Zagreb, Croatia -- This long structure works well with its square. Its symmetry is maintained by having two facades, allowing the southern facade ample frontal space even though the back facade is blocked, somewhat, by St. Mark's church. This space, in turn, allows crowds of citizens to gather for important announcements made from this columned balcony. From this spot, Croatia proclaimed its independence first from the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1918) and then from Yugoslavia (1991). Considering that the neo-Gothic was all the rage just 15 years before this was built -- and that this building itself replaced a 1731 baroque parliament building on this site -- its twin neo-classical pediments may be a bit of a pleasant surprise. But as a parliamentary building, it seems to age well.

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