Time is not kind to buildings—even the greatest ones like Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, England’s Roman Baths, and Greece’s Parthenon. But now we get a view into what experts believed seven marvelous structures once looked like thanks to the work of .
Also, check out these GIFs that restore the outsides of famous buildings to their former glory.
The 40-foot-tall golden statue of Athena required a grand home atop the Athenian Acropolis. The Parthenon fit the bill when it was built in the mid-5th Century B.C., with a basin of water in front of the statue to help provide humidity for preservation of the ivory and gold statue.
In its former glory, the interior view of the Parthenon was likely of more splendor than the exterior view.
With roughly 30 years of construction time needed to create possibly the world’s largest religious building, Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is more than just a mass of stone.
The structure once included towers, differing levels of courtyards, and stairways aplenty.
The geothermal “Sacred Spring” inspired the construction of Roman baths in Bath, England, around 70 A.D.
What is now an open-air ruin was once a covered structure with a 147-foot-tall barrel-vaulted roof.
The Golden House of Nero offered quite the setting for the Emperor’s lavish lifestyle when built in Rome around 65 AD.
The house was punctuated by an octagonal domed room, which historians believe was likely adorned in glass mosaics and gem-encrusted walls, with ivory and mother-of-pearl for even more luxurious living
A combination of Corinthian columns, marbled floors, bronze tiles, and ornate designs define the roughly 70,000-square-foot Basilica of Maxentius in Rome, Italy. The opulence of what was really a mixture of commercial and administrative space can’t be understated.
Housed in the heart of Rome, the basilica served a public function in the most spectacular way.
With over 450 rooms stretched across 27 acres, the ruins that make up the Aztec Ruins National Monument in New Mexico were first discovered in 1859.
Kivas, round structures built for socialization and feasting, were built partially underground. The reconstruction on the site opens the door into this culture.
Atop a cliff overlooking the Dead Sea, King Herod’s personal palace features three terraces. It was built between 37 and 31 B.C.
The lower terrace, designed for entertainment and relaxation, features frescos of multi-covered geometric patterns.