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Pyramids as Monuments

Click here for a list of ancient and modern pyramids. | Click here for a list of pyramid mausoleums in North America.

Right click image to enlarge.
18-12 BCE - Pyramid of Cestius, Rome (Italy). Famous funeral monument. Built during the reign of the emperor Augustus. A remarkable monument, made of white Carrara marble and exactly 100 Roman feet (30 meters) high. Image shows the pyramid from the Protestant cemetery, which is southwest of the tomb. In the background is the Porta Ostiensis. There is a repeated inscription on the monument which means: "Gaius Cestius Epulo, son of Lucius, of the Poblilian district, praetor, tribune of the people, official of the public banquets. According to his will, this work was completed in three hundred and thirty days; it was executed by his heirs L. Pontus Mela, son of Publius, of the Claudian district, and his freedman Pothus."

c.600 - Pyramid of the Niches, El Tajin, Northern Veracruz (Mexico). Left image from 1913 before restoration. The pyramid has 365 niches, representing the solar year, and is almost perfectly symmetrical.
About 1000 - Temple of Kukulkan (the Maya name for Quetzalcoatl), Chichén Itza, Yucatan (Mexico). Often referred to as El Castillo / The Castle, this step pyramid has a ground plan of square terraces with stairways up each of the four sides to the temple on top.
About 1100 - Monks Mound, Cahokia Mounds UNESCO World Heritage Site, near Collinsville, Illinois (USA). "Largest Pre-Columbian earthwork in America north of Mesoamerica. About 100 feet (30 m) high, 955 feet (291 m) long including the access ramp at the southern end, and 775 feet (236 m) wide. This makes Monks Mound roughly the same size at its base as the Great Pyramid of Giza (13.1 acres / 5.3 hectares). Its base circumference is larger than the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan."
After 1738 - Tomb of Charles III Wilhelm, Marktplatz / Market Square, Karlruhe, Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany). "Stands over the location where the remains of the Margrave lie." Charles III William [1679-1738] was Margrave of Baden-Durlach.
About 1777 - Grabpyramide des Grafen Wilhelm und seiner Familie / Grave pyramid of Count Wilhelm & his family, Schaumburger Wald / Schaumburger Forest, near Rusbend (Germany). Grave of Wilhelm, Count of Schaumburg-Lippe [1724-1777].

1804 - Pyramid of Austerlitz, Woudenberg (Netherlands). "A36 meter high pyramid of earth, built in 1804 [sic] by Napoleon's soldiers on one of the highest points of the Utrecht Hill Ridge. On top of the pyramid is a stone obelisk built in 1894." Right image was made in 2004 during restorations which took place from 2001 until 2012. The Battle of Austerlitz was fought 2 December 1805.
November 1823 - Kopiec Kosciuszki / Kosciuszko Mound, Blessed Bronislawa Hill, Zwierzyniec District, Krakow (Poland). Erected by Cracovians in commemoration of the Polish national leader Tadeusz Kosciuszko [1746-1819]. One of Krakow's four mounds. An artificial mound modeled after Krakow's prehistoric mounds of Krak & Wanda. A serpentine path leads to the top, approximately 326 metres (1,070 ft) above sea level, with a panoramic view of the Vistula River & the city.
1869 - Confederate Pyramid, Hollywood Cemetery, 412 South Cherry Street, Richmond, Virginia (USA). "Hollywood Cemetery is the final resting place for Jefferson Davis and JEB Stuart. Opened in 1849, the cemetery also contains the bodies of some 18,000 Confederate soldiers and a handful of Union soldiers. Other famous persons buried here included President James Monroe, President John Tyler, Robert E Lee's nephew Fitzhugh Lee, and General Henry Heth and General George Pickett both of Gettysburg fame. The cemetery offers beautiful views of the James River. The landmark 90-foot granite pyramid was constructed in 1869."
1882 - Ames Monument, I-80, between Laramie & Cheyenne, Wyoming (USA). "Before I visited, I had seen the pyramid of H.H.Richardson’s rugged Ames Monument for years—in photographs. Rough hewn, steeply angled in the low perspective, it appeared in architecture books, such as Henry Russell Hitchcock’s famous book on H.H. Richardson [1838-1886], surveys by Vincent Scully of Yale and many others. Richardson’s rugged Ames Monument has been called the greatest monument design in the country, but few have seen it in person. It sits alone on a windswept high plain in Wyoming, near the highest point on the transcontinental railroad and also on today’s I-80---elevation 8835 feet--between Laramie and Cheyenne. The monument commemorates the brothers Oliver and Oakes Ames, who were leaders in arranging for the financing of the transcontinental railroad—the Project Apollo of its time. Oliver was president of the Union Pacific Rail road, Oakes a Congressman who pushed through the legislation for the railroad. "
1897 - Parthenon (Nashville Pavilion) & Pyramid (Memphis Pavilion), Tennessee Centennial Exposition (now Centennial Park), Nashville, Tennessee (USA). No longer exists.
Date? - Unidentified step pyramid. In Germany? Photo taken in 1930's? Note reflecting pool, stone steps, sphere (stone ball?), two benches & unusual roof-like structure. Image courtesy of Prof. Kristofer Preacher, Vanderbilt University.

1933? - Van Ness-Parsons mausoleum, Green-Wood Cemetery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York City, New York (USA). "Egyptian Revival architecture was a popular style of memorialization during the mid 19th Century. This fashionable trend made a resurgence in the 1920’s presumably because of the 1922 discovery of King Tutankhamen's tomb. Albert Ross Parsons (1847-1933), a composer, musician, author & pyramid expert published "New Light from the Great Pyramid" in 1893. Fittingly, this Egyptologist is entombed along with a number of family members in this pyramid-shaped mausoleum which combines Christian religious statuary & Egyptian symbolism,"

About 1946 - Monument voor de Wereldvrede / Monument for World Peace, Utrechtseweg 183 (near Ziekenhuis De Lichtenberg / Lichtenberg Hospital, Amersfoort, Province of Utrecht (Netherlands). Moved after 1953 from garden of artist Jacob N. Nieweg [1877-1955], local chairman of "Kerk en Vrede / Church and Peace," who campaigned for "No More War." Three sided pyramid inscribed in Dutch ("Wereld Vrede door Federale Wereld Regering"), English ("World Peace by Federal World Government") & Esperanto ("Mond Paco per Federacia Mond Recistaro"). Monument has a sphere (globe?) on top & a four quadrant circle (earth symbol?) above each inscription. Compare the WFBN, UWF & Japanese logos below. On December 1, 2008, an article on page 3 of the Amersfoortse Courant described the monument's 80th anniversary [sic]. Images & information courtesy of Gerard Lössbroek. Click here for article by Jojanneke Clarijs.

April 13, 1961 - Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Memorial, Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar (India). Inscribed "PEOPLE WERE FIRED AT FROM HERE." Part of the memorial at the site of the massacre on April 13, 1919, when British soldiers fired on unarmed Indian civilians.

1981? - Victory Memorial & Tomb of Anwar Sadat, Medinet Nasr, near Cairo (Eqypt). Pyramid-shaped memorial commemorates the War of October 1973. Sadat's tomb is under the memorial. Anwar al-Sadat [1918-1981] received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978. The nearby October War Panorama (right image) was built on a suggestion made to Hosni Mubarak by Kim Il Sung of North Korea when the Egyptian president visited that country in 1983.
1987-1992 - Unfinished Pyramid Pyongyang (North Korea). "For the last 15 years, the Pyongyang landscape has been dominated by an enormous unfinished pyramid-hotel with a crane on top. Construction began in 1987 & was halted in 1992. It looks like the Leaning Tower of Pyongyang. Despite all of Kim Jong-il’s propaganda, for me this eyesore is the real symbol of the North Korean system. It is too poorly built to finish, & Kim Jong-il believes he will lose face if it is demolished. I tried to explain to one of our guides that it looked bad. I suggested that they cover up the unfinished floors with large portraits of The Great Leader & The Dear Leader. He burst into uncontrolled laughter. I don’t know why."
1988 - International Centre of Culture (The Pyramid), Boulevard Deshmoret e Kombit, Tirana (Albania). "Originally the mausoleum for Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha [1908-1985], the Pyramid has seen the eviction of Hoxha's corporeal remains and the burgeoning of Albania's interest in the culture and arts."
1999 - Bell of Peace, International Centre of Culture (The Pyramid), Boulevard Deshmoret e Kombit, Tirana (Albania). "Made as a memorial to peace by the children of Shkodra. Its metal comes from thousands of bullet cartridges, fired off during the lawless 1990's."
1989 - Templo da Boa Vontade / Temple of Good Will, Brasilia (Brazil). "Shaped like a pyramid of seven faces, in which peak is maintained the biggest crystal ever found in Brazil. According to the maintainers, the best way to capture the energy of the crystal is to walk slowly, barefoot, meditating, following the spyral path inwards; at the center of the spyral [sic], right under the crystal, is the energy focus; then, walk back outwards, stopping before the altar for meditation. This temple is the national headquarter of the Legião da Boa Vontade, and attracts visitors from all religions." "Created by the Legion of Goodwill in 1989 as a symbol of universal solidarity. Incorporates seven pyramids, joined to form a cone that is topped with the biggest raw crystal you will ever see. Inside there's a meditative space." Image courtesy of Francineide Rodrigues,
1989 - Louvre Pyramids, Cour Napoleon / Main Courtyard, Palais du Louvre / Louvre Palace, Paris (France). A large glass and metal pyramid, surrounded by three smaller pyramids.
1991 - Pyramid Arena, Memphis, Tennessee (USA). Sixth largest pyramid in the world behind the Great Pyramid of Giza (456 ft), Khafre's Pyramid (448 ft), Luxor Hotel (348 ft), the Red Pyramid (341 ft) and the Bent Pyramid (332 ft), both in Dahshur.
1994? - Pyramid, Universal Peace Foundation (UPF), Thirumurthi Hills, Udumalpet Taluk, Tirupur District, Tamil Nadu (India). Also known as Pranavalayam (the Temple of Wisdom). "The land had been bought by a disciple, Mr. William Bhoopala Joseph, and the pyramid was constructed by Mohamed Rabi Ahmad, an engineer according to the right dimensions." "Guru Mahan meditates in pyramid for 21 days every year during the the month of Margali."

1995 - Tour de la Paix / Peace Tower, Beirut (Lebanon). Concrete tower embedding old guns and tanks. "Accumulation de chars et de canons dans du béton, 32 m de haut et d'un poids de 6 000 tonnes. La plus grande sculpture faite par Arman [1928-2005] à ce jour. Une des plus grandes sculptures contemporaines dans le monde."
Date? - Obelisk at the Totem One test site, Emu Field. South Australia (Australia). "Site of first atomic test on mainland Australia, known as Totem One." Text: "TEST SITE. TOTEM 1. A BRITISH ATOMIC WEAPON WAS TEST EXPLODED HERE ON 15 OCTOBER 1953."
June 1995 - World Peace Pavilion, Ferry Terminal Park, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (Canada). Symbol of unity and solidarity amongst the people of the world. Site of G7 Summit in June 1995, and officially opened by the seven visiting foreign ministers. The triangular shaped structure displays an international collection of rocks and artifacts contributed by 80 countries in every corner of the globe. Entry #1271 in the "Peace Movement Directory" by James Richard Bennett (2001).

1999 - Four-Sided Pyramid, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (USA). By Sol LeWitt. Gift of the Donald Fisher Family. Right image shows National Archives in background.

2002 - Hiroshima Flame Monument, Hoshino, Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu Island (Japan). "Image shows Takudou Yamamoto displaying a flame that has been burning continuously since the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, and was brought to the western Japanese village of Hoshino by his father Tatsuo, who kept it personally for more than two decades."
Started in 2002 - World Peace Monument, Great American Flea Market, Tulsa, Oklahoma (USA). Being constructed by Richard L. Branaman out of bowling balls (as his response to 9/11). As of April 2007, he had collected 849 balls & still needed another 7,586 to build a 21-foot pyramid which he will perch atop a three-legged, 77-foot-tall cement structure to be placed in the middle of the Mingo Road & Admiral Boulevard traffic circle (once part of historic Route 66). According to Branaman, "the World Peace Monument is non-denominational, multi-racial and is not a political statement." Click here for an update as of November 2010.

2003 - Broken Obelisk, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (Germany). Last of four identical monuments by Barnett Newman [1905-1970]. Each is 6,000 pounds of Corten steel more than 25 feet high -- a pyramid topped by a reversed obelisk ascending yet torn, or 'broken,' at its top, obviously some kind of symbolic object roughly resembling traditional monuments of combined pyramid and obelisk. Newman himself described the sculpture in terms conventional to his art: 'It is concerned with life, and I hope I have transformed its tragic content into a glimpse of the sublime.'" See identical monuments in Houston, New York City & Seattle (USA).
Date? - IMAX Theatre, Eilat, Gulf of Aqaba (Israel).
About 2004 - Holocaust Memorial., Rabin Square (former Kings of Israel Square), Tel Aviv (Israel). Sculpted by Israeli artist Yigal Tumarkin.
About 2005 - "I Love Tourists" Pyramid, near Bethlehem (Palestine). Painted on the Palestinian side of the Israeli separation wall ("apartheid wall" according to Palestinians) near Israeli checkpoint between Bethlehem & Jerusalem. Evokes Gaza Pyramid in Egypt. Note upsidedown taxi drawn to use the wall segments' lifting ports as wheels. (Tourists often come by taxi from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.)
April 2006 - "Great Pyramid of Sydney," Liverpool Interchange, Sydney (Australia). "25-metres high. Will be capped in a red peak and will be lit up at night by a blue light. Compacted soil collected during construction of the M7 will be used for the pyramid. 'The design is a world first, using about 100,000 tonnes of soil from the area,' Mr Tripodi said." Image is an artist's conception. Click the name to see many other pyramids in Australia.

June 2006 - Palace of Peace & Reconciliation, Astana (Kazakhstan). Also known as Palace of Peace & Accord. First used for Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions. Click here for info about a nearby statue of President Nursultan Nazarbayev dedicated on October 20, 2009.
May 20, 2008 - Matzevot / Jewish Tombstones, Losice Cemetery, Losice (Poland). "The former Jewish cemetery was established in 1690 under the privilege granted by King Jan III Sobieski & was destroyed by Nazis during World War II. Its collection of tombstones put on display is the largest collection of Jewish sacral art in southern Podlasie region. The oldest stonework dates back to the first half of the 19th century." // Cemetery was restored in May 2008
2009 - Golden Pyramid of Peace, Los Angeles, California (USA). A permanent structure?

Future - Earth Pyramid, Leeds, West Yorkshire (England). Formerly called the Leeds Pyramid. "I am currently working on a project to create a global peace structure. The aim is to create a global time capsule that every nation and an entire generation of the world's children can contribute to. We currently have 19 governments wishing to participate, [and] 6 more have shown interest, and we have also received the support of 2 Nobel Peace laureates -- President Jose Horta and Archbishop Tutu. During 2011, we will be changing the name of the project to the Earth pyramid." Email from Steve Ward 25Jan11.

Date? - Memorial Hall [pyramid], Songphinong (Thailand). "...though it was not yet complete... Another symbol, very familiar to meditators, that of a giant sphere -- the Luang Pu Memorial Sphere. A major site associated with Bhikkhu Sodh Candasaro, widely known as the great meditation master, Luang Phor Wat Paknam (or Luang Pu Wat Paknam), who rediscovered the Dhammakaya method of meditation."

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