Ancient Ziggurats

Have you been to the top of the old ziggurat yet? Best view of the city from up there if you ask me
— Overheard from a tourist

A Distinctive style

The most iconic thing about Gran Riomar are its ziggurats, especially its ancient ones. They dominate the city skyline and have inspired the style of many of the buildings in the more modern city. There are five of them in total, each one representing an advancement in technology for the civilisation that built them. They are spread out through the city and form the centre of the five city districts.  


The ziggurats were built by a civilisation which lived in this region over two thousand years ago. The Athmesa were a prosperous people who occupied the broad delta river valley and the surrounding lands. They were a deeply religious people who believed in the universal song, a belief system that was preserved over the centuries and is seeing a resurgence in modern times.  
The Athmesan civilisation spanned nearly a thousand years, and during this time they constructed the ziggurats one after the other. The sound chambers inside saw the biggest changes in design and material use, and it is generally believed that it was these chambers that the Athmesans were trying to perfect.   After much study archaeologists realised that the unusual chambers within the ziggurat reacted to sound in differing ways. They brought in the help of some musical experts and began the process of mapping the properties of the various chambers.
Research has determined that the Athmesa built the ziggurats as a sign of their technological advancement and as a means of protection. They were designed as near impenetrable fortresses from the outside, but the techniques used to construct the internal sound chambers reveal the Athmesan's true talents with construction.
— Excerpt from a research journal

Eenwethe Ziggurat

The last and biggest ziggurat that the Athmesans built, Eenwethe is probably the most famous. It is the tallest building in the city and is also the most preserved of the ancient ziggurats. Standing in the heart of the Old City District it is a big draw for tourists and locals alike. Over the years it has served many purposes, from temple, to government building, to its current mult-purpose function.   A few of the sound chambers have been perfectly preserved and are still being studied. The second floor has become a museum and houses the biggest collection of Athmesan artifacts and history in the city. At the top of the Ziggurat is a large building with pillars instead of walls, which stands in the centre of the large, flat open top of the ziggurat. This top floor is used for special events such as festival celebrations, weddings, and concerts.

Design Influence

The distinctive stepped architecture of the ziggurats can be seen repeated throughout the city in the more modern buildings, though none match the scale of their ancient counterparts. Modern building techniques and materials also allow for more room inside the than the original buildings, which used massive amounts of stone to support their weight.

Garden Space

The flat step areas of Eenwethe ziggurat have been given over to gardens and follies. Small courtyards give areas to relax amongst the gardens. These areas are mostly tended by the residents of the district, though some are maintained by the state. This idea has also spread the city and there are more and more homes now with small rooftop or balcony gardens.


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