Lens-Artists Challenge #35 – Architecture

“A person can put up any kind of wall, but love and truth always find a way around it.”

Molly Friedenfeld



This week Amy has shared her beautiful images of Machu Picchu and has challenged us to post our own examples of stunning architecture. I’ve been fortunate to have visited some amazing places – contemporary examples such as the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, the Sydney Opera House, or New York’s City’s Caltrava Oculus come to mind.  On the other hand although I’ve not been to Machu Picchu, I’ve seen other incredible examples of ancient architecture. Following Amy’s lead, I’ve chosen to feature some of those sites in today’s post, beginning with China’s Great Wall.  The wall is thousands of miles in length and was built from the 3rd century B.C. through the 17th century A.D.  Read more about my visit to the Great Wall here.



“Sometimes our walls exist just to see who has the strength to knock them down.”

Darnell Lamont Walker

“Deep in the forests of Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, the elegant spires of an ancient stone city soar skyward above the sprawling complex of Angkor Archaeological Park”   is the first sentence of National Geographic’s description of the temples of Angkor. I couldn’t have said it better myself 🙂. The remains of the Khmer Kingdom offer an amazing view into a civilization founded in the year 802 and lasting into the 15th century.  Radar technology has identified it as the epicenter of a sprawling city, at least as large as Berlin, completely hidden for centuries by overgrown vegetation.  Inscriptions found in the temples detail the 37 years, 300,000 workers and 6,000 elephants it took to build the complex. Sadly, its decay was due to overpopulation (which defeated its advanced irrigation system) and extensive deforestation  – valuable ecological lessons for us to this day.  I’ve included many more images of the temples in a previous post here.



“It is better to hug a tree than to bang your head against a wall.”

Rasheed Ogunlaru

High on my list of the amazing places I’ve seen are the archaeological wonders of Petra. Built by the ancient Nabataens in the 1st century B.C., it served as their capital city until it was partially destroyed by an earthquake in the 4th century A.D. The city’s structures were literally carved into beautiful rose-colored rock, leading to its nickname, The Rose City. You can get a sense of the buildings’ scale from the tiny people shown in the bottom right corner of my Treasury image above.



“Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.”

Joseph Fort Newton

Finally, I’ve included an image from the ancient city of Acre (Akko) in Israel, a UNESCO world heritage site.  Built in the early 1100s, it’s one of the many archaeological wonders we explored during our recent visit. A favorite story from our trip concerned its discovery, which happened when a woman living above the site needed a repair to her plumbing. The underground ruins (which have been beautifully restored) were found when the plumber accidentally broke through her floor (or at least that is the story we were told!)  The amount of historic architecture – going back as far as the Canaanite Gate, built in 1750 BC – combined with the archaeological digs currently underway, make the entire country a must-see for those interested in architectural archaeology.

As much of the world as I’ve been fortunate to see, there are many other places still on my bucket list, not the least of which are Machu Picchu and ancient Greece. How about you, what are the places you’ve seen or hope someday to see? If they include marvelous architecture be sure to tell us about them in your response to Amy’s challenge. Don’t forget to help us find you by tagging your responses with the Lens-Artists tag.  

Wishing everyone a wonderful week ahead – hope to see you right here next week for challenge #36.

109 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #35 – Architecture

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      • Couldn’t agree more! When we visited last October, we were out at Sunset Point for moon rise (full moon-sadly no photos) and up before dawn at Sunrise Point. No better way to experience that breathtakingly unique geology.

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  3. Thanks, Tina, for providing the challenge and visuals to classic historical pieces of architecture. The one I’d like to see first is The Great Wall.

  4. Great architecture finds a way to persevere. And, the not-so-great does too. 🙂
    The Treasury at Petra I find fascinating. To be completely carved out of the rock face, it’s a piece of some very impressive craftsmanship.

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  6. Wonderful, Tina! You have been to so many spectacular places – and we are lucky that you share some of them with us. Petra is my favorite here! The two people sitting below shows the very size of it…and the colours are of course incredible. Love also the plumbing story – true or not – it brings another dimension to everything when old and new are connected with such stories! The world is still beautiful…

  7. You have traveled extensively, Tina and I love seeing your photos! Petra looks amazing! I’ve been nowhere with stunning architecture. My travel takes me outdoors mostly. On the top of our list is Chile and Greece.

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  10. Excellent examples of ancient architecture from places I have never been to nor am I likely to now. Lots of ancient architecture in Britain. I shall have a look in the archives and see if anything shouts at me!

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  12. I’d be very happy to see any of these, but the place I’ve always wanted to see is the oracle at Delphi, not for the architecture, but because an erudite man I met on a long train journey when I was a teenager told me it was one of the most beautiful places in the world. He must have had a quite a way with words as the impression stayed with me.

  13. Lovely stack of photos, Tina. All of them are stunning, showcasing how amazing man-made creations can be. That was a lovely story you heard in Israel, how a historic site was accidentally discovered on a normal day 😁 Also really like the first quote by Molly Friedenfeld. Love and truth are the strongest feelings and emotions we each can hold and share. Hope all is good and have a good week 😊

  14. Beautiful photos of architectures, Tina. It’s so wonderful about traveling that you could see the wonders in the world. I’m glad you included links for many more photos. 🙂

    • Thanks Jane, all about perspective, right?! Interestingly (and thankfully) we saw very few people at the wall thanks to our guide’s suggestion to venture much further out than most of the tourist spots

  15. These are all excellent, but I love the photo of the Great Wall. What a great story about the discovery of Acre! Most people just having plain old plumbing problems. 😉 I haven’t been to any of these places, but I have seen the Acropolis, Delphi, the Roman Colosseum and Forum, as well as some other ancient bits of Europe. I’ve also seen cliff dwellings and the like in the US, but nothing on other continents.


  16. These are beautiful photos, Tina. The Great Wall photo is magnificent. We were there in 2015. It was a cloudy day, so I didn’t get good photos. I haven’t been the other three, I’d love to see these fascinating places in the future.

  17. love the pillars – and all –
    and this quote is so true:
    “Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.”
    and I do not have too many things on the bucket list – but after Amy’s post – maybe I will add Machu Picchu

  18. You have certainly seen some marvellous architecture, Tina….much of which I would love to have seen, but alas no longer do-able. Thanks for sharing these wonderful images. But I have seen some less magnificent, but still interesting places!

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