Which Buildings Changed the World?

atkins-bookshelf-cultureThe Ancient Greek writer Herodotus (484 – 425 BC) is considered as “The Father of History” (a nickname bestowed by Marcus Cicero) but he should also be considered as the “Father of Travel Literature” according to Klaus Reichold and Bernhard Graf, authors of Buildings that Changed the World. ” Herodotus traveled throughout Asia and Africa before settling in Italy… Thanks to his descriptive talent, colorful, richly anecdotal narratives about the countries and peoples of the known world can now be enjoyed for posterity… [He] describes with amazement at the pains taken by the Egyptians to build such a huge structure [the Cheops Pyramid]… Herodotus was neither the first nor the last traveler to be moved by the majesty of the pyramids.” The Cheops Pyramid is an perfect example of a building that has changed the world, capturing the attention and imagination of people over the centuries. These types of buildings are the inspiration across a vast array of disciplines — poetry, literature, music, philosophy, psychology, sociology, history, and architecture. The structures featured in the book are where world history has been made; they are imbued with what the authors call “an enduring mythical aura,”  reflecting the people, the culture, and the events that form the broader landscape of these magnificent structures. Although they vary in size and complexity, they share one thing in common: they began as a single idea in one person’s mind. And that is as truly majestic as the buildings themselves.

Below are some of the buildings that changed the world:

Stonehenge (England)
Tower of London (England)
Cheops Pyramid (Egypt)
Cliff Temple of Abu Simbel (Egypt)
Djenne Mosque (Africa)
Persepolis (Iran)
Olympia (Greece)
Acropolis (Greece)
Epidaurus (Greece)
Teotihucan (Mexico)
Masada (Israel)
Petra (Jordan)
Pont du Gurd (France)
Eiffel Tower (France)
Neuschwanstein Castle (Germany)
Colosseum (Italy)
The Pantheon (Italy)
The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italy)
St. Peter’s Cathedral (Italy)
Hagia Sophia (Turkey)
Church of the Nativity (Israel)
Mecca (Saudi Arabia)
Dome of the Rock (Israel)
Former Imperial City of Nara (Japan)
The Mezquita of Cordoba (Spain)
Guggenheim Museum (Spain)
Mon-Saint-Michel (France)
The Great Wall of China (China)
The Imperial Palace in Peking (China)
Temple Complex of Angkor Wat (Cambodia)
Cliff Dwellings of the Mesa Verde (USA)
The Capitol (USA)
Golden Gate Bridge (USA)
Machu Picchu (Peru)
The Kremlin (Russia)
Taj Mahal (India)
Sydney Opera House (Australia)

Read related posts: Greatest Buildings in the World
Top Ten Structures in America
The Golden Gate Bridge by the Numbers
The Memory of the World

For further reading: Buildings that Changed the World by Klaus Reichold and Bernhard Graf, Prestel (1999)

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