Humans have been building things since the day one of our ancestors entered a cave to hide from the storm. We love making stuff, that’s straight up fact! Give anyone a box of LEGO bricks and you’ll make them the happiest person in the world, until they step on one, of course. Anyway, our ancestors have built some of the greatest structures of their era, and a great number of those buildings you can still see with your own eyes, thousands of years later!
So let’s journey to the world of ancient architecture and visit 9 ancient man-made structures you can still visit today.
1. Luxor Temple, Egypt – 1400 BC
One of the most recognizable Egyptian temples – Luxor – is located on the east bank of the River Nile, and serves today as a starting as well as finishing point for most of the tourists visiting the ancient city of Thebes.
2. Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt – 2560 BC
Since we’re in the neighborhood, let’s go see the Great Pyramid of Giza! This architectural wonder of an ancient civilization has been an object of debates for almost 4000 years. Who built it and how? Are aliens real?
3. Parthenon, Athens, Greece – 447 BC
Not so far from the Egyptian pyramids, the Ancient Greeks had developed their own style of architecture. The Parthenon in Athens was built, or rather completed, in 432 BC to worship the goddess Athena (duh). Nowadays Parthenon is one of the most famous monuments of Ancient Greece.
4. Pantheon, Rome, Italy – 113-125 AD
Sounds a lot like the Parthenon, but the Roman Pantheon was actually built by the Romans, as a place to worship their weird knock-offs of the Greek gods. Some 400 years later the Christians took it over and made a church out of it. Go figure!
5. The Great Wall of China
Some historical sources claim that the construction of this ginormous wall began all the way back in 600 BC but the majority of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). This man-made barrier is over 21,000 km long and is still one of the most impressive architectural feats ever accomplished.
6. Borobudur, Indonesia – 825 AD
Being one of the few UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Indonesia, this Buddhist temple with over 5000 amazing statues is the largest in the world. Fun fact: this huge temple was lost for centuries, buried under tons of volcanic ash, until it was found and restored bit by bit in the early 1800s.
7. Colosseum, Rome, Italy – 70-80AD
When you think amphitheater, you probably see the Colosseum in your mind. The Roman Empire sure knew how to build those death arenas, but the Colosseum was the biggest one. When it opened in 80 AD the events and celebrations lasted for 100 days, and included thousands of animals and gladiators fighting to their deaths. Good times!
8. Terracotta army, Shaanxi, China – 240 BC
You may have heard of this bizarre gathering of 8,000+ terracotta warriors, horses, and over 10,000 bronze weapons, but did you know the archaeologists have been digging around since 1974 and keep finding new relics to this day? Another fun fact about this army is that no two statues look exactly alike, as if real people were petrified.
9. Petra, Jordan – 1st century AD
Known as the “temple carved in stone” this astonishing achievement of human ingenuity is one of the most breath-taking locations in the world. When you look closely, you’ll see how incredibly ornate all the details are. Legends say it used to be an ancient Egyptian treasury, but whatever the truth may be it’s definitely a one-of-a-kind beauty.