Asia happens to be the largest continent in the world and also the home of some of the oldest civilizations that have existed in the face of our planet. These two factors alone make it a rather interesting stage for some of the most amazing man-made wonders ever built. Even today, Asia continues to amaze the world by building some of the most remarkable modern constructions we have ever seen, something we have covered a few times here at Kenny Slaught’s blog before. Today we will take a look at just a few of the most famous and beautiful examples of architecture in Asia, focusing mainly on structures that were built hundreds or perhaps thousands of years ago, but with an interesting entry of a modern feat that gives testament of the ingenuity and ability of modern builders.
The Great Wall of China – China
The Great Wall is probably one of the most iconic and well-known architectural wonders of the world. It is said that it can be seen from outer space, something that is not exactly the truth. However, this does not take away from the grandeur of this massive series of fortifications created to protect China from attacks back as early as the 7th century BCE. The entire wall with all of its branches measures more than 13,000 miles in length.
The Taj Mahal – India
The Taj Mahal is one of India’s most iconic works of architecture as well as one of its most visited tourists attractions bringing millions of sightseers each year. The palace is actually a mausoleum commissioned by the emperor to house the tomb of his favorite wife. The Taj Mahal is considered by many as one of the most perfect examples of Mughal Architecture and the most representative symbol of India’s history.
Petra – Jordan
The ancient city of Petra was not discovered until 1812 but it is believed to have been built somewhere around the early 5th century BC. What makes Petra so amazing is its intricate architecture being carved out of solid rock and its complex and sophisticated water conduit system. Petra is Jordan’s most visited tourist attraction.
Angkor Wat – Cambodia
Angkor Wat is the largest temple complex in the world and is located in Cambodia. It was originally built in honor of Vishnu, a god from Hinduism but it later transformed gradually into a Buddhist temple during the late half of the 12th century. One of the most remarkable features of Angkor Wat is the intricacy of its design and the way the stones are joined together, making this lines incredibly hard to find.
Hagia Sophia – Turkey
Hagia Sophia is a Greek Orthodox Christian basilica located in Istanbul, Turkey that later because a mosque and finally a museum. The building was commissioned by emperor Justinian around 532. The church belonged to the Christian faith for over a thousand years until the Ottoman Empire invaded and transformed the structure. Hagia Sophia is one of the most amazing enduring examples of Byzantine architecture.
Potala Palace – China
This beautiful palace located in Tibet, China was the main abode of the Dalai Lama until he fled to India in 1959. The palace looks more like a fortress due to its architectural lines and the way it uses the slope of the mountain to place its presence without seeming contrasting. The palace is a symbol of a people and their religious struggle.
Borobudur Temple – Indonesia
Also know as Barabudur, this Buddhist temple in Central Java, Indonesia is made up of three circular and six square platforms stacked together and topped by a circular dome. The temple has almost 600 Buddha statues decorating the structure in various places. Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist temple.
Chand Baori – India
Chand Baori is an ancient step well located in the village of Abhaneri in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was built in the 9th century as a way to extract water from the arid landscape. Chand Baori is the largest and deepest step well in the whole world with around 3500 steps and going 13 stories deep into the earth.
The Forbidden City – China
The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming dynasty in 1420, all the way to the dawn of the of the Qing dynasty in 1912. The complex is constituted by almost one thousand buildings and it extends for over 180 acres of land. The Forbidden City is the most perfect example of Chinese palatial architecture we have available to experience today.
Shwedagon Pagoda – Myanmar
The Shwedagon Pagoda is the most revered pagoda of the Buddhist religion in Myanmar as it contains relics of immense value within the faith. The stupa (structure that contains relics) is made of gold plate covered bricks with a turban and a top gilded with thousands of diamonds and other precious stones. Access to the terraces is only allowed to monks and male visitors.
Seikan Tunnel – Japan
The Seikan Tunnel is an underwater tunnel that runs beneath the seabed of the Tsugaru Strait from Hokkaido to the Aomori Prefecture in Japan. The Seikan Tunnel is the world’s longest undersea tunnel and it is a true feat of modern architecture that shows what we are capable of as a species when it comes to innovation and making the world a better place.