough, the reported hauntings have nothing to do with the Giaconas, but rather with the General. Various people claimed to have heard Civil War-era weapons being discharged in the house. This story is especially odd since no battles ever took place anywhere near the house. The only ties it has to the Civil War are the General’s occupancy and the Civil War museum that now fills the house. Tour guides for the house claim that no supernatural activity has ever taken place there and that the Civil War sounds are simply urban legends.

These are just a few of the famously haunted houses and hotels that dot the landscape of the entire world. Which other haunted houses scare you silly? Let us know in the comments below.

most beautiful and historic lighthouses

(Check out our complete collection of 70 Amazing Houses from Around the World.)

What is it about lighthouses that captures our attention? Is it the history behind these relics of a less technologically-advanced age? Is it the quaint charm of the towers? Or is it maybe the safety and security that the towers symbolize? Whatever it is that draws us to these beacons, they are among some of the most visited and photographed structures around the world.

most beautiful lighthousesmost beautiful lighthouses

(images via: UNC and Lighthouse Friends and Rudy Alice Lighthouse and James Jordan)The qualities that make a lighthouse beautiful have been debated among lighthouse lovers for longer than anyone can remember. These have been named among the most lovely by folks who make a hobby of spotting lighthouses.

The lighthouse at Okino Gozen Shima sits atop an isolated rock about five miles off of the shore of Jizo Saki. Next to it sits a Shinto shrine, a bit of peace in the middle of the sometimes-dangerous waters.

The Mobile Bay Lighthouse in Alabama proudly stands as a part of the state’s history. It is a great example of a screw-pile lighthouse, and extremely picturesque.

The Cape Hatteras Light no longer stands at the edge of the water; today it is nearly 3,000 feet inland due to erosion. At 208 feet tall, it is the tallest lighthouse in the Western hemisphere, and certainly one of the most photographed in the country.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse has a long and convoluted history, but it still stands as a strong beacon. Once a year the electric lights are changed to kerosene lights, and people come from miles away to see the beautiful lights dance in the dark sky.

most historic lighthouses

(images via: Wikipedia and Classic Vehicles and 7 is 7 and M Bell)

The rich history of lighthouses often fascinates enthusiasts. They are, after all, an ancient technology that has existed for centuries. Now that GPS navigation is making lighthouses less essential, lighthouse lovers are defending the historic buildings and ensuring that nothing happens to them. It would be a shame to lose the Tower of Hercules, which is the oldest Roman lighthouse still in use today, or the Dover Castle Lighthouse, which is one of the best-preserved Roman lighthouses in Europe.

The Kõpu Lighthouse in Estonia is one of the three oldest operational lighthouses in the world, making it a national landmark. The Boston Harbor Lighthouse stands on the site of what was the first lighthouse in what is now America. The original lighthouse, which played a part in the Boston Tea Party, was destroyed in 1776 and the current one built in 1783. It is now the second-oldest working lighthouse in the United States and was the last manned lighthouse in the country.

modern lighthousesmodern lighthouses

(images via: Lighthouse Friends and Wikipedia)

Not all notable lighthouses have such a long history. The Charleston Light was built in 1962 and has the distinction of being the last major government-funded manned lighthouse in the country. It is also the only American lighthouse to feature an elevator. These days the Charleston Light is automated. The Capo Branco Lighthouse is a curious-looking structure, but it is in fact a functioning lighthouse in Brazil. Besides guiding ships in the dark, it also marks the easternmost point of South American mainland.

integral lighthouses(images via: UNC)

Integral lighthouses are an often-forgotten example of fine American lighthouses. They are, quite literally, houses with a light on top. While most lighthouses featured a nearby house for the keeper to live in, these lighthouses simply combined the two structures. Integral lighthouses were no longer built after the 1850s, but some of them stayed in commission long after that. These quirky pieces of American architecture don’t often get the attention they deserve for their part in lighthouse history.

amazing dog houses and doll houses

(Check out our complete collection of 70 Amazing Houses from Around the World.)

There’s just something about smaller-than-normal houses that brings out the kid in all of us. Whether you’re spoiling your kids with a crazy doll house or pampering your pooch with a luxurious doghouse, these little versions of real housesare enough to keep you going “Awwww” for hours.

modular doll house

The Hase Weiss doll house is perfect for budding designers or kids who just can’t make up their minds. The pieces are all sold separately, so you can make up new combinations of big rooms, small rooms and stairs to make a totally unique dollhouse every time.

cool pet house air conditioned doghouse

If you just can’t stand to be away from your dog or see him panting in the summer heat, the Cool Pet House is here to help. It’s a little air conditioned pet house with its own working lights and a wireless webcam. See if you can get any work done when you’re able to watch your cute little puppy sleeping all day thanks to the constant video feed directly to your computer.

modern birch doll house

For kids who are more interested in Gehry and Ban than Barbie and Ken, there’s this high-style doll house. The Villa Sibis is made of birch wood and features removable plexi-glass front and back pieces. The tiny modern artists who live inside must be thrilled.

heather benning life size doll house

Ok, so this doll house isn’t exactly “smaller than normal,” but it’s too good not to mention. Canadian artist Heather Benning took an old abandoned farmhouse and turned it into this beautiful life-size doll house. She protected her creation with plexi-glass and left it there as an art installation.

hello kitty expensive dog house

If you’ve got large piles of cash just burning a hole in your pocket, you would always blow about $31,000 on a ridiculously expensive house for your dog. Like this Hello Kitty monstrosity that’s dripping with crystal beads and bad taste.

fao schwartz custom doll house

Or you could take that cash on down to FAO Schwartz, where you can spend at least $10,000 having your home replicated and made into a doll house. Included in your purchase is a visit from a team who will come inside the house to observe and record everything in it to make sure their scaled-down model is perfect. And since you’re spending as much as a down payment on a real house, it should be perfect.

luxury dog houses mansions

How many times has your dog told you that he could really use his own space? Give him all the space he needs with one of these custom dog houses. They include window treatments, wall and floor coverings, and climate control. Your dog might have to get a job to pay for it, though: they start at $5,500.



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25 thoughts on “Amazing Houses from Around the World

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