Architecture has come on leaps and bounds over the years, with advancements of technology allowing architects to achieve incredible buildings. With modern technology and construction, architects can create fascinating structures with ease. Back in the day, buildings were far harder to create, yet there are many ancient projects that will forever be admired for their beauty. In this blog, we take a look at some of the most impressive ancient projects across the world and explore how they were created.
Taj Mahal, India
Situated on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, the Taj Mahal was commissioned in 1632 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Mughal emperor Shah Jahan was known for commissioning numerous impressive structures throughout his reign. In 1631, his wife sadly passed away after giving birth to their 14th child; therefore, he chose the Taj Mahal as his royal palace and as a place to house his wife’s remains.
The enormous building took over 20 years to build, with its central dome reaching a height of 73 meters, it is one of the most incredible examples of Mughal architecture. It combines Indian, Persian and Islamic influences, which together make for a beautiful design. The Taj Mahal is formed of white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones such as crystal, jade, amethyst, lapis lazuli, and turquoise. It shimmers in the daylight and appears to change colour depending on the light. In 1983, it was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it is one of the world’s most well-loved structures and a powerful symbol of India’s history.
Colosseum of Rome, Italy
A truly beautiful example of ancient architecture, the Colosseum is a massive stone amphitheatre that was commissioned around A.D. 70-72. Emperor Vespasian of the Flavian dynasty received the Colosseum as a gift from the Roman people. Shortly after in A.D. 80, Vespasian’s son Titus opened the amphitheatre with 100 days of games, which included gladiatorial combats and animal fights. The Colosseum was active for four centuries before it fell into neglect and started to be used as a source of building materials in the 18th century. Roughly two-thirds of the amphitheatre have been destroyed; however, it still remains a popular tourist destination and an iconic symbol in Rome.
Many amphitheatres before the Colosseum were dug into hillsides to provide sufficient support, whereas this one was built freestanding with stone and concrete. The Colosseum could seat more than 50,000 spectators and consisted of three stories. Numerous natural disasters such as earthquakes and lightning damaged the Colosseum, but so did the change in human taste, which resulted in the destruction we see today. In the 1990s, restoration began and tourists from all around the world now visit to experience the fascinating Roman history the amphitheatre holds.
Perhaps the most famous prehistoric monument in the world, Stonehenge was constructed in several stages, with the first taking place around 5,000 years ago. The unique circular formation of upright stones was erected around 2500 BC in the late Neolithic period. During this construction, massive ditches were formed by Britons using primitive tools, potentially made from deer antlers, and some scholars believe they may have once held timber posts. Several years later, builders hoisted an estimated 80 bluestones, of which 43 still remain today. Then, around 2000 B.C. some sarsen sandstone slabs were formed into an outer ring, and some of these were assembled in the iconic three-piece structure.
From the 1880s, numerous stones were propped up with timber poles because it became apparent that Stonehenge was a popular tourist spot and concern grew for the safety of the visitors. In 1900, one of the outer sarsens fell, therefore, in 1901, the owner at the time, Sir Edmund Antrobus, organised a re-erection of the tallest three-piece structure. Today, Stonehenge forms the heart of a World Heritage site and is visited by around one million people a year.
The Parthenon, Greece
The Parthenon was built during the height of the ancient Greek Empire, between 447 and 432 B.C. It is a marble temple, and it sits at the top of the Acropolis of Athens, which is a compound of temples. The Greek statesmen Pericles was ordered to design and construct the marble temple, which was dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, and it took around four decades in total to complete. Over the years, The Parthenon has gone through earthquakes, wars, fires, explosions and has been slightly battered. Although it is somewhat destroyed and essentially a ruins site, it is a prominent symbol of Ancient Greece and Athenian culture.
Ancient structures mostly consisted of stonework, whereas, as technology has advanced and we have become more knowledgeable in the benefits of different materials, steel is often used instead. Here at ANY Weld, we are stainless steel fabricators in the UK and we carry out projects across the nation. We are experts in steelwork and glass; therefore, we have become trusted suppliers in the sector. We work on projects from individual home installations to large-scale industrial developments, so if you are interested in our services, please do not hesitate to get in contact. Drop us an email at [email protected] or head over to our social media channels. Tweet us @ANY_weld or visit our Facebook Page.