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This seems to happen particularly with Wonders - suddenly the game will inform me that building has stopped on a particular building without any further explanation. The building is then converted into gold.

Why is this happening? How can I tell what has caused it (where do I look) and how can I prevent it happening in future?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

When another civilization completes the wonder you are currently building, your progress will be refunded back to you as gold.

As for other buildings, its possible the building under construction has become obsolete.

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@yx - and how, in game, can you know what the cause was? –  Wikis Mar 31 '11 at 19:42
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@wikis it will tell you, "xzy has been built in a far away country" or if you have met them it will specify the country it was built in. –  Kyle Mar 31 '11 at 19:44
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I don't know of any possible cause other than the wonder being completed elsewhere. –  DJClayworth Mar 31 '11 at 19:56
    
Walls are about the only building that go obsolete, if memory serves... –  Raven Dreamer Mar 31 '11 at 21:39
    
Many wonders do go obsolete too. So do Monuments. –  Sejanus Apr 1 '11 at 7:07
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