Last edited 20 Sep 2019

Five of the most demanding construction projects in history

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Contents

[edit] Introduction

There are some stunning architectural masterpieces, mega-structures and dramatic skylines across the world, from the Roman Colosseum to the Sky Tower in Abu Dhabi.

The construction projects included in this list were built without modern-day technologies such as bulldozers, diggers and drills, and yet they have lasted for hundreds of years, are wonderfully complex, incredibly sophisticated, and for their time, innovative.

[edit] The Roman Colosseum

An enormous structure (pictured above), it was most likely built after a military triumph by the Romans. The Colosseum's capacity is believed to have reached 80,000 spectators, which is on-par with some of the most substantial sporting venues in the world today. Despite the Romans' advanced engineering capabilities, this was a construction that would prove to be an enormous undertaking. It became the longest construction project in Roman history, incorporating a system of underground tunnels and hydraulic mechanisms.

[edit] The Great Pyramid of Giza

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One of the world’s most large-scale constructions and one of the most famous buildings on the planet, the ancient Great Pyramid of Giza was built for the Pharaoh Khufu around 2,550BC. It took around 20 years to finish and became the tallest structure in the world until the building of the Eiffel Tower. The surrounding pyramids create an astonishingly accurate alignment with the stars, making this construction truly unique.

[edit] York Minister Cathedral

York Minister cathedral proved to be one of the most demanding constructions in British history. Construction began in 1220 at the hands of Archbishop Walter de Gray and it was not finished until 272 years later. It contains the oldest medieval stained glass windows in the world and was constructed entirely using medieval equipment and techniques.

[edit] Stonehenge

There is still huge uncertainty surrounding the purpose of Stonehenge. It is 5,000 years old and one of the most amazing construction projects in the world for its Neolithic history and unique structural plan. Each stone weighs nearly four tonnes and would have been dragged nearly 240 miles from southern Wales to its final resting place in Wiltshire. It is difficult to imagine how much man power and time was needed to complete such an arduous construction project.

Despite its purpose being relatively unknown, it aligns perfectly with solar movements and is a hugely popular tourist destination during the summer and winter solstices.

[edit] The Great Wall of China

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Possibly the longest-ever building project of all time, construction of the Great Wall was started around 2,000 years ago and remained in the construction phase well into the 16th century AD.

The Great Wall is believed to have previously been built separately for different dynasties throughout the centuries. It stretches over 4,160 miles and has been guarded in the past by over a million individuals, while between two and three million men are believed to have died during its construction.

It protected the northern border of China from Nomadic invaders and was a symbol of imperial power and military strength. It is by far the world’s most substantial construction project and is said to be the only man-made object that is visible from space.

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