We’ve been using granite to make beautiful and functional natural stone countertops for your kitchens for years, but that’s nothing compared to the uses that granite has been put to throughout the ages. Granite has found its way into monuments and stone structures the world over, from the pyramids to Mount Rushmore and beyond. The base of the Statue of Liberty is even made from granite!
As one of the hardest substances on earth, granite was prized by ancient peoples for its beauty and durability, the same traits that keep us using it to build countertops for our kitchens and bathrooms today. Here are just a few of the monuments and ancient structures that were built using granite:
• The Pyramids: While the pyramids are comprised mostly of limestone blocks (over 2 million of them, in fact), the ancient Egyptians also incorporated granite into their fantastic monuments. The king’s chamber is built entirely out of granite, quarried from Aswan and transported almost 500 miles.
• The Pantheon: Built of a variety of different materials, the Pantheon in Rome boasts a portico supported by massive granite Corinthian columns. Today, the Pantheon’s dome is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world, nearly 2,000 years after it was built.
• The Unfinished Obelisk: Egypt is home to several striking obelisks of red granite, but the largest was never finished. If it had been completed, the Unfinished Obelisk would have stood 120 feet tall and weighed more than 1200 tons, making it twice the size of any known obelisk ever raised. As it is, it can still be seen today partially attached to the bedrock from which it was being carved when construction was abandoned.
• Machu Picchu: High in the Andes Mountains of what is now Peru, Machu Picchu was built of mostly granite blocks cut with stone or bronze tools and finished with sand. The stones of the approximately 200 buildings that make up the ancient city fit together without mortar, in places so tightly that not even a knife blade can be forced between them.
• The Churches of Lalibela: Originally conceived as a New Jerusalem, the Churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia were each carved from a single block of granite, working downward so that the roof is at ground level. The largest of the eleven churches stands 40 feet tall.
• Mount Rushmore: One of the most striking monuments of the modern world, the four sculptural busts of past Presidents of the United States that make up the Mount Rushmore National Memorial are all carved directly into the granite mountainside.
If people have been building structures and monuments out of granite for hundreds or even thousands of years and they’re still around today, then you can bet that your granite countertop is going to stand up to the wear and tear of everyday use in your kitchen for years to come. That doesn’t mean that granite doesn’t still need taken care of if you want it to look and perform its best, though.
Rock Doctor’s specially formulated line of granite cleaning products can help you to keep your granite and other natural stone countertops looking great all through the ages. With our granite cleaner, granite sealer, and granite polish, you can give your kitchen countertops treatment befitting a monument. Pick them up today at fine retail stores like Lowe’s Home Improvement, as well as participating True Value, Do it Best, and Ace Hardware locations.