A lot of mysteries still surrounds our past and the activities that occurred then. Landmarks are placed to give us a somewhat good understanding about a place and time. These landmarks gave us deep insight into what happened during ancient times.
Here are 5 landmarks around the world:
Acropolis of Athens
Because the Greeks built their towns in plains near or around a rocky hill, they could easily fortify and defend them by building natural strongholds called Acropolis. The word referred both to the hill and to what was built on it. Every Greek city had its acropolis as they provided a place of refuge for townspeople during times of war and civil unrest. Sometimes the ruler of the town lived within the walls of this stronghold. In plenty cases, the acropolis became the site of temples and public buildings and thus served as the town’s religious center and the focal point of its public life and as a place of refuge.
The best-known acropolis in the world is the Acropolis of Athens. The ruins of its temples and their sculptures are widely regarded as the finest examples of ancient Greek art and architecture. Built on a limestone hill that rises about 500 ft above sea level, the Acropolis dominates the city of Athens.
Sphinx of Ancient Egypt
The Sphinx is a stone figure of a lion in a resting posture, the upper part of the body being that of a human, usually male rather than female. The most famous of all Egyptian sphinxes is the Great Sphinx at Giza, near the pyramids. It guards the entrance to the Nile Valley.
With the exception of the paws, it was carved from one block of stone and measures about 20 m (about 66 ft) high and about 240 ft long. The statue, which probably dates from around 2500 BC, was intended to represent the Egyptian god Horus. In some Egyptian sphinxes the upper part of the body is that of a ram, and the creature is known as a Criosphinx. If a sphinx has the upper body of a falcon, it is known as a Hieracosphinx.
Leaning Tower of Pisa
This famous freestanding bell tower of the cathedral is located in Pisa, Italy. Like the cathedral and other associated baptistery, the tower was built in the Romanesque style.
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The tower is popularly renowned for its marked tilt. This incredible irregularity has been the reason for its wide spread fame and attracts thousands of tourists annually. Its construction begun in 1173, the eight-story round tower is 180 ft tall and 52 ft in diameter at the base. Construction of the campanile stretched over a period of nearly 200 years, partly because of delays caused by the tower’s persistent structural problems. By the time the first three stories were completed, one side of the tower had already begun to sink into the soft soil, and construction was halted for nearly 100 years. The first attempts to counter the lean of the structure were made in 1275, when construction resumed. By 1301 six stories were complete, and the tower was finished about 1350.
This prehistoric monument on the Salisbury Plain, north of Salisbury, in southwestern England, dates back to the late Stone and early Bronze ages, around 3000-1000 BC. It lies in ruins and consists of a circular group of large upright stones surrounded by a circular earthwork. The Stonehenge is the best preserved and most celebrated of the megalithic monuments of Europe. It is not known for certain what purpose Stonehenge served, but many scholars believe the monument was used as a ceremonial or religious center.
The Taj Mahal
Often regarded as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum in Agra, India, that the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built in memory of his wife, Arjumand Banu Bagam, known as Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631.
Building commenced about 1632. The mausoleum was complete by about 1643 and the surrounding complex of buildings and gardens was complete by about 1653. Situated on the southern bank of the Yamuna River. Inside the Taj Mahal, the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal stands at the center of an octagonal hall, while the slightly larger tomb of Shah Jahan, who died in 1666, is off to one side. Both are elaborately carved and inlaid with semiprecious stones, illuminated by sunlight filtering through an elaborately carved marble screen that is also studded with jewels.
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