Marble has been used to build the foundations of some of mankind’s greatest civilizations. Reason enough to talk about the marble history.
The first marble quarries were carried out in Ancient Greece in the 6th century. The result of the crystallization of limestone, it is considered the fundamental element for the construction and sculpture of the Greeks.
The term marble comes from the Greek “marmaros”, which means shiny stone. The Greeks were pioneers in its use to build historical monuments such as the Temple of Artemis. Five stories high and supported by 127 marble columns, it is the first construction made of marble.
Byzantine architecture witnessed the use of marble and in the construction of temples and basilicas, as in the case of the Hagia Sophia of Constantinople, in the city of Istanbul (Turkey).
Built in the year 360 in homage to the Divine Wisdom (image of the Biblical Old Testament), it is currently a museum suitable for tourism. Inside you can see huge columns and refined marble design.
The marble history it is also present in The Roman Empire that was noted for the ostentation of the buildings made of marble, which allow its preservation over time, as the mythical Colosseum of Rome.
Surviving earthquakes and warlike confrontations, the amphitheater is made of galvanized granite. Another flagship monument of white marble is the Grassi Palace in Venice. Designed by Giorgio Massari in 1772, today it is a museum of the Fiat automobile company.
Marble history expands to Egypt and Asia
The Egyptians built most of their monuments in granite, limestone and generally speaking natural stones, in addition to dedicating themselves to the art of sculpture, which served as inspiration for several artists, as in the case of Michelangelo’s David. Their durability allows them to be preserved intact over time.
The Pyramid of Cheops was made of marble blocks, and is one of the oldest wonders of the world. Located on the outskirts of Cairo, the walls of its wide galleries are made of marble cladding, giving it a unique and enduring beauty.
But marble is at its best in the Taj Mahal. Built in Agra (India), it is known as the “Crown Palace”. Designed by the Muslim emperor Shan Jahan as a tribute to his second wife -Mumtaz Mahal-, it was inaugurated in 1656.
The Taj Mahal stands out for its symmetry, highlighting the white marble dome that covers the mausoleum. Over the years it has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the world.
The story goes that the white marble used for its construction was brought in carts pulled by animals from the city of Makrana, 300 km away.
Today, marble is an element widely used in the architecture of houses and buildings. Facades, columns and display tables are part of the usual furnishings.