This is a rare look at some of the most famous constructions in the world way before they turned into the landmarks we all know today.
1. Statue of Liberty
Definitely one of the most well-known and easily recognizable statues in the world, the Statue of Liberty looks upon the people of New York from its base on Liberty Island. It was dedicated in 1886 and was actually designed by a French architect called Frederic Auguste Bartholdi. In fact, the entire statue was a gift from the people of France which is why you will also find a smaller replica in Paris. Speaking of which…
2. Eiffel Tower
Just three years after the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, Paris gained its own landmark, the Eiffel Tower, named after the person who designed it, Gustave Eiffel. When it first appeared, it was quite a sight. It surpassed the Washington Monument for “Tallest manmade thing in the world”, a record it held onto for a whopping 41 years before the construction of the Chrysler Building. Despite this, many prominent Parisians were quite unhappy with the tower. Artists, in particular, felt that the Eiffel Tower was ugly and would ruin the beautiful landscape of Paris.
3. Washington Monument
Before the Eiffel Tower, the Washington Monument was the tallest manmade structure in the world, although it only held the title briefly between 1884 and 1889. It should have been finished way sooner as construction actually began in 1848. However, a combination of politics, lack of funds and the beginning of the Civil War stalled construction on the structure for 23 years, time in which it looked like you see it here.
4. Millau Viaduct
Not all landmarks have to be old. The Millau Viaduct is an incredible achievement in engineering and provides a memorable experience to anyone who drives over it. At a peak summit of 1,125 ft (343 m), it is the tallest bridge in the world and it spans over the valley of the Tarn River near the small town of Millau in France. At first glance, it might not appear quite massive, but here is something to put it in context: from base to summit, it is actually taller than the Eiffel Tower.
5. Manhattan Bridge
From a new bridge, let’s move on to a much older one. The Manhattan Bridge opened in 1909 and, when it was built, it featured many notable engineering firsts. It was quite innovative for its day and it remained the blueprint for suspension bridges for a long time to come.
6. Lincoln Memorial
From an engineering perspective, the Lincoln Memorial is not particularly impressive. However, as symbolism goes, this structure honors one of the greatest (if not the greatest) presidents in the history of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The design itself was a collective effort. The memorial was designed by architect Henry Bacon, the murals inside the memorial were made by painter Jules Guerin and the actual statue of Lincoln was made by sculptor Daniel Chester French.
7. Burj Khalifa
Dubai is a place known for opulence and excess so it makes sense that it would also have the tallest manmade structure in the world. With a height of 2,722 ft (830 m), the Burj Khalifa is a massive skyscraper that absolutely dominates the skyline of the city. Unsurprisingly, the building has numerous records to its credit, including the most floors, the highest elevator installation, the highest nightclub and the highest restaurant.
8. Sydney Opera House
Rarely can one structure become so closely connected to the city it is in, yet you will find it hard to think of Sydney without instantly imagining this building in your head. Despite what its name might suggest, the Sidney Opera House is not just a single venue, but rather a complex multi-venue performance center which hosts over 1,500 individual performances each year.
9. Tower Bridge
Another iconic structure which defines the city it is located in (London), Tower Bridge draws its name from the infamous Tower of London which is close by. It should be noted that many people outside the UK incorrectly call this London Bridge. That is a completely different structure. Opened in 1894, Tower Bridge is a clever combination between a suspension bridge and a bascule (commonly referred to as a drawbridge).
10. Berlin Wall
For almost 30 years, the Berlin Wall was a powerful symbol of the Iron Curtain, a symbol that showed how two different societies can be so close to each other physically, yet so apart ideologically. Raised in 1961, the wall went right through the city of Berlin, essentially splitting the city in half. Unsurprisingly, many of the Germans who lived in the communist Eastern bloc wanted to defect to its western neighbor. Before its erection, around 3.5 million Germans managed to do so. While the wall was in place until 1989, that number plummeted to about 5,000 attempts (and few of them were successful).