Some buildings are built for higher purpose, which make them famous and unique. These buildings become an identity of a country. Here is an account of some of these buildings.
1. The Giza Pyramids
Giza pyramids are the only ancient wonders left in the world. They were built during Third and Fourth Dynasty as tombs for three pharaohs. The oldest of the three pyramids was built between 2551 and 2531 BC by Khufu. The second one was built between 2558 and 2532 BC by Khufu’s grand son Khafre and the third one belongs to Menkaure, Khafre’s son. It was completed around 2490 BC.
These pyramids have intrigued the mankind for centuries. They were the tallest buildings of the world until 1300, when Lincoln Cathedral was built.
2. Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal is a symbol of a man’s love for his wife and is a crown jewel of India. It was built as a tomb of Emperor Aurungzeb’s third wife, who died while giving birth to their fourteenth child. Its construction started in 1632. It took 20000 workers and craftsmen to build Taj Mahal. It was completed in 1648. Emperor is also buried beside his wife.
It was protected by Indian government in World War II by erecting scaffoldings around it to misguide the German and Japanese bombers. Nowadays it is under the threat of acid rain and pollution in the Agra city, which is turning its white marble yellow.
3. The Colosseum
One of the most distinguishing feats achieved by the Ancient Romans was the construction of Colosseum. It was imagined by Emperor Vespasian. He funded its construction from the vast treasure seized during the Great Jewish Revolt in 70 AD.
Its construction began between 70 and 72 AD. It was three story arena and gathers 50000 spectators. Its construction was completed in 80 AD and was officially opened by Titus, son of Vespasian. It was used for mock sea battles, animal hunt and public spectacles. Later, it was used as a fortress, a quarry and a Christian shrine. Nowadays it is a popular tourist attraction in Rome.
4. Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia was built between 532 and 537 by byzantine on the 4th century’s church site. It is situated in Istanbul, formerly known as Constantinople.
It has a huge 102 foot dome which is 182 feet high. Other features are countless mosaics, the marble doors, the loge of Empress, library of Sultan Mahmud 1 and the marble jars. The first church was built in 360 by Emperor Constantine. Later, second church was built by his son, Theodosius in 405. In 532, Hagia Sophia was built by Justinian. It was the third and the last church.
In 1453, Constantinople was conquered by Sultan Mehmet II. He turned it into a mosque. Other Sultans made various additions later on.
5. Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel. It was built between 1887 and 1889 in Paris. It marked the hundredth anniversary of French revolution. This tower was to stand for 20 years but it became a valuable tool for communication and its presence in Paris skyline gave Paris a distinct identity.
6. The Louvre
The Louvre was built in 12th century as museum but it was converted into a royal residency in 14th century. Louis XV turned it back into a museum in 1750, where royal collections were kept. It was changed into a public museum during French revolution. The louvre has 380000 pieces but only 35000 are put on display. This includes Mona Lisa and the Venus Di Milo.
Louvre palace was built as a fortress between 1190and 1202 by Philip II. Almost all the original structures are destroyed .Only ‘The Salle Basse’ of the Medieval Louvre remains.
7. Empire State Building
Empire State Building is one of the tallest buildings in the world. It is an icon of New York City. It was designed by William F. Lamb. Its construction began on St Patrick’s Day 1930. It was completed in only 410 days.
Empire state building faced tough times in its early years like Great Depression, when it remained empty for almost 20 years. Other incidents include the plane crash in 1945, shooting in 1997 and about 30 suicides.
8. Big Ben
Big Ben is one of the most famous clocks in the world. Augustus Pugin created the clock tower and its clock was designed by Beckett Denison. This tower Bell is situated in London and was completed after the Palace of Westminster was restored in 1858.
Its tower is 316 feet tall. Each clock’s face is 23 feet square with four foot numbers and its great bell is seven and a half feet tall and it weights 13 tons.
9. Sydney Opera House
Sydney Opera house is the identity of Australia. It is a must visiting place for the tourists. It was designed by Jorn Utzon, a Danish architect. His design was accepted in a competition held by NSW Premier Joseph Cahill. Its construction started in 1955.
It has several concrete shells, recording studio, four souvenirs shops, a forecourt, five restaurants, concert hall, an opera theater, a drama theater, the Utzon room and a guided tour operation.
10. The Burj Al Arab
Burj Al Arab defines the skyline of Dubai. It is one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. It was built in 1994.it is built on a man made island to mimic the sail of a dhow. This hotel has a 590 foot tall atrium, two restaurants, a large sea aquarium and 202 luxurious appointed suits. It was designed by Tom Wrights and built by Atkins. It is the second largest hotel in the world.
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