Buildings are more than just bricks and concrete. Buildings are a result of human effort, dreams, planning, and much more. They are the manifestations of our ambition and involve blood, sweat and tears. While some buildings serve as workplaces and residences, there are many buildings dating as far back to the historic and prehistoric eras as a symbol of grandeur, royalty and commemoration. From the stone ages to the industrial revolution, majestic buildings have been constructed with the magic of human craftsmanship and architectural prowess. Let us take a look at the 10 oldest buildings in the world most of which have been crafted without any modern machinery or technology and still manage to stand tall till date.
- Top 10 Oldest Buildings In The World
Top 10 Oldest Buildings In The World
10. Treasury of Atreus, Greece
This is a tomb made in the Bronze Age in 1250 BC and is more than 3000 years old. The Treasury of Atreus was the world’s highest and biggest dome before the Pantheon was constructed. The detailed design and grand architechture coupled with the magnificent surroundings is one of the greatest masterpieces of Mycenaean Greece.
9. Minoan Palace of Knossos, Greece
This palace was the centre of activity and politics of the Minoan civilization. Restored and excavated under the guidance of Arthur Evans in 2000 BC, this is a huge structure consisting of ancient scripts alogn with pictographs symbolizing the unique history and culture of the Bronze Age. This palace was vacated during the later periods of the Bronze Age owing to a tragedy. The ancient scripts discovered from this palace were used for administrative purposes. The inhabitants of this palace were primarily the Mycenaean Greeks. The spectacular and humungous design of this partially restored palace is noteworthy to mention.
8. Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
While the pyramids of Egypt continue to be the objects of fancy amongst researchers and travelers alike, the oldest of these pyramids is the Great Pyramid of Giza also known as the Pyramid of Khufu located in the Giza Necropolis in El Giza. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, this pyramid is the only one that stayed intact all these years. Experts believe that the Great Pyramid of Giza was mainly a tomb constructed for the Pharaoh of the 4th dynasty Pharaoh Khufu and took almost two decades to complete. The construction finally concluded in 2560 BC. This pyramid is 146.5 metres high and has been the tallest man made building in the world for around 4000 years.
7. Pyramid of Djoser, Egypt
Another of the Egyptian Pyramids is the Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara necropolis, Egypt. Built in the 27 century by Imhotep, a close aide of Pharaoh Djoser, this pyramid served as the Pharaoh’s mausoleum and he was buried here as well. Consisting of 6 mastabas placed incrementally over each other, the pyramid is around 62 metres high and had a base of 109×125 metres. Crafted entirely in white limestone, this pyramid was one of the first buildings to be constructed using large scale stone cutting.
6. Tarxien Temples, Malta
Situated in Tarxien, Malta, these temples were constructed in 3150 BC. The Tarxien Temples are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are 3 joined temples in this building and the main entrance was constructed somewhere in 1956 while restoration of the building. The temple was constructed with beautiful slabs and elaborate detailing was a major part of these temples. The temples were accorded the World Heritage Site status in the year 1980.
5. Newgrange, Ireland
This monument was created in the Neolithic age in 3200 BC. Newgrange is the oldest man made structure in Ireland and may be more than 5000 years old making it older than the Egyptian pyramids. Entirely a circular structure with passages and chambers made with stone, Newgrange houses bones, graves and votive offerings too. This building was interpreted as a religious site but the actual purpose of this site is still undiscovered. Now a popular destination for tourists, this is one of the most revered monuments in Ireland and also serves as an important European megalithic structure.
4. La Hougue Bie, Jersey
La Hougue Bie, situated in Grouville, Jersey is a site of historical significance dating back to 3500 BC. It has a chamber with a distance of 18.6 metres and a 12.2 metre high mound surrounds it. The structure was excavated in 1925 and till date preservation, conservation and restoration efforts are underway. This building is considered to be the biggest and most well maintained sites in Western Europe with excellent architecture and design and is also a part of the Armorican Passage Grave group. The site served as a main lookout point, hideout and underground bunker during World War II.
3. Knap of Howar, Scotland
This building is mainly a stone house and a component of a Neolithic farmstead. It consists of 2 rectangular buildings, without a window, and an orifice in the roof to let the smoke escape from the fireplace. Knap of Howar served as a warehouse, and a workhouse and is a sea facing site. It is regarded as one of the oldest buildings in Scotland and dates back from 3700 BC to 3100 BC. Some sources state that it is 5,500 years old. Now this site is in the care of Historic Scotland.
2. Megalithic Temples of Malta
A collection of temples in the island country of Malta, these temples are amongst the oldest buildings in the world. The three temples date back to three different eras from 3600 BC to 700 BC. These temples carry a huge religious significance and the ancient megalithic architecture makes it all the more enchanting.
1. Tumulus of Bougon, France
Discovered in 1840, the Tumulus of Bougon or Necropolis of Bougon is a collection of 5 Neolithic barrows. Large scale efforts for conservation, excavation and preservation of these monuments kicked off in 1873. The excavations which were suspended after the acquisition of the site by the department of Deux-Sèvres were resumed and the structures in this site date back to as far as 4800 BC.