Top Five Must-See Chandeliers
As buildings evolve, a great influence is always placed on light, both in the architecture of the building and the various sources used to provide it within. One of the striking ways to light any room is with a chandelier.
With this in mind, the members and editors of VirtualTourist.com, one of the world's largest travel websites of user generated content, present their picks of the world's "Top 5 Must-See Chandeliers."
Internationally celebrated sculptor Dale Chihuly is widely known for his remarkably intricate glass sculptures. While his most recognized work hangs in the hall of the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas, one of his lesser known masterpieces is the Rotunda chandelier which is suspended at the entrance to the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England. The V & A, as it is affectionately known, serves as host to the 30 foot blue and green glass-blown chandelier, completed in 2001.
No list of chandeliers would be complete without the obvious, but no less magnificent, choice of the chandeliers in the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles. The palace's gem boasts 357 mirrors, 17 glass doors, marble walls and ceiling paintings, but it's the chandeliers that are most captivating. Seventeen large chandeliers and 26 smaller ones, each made of solid silver, together held about 1,000 candles. Today, the chandeliers use electric lights, but it's easy to see how chandeliers were and still remain a powerful symbol of elegance and luxury.
Few cities are known for their over-the-top opulence like Las Vegas, and such decadence demands a lot of sparkle. While there are a number of traditional preferences, our favorite pick is The Chandelier, a bar and nightlife concept at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. The Chandelier is just that - an enormous actual chandelier, positioned in the middle of the hotel with a different experience on each floor. The bottom of the Chandelier serves as a meeting spot and casino bar, the inside of the chandelier offers mixology cocktails, and the top of the chandelier provides a lounge area for revelers to look down through rows of crystals onto the floor below. The location also serves as a great starting off point for seeing Vegas' new landmarks, as it is a part of the new CityCenter.
While casinos and palaces are obvious places for chandeliers, many places of religious worship use chandeliers for light, decoration, and ceremonial significance. One interesting example is the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. Built in 532-537 AD as a Christian church, chandeliers were originally placed throughout for candles and oil lamps.
In 1453, the church was converted to a mosque, and in 1847, a central chandelier and various pendant chandeliers encircling it were added. In the 1930s, the mosque was transformed into a museum so anyone could come to visit this architectural masterpiece and admire both Christian and Muslim art.
Our final must-see chandelier is a bit off the beaten path, but according to VirtualTourist.com members, undoubtedly worth the trip! On the outskirts of Kutna Hora, which is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) from Prague, there is a chapel that is famous for its inhabitants... since it is covered with bones from over 40,000 people! While it is believed that the Sedlec Ossuary originally served as a Roman Catholic chapel, it is now most definitely an ossuary, as bones have been "decoratively" arranged as part of the architecture in the space. In fact, most of the photographed pictures from the building contain chandeliers made of human bones!
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