A monument is a type of structure that was explicitly created to commemorate a person or event, or which has become relevant to a social group as a part of their remembrance of historic times or cultural heritage, due to its artistic, historical, political, technical or architectural importance. Some of the first monuments were dolmens or menhirs, megalithic constructions built for religious or funerary purposes.Examples of monuments include statues, (war) memorials, historical buildings, archaeological sites, and cultural assets. If there is a public interest in its preservation, a monument can for example be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The origin of the word "monument" comes from the Greek mnemosynon and the Latin moneo, monere, which means 'to remind', 'to advise' or 'to warn',suggesting a monument allows us to see the past thus helping us visualize what is to come in the future. In English the word "monumental" is often used in reference to something of extraordinary size and power, as in monumental sculpture, but also to mean simply anything made to commemorate the dead, as a funerary monument or other example of funerary art.
Monuments have been created for thousands of years, and they are often the most durable and famous symbols of ancient civilizations. Prehistoric tumuli, dolmens, and similar structures have been created in a large number of prehistoric cultures across the world, and the many forms of monumental tombs of the more wealthy and powerful members of a society are often the source of much of our information and art from those cultures.As societies became organized on a larger scale, so monuments so large as to be difficult to destroy like the Egyptian Pyramids, the Greek Parthenon, the Great Wall of China, Indian Taj Mahal or the Moai of Easter Island have become symbols of their civilizations. In more recent times, monumental structures such as the Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower have become iconic emblems of modern nation-states. The term monumentality relates to the symbolic status and physical presence of a monument. In this context, German art historian Helmut Scharf states that “A monument exists in the form of an object and also as symbol thereof. As a language symbol, a monument usually refers to something concrete, in some rare cases it is also used metaphorically .... A monument can be a language symbol for a unity of several monuments ... or only for a single one, but in a broader sense it can also be used in nearly all knowable planes of being. ... What is considered a monument always depends on the importance it attributes to the prevailing or traditional consciousness of a specific historical and social situation.”
Basically, the definition framework of the term monument depends on the current historical frame conditions. Aspects of the Culture of Remembrance and cultural memory are also linked to it, as well as questions about the concepts of public sphere and durability (of the one memorized) and the form and content of the monument (work-like monument). From an art historical point of view, the dichotomy of content and form opens up the problem of the “linguistic ability” of the monument. It becomes clear that language is an eminent part of a monument and it is often represented in “non-objective” or “architectural monuments”, at least with a plaque. In this connection, the debate touches on the social mechanisms that combine with Remembrance. These are acceptance of the monument as an object, the conveyed contents and the impact of these contents.
Monuments are frequently used to improve the appearance of a city or location. Planned cities such as Washington D.C., New Delhi and Brasília are often built around monuments. For example, the Washington Monument's location was conceived by L'Enfant to help organize public space in the city, before it was designed or constructed. Older cities have monuments placed at locations that are already important or are sometimes redesigned to focus on one. As Shelley suggested in his famous poem "Ozymandias" ("Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"), the purpose of monuments is very often to impress or awe.
Structures created for other purposes that have been made notable by their age, size or historic significance may also be regarded as monuments. This can happen because of great age and size, as in the case of the Great Wall of China, or because an event of great importance occurred there such as the village of Oradour-sur-Glane in France. Many countries use Ancient monument or similar terms for the official designation of protected structures or archeological sites which may originally have been ordinary domestic houses or other buildings.
Monuments are also often designed to convey historical or political information, and they can thus develop an active socio-political potency. They can be used to reinforce the primacy of contemporary political power, such as the column of Trajan or the numerous statues of Lenin in the Soviet Union. They can be used to educate the populace about important events or figures from the past, such as in the renaming of the old General Post Office Building in New York City to the James A. Farley Building (James Farley Post Office), after former Postmaster General James Farley.To fulfill its informative and educative functions a monument needs to be open to the public, which means that its spatial dimension, as well as its content can be experienced by the public, and be sustainable. The former may be achieved either by situating the monument in public space or by a public discussion about the monument and its meaning, the latter by the materiality of the monument or if its content immediately becomes part of the collective or cultural memory.
The social meanings of monuments are rarely fixed and certain and are frequently 'contested' by different social groups. As an example: whilst the former East German socialist state may have seen the Berlin Wall as a means of 'protection' from the ideological impurity of the west, dissidents and others would often argue that it was symbolic of the inherent repression and paranoia of that state. This contention of meaning is a central theme of modern 'post processual' archaeological discourse.
The term is often used to describe any structure that is a significant and legally protected historic work, and many countries have equivalents of what is called in United Kingdom legislation a Scheduled Monument, which often include relatively recent buildings constructed for residential or industrial purposes, with no thought at the time that they would come to be regarded as "monuments".
Until recently, it was customary for archaeologists to study large monuments and pay less attention to the everyday lives of the societies that created them. New ideas about what constitutes the archaeological record have revealed that certain legislative and theoretical approaches to the subject are too focused on earlier definitions of monuments. An example has been the United Kingdom's Scheduled Ancient Monument laws.
Other than municipal or national government that protecting the monuments in their jurisdiction, there are institutions dedicated on the efforts to protect and preserve monuments that considered to possess special natural or cultural significance for the world, such as UNESCO's World Heritage Site programmeand World Monuments Fund.
Cultural monuments are also considered to be the memory of a community and are therefore particularly at risk in the context of modern asymmetrical warfare. The enemy's cultural heritage is to be sustainably damaged or even destroyed. In addition to the national protection of cultural monuments, international organizations (cf. UNESCO World Heritage, Blue Shield International) therefore try to protect cultural monuments.
Recently, more and more monuments are being preserved digitally (in 3D models) through organisations as CyArk.
A tomb is a repository for the remains of the dead. It is generally any structurally enclosed interment space or burial chamber, of varying sizes. Placing a corpse into a tomb can be called immurement, and is a method of final disposition, as an alternative to for example cremation or burial.
A cenotaph is an empty tomb or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been reinterred elsewhere. Although the vast majority of cenotaphs honour individuals, many noted cenotaphs are instead dedicated to the memories of groups of individuals, such as the lost soldiers of a country or of an empire.
A stūpa is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics that is used as a place of meditation. A related architectural term is a chaitya, which is a prayer hall or temple containing a stupa.
A triumphal arch is a monumental structure in the shape of an archway with one or more arched passageways, often designed to span a road. In its simplest form a triumphal arch consists of two massive piers connected by an arch, crowned with a flat entablature or attic on which a statue might be mounted or which bears commemorative inscriptions. The main structure is often decorated with carvings, sculpted reliefs, and dedications. More elaborate triumphal arches may have multiple archways.
A stele, or occasionally stela, when derived from Latin, is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected in the ancient world as a monument. The surface of the stele often has text, ornamentation, or both. These may be inscribed, carved in relief, or painted.
Anıtkabir is the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and first President of the Republic of Turkey. It is located in Ankara and was designed by architects Professor Emin Onat and Assistant Professor Ahmet Orhan Arda, whose proposal beat 48 other entries from several countries in a competition held by the Turkish Government in 1941 for a "monumental tomb" for Atatürk.
Mughal architecture is the type of Indo-Islamic architecture developed by the Mughals in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries throughout the ever-changing extent of their empire in the Indian subcontinent. It developed the styles of earlier Muslim dynasties in India as an amalgam of Islamic, Persian, Turkic and Indian architecture. Mughal buildings have a uniform pattern of structure and character, including large bulbous domes, slender minarets at the corners, massive halls, large vaulted gateways, and delicate ornamentation; "grandiose architecture was the most visible of the ways that the Mughals used to assert their sense of superiority and their supremacy over what in many ways remained to them an alien land". Examples of the style can be found in modern-day India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
The Victor Emmanuel II National Monument or Vittoriano, called Altare della Patria, is a national monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy, located in Rome, Italy. It occupies a site between the Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill. It is currently managed by the Polo Museale del Lazio and is owned by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.
Marian columns are religious monuments depicting Virgin Mary on the top, often built in thanksgiving for the ending of a plague or for some other reason. The purpose of the Holy Trinity columns was usually simply to celebrate the church and the faith, though the plague motif could sometimes play its role in their erection as well. Erecting religious monuments in the form of a column surmounted by a figure or a Christian symbol was a gesture of public faith that flourished in the Catholic countries of Europe especially in the 17th and 18th centuries. Thus they became one of the most visible features of Baroque architecture. This usage also influenced some Eastern Orthodox Baroque architecture.
The Samanid mausoleum, built in the 10th century C.E., is located in the North-Western part of Bukhara, Uzbekistan, just outside its historic center. The mausoleum is considered one of the iconic examples of the early Islamic architecture and is known as the oldest funerary building of the Central Asian architecture. It was built as the resting place of the powerful and influential Islamic Samani family dynasty that ruled from approximately 900 to 1,000. The Samanids established their de facto independence from the Abbasid Caliphate in Baghdad and ruled over some areas covered by the modern day countries of Afghanistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan. Perfectly symmetrical, compact in its size, yet monumental in its structure, the Mausoleum not only combined multi-cultural building and decorative traditions, such as Sogdian, Sassanian, Persian and even Classical, but also introduced innovative dome support solution and incorporated features customary for medieval Islamic buildings - circular dome and mini domes, pointed arches, elaborate portals, columns and intricate geometric designs.
The Sydney Cenotaph is a heritage-listed monument located in Martin Place, in the Sydney, Australia. It was designed by Bertram Mackennal and built from 1927 to 1929 by Dorman Long & Co. It is also known as Martin Place Memorial and The Cenotaph. It is one of the oldest World War I monuments in central Sydney. It was added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 11 November 2009.
Pakistani architecture is intertwined with the architecture of the broader Indian subcontinent. With the beginning of the Indus civilization around the middle of the 3rd millennium BC, for the first time in the area which encompasses today's Pakistan an advanced urban culture developed with large structural facilities, some of which survive to this day. This was followed by the Gandhara style of Buddhist architecture that borrowed elements from Ancient Greece. These remnants are visible in the Gandhara capital of Taxila.
Funerary art is any work of art forming, or placed in, a repository for the remains of the dead. The term encompasses a wide variety of forms, including cenotaphs, tomb-like monuments which do not contain human remains, and communal memorials to the dead, such as war memorials, which may or may not contain remains, and a range of prehistoric megalithic constructs. Funerary art may serve many cultural functions. It can play a role in burial rites, serve as an article for use by the dead in the afterlife, and celebrate the life and accomplishments of the dead, whether as part of kinship-centred practices of ancestor veneration or as a publicly directed dynastic display. It can also function as a reminder of the mortality of humankind, as an expression of cultural values and roles, and help to propitiate the spirits of the dead, maintaining their benevolence and preventing their unwelcome intrusion into the lives of the living.
Seljuk architecture comprises the building traditions used by the Seljuq dynasty, when it ruled most of the Middle East and Anatolia during the 11th to 13th centuries. After the 11th century, the Seljuks of Rum emerged from the Great Seljuk Empire developing their own architecture, though they were influenced and inspired by the Armenian, Byzantine and Persian architectural traditions.
Cooyar War Memorial is a heritage-listed war memorial in Hack Menkins Park, McDougall Street, Cooyar, Toowoomba Region, Queensland, Australia. The memorial was unveiled on Saturday 14 July 1923 by Arthur Edward Moore. It was designed and produced by R. C. Ziegler and Son and cost £413/10/0, with funds raised by public subscriptions and revenue raised from entertainments. The memorial comprises two pieces, the pedestal surmounted by a digger statue, on which the names of the 25 fallen are recorded, and a smaller plinth which records the names of the 110 local men who served in World War I. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992.
Booval War Memorial is a heritage-listed memorial at Green Street, Booval, City of Ipswich, Queensland, Australia. It was built in 1919. It was added to the Queensland Heritage Register on 21 October 1992.
Roman funerary art changed throughout the course of the Republic and the Empire and comprised many different forms. There were two main burial practices used by the Romans throughout history, one being cremation, another inhumation. The vessels that resulted from these practices include sarcophagi, ash chests, urns, and altars. In addition to these, buildings such as mausoleums, stelae, and other monuments were also popular forms used to commemorate the dead. The method by which Romans were memorialized was determined by social class, religion, and other factors. While monuments to the dead were constructed within Roman cities, the remains themselves were interred outside the cities.
The architecture of Jordan has been subject to vast development, specifically in the final years of the twentieth century. Jordan is a small country located in the Middle East. Its location has great significance to Christians, Muslims and Jews as it is considered part of the Holy Land.
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