The 10 most beautiful tombs in the world - magnificent to bizarre

All over the world, ancient peoples and powerful rulers have been immortalised by their imposing tombs for thousands of years. Magnificent, bizarre, interesting and record-breaking burial sites are summarised here in our top 10.

No one knows what happens after death. The supposed knowledge about this is as varied as the peoples on this earth. Some believe that there is only life after death if the body is preserved. They build graves whose architecture resembles a fortress.


Others honour their relatives or themselves with magnificent mausoleums. Whatever the reason for their construction, gravesites worth seeing are spread all over the planet and inspire people from all countries of the world.

Taj Mahal in Agra, India

The magnificent white marble Taj Mahal palace is India's landmark and one of the country's best-known buildings in the world - © Andrey Khrobostov / Fotolia
© Andrey Khrobostov / Fotolia

The Taj Mahal is one of India's most famous landmarks and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The magnificent "Crown Palace" was built in the 17th century by the Great Mogul Shah Jahan as the final resting place for his beloved principal wife Mumtaz Mahal. She died shortly after the birth of her 14th child and expressed the imposing mausoleum as her last wish to her husband.

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Valley of the Kings and Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

The world-famous Valley of the Kings, a collection of tombs of Egyptian rulers - © feferoni / Fotolia
© feferoni / Fotolia

As a testimony to the ancient pharaohs, one does not know exactly which is more impressive: the millennia-old Valley of the Kings, where among other things the world-famous tomb of Tutankhamun was discovered, or the mighty pyramids of Giza. They were built 2500 years before Christ in a way that has not yet been fully deciphered and are the only surviving of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

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Rock City Petra, Jordan

Information on places of interest for your holiday in Jordan with travel tips, pictures, travel guides, climate, weather and entry requirements - © Adriano / Fotolia
© Adriano / Fotolia

Around 2000 years ago, the Nabataeans carved a massive necropolis, Petra, into the sandstone in a hidden valley basin in the southwest of Jordan. The impressive buildings around the famous "Pharaoh's treasure house" are a must for every trip to Jordan. The impressive architecture with magnificent wall paintings and mosaics is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Terracotta Army in Xi'an, China

At up to 1m80, the figures are somewhat larger than the average "real" Chinese; a terracotta soldier weighs around 300kg, China - © Hung Chung Chih / Shutterstock
© Hung Chung Chih / Shutterstock

The world-famous terracotta warriors and their horses - 7,000 in number - have guarded the tomb of Emperor Shǐhuángdì for over 2000 years. He began planning his final resting place at the age of 13. What is particularly remarkable is that each of the unique figures was modelled on real ones, which would even be recognisable from their facial features.

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Gur Emir Mausoleum in Samarkand, Uzbekistan

The Gur Emir Mausoleum is the final resting place of Timur himself, his sons Shahruh and Miranshah and his grandsons Muhammed Sultan and Ach Ulugbek, Uzbekistan - © Zufar / Shutterstock
© Zufar / Shutterstock

Under the massive blue dome of the Gur Emir Mausoleum in the fascinating city of Samarkand rests the powerful Uzbek ruler Timur Lenk with his two sons and grandsons. He was known for his impressive architecture and so his mausoleum is also a building of breathtaking splendour.

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Njegoš Mausoleum in Lovcen National Park, Montenegro

Aerial view of the Njegoš Mausoleum, the most visited destination in Lovćen National Park; the self-selected final resting place of the famous poet-prince Petar II, Montenegro - © ddsign / Shutterstock
© ddsign / Shutterstock

Perched high on a rocky peak is the mausoleum of the famous poet prince Petar II. who gave himself the nickname "Njegoš". In the mountainous Lovcen National Park, the highest burial temple in the world is the most visited sight and offers a stunning panoramic view.

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Naqsh-e Rostam, Iran

The royal tombs and their ornate rock reliefs at the archaeological site of Naqsh-e Rostam, Iran - © Ko.Yo / Shutterstock
© Ko.Yo / Shutterstock

Not far from the historic city of Persepolis lies the necropolis of Naqsh-e Rostam. Here are the magnificent tombs of five Persian kings, which impress even from afar with their gigantic rock reliefs. Even the sarcophagi of the great rulers were carved directly out of the bare rock.

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Tomb towers of Sillustani, Peru

In Sillustani very close to the famous Lake Titicaca are the highest burial towers in the world, Peru - © flog / franks-travelbox
© flew / franks-travelbox

Apart from the fascinating Inca sites, the burial towers of Sillustani are certainly among the most interesting sights of Peru. Around 30km north of the city of Puno, the Colla built stone towers up to 12 metres high around 1,000 AD, in which their deceased kings were buried tied up in plant fibres. Their completely earthquake-proof construction may have served the Inca as a model for their mighty cities.

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Thracian Tomb near Mezek, Bulgaria

The Thracian tomb of Mezek, which is over two millennia old, is the largest tomb from the Thracian period found in Bulgaria so far - © FRASHO / franks-travelbox
© FRASHO / franks-travelbox

The millennia-old Thracian tomb near Mezek is the largest and most impressive burial site of the Thracian people found in Bulgaria to date. The imposing tumulus is still completely preserved in its original state and can also be visited from the inside by appointment.

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Beehive tombs from Al Ayn and Bat, Oman

The beehive tombs of Al Ayn in front of Jebel Misht mountain, Oman - © FRASHO, franks-travelbox
© FRASHO, franks-travelbox

An interesting burial cult can also be found in Oman. The beehive tombs of Al Ayn and Bat date back to the 4th millennium BC and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fascinating beehive-shaped tombs are still well preserved and can be visited at any time and completely free of charge.

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