Quiz about Centuries in the Making
Quiz about Centuries in the Making

Centuries in the Making Trivia Quiz

Each of the edifices in this quiz took longer than 100 years before it was considered 'finished' in the history books, and one of them is still under construction. You've heard their names, but do you know where they are located?

A label quiz by reedy. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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3 mins
Label Quiz
Quiz #
Jan 29 22
# Qns
Avg Score
9 / 10
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: bernie73 (10/10), estherd (8/10), Guest 174 (4/10).
Match each of these monumental buildings with their location labeled on the map.
The Kremlin Sagrada Familia Malbork Castle Leaning Tower of Pisa Notre-Dame St. Peter's Basilica York Minster Ulm Minster Alhambra Cologne Cathedral
* Drag / drop or click on the choices above to move them to the answer list.

Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Alhambra

The palace and fortress complex known as the Alhambra was begun in the year 1238 by Muhammad I Ibn al-Ahmar, the first ruler of the Emirate of Granada. The site he chose already had ruins from an older fort, which itself had been built atop an older Roman foundation. Over 254 years of the Nasrid dynasty, the Alhambra was developed into a palace-city, with the main original structures taking about 120 years to complete. But the site has changed greatly in the centuries since then.

In 1492, the Alhambra was taken over by the forces of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile, concluding the Reconquista. They then made the Alhambra their own royal court, and they and subsequent rulers made significant alterations of their own, destroying some parts and constructing others.

By the 1700s, however, the site was essentially abandoned (apart from squatters), and things got worse during the Napoleonic Wars when more of the complex was destroyed and yet more damage was caused by an earthquake in 1821. The earliest restoration project began in 1828, and since then the Alhambra has been transformed, becoming a monument of its whole, blended history. In 1984, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
2. Sagrada Familia

The Basílica de la Sagrada Família was originally inspired by a visit to the Vatican by Josep Maria Bocabella, who had it in mind to build a church in his hometown of Barcelona. On March 19th, 1882, construction was begun, based on a design by architect Francisco de Paula del Villar. Sadly, Villar passed away in 1883, and the architectural duties passed on to Antoni Gaudí i Cornet, who altered the original designs to suit his own tastes. By the time Gaudí passed away in 1926, the basilica was only about a quarter complete. More architects have taken the reins of the project since then, and in the 1980s, the design and construction began to be aided by computers.

Funded by private donations, the construction has proceeded slowly, and building has also been paused at various times for pressing reasons (the Spanish Civil War, for example). In October of 2015, chief architect Jordi Fauli declared the construction at 70% complete, with a proposed completion date in 2026, with decorative elements being finished in the early 2030s. Since that time, the global Covid-19 pandemic caused construction to cease for a time, again delaying the proposed completion timeline.

The Sagrada Família is a hybrid of late Spanish Gothic and Art Nouveau styles of architecture.
3. Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the campanile (bell tower) for the Pisa Cathedral in, you guessed it, Pisa, Italy. Construction on the tower began in the year 1173, and it was built in three stages over a period of 199 years, marking its completion in the year 1372.

The unstable foundation on which the tower was built began to sink and cause the tilt just a few years later in 1178, when they were working on the second level of the tower, and construction was halted. This hiatus ended up lasting over 50 years, as the Republic of Pisa found itself embroiled in a number of conflicts with its neighbours during that timeframe. Construction finally restarted in the year 1233.

During this second phase of building, a choice was made to compensate for the lean by building the walls on the upper floors with one side taller than the other, which means that not only does the tower lean, it is also curved. Another war with Genoa (and Pisa's defeat) again halted construction in 1284.

The final (seventh) floor was completed in 1319, and the bell chamber not until 1372. And even though the structure was complete, not all the bells would be installed (seven of them comprising a major scale) until the last and largest went in in the year 1655.

In recent years, efforts have been made to shore up the foundation and reduce the tower's tilt, which at its worst reached an angle of 5.5 degrees. That was reduced to a mere 3.97 degrees.
4. St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica, or more properly the 'Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican', was built over 120 years between 1506 and 1626. Constructed in the Renaissance architectural style, the names associated with the design include Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The project was commissioned by Pope Nicholas V to replace the previous edifice of the same name that had been there since the 4th century (built during the reign of Constantine the Great).

St. Peter's Basilica (both the 'old' and the 'new' versions) is held to be the location of the tomb of Peter, the first Bishop of Rome and disciple of Jesus Christ. When the new structure was built, it was largely funded through the practice of 'indulgences', through which people paid money to the Church to lessen their (or their loved ones') time in purgatory. This practice was one of the factors that prompted Martin Luther to publish his 95 Theses in 1517, sparking the Reformation.
5. The Kremlin

Moscow's Kremlin has undergone many changes over the centuries, and even the walls as we see them today, enclosing the complex of buildings within, have morphed over time.

The initial 'fortress inside a city' (Kremlin) that was built of stone was constructed over a couple of years beginning in 1366, replacing the pre-existing wooden walls that had been there for nearly 30 years. Over a hundred years later, Grand Prince Ivan III reworked the Kremlin's walls and many of the buildings within the complex to suit his taking up residence. The walls as we see them today were constructed between 1485 and 1495.

In the intervening centuries, buildings within the Kremlin have been built and torn down, demolished and rebuilt, and damaged and repaired. Today, the Kremlin walls have 20 towers (originally just 18, with two more added in the 17th century), and the buildings within range from construction during the Middle Ages (Cathedral Square), the 18th century (the Arsenal and the Senate), the 19th century (the Grand Kremlin Palace and the Armoury), and the 20th century (Tretyakov Gallery). A helipad was even added in 2013.

In 1990, the Kremlin (and Red Square) were inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
6. Malbork Castle

The Castle of the Teutonic Order in Malbork was originally named 'Marienburg' by the Teutonic Knights who built the core of the castle. Dating for the different phases of construction have been estimated by archaeologists, as no definitive record exists from the time of its initial construction. Suffice it to say, the Teutons built Marienburg over about 25 years, between circa 1275 and 1300. The fortress would be expanded multiple times over time, until it became the largest fortified Gothic building in Europe, able to house over 3,000 fighting men, and covering an area four times that of Windsor Castle in England.

By the time of its completion in 1406, Marienburg boasted three separate keeps within its walls (High, Middle and Lower Castles, separated by multiple dry moats and towers). After it was captured by Polish King Casimir IV Jagiellon in 1457 and the Peace of Thorn was established in 1466, the name was changed to Malbork Castle.

Restoration of the castle began in the 19th century, and continued through much of the 20th century (with various pauses), until finished nearly two hundred years later in 2016. In 1997, Malbork Castle was added to the UNESCO World Heritage site list.
7. Ulm Minster

The Lutheran church Ulm Minster, sometimes erroneously referred to as 'Ulm Cathedral' because of how large it is, began construction in the year 1377 and carried through multiple generations of designers/architects until, for a number of reasons, construction was ceased in 1543, with the steeple at about 100 meters in height.

After a hiatus of three hundred years, building resumed in 1844, with a final completion date of May 31st, 1890, with the steeple made 10 meters taller than in the original plans. This resulted in Ulm Minster earning the title of tallest church in the world (at the time of completion), at a height of 161.5 meters.
8. Cologne Cathedral

Cologne Cathedral was begun in the year 1248 and took until 1322 for the eastern arm to be completed, consecrated, and ready for use. Construction continued through the 14th and 15th centuries intermittently, but in the mid-16th century, all efforts to move forward were halted.

It wasn't until the 19th century, when the original Medieval plans for the cathedral were rediscovered, that the effort to complete the unfinished portions of the church were reinitiated. Work resumed in 1842 with a final completion date of August 14th, 1880. It was such a celebration, that Emperor Wilhelm I attended the ceremony.

Cologne Cathedral was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1996.
9. Notre-Dame

Notre-Dame de Paris, in the heart of the city on the Île de la Cité in the Seine River, is a Catholic Cathedral that began its life in 1163, when Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone, and the high altar was consecrated in 1189. By the year 1250, the choir, the western facade, and the nave were completed, and over the next (nearly) 100 years, the porches and chapels (and other embellishments) were added until it was deemed complete in the year 1345.

After the Napoleonic Wars, Notre-Dame was in such a state of disrepair that demolition was considered a viable option. It was then (in 1831) that Victor Hugo wrote "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" in an effort to save Notre-Dame by increasing the awareness of its decayed state to the general populace. It would not be until 1844, however, that King Louis Philippe ordered the restoration of the landmark edifice.

A new renovation would be begun in the 2010s, and it was during this time (in 2019) that a disastrous fire damaged a large portion of the church, and resulting in the collapse of the spire, captured on television for the world to see. Immediately afterwards, President Macron promised that Notre-Dame would be restored, whatever the cost.
10. York Minster

The Cathedral and Metropolitical Church of Saint Peter in York, more commonly called 'York Minster', was begun in its present form in the year 1220, replacing the previous church on the site (one of many that had called the location home since the mid-7th century). The goal of Walter de Gray, the Archbishop of York, was to erect a cathedral to rival that of Canterbury, and construction would continue until York Minster was consecrated and deemed complete in the year 1472.

Since then, various periods of restoration work were undergone to preserve the building, and damage from a fire in 1984 needed extensive repairs, completed in 1988 at a cost of £2.25 million.
Source: Author reedy

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor trident before going online.
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