Architectural marvels often leave us speechless; from ancient structures steeped in history to avant-garde masterpieces created in modern times. But how are such magnificent structures designed?
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The Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza, constructed between 2560 BCE and 2560 CE, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Believed to be Khufu’s final resting place, its construction involved moving millions of stones; many were so large as to be almost impossible to move at that time of building.
Though numerous theories abound concerning its purpose, the widely accepted belief is that it was built as a tomb for King Khufu. Subsequently, Khafre and Menkaure each constructed pyramids within Giza Necropolis but on smaller scale.
Giza Plateau is known for its distinctive morphology of terraced escarpments, karst ridges and isolated hills. A variety of geo-environmental factors has led to its current state of preservation; erosion of fossil limestone blocks as well as deposition of liquids (via leakage from suburb irrigation canals or soil liquefaction etc) has had an especially negative impact.
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China stands as an icon in architectural history. A physical representation of Chinese power, it also acts as a psychological barrier against foreign influences and has served to mark borders and repel invaders for over 2000 years.
Badaling, located 70km northwest of Beijing, is one of the most visited sections of the Great Wall, boasting 16 restored watchtowers that provide visitors with an authentic experience along its expanse.
If you want to avoid crowds at various sections of the Great Wall, we suggest visiting between December and February. You will then enjoy its beauty surrounded by frost-dusted walls and scattered snowfall that makes for incredible photos!
The Great Wall is in dire straits, being worn away by natural elements as well as industrial developments. Without intervention from cultural heritage administrations across China and in each province, its future may vanish entirely by 2040 if nothing is done to save its existence. Luckily, Chinese authorities have implemented measures to protect this historical landmark site.
The Temples of Bagani
Temples built during the Chola Dynasty are an icon in most Tamil towns, dominating them with their towers soaring skyward like stepped pyramids and their surfaces filled with images depicting gods, demons, warriors, maidens with curvaceous breasts and pot-bellied dwarfs all rendered in Disney-bright colors.
The Taj Mahal’s white marble facade is truly incredible; its transformation throughout the day from pink in morning light, through milky white at sunset and golden at nightfall is one of the world’s most famous optical illusions.
Ballman Khapalova strives to bridge the gap between intimate and urban through imaginative structures, forms and events that redefine how a city perceives itself. Their work in neglected or desolate spaces creates opportunities for living, playing, art performance, reflection healing debate – fundamental components of architectural marvel. But Bagani’s fantaserye misappropriates cultural terms such as fantaserye in ways that diminish its original value or historical context, creating dangerous forms of cultural appropriation while simultaneously sanitizing an entire culture for consumption in today’s digitalized social media age.
The Onsens of Hakone
Hakone, located only 90 minutes by train from Tokyo, is known for its natural beauty, incredible views of Mount Fuji, and abundance of onsen (hot spring baths). Locals and visitors from across Japan travel here regularly to relax in these rejuvenating pools while taking a break from city life.
At the core of everything are onsen. Sokokura Onsen, a traditional Japanese onsen with volcanically hot baths to ease tired muscles, or Ninotaira Onsen located 550 meters above sea level are just two renowned examples.
Hakone Kowaki-en Yunessun provides visitors looking for something out-of-the-ordinary an unforgettable experience with its nontraditional baths such as Wine or Coffee baths, outdoor baths with views of mountains and swimwear-wearing bathing options – ideal after a day spent touring Hakone! Plus, guests can stay nearby at one of many hotels or ryokan for even greater relaxation during their trip!
The Castle of Hokkaido
Japanese castles served as homes to daimyo (feudal lords). Over time, their classic architecture firm emerged, featuring palisades and patches of trees (often pines symbolizing eternity or immortality) that served both as decorative elements within a compound and as protection mechanisms against approaching enemies.
Built on a hillside overlooking Hokkaido during Japan’s Edo period, Matsumae Castle marked Japan’s last frontier and established a presence here to exploit Hokkaido’s natural resources. Today it remains as the sole traditional style Edo period castle on Hokkaido and is recognized as a national treasure.
The original keep of this castle has been destroyed many times over its long history; what stands today is a three story high concrete reconstruction dating from the 1960s which houses a local history museum. Additionally, during April and May it hosts an incredible cherry blossom display; paying this architectural marvel a visit is well worth your while!