Some of the most breathtaking ancient architectural wonders

Spread out all around the world you can find truly amazing architectural designs and structures that besides being gorgeous, were impressively built with little or no technology. In most cases, the way they were built is a complete mystery that to this day generates awe among architects and other leading experts. So, following in line with some previous posts on ancient architectural wonders, like the Gobelki Tepe, here are some more ancient wonders that are sure to surprise and amaze you with their beauty and of course their historical value. So, even though the discipline of architecture could be argued that it’s a recent career choice, it actually dates back to cave dwellings when humans sought out the way to change structures to suit their needs. Many of the strategies used in ancient times have been lost to our modern architects and builders, but despite this many of the structures still stand and generate even more noise as some structure’s deterioration is incredibly slow or even non-existence in some specific cases. Most structures were built using a series of masonry techniques, but these are not the only ones.

Coral Castle – Florida

This masterpiece which was built by only one man is now part of the historic places around the world, since 1984. The man, Edward Leedskalnin, who was neither fit nor in the perfect health to take on an endeavor like building a castle on his own, not only built it, but transferred it later on and continue working on it until his death in 1951. His inspiration actually came from a deep heartbreak he had suffered when he was engaged to be married with his sixteen-year-old sweetheart. His fiancé left him just before they were to be married and in an attempt to escape his life he went into seclusion and began to build his castle. His castle was surrounded by eight-foot walls, which he built stone by stone. His castle contained a BBQ pit, 25 chairs, a heart-shaped table, a sundial, a telescope, a royal throne, bathtubs, beds, among other things.

View of Coral Castle_florida_arquitecture_Kenny Slaught_ancient architectural wonders
Image courtesy of lancearoundorlando at Flickr.com

Leshan Giant Buddha – China

In China, you can find a 71-meter statue that was carved directly in the side of a cliff. The statue depicts a sitting Buddha who has his hands placed on his knees. The impactful size of this statue brings people from all over the world all year round. It is the tallest statue of Buddha in the world. The proportions are so impressive it awes visitors and brings to life the saying: “The mountain is a Buddha and the Buddha is a mountain.” This mountain lies almost at the foot of the Minjang, Dadu and Qingyi in the city of Leshan. The construction began in 713, led by a Chinese monk named Haithong, and went on for 90 years. Although the construction stopped for 70 years, when he passed away, it was continued by some of his disciples. It was finally completed in 803 and is now on the list of the World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO.

Giant Buddha_Leshan_architecture_China_ancient architectural wonders_Kenny Slaught
Image courtesy of Szymon Kochański at Flickr.com

The Tower of Hercules – Spain

This structure is still used today, but was built back in ancient Roman times as a lighthouse on a peninsula to guide the sailors. It is located about 1.5 miles from the downtown area of Coruña, Galicia, in the northwest of Spain. Previously known as the Farum Brigantium, the tower stands at 180 feet and overlooks the North Atlantic coast of Spain. It since its construction has been renovated in 1791 and is the oldest one still in use today. The Tower of Hercules is a National Monument and was even recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Preceded by the Faro de Chipiona, it is the second tallest lighthouse in Spain.

The Towers of Po Nagar – Vietnam

These Towers in Vietnam are said to have passed through several inhabitants and this is evidenced by the steles that show inscriptions that help historians deduce the different occupants at one time or another. Finally, the Viet people occupied its towers and hence there has been a series of legends about the goddess Bhagavati. The steles date back to 781 and can be found demonstrating the historical importance of this site for 784, 817, 950, 965, 1050, and 1084. It is after 1160 that steles show that when Jaya Harivarman offered riches and celebrated in honor of the goddess Yan Po Nagar.

The world continues to be shocked by astonishing architectural wonders that preserve historical value and conserve a culture and era that is otherwise lost. Architecture, therefore, allows us to step into the past, even if for a moment, and admire in awe the brilliance in certain cultures behind their engineering skills, architectural design and use of materials. To say the least, these are masterpieces that are to some extent still used today, in some parts of the world.

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