10 Incredible Things That You Never Know About Famous World Landmarks!From the Eiffel Tower to the Big Ben, Taj Mahal to the Sydney Opera House, you’ve seen them all in pictures and postcards, but how well do you really know them and their history? We’ve found ten amazing facts about some of the world’s most notable landmarks that are guaranteed to shock and amaze you!
1. The Eiffel Tower was originally destined for Barcelona, Spain but they rejected the project.
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is arguably the most iconic landmark of the city. Built between the years of 1887-1889, the tower was almost taken down more than just a few times. After Paris fell to the Nazis in 1940, The French resistance cut the cables for the elevators in the cherished symbol to keep Hitler from visiting it. Facing the prospect of having to climb over 1,500 stairs to reach the top, he ultimately opted out. Later, he would order the destruction of the structure, however the orders were never carried out. Not only was the Eiffel Tower protected by the French, but the Louvre too. Before the Nazi armies invaded the city in the second World War, the Louvre museum was fully vacated and its contents secretly distributed among wealthy French citizens, to be hidden in their homes around the country.
The Eiffel Tower is not everyone’s cup of tea though. Famed French writer Guy de Maupassant ate lunch at the base of the Eiffel Tower almost every day. His reason for eating at that exact spot? He hated the Eiffel Tower, and that was the only place in the whole of the city, where he couldn’t see the tower.
2. The Christ the Redeemer statue is only the third largest statue of Jesus after Christ the King in Poland and Cristo de la Concordia in Bolivia.
Brazil the fifth largest country in the world and occupies about 47.3% of the total of the area of the of South America, bordering all other countries on the continent except for Ecuador and Chile. It also has the second-highest number of airports in the world, following closely behind the United States. Makes sense when you consider that the Federal Republic of Brazil is composed of the Federal District, 26 states and 5,570 municipalities.
Brazil is one of the most open countries to the LGBTQ community in the world. It is estimated that about 20% of all males in the city of Rio de Janeiro identify as gay or bisexual. Since 2008, under Brazil’s public health system, sex-change surgeries are also free.
3. It takes 20,000 bottles of Windex to clean the New York Public Library's impressive 355 miles of bookshelves.
There are 8,491,079 people living in New York City as of 2014. Sounds like a lot for a single city right? Shockingly enough though, ancient Rome was around 8 times more densely populated than modern NYC! These millions speak more than 800 languages total, making the city of New York the most linguistically diverse one in the world. NYC is known as a melting pot of nationalities, heritages and cultures. As many as 37% of New Yorkers were born in other countries. Lead only by Poland’s capital city of Warsaw, the world’s largest Polish population is located in New York.
Not only Polish, but NYC is also home to the largest Chinese population outside of China and the largest Puerto Rican population of any city in the world, including those actually in Puerto Rico! Over 47% of the population in New York City over the age of 5 speaks another language other than English at home.
4. The Sydney Opera House was largely paid for by a State Lottery.
Officially called the Commonwealth of Australia, Australia is the 6th largest country in the world in terms of size with a landmass of 2.941.399 square miles (7.617.930 square kilometers). In 2014 Australia had the world's 5th highest income per capita whilst being the 12th largest economy in the world. Although many people believe Sydney to be the capital of Australia, the actual capital city is Canberra which only has a population of around 380.000 inhabitants which is less than 10% of the total population of Sydney.
Australia was colonized by Britain in the early 1800s. Previous to that, indigenous aboriginal peoples had inhabited the island for more than 50,000 years. Since then, it has gone on to thrive despite clashes and tensions between indigenous peoples and colonial descendants. The country of Australia has the world’s second-highest human development index and in 2014, had the world’s 5th-highest per-capita income. It is, however, the only world’s only Western country not to have a Bill of Rights.
5. The Sagrada Familia has been under construction for more than 130 years.
The full official name of Spain is the Kingdom of Spain. Although the Spanish language originated in Spain, only 72% of the people of the country actually speak it as a first language. The rest of the country of Spain speaks various dialects like Catalan, Galician, Basque and a few others. Despite the rich culture of language in the country, Spain’s national anthem is one of the few in the world without lyrics or words. More people in America speak Spanish than in Spain.
Spain is full of treasured sights and structures like the Sagrada Familia church. La Sagrada Familia has been under construction for more than 130 years, following the unexpected death of the building’s architect, Gaudi. It is expected to be completed by 2026. Although they already have many, they could have had more. The Eiffel Tower was originally intended for Barcelona, Spain but the project was ultimately scrapped.
6. The main bell in the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris weighs more than 13 tons and has a name, Emmanuel.
Paris is renowned the world over for being one of the most beautiful cities and a popular tourist destination for people coming from all over the globe. Most enjoy it, but some are left disappointed by their overly high expectations. There is a name for this phenomenon, it is known as “Paris Syndrome”. The “Paris Syndrome” was first identified by a Japanese psychiatrist working in France by the name of Hiroaki Ota, more than 30 years ago. It describes the feeling that is suffered for the most part by Japanese visitors. This feeling is one of disappointment upon discovering that Paris is not exactly what they thought it to be. Many have fallen prey to it through rudeness of locals, poor weather or high density of people at major landmarks. The whole experience is so stressful for some, that they end up suffering a psychiatric breakdown.
The Japanese embassy in Paris has both a 24-hour hotline and a repatriate system to help visitors deal with “Paris Syndrome”. On average, about 12 Japanese tourists fall victim to this syndrome every year. It mostly affects women in their 30s, often those who are on their very first travel abroad. In 2006 alone, they had to repatriate 4 people back to Japan with a doctor or nurse by their side to monitor their state.
7. The $8 billion it took to build the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore makes it the most expensive stand-alone integrated resort property ever built.
Singapore encompasses one large main island and 63 other, smaller island. Most of these smaller islands are largely uninhabited. It is also one of the smallest countries in the world. The total land area is just 682.7 square kilometers, which is 15,000 times smaller than the size of the United States. It is also the world’s second most densely populated country globally, just after Monaco, with about 6,430 people per square kilometer.
Singapore is well-known for having some pretty odd laws. Littering is strictly penalized in Singapore, with “accidental” sweets wrappers costing you up to $300 for being tossed on the ground. Not flushing the toilet could also incur you a hefty fine of $500. More than three littering offenses leads to a Corrective Word Order or CWO that will require you to complete community service of cleaning dirty estates or beaches.
8. The Atomium was not intended to be a permanent installment when it was first built.
The Atomium, now one of Brussels’ most iconic landmarks, was not intended to be a permanent installment when it was first built. Erected in 1958 by engineer André Waterkeyn and architects André and Jean Polak, Atomium was originally built for Expo 58, the Brussels World’s Fair in 1958. The Atom-like structure stands 335 ft )102 meters) tall and features nine 59 ft (18 meter) diameter stainless steel clad spheres connected by giant rods. The statue is meant to form the shape of a unit cell of an iron crystal magnified about 165 billion times.
Today, the Atomium, which got its name from a mix of the words atom and aluminum, is one of the most visited sights in Belgium. It is a museum and home to a restaurant which features panoramic views of the city of Brussels.
9. Neuschwanstein Castle was the inspiration behind the Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland.
Germany has the largest population in the Europe Union with more than 81 million people. Berlin, Germany’s capital city is 9 times the size of France’s hub of Paris and has more bridges than the city of Venice, Italy. Germany and its capital city have a rough past when it comes to wars and ruthless regimes but have dramatically evolved since. One notable example is rooted in Berlin, where a building project is underway to build a Christian church, a mosque and a synagogue all in one building to represent unity despite diversity.
Similarly to Japan, Germany is dealing with an ever ageing population and lack of young people. Both these countries make up the world’s lowest birthrates. Between 1989 and 2009, about 2,000 schools in Germany had to close their doors due to a lack of children available to fill them. The population as a whole in fact is in decline and has decreased by more than 2 million just in the last decade.
10. The Shah Mosque in Iran was built more than 400 years ago.
Iran is country with a very arid, desert climate. There is only one river that runs through it, the Karun, that can only be navigated by boat for very short distances. The country overall, receives less than 4 inches of rainfall each year. It is, however, rich in natural resources. Iran holds 10% of the world’s oil reserves and pumps more than 4 million barrels of oil every day. The country also controls about 50% of the Caspian Sea caviar market, which is pretty lucrative when you factor in that the eggs of the Caspian beluga whale can fetch upwards of $160 per ounce!
The Persian cat originated around the high plateaus in Iran and is one of the world’s oldest breeds. Their long and silky fur protected the felines from the cold high up. It was Italian traders who brought the breed to Europe in the 17th century, where they became an exotic symbol of wealth, prestige and status.