Clay bricks are one of the oldest known pre-assembled building materials dating back to the Neolithic period (8000-6000 BC). In Europe, bricks were used extensively during the Roman Empire. But also cultures beyond Europe used their brickwork to enhance architecture. This can still be seen today in buildings such as the Islamic Samanide mausoleum or the traditional Buddhist King City Bagan in Myanmar.
Today, buildings in the German brick Gothic style (as of 1200) can be found in many German Hanseatic cities - the Lübecker Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church of Lübeck) is 38.5 metres high and has the highest brick vault in the world.
Today, the traditional, small brick is used mainly as a facade element. In the Western world, brick has lost its significance as a load-bearing, constructive masonry element. However, in developing countries, brick is still an important construction material.
Some exciting images of brick production and brickwork construction in Asian countries are shown here.