Ever visited an incredible site standing stoic in time in some exotic faraway land and wondered how it was built? With the notice board listing a few less meaningful dates, a guide rattling off bunches of mugged up and jargon-packed phrases and localities oft clueless about the history of the land, you are often left wanting for more on the real dirt. Take a closer look at some of the intriguing facts lying hidden in the depths of a few of the world’s most epic structures-you will be more than surprised!
Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Considered as one of the most imposing monuments in the world, The Taj Mahal was commissioned by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan-who is said to have ordered the severing of the hands of the architect behind the design, so as to prevent him from building something so beautiful ever again. However, there are no written evidences to support this story. The elegance and timeless beauty of this mausoleum is attributed to clever engineering feats. It is believed that architect had designed the minarets so as to make them slant slightly outwards-so as to appear perfectly straight to viewers standing at ground level. A small train trip of two hours brings you to Agra from Delhi. (image by Ben Smethers)
Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE
The Burj Khalifa, an impressive ground-breaking feat of engineering and architecture is the largest feather in the crown of Dubai. Costing US$1.5 billion to construct, this ethereal tower, located in the heart of the Arabian Desert cost is up to 2.5 times higher than the popular Eiffel Tower. Boasting of the distinction of being the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa has been designed to withstand earthquakes and high winds with equal aplomb. This super-scraper comes packaged with a ‘buttressed core’, with three wings tilted at 120 degrees to themselves and all anchored around a strong central hub. The wings are designed to support each other-so, when the winds create stress on two wings, the third takes over the task of supporting them to perfection. Burj Khalifa situated in downtown Dubai can be visited by buying observation deck tickets at Dubai Mall.
Stonehenge remains to be Britain’s archaeological mystery and enthralls all visitors with its amazing formations and alignment. Druids, Aliens and everyone that lie in between have been attributed with the building of Stonehenge. But then, why was it built? According to recent evidences, these spectacular structures were constructed to celebrate the coming of midwinter. (image by Hayley Ball)
Just like many other monuments dotting the region, those present at Stonehenge are aligned in accordance to the timings of sunset and sunrise in mid winters. Around 2600BC, most likely blue stones were floated on river rafts-all the way from Preseli Hills in west Wales. Proofs received from radioactive dating processes prove that glaciers could not have swept them on to Salisbury Plain about 40,000 years in the past -as thought of earlier. If you happen to be on site, then you will find that the foot of every stone has been levered into a pit and their lintels lifted into position by using scaffolding. Cool, eh?
Related post: Take an Extraordinary Break in Istanbul
Feature image mariusz