Whenever you think of a country or a city, you can’t help but relate it to its most prominent piece of architecture. It is hard to imagine New York without the Statue of Liberty, the same way, the thought of Paris cannot be complete without the Eiffel Tower. Architecture, the power of thinking and drawing out structures that look incredible is one of the greatest powers of humanity.
The best architectural miracles have been the signature of humanity for millennia being used as the treasured symbols for cities and countries. They are often surrounded in wrought iron fencing with security everywhere making them safe tourist locations. So it goes without saying that it takes a lot of imagination to come up with the greatest structures we enjoy viewing today. It, however, takes even greater effort to bring these imaginations to life, which is why these 10 structures are just unbelievable.
Statue Of Liberty
Standing on Liberty Island, this iconic statue, which depicts the Roman goddess Libertas, is so dominating. It was designed by the French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. It was given to the US people as a gift from the French people after the union won the civil war and passed the emancipation bill. The icon is a symbol of freedom in the US and has served as a welcoming sight for all visitors to New York.
Liberty enlightening the world, as the official name of the statue goes, implies the flaming torch is a symbol of liberty and enlightenment. Lady Liberty’s head has a crown which has seven spikes emanating from sides. Many believe that the spikes represent the seven continents of the earth. Diplomacy aside, that pretty goddess is now the symbol of liberty the world over.
Jeddah Tower (Kingdom Tower)
How far can you see when you are one kilometre above the ground? Located in Saudi Arabia, this structure has a height of 1,007 meters and is said to be the first building to hit a kilometre height in the world. It has more than 200 floors with the world’s highest observation décor. Houses Class A office spaces, luxury condominiums, Four seasons hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments and an observatory. It has 12 escalators and 59 elevators, with 5 of the elevators being double-decked. The architectural design used on this building is unique, featuring a three-sided aerodynamic design to tackle wind speeds and gravity.
The building has a sloped exterior design that offers greater performance over “stepped’ designs. The building has a Y shaped design with a triangular footprint meant to promote stability. This shape also increases window views making the building the best observatory structure in the world. The wind being the greatest challenge faced by such loft structures, the Y shape employed by the designer of Jeddah, makes the building unshakable. There are rumours of a higher tower being constructed soon, but for now, it is the highest wonder in the desert.
This is the magical design of Antoni Gaudi, a 19th-century architect which has taken over 135 years to construct. It was the mission of the Association Of Devotees Of Saint Joseph, who wanted a church dedicated to the holy family in Barcelona. Its interior is designed to mirror objects and nature, with its exterior having layers of sculptures.
When complete, the tallest spire which represents Jesus Christ, will help secure this structure as the world’s largest church ever built. It is also expected to become the new symbol of Barcelona because of its size and beauty. It is expected to be commissioned before 2030, making it the greatest Christian monument in the world.
Sydney Opera House
Situated on the edges of Sydney harbour, this synonymous building looks like a massive ship docked on the harbour. Seemingly floating effortlessly on water, this iconic structure took more than a decade with great architectural efforts and engineering to become a reality. Its design was inspired by nature. The construction of the Sydney Opera house was planned in three distinct phases. The first consisted of the construction of the structure’s podium, the second was the construction of the iconic outer shells, and the final stage would be fixing the interior designs.
The roof of this building is made of shells, a feature that came to be the most difficult aspect of the building’s design. Inspired by peeling of an orange, the shells are curved to resemble a single sphere which, when combined, forms a full sphere. These shells play a greater role in overcoming the possible offshore winds from the ocean. This structure stands out as the largest art theatre ever built.
Mumtaz Mahal’s symbol of love is something that would amaze anyone. It was designed by Ahmad Lahauri. Located in Agra India, this structure with a name that translates to ‘Crown of Palaces’ was constructed in the 17th century representing ivory of white marble mausoleum. It was commissioned by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, as a monument to commemorate the death of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The building, which occupies a 17-hectare piece of land, houses the tomb of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz mahal, at the centre, a mosque, and a guest house. Covered in priceless artefacts and rich history, the Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1983.
It was also declared the winner of the Seventh Wonder of the World in the year 2000. The building has an exterior finishing of shimmering white marble that changes colour depending on daylight. The central dome is surrounded by four minarets, each standing on every corner of the square-shaped structure. The building displays a unique architect that is a mix of both Muslim and Indian architecture.
Cathedral of Vasily the Blessed ( aka St. Basil’s Cathedral)
Located in Russia near the Kremlin in Moscow, this magnificent Gothic structure was constructed in the mid-16th century. It was commissioned by Ivan the terrible and constructed in honour of a military conquest by Ivan’s army of the independent Tatar Khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan. The building has a unique design shaped to resemble a bonfire rising to the sky, which makes it stand out all the time.
The cathedral is made up of nine chapels all aligned to points on the compass. The chapels appear to be protecting Veil of the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus. Amongst them, four other chapels are raised to designate their position between heaven and earth. The exterior is painted in bright colours, which make it look outstanding; however, these colours were painted 200years later after its construction.
Great Wall of China
The wall is the symbol of China’s strength and unity dating back to the third century BC when the Qin dynasty was in power. It was initially used to wade off invaders from the northern tribes. This wall is not just a single wall but a series of multiple walls that are made of materials such as stones, bricks, wood, chalk, lime, and gravel. It is a collection of various wall segments with trenches, towers, temples, and forts.
The wall has a remarkable distance of approximately 13,170 miles. It has served as China’s symbol of security for over 2000 years being repaired and extended by each dynasty that came by. It features a design and architecture that is adorable, making it one of the greatest structures ever built on earth. However, no one can claim to own the architectural prowess for this wonder wall.
Anyone that wants to go to Paris has to think of the Eiffel tower. Located at the entrance of the city of Paris, this structure is one of the greatest architectural designs ever made and serves as the identifier of Paris. It was designed and by Gustave Eiffel in 1887. It is entirely made of iron consisting of about 18,038 pieces of wrought iron and 2.5 million rivets, which took more than two years to assemble.
At the top of the tower, there is a room that was solely owned by Gustave Eiffel, and no one was allowed to enter the penthouse without his permission. It is until his death that the penthouse was declared open to the public. The tower has 1665 steps to the top, making it hard to climb without a lift. The building is one of the heaviest structures weighing about 10,100 tones; however, the ‘Y’ shape adopted by the designer with a square-shaped base gives the building more stability.
Dating back almost 2000 years, this structure situated in Rome is a symbol of the Roman Empire with its history, giving the best glimpse of the early life of the Roman people. Construction was commissioned and started by Vespasian in 72 AD and was completed by Emperor Titus in 80 AD. The Amphitheatre was the largest in the world at the time, with a capacity of 50,000 or more people serving as the centre of entertainment for the Roman Empire.
The colosseum measures 188meters in length, 156 meters wide, and 57 meters high. It had a canvas ceiling to protect people from the sun with machinery and cages located beneath the arena. This amphitheatre was constructed by incorporating designs of two Greek theatres which were merged back to back to form a 360-degree theatre. The complex structure was employed not only to control the crowd but to keep them comfortable. It had 110 drinking fountains and two restrooms. Beneath the Colosseum, featured water tunnels that were used for flooding and emptying the arena during water sports.
Palm Island, situated on the Arabian Gulf of Dubai, is the biggest manmade island in the world and, God, it is beautiful. Featuring the shape of a date palm, it is one of the most magnificent engineering projects ever done. The island was built by literally filling up the sea with sand. They used stones and sand that was sprayed on the sea to create the entire island.
The first section of the palm to be built was the crescent-shaped breakwater whose main purpose is to protect the inner island from strong ocean currents and winds blowing across the gulf. After that, the subsequent sections of the inner island were constructed. This adorable structure was built to accommodate tourist resorts, shops, and other leisure facilities, making it one of the most eye-catching holiday destinations on earth.