Across the generations, we have seen civilizations build and create countless amazing structures, and many of these creations represented monumental legacies that were left behind with great pride. However, the unfortunate thing about this is that just a few of these incredible structures are even recognized, much less world-renowned. Most people worldwide have heard about certain monuments in the world, like the Roman Colosseum or the Great Pyramids of Giza, or whatever certain people decide to include as a “Wonder of the World”.
What we have included in this list are some of the incredible structures that are breath taking, yet they are not popular or recognizable for some strange reason.
We hope you enjoy our list of 7 Breath Taking Structures that Most People don’t know about.
Temple of Hercules Victor
The Temple of Hercules Victor is actually an ancient structure located in the Boarium Forum within ancient Rome. It is a circular temple that displays the classic Greek design. It was constructed during the 2nd century and has a cella inside a concentric circle of 20 Corinthian columns.
The detailed structure is quite significant in terms of historical importance, as it is the earliest surviving marble structure in all of Rome. While there are no known sources, it is believed to be linked with the legend of Cacus and Herakles, which provides its present day name.
Temple of My Son
The Temples of Mỹ Sơn, located in Vietnam is an incredible group of ancient structures, but sadly, most people in the western world have never heard of these temples.
At its peak, it had over 70 temples and was considered to be one of the greatest of Buddhist worship sites. It dates back as far as the 4th century. These temples were seen to be a critical center for knowledge, politics, and spiritualism of the Champa culture. Located in a gorgeous lush green valley in the central portion of Vietnam underneath the majestic Cat’s Tooth Mountain, this is considered to be the most prevalent archaeological site in all of the ancient Champa kingdom, who controlled Vietnam up until the 13th century.
Temple of Poseidon at Sounion
The Temple of Poseidon located at Sounion is considered to be one of the most significant sanctuaries in the world, but very few people who live outside of Greece know anything at all about it.
This sanctuary at Sounion is first discussed within the Odyssey as the location where Menelaos stopped upon his return after the battle at Troy to bury Phrontes Onetorides. The finds from 7th century B.C. are countless and validate the existence of a cult on two points at the southern edge upon where the temenos of Poseidon is located. Unfortunately, the temple of Poseidon at Sounion is not very well known today.
Chogha Zanbil is a huge ziggurat that is located in Iran and is a very impressive monument. It was constructed around 1250 B.C. by then King Untash-Napirisha in honor of the god Inshushinak. This site is over 3000 years old, and is also amazingly great condition. It’s the only ziggurat that was built outside of Mesopotamia as well.
Ziggurats weren’t used as were most Temples. These structures were not intended as a residence for priests or a place for them to perform rituals. Instead, ziggurats were intended as a place for the Gods to rest. When ziggurats were built near major cities, a ruler could ensure that their Gods were nearby and protecting the people.
The Jetavanarama Dagoba was actually a pet project of King Mahasena. It is the biggest structure at Anuradhapura which was built in Sri Lanka. The original structure was not less than 122 meters high, which made it —at the time—the third tallest building in the world. Only the pyramids located at Dharshur and at Giza in Egypt were taller.
The Jetavana Dagoba surely dominated this ancient city, the same as it dominates the ruins now, even after its height is now only around 75 meters. After the centuries saw its dome become encrusted with lots of vegetation and after its spire was broken, it is presently being restored.
Ruins of Nalanda
Nalanda was actually a university for Buddhists that was created in A.D. 450, and also became longest running university in throughout Indian history. Among its famous guests were Buddha himself and Mahavira, and at its peak it taught over 10,000 students using over 2,000 faculty members during each session.
This place witnessed the growth and fall of several empires and their emperors that contributed to the growth of this University. But it was demolished by Turkish Muslim barbarians in the year 1193, they also massacred the teachers and students, and their massive library was burned down.
What make Meteora very special and unique are the monasteries located on top of the rock towers. In a geographic region of practically inaccessible peaks, this Meteora area was initially settled by monks who had resided in caves in the rocks throughout the 11th Century. It’s considered a very unique achievement of wonderful human creativity and architecture and human creativity. These buildings of the monasteries started during the 14th century and continued to the 16th century as there have been 24 monasteries operating there.
These monasteries weren’t just religious epicenters but also served as academic and artistic center as well. They attracted the great thinkers of their time – this included those who were deeply religious, as well as poets, philosophers, and painters from Greece during the reign of the Byzantine Empire.
During the occupation of the Ottomans, it was these monasteries that kept the Greek culture alive along with their traditions in the region. It’s believed that most of the Hellenic religion and culture would’ve completely disappeared had it not been for these monasteries. Today six of these monasteries are still active.
We hope that you enjoyed learning and reading about these 7 breath taking structures that most people don’t know about. Hopefully, the popularity of these magnificent creations will grow in the future so that they might receive notoriety they truly deserve.