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There is no doubt that architecture has a rich and illustrious history that rivals that of human civilization as a whole. Archaeology can be traced back as far as the Neolithic period, around 10,000 years ago, or as far back as the time when people began to build their own homes instead of living in caves.
It is easy to think of architecture in terms of its visual appeal, yet this desire to construct an architectural artefact was fuelled by more than just the need for aesthetic appeal. Architecture’s ability to mirror the spirit of the time is one of its most intriguing features.
Since it is the best concrete proof of society change, architecture’s long history parallels that of human history. We can learn a lot about architecture and our history by simply looking at the structures that were built at different times and in different locations.
India, The Bodhi Tree takes you on a trip down memory lane to discover the wonders of architecture in various countries through the years.
The earliest civilizations and religions began in the Middle East around 3000 BC. The most well-known of these cities was Babylon, which was built about the year 2000 BC. Between 1770 and 1670 BC, Babylon is thought to have been the world’s biggest city.
Ninety kilometres south of Baghdad lie the Babylonian remains. The palaces of Babylon and its fabled Hanging Gardens are world-famous attractions. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is the Hanging Garden.
An upward pattern of terraces has been included into the design of the gardens. They created gardens with a wide variety of trees and vines on each terrace. The exact location of the famous gardens is unknown by historians.
One of Egypt’s biggest achievements was the founding of effective irrigation systems. It was possible for them to adapt to the Nile’s environment. More food was produced to feed the populace, and the region’s social and cultural life was improved thanks to the rich valley and carefully planned irrigation.
The mastaba is one of the earliest examples of Egyptian architecture. A brick-built tomb in the shape of a rectangle. Stone was used in the subsequent decades. The ancient Egyptians held fast to the notion that physical life was just transitory, but the afterlife was eternal. The ancient Egyptians also believed that there is a link between the afterlife and God’s abode in graves and temples.
Egypt is known for the magnificent Pyramids of Giza. As one of the seven ancient wonders of the world, the Giza pyramids are a must-see attraction. The pyramids were originally built as tombs for the Egyptian royal family and are the only ancient wonder still standing today.
Ramps were used to raise the stone blocks used in the construction of the pyramids. Ramps were required that were long as the pyramid got taller. After completing the pyramid, the ramps were removed.
The Luxor Temple is another well-known monument from the same period. Around 1392 BC, construction began on the current temple complex. The temple was turned into a Christian church during the Christian era. Luxor’s streets and homes had buried the temple.
In subsequent years, they built a mosque on top of it. The mosque was saved together with the underground temple. To this day, the two components remain linked from the whole monument.
The ancient Greek temples It’s still utilised in government buildings, monuments, and other structures today. Tall columns and perfect symmetry are two of Ancient Greece’s most enduring legacies. The temple was the greatest building type in ancient times and they vary in shape, size, and structure. The temples had a distinct style and form for each region and each local community.
In the 7th century BC, the basic design of the Greek temples was established. The Greek temple’s shape remained unchanged for millennia. The Greeks were perfectionists by nature and mathematical ideas guided the design of the building.
Most of the temples of the Ancient Greeks had a rather simple style. Columns surround the temple’s exterior. Above the columns, there are panels on both the front and back of the building.
There are many different ways to embellish this type of pediment. Within the temple is a room devoted to housing the unique statue of the God or Goddess associated with that particular temple.
The Acropolis in Athens is home to the most famous ancient Greek temple. Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, resides in this temple. The people of Athens revered her as their patroness. The temple was built between 447 and 438 BC in the architectural Doric style.
In the year 753 B.C., a small town in what would become ancient Rome was founded. The city of Rome gave its name to the Roman Empire. When it came to the ancient world’s largest empires, the Romans had it beat. Over the course of its long history, Ancient Rome developed some truly remarkable architectural and innovative achievements.
One of the most marvelous architectures of the Roman Empire is the Colosseum, a well-known landmark in Rome. They are constructed in an extensive network of highways, aqueducts, monumental structures, public amenities, palaces, and religious structures of all sizes.
In the heart of Rome, the Colosseum was constructed in an oval shape. A gift from Vespasian, it was built between 70 and 80 AD. It was the tallest structure ever completed at the time. Because of this, the Colosseum is a one-of-a-kind example from the era. Animal hunts and executions were also held in the amphitheatre.
They put an end to these battles in the sixth century. A fortress was built on the Colosseum during the Middle Ages. The edifice served as a stronghold, a workshop, and a place to live in the following years.
In the 19th century, the architecture of the 11th and 12th centuries was referred to as Romanesque. They reimagined the Roman style and gave it a modern twist. The barrel vaults and the intention to make a larger span out of stone are the most prominent elements. Until recently, this has not been practised since the classical Roman era.
The rib vault was invented in the early 13th century because of this development. Round arches, various vault structures and towers are all part of its distinctive features and each of its components was utilised in a unique way.
Not to mention, Spain’s Romanesque architecture was a mashup of various styles. There was a Christian and an Islamic influence in Spain because of the Mores’ long-term occupation. In the 11th and 12th centuries, these elements were blended. Pilgrims’ road to Santiago de Compostela is a hotbed of Spanish Romanesque architecture. The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is the most prominent example of this architecture.
Another famous Romanesque architecture is the Cathedral of Pisa. It showcases the personality of the Tuscan cities of Florence, Lucca and Pisa. For example, they incorporated the Byzantine usage of mosaic and marble with the floor designs of the ancient Romans.
In the Cathedral of Pisa, you may see an example of this style in action. The four rows of marble colonnades on the west facade are examples of the Pisa-Romanesque style.
The early French Gothic style features include rib vaults, pointed arches and flying buttresses. In Roman architecture, these traits were employed. In the middle of the 12th century, this combination of elements was used in France.
For more than a century, European architecture was dominated by the Gothic style. The walls were constructed with more verticality and fewer stone materials. With the installation of larger coloured glass windows, the structures received more light.
The Gothic style is known for its buoyant use of ornamentation. When the gothic style emerged, these components were enhanced, updated, and corrected. Meanwhile, the tracery design became popular throughout the high Gothic period.
As one of the best specimens of French Gothic architecture in Paris, the cathedral is regarded as a landmark. It’s pioneering use of flying buttresses and rib vaults in an architectural structure. Rose windows with coloured glass are a stunning feature of this historic building. Victor Hugo’s masterpiece, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, made the cathedral a household name in 1831. Between 1844 and 1864, the public’s interest soared, resulting in a series of structural changes.
Harmony, brilliance and power are the hallmarks of Renaissance Italy’s architectural splendour. There was a strong influence from classical designs and columns from ancient times. In contrast to popular belief, there was no sudden shift away from Gothic or Roman architecture when classical architecture rose to prominence.
Old and new concepts blended together in this innovative new style of architecture. Literature, philosophy, and mathematics are just a few of the ancient subjects that inspired the Renaissance. They understood the value of architecture and urban planning for establishing social norms.
The exteriors of mediaeval Italian palaces are substantial. During the 15th century, the political and cultural atmosphere flourished in Europe. The exquisite new Renaissance period called for a new kind of building in Florence, and this was exactly what they got. A courtyard was built around the three-story structures.
Florence was a popular destination for wealthy aristocrats and businessmen who wished to build palaces in the city’s most important areas. The Renaissance palaces of Italy have larger windows than the mediaeval palaces, which are smaller in size.
The second and third floors in particular had brighter rooms. The courtyards were both functional and beautiful. The family used the rooms and arranged in a tasteful manner. Supported by columns and consoles, arched bays encircled the courtyards.
The end of the 18th century saw a number of major developments in both the arts and architecture. The end of classical architecture was made crystal evident with the advent of Modernism, which was often regarded as the precursor to Art Nouveau.
The environment of architectural design was literally turned upside down by modern (or Modernist) architecture. It introduced functionalism and pure architectural form to the most radical extremes with major cultural revolutions such as the Bauhaus and De Stijl.
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