When we gaze upon iconic landmarks like the Parthenon, the Great Pyramid of Giza, or the Eiffel Tower, we often marvel at their grandeur. But have you ever wondered how long it took to bring these architectural marvels to life? In this article, we’ll take you on a journey through time, exploring the construction timelines of 11 world-famous landmarks. Join us as we unearth the secrets behind these remarkable feats of human engineering.
1. Parthenon: 9 Years
In the mid-5th century BCE, during the golden age of Athens, Pericles initiated the construction of the Parthenon. This iconic temple to Athena began in 447 BCE and was completed in just 9 years, by 438 BCE. The rapidity of its construction was noted even in ancient times, a testament to the remarkable efficiency of the ancient Greeks.
2. Great Pyramid Of Giza: 20 Years
The Great Pyramid of Giza, a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu, has long been shrouded in mystery. Construction started around 2550 BCE and took approximately 20 years to complete. Although Herodotus suggested that up to 100,000 workers toiled on the pyramid, modern scholars estimate a more modest workforce of about 20,000.
3. The Colosseum In Rome: 7-8 Years
The Colosseum, an enduring symbol of Roman engineering, took just 7-8 years to build. Emperor Vespasian initiated the project in 72 CE, and his son Titus dedicated it in 80 CE. It’s astonishing to think that this colossal amphitheater was brought to life in such a short span.
4. Eiffel Tower: 2 Years
Gustave Eiffel’s masterpiece, the Eiffel Tower, was constructed in a mere 2 years for the 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris. The precision in the assembly of its 18,000 metal pieces allowed for its swift completion. It stood as the world’s tallest structure for over four decades, a testament to modern engineering.
5. Taj Mahal: 20 Years
The Taj Mahal, often mistaken for a palace, is a magnificent mausoleum commissioned by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1631. This stunning marble edifice took 20 years to build, with the labor of approximately 20,000 workers and 1,000 elephants.
6. The Forbidden City: 14 Years
Built in the 15th century in Beijing, the Forbidden City served as an imperial residence for nearly 500 years. Emperor Yongle commissioned its construction in 1406, and it was completed in 1420. An impressive feat, given its massive scale.
7. Notre Dame De Paris: About 90 Years
The construction of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris spanned about 90 years, from 1163 to 1250. This grand Gothic masterpiece was built on the Île de la Cité. With its intricate design, it’s no wonder it took nearly a century to complete.
8. Great Wall Of China: About 2,300 Years
The Great Wall of China’s history is a testament to the ever-evolving challenges faced by ancient China. Starting in the 7th century BCE, it expanded significantly during the Qin Dynasty. Over the centuries, it served different purposes and saw various repairs and expansions, making its history a complex tapestry of more than 2,000 years.
9. Statue of Liberty: 10 Years
The Statue of Liberty was a symbol of friendship between the US and France, a tribute to American values. French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi designed it, and construction began in France in 1876. The statue was assembled in Paris between 1881 and 1884, and after some delays, it found its final home on Bedloe’s Island in 1886.
10. Colossus Of Rhodes: 12 Years
The Colossus of Rhodes, a colossal statue celebrating the lifting of the Siege of Rhodes in 305 BCE, took just 12 years to complete. However, its existence was relatively short-lived, as an earthquake toppled it around 56 years later.
11. Stonehenge: About 1,500 Years
Stonehenge’s enigmatic construction unfolded over approximately 1,500 years. It began with a circular ditch and bank created by Neolithic Britons, followed by the addition of bluestones, and later the massive sandstone slabs forming the triliths. Its evolution is a testament to the enduring mysteries surrounding this ancient monument.
These famous landmarks, with their diverse construction timelines, offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of human history and architectural achievements. From the swift completion of the Parthenon to the enduring legacy of the Great Wall of China, each of these landmarks has a unique story to tell.