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10 Amazing Structures In History That Took Years To Build

image: Wikimedia Commons

It is never easy to build something extraordinary in a short period of time. That is why the amazing structures we are talking about today took so long to construct. As a result, they have stood for centuries which we can still see until now. The cool part is that many of the structures remain in their original look which is absolutely incredible. From a decade to a century and more, we are here to introduce you to 10 amazing structures that took years to build. Let us know which one you think is the most wonderful of them all.

10The Colosseum

image: Sam valadi

Where: Rome, Italy
How Long: 10 Years

Being a very famous and well-known structure of Romans, this oval amphitheater took 10 years to build. It is located in the center of Rome, the heart of Italy. The construction used travertine, tuff, and brick-faced concrete, and it is the largest amphitheater to ever build. The Colosseum could hold between 50,000 to 80,000 spectators, and the average audience is usually 65,000.

Back in the old days, this structure was for gladiatorial contests as well as public spectacles. Those included mock sea battles, animal hunts, executions, re-enactments of famous battles, and more. In the early medieval era, the building served the purposes of entertainment and then for workshops, quarry, and housing later.

If you notice the damages, those were due to earthquakes and stone-robbers throughout the years. However, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome as well as in the list of 7 Wonders of the World. Plus, it is also one of Rome’s popular tourist attractions as well nowadays. The construction and the design are both spectacular, and this beautiful structure is totally one of a kind.

9The Great Pyramid of Giza

Where: Egypt
How Long: 20 Years

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex. The building was the dedication to the fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu. If you wonder how could such a large structure take just 20 years to complete, here is why. It took thousands of slaves along with many talented architects to build this construction. According to the estimations, those 20 years would involve installing approximately 800 tonnes of stone every day.

More than that, the whole pyramid consists of an estimated 2.3 million blocks. To complete those in 20 years, that would involve moving an average of more than 12 blocks into place each hour, day and night. Inside, there are various chambers for the king and the queen along with a grand gallery and many more. No matter how they did it, it was totally out of this world.

8The Taj Mahal

Where: Agra, India
How Long: 21 Years

Taj Mahal, meaning Crown of the Palaces, is an ivory-white marble building that was built as the tomb for an emperor’s wife. This mausoleum was built by emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal who died in childbirth of their 14th child. It took more than 20,000 builders to build the Taj Mahal, and this architecture is one of the symbols of India’s rich history. Taj Mahal attracts up to 8 million visitors each year, and the beauty of the building is spectacular. The attraction is wonderful inside out and vice versa, and Taj Mahal was declared the winner of the 7 Wonders of the World in 2007.

7St. Basil’s Cathedral

Where: Moscow, Russia
How Long: 123 Years

Colorful and attractive, this is the architectural monument that is one of the most famous symbols of Moscow and Russia. The building has now become a museum, has a shape like the flame of a bonfire rising into the sky. Fascinated by the flexibility of the new technology, the builders used bricks as a decorative medium both inside and out.

St. Basils Cathedral has stood to represent Russia and its apparent exoticism as seen from the perspective of the West. Well you see, the building is very unique and beautiful; and you won’t find anything that looks like this. The architects of the buildings were Barma and Postnik; both of whom were Russians.

6St. Peter’s Basilica

Where: Vatican City
How Long: 144 Years

Enclaved within the city of Rome, this structure of Vatican City is the most renowned work of Renaissance architecture. It is also the largest church in the world as well, and it is also one of the holiest Catholic shrines. The construction began on the 18th of April in 1506, and was completed on the 18th of November in 1626.

The one thing that makes St. Peter’s Basilica unique is the historical associations with numerous artists, especially Michelangelo. Inside the building is lavishly decorated with marble, reliefs, architectural sculpture, and gliding. Another interesting part is that the basilica contains a large number of tombs of popes and other notable people. This structure is breathtaking both day and night, and it was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.

5The Leaning Tower of Pisa

image: Pixabay

Where: Pisa, Italy
How Long: 199 Years

Italian people sure have a great commitment when it comes to construction, and this structure is the perfect example. The Leaning Tower of Pisa aka the Tower of Pisa is a freestanding bell tower of the cathedral of Pisa. The one main thing that makes this tower famous is its nearly four-degree lean which was the result of an unstable foundation. So, the tilt of the tower began during construction in the 12th century due to the soft ground on one side.

The soft ground could not properly support the structure’s weight, and the tilt increased until the structure was complete. The tower has about 296 steps, and it has survived at least 4 strong earthquakes since 1280. It wouldn’t have taken so long to build if there hadn’t been any wars, debts, and the leaning itself. After 199 years, here we have this wonderful structure that you can always visit.

4The York Minster Cathedral

Where: York, the United Kingdom
How Long: 252 Years

Began in 1220 and finished in 1472, this cathedral took 252 years to finish everything. It is one of the largest minsters in Northern Europe, and its gothic style makes it both unique and beautiful. This architectural and artistic masterpiece receives more than two million people from all over the world each year. There are unique and fantastic carvings along with awesome collections of intact and Medieval stained glass. The design is so majestic and elegant, and it is also England’s most popular attraction as well.

3El Castillo

Where: North America
How Long: 400 Years

After centuries, this pyramid is still standing and looking sharp with almost zero damage. El Castillo is the famous pyramid that dominates the site of Chichen Itza, and the city was believed to be very powerful. The structure served as a temple to the god Kukulkan, and the design is beyond amazing. This pyramid consists of a series of square terraces with stairways up each of the four sides to the temples on top.

There are also sculptures of plumed serpents running down the sides of the northern balustrade. The cool part is during the spring and autumnal equinoxes, when shadows cast by the setting sun give the appearance of a snake undulating down the stairways. Such views are super rare, no doubts why this El Castillo is among the best and most amazing structures.

2Angkor Wat Temple

Where: Siem Reap, Cambodia
How Long: 400 Years

The incredible thing about Angkor Wat Temple is everything, from the construction to the location, everything is flawless. You are looking at the largest religious temple in the world that took 4 centuries to build. Its perfection in composition, balance, proportions, reliefs, and sculpture makes it one of the finest monuments on earth. The construction of this temple represents many things that attract millions of tourists each year.

The most beautiful part is when the sun rises and sets in the middle of the temple-top, the beauty is extremely spectacular. If you are lucky enough, you will get to experience such rare scenery that occurs only two times a year. On the walls of the temples are the carvings of thousands of angels, and none of them look alike. Not just the faces, but the clothes and the hairstyles are also different from each other. No description could do justice to the beauty of this temple, you need to experience these with your own eyes.


Where: Jordan
How Long: 850 Years

Petra aka the Rose City is a famous structure for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. The unique thing about it is that it was not built out of any sort of stones or materials. Everything you see was carved directly into the vibrant red white, pink, and sandstone cliff faces. There are a lot of graffiti and carvings on the walls, but the mystery thing is that there are no written records left.

Most advanced ancient civilizations always left some sort of written evidence of their culture. Yet the Nabateans, people of the Nabatea Empire, left nothing although they were capable of writing. Inside, there are no tombs or any evidence whatsoever that shows why was this piece of architecture made. Due to the lack of information, Petra is described as a mysterious city until nowadays.

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