The Cultural Wonders Project was created by a group of students; friends with an innate desire for discovery. For years — in Discord calls or late-night meetups — the group spoke of their individual experiences traveling the world and their self-studies of the rich histories of humanity. These evolved into a desire to discover more about each other and ourselves, and the cultures spanning the Eurasian continent from which we hailed. Increasingly lamenting the growing inaccessibility of our respective native cultures due to high costs, geopolitical instability, the outright destruction of history, and yes, the global pandemic, we decided to bring the world to you.
The Project is a non-profit dedicated to our motto: bringing the world together, one block at a time. We seek to address the accessibility barrier that plagues cultural exchange, where money is the chief determinant to exploration; every month, we seek to release a new interactive project for all to explore, alongside a short article about its history and significance.
With rising intersectional hostility and regional instability, travel to certain regions becomes difficult and risky. Our works will address this issue, focusing primarily — but not exclusively — on such regions where travel is dangerous.
In keeping with the idea that cultural exchange should be accessible, all our maps are free to download; simply unzip the file and drag it to the saves folder. We accept voluntary contributions to assist in our creative endeavors — essentially Wikipedia-style donations. All proceeds will go to maintaining our infrastructure and paying the staff.
A recreation in a video game is in no way a replacement to the original. We highly recommend visiting the wonders in person, as no amount of work in a game where the smallest detail is a 1m block can perfectly capture centuries if not millennia of history. In this time and for certain destinations, we recommend visiting only when it is safe to do so.
There will be .zip folders available under each build's page, hosted on a trusted third-party website. These files are taken directly from the builder's game, and are compatible with Minecraft versions 1.14.4+. The worlds are all superflat to make file sizes smaller.
Ensure you have downloaded, installed, and played Minecraft at least once before attempting to install a map. After downloading the maps, unzip the .zip folder in the "Downloads" directory of File Explorer by right-clicking the downloaded file and selecting "Extract All". Copy the newly unzipped folder (this is different from the .zip folder!), then press keys Windows+R. In the menu that appears, type "%appdata%/.minecraft/saves/" into the prompted box. This should bring up your Minecraft saves directory. Paste the maps into this folder, launch the game, and play.
We recommend a minimum render distance of at least 24 chunks for most builds, though higher will allow you to see more at once. If your computer cannot handle such a high render distance, consider downloading and installing OptiFine or similar mod, such as Sodium, for a boosted framerate. OptiFine is a well-known mod that boosts user experience with many additional features; with it you can use shaders, which give Minecraft more realistic graphics.
Quite the opposite. Most builds are done by volunteers and compensated with a fraction of donations/sponsorships, while any commissioned builds are paid for out of pocket. Project infrastructure and advertising is also paid out of pocket. For the purposes of user experience, we hope to keep ads off the website with the help of donors.
You can sponsor us via Patreon or a PayPal donation. These donations help us pay for project infrastructure and compensate builders, and in return you will receive exclusive benefits. More information can be found on the Donate page.
What looks good in real life does not necessarily look good in Minecraft. We have added and removed small details to make the builds look better, according to builder interpretation; a door or window or pillar might be missing or added here or there. The core of the build remains high-fidelity.
We are always looking for highly talented builders, however we have selective selection criteria. At the very least, you should be proficient in building with worldedit and be willing to spend hours on each project, and a strong professional portfolio detailing capability in structures, terraforming, and/or organics. You can apply in the "Contact" page.
We will judge community submissions according to rigorous criteria. Those which are accepted will be published with full credits to the builder. You can submit builds by contacting us directly.
No, however there are many high-quality build teams and freelancers who provide high-quality builds for reasonable prices.
Sadly, as it stands with travel restrictions and the difficulty with building with only piecemeal image with few frames of reference, we found it extremely difficult to build interiors as of now. In the future, when the current crisis has stabilized and travel is possible, we hope to be able to visit these places in person, take comprehensive notes, and revamp the builds to include interiors.