During WWII, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, flattening almost everything within a three-kilometer radius. One of the few exceptions was this building, the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, an arts and education exhibit hall. It was the only structure left standing near the hypoenter of the blast.
The building was so loved that it was decided to preserve the skeletal ruins. In the years following the war, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park was developed around the Dome, and the city of Hiroshima adopted a resolution to preserve the building in perpetuity. Today the Atomic Bomb Dome, (Genbaku Dome), stands as a reminder of the atrocities of war and a memorial to peace. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.