Architecture, this unique mixture of the scientific knowledge of constructions and design with the beauty of art, is widely renowned as the 5th Art. Considering the dominant role buildings play in the urban landscape, we could say that architecture is an open dialogue in between the citizens with the buildings themselves.
During the centuries, from the oldest ancient years – sometimes even BC – until nowadays, several structures considered as architectural miracles have been built, whilst humanity also has been favoured with some highly significant buildings from a historical point of view.
1. Hagia Sophia, Istanbul (Turkey)
Different cultural and religious influences coexist in this cathedral of the Byzantine Empire. Built in 537 AC and operating for almost the next 1000 years as a Christian Orthodox cathedral, has been conquered by the Ottoman Empire that added bold Islamic elements (minarets and calligraphic letters). After being recognized as a museum in 1935 with significant historical meaning, it finally turned into an official mosque 3 years ago, and it’s being regularly used for Muslim worship. This means that all visitors have to adjust in special indications, as removing their shoes and for women to cover their hair. No surprise that it has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. Statue of Liberty, NYC (USA)
The colossal neoclassical sculpture located at New York’s harbour is one of USA’s landmarks since it’s dedication in 1886, and an enduring symbol of friendship between nations. The torch held in one hand, symbolizes enlightenment, while the tabled in the other has engraved the date of the American Declaration of Independence. It has been constructed in France and transported afterwards complete, from the same designer as France’s most important landmark, aka The Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel. The dominant material used for both of them is steel, as its specifications constitute it perfect for large-scale construction.
Other famous metallic structures are the Opera House in Sydney, Burj Kalifa in the UAE, etc. Even though we are more familiar with the material in such constructions, its use in everyday buildings, in business (factories, storages) or private (houses) is not unusual. Buildings of high integrity are still being built and gain popularity, and contacting a specialized construction company as Voutsadakis will help you understand why.
3. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap (Cambodia)
A composition of five towers shaped like lotus buds, a layout that represents the sacred Mount Meru (the home of Hindu deities), was built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the 12th century.
It is a great UNECO World Heritage Site, that blends the spirituality of the Hindu cosmology with aesthetic decorative elements from the Khmer Empire, symbolism combining religious, astronomical, and mythological elements.
Thousands of visitors are drawn to explore this symbol of Cambodian national identity.
4. Pyramids of Giza, Giza (Egypt)
Not only a historically significant architectural building, but also one of the 7 miracles of the ancient world, and the only one that is still preserved nowadays. The Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops), exists for more than 4000 years, as its construction was finished approximately in 2560 BC, is characterized by a precision and durability of the that are still admired today. It stands as a lasting proof of the organizational skills of the ancient Egyptians and cultural heritage of one of the world’s oldest civilizations.
5. Parthenon, Athens (Greece)
Last, but definitely not least, the marbled masterpiece of Doric architecture, on top of a hill in the heart of Athens. Dedicated to the goddess Athena and belonging to the overall structural complex of Acropolis, justifiably attracts countless worldwide visitors given the fact that it “survives” almost airtight from 440 BC up today. A unique site that represents the intellectual achievements of Ancient Greece and the glory of the Golden Age of Athens.