History is filled with structures and memorials built by men to immortalize their love for their other halves, like the resplendent Taj Mahal in India, but few know of the many stunning places dedicated by women to their loved ones.
These structures, built by women who disobeyed royal protocol, opposed equality laws, or changed architectural trends in order to memorialize their darlings, are now high on our list of must-visit places in the world.
Here are six locations where women have dared to honour their relationships.
The Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore, England
After Prince Albert, the 42-year-old spouse of Queen Victoria, passed away unexpectedly from illness in 1861, the monarch was left inconsolable.
According to British historian Tracy Borman, author of Crown & Sceptre: A New History of the British Monarchy, "She (Queen Victoria) spent the rest of her life honouring his memory—draping herself and her court in black, withdrawing from public and social engagements, and surrounding herself with images of her late husband."
The bereaved queen also sought comfort by establishing monuments and statues in his honour.
Queen Victoria started building a mausoleum at Frogmore, a royal estate close to Windsor Castle, soon after Albert's passing; it wasn't finished until 1871.
While the tomb is not open to visitors, the immaculate grounds of nearby Frogmore House, which will reopen to the public later this year, they can see the imposing structure.
If they were able to peer inside, they would discover a vibrant atmosphere influenced by Albert's love of Italian Renaissance art, with a magnificent coffin as its focal point and marble effigies of the queen and her beloved Albert at her side.
Kodai-ji Temple, Japan
An elegant temple honours the son of a peasant who became a samurai and assisted in unifying Japan after years of feudal warfare amid the forested foothills of Kyoto's Higashiyama Mountains.
He went under the name Toyotomi Hideyoshi.
Kodai-ji, one of Kyoto's most popular temples, was built by Kita-no-Mandokoro, Hideyoshi's mourning wife, after he passed away in 1598.
This widow, also known as Nene, was a Buddhist nun for 19 years at Kodai-ji, where her burial site is located.
According to David L. Howell, a professor of Japanese history at Harvard University, Hideyoshi's ghost lives in Kodai-ji with his wife even though he was interred at a different location in Kyoto.
Humayun’s Tomb, India
Humayun's Tomb in east Delhi, India, is a marble and red sandstone masterpiece that narrates the tale of an emperor and the unwavering love of his wife; it even served as an influence for the Taj Mahal.
Bega Begum, the first wife of Mughal emperor Humayun, ordered the construction of this mausoleum after her husband's death in 1556 from injuries sustained in a fall.
According to Najaf Haider, a professor of Indian history at Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University, it was the first sizable structure constructed in the Mughal architectural style, a synthesis of Indian, Persian, and Central Asian design features.
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, Turkey
Tourists are welcome to explore the ruins of a 2,300-year-old masterpiece in the Turkish seaside city of Bodrum.
According to Daniel Sherer, a visiting lecturer in architectural history and philosophy at Princeton University, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and matched the Egyptian pyramids in scale and splendour.
According to Sherer, Pliny the Elder, a Roman author of the first century, claimed that Queen Artemisia ordered the construction of this mausoleum in 353 B.C.
It served as both a magnificent gesture and Mausolus, the monarch of Caria, a region of what is now Turkey, an eternal home.
According to Sherer, Artemisia is frequently shown directing the construction of the tomb in Renaissance and baroque artwork.
An account by first-century Roman historian Valerius Maximus depicts Artemisia as so devoted to her late husband that she mixed the ashes of Mausolus in a liquid which she then drank, “thereby making herself a living, breathing tomb,” Sherer says.
Rani-ki-Vav Stepwell, India
The earth spreads out to reveal a complex wonder on the outskirts of Patan, a small city in western India.
Visitors descend more than 65 feet into Rani-ki-Vav stepwell via a set of steps, passing four pavilions and 1,500 hand-carved sculptures.
Before the majority of them were destroyed by British colonial forces, India had thousands of stepwells that were used to collect water for drinking, washing, and bathing.
Rani-ki-Vav, often referred to as the Queen's Stepwell, was built by Queen Udaymati in the eleventh century and underwent a thorough restoration in the 1980s.
She gave this gem as a memorial to her late husband, King Bhimdev I, who reigned over a large portion of what is now Gujarat State in India.
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