Lovers of old buildings, today you can still visit these tombs, temples, structures and other remnants of ancient times.
Buildings were radically different before the era of skyscrapers
Architecture has come a long way from stone structures and wooden houses. Which isn’t to say that some of the world’s oldest buildings aren’t worth seeing. Many no longer have much to do with construction while others are surprisingly well preserved.
Almost all of these ancient buildings are tombs, temples and dolmens. Read on to learn about some of the oldest buildings in the world and their history.
Knap of Howar
One of the oldest buildings in the world is the Knap of Howar , which dates from 3700-3500 BCE. This farm is one of the oldest stone houses still standing in Europe. It comprises two stone buildings linked together by a long corridor and whose walls are adjoining. According to archaeologists, Irish or Scottish monks were the first builders and residents of the Knap of Howar.
Les temples de Gigantija
The megalithic temples of Ġgantija (“tower of the giants” in Maltese) are located on the island of Malta and date from 3600 and 3200 BCE. Both temples are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is one of the oldest freestanding monuments in the world.
The Tarxien Temples , also on the island of Malta, were built between 3600 and 2500 BCE. The oldest temple has largely disappeared, but the other three have been rebuilt. They are adorned with decorative stone blocks, screens and altars. An elevated walkway added in 2012 gives visitors a good view of the buildings.
Chounet el-Zébib is partly standing, but mostly in ruins. It is however still one of the oldest buildings in the world. The Egyptian temple built in 2750 BCE is made of mud and bricks. There is an underground tomb as well as a surface complex. From an architectural point of view, it announces the Egyptian pyramids.
Cairn de Barnenez
The Cairn of Barnenez, in Brittany – in France – dates from 4850 BC and is located on a hill overlooking the English Channel. French writer and politician André Malraux once called it the “megalithic Parthenon”. Although it has 11 corridor dolmens and two burial chambers, it would be an overstatement to call it a building, but it is still one of the oldest structures on the planet.
West Kennet Long Barrow
Some of the oldest buildings in the world are tombs or temples, and West Kennet Long Barrow is no exception. Archaeologists believe this set of burial mounds was built in 3600 BCE.
According to Atlas Obscura they found the remains of 46 people there as well as different artifacts – pottery, beads and stone tools.
Newgrange , one of the largest ancient buildings in the world, is a tomb located in the Boyne Valley, Ireland. The circular tumulus occupies about half a hectare (one acre) and includes a chamber with three alcoves. Although it is 5,200 years old, travelers still visit the passage through which the sun enters every December 21 (winter solstice day) at 9:17 a.m. sharp.
Mausoleum of Cyrus
Built in 530 BCE and located in Iran, the Mausoleum of Cyrus is one of the world heritage sites and one of the oldest buildings on the planet. It is also believed to be one of the first earthquake-protected structures in the world, according to Atlas Obscura . The mausoleum would indeed be the oldest structure with an isolated base in the world, which prevented the tomb from moving on the foundation in the event of an earthquake.