100 Most Interesting Monuments and Monuments of the World
100 great monuments
According to the definition of the Encyclopedic Dictionary: “A monument is a work of art created to immortalize people or historical events, a sculptural group, statue, bust, slab with a relief or inscription, triumphal arch, column, obelisk, tomb, tombstone, etc. The most developed type of monument is memorial structures”.
Thousands of years ago, in order to preserve their name for posterity, people turned to the gods, tried to propitiate them, created their images, giant statues, and placed their own statues next to them. They saw that such immortalization would help the ruler to preserve himself in the memory of posterity. So along with statues of gods, with “idols”, practically the first monuments to kings and warlords appeared.
Initially, the passion for immortalization, which especially possessed the rulers of ancient states, was realized mainly in the creation of tombs and funerary structures. They varied. For the Egyptian, a pyramid. For a Slavic leader – a bulk mound. For a European king or powerful feudal lord, a cathedral or church built at his expense, where his sarcophagus was installed. Less famous, but still significant by origin people were buried in the cemetery. And in Catholic countries also tried to arrange a family vault.
But there was another tradition at that time. In democratic Greece, heroes-winners of the Olympic Games were immortalized. Statues were erected in their honor. True, those were not portraits of real athletes, but rather statues in honor of the winners in running, javelin throwing, archery and wrestling. The Greeks also left to descendants the first images of warriors, heroes of their myths, and at the same time their prominent statesmen, rulers, philosophers – Pericles, Socrates and many others. Statues by famous Greek sculptors – Lysippus, Myron, Praxiteles, Skopas – decorated temples, forums, public buildings, city squares.
Another tradition was born in the ancient world – to perpetuate events. As a rule, famous campaigns, victories, conquests, especially those that led to the capture of a large number of prisoners to be turned into slaves, were honored. In honor of such victories they began to erect special structures – triumphal arches and columns.
Roman emperors loved to decorate the “eternal city” with their statues. Alas, not many of them survived to this day. The miraculously surviving equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius in the XVII-XVIII centuries was considered a kind of model. Numerous equestrian statues of monarchs similar to it were established all over Europe at that time.
In 1622 the first monument in Europe was erected not to a military man or a crown prince, but to a civilian figure, writer and philosopher Erasmus of Rotterdam, the author of the famous “Praise of Folly” (sculptor – Hendrik de Keizer). And later, monuments to poets and writers began gradually, but steadily and persistently to overtake the monuments to monarchs.
In Russia the first writers to whom monuments were erected were N. M. Karamzin, G. R. Derzhavin, I. A. Krylov. Following the poets, composers, scientists, travelers, doctors appeared on pedestals. Gradually, not only writers, but also the heroes of their books began to be immortalized.
Since Peter I, in Russia there are a large number of different monuments, including the tsar himself. And in the pre-Petrine era in our country there were no sculptural monuments. And not because there were no great men, worthy of immortalization, but simply in the canons of Orthodox Christianity was not accepted to put monuments. But there was a custom to immortalize not people, but events, mostly, of course, related to victories. Temples or chapels were built for this purpose. Victory as deliverance from plague, famine and similar disasters was attributed, of course, to an unearthly will.
This was the case not only in Russia, but also in other countries that had inherited Christianity according to the Byzantine model, not the Roman one, such as Georgia, Armenia, and Bulgaria. According to the precepts of another religion – Mohammedan – it was forbidden not only to set up monuments, but even to depict a person in any way – in painting, sculpture, wall paintings. In Japan and India, where art was very highly developed, only deities, mythical animals and one man alone – the founder of Buddhism, Prince Sakya-Muni – were depicted in sculpture.
But the humanistic legacy of ancient culture spread ever more widely in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to all countries and continents. It did not destroy local traditions, but made some adjustments to them. Sculpture began to immortalize the one who created the gods and decides events – man. Monuments to humans gradually appeared in India, Japan, Ceylon and Africa.
The Great Sphinx at Giza
(about 2,500 B.C.).
Pyramid construction reaches its peak during the Fourth Dynasty in the famous triad of great pyramids at Giza. They are all of the same shape – with smooth faces. Originally they had an outer lining of carefully hewn stone, which has since disappeared, with the exception of the top of the pyramid of Khafra. Around the three large pyramids are grouped several small ones and a large number for members of the pharaoh’s family and higher officials, but the complex complex complex that was the burial place of Djoser was replaced by a simpler arrangement. Adjoining each of the large pyramids from the east is a funerary temple, from which the funeral procession moved to a second temple located below, in the valley of the Nile, about one-third of a mile away.
Next to the lower temple of the pyramid of Khafr stands the Great Sphinx, carved out of the rock, perhaps even more impressive embodiment of a godlike pharaoh than the pyramids themselves. The majesty of the Sphinx inspires such awe that even a thousand years later it can be regarded as a representation of the sun god. Structures of such gigantic scale mark the highest point of the rise of the power of the pharaohs. After the end of the Fourth Dynasty (less than two hundred years after Djoser) there was never again an attempt to accomplish something similar.
Already in ancient times the sphinx was covered by the sands. The young prince, the future Pharaoh Thutmose IV (XV century BC), one day after hunting in the desert, dozed in its shadow and heard the voice of the stone giant, asking to free him from the weight of the sand. When Tutmosis IV became pharaoh, he fulfilled this request and ordered to decorate the sphinx with a plaque in relief with an inscription telling about this event. The slab exists to this day.
According to descriptions and engravings by European artists, at the beginning of the 19th century only the head and shoulders of the sphinx were visible again. Its face, disfigured by Napoleon’s soldiers, had lost its nose (which was as big as an average human being). When the excavations were rediscovered, the mighty lion’s body and the sphinx’s clawed paws extended forward. His broad cheekbone face, once painted red, possibly bearing a portrait resemblance to Pharaoh Khafra, was impenetrable and austere, his eyes turned eastward. The Arabs called the Great Sphinx the Father of Terror, but this statue, which has long beckoned to people, evokes a sense of quiet power rather than fear.
The recollections of O. Vereisky about the Sphinx are interesting:
“People who have visited a new country for the first time usually come back overflowing with impressions and eager to share them with others. I have noticed that every person who returns from India, for example, behaves like a discoverer of the Taj Mahal, the treasures of the Ajanta Caves and the temples of Benares.
I have experienced this for myself. I find myself dying to inform my readers about the existence of the pyramids in Egypt.
Is there a schoolboy in the world who has not seen many images of the sphinx and pyramids? As for me, I even happened to draw the pyramids a good dozen years before I saw them.
And now I was standing at the pyramid of Cheops and looking at it. I could touch it with my hands. Below, far below us, there was some kind of stone cat lying sprawled out. This was the famous Sphinx.
It is difficult to imagine that the pyramids were built by the hands of ordinary people. These mountains seemed to have been erected by the Cyclopes, or the elements had piled them up, giving them at their whim such regular, clear outlines.
There was an amazing silence all around us. Only the wind-driven sand rustled and rustled, hitting the ancient stones… Suddenly, some crowd rushed towards us with whistling, noise, hickering. It seemed that a military unit moved on us for a massive strike. Men on horseback and on foot in unimaginable clothing, horses and camels in ribbons, wreaths, amulets, and all this rushing at us at full speed…
When the attackers approached, it turned out that they were guides, souvenir sellers and owners of horses and camels. There were no tourists at that hour, and all who had made the pyramids their livelihood stormed us, vying with one another to offer their services.
We held back. We did not buy the “authentic” jewelry found in the pyramid of Khafr, we did not take pictures in front of the pyramids, we did not prance past them on decorated Arab horses, we did not sit on the hump of a white camel… We resisted.
Later, we met a man who was a victim of a similar invasion. He went through everything – riding, prancing, taking pictures with the sheikhs at the Sphinx and bought a bunch of souvenirs. On some of the “antiques” we found a stamp: “Made in Germany.
We were saved by a car horn. Hearing it, the entire armada rushed to the sound heralding the arrival of more tourists.
We walked once more to the edge of the hill at Cheops, looked at the Sphinx lying below, and promised him goodbye.
In the distance we could see the Nile Delta and the outline of Cairo. We left, having already created many sketches in our imagination at the foot of the pyramids.
Exploring the city, we stumbled upon a scaffolded monument set up in the square in front of the train station. It was a huge granite figure of a pacing Ramses. The Turks tried to take it away from Memphis during their reign, but apparently could not cope with the giant and abandoned it on the road. The beautiful monument of ancient art lay for many years in the desert with a broken leg.
In our presence gardeners were planting lawns around the monument, stonecutters were sitting at its foot and knocking out a new leg for the Pharaoh from a block of granite…
We carved out a day to paint the pyramids. In the morning, before our embassy comrades came to pick us up, we drew out the window a square, Muslims praying on the lawns against a background of Mercedes-Benz car ads, and the morning procession of street peddlers that had begun.
We approached the Sphinx from the other side this time, and the first impression dissipated. The Sphinx was enormous. Its base had only recently been dug out of the rubble of sand. Under the sand drifts its feet were found and were being restored. How many times do we hear and say the word “sphinx” combined with the epithet “mysterious” I did not notice the mystery. I saw the perfectly sighted eyes of the stone Sphinx, a look of surprising liveliness and sharpness. The face of the Sphinx is proud, majestic and beautiful, despite the wounds inflicted on it by time and conquerors.”
There are historical monuments and landmarks all over the land. We are putting together a collection of the most interesting, mysterious monuments and artifacts of antiquity and modern times. Mysterious structures and strange constructions of ancient civilizations we have erected into monuments and paved tourist roads to them, so that in the future we will not forget about them and find solutions.
Poklonnaya Hill is the central museum of the Great Patriotic War dedicated to the victory of the Soviet army over the Nazi invaders.
Monuments and monuments – Russia
Monument to Minin and Pozharsky on Red Square is a symbol of the courage and freedom of the Russian people, created in 1818. It is a remarkable example of the classical style.
The Bronze Horseman is a monument to Emperor Peter the Great in St. Petersburg, a grandiose monument symbolizing the courage, strength of spirit and greatness of the famous ruler.
In the hills of Utrecht, near the village of Austerlitz, a pyramid of sand and turf stands as a reminder of the French period in the history of the Netherlands.
- The Netherlands
Let’s imagine that we are in Ireland in a place called Bru-na-Boin, here is one of the oldest and most mystical places on the planet – the pyramids of the Boin Valley.
The statue of Christ the Redeemer is one of the most famous religious monuments. The new wonder of the world is a tourist brand and business card of Brazil.
By writing the story of Seville’s bestseller, they created more than a landmark, they composed a miracle, the Plaza de Espana.
Every city in Russia is proud and famous for something of its own, in Veliky Novgorod this is the ancient Kremlin – Dytynets.
Pushkino is a city near St. Petersburg, famous for its unique buildings that pay tribute to the cultures of many of the world’s great nations.
The Colosseum or Amphitheatre of Flavius – a place where thousands of imprisoned people died for the free people to see.
Stonehenge is a mysterious ancient complex of huge boulders, the construction and purpose of the grand structure are shrouded in many hypotheses and legends.
- Great Britain
The Terracotta Army still stands guard over the tomb of Qin Shi Huang Di, the first emperor of China.
What to see in Brussels in 1 day – absolutely everything, every traveler will find in the city what is most valuable and treasured.
Going on vacation there is a question – what can be seen in Montenegro, where to go and what to see is really worthwhile.
An amazing collection of photos from 13 years by Chris Gerwig, which turned into a whole book – Soviet Bus Stops.
What to see in Berlin in winter and summer, where to go with children in the German capital – we will tell and show you about it.
Blue Stone – a boulder located on the shore of Lake Plescheyevo, attracting tourists with its unusual appearance and legends about the miraculous power.
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