10 architectural wonders from ancient age that will make you RECONSIDER HISTORY
From Burj Khalifa to Petronas Towers, from Australia’s famous Sydney Opera House to Guggenheim Museum of Spain, modern architecture has reached great heights with the help of technology and brilliant minds. But have you ever looked back at ancient age and taken a close look at the oldest of the heritage sites? History has always made us aware of the vast realm of mystery that the ancient age possesses. But the remnants of the ancient age is even more mysterious as they make you question how did the ancient men build such meticulous monuments without any mere touch of technology. So, here is a list of ten architectural marvels that will surely leave you astonished.
10. Stonehenge, Salisbury, England:
Built 4000-5000 years ago, Stonehenge is a massive pre-historic structure found in Salisbury city of England. It looks like a circle of standing stones of different sizes. This stone monument bears the instance of architectural brilliance of our ancestors. The archaeologists opine that the large monuments are made with blue stones and sarsen stones. The blue stone weighs more than 25 tons and the sarsen stone weighs approximately up to 4 tons. They also estimated that it probably took 1500 years to build this enormous structure. Moreover, the structure is curiously aligned with midwinter sunset and midsummer sunset. Well, it is safe to say, Stonehenge is a magnificent example of the architectural brilliance that our ancestors have attained.
9. Petra, Southern Jordan:
Petra, also known as “Rose City” was the capital of ancient Nabateans. The name “Rose City” comes from the red-rose sandstone of mountain out of which the city was sculpted. This beautiful ancient city is claimed to be built 2000 years ago with sandstones and cliffs. A quick tour of the city reveals the spectacular structures of temples, houses, tombs and 800 monuments. The style of this architecture is a fusion of Nabateans rock-cut and Hellenistic architectural style. One particular structure that attracts the tourists is the ‘king wall” which comprises three large royal tombs on the mountain face.
8. Saksaywoman, Cusco, Northern Peru:
Situated in Cusco city in Northern Peru, Saksaywaman has the shape of a walled Inca fortress. This gigantic monument is located at an acclivity of 3701 meters and accounted as one of the most iconic archaeological sites in the country. It is estimated to be built between 1438-1533. The greatest wonder about this architectural establishment lies in its structure; the Inca architects have rough-cut the stones and managed to fit together accurately without using the mortar. The process by which they were able to fit the stones together still remains an unsolved mystery to the archaeologists.
7. The Forbidden City, Bejing:
Occupying a rectangular area of more than 720,000 square meters, the forbidden city was established in the 15th century by the order of Ming Dynasty. This particular site was chosen by the third Ming Emperor Yongle (1402-1424). The forbidden city has remained the majestic home of 24 emperors of Ming and Qing dynasty. The city is probably one of the largest and best-sustained palace complexes in the world which contains over a million valuable objects which are safely preserved in the museums inside the city. The forbidden city remains to be an immensely attractive place for the tourists for the rich history it carries with itself.
6. Colosseum of Rome:
The ancient history of the Colosseum of Rome is well-known to the most of us. The heroic and barbaric ritual of Gladiators fighting with wild animals has always remained a characteristic feature of Roman history. But aside from this infamous practice, the colosseum itself remains an exemplary brilliance of the Roman culture. Commissioned by Emperor Vespasian in 70 A.D and finished by his son in 80 A.D, the Colosseum possesses the ability to contain 50000-80000 spectators along with 80 entrances. Decorated with marbles and precious stones, the mammoth colosseum also possesses statues of a great many personalities. Though the place has gone through severe damages in the past few centuries, even now a visit to the Colosseum will exhibit the underground passageway used for the wild animals and the particular amphitheatres, dedicated individually for the different class of people. Needless to mention, the Colosseum with its adorning majestic structure stand proud as the emissary of the history of ancient Rome.
5. Pont Du Gard- Remoulins, Southern France:
Well if we are talking about Roman architectures that made us utterly astonished, Pont Du Gard deserves a special mention in this list. Founded in the first century A.D. Pont Du Gard is 50 kilometres long ancient Roman aqueduct bridge connecting Southern France. It was originally built to transport water from Uzes commune to Roman province. The three storied bridge standing 50 meters tall is thought to be made of limestone. The walls of the bridge are inscribed with messages and instructions of the founders which act instrumental in allowing us to venture in the history of the particular period. The bridge carrying the mark of Roman cultural excellence continues to be the pride of France with all the remnants of history that it carries with itself.
4. Borobudur, Central Java, Indonesia:
Borobudur is considered to be the largest Buddhist temple, containing 504 Buddha statues, 72 open work stupas and a lot more. This sheer architectural splendour was built 400 years ago. The temple has a three tier structure with a pyramidal base, a cone structure, centre and stupa. The three levels of the temple stand for three main areas of Buddhist Cosmology, Kamadhatu, Rupadhatu and Arupadhatu. Tourists are often fascinated with the water gutters, existing over 100 in number, made in the shape of elephant headed fish known as “Makara”. Borobudur, as one of the most renowned world heritage site, deserves a visit for all the travel lovers out there.
3. Taj Mahal, India:
The Mughal architectural marvel Taj Mahal is undoubtedly the most significant historical monument of India. “Taj Mahal” renders to be the crown of palaces in Arabic, representing the symbol of love. Commissioned by the famous Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, this architectural wonder bears the influence of Mughal, Persian, Islamic, Ottoman Turkish and Indian cultural style. The dome at the top is 35 meters tall and the monument is built with 28 types of precious and semi-precious stone along with white marbles, sandstones, Aspers and jades. Many divisions of the monument are inscribed with important verses from Holy Quran. This utmost palace of beauty also contains a garden which is often symbolised as the garden of Paradise.
2. Great Pyramid of Giza, El Giza, Egypt:
The great pyramid of Giza is listed as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world for its colossal stature and ambiguous structure. It is the largest pyramid of the world in which the great pharaoh Khufu rests. This pyramid was estimated to be built around 2560 B.C- 2540 B.C. with the height of 146.5 meters. Archaeologists are still in the dark when it comes to the method that the ancient Egyptians applied to build such large pyramids. The pyramid of Khufu is known to have constructed with 2.3 million stone blocks. Moreover, The pyramid contains ascending and descending passage ways inside it. There are supposedly three burial chambers located at three different sites inside the pyramid, and the great pharaoh rests in the central chamber. Archaeologists often believe that pyramids are impossible to build at that age without any help from an extraterrestrial source of energy, that giving birth to many more intriguing theories. But even if we do not wish venture in any intriguing theories, the great pyramid of Giza will be an exalted site of architecture to appreciate and admire.
1. Great Wall of China:
World’s longest man-made creation, the great wall of China was built by Emperor Qin Shi Huang to avert an attack from ancient Yayun tribe around 220-206 B.C. The wall is made of bricks, stones, tamped earth, woods and so on. The wall expands up to 50000 kilometres in length. The height of the wall varies from 16 to 33 feet with the average width of 15 meters. Lasting through many centuries, the wall has gone through severe damages, yet it remains the one spectacular creation of mankind that is visible even from the moon. So, if you are making a wishlist of all the places you want to visit, do not forget to include it in!
Architectures as remnants of the ancient cultures are essential for human history for they remind us even in an age of no technology, humans reached the level of sheer brilliance by their skills and patience. May be us, the people who swear by technology and can’t imagine a life without it should take a note or two to remember that we need not depend on anything in order to attain the impossible.