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There are some buildings in this world that were meant to stay put for quite a number of years. By quite a number of years I actually mean more than two thousand years even. Not like the buildings that fall over with a strong gust of wind, but buildings that were made to withstand roughness of decades and centuries. This lists brings to you ten of the most beautiful and the oldest buildings in the world. The listing is not necessarily based on how many years ago it was built, it is actually based on my personal liking for old buildings. Enjoy!
10. The Great Wall Of China – China (2410 years)
We have all heard a lot about the The Great Wall of China and some of us have even been lucky enough to visit it personally. Even looking at it in the pictures, it is quite evident that the journey to building this great monument to history would have been a long one (which it actually was since the construction started in 5th Century BC and ended in the 16th Century BC). The wall itself is around 5500 miles long which makes nearly 8852 kilometers. To date this wall is touted to be the biggest structure created for defense purposes. A hoard of different have ruled over the wall over the past years but now it is just a tourist destination. The wall has a low altitude and is barely visible from a low orbit around earth.
9. The Pantheon – Rome, Italy (1884 years)
Rome is beautiful as it and is also home a great many historically iconic places. The Pantheon is a huge example to that. Built in 126 AD, being 190 foot tall and around 276 foot in width, it was primarily built-in honor of all the gods of Ancient Rome. The Pantheon has an opening in the center through which the light enters and it is called the Oculus. I forgot to mention that the Rotunda which weighs around 4535 tons is the most impressive feature of the building, pretty attractive to tourists as well. Another way for the lights is the entrance in the dome. There lies an arched vault right int he interior which is known as the representation of the vault of heaven. Many buildings have been made based on the inspiration from this structure ( a total of around 34 buildings actually!).
8. Todaji – Nara, Japan (1250 years)
The building is a landmark in the city of Nora and is one of the most famous temples of Japan. The name translates to mean “The Great Eastern Temple” (Tdaji being a japanese word) is made entirely of wood and was constructed in 754 AD. It is widely known (and one of the reasons of the popularity of the temple) that the statue of Buddha that is placed inside the temple consumed all of Japans production of Bronze which nearly led Japan to bankruptcy. It is rumored that more than 2.6 million people helped in the construction itself. The temple has seen many fires and mishaps and what stands today is one-third of the actual size.
7. Borobudur – Magelang, Indonesia (1210 years)
Borobudur is a Buddhist shrine and although the purpose of this construction remains a mystery, as time passed this spot became and important pilgrimage spot for the Buddhists from around the world. It has been built on nine platforms and the construction completed in 800 AD. There are thousands of Buddha statues on it. 14th Century saw it abandoned but it was rediscovered and major reconstruction and renovation took place from 1975 to 1982. A total investment on $7 million was made on its restoration and it now is a hugely popular tourist destination in Indonesia.
6. Cathedral of St. Nishan – Haghpat, Armenia (1019 years)
We come to yet another building whose strong structure is still in tact despite being more than a thousand years old. There were only two small restorations that took place in the 11th and the 12th century, otherwise it is completely untouched. It is now a World Heritage site and was built as a monastic humility to God. Despite seeing many sufferings it is still standing.
5. Hohensalzburg Castle – Salzburg, Austria (548-933 years)
Standing strong at a length of 820 foot and a width of 492 foot, Hohensalzburg Castle has the honor of being one of the biggest medieval castles of Europe. Initial construction began in 1077 and the coming centuries saw an expansion in the size which was initially a barley surrounded by wooden walls. If you like visiting medieval places than this is a must see. It is now a major tourist attraction in Salzburg.
4.Leaning Tower of Pisa – Pisa, Italy (638 years)
The Leaning Tower of Pisa actually a bell tower of Duomo di Pisa. It was not built to be leaning but it actually leaned this low over time. If it hadn’t however, it wouldn’t have gotten such attention from the world to actually make a wonder. The construction work on it began in the year 1172 AD and it took a complete 199 years to build it. Since its construction, the tower had started sinking into the floor. It was initially at an angle of 5.5 but later leaned onto 3.99 degree. It has been a wonder for architects from all over the world.
3. Keszthely Church – Keszthely, Hungary (620 years)
This is a Gothic Parish church which is a signature building for Keszthely, which has to the Hungary’s oldest towns. Nothing but the church was renovated after the turkish rule over hungary in the 19th century. The renovation gave it a neo-gothic tower and windows that rose. The old frescoes that were discovered quite late actually are now available to a large audience for the pure pleasure of viewing.
2. Notre Dame Cathedral – Paris, France (665 years)
Notre Dame has to be the most impressive example of French Gothic architecture, one of its kind in Europe. It suffered a lot during the French Revolution but is still standing rock hard after 600 years. It is currently home to the archbishop of Paris. The story “The Hunch Back of Notre Dame” takes its inspiration from this building.
1. Amphitheater of El Djem El Djem, Tunisia (1711-1809 years)
The Amphitheatre is the one featured in Gladiator, the movie. It has to be the third largest amphitheater of the Roman empire and is still under its hold. It was known to hold around 30000 people in the prime of its freshly constructed period. There was a hidden basement that was discovered later which was known to hold wild beasts and gladiators. The amphitheater is severely beat up but still a sight to behold. My personal favorite oldest building in the world.