10 structures which took centuries to Build

Today we are in a position to build a structure within short period of time due to the advancement in machinery and technology. There are some well-known structures like Milan Cathedral, Great wall of china, leaning tower, which took centuries to complete because of various reasons like slow construction practises, Halts due to war, complexity in architecture, change of emperor, etc. In this Article we are gonna see why these structures took 100’s of years to complete.

image: CS

I)                    MILAN CATHEDRAL
·         It is the largest church in Italy and 5th largestin the world.
·         The construction was started in 1386 and took almost 6 centuries to complete.
·         By 1402, half of the Cathedral construction was completed and from then until 1480, the construction was halted due to lack of money, politics etc.,
·         Later on work was resumed in a very slow pace and in 1762 Madonnia’s Spire was erected which is at a height of 108.5m.
·         Later in early 19th century, Napoleonfinished the fa├žade and final stages of construction was started. Napoleon statue was erected at the top of one of the spires as a thanksgiving.
·         In fact, there are 3400 statues, 135 gargoyles, 700 figures that decorate this beautiful building. There are more statues on this cathedral, than any other building in the world.
·         The last details of the cathedral were finished only in the 20th century and the last gate was opened on Jan 6, 1965.
·         THUS MILAN CATHEDRAL TOOK  600 YEARS TO COMPLETE.

II)                 GREAT WALL OF CHINA
·         Over 2000 years from 3rd century B.C to 17thcentury A.D, several walls were built and extended by different rulers which all now constitute to the Great wall of China.
·         The First wall was constructed around 259-210 B.C by the emperor Qin Shi Huang to prevent invasions into Chinese empire.
·         After the fall of Qin dynasty, several other emperors repaired and extended the great wall for centuries.
·         The well-known and the best-preserved section of the great wall was built in the 14th through 17th centuries A.D during the Mung dynasty.
·         This well-known section of the great wall, was located 43 miles northwest of Beijing which is 5500 miles long.
·         SO, THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA WAS BUILT OVER THE SPAN OF 2000 YEARS.


III)               LEANING TOWER OF PISA
·         It is the free standing bell tower which is famous for its unintended tilt.
·         Turning few pages back in the history books, in 1063, Pisans attacked the city of Palermo on the island of Sicily. They succeeded in conquering it and when they returned to Pisa, they decided to build a cathedral complex comprising of a Cathedral, a Baptistery, a Bell tower and a cemetery to show their pride. That’s how the construction started in August 1173.
·         When the construction reached 2nd floor in 1178, the tower began to sink due to the unstable subsoil. After that, due to various battles, the construction work was halted for almost a century which allowed the subsoil to settle.
·         During this time clocks are mounted on the unfinished construction of 3rd floor.
·         7th floor was completed in 1319 and the final bell chamber was added in 1372.
·         The tower now leans at 3.99 degrees because of several restoration works undertaken.
·         IN THIS WAY, LEANING TOWER OF PISA TOOK ALMOST 2 CENTURIES TO CONSTRUCT.


IV)               SEVERAL OTHER BUILDINGS which took more than a century to build are:

·         NOTRE DAME DE PARIS which is a well-known and one of the largest churches in the world. Construction began in 1163 and completed by 1345. It took 182 years to build it.

·         COLOGNE CATHEDRAL It is the most visited landmark of Germany. It is a Roman catholic cathedral whose construction started in 1248 and was halted after 2 centuries in 1473. Till 19th century, it was unfinished. The remaining construction restarted around 1840’s and finished in 1880.

·         ST PETER’S BASILICA It is the largest Church building in the world which took 120 years to build.

·         SANGRADA FAMILIA is a Roman catholic church located in Barcelona. The construction work started in 1882 and is still in construction stage with 2026 as estimated year of completion.


Apart from these structures, several church buildings took about 100 years to build. 



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