Are you on a world tour or thinking of world’s greatest heritages, monuments and architectures to explore one by one? You may feel a little perplexed in choosing where to start from your journey as a traveler, considering the fact that thousands of years of human civilization left behind too many stupendous buildings and artistic marvels and architectures of gigantic proportion. While it seems practically impossible to trot around all greatest world heritage sites, we can at least make a shortlist of 10 such destinations that deserve priority. Here are our picks on 10 stunning architectural destinations for the wandering traveler.
1. Great Wall of China
Great Wall of China is the longest man made architecture in the world. This stupendous non continuous structure was originally built by Emperor Qin Shi Huang for the purpose of defending the attack on his kingdom from the dangerous Yayun tribe. Completed through a span of generations and different dynasties in different periods of ancient China, this is presently one of the greatest world heritage sites and among the Seven Wonders of the World. Stretching over 50000 kilometers of surface length and with wall height ranging from 16 to 33 feet and width of 15 feet, this gigantic wall offers a stupendous aerial view and a scenic specter from above the wall.
2. Sargada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
Saragada Familia is the Spain’s most visited monument and it has a special significance among the heritage sites, because it is the most modern site which was built only in 1882. This stupendous church soon after being built is considered among the rare architectural gems alongside world’s famous monuments. Peculiarly enough, each minute detail on both the exterior and interior design elements of the church offers an architectural exploration of the gospel teachings.
3. Taj Mahal, Agra
Long recognized as the crowning jewel of Mughal heritages in the east, Taj Mahal is regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his departed wife Mumtaj, this stupendous architecture showcases the finest Mughal traditions of art and sandstone building. Having incorporated influences from Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural styles and artistic motifs, this monument offers stunning views reflecting changing hues and glows of the sun and surreal beauty during a full moon night.
4. Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque
Once built as a church of Ottoman Empire and later converted to a mosque during the Muslim rulers and now offering a heritage museum, Hagia Sophia is long recognized as the greatest architectural masterpiece from Turkey. It is a perfect example of the confluence of Byzantine architecture with eastern traditions. Located in the heart of old Istanbul, the plays draws millions of travelers from all over the world every year. Blue Mosque located within the same complex is also famous for its colorful relief works, stained glasses, blue tiles and artworks inside the dome.
5. Alberobello, Puglia, Italy
The history of this seemingly out-of-the-world heritage site dates back to 14th century, even before the heyday of Italian renaissance. Alberobello inhabited these days by 11,000 Italians is now a part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. These trulli houses are built using limestone boulders that give a typical tent like countenance from afar. The pyramidal, dome like roofs made in limestone slabs and the contrasting milky white walls of the houses create an unforgettable visual symmetry sumptuous for the eyes.
6. Göreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Göreme, located in the Cappadocia region of Turkey is another heritage architectural site that drawn tremendous interests from travelers and heritage lovers. These caved buildings built among rock formations Central Anatolia province of Turkey offers a stunning view. Created by layers of lava deposit from unspecified time these cave like structures also offer tunnels and a few underground settlements. These are very ancient settlements bearing the marks of ancient habitats of tribe people.
7. Petra, South Jordan
Petra located in Southern Jordan is world famous heritage site that had been built more than 2000 years ago. Petra is basically an ancient city founded by ancient Nabataeans. The entire city was then curved from red-rose sandstone mountains in the area and till date is considered to be the greatest rock curved architecture in the world. With more than 800 rock cut monuments Petra offers a perfect fusion of ancient Nabataeans rock architectural and Hellenistic architectural traditions.
8. Grey Pyramid, Giza, Egypt
Egypt is known world for its huge pyramids built thousands of years ago to house the dead kings, queens and dignitaries. Among these bewildering stone architectures dotting the desert, Grey pyramid in the city of Giza is the largest and is recognized as one of Seven Wonders of the World. While the method, engineering and effort that shaped these stupendous stone architectures is a subject of research, the massive sight built with more than 2.3 million stone blocks would have a stupefying effect while seeing it for the first time.
9. Leshan Giant Buddha, Sichuan Province, China
This is the biggest carved stone Buddha statue in the entire world. Located in the Sichuan Province of China this huge relic carved on the cliff side of the mountain in the confluence of Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers is likely to make you dumbfounded at the sight of it. Started in the year 713 AD during Tang dynasty the statue took 90 years to be completed.
10. Leaning Tower, Pisa, Italy
The Leaning Tower in the city of Pisa in Italy is regarded to be one of the most astonishing architectural sites from Europe. Recognized world over for the typical tilted structure, the tower actually had to lean on one side because of the soft ground in one side failed to support the construction because of the weight. Construction of the tower began way back in 1173 and it took another 300 years to finish it. Though the leaning on one side was originally conceived as a defect, in the course of time it became the signature of this stupendous architecture and made it one of the most visited structures in the world.