We're sure that every architect, and every city planner, claims that their design is purely being chosen for aesthetic and artistic reasons, but we all know the real truth.
Ever since the Tower of Babel, large buildings have been a giant game of one-upmanship: a race to see who can boast that they have the tallest building around. Boris Johnson, we're looking at you viz-a-viz London.
This fantastic chart from Halcyon Maps documents the evolving history of the tallest building on six of the seven continents (we're sure there must be a hut somewhere that boasts the title of 'Tallest building on Antarctica').
Churches, skyscrapers and even pyramids all feature through history: take a closer look at the images below by clicking to zoom and see how things have progressed. How high will we be in another hundred years? You can buy a print of the many excellent Halcyon Maps posters from their shop.
NB: The chart shows the name and to-scale silhouette of each building, the years during which it was the continent's tallest, and year of construction (unless it's the same as the year when it became the world's tallest). If it's grey, it's considered a monument or tower, and not a "proper" building, if it's red, it held the world record at one point in its history. Happy browsing.