History of architecture started from the simplest structures constructed and designed based on the basic requirement of having a shelter. Man acted based on his instinct of survival producing the simplest type of shelter. From lean-to construction, man experimented on building more complex shelters using different materials that can be found nearby. Pre-historic architecture was constructed with branches of trees as the main frame and leaves or animal skin as covering. As the human civilization progress, their needs became more complex. Ancient beliefs and the birth of religion enabled man to produce architecture that go beyond his physical needs. To satisfy his curiosity, provide venue for worship, man built temples, monuments and other buildings that reflected his religious aspirations. Government buildings, palaces and other structures that represent power and social hierarchy were also developed signifying order and social organization. Materials such as bricks, stones and paint, and advance construction gave an opportunity to build complex structures that last longer and were built stronger and bigger. The Egyptians built pyramids as burial chamber for  their pharaohs, Greeks erected temples in honor of their gods, Romans constructed the Colosseum in Rome that became the largest amphitheater ever built, the early Christians built churches and the Byzantines completed Hagia Sophia that is considered to be the most important Byzantine structure and one of the world’s great monuments.

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Abu Simbel, Nubia Egypt. Egyptian Architecture
Abu Simbel, Nubia Egypt

Abu Simbel is a temple complex, originally cut into a solid rock cliff, in southern Egypt and located at the second cataract of the Nile River. The two temples which comprise the site (The Great Temple and The Small Temple) were created during the reign of Ramesses II (c. 1279 – c. 1213 BCE) either between 1264 – 1244 BCE or 1244-1224 BCE. The discrepancy in the dates is due to differing interpretations of the life of Ramesses II by modern day scholars. It is certain, based upon the extensive art work throughout the interior of the Great Temple, that the structures were created, at least in part, to celebrate Ramesses’ victory over the Hittites at the Battle of Kadesh in 1274 BCE. To some scholars, this indicates a probable date of 1264 BCE for the initial construction as the victory would have been fresh in the memory of the people. However, the decision to build the grand monument at that precise location, on the border with the conquered lands of Nubia, suggests to other scholars the later date of 1244 BCE in that it would have had to have been begun after the Nubian Campaigns Ramesses II undertook with his sons and was built as a symbol of Egypt’s power. READ MORE

Parthenon, Greece. Greek Architecture
Parthenon, Greece

An architectural order describes a style of building. In classical architecture each order is readily identifiable by means of its proportions and profiles, as well as by various aesthetic details. The style of column employed serves as a useful index of the style itself, so identifying the order of the column will then, in turn, situate the order employed in the structure as a whole. The classical orders—described by the labels Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian—do not merely serve as descriptors for the remains of ancient buildings, but as an index to the architectural and aesthetic development of Greek architecture itself. READ MORE

Oculus of Pantheon in Rome, Italy. Roman Architecture
Pantheon, Rome, Italy

The Pantheon from Greek Πάνθειον Pantheion meaning “[temple] of every god”) is a former Roman temple, now a church, in Rome, Italy, on the site of an earlier temple commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD). The present building was completed by the emperor Hadrian and probably dedicated about 126 AD. He retained Agrippa’s original inscription, which has confused its date of construction as the original Pantheon burnt down so it is not certain when the present one was built. The building is circular with a portico of large granite Corinthian columns (eight in the first rank and two groups of four behind) under a pediment. A rectangular vestibule links the porch to the rotunda, which is under a coffered concrete dome, with a central opening (oculus) to the sky. Almost two thousand years after it was built, the Pantheon’s dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 142 feet (43 m). READ MORE






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