Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 440 - Famous building / landmark in your hometown

IELTS Speaking Part 2: IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card.

Describe a famous building/landmark in your hometown.

You should say:

  • where it is
  • how old it is
  • how it looks

and explain why you think it is an important landmark/ building.


Model Answer 1:
Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, has a number of landmarks which bear the culture and history of my country in some significant ways. Today, I would like to talk about one such landmark which I have known as my own neighbourhood from my childhood.

This famous landmark is called “Ahsan Manzil” (meaning “the palace of Ahsan”, whereby “Ahsan” was the name of a very famous landlord’s son). Situated on the bank of the river “Buriganga”, this place is also passionately called the “palace on the river” by many people in my country.

Built in and around the 1860s, this famous “pink palace” (pink is called because of its beautiful pink colour), was also the official residential palace of the “Nawab” (a native governor during the time of Mughal empire of India) and had remained so up and until the partition of India in 1947.  Anyway, now it has been established as a museum, and people have the opportunity to visit it to see many objects of historical and archaeological importance. It has 23 galleries displaying portraits, furniture and other objects used by the Nawabs.

Talking about its looks and design, Ahsan Manzil is predominantly European in its architectural expression, even though the building's recessed verandahs may visibly remind the Mughal treatment of such buildings in a tropical climate. Its triple-arched portal, temple facade capped by a pediment, Greco-Roman column capitals, pilasters, and arched windows—all suggest that it is ostensibly a European-style building, albeit meshed with some decorative Indian motifs.  Established on a raised platform of 1 metre, the two-storied palace measures 125.4m by 28.75m. The height of the ground floor is 5 metres and that of the first floor is about 5.8 metres.

Anyway, it is an important landmark, primarily because it still remains as one of the finest examples of Indo-European architecture in Bangladesh. Besides, it has witnessed many historical events of Bangladesh, starting from the last part of the 19th century to the initial years of Pakistan, as many historical and political meetings were actually conducted in this very palace.


Sample Answer 2:
Thank you very much for this wonderful topic. I would like to talk about the ‘City Museum’ which is located in the western part of the city I live in and which is one of the most popular buildings in our town.

This building once was the city hall and was built in 1756 by the Portuguese. Some renovation works have been done on this museum but the original design of it was not changed. The city museum still gives an impression of fine architecture of the past and attracts so many tourists each day. People like to look at it and praise the design of this building. The interior of it is full of historical evidence of our past and a museum visitor is bound to love his tour in this museum for the reach experience it offers to everybody. This building is located near a park and the central library which is well known among the local people. As I said, it is more than 250 years old and in fact, one of the most visited and the oldest building in our city.

This building is a very important architectural proof of mid-Eighteen century. It looks like a castle from far away while it gives the impression of a gigantic temple when it is looked very closely. This red coloured building was turned into a museum in 1920 and all the history lovers around the world visit it for the local history and other important objects it holds.

In my opinion, this is a quite important building in our city. First, it represents our past and it signifies our present also. All the important historical and cultural objects and proofs have been stored there. Besides, this is one of the most popular tourist spots in our city that not only earns a huge sum of money but also introduces our local culture to visiting tourists. To elucidate the importance of this building I can mention that this building reflects our pride and the government spends a large amount of money each year to maintain its originality. In my childhood, I lived in an urban area and I read about this building in my textbook probably in grade three or four.


Sample Answer 3:
Brazil is the country enriched with a notable number of landscapes and the Christ the Redeemer is one of the most important ones. In fact, this has become a landmark for the country. Now I will describe the statue briefly here, and thank you for letting me talk on this topic.  

This is a statue of Christ in the form of a saviour of the world. The statue is located in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. It is located on the top of a hill and thus it looks larger and traceable from a long distance. It is said that the locals of the place where the statue is located now were disobeying to religion. A sense of Godlessness spread everywhere. Hence, to bring a sense of religion among the people, the decision was taken to install a statue. After lots of research and analysis, the decision was taken to make the statue of Jesus Christ.

The suggestions to place a Christian monument in Corcovado came in the 1850s. Initial planning was also done at that time. But owing some troubles, it was not established. Later, another attempt was made in 1920 to establish such a statue. Accordingly, activities to form the statue was launched. In 1922, the statue development began and it took nine years to complete the entire statue. It was completed in 1931. The cost to build this gigantic structure was huge (around 250,000 USD). Now, this is over 85 years old but still standing in perfect shape. Donations to build the structure was collected from the local Catholics of Rio.    

This is a very well-planned statue in the country. It weighs about 635 metric tonnes. The statue is situated on the top of the Corcovado mountain which is also in the Tijuca Forest National Park. The park overlooks the Rio city. This statue is the symbol of Christianity in the area. Before the establishment of the statue, most of the people had no respect for God. And to remind them of God, the statue played an interesting role. Now, this has become a cultural icon for the locality as well. In 2007. The statue was listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It has a magnificent look. The statue shows Jesus Christ is spreading his hands. The hands resemble the call for peace and prosperity.

To be frank, the statue is a pride for us and all Brazilians. The entire structure has been made of reinforced concrete for its durability. It underwent a restoration in the 1990s with some private and public initiatives as some of its parts were damaged, cracked and attacked with fungi to a great extent with the passage of time. Hence, the statue experienced some renovations like the inclusion of walkways and escalators, access to the platform of the statue, new lighting fixture etc. the statue is now an important part of the country and often it is used as a symbol for our land. Now, the 30-meter long statue is the symbol of peace across the world.


Idea generation for this Cue Card topic:

Cue Card Topic: Describe a famous building/landmark in your hometown.

1. India is the country of numerous landmarks and among those, I like the Qutub Minar the most. It has a different appeal to me. The 73-meter structure was built between 1192 – 1220 by Qutub Ud-Din-Aibak. This is a straight tall tower and has been constructed in several phases at different times. The Minar is an important landmark for Delhi because fewer historic structures like this are available in the country. It looks special and its design is highly attractive as well.

2. The Temple of Zeus is located in Olympia. This is one of the Greek temples and was dedicated to Zeus. The temple was built in 470 BC (not exact construction date is available). The temple is different from the other ordinary temples in the country. It rests on a platform with three unequal steps. The exterior and interior have a grandeur look. This is an important landmark because it represents respects to Zeus. It was built for religious purposes as well.

3. England is the land of natural beauties and a good number of landmarks are available here. The Shard is one of them. In fact, this is a 95-storey skyscraper. And interestingly, this is made of glass. The building was inaugurated in 2012. It looks like a long tower made of glass and when the sun rays reflect, it looks glittering. This is an important landmark in England because it accommodates some of the important offices, restaurants and residences. The open-air observation deck is a great place to enjoy as well. 

4. If you ask me for a popular landmark in Beijing, I will surely recommend the Forbidden City.  This is located in central part of Beijing and now is used as the Palace Museum. The complex is aged for over 500 years and has served diversified purposes in the country. This is a complex that consists of over 950 buildings. It also covers over 180 acres of lands as well. This is a landmark for its extraordinary construction styles and vastness. It also got international recognition as well.

5. Among a notable number of landmarks, the Kuala Lumpur Tower appears the most beautiful one to me. This is basically a communication tower and was completed in 1995. The height of the tower is 421 meters. The tower stands free from the ground. It looks aristocratic from a distance and indeed the symbol of modern beauty. This is an important building because it helps to see the city in a panoramic view. The restaurant provides the most delicious food and overall this is a famous tourist spot.


Part 3 – Two-way discussion:

Q. Is it important to conserve old buildings?

Q. What famous landmarks your city/hometown has?  

Q. What is the importance of old historical building?  

Q. Do many people in your country live in old buildings?

Q. What do you prefer, an old or a modern building to live in?

Q. How modern buildings are different than those of old buildings?

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