When does a building truly experience death? Does a mere ruined building count as lifeless or does the one that is long forgotten. Either way, ruined buildings reflect the pain and beauty of the past. If the ruins are so magnificent, think about the actual structure standing in its complete glory. These structures might not inhabit humans but they act as a mirror of the past civilizations or just stand as a bad example of architecture. There might be a variety of reasons as to why a building might have been ruined, it includes climatic changes, invasion by foreign forces, or maybe bad planning. History might be manipulated on paper but not on massive architectural marvels around the world. In a world where ancient ruined structures still stood intact might have changed most of history as we know it and the world might have looked completely different.

Until the 10th century Nalanda and Takshashila Universities in India were considered as some of the world’s finest universities which were destroyed by invaders. Now it’s not like they were just popular across the country but scholars from all across Asia went there to pursue their higher education. If universities that contained such vast knowledge existed today, then it would have invariably increased India’s economy and cultural impact on the world. Just like the value held by top institutes today, Nalanda would have had a significant influence around the world.

Nalanda_© https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/nalanda-university-bihar-ruin-gm505519489-44651086

Imagine watching a gladiator event at the Colosseum. Is there a possibility that it might have been a thing that existed!? Or how about large scale events being held at such an important place. It would likely be a popular tourist spot drawing visitors interested in history, archeology and architecture. The Colosseum would stand as a symbol of Roman culture and history.

Another extremely beautiful ruins exist in Hampi, the ruined structures are magnificent, attracting a huge number of tourists every year. If the structure existed even today then the revenue generated from tourism would have been even higher. Not just that, even culturally and historically it would have held a significant role.

Just like the Pyramid of Giza, Chichen Itza might have also been a wonder of the world. The iconic pyramid, El Castillo, would be weathered but awe-inspiring, and the ball court and observatory would stand as reminders of the sophisticated astronomical and mathematical knowledge of the Maya.

Mesa Verde, the ancient Pueblo cliff dwellings in Colorado, would continue to be a fascinating archaeological site. The well-preserved dwellings, tucked into the cliffs, would be a testament to the resourcefulness of the ancestral Pueblo people who inhabited the region from the 6th to the 12th century.

The ancient city of Bagan, home to thousands of temples and pagodas built between the 9th and 13th centuries, would be a breathtaking archaeological site. The temples, though weathered by time, would still retain their spiritual significance, and hot air balloons would drift over the plains, providing a unique perspective of the sprawling city.

Mesa Verde, the ancient Pueblo cliff dwellings in Colorado, would continue to be a fascinating archaeological site. The well-preserved dwellings, tucked into the cliffs, would be a testament to the resourcefulness of the ancestral Pueblo people who inhabited the region from the 6th to the 12th century.

The Angkor Wat Temple in Cambodia would still stand as a symbol of Khmer architecture. Amidst the green jungle, the mystic temple would create a cultural and economic impact on the country.

A11577-Impact of ruined buildings if they were still intact in today’s world

The ancient Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, nestled in the Andes mountains, would be a breathtaking testament to the architectural prowess of the Inca civilization. Perched high above the Urubamba River, its terraced fields and stone structures would attract millions of visitors interested in exploring its mysterious past.

In the icy expanse of Antarctica, the decaying infrastructure of an abandoned whaling station tells a chilling tale of exploitation and environmental recklessness. The rusted harpoons and crumbling processing plants stand as silent witnesses to the ecological impact of human activities in the pristine polar region. Global conservationists call for the preservation of the site as a stark reminder of humanity’s impact on the planet.

The existence of these ruined buildings in the present day would not only provide valuable insights into the diverse cultures and civilizations that shaped our world but would also contribute to the global appreciation for historical preservation and the importance of safeguarding our shared heritage. Each of these sites, with its unique architectural wonders and historical significance, would stand as a testament to the passage of time and the enduring legacy of human ingenuity. They might have changed the course of historic events and the world might have never been the same if some of these structures had managed to live on.

References :
Nalanda University Bihar Ruin. [Photograph] Available at: https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/nalanda-university-bihar-ruin-gm505519489-44651086 

Angkor Wat [Photograph] Available at : https://www.britannica.com/topic/Angkor-Wat

Author

Shruti is a student of architecture, driven by the need to constantly explore new avenues. She loves to express herself through poetry and art. And is always inspired by books and movies, may it be fiction or nonfiction. Sustainability and urban design are her architectural avenues of interest.