Monuments: Landmarks and Reflections of the Past: Most Monuments Are Constructed Projects and Use Technologies Worth Studying from Their Designed and Constructed Perspectives

Article excerpt

Monuments are landmarks that commemorate great people or significant events. Most are constructed, but some are natural--such as Stone Mountain in Georgia, USA, or Rock of Gibraltar, the sea passage between Western Europe and North Africa. Many towns and cities have monuments to recognize the passing of groups of veterans during wars or to mark great events in history or in a community.

Monuments are reflections of the past. Groups of individuals create them so that future generations will know the importance of past events. Buildings or parcels of land are the home of monuments. They can create a green space that preserves history. Parks have been created around monuments, or special gardens are created for the monuments at buildings in urbanized areas. The land is as sacred as the events they commemorate. In addition to namesakes, monuments usually provide quiet areas for reflection or open spaces for recreation. Some have turned into regional or national parks, e.g., Gettysburg National Military Park (Pennsylvania, USA) or the WWII Military Cemeteries at Normandy, France.

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Most monuments are constructed projects and use technologies worth studying from their designed and constructed perspectives. They are designed and built in differing sizes. Tombstones are small monuments erected to recognize individuals or families. However, most national monuments are recognized for their size and impressive powers. When you think of national or internationally recognized monuments, several will come to mind. However, this depends upon the country in which you live or those that you have visited or seen through books and media. In the United States, residents are familiar with the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., and the United Nations Monument in New York City. If you are from France you will recognize the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. Brazil has its Christ the Redeemer Statue, while Hong Kong has the Bank of China Towers. These are all great monuments, and their size inspires awe in the observers. History books carry these images and others; they are symbols of cultures, nations, and cities.

Monuments have been created by all civilizations. For nations of the past, they are symbols of prosperity. Most people have studied the seven wonders of the ancient world; now there are monuments of the modern world. Differing time frames have their recognized constructed marvels that tell something about the nation during its different eras. Almost everyone recognizes the pyramids of Egypt, the buildings of Rome, and the ruins of the ancient Inca world. Today's archeologists continue to decipher what technology existed and how these monuments were built.

As with most technologies, monuments are also classified by types. Some of these include buildings, church monuments, cenotaphs (memorials to recognize the dead), columns (often topped with a statue), monoliths, obelisks (monument to a great leader), statues, natural monuments, and area memorials (911 Memorial or Gettysburg Battlefield). Each of these types of memorials will be explained.

Buildings as Monuments

Buildings serve as monuments and sites of recognition for many countries. In Moscow, Russia, many would recognize the Kremlin. England has the Clock Tower (Big Ben) of the Palace of Westminster, Houses of Parliament, and Windsor Castle to mention a few. In the U.S., monument buildings would include the Empire State Building in New York City and the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Each major city has buildings that are recognized as monuments. These buildings are unique in their architectural design, and they are usually massive in size compared to the surrounding areas. Many times they have parks that surround them. This makes them appear more massive while also creating a tranquil setting. Travel to any capital city and you will have monuments pointed out to you. Many serve as reference points for travel throughout the city, i. …