Roofs Rebuilt after Disasters
No matter how big or how beautiful a building is, it will never be indestructible. Whatever is made can be unmade, and history is sadly full of wondrous buildings which have been reduced to rubble, whether accidentally, purposefully, or through natural disasters. In today’s article, we will discuss a list of roofs which have thankfully been rebuilt after significant damage, and still stand today for all to appreciate.
Ferhat Pasha Mosque
One of many religious buildings sadly destroyed in war, the Ferhat Pasha mosque is a mosque in Banja Luka, the second largest city in Bosnia. The mosque, originally built in 1579 by local ruler Ferhat-paša Sokolović, was allegedly funded by the ransom of an Austrian general’s severed head back to his family after he was killed in battle, and the release of his captured son. This grisly deal enabled Sokolović to build his mosque but prompted the general’s cousin to take revenge by displaying the heads of two Turkish lords on spears, who drowned when fleeing from the battle of Sisak. Ferhat-paša and his granddaughter were later buried in the mosque. The Ferhat Pasha mosque stood as a place of worship for the Muslim community in the city but was ultimately destroyed in 1993 when Serbian soldiers detonated large quantities of explosives under the building. The destruction of the historic mosque was cited as an example of ethnic cleansing in the Bosnian War, and a permit for its reconstruction was issued in 2001. The mosque would ultimately reopen on 7 May 2016.
The 500-year-old Hiroshima castle was destroyed in the infamous atomic bombing of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. The castle, built in the 1590s, was a beautiful example of medieval Japanese architecture, with multiple levels with broad eaves, requiring numerous demarcation barriers during its construction. During the Second World War it served as the headquarters of the 2nd General Army and the Fifth Division. When the Little Boy bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima at the end of the war, the resulting explosion blew away the pillars supporting the castle and caused the rest of the building to collapse. The castle was rebuilt, appropriately, in the 1950s, largely of concrete rather than the wood which the original building was built from.
Yellow Crane Tower
The Yellow Crane Tower in Wuhan, China, is another example of beautiful east Asian architecture and broad roofs. It has existed since at least 223 AD, but its current structure was completed in 1981. The tower in its various forms has been destroyed no fewer than twelve times in its long history due to fire and war. The current tower sits about a mile away from its original site and even includes an elevator. The tower has been repaired ten times and currently stands at 51.4m high. The tower itself is a sacred site of the Taoist religion, and it is believed that the immortal Lü Dongbin ascends to heaven from the top of the tower.
It would not be possible to write a list about modern roofs rebuilt after disasters and leave out Notre Dame. Perhaps the most famous cathedral in the world, Notre Dame went up in flames on 15 April 2019, caused by either a burning cigarette or an electrical malfunction. Fire consumed the roof and spire and huge amounts of debris fell into the nave as vaults collapsed, which later required the use of robots to clear as the building was too dangerous for human workers to enter. The reconstruction has been immensely expensive for France but has been in part funded by international charitable donations. Debate continues as to whether to rebuild the spire with a modern design or to return to tradition and leave well enough alone.
Plenty of magnificent constructions have been lost to time over human history, however it is a relief that our race has put in the time and effort needed to rebuild some of our most impressive creations so that future generations may appreciate their beauty.