Certain architectural wonders of the world hold some of the most insane secrets. You can look at these structures and their beauty and not know what is really hiding there. When you go inside, what do you expect to find? Palatial furnishings? A crazy party? How about this: you walk into some of these beautiful achievements in human architecture only to find that it is just an impressive burial ground?
That’s right, these beautiful structures are homes to the dead.
1.) The Taj Mahal
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj in Agra, India in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal (between 1632 and 1653 AD). The emperor and his wife are both buried here. Talk about a wedding present!
2.) The Great Pyramid Of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is believed to be a tomb for the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu. All that for just one guy? Impressive.
3.) Humayun’s Tomb
Delhi, India is the home to the burial place of the second Mughal Emperor Humayun and other Mughal nobility. Humayun’s wife Hamida Banu Begum commissioned the tomb in 1562 CE.
This Turkish monument stands as the burial place of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, founder and first president of the Republic of Turkey.
The tomb of the Prophet Muhammad sits beneath the green dome of the Masjid-i-Nabvi, or “Mosque of the Prophet” in Medina, the second-holiest city in Islam. Some additions were appended since its construction, but it remains more or less the same as when it was first built.
6.) Mausoleum of Genghis Khan
In Ordus, China, you’ll find this monument commemorating Ghengis Khan. His actual burial site is unknown, but this mausoleum is a cenotaph to Genghis Khan.
7.) Castel Sant’Angelo
Rome, Italy is home to the Castel Sant’Angelo. The tomb of the Roman emperor Hadrian was built between 135 AD and 139 AD. It was later used as a fortress, and now functions as a museum.
8.) Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo
Capuchin monks mummified the bodies of the dead, dressed them up in everyday clothing and then put them on the monastery walls for display in this Palermo, Italy monestary. Apparently, getting entombed was quite a status symbol in the Capuchin monastery. Prominent citizens of the town would ask to be preserved in certain clothing and even have the clothes changed on a regular basis according to contemporary fashion!
9.) Nintoku Mausoleum
Sakai, Japan is home to one of the largest mausoleums in the world, the burial site of the 6th emperor of Japan, Nintoku.
10.) Westminster Abbey
This English cathedral is home to the remains of many literary geniuses. Geoffrey Chaucer, William Blake, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, John Keats, Rudyard Kipling, William Wordsworth, Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters, are either buried or commemorated here.
11.) Tomb Of Cyrus The Great
While not as impressive as some of the other structures listed here, the burial grounds of the Persian Empire founder lay in Cyrus’ historic capital Pasargadae.
12.) The Catacombs Of Paris
Recently featured in the film, As Above, So Below, the catacombs in Paris have an interesting history. Paris suffered from diseases caused by improper burials and mass graves in church cemeteries. Local authorities decided that they would remove thousands of bones and place them stacked in the abandoned underground quarries.
13.) Les Invalides
Paris, France is the home to this impressive mausoleum. Originally a 17th century hospital and retirement home for war veterans, Les Invalides now houses a military museum and the tomb of Napolean Bonaparte, as well as other French military figures.
It is believe that this Irish burial ground was built somewhere between 3100-2900 BCE and is home to thousands of prehistoric humans.
15.) Lincoln’s Tomb
In Springfield, Illinois, you can find the tomb of the 16th President of the United States. Abraham Lincoln is buried with his wife and children in this monument.
The tomb of the founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was completed in the 1960s and lies in the heart of Karachi.
17.) Lenin’s Tomb
This impressive structure is home to the embalmed corpse of Vladimir Lenin. Lenin’s Tomb was completed in 1930, located in the Red Square of Moscow.
18.) Forest Lawn Great Mausoleum
How can we deny that we treat our entertainers like royalty? Founded in 1906, the Forest Lawn Mausoleum is the burial place of choice for many American entertainment greats. Clark Gable, Walt Disney, Lucille Ball, Nat King Cole, Carole Lombard and Humphrey Bogart are all buried here.
19.) Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum
This insane Chinese mausoleum dates back t0 210 BCE, was discovered in the underground necropolis of the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. To date, 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses and 150 cavalry horses, all life-size, were uncovered.
According to legend, Shah-i-Zina is the burial place of Kusam ibn Abbas, a cousin of the Prophet Muhammad and patron saint of Samarkand, where this tomb is located.
21.) The Pantheon
This famous Roman piece of architecture was originally a temple to the gods, but used as a tomb and church since the Renaissance. Buried here are two Italian kings, the painters Raphael and Annibale Carracci, and the composer Arcangelo Corelli.
22.) St. Peter’s Basilica
The Vatican City’s crowning achievement to Catholicism is the burial place of Saint Peter, as well as 91 popes. Construction of the present building ended in 1626.
23.) Tana Toraja
The Toraja people in Sulawesi, Indonesia have an interesting burial arrangement. They bury their dead in a stone cave carved out of a rocky cliff. A wood-carved effigy called a tau tau, carved with the likeness of the dead person, is then placed in the balcony of the tomb to represent the dead and watch over their remains.
24.) The Valley Of Kings
It took nearly 500 years to contstruct the burial site of Egyptian Pharaohs and powerful nobles, from the 16th to 11th century BCE. It includes the “cursed” tomb of King Tutankhamun.
Getting buried in the ground doesn’t seem quite right anymore, eh? You’re starting to want a more lavish burial plot. Well, you better start saving some money is you want to a king’s burial, because it costs a king’s ransom.