Imposing architecture

13 January 2009
Description de l’Egypte Friedrich Schroeder Musée du Louvre © Photo RMN - Michèle Bellot

Ancient architecture was monumental. The principal buildings were erected to honour the gods, accommodate sovereigns when they were alive and glorify and entomb them after their death. In the 1st millennium BC, venues were also built to stage events and games. The first enormous hydraulic structures were created to channel water to cities and supply public baths. Egyptian Pyramids, Mesopotamian Ziggurats, lavish Minoan, Assyrian, Babylonian and Persian palaces, grandiose mausoleums in Chine, Celtic, Etruscan and Japanese tumuli… Greek temples and theatres, aqueducts, triumphal arches, basilicas, Roman baths and amphitheatres are monuments which have survived the centuries and of which we can still admire the remains today.

Vue extérieure des Thermes de Cluny, le caldarium © Photo RMN - Thierry Ollivier

Pont du Gard (40-60 ap JC) © Archives Alinari, Florence, Dist RMN - Fratelli Alinari

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