In this article we are presenting some of the world's ancient but extraordinary architectural marvels of all times, and also the fact that many of the legendary architects, designers & sculptors who contributed in creating these breathtaking structures chose marble as one of their most favorite surfaces to express their artistic brilliance.
The Piazza del Duomo in Pisa, Italy is recognized as one of the main centers for medieval art in the world. The heart of the Piazza del Doumo is the cathedral entitled to Santa Maria Assunta. The construction of this world famous cathedral began in 1064 by the architect Busketo, and set the model for the distinctive Romanesque style of architecture.
The facade of this cathedral was built by a master named Rainaldo who used grey marble and white stone set with discs of colored marble. The interior was done using black and white marble and has a gilded ceiling and a frescoed dome. The impressive Corinthian columns between the nave and the aisle were made of granite.
The Taj Mahal is one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This stunning monument is the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Turkish & Indian architectural styles.
The construction of Taj Mahal began around 1632 and was completed around 1653. The tomb is the central focus of Taj Mahal. This large white marble structure stands on a square plinth topped by a 35 meters tall marble dome and finial. The marble dome that surmounts the tomb is the most spectacular feature. Most of the white marble used in the construction of Taj Mahal was extracted from Makrana, Rajasthan, India.
The Parthenon is a temple on the Athenian Acropolis in Greece. It's construction began in 447 BC and was completed in 438 BC. The Parthenon is regarded as one of the world's greatest cultural monuments.
The Parthenon had 46 outer and 23 inner pillars in total. The Metopes of the Parthenon are a series of marble panels, originally 92 in number, on the outside wall of this massive structure.
The roof was covered with large overlapping marble tiles known as imbrices & tegulae. The marble used in the construction of the Parthenon was extracted from a mountain range northeast of Athens called Penteli. Penteli marble is a flawless white with a uniform, faint yellow tint, which makes it shine like gold under sunlight. The availability of this marble has become very rare in recent times.
Whenever we talk of marble the picture that emerges in our mind is of a beautiful but delicate stone. But the white marble used in the Taj Mahal in 1632, the grey marble used by Rainaldo in the Piazza del Doumo in 1064 and the Penteli marble used in the construction of the Parthenon almost 2500 years ago raises another question in my mind. Is marble really that delicate? I think it takes some strength to survive hundreds of years of exposure to direct sunlight, rain, heat & other natural climatic changes.
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