European Wonders of The Ancient World


Britany Brise

The Britany Brise stone was originally 66 ft. tall before it broke into 4 pieces. most estimates of it's size are about 280 tons although some have estimated that it is over 350 tons. It was transported 7.5 miles approximately 4500 BCE. I'm not sure how they dated it since it isn't made of carbon they must have used a different method. There are no written records from that time.

Dol-de Bretagne, Champ Dolent, France

"This is a glorious 9 meter tall shaped and sculpted granite menhir, the stone for which has been brought here from over 4 kilometers away." source:
Estimated weight 150 tons

Kerloas Menhir. Nr Plouharnel, Brittany, France

"The Kerloas menhir is the biggest megalithic standing stone in France, at about 10 m high. It stands as a landmark on the top of a hill. It used to stand at 12 m high before lightning struck it, its weight is thought to be 150 tons, and it was erected about 4500 years ago." source:

The Bagneaux Dolmen and Roche aux Fees France

"Le Grand Dolmen de Bagneux"

"Some statistics: 17.3m long x 5.4m max wide x 3.1m high. The antechamber adds another 4m to the length. It is covered with four capstones the largest of which is 7.6m long and weighs 86 tons. The large overlapping back stone is 7.3m long." source:

Originally covered by a tumulus Passage-mound), Roche aux Fees contains 42 huge stones, the heaviest of which weighs 45 tons, which are now above ground level, giving it the appearance of a great, multi-sectioned dolmen (Passage couvert).The South/East facing entrance is orientated directly towards the winter solstice sunrise.

Trophy of Augustus at La Turbie France


Mont Saint-Michel France

Cave of Altamira Spain

Cueva de la menga, Antequera, Spain

"One of Antequera's most impressive sights is its dolmens, located in a park to the west of the town, the most spectacular of which is the Cueva de la Menga. These megalithic mass tombs, made of huge slabs of rock, were created by the original Iberian people and date back 5,000 years. There are many such dolmens in Andalucía, but none as large as the Cueva de la Menga." source:
The Capstone weighs over 100 tons maybe as much as 180 tons.

Stonehenge England
"It required sheer muscle power and hundreds of men to move one of these megaliths, the heaviest of them weighing probably about 45 tons." Source:

Rudston Monolith England 
"The tallest standing stone in Britain, at just under 8 m in height, with a circumference of 5m. The pointed top is protected with a metal cap. Dragged from Cayton or Cornelian Bay 16 Km to the north, the stone weights an estimated 40 Tons. The stone was erected in approximately 1600 BC, and its depth into the ground may be as much as its height!" Source:

Avebury Stone Circles, Wiltshire England 
"The Swindon Stone, one of the largest stones (weighing about 65 tons), marks the north entrance." source:

An attempt to straighten the two stones called 'The Cove' in 2003, revealed the fact that one of the stones, which stands 14ft (4.4m), above the ground, also exists at least 7ft (2.2m) below the ground (reaching a possible 10ft /3m deep).

The weight of this stone is calculated at around 100 tons.

Woodhenge England

Cerne Abbas Giant, The Long Man of Wilmington and Uffington White Horse England

Silbury Hill just south of Avebury England

Hadrian's Wall England

Stone Megaliths of Europe Carnac France Castlerigg stone circle England

Maiden Castle Dorset England,_Dorset

Megalithic tomb at Newgrange and Knowth Ireland

Browne's hill and Carrickglass Dolmens County Carlow, Ireland

"The most impressive prehistoric monument in the county is the Browne's Hill Dolmen, east of Carlow Town , believed to be the largest of its kind in Europe , with a capstone weighing 100 tons or more. Religious rites, perhaps involving human sacrifice, were performed here from 2500 BC." source:
"The chamber of the Carrickglass dolmen is an accurate rectangle, and the portico is formed by adding two side-slabs outside one of the end slabs, but still under the cover. This last is a remarkable block of limestone weighing about 70 tons."

Maeshowe Orkney Islands

Woodhenge at Goseck Germany

Externsteine Germany

The Baths of Caracalla 
The Baths of Caracalla were built between 211 and 217 CE.
Principle dimensions
Precinct maximum: 412x393M
Internal: 323x323M
Central Block overall: 218x112M
Swimming Pool: 54x23M
Frigidarium: 59x24M height c. 41M
Coldarium: 35M diameter height c. 44M
Internal courts: 67x29M
Quantities of materials
Pozzolanna: 341,000 Cu. M
Quick lime: 35,000 Cu. M
Tufa: 341,000 Cu. M
Basalt for foundations: 150,000 Cu. M
Brick pieces for facing: 17.5 million
Large Bricks: 520,000
Marble columns in Central block: 252
Marble for columns and decorations: 6,300 Cu. M
Estimated average labor figures on site
Excavation: 5,200 men
Substructure: 9,500 men
Central Block: 4,500 men
decoration: 1,800 men

One of many statues is the colossal 4M (15ft.) statue of Aesclepius. The 12M (40 ft.) columns of the frigidarium were made of granite and they weighed close to 100 tonnes. source: "Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World" edited by Chris Scarre 1999

"The building was heated by a hypocaust, a system of burning coal and wood underneath the ground to heat water provided by a dedicated aqueduct. It was in use up to the 19th century." source:
There are 1.2 million cubic meters of construction material. They would have had to install over 2,000 tons of material every day for 6 years in order to complete it in this time period. That is 3 times as much as they would have had to install at the pyramid of Cheops in order to complete that in 23 years. This complex was spread out over a larger area so they would have had more room to work in but that is still a tremendous feat assuming the time frame is correct. This includes 6,300 cubic meters of Marble for 252 columns and decorations. This is an average of up to 24 cubic meters (65 tons) per column.
Caracalla was one of the most notorious tyrants of the Roman empire.

A total of 22 well-preserved granite columns looted from the ruins are found in the church of Santa Maria in Trastevere, taken there in the 12th century. These were probably the same ones that weigh close to 100 tons.

Trajan's Column 
"The structure is about 30 meters (98 ft) in height, 38 meters (125 ft) including its large pedestal. The shaft is made from a series of 20 colossal Carrara marble drums, each weighing about 40 tons, with a diameter of about 4 meters (13 ft). The 190 meter (625 ft) frieze winds around the shaft 23 times. Inside the shaft, a spiral staircase of 185 stairs provides access to a viewing platform at the top." source:
If the spiral staircase was carved after it was installed then the drums would have weighed over 50 tons when they were transported. If it was carved before it would have been much tougher to align the steps ahead of time. The frieze was almost certainly carved after but it wouldn't have been necessary to leave much extra stone for that.

The Pantheon Rome 
"The 4,535 metric ton (5,000 tn) weight of the concrete dome is concentrated on a ring of voussoirs 9.1 meters (30 ft) in diameter which form the oculus while the downward thrust of the dome is carried by eight barrel vaults in the 6.4 meter (21 ft) thick drum wall into eight piers. The thickness of the dome varies from 6.4 meters (21 ft) at the base of the dome to 1.2 meters (4 ft) around the oculus. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same, 43.3 meters (142 ft), so the whole interior would fit exactly within a cube (alternatively, the interior could house a sphere 43.3 meters (142 ft) in diameter). The Pantheon holds the record for the largest unreinforced concrete dome." source:

Even today no one is making concrete domes as spectacular as this although they probably could with modern technology. However it just wouldn't be practical. In Roman times it was one of the most spectacular engineering feats of their time perhaps on a par only with the Harbor at Caesarea. Both of which were way ahead of their time.

"Transportation presented another problem. Just about everything had to come down the Tiber by boat, including the 16 gray granite columns Hadrian ordered for the Pantheon's pronaos. Each was 39 feet (11.8 m) tall, five feet (1.5 m) in diameter, and 60 tons in weight. Hadrian had these columns quarried at Mons Claudianus in Egypt's eastern mountains, dragged on wooden sledges to the Nile, floated by barge to Alexandria, and put on vessels for a trip across the Mediterranean to the Roman port of Ostia. From there the columns were barged up the Tiber." source:

I double checked the density of the columns it is actually slightly over 60 tons assuming the dimensions are right.,_Rome

The Roman Coliseum 
"The outer wall is estimated to have required over 100,000 cubic meters (131,000 cu yd) of travertine stone which were set without mortar held together by 300 tons of iron clamps." The Coliseum was built between 70 and 96 CE. source:wikipedia

The Roman Coliseum is oval shaped 156 meters by 189 meters by 52 meters high. The arena is 48x83 meters. The area of the arena is 3,357 square meters. there are 180 arches in each level. source: "The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World" edited by Chris scarre 1999 (Thames and Hudson)

The Ancient Roman Aqueducts 
Aqueducts/ date built/ estimated capacity in cubic meters per second/ estimated length in kilometers/ estimated length on arches.

Apia: 312 BCE 75,000 16km 0.1
Ario Vetus: 272-269 BCE 180,000 81km 0
Marcia: 14?-140 BCE 190,000 91km 10
Tepula: 125 BCE 18,800 18km 9
Julia: 33 BCE 48,000 22km 10
Virgo: 22-19 BCE 100,000 21km 1.2
Alsietina: 2 BCE 16,000 33km 0.5
Claudia: 38-52 CE 185,000 69km 14
Anio Novus: 38-52 CE 190,000 87km 11
Traina: 109 CE ? 35-60km 0
Alesxandriana: 226 CE ? 22km 2.4
Total of 495 kilometers 58.2 kilometers on arches.

Source: "The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World" edited by Chris scarre 1999 (Thames and Hudson)

Ancient Roman Roads

Hadrian's Villa at Tivoli's_Villa'svilla/hadrianintro.html

Etruscan cemetery near the town of Cerveteri

Temple of Poseidon and Hera at Paestum Italy

Pompeii Italy

The Circuit Walls of Syracuse Italy 
In 402 CE Dionysius I began building the Circuit Walls of Syracuse they were completed in 397 CE.
facts and figures
Length: 27 Kilometers
Width at base: 3.3M to 5.35M
Number of known towers on Circuit: 14 (including Euryalos)
Largest tower: 8.5Mx8.5M
Deepest ditch (at Euryalos fortress): 9M

Building that big of a fortress would have involved installing well over 300 tons of stone every day for 5 years. source: "The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World" edited by Chris Scarre 1999 (Thames and Hudson),_Sicily,_Italy

The Treasury of Atreus

The largest stone at The Treasury of Atreus is 120 tons. there is one other colossal stone next to it that probably weighs well over 50 tons but most of them are not that big. There are still a lot of multi-ton stones including many over 10 tons.

Fortress at Mycenae and Tiryns, Greece

Circuit length: 1105M
Preserved height: upto 12.5M
Width: 7.5-17M
Minimum stone required: 145,215 Cu.M or 14,420 average stones (10 tons)
Time to move 1 Block using men: 2.125 days
Time to move all Blocks using men: 110.52 years
Time to move 1 Block using oxen: 0.125 day
Time to move all Blocks using oxen: 9.9 years
based on 8 hour work day

The largest stones including the lintels and gate jambs weighed well over 20 tonnes some may have been close to 100 tonnes. source: "The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World" edited by Chris scarre 1999 (Thames and Hudson)

The Acropolis with the Parthenon and Erechtheion

Length: 78 meters Width 33.7 meters.
Foundation stones: 8,000 2-tonne stones, 130 5-tonne stones, 4 7-tonne corner stones.
46 columns 1.9 meters diameter 10.4 meters tall.
506 drums 5 to 10 tonnes each.
46 capitals 8 to 9 tonnes each.
138 arcitraves 4.3 to 4.7 meters long weighing upto 10 tonnes each.
231 upright stones 2.7 to 7 tonnes each.
3,690 coursing stones 1.5 tonnes each.

Source: "The Seventy Wonders of the Ancient World", edited by Chris Scarre (1999) Thames & Hudson, London

The Temple of Olympian Zeus

The Architraves on this temple are probably about 40 tons or more. Somehow they had to lift them up 56 feet high. The column drums are probably over 10 tons each and like most Greco Roman columns they have a very tight fit.

Delphi Greece

The Great Altar of Pergamon Greece (Moved to Berlin) and Pergamon's remains

Minoan Palace of Knossos

Haghia Sophia Istanbul Turkey 
The 107 columns at Haghia Sophia were moved from other parts of the empire including Baalbek. There are 64 of the larger columns. The larger columns are supposed to be about 18 or 19 meters tall and at least 1.5 meters diameter. they are supposed to be made of granite which weighs 3 tons per cubic meter. If the largest solid column is 1.5 meters diameter 18 meters tall they would be approximately 32 cubic meters (1.5x1.5x18x0.8=32.4). If the largest solid column is 2 meters diameter 20 meters tall they would be approximately 60 cubic meters (2x2x20x0.8=64.). That would mean a range of 96 to 192 tons. If you look at the pictures that will give you a good idea how big they are. Some of these columns were transported from different parts of the empire including Baalbek.

"The vast interior has a complex structure. The vast nave is covered by a central dome which has a maximum diameter of 31.24 meters (102 ft 6 in) and a height from floor level of 55.6 meters (182 ft 5 in), about one fourth smaller than the dome of the Pantheon. The dome seems rendered weightless by the unbroken arcade of 40 arched windows under it, which help flood the colorful interior with light. Due to consecutive repairs in the course of its history, the dome has lost its perfect circular base and has become somewhat elliptical with a diameter varying between 31.24 m (102 ft 6 in) and 30.86 m (101 ft 3 in)." source:
This is probably the second biggest dome in the world at that time second only to the Pantheon. the engineering involved in building a dome that big are much more than you would have expected from people living in an ancient civilization.
Huge columns

Nemrud Dagi Turkey

"The East and West Terraces together contain an astonishing array of sculpture, inscriptions, and architectural elements. Each terrace bears a set of five colossal seated figures (8-9m high) of King Antiochus and his Greco-Persian tutelary deities. In addition, there are dozens of reliefs with over-life-size figures portraying Antiochus' glorious maternal and paternal ancestors garbed in authentic period costume; each stela bears an inscription on its back that identifies the figure on the front. Investiture reliefs, scenes depicting Antiochus being greeted individually by each member of his pantheon, and the earliest known calandrical horoscope also appear. Numerous statues of lions and eagles guard the site's features, and altars are profuse." source: These don't seem to be carved out of single pieces of stone but some of the pieces are probably close to if not over 10 tons each.

Cliff tombs of Caunus Turkey

The Temple of Artemis

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

Hattusas Turkey
This site isn't limited to Hattusa it also includes artifacts from other parts of Anatolia

Aphrodisias Turkey

Temple of Apollo at Didyma

Cappadocia Turkey

Göbekli Tepe Turkey 
Approximately 9,500 BCE

"According to Andrew Curry, the author of the Science article, Gobekli Tepe is situated on the most prominent hilltop for miles around. It consists of at least 20 underground rooms that contain a number of T-shaped stone pillars that are 8 feet tall and weigh about 7 tons. The pillars are engraved with images of animals, including leopards, snakes and spiders." source: "Schmidt and his colleagues estimate that at least 500 people were required to hew the 10- to 50-ton stone pillars from local quarries, move them from as far as a quarter-mile away, and erect them." source: article on Gobekli Tepe

Nevalý Çori Turkey 8,400 BCE

Çatalhöyük Turkey 7,500 BCE

Sarmizegetusa Regia Romania

The Bronze Horseman and the Thunder stone St. Petersburg Russia

"Its dimensions before being cut, according to the fall 1882 edition of La Nature were 7 x 14 x 9 m. Based on the density of granite, its mass was determined to be around 1500 tonnes." sources: wikipedia, La Nature magazine, second semester 1882,

This stone was allegedly moved 4 miles. However I'm a little skeptical of the weight estimate it is based on the assumption that it is 7 meters high but according to one of the pictures it doesn't appear to be more than 5 meters high if that. This is still worth looking into since it may be one of the best documented stone moving efforts. I can't help but wonder why they would want to move such a large stone for this purpose in the 18th century or at any time.

Temples of Malta

What may be the single largest stone on Malta is found in the Northern wall of the Hagar-Qim temple; It is over 7m long, and is estimated to weigh about 70 tons. Most estimate claim that the largest stone in Malta is only 20 tons however after looking at the dimensions (Maximum just over 7 meters wide by maximum just over 5.2 meters high depth unknown perhaps 1 meter) and picture I have concluded that it is probably about 26 cubic meters. This should be far closer to the 70 ton estimate than the 20 ton estimate. The picture can be seen at the last art-and-archaeology site posted below it is 36 on the list. Which makes me wonder why the 20 ton estimate has spread so much unchallenged since it is so easy to check.

The largest stone remaining of all the Maltese temples lies at the Eastern end of Hagar Qim and measures 19 feet long by 9 feet tall by 2 feet thick. It weighs 57 tons. (Source: Insight Compact Guide to Malta, APA Publications (HK) Ltd, 1995)

There are 2 different sets of dimensions here it is probably because this is a rough cut stone and on used maximum dimensions and the other used minimum. It is interesting to not the one with the larger dimensions may have cited the lower 20 ton estimate which is certainly low. The 57 ton estimate seems the most reliable.

107 Wonders of the Ancient World (Blog entry)

One Hundred and Seven Wonders of The Ancient World: Introduction

Middle East Wonders of The Ancient World

African Wonders of The Ancient World

European Wonders of The Ancient World

South American Wonders of The Ancient World

North American Wonders of The Ancient World

Asian Wonders of The Ancient World

Preliminary Conclusions For One Hundred and Seven Wonders of The Ancient World

Prophets and Mystics

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