“This is man: For the most part a foul, wretched, abominable creature, a packet of decay . . . a hater of his kind, a cheater, a scorner, a mocker, a reviler, a thing that kills and murders in a mob or in the dark, loud and full of brag surrounded by his fellows, but without the courage of a rat alone. . . . This is man, who will . . . bow down in worship before charlatans, and let his poets die . . . . Yes, this is man, and it is impossible to say the worst of him, for the record of his obscene existence, his baseness, lust, cruelty, and treachery, is illimitable . . . . Yet if the gods could come here to a desolate, deserted earth where only the ruin of man’s cities remained . . . a cry would burst out of their hearts . . . . Behold his works . . . . ” –Thomas Wolfe (1900-1938)
Wikimedia Foundation held an international photography competition of man-made “monuments” — the world’s largest photo contest spanning five continents. Over 254,000 photos were submitted by just over 10,000 photographers.
Below are the top 15 winners. Click image to enlarge.
#15 – An old man walking through a historic area of Comacchio, Italy, on a foggy and bitterly cold winter day. Photo by Francesco.
#14 – Tabātabāei House in Kashan, Iran, built in the 1880s for a wealthy carpet trader. Photo by Mostafa Meraji.
#13 – Svaneti towers in Mestia, northwest Georgia, 4,921 feet in the Caucasus Mountains. Photo by Dmytro Balkhovitin.
#12 – Casino inside Kurhaus in Wiesbaden, Germany. Photo by Martin Kraft.
#11 – West Pier in Brighton, United Kingdom, derelict since 1975 and in a state of collapse since 2002. Photo by Matthew Hoser.
#10 – Sydney Opera House, seen from the Sydney Harbor Bridge, Sydney, Australia. Photo by Thomas Adams.
#9 – Wat Benchamabophit Buddhist temple in Bangkok, Thailand (photo by Janepop Atirattanachai).
#8 – Interior of the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. Photo by Diego Delso.
#7 – Exterior shot of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh. (Photo by Jubair1985).
#6 – Inside Verrucole Castle in San Romano, Tuscany, Italy. Photo by Simone Letari.
#5 – Outside shot of Verrucole Castle in San Romano, Tuscany, Italy. Photo by Simone Letari.
#4 – A staircase in Baron Empain Palace in Cairo, Egypt. Photo by Manadily.
#3 – Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in Dhaka, Bangladesh, decorated in teal and gold. Photo by Azim Khan Ronnie.
#2 – A ray of sunshine descending upon the royal pavilion in Thailand’s Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. Photo by Janepop Atirattanachai.
#1 – Hindu temple in Pune, India. Followers shower one another with turmeric powder. Photo by PKharote.