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Tallest Structures in the World Built Before 20th Century

Batul Nafisa Baxamusa Aug 31, 2019
Today, it is very common to see skyscrappers towering over your head. But, before the advent of modern engineering and architectural advances in 20th century, it was quite an achievement to build a structure that reached the sky. The tallest structures built before the 20th century mostly had either religious or cultural significance.

1. Great Pyramid of Cholula, Mexico

Also, called Tlachihualtepetl or ‘made-by-hand mountain’. It is the largest and tallest building in South America. It stands at a height of 217 feet and was completed way back in the 200 BC!

2. Qutub Minar, India

Qutub Minar in Delhi was once the tallest structure tapering at the height of 239.5 feet. Its construction was started by Qutb-ud-Din Aibak but completed by his successor 'Iltutmish'.

3. Hwangryongsa, South Korea

This former Buddist temple was built in Gyeongju in the 7th century. It was a 262 feet tall structure considered to be the tallest structure in East Asia. It was also the tallest wooden structure in the world in 643 BC.

4. Liaodi Pagoda, China

This monastery was the tallest existing pre-modern Chinese pagoda of the 11th century. It was built during the Song dynasty and stands at a height of 276 feet.

5. Red Pyramid, Egypt

This is one of the largest of the 3 major pyramids of Dahshur necropolis. It is Egypt’s 3rd largest pyramid standing at the height of 345 feet built during 2600 BC.

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6. Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt

Also called the Pyramid of Khufu, it is a marvelous, the oldest and the tallest of 3 pyramids of Giza. This oldest structure, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is 481 feet tall and was built in 2560 BC.

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7. Lincoln Cathedral, U.K.

The Lincoln Cathedral was completed in 1311. It took over the 3,871 years of standing record of the tallest structure in the world from The Great Pyramid. It has a height of 471 feet and held on to the title of tallest building for the next 238 years.

8. Washington Monument, U.S.

Built to commemorate George Washington, the commander-in-chief and first President of the U.S., the Washington Monument stands 555 feet 51⁄8 inches. Its construction began in 1848 but was not completed until 1888.

9. New Brighton Tower, U.K.

This tallest structure in the Western Hemisphere was built as a steel lattice observation tower. It was the tallest building in Great Britain and stood 567 feet high. However, it could not stand the test of time due to lack of funds and was dismantled in 1919.

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10. Eiffel Tower, France

The most romantic place in the world, it also is the tallest structure in the world built before 20th century. Constructed between 1887 and 1889, it stands 1,063 feet tall and is the tallest structure in Paris. It was the first to surpass the Chrysler Building - the tallest structure title holder in New York for 41 years.

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These are some of the tallest man-made structures built before the 20th century. They have been standing at an impressive height during their time period and are still considered to be architectural marvels of a period when construction of massive and complex structures was not an easy task.