Just think; everyone of these structures is at least 2,000 years old. I wonder if the builders had any clue that these things could last that long. Were they built with eternity in mind, or was that simply a characteristic of construction in these ancient times?
In this group we go beyond the Roman Empire, to the Greeks and to the Egyptians. In the East, China is united; in the West, the Aztecs are king.
1. Stonehenge, Salisbury Plain, England (~3000 BC) — This mysterious and enigmatic series of stone rings appears to be some sort of heavenly observatory. How could these simple people have transported these huge stones some 100 miles from where they were quarried?
2. Great Pyramid of Cheops, Giza, Egypt (2560 BC) — This first and largest of the pyramids took years and thousands of man-hours to construct — all this effort for a tomb. Go figure.
3. Knossos Palace, Crete, Greece (1500 BC) — The Minoans were an advanced civilization which seemed to be thriving on this island in the Aegean Sea, only to be wiped out by a volcano and subsequent tidal on the nearby island of Santorini.
4. Temple of Apollo, Delphi, Greece (776 BC) — Delphi was considered the center of the world during its heyday. Its oracle was consulted by the leaders of the time and its predictions changed the course of history. This temple housed the oracle so was pivotal in the history of Greece.
5. Parthenon, Athens, Greece (438 BC) — Phidias’ monumental temple is considered by many the most beautiful building ever built. Unfortunately, its history has devastated the masterpiece; however, the ruin left behind still evokes the building’s former grandeur and makes it a travel icon.
6. Great Wall of China, Badaling (and other sites), China (200 BC) — Actually begun earlier by tribal chieftains, sections of the wall were finally joined at about this time by none other than Qin Shi Huang (builder of the Terra Cotta Warriors).
7. Teotihuacan, north of Mexico City, Mexico (100 BC) — This vast Aztec complex of temples is the best-preserved and most magnificent example of this important civilization.