Whether a constant traveler or an uncommon tourist, the uniqueness and beauty of a new place can incite almost anyone to pull out their camera and click away maddeningly in a bid to capture the object or moment that is sure to evade understanding as soon as it’s disappeared from view. From the sight of behemoth cathedrals to the striking lure of white sand beaches, there are places and things that must be caught for the sheer sake of seeing them again and knowing you were there.
While nearly everything in a foreign place is a source of interest to the uninitiated, there are famous sights around the world that proffer far more curiosity than others and have likely seen more camera clicks than travellers due to their grandeur and international renown.
It goes without saying that the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France is one of the most distinguishable monuments to mark the skyline of any city in the world while Rome’s Colosseum is among the last and most famed testaments to the long gone age of the Roman Empire. While any journey can automatically elect a countless amount of photographs, the following sights have the special distinction of being captured within the lens of a camera more than almost any others.
Looking out over the city of Florence, Italy, the famous Michelangelo Square, often known as Piazzale Michelangelo, is an expansive, elevated terrace that features a panoramic view of the northern city from the Oltrarno district. Built in 1869 by Giuseppe Poggi during a rebirth of Florence, the square-on-high on the hill of San Miniato is named after the sculptor Michelangelo and features several copies of his work, including a replica of his famed David. While getting to the square may require quite a hike, the luminous view of the city from Florence’s Ponte Vecchio and Duomo to the hills of Settignano has made it a worthwhile journey for scores of tourists wanting to capture Italy at its best.
The Brandenburg Gate
Located in the city of Berlin, Germany and known as the Brandenburger Tor, this most famous of gates was originally commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia. Sitting at the start of the famed Unter den Linden street and next to the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate is not only a symbol around the world of the tumultuousness of history and the undying possibility of unity, but a representation of the creation and fall of the Berlin Wall that separated East and West Germany until 1989. While the gate incurred significant damage during World War II, recent repairs have made it a historical monument representative of Germany that resonates with its history.
The Basilica and Explatory Church of the Holy Family
Among the most famous of churches in the world and a monument still under construction, the Basilica and Explatory Church of the Holy Family, known as Sagrada Familia, is a Roman Catholic Church in Barcelona, Spain. Designed by the Catalan region’s most famous architect, Antoni Gaudi, the work is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Gaudi’s most fantastical representation of his Art Nouveau and Gothic architectural style. With construction started in 1882 and a slated completion date of 2026, the building’s unique style and the numerous difficulties that have beset its construction have given it a fame and fascination that nearly outweigh that of any other building in the world, making it a destination for visitors to Spain.
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Located in New York City and designed by the American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guggenheim is not only a tribute to architecture and art, it is one of New York City’s most popular attractions and well known structures. As a center for both modern and contemporary art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum was opened on October 21, 1959 and features a unique cylinder style shape that widens at the top, so visitors to the museum can traverse the ramp and won’t be able to bypass even one single piece of art on their visit. As a striking example of modernism, the Guggenheim has captivated swells of visitors to the city for its inimitable design and sheer architectural power.
The Hollywood Walk of Fame
Made up of more than 2500 coral pink brass stars that are embedded along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is one of the most famous representations of the power and prominence of the silver screen internationally. As permanent monuments to a number of accomplished directors, actors, producers and even fictional characters, the walk sees nearly ten million visitors a year and runs for approximately 2.1 kilometres from North Gower Street to North La Brea Avenue as one of the most famed tourist attractions in Los Angeles. Devised in 1953, the walk of fame allows visitors and locals alike a chance to take a picture with their favourite star.
Formed during the last ice age and straddling the border between the United States and Canada, Niagara Falls is named after three waterfalls that sit in the province of Ontario and the state of New York. Comprised of Bridal Veil Falls, American Falls and Horseshoe Falls, the falls attract nearly 30 million tourists per year not for their height but for sheer breadth. While the area has been largely saturated by tourism, the falls themselves remain one of the more spellbinding sights in the world with Horseshoe Falls, located in the United States, considered to be the most powerful waterfall in North America.
Saint Mark’s Square
Located in the city of Venice in Italy, a country that is among the most photographed in the world, Piazza San Marco is the most famous center of an already legendary place. Known most commonly as Saint Mark’s Square, this public area is Venice’s most prominent square and features some of its most famed institutions, including Saint Mark’s Basilica, Doge’s Palace and the Procuratie, in addition to a selection of museums, shops and restaurants that bring together all aspects of Venetian life. While the square’s close proximity to the water makes it a common area for floods, it is the center of Venice’s public life and a mecca for the tourists that flock to the floating city.
The Great Pyramid of Giza
One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one that remains largely intact, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of three pyramids that border the city of Giza in Egypt. Completed around 2560 BC, it was believed the pyramid took 10 to 20 years to complete and, at a height of 146.5 meters, it existed as the tallest man-made structure in the world for an astonishing 3800 years. While the natural grandeur of the desert is enough to draw people to Egypt, the most popular tourist destination in the Middle East and the construction of the pyramids that continues to astound make it among the most formidable of sights.
The Eiffel Tower
At 324 meters high, the Eiffel Tower located in Paris, France on the Champ de Mars is easily one of the most familiar monuments in the world. Built and designed by Gustave Eiffel, the tower was erected in Paris in 1889 for the World’s Fair and remained the tallest structure in the world for 41 years until 1930. While visitors to the monuments can languish in the gardens, observe the tower from the Trocadero across the river or take the lift to the top to see an outstanding view of Paris, the tower is the ultimate symbol of the lure of Europe for visitors. Having received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010, the Eiffel Tower is the most idealized of the city’s monuments.
The Roman Colosseum
Located in Rome, one of the most photographed cities in the world, the Flavian Amphitheatre or Colosseum is among the most sought after of tourist destinations anywhere in the world. As an ideal exhibition of Roman architecture and engineering, and comprised of concrete and stone, the Colosseum was constructed in 70 AD under Emperor Vespasian and completed in 80 AD, with changes made to the structure under three different Emperor’s, giving the amphitheatre the name of the Flavian Dynasty. Originally used for public events that involved staged battles, the Colosseum has incurred significant damage but is still one of the most iconic monuments of a gone era that remains a wonder to visitors from all over the world.