The mosque was first built during the time of Umar II ibn ‘Abdulaziz, who was the Umayyad governor of Medina from 706-712 (87-93 AH) and has been renovated several times since, the last major renovation being during the reign of King Fahd (r. 1982–2005), who increased the area of the mosque by many times its original size and added several modern facilities.
The current mosque building was built during the reign of King Fahd. It is in the shape of a square with an area of approximately 6,000 square meters (65,000 ft2) inside a 36,000 m2 (388,000 ft2) square-shaped enclosure. It consists of two sets of galleries separated by a wide yard of approximately 1000 square meters (11,000 ft2). The galleries are shaped as arches ending with long domes. At the center of the mosque is a spring of water housed inside a dome. The portion of the enclosure that does not include the mosque, measuring around 20,000 m2 (216,000 ft2), includes multiple restrooms and areas for changing into ihram and performing wudu. Most of the inner area is pathways, galleries, and trees. All 13 domes are located on the roof of the mosque, while the 5 minarets are located around the enclosure. One of the mosque’s minarets stands distinct from the others, square at the bottom but round at the top in a diagonal shape, rising to a height of 64 meters (210 ft). The mosque is built in an Islamic architectural style, with Mamluk and Byzantine influences.
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, also known by its official name, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Turkish: Sultan Ahmet Camii), is an Ottoman-era historical imperial mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. A functioning mosque, it also attracts large numbers of tourist visitors. It was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. Its Külliye contains Ahmed’s tomb, a madrasah, and a hospice. Hand-painted blue tiles adorn the mosque’s interior walls, and at night the mosque is bathed in blue as lights frame the mosque’s five main domes, six minarets, and eight secondary domes. It sits next to the Hagia Sophia, the principal mosque of Istanbul until the Blue Mosque’s construction, and another popular tourist site. The Blue Mosque was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1985 under the name of “Historic Areas of Istanbul”.
The Blue Mosque has five main domes, six minarets, and eight secondary domes. The design is the culmination of two centuries of Ottoman mosque development. It incorporates many Byzantine elements of the neighboring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period. The architect, Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa, synthesized the ideas of his master Sinan, aiming for overwhelming size, majesty, and splendor. The upper area is decorated with approximately 20,000 hand-painted glazed ceramics in 60 different tulip patterns. The lower stories are illuminated by 200 stained glass windows. The mosque is preceded by a forecourt with a large fountain and a special area for ablution. An iron chain hangs in the court entrance on the western side. Only the Sultan was allowed to ride into the mosque on horseback, and he would need to lower his head not to hit the chain, a symbolic gesture ensuring the humility of the ruler before Allah.
The Buddhas of Bamyan were two 6th-century monumental statues of Gautama Buddha carved into the side of a cliff in the Bamyan valley in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, 230 kilometers (140 mi) northwest of Kabul at an elevation of 2,500 meters (8,200 ft). Built-in 507 CE (smaller) and 554 CE (larger), the statues represented the classic blended style of Gandhara art. They were respectively 35 and 53 m (115 and 174 ft) tall.
The statues were dynamited and destroyed in March 2001 by the Taliban, after the Taliban government declared that they were idols.
The Giza pyramid complex also called the Giza Necropolis, is the site on the Giza Plateau in Egypt that includes the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with their associated pyramid complexes and the Great Sphinx of Giza. All were built during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. The site also includes several cemeteries and the remains of a workers’ village.
The site is at the edges of the Western Desert, approximately 9 km (5 mi) west of the Nile River in the city of Giza, and about 13 km (8 mi) southwest of the city center of Cairo.
The Great Pyramid and the Pyramid of Khafre are the largest pyramids built in ancient Egypt, and they have historically been common as emblems of ancient Egypt in the Western imagination. They were popularized in Hellenistic times when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is by far the oldest of the ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence.
Three Gossips is a mid-sized sandstone tower (about 350 feet at its tallest wall) sitting atop a roundish pedestal within the Courthouse Towers “cluster” that also includes The Argon Tower, The Organ, Tower Of Babel, Sheep Rock, and The Lamb. The name no doubt comes from a slight resemblance of the formation to three heads “gossiping” to each other. The tower has three flat and distinct summits: North, Middle, and South – all of approximately the same height. The North summit (probably the largest) is split by a wide chimney – a small jump gets you from one half of it to the other. Several published routes access the North and South summits (see Routes Overview section below); no routes are currently listed in published guidebooks for the Middle summit (but I thought that rap slings might have been visible on it).
Summit elevation of 4800 feet is a rough estimate based on information on a Topozone map.
Balanced Rock is one of the most popular features of Arches National Park, situated in Grand County, Utah, United States. Balanced Rock is located next to the park’s main road, at about 9.2 miles (14.8 km) from the park entrance. It is one of only a few prominent features clearly visible from the road.
The total height of Balanced Rock is 128 feet (39 m), with the balancing rock rising 55 feet (16.75 m) above the base. This rock is the largest of its kind in the park, weighing approximately the same as an icebreaker ship or 27 blue whales. Balanced Rock had a smaller sibling named “Chip-Off-the-Old-Block” that collapsed in the winter of 1975-1976, the eventual fate of this feature as well.
There is also a short loop trail leading around the base of the rock.
Minar-e-Pakistan is a national monument located in Lahore, Pakistan. The tower was built between 1960 and 1968 on the site where the All-India Muslim League passed the Lahore Resolution on 23 March 1940 – the first official call for a separate and independent homeland for the Muslims of British India, as espoused by the two-nation theory. The resolution eventually helped lead to the emergence of an independent Pakistani state in 1947. The tower construction was started in 1960 and it took 8 years to complete in 1968. The estimated budget to complete the great construction is near Rs.70 Lakh (7 million). Money to complete this project is collected from Pakistani people to charge 10 to 15 Rs. extra tax at theater/cinema. It is a combination of Islamic as well as national culture. The tower base is shaped like a flower. The monument is covered with parks and flowers. Its location is used for political and religious events. It is also known as the “Liberty Tower of Pakistan”.The tower reflects a blend of Mughal/Islamic and modern architecture.The tower was designed and supervised by, Nasreddin Murat-Khan a Russian-born Pakistani architect and civil engineer. The foundation stone was laid on 23 March 1960. Construction took eight years and was completed on 21 October 1968 at an estimated cost of Rs 7,058,000. The money was collected by imposing an additional tax on cinema and horse racing tickets at the demand of Akhter Husain, governor of West Pakistan. Today, the minaret provides a panoramic view to visitors who can climb up the stairs or access the top, by means of an elevator. The parks around the monument include marble fountains and an artificial lake.The base is about 8 meters above the ground. The tower rises about 62 meters on the base, the total height of the minar is about 70 meters above the ground. The unfolding petals of the flower-like base are 9 meters high. The diameter of the tower is about 9.75 meters. The rostrum is built of patterned tiles and faces Badshahi Mosque. The base comprises four platforms. To symbolize the humble beginning of the freedom struggle, the first platform is built with uncut stones from Taxila, the second platform is made of hammer-dressed stones, whereas the third platform is chiseled stones. Polished white marble at the fourth and final platform depicts the success of the Pakistan Movement.At the base, there are floral inscriptions on ten converging white marble Commemorative plaques. The inscriptions include the text of Lahore Resolution in Urdu, Bengali, and English, and the Delhi Resolution’s text, which was passed on 9 April 1946. On different plaques, Quranic verses and 99 names of Allah are inscribed in Arabic calligraphy, whereas National Anthem of Pakistan in Urdu and Bengali, excerpts from the speeches of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in Urdu, Bengali, and English, along with few couplets of Allama Iqbal include the other important inscriptions.
Abu Simbel is a historic site comprising two massive rock-cut temples in the village of Abu Simbel (Arabic: أبو سمبل), Aswan Governorate, Upper Egypt, near the border with Sudan. It is situated on the western bank of Lake Nasser, about 230 km (140 mi) southwest of Aswan (about 300 km (190 mi) by road). The twin temples were originally carved out of the mountainside in the 13th century BC, during the 19th Dynasty reign of the Pharaoh Ramesses II. They serve as a lasting monument to the king Ramesses II. His wife Nefertari and children can be seen in smaller figures by his feet, considered to be of lesser importance and were not given the same position of scale. This commemorates his victory at the Battle of Kadesh. Their huge external rock relief figures have become iconic.
The complex was relocated in its entirety in 1968 as part of the International Campaign to Save the Monuments of Nubia, under the supervision of a Polish archaeologist, Kazimierz Michalowski, from the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology University of Warsaw, on an artificial hill made from a domed structure, high above the Aswan High Dam reservoir. The relocation of the temples – together with other temples which run from Abu Simbel downriver to Philae including Amada, Wadi es-Sebua, and other Nubian sites – was necessary or they would have been submerged during the creation of Lake Nasser, the massive artificial water reservoir formed after the building of the Aswan High Dam on the River Nile. The Abu Simbel complex, and the other relocated temples, are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the “Nubian Monuments”