Human civilizations have been building monuments for thousands of years in order to honour their culture, their religion and gods, to remember historic moments and to honour their loved ones. Here are 18 of the most incredible monuments ever built.
Abandoned Soviet Monuments
These are abandoned monuments that are scattered across the former Soviet Union. Before it collapsed the Soviet Union had an area of 8.65 million square miles and within that vast area lived a population of 290 million people.
The Temple of the Jaguar
The Temple of the Jaguar is one of many impressive Mayan temples that is perched on top of high pyramids located in the jungles of Central America. Built to house the tomb of one of the city's most successful rulers, it is located in the ancient city of Tikal.
This impressive ancient temple now known as Angkor Wat took 30 years of hard labor to construct, and its clear all that time was worth it judging by the ruins that still remain to this day. Built in the 12th century, the temple is praised for its impressive architecture and artistic appeal.
Great Mosque of Djenne
This structure is actually the worlds largest mud brick building in the world. The original Great Mosque of Djenné in Mali was commissioned in the 13th century but most of the structure was demolished in the 1830s to make way for a smaller mosque. The current incarnation of the mosque that stands today was build between 1906 and 1907.
St. Pauls Cathedral
Perhaps one of the most famous landmarks in London, the church was founded in the 7th century. Since then many important events have been conducted at the site including the 80th birthday party of Queen Elizabeth, Lady Diana and Prince Charles wedding and the funeral of Sir Winston Churchill.
The Meteora Monasteries
The Metéora Monasteries are perhaps one of the most mind blowing feats of engineering you are ever likely to see. The collection of Eastern Orthodox Greek monasteries perch like birds nests on top of giant sandstone peaks. The monasteries provided mountain strongholds for the monks that lived their. The only means of getting up or down from these pillars was by a long rope ladder. Out of the 24 monasteries that were built, six of them still remain operational.
Mount rushmore is perhaps one of the most famous monuments in the world, and one of the most famous in the USA. It took fourteen years to complete by hundreds of workers. The monument features three notable presidents, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.
The Statue of Liberty
Standing at 98m high the Statue of Liberty is probably the most famous monument in the world. Located in Liberty Island in the middle of New York Harbor, in Manhattan, New York City. Work started on the statue in 1875 and it was opened to the public in 1886.
Giza Pyramid and the Great Sphinx
Located on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt, this huge complex of ancient monuments includes the great pyramid of Giza and the impressive sculpture known as the Great Sphinx. The pyramids are a symbol of the high culture of dynastic ancient Egypt.
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal. Today the Taj Mahal stands as a monument of love and a symbol for India.
The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a long series of walls built from stone, brick, tamped earth and other materials. The wall runs along from east-to-west across the historical northern borders of China. It was built to keep out nomadic groups and prevent military incursions. The wall continues for a mind blowing 13,171 miles.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument located in Wiltshire, England. One of the most famous sites in the world, Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones. It is thought that the site is an ancient burial ground dating back to anywhere between 3000BC and 2000BC.
Acropolis of Athens
Located in Athens, Greece, this ancient citadel is situated on top of a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens. It contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historical significance. The Acropolis of Athens can be seen as a symbol for the Ancient Greek World, the classical period of the Hellenic civilization.
Colosseum, Rome, Italy
The Flavian Amphitheater is an iconic symbol for Rome the 'Eternal City' as well as for the civilization of the Imperial Roman Empire.
Chichén Itzá, Mexico
Now located in the Yucatan Peninsula of present-day Mexico, this ancient Mayan monument was the regional capital of Mayan culture between the years of 750 and 1200 AD.
Unlike others, this strange monument is not from ancient times, but was put in place more recently. Probably one of the most mysterious and bizarre monuments, the stone structure is inscribed in eight different languages which includes Egyptian Hieroglyphics, Hindi and Swahili. The words give instructions for post-apocalyptic survivors, giving them guidelines on how to rebuild civilization. The identity of who created this monument remains a mystery.
Easter Island, which is also known as Rapa Nui or Isla de Pascua is located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean and is most famous for its monumental statues created by the Rapanui people. The statues were carved between 1250 and 1500 CE and were part of an ancestral worship.
Machi Picchu is an ancient city of the Inca empire which is hidden in the high Peruvian Andes. Forgotten by the outside world for centuries, the site was re-discovered by archaeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911. It is suggested the city was built around 1450 CE, and still remains the most well-preserved city of the Inca empire in the world.