The Tallest Structures Throughout History

TLDR From ancient structures like Golbeki Tepe and the Great Pyramid of Giza to modern skyscrapers like the Burj Khalifa, this episode explores the history of the tallest human structures, highlighting their significance and the advancements in architecture and engineering over time.

Timestamped Summary

00:00 Humans have been trying to build ever larger structures since the creation of the first pile of rocks, and this episode explores the tallest structures throughout history.
02:13 The oldest structure we have evidence of is Golbeki Tepe in Turkey, which is about 6 meters or 18 feet tall, followed by the Tower of Jericho in Palestine, estimated to be about 8 and a half meters or 28 feet tall, and then the Anu Zignat in Uruk, Iraq, which topped out at 13 meters or 40 feet.
04:05 The Great Pyramid of Giza, standing at 481 feet tall, held the title of the tallest human structure for about 4,000 years, surpassing all other structures built during various empires such as the Persian, Roman, Byzantine, Greek, Chinese, Indian, Mongol, and Islamic empires.
06:17 The age of the pyramid was surpassed by the construction of cathedrals in Europe, with the spire of the Lincoln Cathedral in England becoming the tallest structure in 1311, followed by the Church of St. Mary in Straussland, Germany, and then the Strasbourg Cathedral in France, until the era of cathedrals holding the title of tallest human structure ended with the completion of the Cologne Cathedral.
08:18 In the late 19th century, the Washington Monument became the tallest structure at 169 meters until it was surpassed by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, which reached 300 meters and introduced the use of iron and purposeless tall towers, holding the record for 41 years until the era of the skyscraper began with the Chrysler Building and then the Empire State Building.
10:21 The tallest towers were built in various locations between 1954 and 1963, with the KVLY tower in North Dakota reaching a height of 606 meters, followed by the Warsaw Radiomast at 646.4 meters; the tallest freestanding tower was the CN Tower in Toronto at 553 meters; and the controversy over the tallest building was resolved with the construction of Taipei 101 in 2004 at 508.2 meters.
12:34 The Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the tallest structure ever built, surpassing all other buildings and towers by a significant margin, and the only potential challenger is the halted construction of the Jetta Tower, which would be the first 1 kilometer tall structure on Earth.
Categories: History Education

Browse more History