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Landmarks

Landmarks
ALEXANDER SPATARI/GETTY IMAGES

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

Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square
SCIENCE & SOCIETY PICTURE LIBRARY/GETTY IMAGES

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

Arc de Triomphe
PRINT COLLECTOR/GETTY IMAGES

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.

The Colosseum

The Colosseum
MONDADORI PORTFOLIO/GETTY IMAGES

This image from the 1930s depicts workers using axes and drills to build via dell’Impero, the road that stretches straight through Rome from the Piazza Venezia to the Colosseum. This project finished in 1932, and the road was renamed via dei Fori Imperiali, which is still used by today.

COVID-19 keeping travel plans at bay? Then take a virtual tour of the world’s greatest landmarks.

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia
PHAS/GETTY IMAGES

La Sagrada Familia, or The Sacred Family, is a massive Roman Catholic cathedral located in Barcelona, Spain. Construction began in 1882 and the church remains unfinished to this day. This photo shows the progress made by 1887, but while it is used as a functional place of worship, construction continues, funded largely by donations made by visitors and the public. Current estimations guess that it may finally be finished by 2026.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower
HISTORIA/SHUTTERSTOCK

Construction began on the Eiffel Tower in January 1887 and was completed on March 31, 1889. Going from start to finish in barely over two years, its construction was considered record-breaking in many ways. Although this monument is well-known to many people, most don’t know about its secret room, or the other secret chambers inside these famous landmarks.

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Luang Pu Thuat Statue

Luang Pu Thuat Statue
KRITHNARONG RAKNAGN/SHUTTERSTOCK

Statues of the revered Buddhist monk Luang Pu Thuat (1582-1682) are scattered throughout Thailand, but none equals the magnitude of the one located in Surat Thani province, Southern Thailand. The sitting figure measures 39-metres high and 30 metres across from knee to knee. Although it won’t be complete until 2021, it is a drawcard for locals and tourists alike. According to a local abbot, it is possible to see the coastline, the mountains and forests from the landmark.

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore
UNDERWOOD ARCHIVES/UIG/SHUTTERSTOCK

The original plans for Mount Rushmore included full-body carvings and a different line-up than the four presidents featured. However, budgeting and constraints with the rock face forced the designer and sculptors to make a few last-minute changes.

Now check out 11 real places that look like an optical illusion.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge
HISTORIA/SHUTTERSTOCK

The Sydney Harbour Bridge was built to join the north and south sides of the city and took eight years and over 2000 people to complete. Jack Lang, the NSW Premier at the time, officially opened the bridge on 19 March 1932, but was beaten to the ribbon cutting by the now infamous Francis De Groot, a member of the fascist party. Riding on horseback, De Groot rode across the bridge and slashed the ribbon with a sword.

Although the bridge had been envisaged by its engineer JJC Bradfield as an integral part of Sydney’s public transport system, the popularity of automobiles throughout the 20th century meant it became used more for private transportation.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame
ASSOCIATED NEWSPAPERS/SHUTTERSTOCK

The Notre Dame de Paris, or Our Lady of Paris, is an iconic landmark in the heart of Paris. Originally built between 1163 and 1345 CE, this building has been restored and reconstructed numerous times. This image shows the restoration of damage in the mid-1940s after the cathedral withstood four days of relentless attack by the German forces, as it was being used as the centre for the French Resistance against the Nazis.

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