Ever since the 3rd millennium BC, people have been fascinated by mosaic art. It is used to decorate homes and important buildings in the hopes that the structures themselves become exquisite pieces of art. Since the Greeks started manufacturing them, mosaic pieces have become a signature for the rich and powerful.
So, it is not surprising to find delicate mosaic arts in some of the most historic places on Earth. The most impressive mosaics around the world are inside emblematic architectural landmarks.
Here are two examples:
Westminster Abbey, United Kingdom
When Kate Middleton stepped inside Westminster Abbey for her wedding in 2011, viewers around the world do not realize that inside is one of the most impressive pieces of mosaic art in the world. The building itself is steeped in more than a thousand years of history. Since 1066 AD, English monarchs have been crowned inside its vaulted structure. Most recently in 1953, when the young and radiant Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II of England.
Invisible to those who do not know where to look, the remarkable great pavement called the Cosmati Pavement is a truly unique work of art. The intricate and delicate design of the mosaic, combined with genius workmanship, makes the Cosmati Pavement a class on its own.
Made in 1268 by a famous Roman artist, the mosaic features elements that when viewed from above would suggest that anyone standing in the middle will have the power to rule the universe. Interestingly enough, Saint Edward’s Chair, widely considered as the great throne of England, is positioned in the middle of the entire mosaic art during coronation.
The Cosmati Pavement underwent thorough cleaning in 2010 and would definitely play a major role in the coronation of Charles, Prince of Wales.
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
If you are in search for the most impressive mosaics around the world, head to Jerusalem. The Dome of the Rock is one of the most iconic landmarks in the history of Islamic culture. Built between 688 and 692, it features intricate mosaics all around its edifice, making it possible for the structure to gleam when viewed from a distance.
The structure itself is on top of the Temple Mount, the site of Solomon’s and Herod’s Temples. The significance of the location alone makes the Dome of the Rock one of the most important structures for several major religions.
Made of marble and colored stones, the exterior and interior mosaics are influenced by the Byzantine Empire, making the artworks both beautiful and historic.
These mosaics are like paintings, they are immortal images. And perhaps many will argue that, without them, the structures that house these works of art may become empty shells. With these mosaics, the structures themselves become important—and in many ways, immortal.