Posted in Austria

Archtrove travels to Vienna – whirls, waltz and viennese

Viennese Architecture

Vienna’s architecture is booming: Dominique Perrault built the imposing DC Tower, Austria’s tallest building, Jean Nouvel constructed a modern hotel by the Danube Canal, nestles against the old gasometers. One of Europe’s most modern railway stations has also been created with the new Vienna Main Station.

Architecture Styles in Viennese Architecture

A variety of architectural styles can be found, such as the Romanesque Ruprechtskirche and the Baroque Karlskirche. Styles range from classicist buildings to modern architecture. The Secession, Karlsplatz Stadtbahn Station, and the Kirche are Steinhof by Otto Wagner rank among the best-known examples of Art Nouveau in the world. Art Nouveau was a popular architectural style during the 19th century, and post-war Vienna saw many interesting structures pop up.

Iconic Buildings in Viennese Architecture

The mesmerising multicoloured mosaic roof tiles of the Stephensdom Cathedral is remarkable to behold. The Secession Building is an excellent example of Art Nouveau architecture, this grand building is the exhibition hall that houses many of Austria’s most revered artistic triumphs. MUMOK and the Museumsquartier – concrete breezeblocks were the chosen material for this contemporary art museum, giving it a bold and imposing exterior.

The Hundertwasserhaus by Friedensreich Hundertwasser, designed to counter the clinical look of modern architecture, is a popular tourist attractions. Another example of unique architecture is the Wotrubakirche by sculptor Fritz Wotruba. In the 1990s, a number of quarters were adapted and extensive building projects were implemented in the areas around Donaustadt (north of the Danube) and Wienerberg (in southern Vienna).

Adolf Loos

Concurrent to the Art Nouveau movement was the Wiener Moderne, during which some architects shunned the use of extraneous adornment. A key architect of this period was Adolf Loos, whose works include the Looshaus, the Kärntner Bar and the Steiner House.

 

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Architecture in Vienna

  • Stephenson Cathedrale
  • Museum Quartier
  • Secssion Building
Posted in Italy

Archtrove travels to Italy – colosseum, columns, culture, carbs

Italian Architecture

Italy is the epitome of classical style. Steeped in equal amounts of tradition and elegance. Most commonly known for its arches and domes which were constructed during the ancient Roman times. This started the Renaissance architectural movement in the late 14th to 16th century, and being the homeland of Palladianism, a style of construction which inspired movements such as that of neoclassical architecture, and influenced the designs which noblemen built their country houses all over the world, notably in the western world. Italy also contains more World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world.

Range of Architecture

Italy has a very broad and diverse architectural style, which cannot be simply classified by period, but also by region, because of Italy’s division into several regional states until 1861. This has created a highly diverse and eclectic range in architectural designs. Every part of Italy brims with architectural wonders. Famous landmarks like the Tower of Pisa or the Trevi Fountain in Rome, the Duomo of Milan, and Florence cathedral seem to be around every corner in Italy.

Every Corner of Italy

Italy’s smaller cities offer just as much. Ravenna, which used to be the capital of the Western Roman Empire, is a great chance to see mosaics brought over from the Eastern Roman Empire in Byzantium. Every other year the Venice Biennale is the international showplace for all that’s happening in contemporary architecture.

Ancient Rome

Ancient Rome and the Italian Renaissance gave Italy a rich architectural heritage that influenced building design around the world. Palladian styles are resonated throughout the world. Palladio’s most famous architecture from the 1500s includes the Rotonda, Basilica Palladiana, and San Giorgio Maggiore all in Venice.

Modern Architecture in Italy

Italy isn’t all about old architecture. Italian modernism was ushered in by the likes of Aldo Rossi and Renzo Piano. International architects have also put their stamp, such as the MAXXI: National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome by Zaha Hadid and the MACRO Addition in Rome by Odile Decq. In Milan, CityLife Milano, a planned community has been a collaborative project with Iraqi born Zaha Hadid, Japanese Arata Isozaki, and Polish Daniel Libeskind. There is something to satisfy every architectural interest.

 

 

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Cities to Visit in Italy

Rome

Sicily

 

 

Posted in Egypt

Archtrove travels to Alexandria – greece comes the egypt

Alexandrian Architecture

Alexandria was one of the greatest cities of the ancient world, founded by Alexander the Great. However, due to the uneven preservation and excavation of its monuments, it is also one of the most untouched. Egypt’s largest seaport was once a glorious cosmopolitan city, but now, a shadow of what it once was due to nationalism in the 1950s.

The Style of Alexandrian Architecture

Some say that it was the centre of architectural innovation with a wide variety of architectural and decorative innovations. This lead to the creation of an Alexandrian style, starting with the colossal Pharos Lighthouse – one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, which spread throughout the Mediterranean and affected the development of the monumental architecture for over a millennium.

Rome in Alexandrian Architecture

Many fragments of the city, through mosaic, ancient paintings and ruins, help to reconstruct the architectural beauties of these lost monuments, giving a sense of the city’s former architectural grandeur. Roman Theatre, Built in the 2nd century AD, this Roman amphitheatre has 13 semicircular tiers made of white and grey marble, with marble seats for up to 800 spectators, galleries and sections of mosaic-flooring.

Citadel

Citadel of Qaitbay, One of the icons of the city at a beautiful location, the fortress overlooks the Mediterranean Sea and the city itself, built in 1480 by Sultan Qaitbay on the site of the Pharos Lighthouse, to protect the city from the crusaders who used to attack the city by the sea. It was erected on the exact site of the famous Lighthouse of Alexandria. Now it’s a Maritime Museum.

Modern Architecture

That being said, today, architecture in Alexandria is not only a city full of ruins, it also holds a stunning modern library in tribute to being one of the first cities in the world to have a university. It is also trying to revive itself and become the cultural hub of Egypt. Compared to the rest of Egypt, this city showcases a calmer way of life with its harbour, eloquent Greek architecture and historical coffee shops.

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Buildings in Alexandria

Citadel of Alexandria

Alexandria Library

Roman Ruins

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For more about Greek architecture click here

Posted in Austria

Archtrove travels to Austria – writers and cake lovers beware

Austrian Architecture

Austria, the country for writers, cake lovers, and mountains. That being said, its architecture does not disappoint. Charming villages with timber-framed houses and old churches against a mountain backdrop are what is synonymous with Austria, but that is not all.

Austria was not always as glorious as it is today, in the early 20th century, Austria was racked by economic difficulties due to Nazi Germany, finally ending with the end of the Cold War in 1995.

The Habsburg dynasty once controlled one of the most spectacular empires the world has ever known. From Habsburg architecture to the modern pieces set in the Alpes, architectural masterpieces are everywhere. Seeing old and new buildings existing side by side in harmony has become part of Austria’s distinctive identity. 

Modern Austrian Architecture

Modern Austria boasts some of Europe’s most varied museums and contemporary architecture not to mention attractive and sophisticated cities whose bars, cafés and clubs combine contemporary cool with elegant tradition.

Vienna does not disappoint with its Modern architecture. Friedensreich Hundertwasser, known for his curved lines and lack of colour. Hans Hollein’s glass and concrete Haas House’ at the very centre of the first district just opposite of St. Stephen’s.

Austrian Architecture and the Landscape

Set in within the vast landscape of Austria, amongst the majestic lakes, rows of trees and fairytale-like image, are modern stand outbuildings. Small, villages and farmlands are slowly becoming the place for modern architecture such as the Sölden Ski Resort, recently seen in the Bond film.

These buildings have a lot of thought put into them and as a result fit into the landscape, striving for timeless beauty. Often made of wood and glass, these simple, lightweight structures demonstrate clean lines and sophisticated simplicity. Vorarlberg is the best place to see modern architecture at its best in Austria.

Cities to Visit in Austria

Vienna

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Posted in Malaysia

Archtrove travels to Borneo – forests and peace

Architecture in Borneo

Borneo is Malaysia’s hidden secret. When visiting Malaysia, most people stick to the mainland and never venture to Borneo, unless it is to look at the orangutans on the far side of the island. However, there is so much more to Borneo than meets the eye.

Location of Borneo

Straddling the equator and dominated by luscious rain forests, Borneo is the world’s third-biggest island. Its territory is positioned unevenly between the countries of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

The two East Malaysian states Sabah and Sarawak, lie to the north, surrounding Brunei. While the Indonesian state of Kalimantan occupies most of central and southern Borneo.

Architecture Styles in Borneo

Within the cities, are located some beautiful pieces of architecture, enjoyed mostly by the locals. The influence is a mix of the countries that surround it and therefore merge into its own style. Although on an island, mud huts and derelict buildings are not what is shown, instead of elegant and carefully considered jewels are displayed.

Kuching

Kuching’s architectural heritage and historic Chinatown are well-preserved. Even though it lacks UNESCO protection, and there is scarcely a high-rise to spoil the skyline.

Kuching is defined by its historic waterfront, and walking along this promenade in the evening as it follows the Sarawak River is the best way to see the city. Across the water lie Malay kampongs, the colonial Fort Margherita and the White Rajah’s palace, both dwarfed by an immense modern parliament building resembling a golden sun.

Today the various court buildings are not in use and instead host exhibitions, as well as a fashion boutique, cafe and restaurant. Parallel to the waterfront runs Main Bazaar Street, lined with shops selling tribal handicrafts. The back streets behind form Kuching’s Chinatown, a maze of all sorts of knick-knacks, coffee shops, street food stalls, traditional handiwork, tailors, temples, and blacksmiths.

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Cities to Visit

Sarawak

Kuching

Sabah

Sepilok

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Posted in England

Archtrove travels to Bath – georgian architecture and beautiful streets

Architecture in Bath

Bath, located in Somerset, is a UNESCO Heritage Site, a copious amount of honey-coloured Georgian architecture and one of the most beautiful streets in Britain, Bath is the epitome of a beautiful independent city. The history of Bath’s architecture and its use of spaces is what makes this a world heritage site. Bath still holds a 2,000-year-old original Roman Baths, the only one in Britain. With more museums in a square mile than any other English. 

Georgian Period in Bath

Through the Georgian period, extensive ranges of uniform streets, landscaped spaces, blocks of tall stone-built Georgian houses and public buildings were built. The many examples of Palladian architecture are purposefully integrated with the urban spaces to provide picturesque aestheticism. Other examples are seen in Britain such as that of Covent Garden Piazza.

Important Buildings in Bath

n addition to the Georgian houses, Bath has a number of 18th-century public buildings, mostly within the city. These include the Grand Pump Room, the Concert Room, the Upper Assembly Room and Theatre Royal and the Holburne Museum.

Important buildings also include the Roman Baths; neoclassical and Bath Abbey in the city centre. Of equal importance are the residential buildings designed and built into boulevards and crescents– well-known examples being the Royal Crescent, built around 1770, and The Circus, built around 1760, where each of the three curved segments faces one of the entrances, ensuring that there is always a classical facade facing the entering visitor.

 

Posted in France

Archtrove travels to Paris – love and louvre

Paris, the city on everyone’s bucket list for many reasons, all to do with romance.

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Shown through its architecture, Paris is a romantic city with its balconies draped over, it’s theatrical religious monuments and its dark gothic tones with an air of grunge. Its charm resonates through its leafy avenues, bistros and cafes.

In the 1950s there were no tall buildings in Paris to share the skyline with the Eiffel Tower, the tallest structure in the city, until the 1960s. This is when Paris opened up in terms of styles and taking influence from other parts of Europe such as that of Italy.

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Politics and Paris

Architecture rules politics in Paris, if ever a ruler wanted to make his mark, grand projects were in the pipeline such as in the 1980s, during the reign of Francois Mittard, the Opera Bastille, Grande Arche de la Defense, Louvre Pyramid and the Ministry of Finance.

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Diversity of Paris

However, Paris has never ceased to evolve and experiment, with aristocratic mansions, Baroque churches and Haussmannian apartments sitting happily alongside concrete avant-garde houses, industrial premises, the cast iron Eiffel Tower and the high-tech Centre Pompidou.

Modern Architecture

Modern French architecture has just as much influence today as historic architecture does. France has also been at the forefront of modern architecture, with its innovative use of technology, from The Institut du Monde Arabe by Jean Nouvel to the Louis Vitton Foundation by Frank Gehry. The future, skyscrapers in the suburbs.

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The Skyline of Paris

Paris is synonymous with black iron railings and hanging baskets, gothic structures and as of most recent modernism, hugely due to Le Corbusier, the Centre Pompidou, that fit the 21st century architectural style.

 

Architectural Sites in Paris

  • Champs-Elysees
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre
  • Notre Dame
  • Musee D’Orsay
  • Palace of Versaille
  • Centre George de Pompidou
  • Louis Vitton Foundation
  • Sacre Coeur
  • Pantheon
  • Sorbonne

See more Architecture in France here

Posted in France

Archtrove travels to France – chateaus and cathedrals

Architecture in France

France, the country of sophistication, whether in food, fashion or architecture, France has always been at the forefront of elegance. From chateaus to cathedrals, villas to lodges, the depth and breadth of this country can never be summed up in one style. Its most famous buildings are of course in Paris, the Notre Dame, Louvre and last but not least, the Eiffel Tower.

Landscape of France

Frances landscape ranges from mountain plateaux to lush farmlands, traditional villages to chic boulevards. France belongs to both the north and the south of Europe. Brittany with its maritime heritage, the Mediterranean Sunbelt, the Germanic Alsace-Lorraine, and the hardy mountain regions of Pyrenees.

Romanesque and Gothic

Over the centuries, France has been at the forefront of architectural innovation, rich in medieval architecture, ranging from Romanesque churches to Gothic cathedrals. France Romanesque buildings have thick walls, round arches and heavy vaults. French arch improved this and lead to the blossoming of the Gothic era in the 13th century. Pointed arches and flying buttresses were the key inventions that allowed for taller buildings with larger windows.

Renaissance

During the Renaissance, the French borrowed from the Italian to create lavish Chateaux. In the 1600s, the French brought exuberance to the elaborate Baroque style. Neoclassicism was popular in France until about 1840, followed by a revival of Gothic.

Beaux Arts, a new trend, was an elaborate, highly decorated fashion, inspired by many ideas from the past. Art Nouveau originated in France in the 1880s. Art Deco was born in Paris in 1925. Then came the various modern movements, with France solidly in the lead with the father of Modernism, Le Corbusier, whose work is reminiscent throughout France. 

Modern Architecture

Modern French architecture has just as much influence today as historic architecture does. France has also been at the forefront of modern architecture, with its innovative use of technology, from The Institut du Monde Arabe by Jean Nouvel to the Louis Vitton Foundation by Frank Gehry.

 

Gallery

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Cities to Visit

Paris

Nice

Monoco

Antibes

Cannes

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Posted in Egypt

Archtrove travels to Luxor – the river and the palace

Architecture in Luxor

Luxor, meaning “Palaces”, is an archaeologists dream. With its vast temples, ancient royal tombs, set in a spectacular desert with the flowing river set beside it, it really does look like something out a storybook. Across the Nile, lies one of the world’s richest archaeological sites, deep in the surrounding hills. Away from the mortuary temples on the floodplain lies the tombs.  

The markets are as you expect, tight and crammed but full of hidden delights from original papyrus artwork to some of the best food in Egypt. A haven for Nile tourists, relying heavily on tourism as an industry as the town centres around the Luxor Temple, a symbol of its former glory.

Karnak Temple in Luxor

The architecture was constructed hundreds of years ago and are yet the ones that stand today, in the markets and at the sites. Nothing in the world compares to the scale and grandeur of the monuments that have survived from ancient Thebes. Sitting on the banks of the Niles sits the majestic Karnak Temple, with its towering columns and huge pillars. It is easy to see why this series of rotting ruins of temples, chapels, monuments is a UNESCO Heritage. Karnak is an open-air museum and the largest ancient religious site in the world. It is one of the top tourist magnets to Egypt.

Valley of Kings and Queens in Luxor

Equally majestic are the Valley of the Kings and Queens, the gateway to the afterlife. Huge royal burial sites to the pharaohs, queens and other elites. The tombs present elaborate preparation for the afterlife. But they also spent time creating hidden underground mausoleums. Well stocked with all the material goods a ruler might need in the next world. Tomb robbers, treasure hunters, and archaeologists have been combing the Valley of the Kings for centuries.

 

 

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Posted in Egypt

Archtrove travels to Cairo – pyramids and pharaohs

Architecture in Cairo

Cairo, a congested city of millions of people crushing the city’s infrastructure under their weight and lifting its spirit up with their charm and humour. This sprawling capital, set on the Nile is the heart of Egypt, hence Egyptians call it Umm ad-Dunya – the Mother of the World. Within one taxi ride, you can pass stupendous mosques, grand avenues, and 19th-century palaces, with a far-away view of the pyramids of Giza.

Within the congested city are souks, markets selling everything and anything. At every turn sellers bartering through thier makeshift shops with an overflow of items.

At its heart is Tahrir Square and the vast Egyptian Museum, a trove of antiquities including mummies and King Tutankhamun artefacts. Nearby, Giza is the site of the iconic pyramids and Great Sphinx, dating to the 26th century BC. In Gezira Island’s leafy Zamalek district, 187m Cairo Tower affords panoramic city views.

History of Cairo

Cairo starts with the Fatimid architecture, developed in the Fatimid Caliphate combining elements of eastern and western architecture, it bridged early Islamic styles and the medieval architecture of the Mamluks of Egypt, introducing many innovations.

The heartland of architectural activity and expression during Fatimid rule was at al-Qahira, the old city of Cairo, on the eastern side of the Nile, where many of the palaces, mosques and other buildings were built.

 The Fatimid Caliphs competed with the rulers of the Abbasid and Byzantine empires and indulged in luxurious palace building. Notable extant examples of Fatimid architecture include the Great Mosque of Mahdiya, and the Al-Azhar Mosque, Al-Hakim Mosque, Juyushi and Lulua of Cairo.

City Walls of Cairo

A new city wall was built around Cairo on expanded beyond the original city walls, and the city faced threats from the east, notably by the Turkoman Atsiz ibn Uvaq, commander of the Seljuk army. In fact, the fortifications were never put to the test. Three of the gates in the new walls have survived: Bab al-Nasr, Bab al-Futuh and Bab Zuweila.

 

Gallery

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Architecture in Cairo

  • Al-Azhar Mosque
  • Cairo Museum
  • Pyramids of Giza
  • Great Sphinx
Posted in Egypt

Travel Guide to Egypt – temples and tombs

Architecture in Egypt

Egyptian architecture is one of the most famous across the world, its structure and style are replicated from its temples to those pyramids. With sand-covered tombs, austere pyramids and towering Pharaonic temples, Egypt brings out the explorer in all of us.

At the heart of historic and modern Egypt, souks. The catacombs like alleys weave in and out showcasing a range of delights all set up in a flat-pack style.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt is one of the most influential civilizations throughout history, which developed a vast array of diverse structures and great architectural monuments along the Nile, using brick and stone. From tombs to temples, from palaces to fortresses, everything was derived from these two materials.

What to See in Egypt

The most well known example of ancient Egyptian architecture are the Egyptian pyramids; yet, excavated temples, palaces, tombs and fortresses have all been studied by architects. Due to location, most ancient Egyptian buildings were built of mud brick and limestone—readily available materials—by slaves. Monumental buildings were built via the post and lintel method of construction, and many buildings were aligned astronomically. Columns were typically adorned with decorated capitals which were made to resemble plants important to Egyptian civilization, such as the papyrus plant.

Mt Sinai – a place of pilgrimage for Jews, Christians and Muslims. Down below the mountain sits St Katherine’s Monastery. Its sturdy byzantine fortifications built over the spot where Moses is believed to witness the burning bush.

Cities to Visit

Alexandria

Alexandria was one of the greatest cities of the ancient world, founded by Alexander the Great. However, due to the uneven preservation and excavation of its monuments, it is also one of the most untouched. Egypt’s largest seaport was once a glorious cosmopolitan city, but now, a shadow of what it once was due to nationalism in the 1950s.

In Alexandria, the Greek ruins and the site for the first library in the world or simply trek into the desert to find the traces of Roman trading outposts.

Cairo

Cairo, a congested city of millions of people crushing the city’s infrastructure under their weight and lifting its spirit up with their charm and humour. This sprawling capital, set on the Nile in the heart of Egypt, hence Egyptians call it Umm ad-Dunya – the Mother of the World. Within one taxi ride, you can pass stupendous mosques, grand avenues, and 19th-century palaces, with a far-away view of the pyramids of Giza.

In Cairo, the glittering finds in the Egyptian Museum and the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx, towering the urban sprawl of Cairo and the desert plains beyond. Most of the gems of Islamic Egypt are in Cairo, from the 8th century to the late Ottoman.

Luxor

Luxor, meaning “Palaces”, is an archaeologists dream. With its vast temples, ancient royal tombs, set in a spectacular desert with the flowing river set beside it, it really does look like something out a storybook. Across the Nile, lies one of the world’s richest archaeological sites, deep in the surrounding hills. Away from the mortuary temples on the floodplain lies the tombs.

In Luxor, the Valley of the Kings and the waterside temple, where Tutankhamun’s tomb was unearthed. It also holds the greatest concentration of ancient Egyptian monuments anywhere in Egypt. Columned halls of the great temples on the east bank of the Nile such as Ramesseum, or climbing down the tombs of pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings.

Posted in Malaysia

Archtrove travels to Malaysia – culture and tradition

Architecture in Malaysia

Malaysia is a mix of the modern world and a developing nation, a blend of Malay, Chinese, Indians and indigenous groups. With its investment in the high technology industries and moderate oil wealth, it has become one of the richer nations in Southeast Asia. Malaysia, for most visitors, presents a happy mix: there are high-tech infrastructure, history and culture.

Malaysia boasts a rich cultural heritage, from a huge variety of annual festivals and wonderful cuisines to traditional architecture and rural crafts. There’s astonishing natural beauty to take in too, including gorgeous beaches and some of the world’s oldest tropical rainforest. Its national parks are superb for trekking and wildlife-watching, and sometimes for cave exploration and river rafting.

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Natural and Urban Landscape

Malaysian architecture, exemplified in its largest city of Kuala Lumpur, is a complex mix of elements including Islamic design, colonial control, and Asian traditions. Due to its humid island climate, Malaysia’s architecture often deals with mediating interior and exterior space.

As part of the Malay Archipelago, which stretches from Indonesia to the Philippines, Malaysia became an important port of call on the trade route between India and China, the two great markets of the early world, and later for the Portuguese, Dutch and British empires.

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Religion and Architecture

Today, the dominant cultural force in the country is undoubtedly Islam, adopted by the Malays in the fourteenth century. But it’s the religious plurality – there are also sizeable Christian and Hindu minorities – that is so attractive, often providing surprising juxtapositions of mosques, temples and churches. Add the colour and verve of Chinese temples and street fairs, Indian festival days and everyday life in Malay kampungs (villages), and the indigenous traditions of Borneo, and it’s easy to see why visitors are drawn into this celebration of ethnic diversity; indeed, despite some issues, Malaysia has something to teach the rest of the world when it comes to building successful multicultural societies.

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Cities in Malaysia

 

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