Iconic landmarks in the world | Sunday Observer

Iconic landmarks in the world

26 September, 2021

Have you ever come across a building or a monument that is so famous and widely recognised, that everyone would know about it instantly?

These landmarks have been recognised for their historical value and complex structures. Today, Imeth de Silva talks about a number of these landmarks which have lasted throughout the centuries and some of which, have even been included in the Seven Wonders of the World.


 The Acropolis of Athens


The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient fortress that stands on high ground, above the city of Athens. It is the most famous Acropolis out of many, which have been built across Greece and even has a history dating back to the Neolithic period between 4000–3200 BCE. Interestingly, the Acropolis was first built with the aim of using it in military defence.

But later, it turned into a site of religious significance. The most notable temple, the Parthenon, was dedicated to the Greek Goddess of War, Athena. The Acropolis remains to date as a landmark for the ancient Greek civilisation and its historical significance.


The Great Pyramid of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza, located in Cairo, Egypt is the only wonder of the ancient world that has survived to the present day, lasting more than 4,000 years.

The tallest of the pyramids, Khufu, was established as the tallest man-made structure for nearly 3800 years, reaching a height of nearly 150 metres.

This unbelievable structure took 27 years to build and it was believed to be a tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh, Khufu. Despite many theories about how exactly these pyramids were built, it still remains a great mystery even today and still continues to bamboozle the minds of people all over the world.


The Colosseum

 Listed as one of the seven wonders in the world, the Colosseum is an oval-shaped amphitheatre in Rome, Italy.

It remains as the largest amphitheatre to date and is believed to be at least 1,900 years old. Construction wrok on the Colosseum began in the reign of the Roman emperor, Vespasian.

It was made out of limestone and concrete and could host an estimated crowd of 50,000 to 65,000 spectators! However, the Colosseum was home to brutal events, such as gladiatorial contests, animal hunting and executions. It remains a famous tourist attraction and an eye-catching landmark.



 The Leaning Tower of Pisa

 The Leaning Tower of Pisa is in the Italian city, Pisa. Construction work on the tower started in the 12th century. Due to the unstable foundations and the soft ground that had difficulty in supporting the weight of 14, 000 metric tons, the tower started to lean from the side.

By 1990, it had tilted 5.5 degrees but due to the work done from 1993 to 2001, the tower was stabilised to a certain extent, by reducing the tilt to 3.97 degrees.

The carefully kept centre of gravity at the base, prevents the tower from falling. It is estimated that the tower is actually falling at a rate of one to two millimetres per year. However, it remains a centre of attraction for tourists worldwide.


Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is a famous tourist attraction near the Yamuna River in Agra, India.

It was built from 1632 to 1653, during the reign of the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan. It was built to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

The Taj Mahal in 2021 would cost approximately 1 billion USD to build. It is rumored that more than 20,000 labourers used to work on this project.

Today, the Taj Mahal is recognised as one of the seven wonders in the world and is a widely admired masterpiece, which reflects the expertise of Mughal architecture.


The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France, was named after Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed the tower.

The Eiffel Tower is 324 metres in height and held the record for the tallest man-made structure in the world for 41 years, from 1889 to 1930. The Tower has three levels for visitors. The first and second levels are mostly occupied by restaurants and the third level is the observation deck.

Sixty tons of paint is applied on the Eiffel tower every seven years to keep the iron from rusting. It remains a famous landmark in France with millions of tourists visiting it each year.