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NOV-DEC 2016

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2 0 1 7 T A P T R A V E L G U I D E 56 the famed Michelangelo-painted ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. Just south, a climb to the top of Castel Sant'Angelo rewards visi- tors with views of Vatican City and the Tiber River. SHANGHAI Beijing is China's capital, but Shanghai is the country's finan- cial hub. And with more than 24 million residents, it is the largest municipality not only in China but also in the world. The city is a concrete jungle of skyscrapers and a bustling jumble of people, but Shanghai is also a cultural mecca where visitors will find ancient treasures. The Shanghai Museum dis- plays more than 120,000 works of art, including ancient Chinese bronze, jade, calligraphy, coins, ceramics and furniture. Many consider the building itself a work of art. Completed in 1996, the circular structure is studded with soaring arches and was inspired by the shape of an ancient bronze cooking vessel that's now on display inside. Famous skyscrapers such as the Jin Mao Tower, the Shanghai Tower and the Shanghai World Financial Center define the busy skyline of the Pudong district. But, topped by a spire above two spheres perched on a tripod-looking base, the Oriental Pearl Tower is by far the easiest silhouette to find. Travelers can visit the top of the building for city views, including one of the famous Bund district across the Huangpu River. The riverfront Bund district is one of the city's most famous tourist attractions because it was once considered the financial center of the Far East. Dozens of historic buildings in just as many architectural styles — former banks and trading houses from around the world — line the riverbanks as a sort of living museum of architecture. Inside the Jade Buddha Temple, which was built in 1928 to replace the 1882 temple that burned down, travelers will see the two Buddha statues carved entirely from white jade that a monk imported from Burma. NOTRE-DAME BASILICA OF MONTRE AL By Stéphan Poulin, courtesy Tourisme Montreal

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