The World's Top City Landmarks and Their Stories

City landmarks are what make a city unique and more valuable and become a brand. The popular, iconic landmarks also have cultural heritage value for the whole world. With the statues, buildings, monuments and towers, the cities become culturally and touristically more interesting and attractive.  Wanderlusters have an aspiration not only to see these landmarks up close but also to know their stories. The city landmarks and their stories make the city you visit even more meaningful.  Let's take a closer look at the stories of the world's top landmarks.



Eiffel Tower

It is no doubt that the photos with the Eiffel Tower in the background evoke love and romance.  In fact, the story of how Eiffel Tower, one of the most famous symbols of romanticism, was built is much different.




When it comes to cities and their landmarks, Paris and the Eiffel Tower are the first places that come to mind. The Eiffel Tower, where foreign tourists try to get a spot to take a photo and wait in long lines for hours to go up the top floor for the panoramic city view, was built to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.




Named after the French architect Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built in 1889, and was supposed to remain on site for only twenty years. The tower was planned to be demolished in 1909, but was saved because it served as a means of trans-oceanic communication and supported to identify radio frequencies, and then it has become the most important landmark of Paris. 




The story of the Eiffel Tower, which the tourists love, and French do not, becomes even more interesting with the purpose of its construction, which is in no way related to romance. Although the Eiffel Tower was built for a different purpose, it still remains an iconic tower that adorns the background of the most romantic photos today.




Leaning Tower of Pisa

Having been considered the most beautiful mistake in the world, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is located in Pisa, Italy, and it has become a landmark because of its leaning stance. The construction of the tower started in 1173, and it started to lean when construction on the third floor began. The leaning was because of the soft ground which could not properly support the structure's weight.




The construction was continued after an interruption for about a hundred years because of the war. However, it was not possible to shift it back to the perpendicular position, and the tower has remained leaning until today. We can say that the tower is a great city landmark flooded by tourists, who travel to Pisa, a quiet city, every year just to see this tower. 




Bringing an influx of tourists to the city every year, the Tower of Pisa, which leans not by purpose but because of an architectural error, is one of the most iconic structures in the world. The cathedral and baptistery beside it also continue to sink down slowly every year because of the soil.   






Colosseum, one of the most famous landmarks of Rome, is of such an importance that it can be referred to as the symbol of whole Italy. The Colosseum started to be built in 72-80 BC and served as an amphitheater for gladiatorial contests, animal hunts and and executions. With a spectator capacity of 50.000, the Colosseum is today one of the most famous historical city landmarks frequented by tourists visiting Rome.



The Statue of Liberty

New York, one of the most important and popular cities in the United States, is famous for many things, including its Statue of Liberty, which has become a city landmark. The idea of the Statue of Liberty was born in 1886. This statue, which was a gift from France to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the United States of America, was shipped overseas in crates and then assembled. 



The statue, which was made of copper and is located on Liberty Island in New York City, holds a torch with her right hand and the Declaration of Independence with her left hand. The 93-meter high Statue of Liberty also serves as an observation deck. You can get to the statue by ferry to the island and climb the steps to the top to watch the fascinating view of New York Harbor.




Little Mermaid Statue 

Located in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, the Little Mermaid Statue is referred to as one of the most important city landmarks in the world. Depicting a little mermaid sitting on a rock at Langelinie Harbor, the statue was built by Carl Jacobsen in 1909. 




Watching a ballet at Royal Danish Theatre, Carl Jacobsen was fascinated by the ballerina Ellen Price and asked her to model for the statue. However, Ellen Price refused to model, so Edvard Eriksen's wife became the model. It is said that the mermaid was depicted sitting on a rock because she fell in love with a prince on land and wanted to be close to him. 





Big Ben Clock Tower 

The original name of the Big Ben Clock Tower, one of the important landmarks of London, is Elizabeth Tower. There is a misunderstanding that Big Ben is the name the tower. In fact, it is the bell inside the tower. 




After the fire in the Palace of Westminster in 1830, it was suggested to build a clock tower while it was being repaired. All of two thousand clocks in the palace are adjusted to Big Ben. If you are interested in architectural structures and monuments, then you may find our article The Most Important Works of Mimar Sinan interesting too. 





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  • Stephanie R. McDaniel
  • 27-10-2023

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