Just imagine yourself seeing these architectural wonders at night, illuminated by the glow of lights and devoid of crowds of tourists, is like
seeing them anew.
THE EIFFEL TOWER, PARIS
Paris’ favourite icon and a landmark feat of engineering, the iron trellis of the Eiffel Tower becomes ethereal by night, transformed into an
artwork by clever lighting that erupts for five minutes every hour on the hour. Snap away, but publishing night images of the tower on socia
l media is illegal since copyright applies. Begin with the distant view from the Trocadero at sunset and walk across the Seine. See
TAJ MAHAL, AGRA
Nobody ever told his favourite wife “I love you” with more feeling than Shah Jahan when he built the Taj Mahal for her. This is poetry in
stone, and moonlight gilds its shining, studied perfection. The grounds of the Taj are open for night viewing on full moon night and two
nights before and after. Otherwise, the view from the rooftop restaurant of the Sai Palace Hotel over your chicken vindaloo is a knockout.
MONT ST MICHEL, NORMANDY
Perched on a rocky islet surrounded by sandbanks that are exposed to powerful tides between Normandy and Brittany, this soaring, Gothic
Benedictine abbey and the village huddled at its base is a technical as well as an artistic tour de force. Go at twilight and watch the sunset
as the lights come on, and step to the side of the promenade for the best shots, magic. See ot-montsaintmichel.com
HAGIA SOFIA, ISTANBUL
Wars, plague, the fall of the Byzantine Empire, the crusaders and the coming of the Ottomans – this massive, sixth-century work of Emperor Justinian I on the heights overlooking the Bosphorus has witnessed some of the seminal events of human civilisation over the past 15 centuries. See it from the gardens between Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque, another nocturnal Turkish delight. See ayasofyamuzesi.gov.tr
Lining the sides of a river gorge in southern Italy where most of the population once lived in Sassi, caves bored in the side of the gorge,
Matera transports you back to the Old Testament. Now a World Heritage zone, it’s highly photogenic, a favourite for cinematographers
looking for a biblical backdrop. It’s at its best at twilight, when house lights anoint the dim passageways that lead to the church at the top of
One of the crowning architectural achievements of the ancient world, the Acropolis is an anthill by day, but its cool, serene, classical beauty
is restored when the lights come on at night. Philopappos Hill has good views but it’s a tricky spot to negotiate by night. Better still is the
rooftop restaurant of the Sin Athina Hotel, which has a fine, unobstructed view of the Parthenon. See visitgreece.gr
MEHRANGARH FORT, JODHPUR
Set on a hilltop at the navel of Rajasthan’s “Blue City” Mehrangarh is one of the most impressive forts in all of India, its cliff-like walls
radiating military might and purpose. Softened by the night lighting, its brooding mass assumes an air of romance. Admire it from the roof
terrace of Darikhana Restaurant at Raas Jodhpur Hotel, where the Mediterranean-inspired menu plucks the taste buds like a sitar.
POTALA PALACE, LHASA
Ringed by the mountains of Tibet, the former official residence of the Dalai Lama and one of the world’s largest palaces is a stunning vision
when the lights come on at night. Enshrined on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, the Potala is a place of pilgrimage for Tibet’s Buddhists.
There’s an excellent night view from the rooftop restaurant of the Shambhala Hotel, tucked away deep in the old town. See
WINTER PALACE, ST PETERSBURG
The classical Baroque façade of the palace, the official residence of the Russian Emperors from 1732 to 1917, is a beauty by night.
Radiating elegance, majesty and imperial might, the sprawling palace is now the home of the spectacular Hermitage Museum. See it from
both sides, from the Palace Square, then cross the Palace Bridge to the opposite bank of the River Neva where the palace is reflected
Narcissus-like across the water. See saint-petersburg.com
On the island home of legendary Atlantis, the sugar-cube houses that cling to the brink of this crumbling pile of volcanic rock glow by night.
A prime spot is any one of the bars in the village of Oia, from where the houses spill down the cliff face, completely white except for doors
and window frames. Local superstition maintains that vampires flap about when the moon is full, but don’t let that put you off. See
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