The Neoclassical architectural style came to be in the mid 18th century in Spain and Poland, and was heavily influenced by classical Greek architecture as well as by Italian architect Andrea Palladino. Many of the details of the style can be compared to the Rococo style as well as the Late Baroque, but they are different, and understanding the key distinctions is vital. One of the biggest differences between the Neoclassical style and the classic Greek style is that the Neoclassical style of architecture focuses more on the walls, where the Greek prided themselves on their proficiency in chiaroscuro. Some historians go even further to suggest that this style came about so that architects could embrace the sensitivity of ancient Rome combined with ancient Greek.

Most arhcitectural eras hit various parts of the world at different times -- the spread was staggered, sometimes never reaching certain areas. But this architectural style was a worldwide phenomenon that occurred at more or less the same time throughout the globe, rather than eventually spreading to the United States and Europe.  Many people don't see the distinctions between the High Neoclassical style and the Late Baroque, as they tend to have the same terms associated with them -- it's very easy to mix them up because they look so similar. But the High Neoclassical style tends to have more planar qualities than sculptured ones.  All aspects of the former are flatter depth-wise, especially the bas-reliefs.  Where these may be built directly into the wall in a Late Baroque sculpture, they were more often framed in panels, tablets, or friezes in a High Neoclassical one. These specific dinstincitions are key in identifying the style.

Buildings portraying this style can be found all over the globe but some are more popular than others, in the ranks of famous buildings, such as The Old Museum in Berlin, one of Karl Friedrich Schinkel's projects. Sir John Soane's Bank of England in London is a popular European example. There are two extremely famous ones in the United States as well; the White House and the Capitol, both in Washington, D.C.

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