25 Most Monumental Feats of Construction in History

Whether it was 2000 years ago or just during the turn of the last century, one thing about humans is certain – we are good at building things. From walls that span thousands of miles to skyscapers that pierce through the clouds we have always held a fascination with massive construction projects. So, get ready because we are about to go on a world tour of the 25 most monumental feats of construction in history.

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The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing


Designed by the Chinese Emperor Yongle in the 15th century, the Porcelain Tower has an octagonal shape and the top of its roof is marked by a golden sphere. It has nine stories with a total height of 260 feet, and one has to climb 130 steps of the spiral staircase just to reach the top floor. Its unique appeal lies in the white porcelain bricks of the tower, which were adorned with glazes and stoneware creating a blend of colors on the sides depicting images of animals, flowers, and landscapes.


Chand Baori


Constructed in the 9th century, this is a famous stepwell situated in the village of Abhaneri near Jaipur, India. Located opposite the Harshat Mata temple, it has 3,500 narrow steps with over 13 stories. Stepwells are used as a source of groundwater, and since they are covered and protected and of architectural significance, they can also serve other purposes such as a relief for daytime heat and as a place of social gatherings and religious ceremonies. This is considered a monumental construction feat due to the complexity of the stone structure and the kind of technology available at that time.




Otherwise known as Saksaq Wawam or ‘House of the Sun,’ this ancient stone wall is located 7 km from the center of the Cusco City of Peru. It is believed that this was built by the Kilke people between 900 and 1200 AD before the domination of the Inca Empire. It is also the route of many chicanas or underground catacombs, which connect the historic piece of architecture to other Inca structures. This engineering marvel has confounded the Spanish conquerors who were so amazed by it that they believed it must be the work of demons.


Leshan Giant Buddha


The largest statue of Buddha ever carved in a cliff, the Leshan Giant Buddha towers over 232 feet into the air. Its fingers measure 11 feet in length while its 92-foot long shoulders are big enough to be a basketball court and even a hundred people can sit on its lap. Construction was overseen by the monk Hai Tong in the year 713 to scare the water spirits that caused boat accidents in strong river waters, as it overlooks the confluence of three rivers in the Sichuan Province of China.




This is an enormous archaeological site in the Basin of Mexico, which contained a massive urban complex that is known for its celestial, geographic, and geodetic alignments. The site includes some of the largest pyramids built in the pre-Columbian Americas with large residential complexes and colorful well-preserved murals. The city was thought to be established in 100 BCE and may have had a population of 200,000 at its peak in 450 BCE. The most famous landmark is the Pyramid of the Sun and in 1987, it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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