Every nation in the world keeps a treasured landmark or 10 close to their heart — landmarks that embody the spirit of their people, demonstrate an incredible feat of engineering or are portals into a timeless past. These incredible places are more than just tourist destinations: they are triumphs of vision, commemorations of history, icons.
Here are a few tips on how to experience some of these spectacular monuments.
Taj Mahal | Agra, India
Rising majestically on the banks of the River Yamuna, the Taj Mahal is considered one of the most beautiful and exquisite landmarks ever built. Set that alarm and visit the Taj Mahal early in the morning to watch the glow of dawn shed a rosy light over the building.
Did you know? The Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and it took Mogul emperor Shah Jahan 15 years to build the enchanting white marble monument as a tribute to his favorite wife who died during childbirth.
Eiffel Tower | Paris, France
Seven million people visit the Eiffel tower each year, but there are plenty of ways to make a one of a kind trip to this unique landmark. Anyone can take the elevator up the tower, but for sensational, panoramic views of the city without the crowds, grab some walking shoes and take the stairs. Also, be sure to save time for two trips to the tower: one during the day and another in the evening to witness the tower glitter from head to toe in a stunning show of human brilliance.
Did you know? The Eiffel Tower is 1,063 feet tall, is visible from around the city and is considered an international icon of love.
Colosseum | Rome, Italy
As the quintessential Italian monument, hundreds of thousands of people visit the Colosseum each year. To enhance the experience, get there early in the day and avoid visiting during the peak tourist season over summer. Skip the line and get a guided tour which will help you appreciate the beauty and history of this incredible monument.
Did you know? The Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre ever built and can hold 65,000 spectators. It is featured on the Italian five-cent euro coin and since 2000, has been an international symbol against capital punishment.
Jet d’Eau | Geneva, Switzerland
It would be impossible to visit the humanitarian capital of the world without seeing the dramatic 459-foot-tall fountain shoot 130 gallons of water into the air each second. It embodies the ambition, drive and the international reputation of Geneva. Try to visit on one of the evenings when the fountain is illuminated in various colors representing world humanitarian days or historic events.
Did you know? The Jet d’Eau was originally built in 1886 to control and release the excess pressure of a local hydraulic plant, but after gaining a reputation as Geneva’s icon, it was moved to its current location in the center of the lake. This year, the fountain celebrated its 125th anniversary at its present location.
Story by Jess Wright
Photos by Crystal French