Only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World remains today. The Great Pyramid of Giza has endured the test of time and still stands a proud witness of the rise and fall of civilizations. Here in Kenny Slaught’s blog, we always bring you interesting articles about the world’s best examples of amazing architecture. Anything from ancient wonders to today’s most spectacular examples of buildings, stadiums, churches and even homes that testify to the art that architecture truly is.
Here we have a list of some of the most amazing man-made buildings that have not only withstood the passing of ages, but that even today, continue to be used by people everyday.
The Tower of Hercules – A Coruña, Galicia, Spain
The Tower of Hercules is a Roman style ancient lighthouse near A Coruña in northwestern Spain. The tower used to be known as the “Farum Brigantium”; farum derives from the Greek pharos in allusion to Lighthouse of Alexandria. The Tower of Hercules is 180 ft tall and overlooks the North Atlantic coast of Spain. The building is 1900 years old, making it the oldest Roman lighthouse that is still being used today.
The Santa Sofia (Hagia Sophia) – Istanbul, Turkey
The Hagia Sophia was a Greek Orthodox Christian patriarchal basilica, then an imperial mosque, and today it stands as a museum. Built in in 537 AD, it was considered the world’s largest cathedral for almost one thousand years. In 1935, the first Turkish President and founder of the Republic of Turkey turned the building into a museum that welcomes visitors even today. The building’s dome is greatly admired by architects, historians and engineers even today, mostly due its innovative design and its pure representation of Byzantine architecture.
The Pantheon – Rome, Italy
The emperor Hadrian completed the building that currently sits there and is known as The Pantheon since around 126 AD. The structure is circular with a portico of 16 large granite Corinthian columns and rectangular vestibule linking the porch to the rotunda, which is under a concrete dome, with a central oculus opened to the sky. Even today after almost two thousand years, The Pantheon continues to be the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world.
The Basilica of Saint Sabina – Rome, Italy
Santa Sabina was built by Peter of Illyria, a Dalmatian priest, between the years of 422 and 432 close to a temple of Juno on the Aventine Hill in Rome. The church has not been changed since it was built and is considered the oldest extant Roman basilica in Rome preserving its original architectural style.
Mausoleum of Hadrian – Rome, Italy
The Roman Emperor Hadrian commissioned the tall cylindrical building, also known as Castel Sant’Angelo, for himself and his family as a mausoleum. The building that was once considered the tallest in all of Rome has been used by the popes as a fortress, a castle and up to today as a museum. The Papal state also used Sant’Angelo as a prison and even executions took place in the small courtyard found inside.
The Colosseum – Rome, Italy
Also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, The Colosseum is one of the world’s most popular buildings and a faithful representation of the relationship of the old and the new in the city of Rome. The concrete and sand building is the largest amphitheater ever built. During its prime, the Colosseum could hold up to
80,000 spectators that would come and witness its many shows that included gladiator contests, mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions classical mythology dramas and reenactments of famous battles.
The Theatre of Marcellus – Rome, Italy
This open-air theatre was built during the last few years of the Roman Republic for the people to be able to watch lavish performances of dramas and music. The building was completed in 13 BC and inaugurated by Augustus in 12 BC. During its time of operation, it was the largest and most important theatre of Rome, with a capacity of up to 20,000 spectators. The building has been largely modified throughout its history and today its top portion serves as housing in the form of apartments.
The Caravan Bridge – Izmir, Turkey
The Caravan Bridge is the oldest extant bridge still functioning in the world. The 13 m stone slab over the River Meles was built in 850 BC, which makes it over 2,860 years old. It is impressive the bridge has lasted that long and that is were its true importance lies. It is said that it was crossed by the likes of Homer and Saint Paul.
The Proserpina Dam – Merida, Spain
The Proserpina Dam was built as part of the infrastructure that supplied the city of Emerita Augusta with water. The structure was built in the 1st century AD and it is still used by local farmers to irrigate crops. The dam is also part of the Archaeological Ensemble of Mérida, and an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993.