7 Intriguing Stories Behind World-Famous Monuments
Have you ever wondered what the ideas were behind grandiose monuments of the past? We at Bright Side decided to find out how some of the world’s most famous and iconic buildings were meant to look had they ever actually been built or not fallen into ruin.
The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Originally, the pyramids of Egypt were covered with a shining reflective layer made from polished white limestone. This would have made them a truly dazzling sight and thus an appropriate symbol of the grandeur of the pharaohs (or, as some experts claim, large solar batteries). They would have been visible from the mountains of Israel or even from space. Unfortunately, this outer layer of stones was destroyed by a powerful earthquake which occurred in 1301. It may possibly have also been used to restore buildings in Cairo after the city was destroyed by the Arabs in the 12th century in an attempt to avoid it falling into the hands of the Crusaders.
The Sagrada Família, Spain
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The construction of this famous church began way back in 1882. According to calculations made by its creator, Antoni Gaudí, the construction would take 3-4 centuries using the technology available at the end of the 19th century. In accordance with a decision of those managing the project, it would be financed exclusively through donations made by ordinary parishioners — another reason why it’s taken so long to finish. Thankfully, using today’s technology, construction is set to be complete by 2026 — almost exactly 100 years after the ingenious architect’s death.
The Colosseum, Italy
The famous Colosseum was built in the 1st century AD, and more than a thousand years later this magnificent work of architecture from the ancient world has more or less retained its original appearance. In the middle of the 14th century, a powerful earthquake in Rome caused it to partly collapse, especially on its southern side. After this, the Colosseum began to be seen as a source of building materials for new structures. Despite these unfortunate trials, however, it is still a marvel of the architectural world.
The India Tower
The India Tower was an extremely tall skyscraper due to be built in the city of Mumbai. It was envisioned that it would be the second tallest building on earth after the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (UAE). Even Georgio Armani worked on the interior designs. But in 2011, construction was halted.
The Parthenon, Greece
The Parthenon is the most famous architectural monument bequeathed to us by antiquity. A temple built by the ancient Greeks to the goddess Athena on the site of the Athens acropolis, it has had a highly complex history. On numerous occasions, it suffered from the reprisals of cruel tyrants, reconstruction attempts, military assaults, plundering, fires, gunfire, and even a one-time transformation into a Christian church and then a mosque. Unfortunately, at present it’s in a state of partial ruin.
Burj Al Alam, UAE
The Burj Al Alam is the name given to another project for a super tall skyscraper — one which was 510 meters tall and had the appearance of a crystal flower. It was due to be completed in 2009, but due to the global financial crisis work on it was first suspended and then abandoned in 2013.
Unity Tower, Poland
The Unity Tower was envisioned as a regional office for the Polish Engineering Association. Construction began in 1975, but, due to economic problems, work was halted six years later. Since then, the tallest building in Kraków has stood as a gloomy reminder of a bygone era. Now, however, a complete renovation of the tower into an elite living complex is being considered.