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Describe an old building that you like

IELTS Cue Card/ Candidate Task Card 231 with Model Answer:

Describe an old building that you like.

You should say:
  • where it is
  • how old it is
  • what it is used for
and explain why you like/dislike it.

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

Model Answer 1:
India is a historical country and proudly owns different relics of the past. A large number of buildings have been constructed across the country in different periods. Victoria Memorial Hall in Kolkata is one of them. This is one of the old buildings in the country.

Victoria Memorial Hall has been located in Kolkata under West Bengal in India. Kolkata was formerly known as Calcutta and has served as one of the most important posts during the British colonial period. The large white marble made building has been dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria and presently the house is made as a museum for the people. The museum is now under the care of the Ministry of Culture in West Bengal. The building is also located by the side of the Hooghly River. Immediately after the death of  Queen Victoria, initiatives were taken to construct the building in her memory that will serve as a memorial for the great queen of the British Empire. The proposals of the building contained a large garden and a museum and accordingly, everything has been constructed.

The Victoria Memorial was constructed by 1906 to 1921. Some of the finest marbles have been used to construct the structure. Now the structure is over 90 years of old and been standing proudly on the lands of Kolkata. The entire complex is dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria who reigned over different countries and expanded colonialism in India. The foundation of the building was laid by the Prince of Wales in January of 1906 and took over 10 years to make the structure. The hall was opened to the public in 1921. Though it was planned to keep the Memorial Hall at the capital of India, due to the transfer of the Indian capital to New Delhi has changed the situation and thus the Victoria Memorial remained in one the provinces in India.

Now the memorial is used for several purposes and the visitors mostly come to know about the life of Queen Victoria. The memorial is divided into different parts and there are 25 galleries containing the royal relics of the British Empire and some of the belongings of the Queen. Among the galleries, the most notable are the royal gallery which contains the royal relics of the then time, the portrait gallery – containing the portraits of the royal family members, national leader gallery where the images and belongings of the national leaders of India are exhibited, Calcutta gallery, and arms and armour gallery. The memorial also owns some rare collection of books. The Calcutta gallery is the latest addition to the Memorial Hall and contains the history of Calcutta and its importance in the past. The garden before the memorial is used for growing different flowers and plants. The garden is grown on an area covering over 60 acres of land and a skilled team of gardeners maintain it. The bronze statue of Victoria in the garden is one of the most attractive things here.

I like the Victoria Memorial for different reasons. Firstly this is one of the old and historical buildings in the city. Located near the Jawaharlal Nehru road, this is a large iconic structure in Kolkata. The building is opened for all and shows the histories of the royal families in Britain. The portraits look like real and the galleries are filled with artefacts and historical documents. The design of the building is another issue to consider. The design is a blend of the Mughal and British architectures which has raised the beauty of the building. The entire design is influenced by some other architectural features and white Markana marble has been used to build it. After the independence of India, further improvements of the building were made. The building looks different at different times of the day. I like it most as it helps us to know about the history of British Empire and India.

Sample Answer 2:
St. Petersburg is a striking place and it holds a notable number of historic and interesting buildings in Russia. The Hermitage is one of them and located in the heart of the city. In fact, this is a building that is now one of the greatest museums of the world. This is a very pleasant cue card topic for me to deal with and I will describe the building and the reasons for preferring it.

The building physically is located along the embankment of River Neva in the city of St Petersburg, Russia. The Hermitage is basically the assembly of a series of six buildings. All the buildings are now old and they have passed over 250 years. The buildings exhibit numerous artefacts and materials related to art and culture.

The Hermitage is the oldest museum in the world. It was established in 1754 and been open to the public after a century of its establishment. All the buildings are now connected to each other. The aim of constructing such a building was to preserve art and culture of the locality – mostly the paintings of different age. The collection has been increased by this time and now this is a complete museum for knowing the arts, cultures and other issues of St Petersburg.

The museum is mostly used for exhibiting the cultural aspects of the city. It contains over three millions of items. Interestingly, the largest collection of paintings is in this museum. The initial initiatives to construct the museum was done by Empress Elizabeth in the Baroque styles. And it required a huge amount of money and people to make the buildings. After the death of Elizabeth, Catherine II started building it in a new architectural style. After the completion, the palace was the official residence for the Tsars of Russia. But after many events and revolutions the building served various purposes and finally under the ruling of Lenin, the Hermitage has become a museum. Now it is a place where the collections are rare and satisfies the visitors across the world.

I like the building for a lot of reasons. The most impressive information about the building is its architecture and neoclassical style. The collections inside are also striking and makes the visitors amazed. Fee for entering the building is also low while the authority allows free entrance for the children and students and on the first Thursday of every month is free for everyone. The museum is located on the five of the buildings of this large palace and the combination of the buildings shows how different styles could be merged together to make something newer and appealing. Based on the all the fact, I like the building very much.

If you can talk about the cue card topic "Describe an old building that you like." you should be able to talk about the following IELTS cue cards topics as well:
  • Describe an interesting building you have seen. 
  • Describe an interesting place in your hometown. 
  • Describe a structure or building you find interesting. 
  • Describe something interesting in your hometown. 
  • Describe a famous tourists spot in your city/town. 

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