3 Middle Eastern Marvels of the Ancient World

The Middle East is home to three architectural marvels renowned globally for their incredible execution, history and the phenomenal achievement of their construction. To this day, these monuments are shroud in mystery regarding exactly how they were built with the “limitation” of their time. Explore below these architectural marvels of the ancient world in chronological order of creation:

The Largest Pyramid Of Giza

Also known as The Pyramid of Khufu, this magnificent structure is located next to the remaining Pyramids of Giza, just south of Cairo. It is considered to be a part of a Royal Pharaonic cemetery falling right outside the ancient capital city of Manf (Memphis in English).

Historians place the construction of the Pyramid around 2550 B.C., in the era of King Khufu who supposedly ordered it’s building. The astronomical structure is said to have taken between 10 and 20 years to finalize.

Although The Great Pyramid is the oldest of the remaining seven wonders of the world, it is the best-preserved, withstanding the test of time.

The base is 139 meters wide with a height of 147 meters, holding the record of the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3800 years. On top of that, around 2.3 million blocks of stone were used, each weighing between 2.5 to 15 tons!! Woaw…

Until today, the purpose behind the construction of the pyramid remains a mystery to historians. Wondering whether the Pyramid is just a cemetery, a space observatory or even a center for generating Electromagnetic power. The method used to bring the structure to life is also a point of much contention, as the feat would be a major challenge even by today’s technological standards. The exact way in which this architectural marvel was built is still unknown to this day.

Lighthouse of Alexandria

The Lighthouse of Alexandria, now primarily covered by the Citadel of Qaitbay, was built on the ancient island of Pharos.  The Citadel now-present was in fact built using the remnants of the ancient lighthouse when it collapsed following several earthquakes.

An achievement of the Ptolemaic Kingdom during the reign of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (280-247 B.C), the Lighthouse was once the 3rd tallest building in the world atop its 100 meters.

In 1323, the last of the Lighthouse officially fell, marking the end of its life as the first lighthouse in the world.

Taq Kasra

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The majestic vaulted hall of Taq Kasra, the only surviving structure of Ctesiphon, in nowadays Madain, suburbs of Baghdad, Iraq. It was one of my dreams to stand in front of this palace of Khosrow l – the Sasanian king of late 6th century AD – and I would say it was breathtaking when my dream came true in current trip to Iraq. The archway is one of the largest single-span vault of unreinforced brickwork in the world which survived till today despite all the wars that happened in the country. Moreover, the architectural design of Iran's national museum in Tehran was inspired by the very same structure. . در مقابل طاق کسرای باشکوه، ایوان خسرو، تنها بازمانده تیسفون پایتخت تاریخی ساسانی ها. این قصر مربوط به دوران پیش از اسلام و اواخر قرن ششم میلادی هست و توسط خسرو اول ساخته شده و الان در شهر مدائن در حومه بغداد پایتخت عراق هست. یکی از آرزوهام بود که طاق کسرا رو ببینم و باید بگم نفسم بند اومده بود وقتی این ارزوم در سفرم به عراق بر آورده شد. باورم نمیشد. عظمت بنا از عکسهاش خیلی بیشتر و غیر قابل توصیفه. ایوان این بنا یکی از بلندترین ایوان های آجری جهان هست و جنگهای بسیار دیده و همچنان پابرجاست. نکته اخر اینکه معماری موزه ملی ایران در تهران الهام گرفته شده از این بنا هست. به بناهای باستانی ایرانی در کشورهای دیگر سر بزنیم. . #Madain #Baghdad #Iraq #ctesiphon #Iran #MadiTravel

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Located in the southern area of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Taq Kasra is the last remnant of the city of Al-Mada’in  – the ancient capital of the Sasanian Empire of Persia.

While the exact date this structure was built is uncertain, it is said to be between the 3rd and 6th century, and some historians attribute it to King Shapour (272-242). Another popular opinion is that the structure was in fact constructed in the age of  Anushiruwan the Just (Khosrow I), particularly during his campaigns against the Byzantine Empire.

Taq Kasra is considered a part of what is referred to as the White Castle, the official headquarters of the rulers from the Sasanian Empire. The Taq Kusra, in particular, was the main reception hall of the castle.

The structure is an impressive 37 meters high, with a width of 26 meters, while the length of the space is over 50 meters. The vault-like structure was for a long time the largest man-made, free-standing vault ever constructed.

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