Although there are many different types of buildings all over the world, there are few that have carried thousands of years of great significance. Here we have a look at four buildings that have been able to encapsulate nations with their beautiful architecture and rich cultural value:
Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal, a white marble mausoleum, located on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in the Indian city of Agra is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It took 22 years and the labour of an estimated 22,000 people to complete. It was commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife in 1632. It is seen as an excellent example of Mughal architecture and widely recognized as ‘the jewel of Muslim art in India’.
Hagia Sophia, Istanbul
Hagia Sophia is a former Christian patriarchal church, later an imperial mosque, and now a museum. Hagia Sophia was constructed in 537 BC as a Greek Orthodox Church by Emperor Justinian I to replace the original church by the same name that was torched during a riot. Hagia Sophia is currently the second-most visited museum in Turkey attracting almost 3.3 million visitors annually.
St Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow
Saint Basil’s cathedral, officially known as The Cathedral of Vasily, is a church in Red Square Moscow that was completed in 1561. Not much genuine history is known about this building and architects are still unable to agree on the idea around the structure of the cathedral. Legends surround the stories of the people who built the cathedral, but historians state that these legends are simply urban myths. It was the city’s tallest building until the completion of Ivan the Great Bell Tower in 1600 and when built was originally all white to match the white-stone of the Kremlin.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The Angkor Wat temple is the largest religious monument in the world. It was built in the first half of the 12th century and took an estimated 300 years to complete. It was built by King Suryavarman II and was dedicated to the god Vishnu. The temple has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and is currently the country’s prime attraction for visitors.