Our locals in Europe have written about many buildings that have earned a reputation for being the ugliest building in their city. These structures are hated by some, but many have grown to love them.
We’ve selected 12 buildings around Europe that are considered “ugly” by residents or architects. It’s up to you to decide if you agree of course… Whether you love or you hate them, they can be interesting spots to visit for sure!
National Library, Prishtina
The National Library of Kosovo is often referred to in lists as the “ugliest building in the world”. It definitely is truly bizarre. A bit like a game of Tetris has gone wrong. It was opened as part of the Albanian-language University of Prishtina. Many tried to figure out what the 99 white domes represented. Some say they are traditional Albanian hats, others think brains.
The House of Time, Vienna
At Leopoldsgasse 39 in Vienna, you will find a remarkable building, The house of Time. This building has just a little bit too much of everything. It is painted in so many colors that you’d lose count. Then it’s topped off with plenty of ornaments that just add to the overall chaos. Our local Tina thinks you should visit it because it stands out as the ugliest building in the beautiful city of Vienna.
Slovak Radio, Bratislava
The Slovak Radio building is a polarizing one. You either hate it or think it’s an architectural masterpiece. Did you know that the upside-down pyramid was the first building to use this much steel? Inside the radio station, you will even find another pyramid that houses the recording studios.
National Library of Belarus, Minsk
The National Library of Belarus is one of the most controversial buildings in Minsk. It has been listed on many “uglies building” lists as well as many “beautiful architecture” lists. You will have to visit it to decide for yourself! It has the shape of a rhombicuboctahedron. No matter if you find it ugly or not the rooftop offers an amazing view of the city!
The tallest building in Chisinau also happens to be the most controversial. Its unusual round shape is hard to miss. It was supposed to become a hotel but is nowadays used as a residential building. Romanita is in bad condition and as there is no money for renovation it will be demolished in the future. So if you want to see it in person, you will have to be quick!
Zizkov tower, Prague
This television tower in the middle of Prague is an eyesore for many locals. Not only has it an incredibly weird shape, but its modern architecture has changed the Prague skyline forever. To top it all of and make it truly bizarre the tower has sculptures of babies climbing it….
Torre Velasca building, Milan
In the center of Milan, you will find this odd-shaped tower. Is it a hammer? Is it a mushroom? Nobody really knows what is going on with the architecture of the Velasca Building. The tower was designed to resemble a medieval tower in homage to the city’s medieval history. Many think something went wrong…
Inntel Amsterdam, Zaandam
Much like the House of Time, this building has way too much of everything. The architect took inspiration from the traditional houses of the Zaan region when constructing this hotel. They are cute, but if piling a dozen of them on top of one another was a good idea? We leave that decision up to you.
Palace of Rituals, Tbilisi
The Palace of Rituals, or Wedding Palace as it is locally known in Tbilisi, was built in the 1980s by architect Viktor Jorbenaze. It was originally designed as a venue for weddings and took on many functions after that until it was purchased by Georgian oligarch Badri Patarkatsihvili in 2002 as a personal residence. After his death, the building was opened to the public again. To catch the best view of the palace, walk across the bridge and take photos from the opposite side of the river.
Johannes XXIII Church, Cologne
Built in 1968 by architect Heinz Buchmann and sculptor Josef Rikus the Johannes XXIII Church appears as an unconventional sculpture of exposed concrete and nowadays forms a congenial ensemble with the recently built vocational college next door. While the outside is quite rough the inside is actually really delicate and detailed. A must-see for every Brutalist lover!
Located in the middle of Tirana, Piramida is a favorite meeting spot for the locals. Whether you think it’s beautiful or ugly it’s a nice spot to chill with friends. The locals like to climb the building with some drinks and spend the evening there. The architecture is a point of discussion among the locals, nobody seems to actually agree about what it signifies.
Genex Tower, Belgrade
For our Belgrade Spotter Svetlana, the Genex Tower represents Belgrade just as much as the pretty postcard pictures. It’s home and part of the city. Orange at sunset, almost black on rainy days. The building is also known as the Western city gate and was specifically built in this form to welcome people into the city. The two towers are connected with a bridge that used to house a restaurant.
Can’t get enough? Check out the article we wrote about 10 cool Europe brutalist buildings spotted by our locals!