Documenting the past of mankind comprises, among other activities, the survey of monuments and cultural artefacts, for long provided by archaeologists and architects using traditional methods. However, due to the recent major technological advances in surveying, photogrammetric and laser scanning methods, surveyors are enabled to produce recording materials and end products, which surpass by far the traditional line drawings in terms of accuracy and completeness. These methodologies are able to offer products like orthophotos, raster developments, 3D representations and realistic visualizations as well as augmented reality tours. This paper investigates the principles and capabilities of contemporary and technologically advanced methods in: capturing huge amount of detailed, accurate and reliable 3D data, modelling of existing and virtual reality, management of 3D or image-based databases. Several examples covering a broad variety of cases, regarding the historical era, the size and the complexity of the monument and also the final products are presented.