Monuments have been around since ancient times, many of which have lasted hundreds or even thousands of years, and have served to commemorate important events in history, or to honor a person, place, or thing. Monuments have become a central part of many cultures around the world, and represent a unique type of architecture, art, and engineering. 

In this article, we will explore some of the world’s oldest and most historic monuments. From ancient temples and pyramids, to modern statues and memorials, these monuments span nations and centuries, and tell us stories about our past.

Ancient Wonders of the World

One of the oldest and most well-known monuments in the world is the Great Pyramid of Giza, located in Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, built around 2560 BC. The pyramid was built as the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu, believed to be the second ruler of the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt. It was the tallest man-made structure in the world for 3,800 years, reaching a height of 480 feet.

The statue of Zeus at Olympia, located in Greece, is another renowned monument. It was created around 435 BC by the famous sculptor Phidias, and it was placed in the Temple of Zeus to commemorate a great victory over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon. It depicted the god of sky and thunder seated on a throne, and it was held to be one of the most significant creations of Classical Art.

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, which was built around 353 BC in modern-day Turkey, is another notable monument from antiquity. It was built to commemorate the life and death of Mausolus, the Satrap of Caria. It was considered to be one of the wonders of the ancient world, and it has served as an inspiration for many later works, such as the Taj Mahal.

Medieval Monuments

The St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, Italy, is one of the oldest and most famous monuments in Europe. It was built around 1094 during the era of the powerful Republic of Venice, and it served as the religious center of the city. The basilica is covered in gold mosaics and houses priceless works of art, such as a series of frescoes depicting scenes from the Bible and mythology. The building is considered to be one of the greatest examples of Byzantine architecture, and it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Durham Cathedral, located in England, is another famous monument from the Middle Ages. It was built between 1093 and 1133, and it served as the seat of the Bishop of Durham. The towering building is crowned by a central tower that stands 218 feet over the city of Durham. It is regarded as one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in England, and it has been listed as a World Heritage Site since 1986.

Modern Memories

One of the most iconic monuments from the modern era is the Statue of Liberty in New York City. It was a gift from the people of France to the United States as a symbol of freedom and democracy in 1886. The statue stands over 305 feet tall, and visitors cannot miss her welcoming torch and her uplifted tablet, which bear the date of the United States’ Declaration of Independence. In 1924, the statue was designated as a National Monument.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC is another notable modern monument. It was erected in 1982 to honor the U.S. soldiers who lost their lives during the Vietnam War. The memorial consists of two black granite walls inscribed with the names of more than 58,000 veterans who died during the war, arranged in chronological order. The monument serves as a sobering reminder of the human cost of war.

The monuments discussed in this article are only a few examples of the oldest and most historic monuments in the world. They span the centuries and represent a wide variety of cultures, from the Great Pyramid of Giza to the Statue of Liberty, these monuments tell us stories about our past, serve as reminders of important events in history, and help us to commemorate the lives of those who have gone before us.