Even though the Google Cultural Institute isn’t new, many people forget the ways that Google contributes to the world of arts and culture by bringing it to our fingertips.
Take Google Maps, for example—users often remain entrenched in its practical uses and forget that they can take a virtual trip to some of the world’s most interesting hubs of art and fashion without looking up from their phone.
Here’s our collection of seven enticing places to view and perhaps visit.
Bunka Fashion College
With headquarters located in Tokyo, Japan, Bunka Fashion College is a world leader in the art of fashion design. Students whose predecessors have included Hiroko Koshino, Yohji Yamamoto and Chisato Tsumori use mannequins that reflect average students, so their designs are fit to real bodies.
The college’s 21-story building houses a costume museum, fashion library, and fashion resource center—some of which you can view on Google Maps here.
Château de Vaux le Vicomte
The Château de Vaux le Vicomte is a baroque château located about 55km south of Paris, France. It was built for Nicolas Fouquet while he was the superintendent of finances for Louis XIV, and the building’s magnificent design soon made it one of the 17th century’s most architecturally influential palaces.
In fact, it may have been too influential—although he was probably arrested for mismanaging funds, there are still rumors that the opulence of the palace, grounds, and decor got Nicolas Fouquet killed when Louis XIV became jealous of his fabulous parties.
You can take a virtual tour via Google Maps here.
ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen
One of the world’s best museums of Belgian fashion, the ModeMuseum Provincie Antwerpen is probably the best place to check out the 1980s and 1990s pieces that were the work of Antwerp-trained designers.
Take a look at this fabulous collection of contemporary and vintage fashion here on Google Maps.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the western US, and its goal is to inspire creativity and dialogue while displaying works from all cultures and periods.
You can view their exhibits that have topics like Coffee, Gods and Goddesses, Contemporary Jewelry, Islamic Art, and so much more here on Google Maps.
Mikhail Bulgakov Museum
The Mikhail Bulgakov Museum is located in the flat in Moscow, Russia from which the author wrote many of his most famous works. The museum’s collection is designed to be an immersive experience of Bulgakov’s world of Moscow in the 1920s.
Even visitors who are not Bulgakov fans will enjoy a glimpse of the famous “Odd Flat” on Google Maps here.
Located in Florence, Italy, the Palazzo Pitti is a (mostly) Renaissance palace turned museum. The extensive collection not only includes an historic building and breathtaking grounds, which were owned for a time by the Medici family, but also a Palatine Gallery, Museum of Modern Art, Costume Gallery, Museum of Carriages, and more.
Visit parts of the Palazzo Pitti virtually via Google Maps here.
Chandikesvara Temple, Hampi
The exquisite beauty of the Chandikesvara Temple, Hampi in India makes it a must-see. Built during the Vijayanagara Empire, Chandikesvara’s entrance is decorated with carvings of the Hindu mythological character Yalis, who is part lion, horse, and elephant.
You can wander through the temple’s fascinating ruins virtually here on Google Maps.