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10 of the Most Famous Unfinished Buildings in the World

6. The German Stadium

In 1937, work on Hitler’s idea of building the largest stadium in the world with a capacity to host 400,000 spectators began. This gigantic stadium at Nuremberg was supposed to be used as the Nazi Party’s rally grounds and was even scheduled for completion in 1943. Nonetheless, just like most Nazi structures, it was never finished because of the war.  

German stadium in Nuremberg
Image credits: Pabkov/

The dimensions planned for the largest stadium ever were 875 yards in length, 500 yards in width, and 100 yards tall. The well-thought-out capacity of holding spectators was almost four times of the current largest stadium.

After the work began in September 1937, the laying of the cornerstone was already completed by 1938.  However, before building the actual stadium, the Nazi engineers set out to create a ten-times smaller model. In a matter of 18 months, workers finished the test model, 25 miles outside the city.

Hitler made a visit to the future largest stadium in 1938 and proposed to hold the next Olympics there. The fact that the dimensions of Olympic standards didn’t match the Nazi stadium was unimportant to him.

All dreams shattered during the war when allied troops destroyed the nearby village. Wood from the forest was now only used for rebuilding the towns. In the aftermath, the foundations of the stadium and the test model simply remain ignored. (Source)


7. Metropolitan Catholic Cathedral 

Liverpool’s Metropolitan Catholic Cathedral is England’s largest Catholic cathedral. Renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens was commissioned to work on the project which began in 1933. Only the crypt of the monumental building was made, and the outbreak of World War II ceased its construction.

Metropolitan Catholic Cathedral 
Metropolitan Catholic Cathedral

The architect was made familiar with the responsibility of working on the Metropolitan Catholic Cathedral in 1929. If only the original project could’ve been completed, the cathedral would have stood 60 feet higher than St. Peter’s in Rome.

Metropolitan Cathedral
Image credits: Luis War/

The great-granddaughter of the architect mentioned that Lutyens was extremely competent and the plan was equally ambitious. It was the Catholic community of the city that held campaigns to gather funds for the work.  

However, only the crypt is made according to the plans of Lutyens. The present design of the structure is the work of another genius, Fredrick Gibberd, winner of a worldwide design competition. Once the crypt was built, the progress was interrupted by World War II.

After that, Lutyens lost never interest in the project and died in 1944. The earlier work done on top of the crypt had to be refurbished, which further slowed down the process.  

The cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Liverpool. (1, 2, 3)


8. The National Monument of Scotland

According to the inscriptions, the National Monument of Scotland in Edinburg is a memorial of the past and incentive to the future heroism to the men of Scotland. At the same time, it is also nicknamed “Scotland’s Disgrace” due to unforeseen conditions. The structure’s construction started in 1826, but because of lack of funds, it ceased soon after just three years.  

National Monument
National Monument

A group of well-off figures from Edinburg started fundraising for the structure in 1822. The idea was to commemorate men who lost their lives in the Napoleonic Wars. The monument was supposed to be an exact copy of an ancient temple of the Parthenon in Athens.

National Monument
National Monument

The work began, and they required 12 horses and 70 men to carry huge lintels on top of the Calton Hills.

The initiators met with embarrassing failures when the work stopped in 1829. They were able to set up only 12 columns. Their failure was also termed a “national disgrace.”

There have been multiple suggestions regarding the use of the monument, all of which failed. In 1907, it was proposed to turn the monument into a national gallery. In the following year, the place was suggested to be used as a site for a Scottish Parliament.

Despite its unfortunate history, The National Monument of Scotland is of great significance to the country and its architecture. (1, 2)

9. Sathorn Unique Tower

The Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 halted the construction of the Sathorn Unique Tower when it was only half done. Now, the 49-story marvelous skyscraper stands abandoned in the middle of the capital city of Bangkok. The building gives a weird eerie feeling, and locals say it is haunted.

Sathorn Unique Tower
Image credits: Karasev Viktor/

During the 1990s when Thailand’s economy was booming, multiple construction projects were initiated. The Sathorn Skyscraper was one of those projects that aimed at featuring luxurious offices and residences.

Sathorn tower
Sathorn tower

The country’s economy decreased heavily to a mere 10% of what it used to be in 1998. Most of the ambitious construction projects including the huge skyscraper halted. 

Years after the financial crisis, some of the projects finally came to an end, and construction on the Sathorn Tower also resumed. However, the progress is negligibly slow since the developers are still broke and unwilling to take on too much risk. 

The building looks very bizarre with its interior exposed, which gives it a post-apocalyptic look. (Source)


10. Alai Minar 

Alai Minar is an incomplete tower located near the famous Qutub Minar in Delhi. It was initiated by Alauddin Khilji and was intended to rise twice as high as the 239-foot-tall Qutub Minar. After Khilji died in 1316, the half-finished stone was just deserted by later generations.

Alai Minar

The ruler Khilji, who called himself the “Second Alexander,” worked on the project of Alai Minar only to outdo the nearby Qutub Minar built by Qutubuddin Aibak.

Alai Minar
Alai Minar

Since the Qutub Minar was a magnificent, famous structure and the only one of its kind in India, Alai Minar was planned to be twice its size.

Khilji was undoubtedly a very successful ruler in the Indian subcontinent, and to celebrate his pride, he proposed building the tall monument. His idea behind building the so-called “Tower of Victory” was to build a tower so high that it couldn’t be exceeded.

Discovering the precise date of the Qutub Minar’s construction is difficult, but it is estimated to have been around 1300 CE. Khilji could only witness the construction of one story of his ambitious project.

The monument was soon abandoned, and today, only a 27-meter-high, six stories of a circular mass can be seen at the place. (Source)

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