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Famous memorials from around the World

Posted by AK Lander | On June 19, 2015 10:48

Memorials serve as the ultimate sanctuary of remembrance, the one place where a family friend, relation or even famous figure is celebrated for all the good that they have done in the world. In the case of the latter, many memorial sites have been become popular attractions for millions of people around the world to experience and commemorate either a person’s legacy or a defining moment in world history. Here we’ve listed some of the most famous of these that you could check out during your travels.

Normandy American Cemetery


Commemorating the brave soldiers who fought courageously in World War II, the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer is situated on the site of the temporary American St Laurent Cemetery. Covering 172.5 acres, the site celebrates the life of almost 10,000 soldiers and over 1,500 who were declared missing in action. A sea of memorial gravestones, which sits on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach – one of the many beaches obliterated during the D-Day landings – it serves as a poignant reminder of the devastation that war can bring. If you are interested in visiting, the cemetery is open every day except Christmas and New Year’s Day.          


Lincoln Memorial


One of the most iconic buildings in America, the Lincoln Memorial is a dominating sight in Washington D.C and was designed solely to commemorate the life of Abraham Lincoln – the 16th President of the United States who served from 1861-1865. It is found on the western end of the National Mall and is within close proximity to the Washington Monument. It was designed by Henry Bacon and takes the style of a Greek Doric temple. The iconic landmark inside the monument is the 9.1m-high seated figure of Lincoln. Carved from Georgia marble, it’s thought to weigh as much as 170-tonne. If you are ever visiting America’s capital, a trip to the Lincoln Memorial is an absolute must.

 

Washington Monument


If you’re already at the Lincoln Memorial you won’t miss the Washington Monument; not only is it right in front of you at the end of the reflecting pool as you exit the memorial, it’s also 169m tall and takes the records for the world’s tallest monumental column, tallest stone structure and tallest obelisk. As the name would suggest, it’s the memorial to commemorate George Washington, America’s first president. Construction first began in 1848 and was officially opened to the public in 1888.


Great Pyramid of Giza


The oldest monument on our list, the Great Pyramid is one of the original ancient wonders of the world and the only of the list to remain largely intact. A distinctive sight in the desert plains of the Giza plateau, the 146.5m high pyramid held the record for the tallest man-made structure for 3,800 years and was originally covered by casing stones to offer a smooth outer surface. While no one can be sure, it is believed that the pyramid was created as a tomb for Khufu, a fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh. Inside the pyramid are a number of small passages, each leading to the King’s Chamber, Queen’s Chamber and the Grand Gallery. Today there are still opportunities to step inside these ancient passageways on guided tours, so be sure to enquire during your holiday to Egypt.

 

Wallace Monument


Commemorating the life of a true Scottish hero, the National Wallace Monument sits proudly on a hilltop near the city of Stirling.  One of the key figures during the Wars of Scottish Independence, the monument offers the perfect method of learning about the courage of the man known as ‘Braveheart’. The monument was completed in 1869 following a fundraising campaign and a renewed interest in restoring Scotland’s national identity. Noticeable for its Victorian Gothic style, visitors can climb up to the top of the monument and enjoy stunning views across both the Forth Valley and the Ochil Hills. One of the famous items found inside the monument is the Wallace Sword, said to have been used by Wallace during the Battles of Stirling and Falkirk.


USS Arizona Memorial


Found on the island of Oahu and accessible only by boat, the USS Arizona Memorial remembers the life of those lost during the Pearl Harbour attacks of 1941. After the Japanese military launched a surprise attack on the American military base in Hawaii territory, thousands of people died and many more were seriously wounded. America responded by declaring their entry into World War II. Of the four destroyers that were sunk, all but Arizona were raised and today the memorial straddles the sunken hull of the battleship without touching it. While also offering unique views of the vessel, the memorial also offers information about the attack and the manner in which she sunk.


Taj Mahal


Renowned as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world, many are completely unaware that the Taj Mahal is actually a monument. Commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1632, its function was to house the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal – his favourite wife. A staggering site, which also includes a substantial funeral garden, it would be valued at more than $800million if built today. Crafted almost exclusively from marble, it is recognised as ‘the jewel of Muslim art’ and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983.

Image Credit: Stephen Minnig, Chris Favero, Ron Cogswell, Bruno Girin, Sebastian Fuss, Pete, Christopher John SSF (Flickr.com)