Published: 04th January 2022
What happened on January 4: The birth of the Burj and a man named Braille opened eyes
The day marks the inauguration of the half-a-mile tall building that is truly a sight to behold and the celebration of a person who gifted communication to the unsighted
January 4 is a landmark day for architecture enthusiasts because guess which building was officially opened to the public on this day? The Burj Khalifa of course! But did you know that it was originally supposed to be the Burj Dubai? The mind-boggling skyscraper is a record-breaker in multiple respects. Besides being the tallest building in the world at 828 metres, it has six other world records owing to its height.
Even the elevators installed in the building are nothing short of awe-inspiring. It has the elevator with the farthest travel distance in the world at 140 floors. And it is so speedy that it takes only one minute to reach the observatory deck on the 124th floor. At that height, the building's top can be seen from a whopping 95 km. To make a building of such gigantic proportions, one can imagine the cost of it being equally humongous. It cost the Emirati people an earth-shattering $1.5 billion and required around 22 million man-hours to make it. A building made of just big numbers indeed.
The day is also celebrated as World Braille Day in honour of the inventor of the Braille system, Louis Braille, whose birth anniversary falls on the same day. The Frenchman, who was born in 1809, had an accident when he was just three and went blind in one eye. Unfortunately, an infection spreading meant that he was completely blinded soon. Upon growing up, he was determined to develop a system to aid the unsighted in communicating with the outside world.
He invented a system based on fellow Frenchman Charles Barbier's method of raised dots to convey the different letters of the alphabet. His legacy spread far and wide across the world. India released a set of Rs 100 and Rs 2 commemorative coins on his 200th birth anniversary.