There are lots of articles on the internet that lists different man-made structures. But most of them compare buildings by some strict, rigid criterion, like the biggest, the oldest, the most famous, etc. But if something is the biggest, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it moves our feelings or inspires our imagination. An unattractive bridge built with a standard technology is still boring even if it is the longest in the world.
We decided to correct this oversight and created the list of the 7 man-made architectural wonders of the world that will truly impress you.
Petra — Jordan
Petra is a one of a kind ancient city full of giant tombs, temples, monasteries carved into solid rock in the Jordanian desert. Most of these monumental structures were created in the I century AD by Nabateans, the pre-Islamic Arab people. But the city itself traces its history to much earlier times. For the modern western world, the city was discovered in 1812; before that, the last Europeans who saw it were medieval crusaders.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao — Bilbao, Spain
Universally critically acclaimed as the best building of modernity, Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, is one of the most celebrated structures in contemporary architecture. With its futuristic “deconstructivist” style, the museum was built with titanium, glass, and limestone. It took 6 years and $89 millions to realize the vision of its creators.
The Shard — London, The United Kingdom
Shard is 244 meters, 72-story skyscraper in London. It is the tallest building in the United Kingdom and the EU, and the fifth-tallest in Europe. Its unusual pyramidal shape set it apart from the other London’s skyscrapers. The Shard was build using mostly ecologically friendly materials, and the majority of the construction funds were provided by the State of Qatar, which now owns most of the building.
Hagia Sophia — Istanbul, Turkey
Built in 537 AD by emperor Justinian, the construction Hagia Sophia marks the transition of the world into the Middle Ages. The cathedral was the largest in the Christian world for about a thousand years. After Ottoman Turks conquered Constantinople, they turned it into a mosque. The building was secularized in the XX century, and since 1935 it has been serving as a museum.
Potala Palace — Lhasa, Tibet, China
The fifth Dalai Lama started the construction of Potala Palace in the 17th century. Since then, the palace was serving as a residence of all subsequent Dalai Lamas until the annexation of Tibet by China in 1959. Now, it has become a museum. Due to its hilltop location, the palace rises more than 300 meters over the surrounding valley, and it contains over 1000 rooms, 10,000 shrines, and 200,000 statues.
Neuschwanstein Castle — Bavaria, Germany
The king of Bavaria started building this castle in the 19th century for a personal residence and in honor of the composer Richard Wagner. Alas, the king died in 1886, never seeing the castle finished, and the building was opened to the public shortly thereafter. Now it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Europe.
Burj Khalifa — Dubai, The United Arab Emirates
The single most impressive thing about Burj Khalifa is that, currently, it is the tallest structure ever created by man. The 163-story skyscraper has a total height of 830 meters and its spiral shape is inspired by the architecture of medieval Islamic minarets. The building serves for many purposes, and it hosts residential, entertainment, and business areas.
Here, we listed the buildings that we, personally, are most impressed with. But of course, no such a list can be perfect. There are as many tastes and views as there are people. And you probably have your own opinion on what should have been included. What do you think we have missed? We want to hear your opinion. Please, share it with us in the comments.