Which is the most beautiful city in the world?

Discussion in 'Food & Travel' started by Iranian Monitor, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    mermoz-les-boss
    Club:
    Olympique Lyonnais
    Country:
    France
    I think there was never a desire to decide what was “the most beautiful city in the world” but simply an invitation to list beautiful places we had been (and not, as some here felt inclined to do, criticize places we apparently hadn’t).

    The acrimonious comparison of New and Old world cities inspired me to translate the first paragraph of the chapter about Sao Paolo in Claude Levi-Strauss’ masterpiece Tristes Tropiques*.

    A malicious wit [my note: I believe he refers to Oscar Wilde] once defined America as a country that has gone from barbarism to decadence without knowing civilization. That formula could be applied more accurately to the cities of the new world: they go from freshness to decrepitude without any period of antiquity. A Brazilian student came to me in tears after her first voyage to France: Paris seemed so dirty to her, with its blackened buildings; whiteness and cleanliness were the only criteria she had for judging a city. But the vacations away from time we are invited on by the monumentality, the ageless life that characterize the most beautiful cities, become objects of contemplation and reflection, and no longer simple instruments of urban function -- American cities never attain. In the cities of the New World, whether new York, Chicago or Sao Paolo, it’s not the absence of ancient landmarks that strike me : their absence is an element of their signification. But contrary to those European tourists that pout because they can’t add another 13th century cathedral to the list of monuments they’ve bagged, I’m overjoyed to adapt myself to a system without the dimension of time, interpreting a different form of civilization.

    he continues with a comparison that basically shows that there is no right answer to the question in this thread header.

    this took place in the thirties; these days Europe has caught the renovation bug, and the York Minster, the Louvre and even that mountain of coal the Kölner Dom are now as sparkling as the day they were born. I’m of two minds if this is a good thing: the Sistine chapel is obviously much prettier now, but is it as impressive? The age and history represented by the dust and soot perhaps were as important, and had as much to say to us, as the allegories represented by the mastery of Michelangelo.

    I have seen a great many monuments all over the world, but in the Grand Place in Brussels, under a double mantle of lowering dusky sky and the veneer of centuries, I felt a weight of history, like the pressure of being under 5 meters of water. This feeling is less and less common when visiting the great monuments of Europe.

    Contrarywise, there are places in the New World, places that were once important and are now backwaters, that have become vivid reminders of days (admittedly only just) gone by and I think Valparaiso (i've never been) may be one of them.

    * this Levi-Strauss had nothing to do with blue jeans; he was (he died this year at the age of 101) one of the leading minds, and Tristes Tropiques one of the most important works of the 20th century. A work almost worth learning French for all by itself! as translations go Weightman is decent but Russell (the only one available online) is ghastly. Better to avoid Levi-Strauss completely than get an idea so false about his style or theories.


  2. Alberto

    Alberto Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2000
    Location:
    Northern, New Jersey
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Country:
    United States
    Dubrovnik is much more beautiful than Valparasio which in many respects looks like....... a brightly painted favela. It does nothing for me.
  3. Alberto

    Alberto Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2000
    Location:
    Northern, New Jersey
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Country:
    United States
    You are kidding right? This isn't a city it's a hamlet or town.
  4. Alberto

    Alberto Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2000
    Location:
    Northern, New Jersey
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Country:
    United States
    Positano and a number of the other selections posted are not cities. The population of Postiano is less than 4,000.


  5. jec1

    jec1 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles ATM
    Club:
    Sporting CP Lisbon
    Country:
    Portugal
    I agree. Croatia, Chile & Montreal are my favorites.
  6. JeremyEritrea

    JeremyEritrea Member+

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    Location:
    Takoma Park, MD
    Club:
    DC United
    Country:
    United States
    Croatia and Chile are cities? :confused:
  7. RunningBackwards

    RunningBackwards New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    I'm going with Prague or Paris, but it really depends on what bits of the city you are looking at.
  8. jec1

    jec1 Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Location:
    Los Angeles ATM
    Club:
    Sporting CP Lisbon
    Country:
    Portugal
    I meant countries.... oops! Still great places to visit.
  9. StiltonFC

    StiltonFC Viking Pineapple Presents

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Location:
    SoCal
    Club:
    Liverpool FC
    Country:
    United States
    Chi-town is a city with a different kind of energy than NYC or LA. one of the things about Chicago is that it only takes a few minutes to find yourself in a very rural environment after you leave the city limits, driving south or west.

    LA is geographically immense. its uninterrupted metropolitan sprawl is 50 miles by 40 miles. but there's no bustling downtown like Chicago or NYC. pedestrian traffic in downtown LA isn't that different from Cleveland.

    i found walking around in London an experience profoundly different from NYC. first of all, the major streets are much wider in London, and the verticality of NYC makes the environment seem much more closed in.

    downtown Chicago is more like NYC than any other city i've been to, but it's no where near so hectic. one way NYC and Chicago are similar is that they both have ( more in Brooklyn and Queens ) neighborhoods with pretty distinct personalities. LA has the same phenomenon, but it's so much more spread out.

    i only spent 4 days in Paris, and that during the winter of 2001, so i have meagre reference, but i would live in Paris in a minute if my situation were different.
  10. ptrjakson

    ptrjakson New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2010
    I like North Cyprus .It truly deserve to be the best destion in whole europe for all age group .
  11. TallTowerMan

    TallTowerMan BigSoccer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Location:
    SoCal
    Club:
    Club Tijuana
    Country:
    Mexico
  12. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I'm surprised Paris gets so much mention in this thread. If you like that Baroque style architecture then surely Vienna is better, no? The attention to detail to seemingly every building in Vienna is just amazing! Paris also has that huge, ugly black building that towers over the city. A real eye-sore. :eek: French architects must have been on strike when that thing got designed.
  13. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    mermoz-les-boss
    Club:
    Olympique Lyonnais
    Country:
    France
    i think by baroque you mean art nouveau/jugendstil? vienna has some nice things it's sure. but there are lots of older things in paris that vienna is short on, and besides being much less numerous than those in paris the monuments, stefansdom, karlskirche, oper, belvedere etc, don't hold a candle to notre dame, sacre-coeur, palais garnier, etc, etc, etc...

    the tour montparnasse does dominate the skyline in the southern arrdts. but from most of paris i'm not sure you don't even see it.

    i like both cities, they're both very nice, but honestly there's a difference in magnitude.
  14. johan neeskens

    johan neeskens Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Paris is lovely looking. Just a shame about the French people (sorry Guignol)
  15. guignol

    guignol Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    mermoz-les-boss
    Club:
    Olympique Lyonnais
    Country:
    France
    well, i'm not a native frenchman... i wouldn't have decided to raise my kids here and take a passport if i didn't feel welcome.

    people have very much the wrong idea about the french. generalizations are always faulty but certain ones have a life of their own that no amount of reality can counteract.
  16. turbogt redded

    turbogt redded Red Card

    Joined:
    May 29, 2010
    Club:
    Bristol City FC
    The most beautiful cities: Florence, Venice. New York, L.A, Toronto, Paris, Budapest, Prague, St Petersburg, Beirut

    The ugliest cities in the world: Shanghai, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Yokohama, Islamabad, New Delhi, Lagos
  17. Kadija

    Kadija New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2010
    I love Prague and Budapest very much. :)
  18. viscajunior

    viscajunior Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Club:
    Junior Barranquilla
    Country:
    Colombia
  19. babaorum

    babaorum Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2005
    Location:
    Marseille
    Country:
    France
    Stupid generalization. :rolleyes:
  20. johan neeskens

    johan neeskens Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    I'm not really talking about the French in general but about those who live in Paris. I think people from capital cities generally tend to be overbearing arrogant twats and Paris is no exception in my view. I have a French friend from Brest and she agrees with me!
  21. johan neeskens

    johan neeskens Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Well yes. What of it?
  22. TallTowerMan

    TallTowerMan BigSoccer Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Location:
    SoCal
    Club:
    Club Tijuana
    Country:
    Mexico
    Take that conversation elsewhere. Thanks.
  23. BocaFan

    BocaFan Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2003
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    Probably some jealousy effecting her opinion. I've been to northern France. Some quaint places to be sure, but man ...there is nothing going on up there.
  24. MexiGOL

    MexiGOL New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    Club:
    Club América
  25. viscajunior

    viscajunior Member+

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    Club:
    Junior Barranquilla
    Country:
    Colombia
    ...:confused:

Share This Page