We’ve seen the finished products in photos, movies, pop culture and maybe even in person, but these goliath landmarks all started as nothing more than an idea. These photos show that in-between stage as these works of art and historical and cultural landmarks are raised and brought to completion.
Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square
This image shows Nelson’s Column, one of the most recognisable aspects of London’s Trafalgar Square, in the first week of April 1844. The photo, taken by William Talbot may look like a shot of work being actively completed, but in reality, funds had temporarily run out for the building committee that had taken on the project and all work was halted at this stage as the government took over the project.
Arc de Triomphe
Construction began in 1806 on one of the most famous landmarks in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe, to glorify Napoleon’s grand army. Progress was halted in 1815 at the fall of the Empire but began again nearly a decade later. Construction was often put on hold as revolutions and uprisings began and ended in 19th-century France, but the building was officially consecrated on December 15, 1840, when Napoleon’s hearse passed underneath the arch on the way to his final resting place. The monument has undergone construction many times through the years and this particular photo was taken in July 1919 as the statue for French soldiers lost in World War I was constructed in the hollow of the famous archway.