Pantheon The Pantheon is the world's oldest edifice that is still in use today. It has been a Roman Catholic church since the 7th century. It was the third version of the edifice, built approximately 125 A.D. by the Roman emperor Publius Aelius Hadrianus. It replaced an earlier temple that had been built by Marcus Aurelius in 161 A.D.-The original temple was burned down during the Social War (91-93 A.D.). The new temple was thus made out of marble acquired from one of the islands in the Tiber River.
It remains true to its original design and structure, with an octagonal plan formed by eight porticos, each one opening onto small square rooms called iacons.
The temple itself isn't too big - about 30 meters across - but it can seem much bigger due to its unique shape. The dome at the top acts as a cupola, allowing light into the interior while keeping out the rain and heat of the sun.
There are several other buildings in Rome that are also very old but they are mostly ruins now, such as the Temple of Jupiter, the House of the Vestal Virgins, and the Basilica Ulpia.
However, none of them are in use today as churches or temples. They remain important because they were highly valued objects at the time they were built.
Five of the World's Oldest Structures
Pantheon-the temple which served as Rome's largest church for nearly a thousand years after its construction in 27 B.C.-is certainly the most impressive structure dating from that time. Enclosed within a large, open area, it had no ceiling until about A.D. 200 when Vespasian added one made of marble. The original wooden roof was replaced during the reign of Titus, but it too was replaced by one of concrete and steel after only twenty-five years.
In addition to being very old, Pantheon is also considered one of the first true buildings because it used regular blocks instead of stones bound with mortar. This made construction easy and cost-effective. In fact, other large structures were built using similar techniques including Trajan's Market (now a museum) and Caesar's Forum (which remains today almost exactly as it did when it was new).
Pantheon is famous not only because it is the oldest building in Rome but also because it features a large dome which is still in use today. Domes have been used in many Eastern churches but they are not common in Rome because the Catholics prefer cross-shaped ceilings instead.
The Cenacle (the place of the Last Supper) in Jerusalem was the "first Christian church," according to the Catholic Encyclopedia. The Dura-Europos church in Syria is the world's oldest surviving church edifice, but the archaeological remnants of both the Aqaba Church and the Megiddo Church are thought to be...
The Cenacle is also considered the first cathedral because it had a central role in the initiation of Christianity. The word cenacle comes from the Greek kainos meaning "last" or "remaining." Thus, the Cenacle was the last remaining part of the Holy Land after Jesus' death and before the construction of the New Testament cities of Jerusalem and Rome.
The Cenacle is also important because it contains the only known image of Jesus dating from the early years of the church. This image, known as the Cenacle Picture, is kept in the National Museum in Jerusalem.
Other important buildings that have been called churches include: the Great Mosque of Damascus; the Cathedral of Abu Dhabi; Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome; and Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia. Some historians say that mosques built before 1219 were not considered true churches because they did not meet the requirements for a church building. For example, they were not used for worship services and they did not have a bishop at the time they were constructed.
The Megalithic Temples of Malta are thought to be the world's earliest free-standing constructions. They date between 3600 and 700 BC. The temples were constructed during three cultural revolutions: Ggantija (3600-3200BC), Saflieni (3300-3000BC), and Tarxien (3150BC–2500BC).
Malta is an island in the Mediterranean Sea, east of Italy and south of Tunisia. The temples are found on Gozo, a larger island off the southern coast of Malta. They are made up of large monoliths some of which are over 10 feet high that were brought from a nearby mountain range.
Gozo has very few inhabitants about 30,000 people so the temples have been able to preserve their mystery for thousands of years. No one knows who built the temples or why they were created. Some scientists think they may have been used as tombs, but this idea has not been confirmed by any evidence.
The Megalithic Temples of Malta are among the most important archaeological sites in Europe. They rank with the Great Pyramids of Egypt and the Mesoamerican pyramids of Mexico as some of the largest structures built by human hands.
The Temple Court Building was constructed between 1881 and 1883, making it the world's oldest skyscraper still standing today. The building was designed by William Henry Miller and Alfred Thomas Murray, and it is estimated to be around 100 years old.
In addition to being a bank, the Temple Court Building was also used for housing, a post office, and a theatre. Today, it functions as an art gallery and event space.
The building is located in Cardiff, Wales and its height is 78 feet (24 m). It has 24 floors plus a basement floor.
The tallest remaining temple-style building is the American Bank for Commerce & Savings in Chicago, which was built in 1892. It is 205 feet tall (63 m) with 26 floors.
Other skyscrapers from this era that remain stand over 200 feet tall include the Guaranty Building in New York City, the Dime Savings Bank in Philadelphia, and the Equitable Office Building in Chicago. Several more buildings have been proposed but never built, such as the World Trade Center in New York City.
The first true skyscraper was built in Chicago in 1889. It was called the Wieboldt Store and it was 105 feet tall with 16 floors.
The Knap of Howar, which dates back to roughly 3600 BCE, is the world's oldest structure and most certainly the oldest dwelling still standing. The Knap of Howar is made up of two stone-built homes that were found in the 1930s when weathering exposed some of the stone walls. Scientists believe that the homes were originally part of a large farm building used by people who lived near the sea.
People began building with wood long before they started using stone. Archaeologists have found evidence of wooden buildings as early as 2700 BCE, but most think that their existence was not documented until much later. The first true stone building date from about 3500 BCE, but more likely 4050-3850 BCE. This would make the rock shelter at Rocknest in South Africa the world's oldest surviving building.
The Great Wall of China is the world's longest man-made structure, being approximately 20,000 miles (32,000 km) in length. It was built over a period of several centuries and represents the final effort of several different rulers to protect their countries from invasion. Constructed from stone, brick, earth, and wood, it served its purpose for hundreds of years before being abandoned after the beginning of the modern era.
The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is the holiest place in Judaism and Christianity.