Even if you haven’t seen them in person, you’re no doubt more than familiar with some of the world’s most famous landmarks, in fact you’ve probably been exposed to images of buildings like Big Ben, the Empire State Building and the Eiffel tower more frequently than you’ve actually visited famous landmarks in your own country. Of course a still image on a phone or computer screen is no match for the real thing but in some cases, the majesty and scale of such a structure can be effectively communicated in a still image.
Equally there are some structures which really do warrant a visit, mere photographs can’t capture the spectacle of being up close (or up the top of) something of the world’s most impressive architectural masterpieces. Here are five mega-structures (accompanied, ironically, with pictures) that photos just don’t do justice to.
The Golden Gate Bridge, USA
This 1.7 mile six-lane suspension bridge spans the conduit of San Francisco Bay into the Pacific, a stretch of water called ‘the Golden Gate’ (which if you hadn’t already guessed, the bridge gets its name from). The bridge has a distinctive deep red/copper colour and is probably the most famous structure of its type in the world. It’s vastness is the reason it doesn’t photograph well – unless you’re several miles away and several meters up in the air.
The Burj Khalifa, UAE
The unrelenting march of Dubai and the burgeoning power of the middle east in general is characterised by the Burj Khalifa, the new world’s tallest building. It is odd that in a city of skyscrapers, this dwarfs everything around it, making photos look almost unbelievable. At 828m the top of the tower is impossible to capture unless standing a good distance away. This has to be seen to be believed, and is sure to be a major tourist attraction for people taking a holiday to Dubai.
Angor Wat, Cambodia
Certainly the most famous landmark in Cambodia , a country extremely popular with backpackers, Angor Wat is a huge Buddhist temple bordered by a wide, square moat located in the north of the country. Although manageable to squeeze into a photograph, the eerie atmosphere surrounding the place can only be experienced in person.
The Great Pyramids, Egypt
Certainly not the largest structure on the list, but these monoliths are monumental in other ways. The real wonder behind these is not so much the height, most Pyramids are around 100 meters high, but rather how they were put together, looking at a photo suggests a smooth cone, essentially a large sandcastle, but up close you can start to get a feel for the years of blood sweat and tears that went into making these elaborate tombs that have stood for centuries. You can even climb all over them if you wish.
The Crooked House, Poland
Moving onto some less well known entries, the crooked house in Poland is neither a marker of economic supremacy, or architectural expertise, but it is darn good fun to look at. Completed in one year it forms part of a shopping centre and is pretty much like looking into a funfair mirror!
This is an article by Joe Johnson, a travel blogger for Hayes and Jarvis, a luxury travel company offering long haul holidays in many different destinations.