If you love travel, architecture, or both, you should definitely check out this list the Smithsonian Magazine put together cataloguing the 28 Places to See Before You Die. Many of the items on this list are natural wonders or ambitious art projects from history, but maybe the most amazing monuments to human ingenuity are those in the “Feats of Engineering” section. For a full list and advice on getting the best out of your trip, take a look at the article. Here are a few of the salient points.
The Pyramids at Giza
Most people know about the ancient Pyramids at Giza. Besides being the only surviving monument listed as one of the Seven Ancient Wonders if the World, Giza has also presented modern architects with plenty to discuss. Experts believe they have a good idea of how they were constructed but all of the details have yet to be agreed upon. What we do know is that the pyramids are made up of over 2.3 million meticulously cut blocks of limestone. Besides the laborious cutting and constructing, the materials most likely were transported long distances, making the monuments one of the most amazing testaments to the scientific knowledge of the ancients.
The Great Wall
Sports pundits love to talk about unbreakable records. With architectural techniques advancing at such a rapid rate, there probably aren’t too many records that are safe. The Great Wall of China may be the exception. In today’s world, organizing a concerted effort to construct a wall that spans over 4,500 miles is probably impossible. For a bit of context, that means the Great Wall spans about the same amount of distance as Los Angeles to New York and then back to Chicago. It may not be impressive at any single point, but the sheer scale makes it a must-see for any student of architecture or history.
These are just a few of the amazing places Smithsonian has listed as must-visit destinations. Check out their entries on the Taj Mahal and the statues at Easter Island for more incredible feats of architecture and engineering.