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Old Posted Jun 6, 2007, 6:50 AM
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Nunavuter Nunavuter is offline
Coping with the Cosmos
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 143

Lighthouse of Alexandria

AKA: The Pharos of Alexandria

Location: Formerly Island of Pharos, which is now inundated; parts of structure lie under harbour of Alexandria, Egypt

Year Built: Completed between 285 and 247 BCE.

Height: estimated to have been between 383 and 440 feet

Claim to fame: Tallest structure in the ancient world that was not a pyramid, and thus is the first true building in human history to achieve “skyscraper” status.

Status: Fell down in an earthquake in 1375 CE.

Lincoln Cathedral

Location: Lincoln, England

Year Built: Completed between 1092 and 1311 CE

Height: 525 feet when first completed in 1311, but the lead-encased wooden spire collapsed in a storm in 1549. (see diagrams below)

Claim to fame: If records are correct, the spire of Lincoln Cathedral was the world’s tallest structure from 1311-1549 CE. This 238-year record as the tallest is surpassed only by the Great Pyramid.

status: The current cathedral is 271 feet tall, and was used as the stand-in for Westminster Cathedral in the film The Da Vinci Code.

St. Olaf’s Church

AKA: St. Olav Tallinn

Location: Tallinn, Estonia

Year Built: Completed in 1519, the spire of St. Olaf’s Church stood 522 feet tall.

Claim to fame: The spire of St. Olaf’s served as a beacon for the port of Tallinn, and could be seen miles out to sea. When the spire of Lincoln Cathedral blew down in a storm, the title of world’s tallest building went to the 522-foot St. Olaf’s. It held this distinction until 1625, when it was struck by lightning and burned down.

Status: After 76 years at the top, St. Olaf's settled into obscurity. The reconstructed spire (seen in current photo) was “only” 406 feet tall, and thus the title of world’s tallest building passed to Notre Dame de Strasbourg.

Notre Dame de Strasbourg

Location: Strasbourg, France

Year completed: 1439

Height: 472 feet

Claim to fame: Although it was shorter than both the original Lincoln Cathedral, Old St. Paul’s, and the original St. Olaf’s, the 472-foot spire of Notre Dame Cathedral was built out of masonry rather than wood, and has survived all disasters to the present day. It held the record as world’s tallest building from 1625 to 1847 – a total of 222 years.

Status: Still one of the tallest Cathedrals on Earth.

See height comparisons below:

(The SkyscraperPage served as my source for these images. On this site, I'd like atribute the artists. On the site i originally presented this information, they wouldn't have cared who created what. Context is everything.)
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