From the mid-sixteenth century onwards, Japanese feudal lords competed with one another in the construction of massive and imposing castles. Today many of them have been lovingly restored.
Martin Biddle visits Nonsuch, a magnificent combination of French Renaissance decoration, with English late Gothic design, built by Henry VIII in a spirit of rivalry with Francis I of France.
Today a “beautiful but broken shell”, the Parthenon has housed three very different cults—those of Athena, Allah and the Blessed Virgin—since it was first constructed in the fifth century B.C. It was a Christian soldier, writes Donald Nicol, in the siege of 1687, who did most to destroy the sanctuary.
A mid-Victorian competition to design new Government Offices in Whitehall fell victim to a battle between the competing styles of Gothic and Classical. The result proved unworthy of a nation then at its imperial zenith.