Men-an-Tol: Cornwall, England
- Men-an-Tol means "stone with a hole" in Cornish and describes this monument perfectly. Today, it consists of three standing stones, the center stone about 4 1/2 feet wide with a large hole in its center bracketed in the front and back with two tall, slender stones slightly taller than the central one. Evidence around the monument suggests that the three stones used to be arranged in a triangle, though no one knows when or how they were moved.
Holed stones have great significance in British antiquity, especially ones as large as the Men-an-Tol. Many Cornish natives believe this Bronze Age monument possesses healing powers. Sick children and adults slip through the hole in the central stone to use its healing powers.
The Acropolis: Athens, Greece
- The Acropolis structures were built in the 5th century B.C. by an architect named Pericles. The structures were meant to serve as a reminder to the citizens of Athens and visitors of the power of Athens and the greatness of the state. Acropolis means "upper city" in Greek, and refers to the fact that the Acropolis is located on a hill in the middle of Athens. The structures are strong and fortified, originally meant for use as a fortress if the city was ever invaded. Indeed, Pericles must have done something right since many of these building still stand today.
At the pinnacle of the Acropolis stands one of the wonders of the ancient world: the Parthenon. This megalithic building took almost a decade to construct and holds a an awe-inspiring statue of the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athena, with a smaller statue of Nike, the goddess of victory in her palm.
Catedral Vieja (Old Cathedral): Salamanca, Spain
- The Old Cathedral in Spain follows the Gothic tradition of immense and highly decorative architectural elements. Construction began on this cathedral in 1140 A.D. and combines Roman elements with Gothic ones. Tall, Gothic spires rise above scallop-tiled, cone-shaped roofs and Roman-style columns frame narrow, arched windows. If the Old Cathedral was built to intimidate and inspire awe in its attendants, it certainly does its job, especially with the bowed, umbrella-shaped central tower called the Torre de Gallo (Cock Tower). Byzantine architecture joins Roman and Gothic both in the shape of this roof and the vertical lines of stone studs on the outside.