Landmarks designate places of interest and peek the interest of many. Discover the massive stones used to erect Stonehenge and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Ranked in battle formation thousands of life-size terra-cotta soldiers protect the tomb of Emperor Qin Shi Huang. The clay figures were buried more than 2000 years ago in underground vaults ready to escort the emperor into eternal life.
Ancient Chinese emperors had the immense Great Wall built as a way to deter invaders. Originally snaking more than 4000 miles across the lush landscape of China this great structure still lures more than 10000 spectators a day to witness its grandeur
Potala Palace was long the home of the Dalai Lama, a thriving monastery, and the hub of government administration. Although monks still maintain the shrines, the palace has become a museum, a repository of things past. Learn more about Potala Palace.
Arguably the most perfect building on Earth the Taj Mahal is an Indian ruler's timeless memorial to his lost lamented love. This white marble pearl of architecture was once described by poet Rabindranath Tagore as "a teardrop on the cheek of eternity
A series of 34 cave shrines transform Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain beliefs into three dimensions with elaborate designs and even freestanding structures. Read more about the Ellora Caves in India.
This Buddhist shrine topped with 5,448 diamonds and 2,317 rubies, sapphires, and other precious gems. Domed like a bell, the Buddhist shrine, or stupa, is literally gold plated, using 8,688 sheets of the precious metal. Check out Shwedagon Pagoda.
A naturalist named Henri Mouhot stumbled across a city of more than 100 stone buildings hidden in the forests of Cambodia. It had been built long ago, the locals said, by a vanished race of giant gods. Learn all about Angkor Wat in this article.
The Golden Pavillion is probably the most recognizable temple in Japan -- and no wonder. How many buildings are entirely covered in gold?
Five centuries ago, the Great Buddha survived when a massive storm swept away city and the temple that housed it. Read about the long-standing Great Buddha at Kotoku Temple.
The world's largest stupa, or Buddhist shrine -- required several thousand workers and the better part of a century to build. Learn more about Borobudur in Indonesia.
Like a flotilla of grand ships under sail, gliding across one of the world's great natural harbors, the Sydney Opera House has arrested every visitor's attention since it opened in 1973. Read more about Sydney Opera House.
Magnificent Mont-St.-Michel rises out of a bay, an abbey perched on a pinnacle of rock, separated from the mainland by a sanding expanse at low tide and the ocean at low tide. Learn more about Mont-St.-Michel.
Travelers for centuries have been mesmerized by the Alhambra -- a Moorish fantasy palace of domes and pointed arches, shady patios and gleaming tiles. Everywhere is the sound of water, a rare treasure in arid Spain. Learn more about the Alhambra.
This Frank Gehry structure is almost as awe-provoking on the outside as the treasures it houses within, boasting works from artists such as Picasso, Pollack and De Kooning.
When the Colosseum falls Rome also ends and when Rome falls the world will end an old proverb warns. But neither hurricanes nor gladiators have taken it down yet; likewise many around the world are trying to preserve this monument.
With its remarkable dome, the Pantheon ranks as one of the great marvels of ancient Rome. The building's beauty comes from its geometrical purity: the dome's diameter is precisely the same as its height from the floor. Read more about the Pantheon.
The worldwide center of the Roman Catholic faith was erected on what is thought to be the tomb of Saint Peter. Work on the new building began in 1506 and continued for well over a century. Read about St. Peter's Basilica and the Sistine Chapel.
One of the world's most recognizable buildings is surely the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Check it out, if you're so inclined....
Consecrated in 1094 the basilica is surely Venice's holiest shrine; beneath the high altar rest the mortal remains of Saint Mark the Evangelist. The decorative styles of East and West morph an Asian fantasy of domes mosaics glittering jewels and carv
In Russian the word 'kreml' means "citadel" and many Russian cities have kremlins of their own. But to the rest of the world there's only one Kremlin: the 800-year-old Moscow palace that has played such a huge role in world history and politics.
The Acropolis is the hill where the graceful, white structure of the Parthenon temple rises against the blue sky of Greece. Read more about the Parthenon and the Acropolis.
The name "Hagia Sophia" means "Divine Wisdom". When it was consecrated in Constantinople in 537, no one in the history of architecture had the sophistication or daring to erect such a building. Read about the inspired Hagia Sophia.
This Crusader castle in Syria withstood Arab assaults during more than 100 years of occupation. The castle's interior includes a fine Gothic balcony a 12th-century Romanesque chapel and chambers that held kitchens and a five-year stock of provisions
Sheltered beneath the dazzling golden crown of the Dome of the Rock -- which was built according to perfect mathematical calculations -- is the Holy Rock, whose associations touch three religions. Learn more about the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
Petra wasn't exactly a lost city. But by the early 1800s only the Bedouin herdsmen of the desert in what is now Jordan visited this ancient capital of the Nabataeans. Read more about Petra.
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