Landmarks are things that give a place history and soul. It motivates people to travel and increases the excitement of discovery. Famous landmarks can be monuments, natural areas, or buildings that characterize countries, cities, or towns. They give an idea about the cultural structure of the place where they are located.
Since we don't have enough room to list the world's most famous landmarks, buildings, and iconic places in their entirety, we have prepared a list for you. We know you will want to go to all of these unique places. Let's dive into it together.
Famous Landmarks in Italy
1. The Colosseum
One of the most iconic places of Roman civilization, the Colosseum is visited by millions of people every year. This gigantic amphitheater became more famous after the movie Gladiator.
In ancient times, public entertainments and performances were held in this amphitheater. This building, built in 70 AD and was the largest amphitheater of that time with a capacity of 70,000 people, is one of the most important representatives of Roman architecture because it is well preserved. The area also includes the Forum and Palatine Hill. All of these can be visited with a single ticket.
2. Pisa Tower
The Leaning Tower of Pisa, which was built as a bell tower, does not owe this to being one of the most famous landmarks in the world. The fact that it looks as if it will topple at any moment with its inclination of about four degrees makes it a unique building.
This "leaning" even has a history. It began to tilt when it was built in the 12th century, and the slope increase until completed in the 14th century. It sees renovations in the last decade of the 20th century and is fixed on a 4-degree incline.
We know that you will make that famous pose when you visit the Leaning Tower of Pisa. While you're there, don't forget to visit the Pisa Cathedral and the Pisa Baptistery.
3. The Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous places in Italy. It was a substantial source of water during the ancient Roman civilization and took its current form as a result of a competition held in the 18th century. Its construction was completed in 1762, and it continues to be preserved with restorations today.
One of the stories told about the Trevi Fountain is that some wishes come true here. If you throw a coin into the fountain, you will come back to Rome; if you throw two coins, you will come back to Rome and fall in love; if you throw three coins, you will come back to Rome, fall in love, and get married. There is also a way to throw the coin: you have to throw it with your right hand, over your left shoulder.
4. Saint Mark’s Basilica
The city of Venice itself can be seen as a landmark. It is one of the must-see places in Italy with its structures floating on the water. Saint Mark's Basilica is one of the buildings that make this wonderful city unique.
The basilica, built in the 9th century and rebuilt in the 11th century, bears the characteristic features of Byzantine architecture. We especially recommend you examine the mosaics inside. If you are interested in the history of Italy and Venice, you can take a guided tour and visit the Doge's Palace in this context.
5. Rialto Bridge
The Rialto Bridge, the first bridge to be built on the canals of Venice, was originally a modest suspension bridge. In the 16th and 19th centuries, it was reworked and turned into marble, making it the only bridge to cross the Grand Canal.
One of the things that make the Rialto Bridge so famous is the Rialto Market, which is open six days a week. Part of the market continues in small passages over the bridge. The bridge, approximately 50 meters long and 20 meters wide, connects San Polo to San Marco.
Famous Landmarks in France
1. Mont Saint-Michel
Located in Normandy, this UNESCO-listed building rises above a tiny island and dates back to the 8th century. Used as a pilgrimage destination and a military center in history, Mont Saint-Michel is now one of the most famous landmarks in France.
Visitors want to see the monastery both for its historical value and for its unique location. They aim to experience the ancient pilgrims by walking the bridge connecting the island with the mainland and observing the magnificent nature around the island.
2. Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is one of the first places that come to mind when you think of Paris or France. The building, which is one of the most famous landmarks in the world, is only 20 km from the capital. Considered the most perfect example of the French Baroque, the building was once home to Louis XIV, XV, and XVI.
Originally used as a hunting lodge, Versailles was transformed into an iconic place by the best artists, architects, and designers.
We recommend that you take a full day to visit this wonderful place. The magnificent gardens outside the Palace are must-sees. You can also take a quiet bike tour in the Grand Parc area.
This network of caves in the Dordogne, France contains wall paintings from prehistoric times. More than 600 paintings, estimated to be 17,000 years old, cover the walls and ceilings of the cave.
A shudder and admiration mix as you tour the Lascaux caves. Learning about the everyday experiences of our ancestors through their artistic expression is truly an invaluable experience. One cannot help but think about how they dealt with the gigantic animals lived in that times. Definitely visit the most famous site of the Prehistoric Sites and Decorated Caves of the Vézère Valley.
4. The Millau Viaduct
With a height of 343 meters and a length of 2460 meters, Millau Viaduct, which has the title of "the highest bridge in the world," is seen as one of the most iconic examples of contemporary architecture and is among the famous landmarks of France. It received the Outstanding Structure Award from the International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineering in 2006.
Its slender, curved structure, which blends wonderfully with the surrounding nature and rises on seven pillars, amazes all visitors.
Aveyron, which hosts the viaduct, is worth seeing with its farms, natural heritage, and gastronomic culture.
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris -as the name suggests- is one of the most famous places in Paris. A Roman Catholic Church, the basilica is built on the highest point of Montmarte and is one of the most visited structures.
This iconic building was designed by Paul Abadie and was completed by a team of 7 architects. The style of the basilica is closer to Byzantine and Venetian architecture. The white travertine stones used in its construction add a unique look to the building.
Let us remind you that you have to endure 270 steps to reach the basilica. But once you see the panoramic view that includes Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and the Opera House, you won't regret it.
Famous Landmarks in England
1. Windsor Castle
About 65 km from London, Windsor is home to the Queen's far home, Windsor Castle. One of England's most famous buildings, the castle's stunning architecture and centuries-old ownership of the British royal family; make it a center of attraction both historical and cultural.
St George's Chapel, located inside the castle, is also known for Prince Harry and Meghan's marriage. The chapel is open to visitors on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. There is a time limit to visit Windsor Castle as it is in use. It may be good to buy the tickets in advance to avoid missing the 10:00 – 16:00.
2. Big Ben
If asked "What is the most iconic building in London," most of us would answer "Big Ben." The famous 316-meter tall clock tower announces the passing of time right next to the Palace of Westminster. One of the tallest clocks in the world, Big Ben is a significant landmark for the UK. When you look carefully at the watch dial, you can see the four shield symbols with roses to represent England, thistles to represent Scotland, clovers to represent Northern Ireland, and leeks to represent Wales.
Although the tower was named Elizabeth Tower in 2021, it is still referred to as Big Ben by everyone, and it seems like it will continue to be so.
3. Buckingham Palace
Here is Buckingham Palace, the primary residence of the Royal Family. It is one of the most famous buildings and attraction centers not only in the UK but also in the world. Built in the 18th century, this enormous structure has been home to kings and queens since the mid-19th century.
The palace, which was designed with Neo-Classical architectural understanding, has over 700 rooms. There are many world-famous works of art adorning its walls, corridors, and rooms. Decorative elements such as the Bronze Grand Staircase are also worth seeing. It is a place you should not go without seeing when you come to London.
4. Malham Cove
When we talk about world-famous landmarks, we usually talk about ruins, buildings, or structures. Located in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, Malham Bay is a natural wonder that changes this perspective.
Adventure and nature lovers often come to the 80 m high bay. Its steep surface, which is thought to have formed during the last ice age, attracts the attention of mountaineers. Of course, climbing is not the only way to get to the top of the bay; you can also use a ladder of about 400 steps. Malham Bay will reward you with its breathtaking view from the top.
5. Durham Cathedral
Right next to Durham Castle and perched on a cliff overlooking the River Wear, Durham Cathedral can be seen in all its majesty from tens of miles away. The most famous landmark of the medieval city of Durham, this cathedral is of great importance to Anglicans.
The cathedral dates back to the 11th century and is believed to be the only building still standing in England with Norman architectural features.
We recommend you to take a tour of the museum to witness more than 1000 years of Durham Cathedral's story.
Famous Landmarks in the USA
1. Mount Rushmore National Memorial
America's most iconic place is located in Keystone, South Dakota. Sunrise is the best time to see George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln carved into the Black Hills cliffs and proudly peeking around. If you are one of the photographers who want to capture the most beautiful pose, we recommend that you come early.
If you come across it, you can watch the lighting ceremony held between May and September; and participate in video screenings, a moment of silence, and many other events about the history of the famous monument.
2. Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge, the symbol of San Francisco, stretches for approximately 4.5 km as far as Marin County. With its crimson appearance, it is like a ribbon connecting two pieces of land. At the entrance of the world-famous structure, there is also a small exhibition about its history.
We recommend joining a Golden Gate Bay Cruise to see the Golden Gate Bridge from the best angle. Starting from Fisherman's Wharf, the cruise passes under the bridge and heads towards Alcatraz Island. You can see dolphins, sea lions, and whales accompanying the boat.
3. Statue of Liberty
The iconic monument, representing the values on which the United States was built, is located in New York Harbor. The statue, which was gifted to the USA by France in 1886, symbolizes the friendship of the French and American peoples, has an eye-catching appearance.
To reach the Statue of Liberty, you need to take the ferry from Battery Park in Lower Manhattan. These ferries stop at Ellis and Liberty Islands. Since most visitors want to climb to the crown and see the magnificent view, it may be better to buy tickets in advance.
4. Washington Monument
The Washington Monument is the heaviest and tallest obelisk in the world, with a height of 169 meters. Located on the National Mall in DC, the monument was built in memory of George Washington and was completed in 1888.
The monument is open to visitors, but tickets are timed. Visitors, who take the elevator to the top of the monument, have only 10 minutes to watch the magnificent view and take photos. The Abraham Lincoln Memorial is pretty close to here; you can visit both.
5. Niagara Falls
Located on the Ontario (Canada) and New York (USA) border, Niagara Falls consists of three waterfalls. The largest of these Horseshoe Falls, which sits on the border. American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are in the United States. These waterfalls are all part of the magnificent Niagara River.
The fame of the waterfall stems from both its widespread and its height. With a height of 50 meters, it is the highest waterfall in North America.
Located close to the falls, Downtown BIA is a must-visit, including historic Queen Street. Stop by for its 19th-century architecture, entertainment, and eateries.
Famous Landmarks in Asia
1. Angkor Wat and the Siem reao Temples, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is one of the most famous landmarks of Southeast Asia and one of Cambodia's iconic landmarks. You can feel like you've entered an extraterrestrial realm when you visit these magnificent temples built by the Khmer Empire between the 10th and 15th centuries. These structures, skillfully hidden in the forest, are among Asia's must-see gems.
2. Burj Khalifa, United Arab Emirates
Burj Khalifa, rising 830 meters in Dubai, the land of glitter and wealth, is the tallest building in the world. It is named after the current president of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa, and means "Caliph's Tower." The 163-story building includes a hotel, residences, suites, and an observation deck.
Dubai, the largest city in the UAE, is home to many iconic landmarks apart from the Burj Khalifa. These include Palm Jumeirah, an island in the shape of a palm tree, and artificial islands in the form of a world map.
3. The Forbidden City, China
The Forbidden City is located in the center of Beijing. Built in the early 15th century during the Ming Dynasty, the complex includes palaces, administrative buildings, and 980 buildings. It is one of the most famous places in China, as it is the largest imperial palace in the world.
In the Forbidden City, where tourists show great interest, places such as the Hall of the Supreme Principle and the Palace of Eternal Harmony can be visited. Let us remind you that rare works of art belonging to the ancient Chinese civilization are exhibited in the museum.
4. Fushimi-Inari Taisha, Japan
Japan is a country full of shrines. Fushimi-Inari Taishi is the most famous of them. The iconic site, a Shinto Shrine located in the southern part of Kyoto, is dedicated to Inari, the God of Rice. It has doors called "torii" in different shapes and sizes, and each of these vessels means a wish to the god. Since 711 AD, thousands of believers have been coming here for their wishes.
The region generally attracts attention due to its brilliant scenery and nature. After a few hours of walking, the unique view of Kyoto can be reached from Mount Inari. If you are confident in your fitness, we recommend you to experience it.
5. Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China is undoubtedly the most iconic structure of China, which has the most famous landmarks in Asia with its thousands of years of culture. Built nearly 500 years ago, the massive wall stretches for 21,196 km and contains forts and military units. Because it is close to the capital Beijing, Badaling and Mutianyu sections receive the most visitors. If you pass by, do not return without seeing one of the world's leading structures.
6. Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal is seen as a symbol of love as well as India. The building, which is one of the landmarks to be seen in the world, is originally a tomb. Located in Agra and on the banks of the Yamuna River, the structure was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
Built entirely of marble, the Taj Mahal is visited by nearly ten million people a year. It offers a unique combination of Islamic, Indian, and Persian architectures. Its impressive dome and changing color according to the time of day explain why it is the most photographed place in Asia.
7. Qutab Minar, India
Located in Delhi, Qutab Minar is India's tallest minaret. Made of red sandstone and marble, the building is covered with carvings and verses from the Qur'an. Right at the foot of the minaret, built in the 12th century, is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, India's first mosque. An inscription above the eastern gate states that the building was built with materials obtained from the demolition of 27 Hindu temples. It is believed that if you turn your back to Qutab Minar and put your arms around it, your wish will come true.
This iconic building is very important to see the effects of different religions and cultures on the history of India.
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