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Crown of Palaces
If you think Metal Earth models are just too small, Iconx was made for you. Their larger size can accommodate even more laser-etched detail on 4" x 8" (10.16 x 20.32 cm) metal sheets. Pop out the pieces by hand (or use wire cutters to get especially crisp lines), bend the tabs using needle-nose pliers, and fit them together as shown in the simple pictorial instructions.
The Taj Mahal is a moderately challenging Iconx model. It consists of about 46 pieces on two sheets of metal. A Mughal emperor commissioned the Taj in 1632 to house the tomb of his favorite wife. Assembled, it measures 2.5"H x 3.5" x 3.5".
Please note that Iconx models have sharp edges and are not suitable for small children. Recommended for ages 14+.
Are you curious...?
One sad day in 1631, a Persian princess named Mumtaz Mahal died while giving birth to her 14th child. Her bereaved husband, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, commissioned the Taj Mahal as her tomb. Construction began the next year, with Mumtaz's mausoleum completed in 1643 and most of the surrounding buildings and gardens finished in 1648. By the time the whole complex was finished in 1653, the emperor had spent the equivalent of US$827 million, employing some 20,000 artisans. Shortly after it was finally finished, Shah Jahan was deposed by his son Aurangzeb and placed under house arrest in nearby Agra Fort. Upon Jahan's death, Aurangzeb interred him in the mausoleum next to his wife, ending their love story as happily as could be hoped.
Invaders despoiled the Taj in the 17th century but didn't damage the structure. British soldiers defaced it during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, and by the end of the 19th century the Taj Mahal was in pretty dumpy shape. A British viceroy ordered repairs, which were finished in 1908, and the gardens were transformed into the English-style lawns that are still there today. The building was hidden under scaffolds to confuse enemy bomber pilots during wars in 1942, 1965, and 1971. Since then, environmental degradation has posed the greatest threat to the Taj. Pollution has been turning the buildings yellow, while the falling water table caused wooden foundations, exposed to air after centuries underwater, to begin rotting. By 2011, some architects predicted that the tomb could collapse within five years. (Spoiler: It hasn't yet.)