Famous Arches and Domes Around The World

Domes have a long presence in architecture and have been as far back as prehistoric times. They have been made of all types of materials and can be seen in many types of buildings from religious to governmental structures.

Arches have also been seen throughout history but especially starting with the Roman empire. They are seen in aqueducts, bridges, and famous structures.

Since arches and domes date back so far into the history of engineering and are such an important part of construction today, we wanted to share 3 awesome structures from around the world that contain arches and domes!

Interested in learning the engineering behind arches and domes? Check out our Growin’GEERS quest specifically covering the concepts by using the code FIRSTMONTHBLOG at checkout to get your first month of Growin’GEERS free!

Great Stupa at Sanchi

The Great Stupa is one of the oldest Buddhist monuments in India. It was built in the 3rd century BCE and many believe it is the final resting place for Buddha’s ashes. The center of the stupa is made of bricks but is now covered in stones. General Henry Taylor found the structure in massive disrepair during the Third Maratha War and restoration began in 1912 where it was restored to its present condition. Sanchi has numerous stupas, but The Great Stupa is one of the most recognizable and well-known in the region.



The Pantheon is one of the best preserved buildings from ancient Rome. Though its true purpose is unknown, it is believed to have been used as a temple. Some also believe it was used as a place for the emperor to make public appearances. The dome itself is made of concrete and used to be covered in bronze. At the very top of the dome, there is an 8.8 diameter oculus that opens up to the sky above.

Arch of Cinquantenaire, Belgium


Also known as Jubelpark, the Parc du Cinquantenaire contains the arch which was completed in 1905. The goal of the arch was to make Brussels beautiful. The columns separating the arches once divided three roadways as well, but the area has now been fully converted to a park for tourists and locals to enjoy. The interior mosaic was completed in 1932 to complete the project.

Gateway Arch, St.Louis, United States


The Gateway Arch is a monument that was completed in 1967. The idea for the project began in 1933, and the final design was chosen through a design competition. There were many engineering challenges included in this project including moving a railroad track to ensure they did not ruin the views of the riverfront from the site of the monument.

Eero Saarinen was the architect behind the Arch, and an interesting component of the design is that the bases of each leg of the arch are triangles instead of squares. The monument is the tallest memorial in the U.S. and the tallest stainless steel monument in the world. The structural load is supported by a stressed-skin design and can sway up to 18 inches in either direction. Some serious mathematical calculations went into this design!

Check out our Growin’GEERS quest specifically covering these concepts by using the code FIRSTMONTHBLOG at checkout to get your first month of Growin’GEERS free!

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