Towers are man-made structures that are very tall in proportion to its other dimensions. Towers are tall structures
generally built to take advantage of their height, and can stand alone or as part of a larger structure. Here are the 14
most notable towers in history.
1. Tower of Silence
One of the most unusual towers built in history is the Tower of Silence. It is a circular tower with central well, having
a high outer wall, and inner platform on which the Parsees (Zoroastrians) expose the bodies of their dead to be
eaten by vultures, so that the body may be dissipated without polluting the earth; also called dakhma, dokhma.
2. Tower of Babel
One of the most controversial towers in the world is the Tower of Babel. It is a structure featured in the Book of
Genesis (chapter 11: 1-9). It’s an enormous tower intended as the crowning achievement of the city of Babilu, the
Akkadian name for Babylon. According to the Old Testament, the tower was erected on the plain of Shinar in
Babylonia by descendants of Noah. The builders intended the tower to reach to heaven; their presumption,
however, angered Yahweh, who interrupted construction by causing among them a previously unknown confusion
of languages. He then scattered these people, speaking different languages, over the face of the earth.
The Sumerians were known for building ziggurats and one of the most famous they built was the Etemenanki.
Etemenanki means “temple of the foundation of heaven and earth” it was dedicated to Marduk in the city of Babylon
of the 6th century BC Neo-Babylonian dynasty. Originally seven stories in height, little remains of it now save ruins.
According to modern scholars, the biblical story of the Tower of Babel was likely influenced by Etemenanki during
the Babylonian captivity of the Hebrews, though other scholars contest that the Genesis account, if taken at face value,
would predate this structure.
4. Leaning Tower of Pisa: Italy
Another well known tower is the Leaning Tower of Pisa built from 1173 until 1372. Considered one of the Wonders
of the world is the Leaning Tower of Pisa or simply The Tower of Pisa. It is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower,
of the cathedral of the City of Pisa and is situated behind the cathedral.
Although intended to stand vertically, the tower began leaning to the southeast soon after the onset of construction
in 1173 due to a poorly laid foundation and loose substrate that has allowed the foundation to shift direction. The
tower presently leans to the southwest.
5. Hassan Tower: Morocco
A noted incomplete tower is the Hassan Tower in Morocco, where work was abandoned in 1199 AD, and the tower
stands today as a monument in its incomplete state. Hassan Tower or Tour Hassan is the minaret of an incomplete
mosque in Rabat, Morocco. Construction started in 1195 CE, the tower was intended to be the largest minaret in the
world along with the mosque, also intended to be the world’s largest. In 1199, sultan Yacoub al-Mansour died, and
construction on the mosque stopped. The tower only reached 44m (140ft), about half of its intended 86m (260ft)
height. The rest of the mosque was also left incomplete, with only the beginnings of several walls and 200 columns
being constructed. The tower, made of red sandstone along with the remains of the mosque and the modern
mausoleum of Mohammed V, forms an important historical and tourist complex in Rabat.
6. Porcelain Nanjing Tower: China
Another remarkable tower and regarded as one of the Wonders of The World is the Porcelain Tower (or Porcelain
Pagoda) of Nanjing. It is called Bao’ensi in Chinese, meaning “Temple of Gratitude”. It is a historical archaeological
site located on the south bank of the Yangtze in Nanjing, China. It was constructed in the 15th century as a Buddhist
pagoda, but was mostly destroyed in the 19th century during the course of the Taiping rebellion. However, the tower
is now under reconstruction once again.
7. Himalayan Towers: Tibet
The Himalayan Towers are stone towers located chiefly in Tibet built approximately 14th to 15th century. The towers
are a series of stone towers located mostly in Tibet. Carbon dating shows they were built approximately 500 to
1,100 years ago. Since they are generally located in prosperous villages, it is believed that their primary function
was as a demonstration of a family’s prestige within the community. For strength, many of the towers use a star
pattern of walls as opposed to a strictly rectangular method. Heights can exceed 60m. For more information see
the work of Frederique Darragon, who has extensively studied the towers and written a book entitled The Secret
Towers of the Himalayas.
8. Tower Of London: UK
One of the most famous towers in History especially during the Middle Ages is The Tower. The Tower of London is a
UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its official name is Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress but commonly known as
the Tower of London and historically known as The Tower. It is a historic monument in central London, England, on
the north bank of the River Thames. The tower’s primary function was a fortress, a royal palace, and a prison (particu-
larly for high status and royal prisoners, such as the Princes in the Tower and the future Queen Elizabeth I). This last
use has led to the phrase “sent to the Tower” (meaning “imprisoned”). It has also served as a place of execution and
torture, an armory, a treasury, a zoo, the Royal Mint, a public records office, an observatory, and since 1303, the home
of the Crown Jewels of the UK.
9. Big Ben Clock Tower: UK
One of the most popular clock towers in the world is the Clock Tower. It is the world’s biggest four-faced, chiming
clock. The structure is situated at the north-eastern end of the House of Parliament in Westminster, London. It is
often colloquially referred to as Big Ben, which is actually the nickname of the main bell housed within the tower
(formally known as the Great Bell). The Clock Tower has also been referred to as The Tower of Big Ben.
10. Tower Bridge: UK
A bridge can also be considered as a tower and one of the most notable tower bridges is The London Tower Bridge,
a 244-m (800-ft) that spans the Thames River in London. It was the only movable bridge crossing the Thames when
it was completed in 1894. Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, England over the
River Thames. It is situated near the Tower of London, which gives it its name. It has become an iconic symbol of
11. Eiffel Tower: France
Perhaps, one of the most famous towers in the world is the Eiffel Tower. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the
Modern World. It is an iron tower built on the Champ de mars beside the Seine River in Paris. The tower has
become a global icon of France and is one of the most recognizable structures in the world. More than
200,000,000 have visited the tower since its construction in 1889, including 6,719,200 in 2006, making it the
most visited paid monument in the world. Including the 24 m (79 ft) antenna, the structure is 325 m (1,063 ft)
high (since 2000), which is equivalent to about 81 levels in a conventional building.
12. CN Towers: Canada
One of the most remarkable towers is the CN Tower. It was once the world’s tallest completed freestanding
structure. It is situated in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It is a communications and tourist tower standing 553.33
meters (1,815.39 ft) tall. In 1975 it became the tallest free-standing structure on land in the world. On September
12, 2007, after holding the record for 31 years, the CN Tower was surpassed in height by the still-under-construction
Burj Dubai. It remains the tallest free-standing structure in the Americas and the signature icon of Toronto’s skyline,
attracting more than two million international visitors annually
13. World Trade Center’s Twin Towers
After September 11, 2001, who doesn’t know the World Trade Centers? They are sometimes informally referred to
as the WTC or the Twin Towers. These towers were attacked by terrorists on the day of 9/11/2001. The World Trade
Center, New York, like most World Trade Centers located around the globe, belonged to the family of World Trade
Centers Association. The area where these famous towers once stood is now tagged as “Ground Zero”.
14. Burj Dubai: Dubai, UAE
Burj Dubai in Dubai, UAE, which is a skyscraper, is currently the world’s tallest man-made structure. As of
September 1, 2008 the building, this is still under construction, already standing at 688 m or 2,257 ft. When
completed, it is expected to rise over 818 m (2,684 ft). The construction of this skyscraper began on September
21, 2004 and is expected to be completed and ready for occupation in September 2009.
These are just 14 of the world’s greatest and remarkable towers. There are still other notable towers elsewhere
in the world.
For spectacular bridges from around the world see
For more related articles see