11 Of The Oldest Buildings That Are Still Standing

Old has never been more beautiful! Take a trip around the world and check out some incredible buildings that are still on their feet, and catch Anthony Bourdain for the second season of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, premiering on Sunday, September 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT only on CNN.

1. Borobudur Temple - Magelang, Indonesia

Ulet Ifansasti / Getty Images

Considered the world’s largest Buddhist archaeological site, the temple dates back to the 9th century. Today, pilgrims to Borobudur are guided up the massive step pyramid on extensive walking tours.

2. Jokhang Temple - Lhasa, Tibet

Feng Li / Getty Images

Jokhang Temple is one of the most sacred and important temples to Tibetans and was founded in the 7th century.

3. Stupa I - Sanchi, India

Clara Giraud / Via Flickr: khlarra

The “Great Stupa” in Sanchi is the oldest stone structure in India and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

4. Castel Sant’Angelo - Rome, Italy

jojoscope / Via Flickr: jojoscope

Once the tallest building in Rome, the castle was initially built as a mausoleum for Roman emperor Hadrian (117 AD – 138 AD). Now, it’s a national museum.

5. Newgrange - County Meath, Ireland

John Meehan / Via Flickr: johnmeehan

Built nearly 5,000 years ago, the massive monument is aligned to allow light inside its chambers on the winter solstice. Roughly 100 lottery winners are admitted inside to experience the phenomenon every year.

6. The Parthenon - Athens, Greece

Milos Bicanski / Getty Images

The iconic temple was built in 447 BC, but was severely damaged by war in the 17th century. Since the 1970s, Greece has invested in major reconstruction efforts to keep the building upright in an earthquake-prone area.

7. Porta Nigra - Trier, Germany

Hannelore Foerster / Getty Images

Dating back to 186 AD, the city gate is named after its darkened stone. It has gotten even darker in recent decades from car exhaust on nearby streets.

8. Pyramid of Djoser - Saqqara, Egypt

Institute for the Study of the Ancient World / Via Flickr: 34561917@N04

Named after a 3rd Dynasty King, the pyramid was built for the same reason as the rest: to house a tomb. It is considered the earliest structure built from cut-stone, and is, of course, still standing.

9. Todaji – Nara, Japan

jojoscope / Via Flickr: jojoscope

Made completely of wood, the Japanese temple dates back to 754 AD. Legend says a Buddha statue found inside took so much bronze that it nearly bankrupt the region.

10. Hagia Sophia - Istanbul, Turkey

David Spender / Via Flickr: dspender

Greek Orthodox basilica-turned-mosque-turned-museum, the gorgeous structure dates back to 537 AD. When inside, reflections of sunlight give the impression that the dome is hovering.

11. Borchgrevink Hut - Antarctica

Kuno Lechner / Via commons.wikimedia.org

The oldest building in Antarctica only dates back to 1899 AD, but considering man had never stepped foot on the continent before 1821, it’s relatively ancient history.

Inspired by the second season of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown on CNN.

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