On your trip around the world, there are countless breathtaking sites to visit and sights to see, and Europe offers some of the best of the best. When money flows as thickly as it has in Europe through the centuries, some of the most amazing and breathtaking work can be created.
When we look around the world, we see naturally occurring landmarks that inspire awe in us, motivating us to mimic nature when we create our own dwellings. These buildings are surely no exception. Here are the 10 most expensive buildings ever built in Europe.
10 Elbphilharmonie, Germany
Kicking off the list of the most expensive ever built in Europe is the $1,027,510,000 Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany. This spectacular concert hall is affectionately nicknamed Elphi by locals and opened only recently, with its inaugural concerts taking place on January 11th, 2017, with performances by the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra.
This hall is one of the tallest buildings in Hamburg at 354 feet tall and resembles a wave of water from the outside, thanks to Herzog & de Meuron, the architecture firm that designed the concert hall.
9 Termoelektrarna Šoštanj, Slovenia
Coming in at $1,335,258,000 is a structure nobody expected to see on these lists, but really should have been anticipated at some point: a power plant. Swaddled in controversy, the TEŠ, or Termoelektrarna Šoštanj, has seen several units open and close over a span of nearly seventy years, at this point.
A new sixth block is currently being built by the state, and the combined costs of these projects not only placed this structure at number nine on the list, they also doubled the original projected budget for the structure.
8 The Shard, United Kingdom
For $1,500,000,000, the United Kingdom built the Shard, a building located in London that has gone by many names: the London Bridge Tower, the Shard London Bridge, and the Shard of the Glass, all of which have earned the structure the familiar nickname of The Shard.
Anyone who lays eyes on the Shard knows exactly where it got this name: the design of the building makes it perfectly imitate an immense shard of glass, stuck viciously into the London skyline, a feat of modern architecture. Designed by Renzo Piano, an Italian architect, the Shard is not only the tallest building in the United Kingdom, but also holds the title of the tallest building in the entire European Union, measuring up to 1,016 feet tall.
7 Wembley Stadium, United Kingdom
There is not a long journey between the locations at number seven and number eight on this list: Wembley Stadium is also located in London, comes onto the list at a whopping $1,501,010,550. This football (or soccer if you're American) stadium is the home of Cup Final (the Football Association Challenge Cup Final), as well as the England national football team.
This structure is the largest football stadium in the entirety of England, as well as the United Kingdom, and is considered to be the second-largest stadium in all of Europe.
6 Seat of the European Central Bank, Germany
Unsurprisingly, the Seat of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany cost a pretty penny; coming in at number six on this list, this breathtaking German structure cost $1,557,297,000 to construct.
This building not only serves as the headquarters for the European Central Bank but is also houses the former Wholesale Market Hall, known locally as Großmarkthalle. In addition to Großmarkthalle and the European Central Bank, there is a tremendous twin skyscraper, as well, and a low-rise building between the Wholesale Market Hall and the skyscraper to pull the whole shebang together.
5 Lakhta Center, Russia
Leaving England and Germany behind, the middle of the list sees a journey out to Russia; specifically, the Lakhta Center in St. Petersburg, Russia, which cost a total of $1,770,000,000 to fully construct. This groundbreaking structure measures out to 1,516 feet tall, making it the official tallest building in all of Russia.
As if that wasn't impressive enough, it's also considered to be the tallest building in all of Europe and falls to sixteenth place on the list of the tallest buildings in the entire world, which is still an impressive title to claim.
4 Palace of the Parliament, Romania
Jumping up in price a bit from the meager $1,770,000,000 Russian juggernaut that is the Lakhta Center, Romania offers the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest which cost $3,338,055,000. This structure serves as the seat of the Parliament of Romania, which makes sense, given its centralized location in Bucharest — the capital city of Romania.
Not only is this building 276 feet tall, it also holds the unexpected record of heaviest building in the world, having an official weight of 4,098,500,000 kilograms (or 9.0356x10^9 pounds, for the Americans in the audience).
3 Nya Karolinska Hospital, Sweden
Heading back out west to Stockholm, Sweden, we see the magnificent (and magnificently functional) Nya Karolinska Hospital, which comes with an insane construction price tag of $7,500,000,000. This dramatic leap was originally unanticipated since the initial budget for the project was only ("only") $1,800,000,000.
Since the price for building the Nya Karolinska Hospital skyrocketed so dramatically, it's hard to find a permanent place on this list for the building's actual costs, but rest assured that this structure absolutely belongs on every list of the most expensive buildings ever built in Europe.
2 Olkiluoto Nuclear Power Plant, Finland
Another massive nuclear power plant makes the list, this time hailing from Eurajoki, Finland. This structure is only one of Finland's two power plants, and as such has been in use the 1970s. The price tag on this building is actually estimated to be $9,452,467,500, though that number may actually be higher, as the latest reports have not yet been made public on the budget for the structure.
Finland snuck in to make this list, but they certainly made the list with a bang, being incredibly close to breaking the ten billion-dollar mark.
1 International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, France
The International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor located in scenic Saint-Paul-lès-Durance, France, is the most expensive structure in all of Europe, having cost a truly mind-boggling $20,000,000,000. And twenty billion dollars is considered to be on the low end of this insane budget, which was put together with multiple international contributions.
This headquarters houses the aforementioned International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER, which is considered to be the world's largest magnetic confinement plasma physics experiment. Because the experiment is ongoing, projected costs continue to rise — but at least it's for a good cause: the pursuit of knowledge.