There are so many breathtaking historical monuments on earth that all of them can’t be covered in a single lifetime. In fact, it’s often difficult to narrow down which are the best. These monuments have been architectural marvels since centuries and have withstood the test of time. But more importantly, they taught us how rich and culturally significant our history is. Their grandeur and majesty have left us wonderstruck.
Here are 13 of the most wonderful world monuments. There are others, of course, no less beautiful than the ones mentioned here.
1. The Pyramids, Giza
Image Credit: Egyptian Streets
The Giza pyramids are more than 3,000 years old and none still has a clear idea about how the structures were built. How could the Egyptians back then be so precise? The three pyramids are aligned to stars and solstices. Most of them were built as tombs for pharaohs and their consorts of the Old and Middle Kingdom. The largest one, the Great Pyramid—was constructed by Khufu and has limited access. They are among the most significant monuments of the world, with 138 discovered so far. The earliest pyramid is the one at Djoser, built in 2630-2611BC, during the third dynasty.
2. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Image Credit: Sightseeing Group
The ancient temple complex was the center of Khmer Empire (802-1463AD) which once ruled almost the entire Southeast Asia. The empire fell into a decline but not before erecting the amazing temples and buildings that were later covered by jungles for centuries. Ta Phrom, Ankor Thom, and Bayon are the three most popular temples at Angkor Wat. You need at least 3-5 days to cover the entire complex. The Angkor Wat was originally built as a Vishnu temple but was gradually converted to a Buddhist shrine sometime in the later part of the 12th century.
3. The Stonehenge, England
Image Credit: English Heritage
Located near Salisbury, this imposing megalithic structure is over 3,000 years old. The stones used in its construction came all the way from Wales. Archaeologists are still not sure how the stones were brought there. They tried to replicate the feat with disastrous results. Besides, there’s still no clear idea about the purpose for which the Stonehenge was built. Or were the stones haphazardly kept? Whatever be the case, the site is now fenced off. None can go into the center of the circle. Visitors can walk around. But it’s worth a visit because of the mystery associated with the place and the fantastic audio tour.
4. Petra, Jordan
Image Credit: postvoyant
Carved into the deep ravines of Arabah, Petra earned its fame when the third film of the Indiana Jones franchise was shot there. Indiana Jones, the fictional archaeologist-adventurer, went to Petra to hunt for the Holy Grail. Petra was rediscovered by Swedish explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt in 1812, who followed some local tribesmen to the site. It was unknown to the rest of the world before that. Though Petra’s founding is still debated, it’s largely believed that the place had settlers as early 500BC. The site declined rapidly under Roman rule and was abandoned around 400AD. Al Khazneh, or The Treasury, is the most important building of Petra.
5. The Great Wall, China
Image Credit: feelgrafix
A series of fortifications made from brick, stone, wood, and tamped earth, the Great Wall of China is one of the most important historical monuments of the world. It was built along the east-west line across the northern borders of the country for protecting the Chinese Empire from military and nomadic intrusions. Some walls were built as early as 7th century BC, and were later joined to make a stronger and bigger wall. The first Chinese emperor, Qin Shi Huang, built the most famous part sometime in 220-226BC. But little of the entire wall stands today.