an idealized place of great or idyllic magnificence and beauty.
“three architects and a planner combine to create a Xanadu”
I’m definitely not thinking of that awful 1980 movie
starring Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly (!)
Nor am I thinking of the song “Legend of Xanadu”,
by British band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich (!),
although I thought it was cool at the time (1968)
Also not thinking of the fictional mansion “Xanadu” from the 1941 movie Citizen Kane,
which was modelled after the real Hearst Castle in California.
I am thinking of the city Xanadu, aka Shangdu or Chandu,
which was the summer capital of Kublai Khan’s Yuan empire.
and is now a Unesco World Heritage site.
It’s the history buff in me!
“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree…”
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge 1797
[inspired by an Opium-enhanced dream]
Mostly though, I’m thinking of a Utopian paradise,
a Shangri-La, which fits the meaning of Xanadu best.
These are some of my personal favourites:
[click on images to enlarge ©DDB]
Any rock concert arena is Xanadu for me as well:
[click to enlarge ©DDB]
What’s your Xanadu?
Looking forward to your comments!