Perfect for the Traveler in Your Life: T-Shirts From World Cities
World Wide Gifts is always seeking to bring you a wider range of cities, countries and sites in our souvenir selection. This new line expands upon our already existing t-shirt collection, bringing shirts that highlight the most remarkable buildings in the most interesting cities of the world. From the hyper modern Burj Al-Arab in Dubai to the antiquity of Rome's Colosseum, and everything in between, you are certain to find something to remember your travels, expand your collection or to give to the traveler in your life. All of the t-shirts are solid-color cotton with long lasting mono-color prints on them.
Sydney Opera House
Our first t-shirt is a dramatic outline of the Sydney Opera House on a black background. The iconic building was constructed in the 1960s and early 1970s, and is located within the city's harbor near the Harbour Bridge and is surrounded by water and the city's Royal Botanic Gardens. The design was created by Dane Jørn Utzon, who won the Pritzker Prize (the world's most prestigious prize in architecture) for the plans. Fitting for its maritime setting, the building's roof captures the energy of a sailing ship, with a roof design that resembles a sail filled with wind. Today the massive structure houses four performing groups: the Australian Ballet, the Sydney Theatre Company, Opera Australia and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Belvedere Palace in Vienna
This striking red t-shirt bears the words "Republik Österreich" and the facade of Vienna's Belvedere Palace. This baroque palace complex is one of the most popular sights in the Austrian capital - despite competition from numerous other palaces, mansions and similar structures. Today it houses the Belvedere Museum, an art gallery which is home to pieces dating from the Medieval period until present day, but it has an emphasis on local (Austrian) painters from the late 19th and early 20th century, especially in the Art Nouveau tradition. The museum's most famous piece is Austrian Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss", a fine example of the Austrian Art Nouveau. However, visitors also enjoy art by Egon Schiele and Claude Monet. The Belvedere is also known for its broad reflecting pool (which appears in the t-shirt image) and its surrounding Baroque parklands.
Manneken Pis in Brussels
Even jaded travelers are surprised to find that Brussel's proudest symbol is not a mighty castle, church or tower, but instead the theme of this t-shirt: a small statue of a little boy urinating. The name means "little man peeing" and it perfectly captures this playful piece. It dates back to 1618 and there are numerous legends about its history - that it represents the son of a lord who urinated off the city walls on besieging enemies, that a little boy urinated on a fuse that was about to ignite gunpowder to destroy the city walls, or that it was in honor of a noble's son who was lost in the market and found peeing on a wall. Regardless, it captures a playfulness and silliness that residents and visitors alike enjoy. The Manneken has often been stolen by pranksters (in fact the original is held in a museum for safekeeping), is regularly dressed in ridiculous costumes and has a female counterpart on the far side of the city.
Hagia Sophia Church in Sofia
The second-oldest church in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, this building dates back to the mid-sixth century, when this area was part of the Byzantine Empire. Constructed of brick, it served as a church - and even the seat of the archbishop for some time in the 12th century - until the Ottoman conquest when it was converted to a mosque. The building was badly damaged and abandoned after an earthquake in the 19th century and became a massive, picturesque ruin in the heart of Sofia. After Bulgarian independence in 1878, Christian heritage began to be restored throughout the country and eventually, the Hagia Sophia was repaired. Today it once again admirably serves as an Orthodox church, famous for its austere, simple symmetrical design.
Church of Our Lady before Tyn in Prague
This t-shirt captures the skyline of the church of Our Lady Before Týn, whose remarkable towers are one of the most distinctive sights in the Old Town of Prague. The church's two tower are topped with black roofs and a complex array of symmetrical spires. The church dates back to the 14th century and has seen much of the city's turbulent history. The most famous figure buried in the church is the astronomer Tycho Brahe, famous for working with Johannes Kepler and for possessing a golden nose fashioned after he lost his first to infection. The Church is located within Prague's Old Town, a favorite amongst backpackers and history buffs traveling through Europe; other nearby sights include the Charles Bridge, the Astronomical Clock, the Old Town Square and the Old New Synagogue (Europe's oldest active synagogue).
It can be argued that the Pyramids of Giza are the birthplace of tourism. The ancient Greeks who visited this site described it as one of the "Seven Wonders of the World"; today it is the only locale from that list surviving. This classy white cotton t-shirt depicts the Giza Necropolis - the largest collection of pyramids and by far the most famous. The largest pyramid is the Great Pyramid of Khufu at 146.5 meters, which is the oldest of the group - approximately 4,500 years old. Behind it is the Pyramid of Menkaure, which stands 65.5 meters tall and is perhaps 4,000 years old. In front of Khufu's pyramid is the Pyramid of Khafre which stands at an impressive 136.4 meters in height and is almost as old as Khufu's. The three smaller pyramids in front of the complex are "Queen's Pyramids."
The Estonian capital of Tallinn is being rediscovered by the outside world. The small city has retained much of its medieval character with and Old Town centered around the Town Hall (1402 - the oldest building of its type in Northern Europe) and Town Hall Square. The city's picturesque buildings have made it a popular location for filming. At the same time, the city is remarkably well-connected with modern technology and has been listed amongst the top ten most digital cities in the world alongside heavy hitters like Singapore, Seoul, Hong Kong, New York and San Francisco. It has a vibrant cultural life, being named the 2011 European Capital of Culture. Popular destinations within the city include Orthodox Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Toompea Castle, the medieval St. Nicholas' Church (now an art museum), and the Royal Palace (now National Parliament).
This black t-shirt bears a name in Georgian script and the outline of the Georgian capital's newest church: the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Finished in 2004, the Cathedral's domination of the surrounding landscape, remarkable size and beauty have all served to make it a symbol of the newly independent, and - some say - defiant Georgia. The interior contains nine chapels and a height of 105.5 meters (particularly striking considering it sits on top of a hill without other tall structures around it). It is the seat of the Patriarch of Tbilisi, the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, who lives on a purpose built house on the grounds. One notable event at the cathedral was the marriage between Prince David Bagrationi and Princess Giorgi Bagration-Gruzinsky in 2009, a ceremony which linked two ancient (and rival) branches of the Georgian royal house into a single line.
Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
A symbol of Berlin and Germany alike, the Brandenburg Gate is a triumphal arch (much like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris) built in the 1780s to symbolize peace but was often used in processions to celebrate military victory. Napoleon passed through the arch when he arrived in the city and Hitler used it in his celebrations. During the Cold War, when the city of Berlin was divided between Western and Eastern Germany, the Brandenburg Gate became effectively unreachable as it was in East Berlin close to the infamous Berlin Wall. Westerners could see the Gate's outline above the Wall, but could not pass through it. In 1989, East Germany collapsed and the Wall fell with it. The Brandenburg Gate became the symbolic heart of this demolition; on December 22nd, the Western chancellor and Eastern prime minister met at the Gate for the first time. Since then, it has served as a site of celebration, both for commemorating Reunification and other festive occasions (such as national sporting victories).
Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria
This t-shirt depicts the "Fairy Tale" castle of Neuschwanstein, a German palace built on a high ridge in the Alps of the southern German state of Bavaria. The castle was built by the "Mad" King Ludwig II, as his personal retreat and features spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. Designed as an homage to the opera-writer Richard Wagner and the German Romantic Movement in general, it captures a spirit that today we associate with fairy tales and fantasy literature. During the King's life, the project was viewed as a terrible waste of cash and immediately upon his death was opened to visitors - it has remained a prominent tourist attraction since.
Parthenon in Athens
This shirt has a black background and a white printed images of the Parthenon, located on the Acropolis Hill above the city of Athens. This is the remains of a great temple to the ancient Athenian's patron goddess, Athena. It was part of a broader complex of buildings on the Acropolis, which included temples to other gods and goddesses, such as Nike and Poseidon. With the fall of the Athenian Empire and the conversion of the Greeks to Christianity, the hill declined in importance. Eventually the territory was conquered by the Ottomans and during battles between the Ottomans and the Venetians, the Acropolis was shelled and the Parthenon (at this point a mosque) badly damaged. It was only after Greek independence, when the new nation sought inspiration in its ancient past, that the building once again attracted attention, becoming the tourist site and national icon it is today.
The Taj Mahal is the pinnacle of Mughal Architecture in India and today a symbol of the nation; this T-shirt depicts its famous facade along with the Hindi words "ताज महल", the name of the building in that language. The Mughals were the Muslim emperors that ruled India for centuries before the British and this building shows the many cultural trends they drew upon: Islamic, Persian, Turkish and, of course, indigenous Indian. The building was originally constructed in the 17th century as a mausoleum for Mumtaz Mahal, the beloved third wife of the emperor Shah Jahan; he is today buried inside alongside her. It is this story of romance and devotion that inspires many of today's visitors to the site, who enjoy wandering the geometrically perfect gardens and admiring the stunning structures and interiors.
Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem
On this t-shirt is a representation of Jerusalem's famous Dome of the Rock with its name in Hebrew characters "כיפת הסלע". There are few buildings more beautiful and controversial than this gold-domed structure, which dominates any view of Jerusalem's Old City - a district whose other buildings are strictly limited to a pale stone color. At the heart of the Dome is the "Foundation Stone," a stone that Jews believe was the site of the Holy of Holies of Solomon's Temple and Muslims believe marks the site of the call on the Day of Resurrection. The Stone is pierced by a hole leading to a small cave called the "Well of Souls." The elegant mosque was built in the 7th century though its existence is currently highly controversial, as many Orthodox Jews believe entry into the Mount (the hill where it is located) is sacrilegious and others argue that it should be replaced with a Jewish Temple.
Colosseum in Rome
Travelers are often shocked upon emerging from the "Colosseum" subway station to find the mighty structure rising before them. Modern Italy presses close, but does not penetrate this ancient structure. The building dates back to 80 AD and remains the largest amphitheater in the world, seating somewhere between 50,000 and 87,000 people (exact estimates are difficult given its semi-ruined state). The building housed Rome's legendary gladiators, men who would fight to the death for the entertainment of the masses. However, it was not solely dedicated to these pursuits, as it also held theatrical performances, including ones of naval battles where the floor would be flooded and small boats would be floated. In the Medieval period, the Colosseum was damaged by earthquakes and looters, leading to its current state as a picturesque ruin.
Rialto Bridge in Venice
Venice is known as the "City of Canals" because it has no streets in the sense that we think of them but is instead interlaced with waterways. The most important of these is the "Grand Canal," which snakes through the heart of the city. Crossing this artery are three footbridges, the oldest and most beautiful is the Rialto Bridge. Completed in 1591, the Rialto is a dramatic work that rises steeply on either side to a central portico. The impressive grade of the two side ramps allows for a narrow but tall curved opening below for gondolas, water taxis, vaporettos (water busses) and other vehicles to pass. The Rialto is made of stone and covered to protect the bridge surface (and, of course, passengers) from the rain, meaning the Renaissance structure has held up well over the centuries and is today a symbol of the city and a popular theme on souvenirs like our cotton T-shirt.
The "Doms" or Cathedral of Riga is one of the most iconic buildings of the Latvian capital. Its distinctive roof outline appears on this cotton t-shirt in the same way that it appears dramatically in profile on the city's otherwise low-key skyline. The Cathedral was finished in the 13th century (though it has been modified many times since) and is the seat of the Evangelical Lutheran Archbishop of Riga, the head of the Church. Travelers to Riga find the Cathedral's distinctive spire a convenient landmark for oriented themselves while exploring the city's other charms, including Riga Castle, the Medieval Old Town and the Freedom Monument. More than any one particular building, it is often the city's its fine collection of Art Nouveau buildings (locally known by its German name, Jugendstil), that draws in visitors. The city center was recognized by UNESCO in 1997 for having one of the world's best collection of buildings in this style.
Royal Castle in Warsaw
This t-shirt shows the outline of Warsaw's most famous building: the Royal Castle. Located in the heart of the historic city, at the entrance to the "Old Town," it was originally erected in the 16th century as the residence of the Polish Royal Family. The fate of this building has reflected that of Polish history in general, as it was sacked, badly damaged but never destroyed by invasions by the Brandenburgs, Swedes, Russians, and Germans, not mention that it was greatly compromised in the fighting during the Warsaw Uprising. At the same time, it has also served as a place of hope and national dignity, being the site of the drafting of the Constitution of May 1791 and the location of the National Museum and, before its looting by the Russians, the important Royal Castle Library.
Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow
This stunning gold-domed church is a powerful symbol of the return of prominence of the Orthodox Church in Russia. Standing at 105 meters, it is the tallest Orthodox Church in the world. The original church was built in the Tsarist period in 1883. However, it was destroyed by the Soviets in 1931 who built a pool on the site. The reconstruction was begun in 1990 with a cornerstone, with serious work starting in 1994. Only in 2000 was the building completed and reconsecrated.
Saint Basil's Cathedral in Moscow
This striking red cotton t-shirt is decorated with an image of the facade of St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square in Moscow and the name "Москва" (the city's name in Cyrillic script). One does not have to be a world traveler to recognize St. Basil's, whose colorful nine onion domes and two spires have made it an instantly recognizable symbol of Moscow and Russian state power (so much so that it is often mistaken for its politically-oriented neighbor, the Kremlin). Built in the sixteenth century it is a crowning glory of Orthodox architecture, descending from the Byzantine tradition. For centuries it served as the official church of the Patriarch of Moscow, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Tsar, the head of the Russian Empire. In 1929, several years after the Russian Revolution, it was secularized by the Soviet government and transformed into a branch of the nearby State Historical Museum.
Red Square in Moscow
Moscow's Red Square is the city's spiritual, political and touristic heart, with numerous iconic buildings. This cotton t-shirt depicts some of the traveler's favorite sights around the square. On the left is St. Basil's Cathedral, with its famous multicolored onion domes; finished in 1561, it has been a museum since 1929. On the right hand are the walls of the Square's other hub: the Kremlin. A medieval fortress, it has been the seat of Russian government for centuries and is today the residence and office of the President of the Russian Federation (much like the White House in Washington). Other prominent sites on Red Square include the sprawling GUM Department Store, Lenin's Mausoleum, the State Historical Museum, and the gold domed Kazan Cathedral. The Square's name predates the Bolshevik Revolution and refers to the red bricks used in the construction of many of the primary buildings.
Church of the Savior on Blood in Saint Petersburg
This t-shirt shows the facade of St. Petersburg's most spectacular church: the Church of the Savior of Spilt Blood. Finished in 1907, it served as a church only until the 1930s when it was secularized and became a museum (which it remains today). The spires and domes of the church were constructed in a similar way to the more famous St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow with varied colors, and heights giving a dramatic impression. Today it serves as a museum of mosaic work and is one of the city's most popular tourist destinations.
Located along the Volga River in the "Golden Ring" of cities surrounding Moscow, Yaroslavl is a beautiful, historic city with unfortunately not enough fame amongst travelers from the wider world. This t-shirt depicts a statue of of King Yaroslavl the Wise who, appropriately, founded the town. In his one hand, the king carries a sword and in the other a model of a building. Yaroslavl ruled the medieval kingdom of Rus during its flowering: he waged war against enemies and conquered much of today's Poland and founded four towns that bear his name - in Russia, Estonia, the Ukraine and Poland.
Park Guell in Barcelona
Above the city of Barcelona rises one of the city's great gems: Park Guell. Designed by the city's most famous architect, Antoni Gaudi and named for his noble patron, the landscaped grounds capture Gaudi's famous "Modernisme" style. Modernisme was characterized by an organic feel - buildings seem to be living things - and by playfulness and color. The t-shirt shows the park's famous gatehouse, where visitors are delighted by the tiled statue of a great lizard ("the Dragon" in local lore) astride the entrance staircase. Further in, visitors climb up to an overlook seemingly perched on helter-skelter Greek columns for a striking view of the city and the Mediterranean beyond. Nearby the Park are some of Gaudi's other masterpieces, including La Pedrera, Casa Batllo and, further off, the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia.
Stockholm City Hall
The City Hall for Sweden's capital is not only the center of municipal government, but also the yearly site of the awarding of the Nobel Prizes. Unlike the City Halls of other Northern European cities featured in these t-shirts (like Tallinn, and Vilnius), Stockholm's is a relatively new building, dating to the early Twentieth Century. It is, however, in a neo-classical style constructed in red brick that blends into the city's traditional architecture. The Nobel Prize Banquet occurs every year here, celebrating the awards for Physics, Chemistry, Economics, Physiology or Medicine and Literature - the Peace Prize is awarded by neighboring Norway.
Hagia Sophia in Istanbul
For centuries, visitors traveling along the Bosporus have been astonished by the image on our next t-shirts: the Hagia Sofia. This incredible domed church has the rare honor of being a formative influence on two world architectural traditions. It was built in 360 AD in the city of Constantinople to serve as the center for Christianity in the Byzantine Empire. Until 1453, it was an inspiration to Christian churches across Europe; in that year, Constantinople was taken by the Turks and the Hagia was re-purposed as a Muslim Mosque. As a mosque, it continued to inspire, becoming the prototype for mosques throughout the Ottoman Empire and the wider Muslim world. In 1935, after the Turkish Revolution, the mosque was secularized and is today a museum.
Some say that Dubai is the city of the future. Unlike neighboring Abu Dhabi, Dubai does not have tremendous oil reserves and the Emir and his government have, for decades, invested in real estate, transportation, tourism and retail. The result is that today Dubai has been transformed into a fantasy land (for those travelers who can afford it!) including a series of designer private islands, the world's tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa and the theme of this t-shirt: the Burj Al-Arab, said to be the world's first Seven Star Hotel. The Burj al-Arab stands on its own artificial island in the harbor and takes the form of a billowing sail.
Big Ben and the Clock Tower in London
This shirt has an image of London's emblematic belltower at the Palace of Westminster, home of arguably the world's most famous bell: Big Ben. The Palace itself is located alongside the River Thames, directly across from the London Eye ferris wheel. This is the political heart of the Government of the United Kingdom and, previously, the entire British Empire. Within the Palace meet both the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The tallest tower of the Palace is the Elizabeth Tower - renamed in honor of the current Queen, Elizabeth II - and its four faces bear clocks visible through much of the city. Within the tower are a number of bells, but by far the most famous is "Big Ben," whose chimes are heard daily throughout the world on the BBC World Service, intoning the hour in London.
Kiev Pechersk Lavra
This striking white t-shirt bears the outline of the roofs of Kiev's Pechersk Lavra monastery. This monastery sits on an ancient Christian site, a cave monastery dating back to approximately 1055 AD. Co-owned by the Ukrainian state and the Orthodox Church of that country, it is the nation's pre-eminent monastery and the seat of the Metropolitan, the leader of the church - much like Canterbury is for the Anglican Archbishop or the Vatican is for the Pope. Within its walls are numerous structures, including belltowers, churches, caverns, tombs, and a museum (holding, amongst other things the silver treasures of Martynivka and a wide collection of folk art). The complex's "Near Caverns" are an extensive series of caves whose construction was begun by St. Anthony of Kiev and house cells for monks, seventy-nine tombs and a church.
This simple shirt has the white letters "FBI" written on a black cotton background. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is the primary investigative body of the Federal government of the United States of America and is based in the J. Edgar Hoover Building in Washington D.C. These shirts, reminiscent of the shirts and jackets worn by actual FBI agents are perennially popular souvenirs for travelers passing through not only DC, but other areas of the United States as well. The FBI's fame comes from decades of service - investigating organized crime, alcohol bootleggers and terrorists - but also through their darker side such as their illegal investigations of Civil Rights activists in the 1950s and 60s. The organization is also famously depicted in television shows like The X-Files and Numb3rs.
Statue of Liberty in New York
Guarding New York Harbor is Lady Liberty herself. Erected in 1886 on Liberty Island, the Lady lifts her torch - an emblem of freedom - to the world. While it was originally not designed a such, it quickly became a symbol the United States' appeal to immigrants from around the world, in part because of the volume passing beneath her on steamships to the immigration processing facilities on nearby Ellis Island. Today, but Liberty and Ellis islands are national parks and still accept visitors from around the world on a line of ferry ships leaving southern Manhattan.
St. Peter's Basilica
There is no place quite like St. Peter's: the world's largest Christian church located within the world's smallest sovereign nation (the Vatican City) governed by the world's last theocratic monarchy. Entering St. Peter's is a remarkable experience, often overwhelming (especially for Catholic believers). The church itself is said to be built around the Tomb of St. Peter, the Apostle of Jesus and first Bishop of Rome. Beyond this incredible church, the Vatican City has a number of other important sites including, the Sistine Chapel - home to Michelangelo's famous frescoes and the Papal Conclaves - extensive gardens and the impressive art collections of the Vatican Museum. Considering that all of these riches are located within the already impressive city of Rome, makes a trip to the Vatican one of the most rewarding destinations for lovers of art and history.
The Lithuanian capital of Vilnius has opened up to the outside world in recent years. One of the central draws of the city is it's Old Town, one of the largest surviving medieval neighborhoods in Central Europe, with almost 1500 buildings. The entire historic district is built around the Town Hall, a medieval building that has been rebuilt numerous times. At the center of the old town, It is also home to Vilnius University, the oldest university in the Baltic. However, the city also has a modern air, especially in the high-rise financial district of Šnipiškės. A highlight of any visit to Vilnius is taking the funicular railroad up the hill in Šnipiškės Park to Gediminas Tower, the last remnant of a royal palace, for panoramic views of the Old Town as well as the newer districts.
Red Light District in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a city of contrasts. On the one hand, it is characterized by elegant buildings, quiet tree-lined canals and beautiful paintings by the Dutch Masters (Vermeer, Rubens and Company). On the other is a libertine spirit captured in this t-shirt, which depicts a voluptuous female form. The Netherlands has long been known for its tolerance and this extends to many activities illegal in other countries - most famously the brothels of the Red Light District and the "Coffee Shops" serving marijuana products. This infamous neighborhood in fact fuses the two sides of the city: the brothels are found not in a seedy dockside area but instead along an elegant canal and operate out of historic buildings, creating a uniquely Dutch experience which draws in visitors - most of them uninterested in the "wares" on offer - by the thousands every day.
This shirt has an image of the iconic sites of Copenhagen, Denmark's capital and largest city. Located entirely upon the island of Zealand, Denmark has long benefited from the trade flowing from the Baltic to the North Sea, making this city rich in architecture from many era. On the left side of the image is the tower of Rosenborg Castle, today a museum which includes the home of the Crown Regalia (the crowns, swords and jewels used in the royal coronation). To its right is the facade of Christiansborg Palace. The Palace is unique in that it is the only building in the world that houses all three branches of its nations government: the Danish Parliament, Supreme Court and Prime Minister all have their offices within its walls.
Flag of Czech Republic
While most of the T-shirts in this collection depict travel destinations, this one shows a national emblem: the flag of the Czech Republic. The flag has a simple design: a white band above, a red band below and a blue triangle to the left. It is identical to the flag of the old Czechoslovakia, and the fact that the Czech Republic did not create a new flag did cause some controversy with Slovakia when the two nations separated in 1993. Except for a period in World War II, this flag has been the official flag in the Czech Lands since the first days of their independence in 1920 and is based upon the colors of the coat of arms of the old royal house. Whether you are of Czech descent, a lover of flags or you were entranced by the magic of Prague, the Czech capital, this T-shirt is for you.