Top 10 Tallest Ancient Buildings In The World

Today, modern skyscrapers are built as economic and industrial tools to signify the world of the country's development. But a big portion of the world's ancient buildings was once inspired by religious beliefs and respective cultures.

Behind this inspiration that is seen as theistic, innovative, and with such mysterious technology, the ancient architecture made by man can support such huge structures which are considered extraordinary.

To this day, there are still debates on how these structures are really built. It is very hard to unravel the ancient technologies being used by just reading their ancient scriptures or old manuscripts without any evident support and archeological expertise.

With that, we would like to share with you the top 10 tallest architectures built by mankind in ancient times.

10. La Danta Pyramid, Guatemala (72 Meters)

In the deep jungle of El Peten, Guatemala lies the hidden village of the Maya civilization in the pre-Columbian Americas known as El Mirador. It was discovered in 1926 and this gigantic temple 
rapidly developed in 6 BC and reach its peak between 300-100 BC with a population of more than 200,000 people.

However, it was not only known for its dense population but the settlement was also very fascinating with all the unique triadic structures that comprise wide pillars and one set of 3 pyramids at the top.

This iconic structure boasts a height of 70 meters and the base is widely spread on the jungle's floor. Even though the height of this structure cannot compete with the Giza pyramid in Egypt, La Danta is still one of the biggest pyramids in the world with a volume of 2.8 million cubic meters, and is filled with huge chunks of rocks.

Many researchers have proposed this estimation(2.8 million cubic meters) that made La Danta recognized as one of the biggest structures built by mankind.

9. Hwangryosa Temple, Korea (80 Meters)

It is a former Buddhist temple in the city of Gyeongju, South Korea, and Hwangryongsa might just be the highest structure in East Asia that uses the highest wooden structure in the world.

The building was designed in a symbolic way inspired by the Buddha religion and the term Hwangryongsa refers to the Golden Dragon Temple. It was built full of protocols as ordered by King Jinheung who ruled in 76 AD.

According to legends, the first suggestion submitted by the ruler was to build a royal palace. But the final plan was put to a halt to make way for the construction of this magnificent temple when a dragon was said to be found on this site.

But because the scope of the structure was too big to be completed, the temple was left as it was until 644 AD. Later, the 9 levels of the wooden pagoda were reinforced with 8 stone pillars and 60 base stones on this temple complex of 18 acres. This ultimately increases the overall height to 79.9 meters.

Unfortunately, the whole structure might have been destroyed by the Mongols as they ravage the land of Korea in 1231 AD.

8. Etemenanki, Iraq (91 Meters)

Etemenanki roughly translates to paradise home on Earth as it was seemingly the success of architecture built upon the greatest technology fully dedicated to the Gods of Babylonia, Marduk.

The structure was built on layers of rocks and gigantic tiles arranged strategically and this huge monument is known as ziqqurratu or ziggurat which basically means a building that is currently rising.

Due to that, Etemenanki might be the biggest ziggurat and it was estimated to have been built during the existence of the city of Babylon. Many researchers have compared it to the Babel Tower which was stated in the Bible as there are sources that refer to the geographical location of this legendary structure.

Interestingly enough, descriptions of Etemenanki were also found in cuneiform tablets (ancient writings) in Uruk dating back to 229 BC. The whole monument comprises seven levels of rock structure that bring it to a height of 91 meters.

What is more interesting is that the plan for the basement level of this gigantic Ziggurat is measured at more than 8200 meters which is equivalent to almost twice the size of a football field.

7. Ruwanwelisaya, Sri Lanka (92 Meters)

The construction of Ruwanwelisaya was initiated by King Dutugemunu around 161 BC but this big architectural project took too long to be completed far exceeding the lifespan of the king himself. Finally, the construction was completed by his predecessor in 140 BC which was 21 years later.

The dimension of this structure pictures how huge the building is. As seen in the picture, the pointy dome is at a staggering height of 91.4 meters and has an almost similar diameter of 90 meters with a circumference of 292 meters.

Mathematically speaking, the main area of Ruwanwelisaya covers more than 6345 meters which is far bigger than a conventional football stadium.

6. Red Pyramid, Egypt (105 Meters)

The Red Dahshur Pyramid was said to have been built by Pharaoh Sneferu and is the biggest pyramid in the Dahshur necropolis. This made it the third biggest pyramid in Egypt.

More importantly, in terms of architecture, the Red Pyramid might be the first successful trial made by engineers and Egyptian workers especially to create a pyramid with a smooth surface(but it doesn't seem as such now).

Several white Tura chalk sleeves were specially made to build the pyramid and can still be seen along this huge base structure. One interesting feature of this monument is the 43 degrees structure that converges to the top despite its immense size.

The width of this base structure comprises 48,400 square meters which is almost 9 times the size of a football field.

5. Lighthouse of Alexandria, Egypt (115 Meters)

This will be one example of architecture inspired by the Greeks which was said to be far exceeding an ordinary human scale. It was believed to be built based on the worship of the Greek gods and the Alexandria Lighthouse (also known as Pharos Alexandria) was constructed by the Ptolemaic government and perhaps the most prominent ancient structure at the time.

The are several stories stating the height of this building achieving 150 meters. But it is sad to say that the building no longer exists today. Therefore we have to take into account the lowest height value according to the literary sources available which is 115 meters.

But, it is still considered tall though.

4. Jetavanaramaya, Sri Lanka (122 Meters)

Situated at the holy World's Heritage Site, Anuradhapura, the construction of the great Jetavanaramaya is the biggest stupa in the world. According to the Guinness World Records, it also holds the record for the tallest stupa in the world.

To get you an overview of how big this ancient building is, this stupa which boasts a height of 122 meters contributes to an area of 233,000 square meters, also equivalent to 43 football fields.

This huge structure was estimated to have been built using 93.3 million burned bricks in which each of the bricks is capable of withholding a weight of 166kg. Every side of this stupa is measured at 176 meters in length.

3. Yongning Temple, China (136.7 Meters)

This is the second tallest structure on this list that are no longer in existence. The Yongning Temple was supposedly built in the early 6th century under the rule of Empress Dowager Hu.

It was believed to be situated in the city of Luoyang but not many things are known regarding this structure. Only a few stories were told picturing the structure as a sign of the greatness and wealth of Empress Dowager Hu.

Based on other literary proof (like the record of Yang Xuanzhi), the temple was built like a beautiful palace for the Empress. It comprises a huge royal gate, huge walls, and more than 1000 special rooms for the monks to stay in.

This temple complex was estimated to be 136.7 meters in height.

Unfortunately, based on the Luoyang Temple record, the tower was fully obliterated due to a fire that break out in 534 AD, whereby it took almost 3 months for the fire to be put out after burning this whole temple down.

2. Khafre Pyramid, Egypt (143 Meters)

The second tallest structure on this list will be the Giza Pyramid Complex situated in Egypt. The Khafre Pyramid has a height of 136.6 meters and its original height used to be 143 meters before the building was rotted.

This contributes to an area of 46,770 square meters which is equivalent to 8 million football fields. Interestingly enough, the whole structure was built on top of huge rocks which act as a base of 10 meters in height. This ultimately made the whole pyramid looks slightly taller.

Despite the Khafre Pyramid not having a huge amount of white sleet rocks similar to the Khufu Pyramid, the technique being used and arranging for 2 tonnes of rocks is comparable with the Khufu Pyramid structure.

But, the Khafre Pyramid is not as well known as the Great Sphinx which is the biggest monolithic doll in the world even though the Sphinx monument is truly a part of the Khafre complex area.

The Khafre and Sphinx were built during the same era and it was also made from the same type of material. This is the perspective of the majority agreed upon by most Egyptian archeologists.

1. Khufu Pyramid, Egypt (146.6 Meters)

It is also known as Egypt's Big Pyramid, the Khufu Pyramid that is aged more than 4500 years is not just the oldest in the world but also the tallest ancient structure mankind ever built.

It holds the record for the tallest architectural specimen created by man for more than 3,800 years until it was taken over by St. Paul Cathedral in 1240 AD. To everyone's surprise, the Khufu Pyramid still stands strong until this day.

Aside from its remaining height standing at 138.7 meters due to erosions and rotting, the true volume of the pyramid still cannot be determined by many historians and engineering experts.

Because of that, the monumental volume given is estimated from the surrounding area of 52,954 square meters which will give its rough volume of 2.5 million cubics contributing to a mass of 5.9 million tonnes.

This outstanding scope was estimated to be utilizing 2.3 million blocks of rocks which individually weigh between 2 to 20 tonnes. To put that into perspective, around 800 tonnes of rocks were assembled each day or a minimum of 12 blocks of rocks were arranged systematically each hour.


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