When we visit some of the world’s most famous landmarks, we marvel at the final product, snap a photo, share it on social media, and cross it off our bucket list. But how often do you actually think about how these famous destinations were built and when?
Well, we have the answer.s Here’s what 22 world-famous landmarks looked like while under construction.
The Statue of Liberty, the United States
Construction started: 1885
Located in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty was erected in 1886. It was a gift from France commemorating the United States’ commitment to freedom and democracy. The statue was created by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, who modeled Lady Liberty’s face after his mother. Standing at 305.5 feet, the statue itself is just 151 feet tall, but the base it stands upon is 154 feet.
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Tower Bridge, the United Kingdom
Construction started: 1886
Prior to the Tower Bridge’s construction, pedestrians had to cross the Thames river via Tower Subway, a 410-meter (1,345-foot) tunnel. It took eight years, 432 construction workers, and 31 million bricks to build the massive structure. Once it was completed, Prince Edward (the future King Edward VII) and his wife officially opened the bridge in June 1894.
Washington Monument, the United States
Construction Started: 1848
Construction Completed: 1884
Towering over Washington, D.C., the 555-foot marble obelisk was built to honor George Washington, the first president of the United States. Throughout its construction—which took a staggering 40 years — the monument was beset by difficulties, including fundraising challenges. Two phases of construction took place, one private (1848-1854) and one public (1876-1884).
Eiffel Tower, France
Construction started: 1887
“La Tour Eiffel” has towered over Paris since it was revealed as the centerpiece of the 1889 World’s Fair. Designed by Gustave Eiffel, the structure comprises 18,000 pieces of wrought iron. When it was completed, the “Iron Lady” measuring 1,063 feet — was the tallest building in the world.
Brooklyn Bridge, the United States
Construction started: 1869
Construction completed: 1883
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most recognizable parts of the New York skyline and is among the most visited landmarks in the United States. Designed by German-American civil engineer John A. Roebling, construction of the bridge began in 1869, and it took 14 years and $15 million (more than $440 million in today’s dollars) to complete it. At the time, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world and the first to use steel as cable wire. More than two dozen people died during construction of the bridge.
Sagrada Familia, Spain
Construction started: 1882
Completed: Planned for 2026*
Barcelona’s Sagrada Família, designed by the revered Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí is one of the most esteemed architectural marvels in the world. This Gothic and Byzantine-influenced cathedral has been under construction since 1882 and is still unfinished. By the time of Gaudi’s death in 1926, the cathedral was only one-quarter done. The massive structure it’s expected to be finished by 2026, in time for the 100th anniversary of Gaudí’s death.
Manhattan Bridge, the United States
Construction started: 1901
Completed in 1909, the Manhattan Bridge was the youngest of the three NYC East River suspension bridges. It was the first bridge built using deflection theory, an experimental engineering principle at the time that suggested it was best to rely on a suspension bridges’ inherent structure instead of trusses with heavy stiffening.
Flatiron Building, the United States
Construction started: 1902
Construction completed: 1902
Located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, the wedge-shaped Flatiron Building was completed in just one year. The now iconic building was originally known as the Fuller Building in honor of George A Fuller, the founder of the Fuller Company, which constructed it as the company’s headquarters. Completed in 1902, it was one of New York’s first skyscrapers and the first steel-skeleton structure whose construction was visible to the public.
Panama Canal, Panama
Construction started: 1904
Construction completed: 1914
It took more than ten years, 40,000 workers, and a staggering 25,000 lives lost to build the Panama Canal. When the construction started in 1904, the canal builders quickly discovered that building a waterway across a narrow strip of land looked easier on a map than in practice. Construction workers moved mountains in a snake-infested jungle with an average temperature of 80 degrees and an average rainfall of 105 inches per year. When it was finally completed in 1914, the Panama Canal fulfilled a centuries-old dream of connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans that had previously seemed impossible.
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Lincoln Memorial, the United States
Construction started: 1914
It took eight years to build the Lincoln Memorial, which was completed in 1922. This monument was designed by New York architect Henry Bacon and includes 122 concrete piers and stones from throughout the United States (including Alabama, Colorado, Tennessee, Massachusetts, and Georgia) to represent reunification.
Christ the Redeemer Statue, Brazil
Construction started: 1922
It took 10 years for the Christ the Redeemer statue to be completed. Towering over Rio de Janeiro, at 98 feet tall, the massive statue sits atop Mount Corcovado, which means “hunchback” in Portuguese. Christ the Redeemer is one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, attracting approximately 2 million visitors per year from all over the globe.
Hoover Dam, the United States
Construction started: 1931
Hoover Dam was built during the Great Depression to protect cities and farms from floods caused by the Colorado River. Dedicated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on Sept. 30, 1935, it took five years, thousands of workers, and the loss of more than 100 lives to complete the dam.
Empire State Building, the United States
Construction started: 1930
The 103-story art deco gem has been an essential part of New York City’s skyline since 1936, when it was completed after a record-breaking one year and 45 days of construction. Standing 1,454 feet tall it was the tallest building in the world until the ’70s when it was surpassed by the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
Golden Gate Bridge, the United States
Construction started: 1933
The Golden Gate Bridge was designed to connect the San Francisco Peninsula to northern California. It took four years to complete the bridge, which
spans 8,981 feet and weighs 887,000 tons. The Golden Gate was the world’s longest suspension bridge until 1964, when it was surpassed by New York’s Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
Construction started: 1957
Construction completed: 1958
This atom-shaped monument in Brussels, Belgium, was originally built for “Expo ’58,” the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. Standing 334 feet high, it is meant to represent a crystallized iron molecule that has been magnified about 165 billion times. While initially intended as a temporary structure, after several renovations, the Atomium remains one of Belgium’s most visited attractions.
Sydney Opera House, Australia
Construction started: 1959
It took 14 years, 10,000 workers, and 1 million tiles to build the modern expressionist building. A total of $78 million was spent on constructing Australia’s most recognizable landmark. Queen Elizabeth II formally opened the building in 1973 and made four subsequent visits.
Space Needle, the United States
Construction started: 1961
Seattle’s Space Needle was the vision of Edward E. Carlson, chairman of the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle who had an idea of a restaurant that was built atop a tower. Standing at 605 feet tall, the Space Needle was the tallest building in the western United States when it was completed.
Gateway Arch, the United States
Construction started: 1963
Construction completed: 1965
Designed by Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, it took three years and $13 million (equivalent to about $122 million in 2022) to construct the Gateway Arch, which opened to the public in 1967. Measuring 630 feet tall, the stainless steel structure located in St. Louis, Missouri, is the world’s tallest arch and the tallest human-made monument in the Western Hemisphere.
The Louvre Pyramid, France
Construction started: 1987
Construction completed: 1989
The iconic glass pyramid atop the iconic French museum was built in 1989 to make more space for the increasing number of visitors.
The pyramid structure was designed by the Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei and is constructed entirely with glass and metal poles. It reaches a height of 71 feet.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Construction started: 2004
Standing 2,716.5 feet tall, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is currently the tallest building in the world. The skyscraper was completed in 2009 after five years of construction and holds several architectural records, including the highest restaurant from ground level, the tallest elevator in the world and the most floors in a building (163).
Shanghai Tower, China
Construction started: 2008
Construction completed: 2015
Measuring 2073.49081365 feet, Shanghai Tower is the tallest structure in China and the second tallest in the world. After seven years of construction, the 128-story spiral-shaped skyscraper was officially completed in 2015 and opened to the public in 2016. Rising above Shanghai’s financial district, it is one of the most remarkable architectural marvels in the world.
This article was produced and syndicated by MediaFeed.org.