83

Many churches in Europe (not just Germany) were built centuries ago, when the church was by far the most important and prestigious building in any city. Building them took decades, sometimes even centuries. For quite some time, no other building project in any city could possibly contend with its church. And even if you could, why would you? One, you would ...


60

The only book to survive from ancient Rome on architecture is Marcus Vitruvius Pollio's De architectura, found by the Renaissance scholar Poggio Bracciolini in 1414 after being largely forgotten. Bracciolini was one of a number of humanists "devoted to the revival of classical studies". However, it had been referred to by several churchmen, chroniclers and ...


58

The Chinese designed the wall to be an effective barrier; that was the goal. To answer your question, we need to ask: what land barrier stopped foreign troops the best? The answer in China, and everywhere else, is mountains. The Great Wall is nothing more than a fortification of existing natural barriers. Look closely at the pictures you've posted, and those ...


47

They were not regular construction, but exhibits for the Exposition Universelle (1900), showing different cultures side by side: Each country funded, designed and on occasion constructed their pavilions, carrying the burden of some of the cost of the fair and the also the glory that followed in the praise of their homeland contributions. They were ...


45

As noted, this type of castle was extremely common. Harburg (Horeburg/near Hamburg), the first castle at Danzig are perhaps the most famous of these. They were most often built along the Northern European plains on the South shore of the North sea and the Baltic Sea. But that is only indicating that a lot of wetlands can be found in those regions. They were ...


25

Last year, a team headed by Steve Fine of the Yeshiva University Center for Israeli Studies in New York which had been examining portions of the arch since 2012 announced: High resolution three-dimensional scans of the Menorah and the deification reliefs were made, and part of the Menorah relief was examined to determine whether any traces of paint ...


24

This is a roman fountain at Djemila, Algeria (Latin: Cuicul or Curculum). There's a vast amount of literature and web material on Djemila in general (and some on the fountain), for example: The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (Richard Stillwell et al), on Cuicul in general Cuicul: New/Severian Town The french Wikipedia article on Djemila is quite ...


23

Smoke. The high ceilings provided somewhere for it to dissipate above mouth and eye level. It's rather hard to imagine how prevalent smoke was before mid-20th century. Not only was tobacco smoking widespread, but also the use of candles and oil lamps. Open fires for heating and cooking contributed much less, as almost all smoke went up the chimney.


21

While not exactly manuals, some of the architectural instructions survive on the buildings themselves. The Roman temple of Bziza has a wall that bears marks of an architectural sketch on how to assemble the half-pediment of the pronao of the temple itself; there's also an engraving of the temple's entablature. The temple of Jupiter in Baalbek, Lebanon has ...


20

The Great Wall of China: It is the longest man-made construction in the world. In the old times, it was of great military importance of preventing the enemies' intrusion and was regarded as the 'Guardian Angel' of the central plain in the past. - Great Wall of China FAQs Why did they build the Great Wall of China? The Great Wall of China is the ...


18

There are many reasons for why cities seem to have an inordinate amount of churches for the population. The first of this is that some churches are never built as public churches. Many churches are built to show off how devout and wealthy you are. Kościół św. Wojciecha fits at best a 100 people standing up, and is clearly one of those churches. Also ...


18

There are a few underground cities that I can think of, some may fit your requirements better than others. If you consider tunneling into rocks, then Petra would be a very large city that was built into the cliffs and ground. If you are only considering cities that are entirely under the ground, Naours France has an underground city that was built in an ...


17

According to Rosella Rea, director of the Colosseum, in the restoration from 2013 they found traces of it being brightly painted in red, ochre, blue and green. Dr. Rossella Rea, the Colosseum’s Archaeological Director: “We need to imagine a building with extreme contrasts of color,” Restoration Work on Colosseum to Reveal its True Colors


17

The maximum building hights are determined by each city (or as in Berlin possible each City District). In Berlin the first Bebauungsplan (Building Plan) of 1862 regulated standard street widths of 22 meters and a few years later a general Traufhöhe (hight of roof base) of 5 floors between 21 and 22 meters and a court yard (Hof) of 3.50 meters were ...


16

As DevSolar noted in his answer, churches generally are tall, their spires even higher, but to answer Q Why in most German places is the church the tallest building? it might suffice to say just: No. Church spires are now usually not the tallest structures in most German places. That is an assumption quite far from visible experience on location or from ...


14

While it is possible for a wooden building to exceed 200 feet (approx. 61 metres) in height (see, for example, Pagoda of Fogong Temple from 1056) there is nothing approaching this height from medieval Europe still standing. 5 or 6 floors seems to have been the limit, with two to four-storey buildings common depending on the city and the century. Highest / ...


12

They used lots of very large, very heavy stones. You will note that these constructions did not have large internal air pockets relative to volume. They qualify as monuments or fortifications more than inhabitable buildings with a decent amount of floorspace. Having arches or domes or any large enclosed internal space was considered the height of ...


12

Here's a picture of the fallen columns at Olympia: Here's one from Ephesus: Those puppies look pretty solid to me.


12

Apart from leather hinges that were used even when iron was common (but not so common as to be cheap), there existed the different mounting of the door. I have heard about its use from my grandfather, when I asked for explanation about what is the "heel" of the door in Russian fairy-tales. The whole side of the door frame worked as a huge hinge - this side ...


11

For the most part, you would be talking about what is referred to as vernacular architecture. This was pretty much enforced until the last couple of generations, as "architect" is a licenced profession in the USA, and African Americans (and women) had trouble getting themselves licenced. Paul Williams became the first in 1923, although census results in 1890 ...


11

Dating in its origins from the 2 millenium BCE and still inhabited by up to 40 million people today: The first type of yaodong were underground dwellings that date back to the 2nd millennium BC, China's Bronze Age, and according to Chinese tradition, the Xia Dynasty. Chinese scholars generally believe that this type of habitat has developed mainly from ...


10

Nushabad in Iran was apparently used to avoid Mongol invasions (13th Century), but is perhaps older as artefacts from earlier periods have been found within. It is not clear how long people stayed down there, but there is an extensive ventilation system to allow fresh air within the underground city.


10

There's a model of the Stoa Basileios (or Royal Stoa), seat of the archon basileus, at the end of 5th century BC on the site of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens (ASCSA). This is close to the date (399 BC) that Plato's Euthyphro took place. "Model of the Royal Stoa at the end of 5th c. B.C. with the addition of the annexes. Model realised ...


9

If I want to occupy space in a major city I have three choices. Build a new skyscraper (possibly by proxy in the sense that I occupy space in a skyscraper built by someone else who was prepared to erect the building only because he anticipated my and others' demand for it). Occupy existing space in low-rise structures. Build new low-rise structures on ...


9

In Germany employees have the right to daylight at their workplace. This is not easy in a skyscraper, which often has a huge core of rooms without any daylight. There might be some information in DIN EN 12464-1 Licht und Beleuchtung – Beleuchtung von Arbeitsstätten – Teil 1: Arbeitsstätten in Innenräume


9

To expand on NewAlexandria's answer: Europe has a well developed planning and zoning regime. Obtaining planning approval for a building that is not in keeping with the existing stock is a long process that will usually meet with either failure or limitations on the design/ profile. On of the reasons the shard is the shape it is was to prevent existing ...


9

There is a lot to learn about a society from its buildings, especially if you know what they are used for. For example, find the largest and most decorated buildings (not meaning just decoration, but things like enormous windows, big halls, dramatic stairways, no smaller buildings near them). Are they: for religious activities? for watching people compete ...


9

The use of concrete did fade after the fall of the western Roman Empire, though at least some aspects of the use of concrete was held over into the Byzantine Architectural style, on some early Byzantine works. A web page here shows an excerpt from a book on Architecture, A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method, by Sir Banister-Fletcher, New York, ...


9

The most likely early example of a movable bridge (assuming you allow pontoon bridges) allowing a ship to pass either under or through is Xerxes' pontoon bridge from 480 BC and is cited by Herodotus. Between this and the old London bridge completed in 1209, there is little that one can confidently say qualifies. With Xerxes' Pontoon Bridges (480 BC) the ...


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