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The World's Most Beautiful Domes

National Geographic, "inspiring people to care about the planet since 1888", wrote a piece about four domes that changed the way we build. National Geographic is amongst the most impressive and reliable news sources. They focus on geography, archaeology, natural science and historical conservation. With unbelievable photography and exclusive news coverage, I was delighted to find a piece by them on impressive domes from around the world. 

They note that domes throughout the centuries have served as both practical roof coverings as well as symbols of power. Their height gives them a spiritual significance.
The editorial piece goes on to list some of the most magnificent domes in the world, including:

1. The Parthenon, Rome
Skylight in The Parthenon, Rome
Skylight in The Parthenon, Rome
The Parthenon has been standing for almost two millennia and is the best preserved Roman monument. The dome spans 43.2 metres and has a circular open oculus that is 9 metres in diameter. It is made of solid squares of concrete, and at the time it was built, was the largest concrete construction on the planet. The dome doesn't require arch supports thanks to its exterior walls which are 20 feet thick.

2. The Dome on the Rock

The Dome on the Rock is located in Jerusalem, Israel and is considered one of the, if not the, most religious site in the Islamic religion. Its roof is made of gold, and is considered the first masterpiece of Islamic architecture.

The Parthenon, Rome
The Parthenon, Rome
3. Florence Cathedral
The Dome on the Rock
The Dome on the Rock 

Commonly referred to as the Duomo, this Italian cathedral is a prime example of Renaissance architecture. It is the creation of Filippo Brunelleschi, who was a goldsmith and sculptor from the region. It surpassed the Parthenon as the biggest dome in the world and is made entirely of stone.

Florence Cathedral
Florence Cathedral

4. Taj Mahal 



The Muslim rulers of India in the early seventeenth century were known as Mughals, and the Taj Mahal, located in Agra, is their greatest legacy. Shah Jahan built it to honour the death of his wife, making the Taj Mahal the most famous grave in the world. The central dome of the building is over 73 metres high. 
Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal 
All of these buildings are remarkable architectural structures not only for their domes, but for their designs as well as the things that they store and represent. Moreover, they were built at times when technology was far from what it is today, making their construction much more challenging. Nevertheless, they had architects with vision and builders with purpose, and thanks to them the world is privy to some of the most beautiful domes on the planet.

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