From the Parthenon to the new Library in Alexandria, from the Pyramids of Giza to the Eiffel Tower, the great architectural masterpieces represent an age, a culture and, at times, an entire civilization.
Forming a meeting point between history and art, these and other vestiges of ancient civilizations, together with the images of contemporary masterpieces presented in this volume, are treasures of architecture and engineering that symbolize a universal creative and intellectual vision.
Even in antiquity, historians recorded the grandeur of certain monuments in documents that described their beauty and power, and praised the skills of their builders and patrons. Ever since the Hellenistic Theamata-Thaumata (‘things worthy of being seen’ and ‘marvelous things’), and from the time of Herodotus and early descriptions of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, there has been an endless stream of descriptions and lists of magnificent buildings. In many different historical and cultural settings, the originality of concept and design of unique buildings has been the supreme symbol of greatness and power.
Wonders of the World is dedicated to the most important monuments created by man throughout history. Superb photographs accompanied by texts written by art history experts illustrate the great architectural wonders of antiquity and most important buildings of the present. Image and narrative combine to present and examine the technical characteristics, history, engineering qualities and the human events linked to the construction of the world’s greatest architectural treasures.