Great Manmade Monuments of the World………..Part 2

9. The Forbidden City

The Forbidden City of China is located right in the heart of Beijing and was the home of 24 emperors of the Qing and Ming Dynasties. The grand palace’s construction was started during the Emperor Yongle’s 4th year of ruling the Ming Dynasty in 1406, ending 14 years later in 1420.

During ancient times, the emperor was claimed as the son of heaven, therefore having supreme power. Their home on Earth was a replica, built to resemble the Purple Palace in heaven where God lived. A place so divine as this was certainly forbidden to ordinary people, which is where the Forbidden City got its name. Its splendid architecture is a representation of the culmination and essence of the traditional architectural accomplishment of the Chinese. The Palace Museum has become a real treasure of Chinese historical and cultural relics and was recognized to be one of the top 5 most important palaces worldwide.

During 1961, the museum was named an important historical monument under the Chinese central government’s special preservation. Then in 1987, the museum was a nominee of the world cultural heritage, which UNESCO nominated. The Forbidden City is the country’s best preserved imperial palace and the world’s biggest ancient palatial structure. It covers about 72 hectares of area, having a total of 150,000 square meters of floor space. There are 90 courtyards and palaces, 8,704 rooms, and 980 buildings. The city is surrounded by a moat that is 6 meters deep, as well as a wall that is 10 meters high, having a gate on every side.

10. Bagan Temples

Bagan is a plain that covers an area of about 16 squares miles alongside the Ayeyarwaddy’s east bank. The temples and Pagodas of Bagan that are now decaying were constructed mainly between the 11th and 13th centuries A.D., which was during the time that Bagan was the Myanmar dynasty seat. Local chronicles have carried tradition that says that 55 kings ruled over the Bagan kingdom over twelve centuries.

The Bagan temples are known as “gu” and were inspiration from the Buddhist rock caves. These were big multi-story buildings that the people could enter and were places where people went to worship, with the interior having richly frescoed corridors and sacred images and shrines that would be worshiped. The temples are often massively built oblong or square structures with terraces on the outside to represent Mount Meru, which was a symbolic home for the gods. The Bagan temples would also be surrounded by a wall made to be thick so that it would separate the sacred realm from the world outside.

The pagodas of Bagan are funerary monuments that have acquired a Buddhism cosmic symbolism. The Bagan pagodas also contain relics that are associated with Buddha. Some of the monuments were constructed in honour of a notable person, being built to bring lasting memories for important families as well. These structures are built in the shape of a bell that is set on an octagonal or square base, and they usually stand to a tapering peak covered with jewels and metal, with a sacred decoration shaped like a parasol (called “hti”) on the top.

11. Karnak Temple

Karnak Temple is located in a small ancient village in Egypt called al-Karnak. The village is located on the Nile River’s banks about 2.5 kilometers north from Luxor. The Karnak Temple is twice as big as the village area and has become the village’s most popular attraction. The area of the temple is an enormous open-air museum, as well as the biggest ancient religious site worldwide. The Karnak Temple is probably Egypt’s second most visited site of historical value, next to the Pyramids of Giza.

The temple has 4 main parts, and only one of them is accessible to the general public and tourists. It is also the main part of the temple, as well as the biggest by far. Based on this, one can redefine Karnak as the Precinct of Amon-Re, because this is the only part that visitors see. Aside from the other 3 parts, there are a few other sanctuaries and temples located on the outside of the enclosing walls, as well as many avenues of sphinxes with ram heads that connect the Precinct of Mut, the Luxor Temple, and the Precinct of Amon-Re.

The major difference between the Karnak Temple and many of the other sites in Egypt is how long the temple took to develop, as well as how long it was used. The construction of the temple started during the 16th century B.C. About 30 pharaohs gave a contribution to the buildings, which enabled it to reach a diversity, complexity, and size that isn’t seen anywhere else in the world. There aren’t many unique individual features of Karnak, but the number and size of the features is amazing.

12. Teotihuacán Pyramids

Teotihuacán is a sacred site that is about 30 miles northeast from Mexico City in Mexico. This is a very popular site to visit from the city, as these ruins are among Mexico’s most remarkable, as well as some of the most important in the world. Teotihuacán was built about 300 AD and is characterized by enormous monuments that have been carefully laid out based on symbolic and geometric principles.

The Temple of Quetzalcoatl is one of its most monumental structures, located in the center of the area and boasts its fine decoration and lavish offerings. The front of the temple has large, finely carved serpent heads that jut out from feathered collars that are carved into its stone walls. This temple has a pyramid built on top of it called the Feathered Serpent Pyramid, where over 200 ceremonially buried warriors’ skeletons have been found by archaeologists.

The Pyramid of the Sun is positioned on the Avenue of the Dead’s east side, is the 3rd biggest pyramid in the world, and the largest pyramid that has been restored in the Western Hemisphere. This structure hasn’t been completely understood yet, but is built over a sacred cave that has the shape of a 4 leaf clover. The first part of the Pyramid was built about 100 BC, being completed 400 years later.

The Pyramid of the Moon faces the northern plaza and has no discovered features in its interior, such as a cave. It is smaller than its neighbouring pyramid, but appears to be the same since it is built on higher ground. This pyramid seems to have been built in a pattern to reflect the sacred Cerro Gordo Mountain to the north.

13. Acropolis in Parthenon

Parthenon, temple sacred to Athena, on the acropolis at Athens. Built under Pericles between 447 BC and 432 BC, it is the culminating masterpiece of Greek architecture. Ictinus and Callicrates were the architects and Phidias supervised the sculpture. The temple is peripteral, with eight Doric columns at each end and 17 on the flanks (46 in all); it stands upon a stylobate three steps high. The body of the building comprised a cella and behind it an inner chamber (the Parthenon proper), which gave the temple its name. At front and rear, within the outer colonnade, were two porticoes, the pronaos and opisthodomos, respectively, with six columns each.

Within the cella a Doric colonnade two tiers high supported the roof timbers and divided the space into a lofty central nave bounded by an aisle on three sides. Toward the west end of this nave stood the Athena Parthenos, the colossal gold and ivory statue by Phidias dedicated c.438 and destroyed in antiquity. The inner chamber, to the west, apparently served as treasury and was entered through a large western doorway. The pediments terminating the roof at each end of the building were ornamented with sculptured groups depicting the birth of Athena on the eastern end and the contest between Athena and Poseidon on the western end. The upper part of the cella walls and the friezes above the porticoes formed a continuous band of sculpture around the building, representing the Panathenaic procession held every fourth year in homage to the goddess. Of the 525 ft (160 m) of this sculptured frieze, 335 ft (102 m) still exists. The western portion is now in the Acropolis Museum; the greater part of the remainder, removed by Lord Elgin, is in the British Museum (see Elgin Marbles). Fragments also are in museums in six other countries.

In the 6th century the Parthenon became a Christian church, with the addition of an apse at the east end. It next served as a mosque, and a minaret was added to it. In 1687, in the Venetian attack on Athens, it was used as a powder magazine by the Turks and the entire center portion was destroyed by an explosion. The beauty of the Parthenon began to be appreciated in the 18th cent., and in 1762 measured drawings by James Stuart and Nicholas Revett gave strong impetus to the classic revival. After the end of Turkish control (1830), intensive archaeological study of the Parthenon commenced. Numerous attempts have since been made to establish the mathematical or geometrical basis supposedly employed in producing the design’s high perfection. Restoration work is still being done.

14. Potala Palace

The Potala palace at Lhasa was built by King Songtsen Gampo during the seventh century. It is located on the Red hill of Lhasa, Tibet. It was struck by lightning and war that led to its destruction. However, the fifth Dalai Lama in 1645 rebuilt the palace again. And since then, it became the political center of Tibet. The Potala Palace has 2 palaces in it, the Red and the White Palace. The red one signifies religion and the white one signifies ad ministerial building. This place is known for its complex constructions, huge buildings and the peaceful atmosphere and not to forget, its artwork.

Once you enter the palace from the east. It takes you to the main courtyard where the Dalai Lama used to watch the Tibetan Opera. The White Palace was called the Winter Palace and the white colour signified peace, calmness and togetherness. The largest hall in the White Palace is on the fourth floor, the living quarters and the offices are on the fifth floor. The Potala Palace has a beautiful Balcony that faces the Lhasa.

The Red Palace exists in the middle of the Potala Palace and after the fifth Dalai Lama died, it was painted in red colour that signifying power and dignity. The walls of the Red Palace have many Buddhists stories written all over. It has three chapels, the North which is dedicated to the Dali lama, Buddha and his medicines. The East chapel is dedicated to the Indian monk who introduced Buddhism in Tibet. The west chapel is said to be the most luxurious chapel as it has 3,000 kg of gold and foil with hundreds and thousands of gems and pearls.

15. The Pyramids of Giza

Egypt has more than 100 pyramids that are spread all over the country. These pyramid structures are made up of sandstone brick. The pyramids were built for the rulers of Egypt. The first pyramid that was built in Egypt was the Pyramid of Djoser during the third dynasty.

The 3 best Egyptian pyramids are the ‘Pyramids of Giza’. These pyramids were built on the outskirts of Cairo. The Pyramid of Khufu at Giza is said to be the largest Egyptian pyramid ever made in the history. This pyramid figure is one of the seven wonders of the worlds. The Pyramid of Kufu is also known as the Great Pyramid. The Pyramids at Giza are three in number. Three big one’s are called the great pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) , the pyramid of Khafre (Khafra) and the pyramid of Menkaure. The pyramid of Menkaure further has 3 smaller pyramids that are subsidiary to this main pyramid and are called the queens’ pyramids.

The pyramids at Giza attract maximum tourist attention every year. Out of all the three pyramids at Giza, only the pyramid of Khafre retains some parts of the originally polished limestone casing near its pinnacle. To the naked eyes and laymen, the pyramid of Khafre would always look tall, but the fact is that the pyramid of Khufu is the tallest of all. There are a lot of theories regarding the construction of the pyramids and a new research shows that the pyramids were made by building blocks made out of limestone concrete.

16. Easter Island

Easter Island is located 2,180 miles (3510 km) west of Santiago, Chile. This Island is full of charm, quality, and nature and has a fascinating history associated to it. In the book of world, it is popularly known for its magical beauty and monumental structure. Generations after generations have lived and left their distinctive mark on this Island. In the earlier centuries, it saw some horrid sea battles. The holidays in Chile are remembered for a long time. The best way to spent vacation is to rent apartments. Chile is the land of wine, wine yards, poets and romance. It is one of the most isolated countries in the world, but it offers different landscapes and hundreds of places to visit.

The best place to visit in Easter Island is to visit some its popular resorts, beaches, the cost and see the beautiful spread ocean. The ocean in the Easter Island coast is spread over 4,000 kilometers. For ocean lovers, there is an abundance of water. The weather in some parts of the city is either dry or wet because of its Mediterranean Climate. It also has some old Chile architecture that is considered the tourists attraction spot.

Most of the beaches have five star holiday hotels and resorts with latest state of the art facility apartments and pools. Water sports are the center of attraction for most tourists as it offers variety of sports like surfing, motor biking. Fishing is another popular passing time here. Tourists prefer to eat exotic seafood and drink expensive wine to complete their fun vacation.

The Easter Island is also known for the beautiful stone statues call “moai” which is made of volcanic rock. There are nearly 1,000 stone statues within Easter Island and the purpose of the statues is a mystery and perhaps it represents the gods or the early ancestors. The biggest moai is says to be 10 meters tall and weight around 75 tons.

 

 

 

 

 

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