Remarkable Man-Made Wonders of the World

By Sophia Maddox | April 25, 2024

Angkor Wat in Cambodia Continues to Capture Hearts With Its Timeless Splendor

There are over 100 million buildings in the world, an absolutely staggering number when you try to wrap your head around it. Before settling down and building structures, people were nomadic for thousands of years  - of course this was 1.8 million years ago. Mostly, these buildings were simple structures consisting of four walls and a roof. Over time, people learned better techniques and started creating more elaborate structures, that's what we're checking out today.

From that time to the present, people have constructed many remarkable man-made structures. Some are lavish homes while others have been used as seats of government as well as other purposes. Let's look at some of these remarkable man-made structures.

 

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Covering over 400 acres, Angkor Wat is the largest religious complex in the world. The temple's design is supposed to look like Mount Meru, the home of the Hindu gods, and many of the towers are precisely positioned to align with the solstice at sunrise. The walls and moat symbolize the surrounding mountain ranges and ocean, while the towers represent the mountain peaks. Workers used about 7.5 million sandstone blocks weighing about 1.5 tons each to build the five original towers. They covered almost every surface, including the roof, with carvings based on Indian literature.

King Suryavarman II had workers start constructing this sandstone complex near Angkor, Cambodia, during the 12th century as a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Vishnu. A Hindu religious leader named Divākarapaṇḍita urged King Suryavarman II to have the structure constructed. While debatable, the complex may have been the king's funerary temple. Starting in 1177, after the Chams gained control of the area, Angkor Wat was converted to a Buddhist temple in honor of King Jayavarman VII's wife.

The Great Pyramid of Giza Stands Tall as a Timeless Wonder of Human Achievement

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Workers toiled for almost 30 years during the first half of the 26th century BC to construct the Great Pyramid of Giza, the largest Egyptian pyramid. It is the final resting spot of Pharaoh Khufu, the second ruler of the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom. This pyramid is the northernmost pyramid in the Giza Pyramid Complex. For more than 3,800 years, it was the tallest man-made structure in the world. When visitors see the Great Pyramid of Giza, they view the inner part of the pyramid as limestone originally covered the exterior. The pyramid consists of three chambers, with the lowest chamber below ground.

Workers used approximately 2.3 million blocks, each weighing about 2.5 tons, to construct the pyramid. They took the stone from a nearby quarry, but workers brought other materials from over 500 miles away. The corners of the pyramid roughly align with the four geographic cardinal directions, an achievement that still boggles the minds of scholars to this day.