Not too many people get (or even want) an opportunity to visit North Korea. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t much worth seeing. In fact, North Korea boasts some of the most impressive and weird architecture in the world.
Thankfully, those interested in seeing North Korea’s architecture for themselves don’t have to hazard a visit: Thanks to Tech Insider and Nick Bonner — a tour guide for Koryo Tours who has visited North Korea annually for the last 22 years — we can all take a tour from the comfort of our own laptops.
While not much news comes out of secretive North Korea, you can learn a lot about the country’s values through its architecture. Here’s just a sampling of our favorite buildings and monuments.
The Arch of Reunification in the capital city of Pyongyang features two women holding a conjoined North and South Korea to symbolize supreme leader Kim Il Sung’s vision for the two countries.
The Workers’ Party Monument offers this message: “Long live the Workers’ Party of Korea, the organizer and guide of all victories of the Korean people!”
North Korea doesn’t have enough electricity, so the country goes pitch black at night… with the exception of what’s needed to light up a picture of the country’s founder, Kim Il-Sung.
North Korea’s leaders, Kim Il-Sung and Kim Jong Il, are honored throughout Pyongyang, including at the People’s Grand Assembly Hall.
North Korea’s May Day Stadium is the largest sports arena in the world, capable of holding 150,000 people. It’s used for the annual Mass Games, which pay tribute to the country’s history.
The Sci-Tech Complex, which opened earlier this year, was built in the shape of an atom. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, has said he hopes the center will help “advance the establishment of a rich and powerful fatherland through the locomotive of science and technology.”
In addition to adorning its buildings with its beloved leaders, North Korea is fond of donning its buildings with pastel colors.
Want to see more North Korean architecture? View all 23 photos.