Many of the worlds most famous landmarks have helped to shape and define a countries cultural identity.
From the ancient monuments of the past to today’s iconic structures and cities, humans have left a lasting mark on the planet.
Some of these iconic places are even viewable from space!
How many of these famous landmarks have you visited, and more importantly which ones do you plan on visiting next?
1. Eiffel Tower
There is little disagreement among historians, architects, and others over which edifice is the most renowned landmark in the world.
The Eiffel Tower, located in Paris, France, is one of the world’s most iconic and recognized tower-like buildings, and it is one of the most visited locations in Europe and the rest of the globe.
The Eiffel Tower was planned by renowned French architect Stephen Sauvestre, with structural engineering work completed by Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier.
Construction on the project started in 1887, and news of it was widely distributed in publications across the globe. The Eiffel Tower was completed two years later in 1889, and it has since become one of the world’s most recognizable structures.
The Eiffel Tower has become its own iconic emblem, and it is often used to represent the city of Paris or the France in general.
For those who reside in and around Paris, the tower is affectionately known as “La dame de fer,” which translates as “the Iron Lady.”
It was the tallest building in the world until 1930, when the Chrysler Building in New York City surpassed it.
2. Statue of Liberty
In what was once the country’s most popular port city, one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks stands.
The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in 1886 and placed on Liberty Island off the coast of New York City.
It was created by France and the United States as a sign of hope for anybody entering the United States via what was once a major immigration route.
The official name of the statue is Liberty Enlightening the World, although it is often referred to as the Statue of Liberty.
It is 151 feet and 1 inch tall and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean in a location where many immigrants arrived in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a French artist, designed the monument, while Gustave Eiffel directed its construction. Lady Liberty is shown with a torch and a tablet.
3. Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is often regarded as one of the world’s seven wonders. Its design is essentially Islamic, and it is located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India, where the Persian empire previously reigned.
According to historians, the Mughal emperor Uttar Pradesh built this spectacular structure to serve as a mausoleum for one of his most illustrious wives, Mumtaz Mahal.
The Taj Mahal was initially commissioned in 1632, and it took more than two decades to complete until it was completed in 1653.
The Taj Mahal is a huge 42-acre compound encircled by stunning gardens and guarded by four 130-foot-tall watchtowers.
Over 20,000 workmen, stonecutters, embroiderers, and other laborers were employed throughout its construction.
4. Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is a network of fortifications erected across the historical northern frontiers of ancient Chinese kingdoms and Imperial China to guard against nomadic nomads from the Eurasian Steppe.
Several walls were constructed beginning in the 7th century BC, with selected lengths being connected together by Qin Shi Huang (220-206 BC), China’s first emperor.
Little of the Qin wall survives today. Later, several consecutive kingdoms constructed and maintained many lengths of boundary walls. The Ming dynasty constructed the most well-known parts of the wall (1368–1644).
Aside from defense, the Great Wall has served additional objectives such as border control, permitting the application of tariffs on products moved over the Silk Road, trade regulation or promotion, and immigration and emigration control.
Furthermore, the Great Wall’s defensive properties were increased by the building of watchtowers, soldier barracks, garrison stations, signaling capabilities through smoke or fire, and the fact that the Great Wall’s course also functioned as a transit channel.
Today, the Great Wall’s defense structure is widely regarded as one of the most spectacular architectural marvels in history.
The Colosseum is one of the most famous landmarks in the world, and it is often used to symbolize the Roman Empire in all its splendor.
The large structure was a key landmark in ancient Rome since it served as a venue for many of the empire’s athletic events, which were typically brutal occasions that featured the terrible deaths of combat athletes, as well as reports of slaves being fed to dangerous animals.
The structure is claimed to have been constructed during Vespasian’s reign during the Flavian Dynasty, which occurred about 70 A.D. The construction is a massive oval amphitheater in the center of the Roman Forum’s eastern part.
It is the world’s biggest ancient amphitheater and one of several erected during the Roman Empire’s first two centuries of control in Italy and the surrounding region.
Although the construction was begun under Vespasian’s supervision, it was completed in 80 A.D. by his successor, Titus.
The Colosseum has undergone several renovations throughout the decades since it was erected, yet it has mostly remained intact.
Much of the Colosseum is still standing as it was when it was initially built, however the southern half of the top part of the massive amphitheater has subsequently fallen.
6. Sydney Opera House
Because of its distinctive architecture, the Sydney Opera House is often regarded as one of the world’s most iconic places. The structure was designed to mimic a giant sailing vessel parked at a local port or let adrift on the water near the city’s shoreline.
Designer Jrn Utzon attempted to create a structure of exceptional beauty while also incorporating characteristics associated with Sydney, such as its ports and shipping industries.
The Sydney Opera House is a huge, interconnected collection of halls and theaters that comprise the whole structure. Overall, these 7 separate opera halls and theaters provide guests with a broad range of activities ranging from musical performances to ballet and others.
Construction on the project started in 1959, and teams worked for more than a decade before the Sydney Opera House was completed in 1974.
The gigantic edifice is renowned as one of Australia’s most identifiable monuments because to its many “sails” that give the Sydney Opera House the impression of a giant sailing ship at sea.
This design is credited with earning the Sydney Opera House recognition as one of the country’s most well-known National Heritage Sites, as well as several other accolades from international organizations.
7. Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is generally regarded as one of the world’s most iconic buildings. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most visited attractions in the United States, with an estimated 10 million visitors per year.
Since its construction, the bridge has been a symbol of San Francisco due to its unique red color and structural skill.
Construction of the bridge started in 1933 and was not completed until 1937, following a massive effort by architects, workers, and many others involved in the project.
The Golden Gate Bridge was conceived in 1917 by renowned engineer Joseph Strauss, but it took several years for financing to be granted and all of the project’s components to come together.
Irving Morrow, a well-known professional builder and designer who was also a California native, was the bridge’s principal architect.
The building has 6 lanes of traffic and runs 4,200 feet from one end to the other, with the top reaching a height of 746 feet. It is one of the world’s largest suspension bridges and an architectural masterpiece.
8. Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a miracle of architecture that has long defined architects and enthralled historians. This tower in Pisa, Italy, was originally erected in the 12th century to function as a bell tower.
Other sections of Italy were home to spectacular buildings and constructions built to showcase the builders’ architectural ability and to adorn their towns throughout this medieval time.
This tower was initially created by renowned Italian architect Bonanno Pisano, who was generally regarded as one of Italy’s most accomplished sculptors and architects throughout the 12th century. The tower’s construction started in 1173 and took more than a century to finish in 1372.
Just a few years after its construction, the Tilting Tower of Pisa started to exhibit evidence of fundamental flaws, and residents of Pisa began to notice that the tower was significantly leaning after just a decade.
For hundreds of years, the earth under one side of the tower has been eroding, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been slowly lowering.
The tower has not toppled since then, due to contemporary architects’ tireless efforts to incorporate counterweights to keep the structure from falling over. Because of its unusual form, it has become one of the world’s most recognizable tower constructions.
9. Sagrada Familia
Most of the cathedrals found across Europe are ornately crafted and considered architectural wonders when compared to other landmarks.
Those who reside in Barcelona as well as those who visit the city generally agree that the Sagrada Familia is the most stunningly beautiful edifice in the whole city.
This large, high-rise cathedral is renowned as one of the most stunning constructions in the Catholic religion, and its towering towers give it a unique aspect that makes it one of the world’s most famous cathedrals.
This is another building created by Antoni Gaud, and many see it as his best accomplishment in comparison to his many other works in Barcelona and around Spain.
The Sagrada Familia is an edifice that practically everyone who sees believes is visually beautiful in a variety of ways.
The vast church can accommodate up to 9,000 guests at a time, and the four towering towers at its main entrance are what make it one of the world’s most recognizable cathedrals.
The two tallest of these structures reach a stunning height of 560 feet. Despite the fact that the Sagrada Familia was conceived in 1882, construction is still ongoing today, with the project scheduled to be finished in 2026.
10. Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca fortress built on a 2,430-meter (7,970 ft) mountain crest in the Eastern Cordillera in southern Peru.
It is situated 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Cusco in the Machupicchu District of Urubamba Province, above the Sacred Valley. The Urubamba River runs by it, carving a canyon through the Cordillera and providing a tropical mountain environment.
In contrast to the Maya, the Incas had no written language, and no Europeans visited the site until the 19th century, according to what is known. As a result, there are no written records of the site’s usage.
The names of the structures, their alleged purposes, and their residents were all created by contemporary archeologists based on physical evidence, including graves at the site.
Archaeologists now assume that Machu Picchu was built as a private residence for Inca ruler Pachacuti (1438–1472). It is the most well-known Inca emblem, sometimes referred to as the “Lost City of the Incas.” The estate was erected in 1450 by the Incas but abandoned a century later, after the Spanish conquest.
11. Big Ben
Big Ben is a London tower clock known for its unrivaled precision and enormous hour bell weighing 15.1 tons.
It is an emblem of the United Kingdom and an identifying shot in films set in London. Big Ben is a must-see site for travelers in London and around England since it is a British cultural landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Big Ben is housed in the Elizabeth Tower, which was once known as the Clock Tower. Although Big Ben is the nickname for the Great Bell at London’s Palace of Westminster, the moniker also refers to the clock and the clock tower.
Big Ben was finished in 1859, and it became the world’s biggest and most accurate clock. Big Ben is the largest of the tower’s five bells.
The Big Ben is said to have been named after either Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw its construction, or Benjamin Caunt, a heavyweight boxing champion. The tower clock has undergone various restorations to enhance its look since its erection.
Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument in Wiltshire, England, two miles (3 kilometers) west of Amesbury.
It is composed of an outer ring of vertical sarsen standing stones that are around 13 feet (4.0 m) high, seven feet (2.1 m) wide, and weigh approximately 25 tons, topped by connecting horizontal lintel stones.
A ring of tiny bluestones surrounds the inside. Inside are free-standing trilithons and two larger vertical sarsens connected by a single lintel.
The whole landmark is oriented toward the sunlight on the summer solstice. The stones are situated inside earthworks in the heart of England’s densest cluster of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments.
Stonehenge is a British cultural symbol and one of the most recognized sites in the United Kingdom.
Since 1882, when legislation to safeguard historic monuments was first successfully enacted in Britain, it has been a legally protected Scheduled Ancient Monument.
In 1986, UNESCO included the tower and its surrounds to the list of World Heritage Sites. The Crown owns Stonehenge, which is administered by English Heritage; the National Trust owns the surrounding area.
13. Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia that is the world’s biggest religious monument, covering 162.6 hectares.
Originally built for the Khmer Empire as a Hindu temple devoted to the deity Vishnu, it was progressively turned into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century, and as such it is sometimes referred to as a “Hindu-Buddhist” temple.
Angkor Wat, the best-preserved temple on the site, is the only one that has remained an important religious center since its construction. The temple represents the pinnacle of Khmer architecture’s high classical style.
It is a key pilgrimage place for Buddhists in Cambodia and across the globe, and it had a significant part in transforming Cambodia into a Buddhist country. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, featuring on the national flag, and is the biggest tourist destination in the country.
14. St. Basil’s Cathedral
St. Basil’s Cathedral is Russia’s most recognizable and culturally significant structure. This massive, beautiful landmark is situated in Moscow’s famed Red Square and was initially built as a church in the mid-16th century.
The cathedral was designed by Ivan Barma and Postnik Yakovlev, who are recognized as some of the finest Russian architects of all time and are known to have planned and built many other notable structures around the nation.
St. Basil’s Cathedral is noted for its distinctive design, which incorporates incredibly colorful and vivid designs that adorn each of the church’s towers.
Construction on this structure began in 1555 and was finished in 1561 under the reign of Ivan IV Vasilyevich, also known as “Ivan the Terrible” throughout history.
It was the tallest structure in Moscow for a brief time, but it is most known for the bright palette of colors that are beautifully put out over the different towers and mosaic-style patterns both within and outside the cathedral.
St. Basil’s Cathedral was taken from the church in the years after the Bolshevik Revolution, which saw millions of Russians slaughtered and official atheism imposed throughout the country.
15. Empire State Building
On March 17, 1930, construction on the Empire State Building, the world’s first skyscraper with 100 or more floors, started.
Construction took a record-breaking year and 45 days to complete. Six distinct American states are seen from this vantage point. Because of its massive size, the structure has its own ZIP code (10118). (more than 2.8 million leasable square feet).
At its tallest point, the Empire State Building stands 380 meters (1,250 ft). The structure’s entire height, including the spire and antenna, is 1,454 feet (443 meters).
It is now the city’s fourth-tallest building, the sixth-tallest in America, and the world’s 43rd-tallest skyscraper.
There are 1,872 stairs going up to their 102nd floor observatory. You’re talking about a lot of work now!
Because the Empire State Building has 73 Otis elevators, you won’t have to work up a sweat simply to enjoy the sights.
16. Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is a popular tourist site for people from all over the globe.
After all, it is not only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but it is also the oldest, having been erected over 1,200 years before King Tut reigned.
The Great Pyramid is located just outside of Giza, rather than inside it. For almost 4,000 years, it was thought to be the highest man-made building in the world at its original height of 146.5 m (481 ft).
Today, however, its height has decreased by 9.5 m (31 ft), and it presently stands at 137 m.
Visitors may now enjoy and explore the pyramids for a price, whether alone or as part of a tour group.
Those who are unable to get there in the meanwhile might check it up through satellite. The structures are large enough to be visible from space and have been the subject of several satellite images.
17. Great Sphinx of Giza
One of the world’s finest sculptures is also one of its biggest mysteries. The Great Sphinx of Giza, which stands at the foot of the famed pyramids of the ancient city, has long perplexed scientists and historians.
Much of the building remained buried for hundreds of years until archaeologists uncovered the lion-like body after excavating around what they thought was the base of the statue in the early 1800s.
The Sphinx’s general function is uncertain, and its exact age is unknown as well. It’s one of the most interesting ancient Egyptian paintings that have survived, with the head of a person and the body of a lion.
Weathering at the base of the Sphinx suggests that it was exposed to thousands of years of rainfall, according to geologists. Considering a result, its origins are a mystery, as the land surrounding Giza has been a desert for almost all of recorded history.
18. Christ the Redeemer
Christ the Redeemer is another well-known landmark that has become a symbol of the nation in which it is situated. It is perched on a granite protrusion overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
It is a famous tourist attraction in the city since it is both a landmark for the capital city and a prominent emblem of the country’s Catholic religion.
The huge statue of Jesus Christ stands 28 meters tall, but it is really 30 meters tall when the pedestal is included. Because of its elevated location, the statue seems considerably bigger.
The statue was planned by Heitor da Silva Costa and Carlos Oswald, both Rio de Janeiro residents, and was built by French sculptor Paul Landowski.
The monument is one of history’s most renowned works, with Christ’s extended arms instantly identifiable to anybody acquainted with it or the city of Rio de Janeiro.
The city recently placed bright lights at the base, which are used to illuminate the monument at night with a variety of colors, most typically the green and yellow colours seen in the Brazilian flag.
19. Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis of Athens is a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens that houses the ruins of numerous ancient structures of considerable architectural and historical value, the most renowned of which is the Parthenon.
The term acropolis is derived from the Greek terms akron (“highest point, extreme”) and polis (“city”) (polis, “city”). The name acropolis is generic, as there are several acropoleis across Greece.
The Acropolis of Athens was also known as Cecropia in ancient times, after the mythological serpent-man Cecrops, the purported first Athenian ruler.
While there is evidence that the hill was occupied as early as the fourth millennium BC, it was Pericles (c. 495-429 BC) in the fifth century BC who oversaw the construction of the most notable structures on the site, including the Parthenon, Propylaea, Erechtheion, and Temple of Athena Nike.
The Parthenon and other structures were severely damaged during the Venetian siege of Athens during the Morean War in 1687, when gunpowder stored in the Parthenon was struck by a Venetian bombardment and detonated.