A tomb is a place for the burial of the dead. Some people consider tombs or burial sites scary for they believe that the place is a dwelling place for ghost. On the other hand, many people consider them amazing and fascinating. Here are the 10 most interesting and historically important tombs in the world.
One single tomb that can be considered famous and significant is the Tomb of Mausolus. It is called Mausoleum of Mausolus or Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. It was a tomb built between 353 and 350 BC at Halicarnassus (present Bodrum, Turkey) for Mausolus, a satrap (governor) in the Persian Empire, and Artemisia II of Caria, his wife and sister. The structure was designed by the Greek architects Satyrus and Pythius. It stood approximately 45 meters (135 ft) in height, and each of the four sides was adorned with sculptural relief created by each one of four Greek sculptors - Leochares, Bryaxis, Scopas of Paros and Timotheus. The Mausoleum stood relatively intact until 1522 A.D., when it was ordered destroyed as an example of Pagan art.
The finished structure was considered to be such an aesthetic triumph that Antipater of Sidon identified it as one of his 7 Wonders of the Ancient World.
Another famous tomb is the Mausoleum of Hadrian, usually known as the Castel Sant'Angelo. It is a towering cylindrical building in Rome, initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The building was later used as a fortress and castle, and is now a museum. The tomb of the Roman emperor Hadrian was erected on the right bank of the Tiber, between 135 and 139. Originally the mausoleum was a decorated cylinder, with a garden top and golden quadriga. Hadrian's ashes were placed here a year after his death in 138, together with those of his wife Sabina, and his first adopted son, Lucius Aelius, who also died in 138. Following this, the remains of succeeding emperors were also placed here, the last recorded deposition being Caracalla in 217.
A tomb that is significantly famous especially among the Russians is Lenin's Mausoleum. It is also known as Lenin's Tomb situated in Red Square in Moscow. This mausoleum is popular because the embalmed body of Lenin has been on public display there since the year he died in 1924 (with rare exceptions in wartime). It is the mausoleum that serves as the current resting place of Vladimir Lenin. Aleksey Schusev's diminutive but monumental granite structure incorporates some elements from ancient mausoleums, such as the Step Pyramid and the Tomb of Cyrus the Great.
Undoubtedly, Taj Mahal is one of the most famous tombs worldwide. It is a mausoleum located in Agra, India, that was built under Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was cited as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage.”
Grant's Tomb: New York, USA
A tomb with great importance most especially among the Americans is General Grant National Memorial better known as Grant's Tomb. It is a mausoleum containing the bodies of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), an American Civil War General and the 18th President of the United States, and his wife, Julia Dent Grant (1826-1902). The tomb complex is a US Presidential Memorial in the Morning Heights neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City. The structure is situated in a prominent location in Riverside Park overlooking the Hudson River.
Another important and with historical significance tomb is the Pantheon which was originally built for the all gods. Literally means "Temple of all the gods” is a building in Rome. It was rebuilt circa 125 AD during Hadrian's reign. The intended degree of inclusiveness of this dedication is debated. The generic term pantheon is now applied to a monument in which illustrious dead are buried. Pantheon is the best preserved of all Roman buildings, and perhaps the best preserved building of its age in the world. It has been in continuous use throughout its history.
Since the Renaissance the Pantheon has been used as a tomb. Among those buried there are the painter Raphael and Annibale Carracci, the composer Arcangelo Corelli, and the architect Baldassare Peruzzi. Also buried there are two kings of Italy: Vittorio Emmanuelle II and Umberto I, as well as Umberto's Queen, Margherita.
Looking at this structure, there is no way you will think that it's a burial place. The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, which is almost always referred to by its original name of Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in Westminster, London, just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English and later British monarchs.
Aristocrats were buried inside chapels and monks and people associated with the Abbey were buried in the Cloisters and other areas. One of these was Geoffrey Chaucer, who was buried here as he had apartments in the Abbey where he was employed as master of the Kings Works. Other poets were buried around Chaucer in what became known as Poet's Corner. These include John Milton, William Wordsworth, Thomas Gray, John Keats, Percy Bysshe, Robert Burns, William Blake, T.S. Elliot and Gerard Manley Hopkins and many others.
In Catholic tradition, it is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the 12 apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, was the first Bishop of Antioch, and later first and therefore first in the line of the papal succession. St. Peter' is the most famous of Rome's any churches.
There are over 100 tombs within St. Peter's Basilica, many located in the Vatican grotto, beneath the Basilica. These include 91 popes, St. Ignatius of Antioch, Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, and the composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Exiled Catholic British royalty James Francis Edward Stuart and his two sons, Charles Edward Stuart and Henry Benedict Stuart, are buried here, having been granted asylum by Pope Clement XI. Also buried here are Maria Clementina Sobieska, wife of Charles Edward Stuart, and Queen Christina of Sweden, who abdicated her throne in order to convert to Catholicism. The most recent interment was Pope John Paul II, on April 8, 2005.
This ancient tomb excavated in Pasargadae, a city in ancient Persia, is believed to be the tomb of one of the most notable king of Persia - King Cyrus the Great. It is today an archeological site and one of only five of Iran's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. According to the Elamite cuneiform of the Persepolis fortification tablets the name was rendered as Batrakatas and the name in current usage derives from a Greek transliteration of an Old Persian Pathragada toponym of still-uncertain meaning.
Great Pyramid of Giza: Egypt
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only remaining member of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. It is also called Khufu's Pyramid or the Pyramid of Khufu, and Pyramid of Cheops. This tomb with great popularity and historical significance is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis. It is believed the pyramid was built as a tomb for 4th Egyptian pharaoh Khufu (Cheops in Greek) and constructed over a 20 year period concluding around 2560 BC. The Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years.
The Tomb of Jesus Christ is not included on the list because it is still a subject of much controversy and scrutiny. Once it is proven that it was indeed the Tomb of Christ, it will surely be considered the tomb with the greatest significance and will surely escalate to the highest and unsurpassable degree of popularity.
One of the basic reasons why some of these magnificent tombs were built is because of people's belief on life after death. Given the chance to choose before you pass away, where on these burial sites would you like to be buried?