The History of Architecture pieces together humankind's building prowess from 10,000 BCE onward, with basic shelters of twigs and mud through to the wondrous feats of today, visible in futuristic skyscrapers of concrete, steel and glass. Along the way, chronological entries show at a glance what was being built throughout the world at a given time. For example, while slave-labourers in China began to construct the Great Wall around 200 BCE, the citizens of Pompeii were living in luxurious villas; and as the Mayan temples of Chichen Itza in Mexico rose around CE 1000, medieval architects were fashioning some of the great cathedrals of Europe, such as Durham in England, and Notre-Dame in France.
The book covers religious and secular architecture, including places of worship, palaces, fortifications, commercial buildings, bridges, transportation hubs and residences. The reader discovers styles and sub-styles, ranging across civilizations and geographies, and is acquainted, through biographies, with great masters like Brunelleschi and Frank Lloyd Wright, whose works are considered landmarks of architectural achievement.
A famous architect once said: "Ideally, all buildings should be visited". Practically impossible as that is, many of the more stupendous edifices can be "visited" through the pages of this book.