Architecture is an example of one of the most tangible aspects of history. It lets us understand how the needs and tastes of society have evolved over time all the while getting influenced by so many other factors such as religion, climate, culture, local materials, construction techniques, etc. It is one of the most durable interpretations of a time capsule that relays information to future generations helping them lay the foundation for them to build upon. 

Here is a list of the ten most prominent structures that have been monumental achievements in the history of architecture.

1. Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza remain one of the most interesting constructions in the history of mankind. The form and shape were the only ones of its kind- not to mention the scale of the pyramids which has given rise to quite a few conspiracy theories over time. 

They have endured the passage of time and remain intact as proof of the constructive ability as well as the farsighted technique of construction that has well surpassed the duration of their expected period of existence. 

Pyramids of Giza
Pyramids of Giza_©

2. Parthenon- Athens

The Parthenon is one of the oldest examples of Greek architecture. It was dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena and served as the centre of religious life in the powerful Greek City-State of Athens. It stood the test of time through numerous earthquakes, fire, wars, explosions and looting, yet remained as a powerful symbol of Greek architecture and Athenian culture. 

It was the most beautiful temple to have ever been constructed in that time period and remains as one of the truest embodiments of ancient Greece in all its architectural glory.   

Parthenon- Athens

3. Pantheon

The Pantheon is nothing short of an architectural wonder- the reason for this reputation is because it sports the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. It is one of defining features of the Pantheon, spanning a massive 43.30 meters in diameter, matching the exact height of the floor to the top of the dome. 

The building inspires awe in terms of its scale and proportion, as a constant reminder of the architectural elegance of the great Roman Empire. 


4. The Leaning Tower of Pisa

The leaning tower of Pisa became a piece of architectural amazement as a result of a miscalculated error on the part of the architect. It has however gained quite a name for itself after withstanding the error that caused it to sink into the earth, causing it to tilt at an angle of 3.44 degrees but thankfully never to topple over. 

Over the years various architects have tried to resolve this error only causing the tower to lean even more. It has been predicted to stay this way for another 200 years, thereby making it a sight to behold that could only be achieved by way of human fallacy.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa_©Dado Daniela

5. The Colosseum

The Colosseum is one of the most exquisite examples of ancient Roman architecture. It is the largest Roman amphitheater to have ever been built in the history of architecture. It was built as a testament to Rome’s might. 

Architecturally, the size of the Colosseum was as extravagant as the effect born by the use of white travertine which gleamed in the day when the sun rays fell upon it a certain way. It has survived regardless of the many disasters that have come its way and continues to stand tall and inspire awe in anyone who lays eyes upon it. 

The Colosseum
The Colosseum_©  

6. Hagia Sophia 

The Hagia Sophia is recognised as an important Byzantine structure and has served as a place of worship for different religions over the passage of time beginning with the inauguration as a Church, to then go on to become a mosque, a museum and a mosque again. 

Due to this unique history, the monument includes elements of architecture from both religions such as Islamic minarets as well as lavish mosaics of Christianity. It was eventually declared as a Unesco World Heritage site called the Historic areas of Istanbul for its distinctive personality setting it apart from other religious structures. 

Hagia Sophia 

7. Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is one of the most infamous pieces of Indo-Islamic and earlier Mughal architecture. It has achieved worldwide recognition and is referred to as the epitome of love in terms of architectural brilliance. The historic monument is a tomb made by the emperor Shah Jahan in the loving memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. 

The white marble inlaid with precious stones combined with the lush green gardens and reddish pathway against the blue sky paint a surreal picture of the iconic monument considered as one of the greatest architectural achievements in the history of architecture.

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal_©

8. Konark Sun Temple

The Konark Sun temple was conceived as a giant stone chariot with 12 wheels signifying the 12 months of a year and is one of the most famous sun temples built in India. It stands as a classic example of Hindu temple architecture complete with carved intricacies and an intense level of detail to exhibit an example of true workmanship and artistic excellence.

Konark Sun Temple

9. Casa Mila

Casa Mila is one of the finest works of Antoni Gaudi before he devoted himself to the construction of Sagrada Familia. The sublime stone structure, located in a corner of Barcelona’s Paseo de Gracia is a global symbol of modernist architecture. 

This ornamental piece of creative excellence characterizes Gaudi’s spirit perfectly all the while wowing people with its uniquely organic façade and surrealist sculptural roof finding a special place for itself in the history of architecture.

Casa Mila
Casa Mila_©Michelle McMahon

10. The Dancing House

The Dancing House by Frank Gehry is a fitting example of deconstructivism owing to its incredibly inspired and innovative shape based on the then famous dancers called Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. 

It is made to mimic the actions of the two dancers, taking it to a whole new level of architectural excellence as it stands out as one of a kind in terms of its appearance and inspiring perseverance.

The Dancing House

Meghna Sanyal is a final year student of architecture. She is an absolute conversationalist and finds happiness in the process of translating that into written verse. She aims to demystify the subject of architecture by making it more accessible to everyone through her writing.