Cue Card Sample

IELTS Cue Card Sample 98 - Describe a building/structure with architectural interest

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

Describe a building/structure with architectural interest.

You should say:

  • what is it
  • what is the historical and architectural significance of it
  • why you think it should be preserved

and describe the building/structure.

[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you are going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer 1:

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, also known as Tower of Pisa, is an impressive structure situated in the Pisa city in Italy.  It is the third oldest structure in Pisa's Cathedral Square and very famous for its unintended tilt to one side.

The height of the tower is around 183 feet and the width is higher in the lower part than the top part. This tower has 296 steps and offers a great architectural value to the world. The tilt of this tower was not planned and occurred unintentionally. During the construction phase, the slope was created because of the inadequate foundation on the soft ground. Later this slope increased until the structure was stabilised. Around 200 years were taken to build this greatest structure. There are some debates about the real architect of this world-famous structure and it has been credited to Guglielmo and Bonanno Pisano as the architects of this structure. But recent studies imply this credit to Diotisalvi as the original architect.

This structure has innumerable historic significance and was one of the seven medieval wonders of the world. The people of Pisa started building this structure to show the rest of the world about the importance of the Pisa city. The plan included a cathedral, a baptistery, a bell tower and a cemetery. The construction began at around 1173 AD and completed in the middle of 1300 AD. This famous tower is not known only for the great beauty of its Romanesque architecture but also for its historical significance. The famous astronomer Galileo Galilei is said to have dropped a cannonball and a musket ball bot at a time from the Tower of Pisa to prove that weight does not affect the dropping speed of an object.

This structure is one of mankind's greatest achievements and architectural works and should be preserved as part of our heritage and past. 

This structure was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 and had been very famous as one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World. I had been fortunate enough to look at this marvellous structure a few years ago and it is one of the most profounding architectural feats in my opinion. 


Model Answer 2: 

Often being considered as the "8th wonder of the ancient world", the Pantheon in Rome is a true architectural wonder still to this date. Having been shrouded in mysteries as to when the structure was really built, many historians suggest that the temple, once dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome, was built and dedicated between 118 -125 A.D.
The pantheon's basic design is simple and yet, very powerful and fascinating as far as its architecture is concerned. The basic and fundamental structure of the temple is made of a series of intersecting arches. The arches rest on eight piers (a platform of pillars) which then support another eight, round-headed arches that stretch through the drum from its inner face to the outer face. If approaching the Pantheon from the outside, it would appear rectangular in shape. But, in reality, it is only the first small room (called "cella") that actually has corners. However, the rotunda itself is completely round. When it came to building the dome of the pantheon, the Romans also knew perfectly well how to use arches to help carry the weight of their huge building structures by using lighter materials at the top of the dome while using heavier materials at the bottom. But the lightest of the materials were reserved for the ceiling of the dome. Interestingly enough, the Romans used bricks to build the dome. Lastly, but not in the least, built with costly wooden scaffolding, the detail of the pantheon is simply outstanding.
This great architectural wonder should be preserved as visiting the Roman pantheon today would almost be like transporting back to the Roman Empire itself. As architects from all over Europe and America from the Renaissance through the 19th century studied it and incorporated what their findings into their own works, later on, the pantheon has remained as one of the most imitated buildings in history. The pantheon is probably is the best-preserved of all Roman buildings which had been dedicated as a Christian church to Mary and the Martyr Saints in 609 A.D. Being used as a tomb also, this Christian temple also carries the memories of painter Raphael, the first two kings, and first queen of Italy, the pantheon today exists for all the people being a house of "worship" for all religions in the west. 

Similar Cue Card topics:

Your ability to talk about this Cue Card Topic would enable you to talk about the following Cue Card Topics as well:

  1. Describe a building or architecture that impressed you.
  2. Describe a famous building or historical place you know about.
  3. Describe a building or structure in your city.
  4. Describe a building in your university or office.
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