Let me introduce you to the Abraj Al-Bait Towers, also known as the The Mecca Royal Clock Hotel Tower.
This is probably the most hideous monstrosity and insult to elegance and taste in human architectural history. They scaled up London’s Big Ben to 2000 feet and made it into a seven star super posh hotel. It hangs over the Masjid al-Haram, the holiest site in islam. (and you thought the “ground zero mosque” was bad)
The historic Ajyad Fortress was built 1781 and had to be demolished in order to build the The Mecca Royal Clock Hotel Tower. I wish I was making that up. They demolished a historic cultural landmark to build this grotesque hotel.
Obscenely wealthy Saudis sit in their 5000 dollar a night super luxury air-conditioned rooms sipping on chocolate ice cream sodas as they look down on pilgrims staggering around the Kaaba in one hundred plus degree heat.
The pilgrims are dressed in simple white robes to signify poverty and equality but are watched from far above by people who call up room serves to nibbling on the world’s finest caviar and the best food from all over the world.
The pilgrims often pass out or vomit or die from the intense heat, but hey, the hajj was never meant to be easy. Rich pilgrims will get to live in the lap of utter luxury and take breaks in their bubbly jacuzzis in between fulfilling their Islamic duties which are incidentally supposed to remind them of humility before Allah and equality between all men.
This Mecca Royal Clock Hotel Tower is the complete and total opposite of the beautiful work of Santiago Calatrava for example:
And here is a great example of a modern Islamic building that was built with taste and elegance in mind, the Putra Mosque in Malaysia:
You would think the Saudis would treat the holiest place in all of Islam with a tad bit more respect and not build a gigantic monument to mens insecurity about penis size (almost literally, since it is the world’s largest erected clock). This is the christian equivalent of building the Westin Times Square (one of the ugliest hotels ever built in my opinion) right smack next to St. peters Square in Vatican City
P.S – Saudi Arabian religious police organization have an AWESOME name: “Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices”
- Wikipedia article on the Mecca Royal Clock Tower
- Wikipedia article about the Kaaba
- Free Vector version of all of these awful Arabian skyscraper projects