Old historic buildings are more than just a timeless beauty. They could be holding the key to who we are now as a nation and a citizen of earth. They are architecture half as old as time that shaped our history.
Travel in time with me and let’s visit some of these structures that were able to stand the test of time.
- Petra “Rose Red City,” also referred by locals as a “lost city” that hidden in the mountains of Wadi Mousa, Southern Jordan. Until finally in 1812, its beauty and secret were revealed to the modern world by a young Swiss explorer (converted Islam), Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. Petra is Jordan’s most famous attraction and a must-see for tourists who are amazed by the old ruins of temples, tombs, 8000-seat amphitheater, and buildings made of solid rocks, some of which housed priests. Besides its promised beauty, it is rich in culture, tradition, and history, making it worth a visit. Prophet Aaron, the brother Miriam and Moses, died in the area and was buried atop Jabal Haroun or Mount Aaron.
- Roman Bath Complex. Bathhouses play an essential role in Roman history. Daily bathing was a common activity in Roman culture and was practiced by every social class. Many dealings happened while in a communal bath – socialization, courtship, business talks, and even gossiping. One of the well-conserved sites for public bathing is the Roman Bath Complex which is frequented by a million tourists each year. People may have the chance to see the baths and museum but are no longer allowed to enter the water. However, there are bath spas nearby that would enable visitors and modern-day bathers to experience the waters. It is said to have healing powers.
- Tumulus of Bougon. Tumulus means an ancient burial mound. Bougon tumulus is the oldest recognized necropolis in Europe, a megalithic architecture constructed dating back to the Neolithic period (over 1200 years from 4700 BC to 3500 BC). Bougon tumulus was discovered in 1840 and had been said to house 200 human skeletons and offerings. Moreover, after a century, Jean-Pierre Mohen and his team resumed its excavation where they collected 23,000 more bone fragments that were said to belong to 110 adults and 35 children. What remains as a mystery is how the builders of the tumulus cemetery brought the vast megalith building materials to the site and the kind of technology they had during that ancient time.
- Sanchi Stupa was built at the time of Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Dynasty, around the 3rd century BCE. It is one of the significant Buddhist monuments that echoes the gem of Buddhist architectural style. This vast hemispherical dome has a central chamber that serves as the sanctuary for the relics of Lord Buddha. Some restorations, expansions, and additional works were added over time, which resonates with the evolution of Buddhist art and sculpture that started in the third century BC through the 12th century AD. Different nationalities come each year to visit and see Sanchi Stupa. Considered as the best-preserved ancient Stupa, it was registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The Aqueduct of Segovia. One best example of an ancient structure that not only survived but endured the passing of time is the Aqueduct of Segovia in Spain that was built around 50 AD. It is admired for the beauty of its array of perfect arches and was in use up until the mid-19th century. Its 166 stone arches on granite ashlars were put together with an immense precision that they remain standing until today.
Looking back and appreciating what the people before us had done will make us realize that these architectural edifices are not just landmarks, but a work of art that deserves to be respected and preserved. These historical monuments, tombs, churches, and buildings tell us about our ancestors’ way of life, tradition, culture, the society to which they belong, and the technology they had that they were able to build these humungous, magnificent and breath-taking architectural designs by their bare hands. They were crafted by blood and sweat to withstand time, for us to know who we are and where we came from.
Sanchez, C. Petra lost and found. Retrieved from: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/archaeology-and-history/magazine/2016/01-02/petra/
Détours en France, 2017. Bougon Tumulus: neolithic site in Deux-Sèvres. [Online]
Cultural India: Indian monuments: Sanchi Stupa. Sanchi stupa. Retrieved from https://www.culturalindia.net/monuments/sanchi-stupa.html