Megastructure bigger than SIX Big Bens with world’s largest clock is 4th tallest building on Earth…but you won’t know it

Megastructure bigger than SIX Big Bens with world’s largest clock is 4th tallest building on Earth…but you won’t know it

IN THE heart of the Middle East lies a megastruture that’s bigger than six Big Ben’s and boasts the world’s largest clock.

The Makkah Royal Clock Tower stands at a colossal 1,972ft tall and is the tallest building in Saudi Arabia – and the fourth-tallest in the world.

AFPAn aerial view of the Mecca Royal Clock Tower, in the holy city of Mecca[/caption]

AFPThe structure is located just 300 metres away from Islam’s most sacred site, the Great Mosque of Mecca[/caption]

GettyThe tower stands at a colossal 1,972ft tall[/caption]

The Mecca Clock Tower is six times the size of Big Ben and also dwarfs The Shard

It’s also the sixth-tallest freestanding structure on Earth, falling behind the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the Merdeka 118 in Kuala Lumpur, the Tokyo Skytree in Tokyo, the Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, and the Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China.

Located in the city of Mecca, the holiest place in the Islamic world, it was built as part of the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project that aims to modernise the city in catering to its pilgrims.

More than 3 million of them head to the world’s largest mosque and Islam’s most sacred site, the Great Mosque of Mecca located just 300 metres away, during the annual Hajj.

The tower is also the centrepiece of the government-owned Abraj Al Bait Complex, which boasts seven luxury skyscraper hotels.

Inside the Clock Tower you will find a five-story shopping mall and a parking garage capable of holding over a thousand vehicles.

At the top of the building is the Clock Tower Museum, which occupies the top four floors.

Within the spire, there is an astrological observatory, an exhibition space, and an observation deck.

The golden crescent even contains a prayer room for the royal family and dignitaries and is the highest occupied man-made space in the world.

As for the clock itself, it stands at total height of 187ft.

The roof of the clock is 1,480ft above ground, making it the world’s most elevated architectural clock.

With 123 floors, The Makkah Royal Clock Tower is one of the most impressive pieces of architecture ever made.

But it came at a price, with the total cost of construction making it the world’s second most expensive building.

From start to finish, it racked up a final bill of $15billion (£11.9billion).

After construction started in 2002, it would take nine years before it was completed – and ten until it opened.

The tower was built by German engineers SL Rasch, who began their work 1,138ft above the ground with a structure of steel weighing 12,000 tons.

Elsewhere, mind-boggling plans for the tallest skyscraper in the US have been revealed and it will not be built in New York.

The ambitious project intends to be bigger than One World Trade Center – but the location choice is unexpected.

And the world’s tallest building abandoned halfway through construction may finally be completed – more than a decade after works begun.

Billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed Bin Tala’s ambitious plans to construct a one-kilometre-high tower in Saudi Arabia came to an abrupt halt amid an apparent power play between the rich.

AFPThe tower looms over the holy city of Mecca[/caption]

GettyA bird-eye view of the city from the top of the tower’s spire[/caption]

GettyA five-story shopping mall can be found inside the Clock Tower[/caption]

GettyThe main entrance to the Clock Tower, which includes a 5-star hotel and a museum[/caption]

AFPThe time of day or night can be read from miles away[/caption]

GettyThe Clock Tower is six times bigger than Big Ben in London[/caption]

GettyIt also stands taller than The Shard[/caption]

GettyMecca’s Clock Tower is 522ft taller than the Empire State Building[/caption]

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