There are many famous buildings around the world. While many are recognised on or the other of the numerous lists of Seven Wonders, quite a few are not.
None of these iconic structures appears on these lists, but are still among the most famous buildings in the city they are built in. The next time you visit these cities, be sure to check out these 11 famous buildings around the world.
1The Leaning Tower of Pisa – Pisa, Italy
This 12th century tower has an unintended tilt. The weight of the bell tower of the Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa isn’t supported by the soft foundations. It has continued to tilt since its completion in 1372. It currently leans at about 5.5 degrees and is mostly stable.
2The Eiffel Tower – Paris, France
This iconic structure was heavily criticized upon its completion in 1889. It was built by Gustav Eiffel for the Exposition Universelle. Today, there are three different levels for visitors to see; the second has a famous restaurant, while the others give amazing views of Pairs.
3Hagia Spohia – Istanbul, Turkey
Built on the site of an older 4th-century church, the Hagia Sophia is a landmark of Istanbul (and Constantinople before it). Initially a Greek Orthodox Church and then a Mosque, it is now a museum. It was built in the 530s, after a fire destroyed the previous church, and is the most impressive surviving example of Byzantine architecture.
4Burj Al Arab – Dubai, UAE
Though often overshadowed by the taller Burj Khalifa nearby (which was famously featured in Mission Impossible 4), this luxury hotel is designed to look like a ship’s sail. Sitting on a man-made island, it has 53 floors and was completed in 1994.
5Sydney Opera House – Sydney, Australia
The unique structure of the Sydney Opera House is recognised around the world. Sitting in the Sydney Harbour, it is the center of the Australian arts scene. It contains a concert hall, an opera theatre, a drama theatre, a recording studio, and five restaurants.
6The Empire State Building – New York City, USA
An iconic symbol of New York City, millions visit the Empire State Building each year. The Observation Decks on the 86th and 102nd floors provide breathtaking views of the city below. The Art Deco skyscraper was completed in 1932, at the start of the Great Depression. It was built to be taller than the nearby Chrysler Building.
7St Basil’s Cathedral – Moscow, Russia
Located in Moscow’s Red Square, this famous Russian landmark started out as a set of small churches. It was built between 1555 and 1561 by Ivan the Terrible. The cathedral was the city’s tallest building until the completion of the “Ivan the Great Bell Tower” in 1600.
8Big Ben – London, UK
The clock tower and Great Bell at the Palace of Westminster, popularly known as Big Ben, is one of London’s (and the UK’s) most recognisable structures. The four sided clock was completed in 1859. However, it is currently under repair and has been silenced until 2021.
9La Sagarda Familia – Barcelona, Spain
Construction on this iconic church began all the way back in 1881, and it’s still going on. Designed by famous Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí, its completion was delayed by his death, and the subsequent break out of the Spanish Civil War.
10Parthenon – Athens, Greece
This magnificent ancient structure was once a temple dedicated to Athena, patron goddess of Athens. It was completed in 438 BC atop the Acropolis. One of the oldest buildings in the world, it was severely damaged by an explosion in 1687. It is currently undergoing restoration.
11Taipei 101 – Taipei, Taiwan
A landmark of Taipei, this skyscraper was the tallest building in the world from its completion in 2004 until the construction of the Burj Khalifa in 2010. It is meant to be a fusion of Asian traditions and modern technology. It is one of the largest environmentally sustainable or “green” buildings in the world.
Are there any famous buildings around the world we’ve missed? If so, do share them in the comments below. You can also check out some of the world’s weirdest buildings.