How many structures have qualified as the tallest thing ever built? Surprisingly, it's a pretty small club. We don't know much about structures of the distant past, of course. But we do know that if you'd been hanging around Giza in 2570 B.C. or so, you'd have found the spanking-new Great Pyramid soaring some 481 feet into the sky -- high enough to hold the title of tallest manmade structure for nearly 4,000 more years. The Great Pyramid was finally overtopped around 1300 by England's Lincoln Cathedral, whose spire was said to stand 525 feet tall. Alas, this record-breaker was wrecked by a storm in 1549, ceding the honor to St. Olaf's Church in Tallinn, Estonia -- whose spire was barely three feet shorter -- until this too burned down after a lightning strike in 1625. Thereafter, the title to the tallest structure seesawed between a series of German and French churches -- first St. Mary's in Stralsund, Germany (495 feet tall, but guess what? -- another lightning casualty in ...
by Amber Taufen | Today 12:27 P.M.
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