Fascination with the tallest, fastest, biggest continues apace with China and Dubai dominating many lists, although neither make an appearance on the top 7 highest monuments in the world list.
1. Gateway Arch, St Louis, Missouri, USA – Standing at an impressive 192 meters (630 feet), the iconic Gateway Arch forms part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and was completed in 1965. The arch offers spectacular views of up to 30 miles in every direction and adult tickets cost just 10 USD each. And if you’re looking for a unique wedding venue, the arch can cater for that too!
2. San Jacinto Monument, La Porte, Texas, USA – The column of the San Jacinto Monument reaches 174 meters (570 feet) and was completed in 1939. There is a museum within the monument that details Texas history and a movie theatre that tells the story of ‘The Battle of San Jacinto’. And the highlight of your visit will be a trip to the observation deck which is nestled beneath the Lone Star of Texas topper. An adult ticket with access to the exhibition, museum and observation deck is 12 USD.
3. Juche Tower, Pyongyang, North Korea – On the banks of the Taedong River is the Juche Tower which was built to honour Kim Il Sung 70th birthday. Kim Il Sung is the former Prime Minister and President of North Korea and the tower was completed in 1982. Standing at 170 meters (558 feet) tall, the tower has four sides and spire, with an illuminated metal torch atop the structure. Just underneath the torch is a viewing platform which has impressive views over Pyongyang. The Juche Tower is assumed to have been based on the Washington Monument in the USA.
4. Washington Monument, Washington DC, USA – The Washington Monument is an obelisk structure that has stood proudly on National Mall since 1884. One of the key tourist sights in Washington DC, the monument honours the USA’s first president; General George Washington, who dies in 1797. The monument stands at 169 meters (555 feet) and is built from marble and granite and as such also earns the accolade of ‘tallest stone structure in the world’ and the ‘tallest obelisk in the world’. Whatever the titles, this is an impressive structure that has featured heavily in popular culture over the years,
5. Cruz de los Caidos, San Lorenzo de El Escorial, Spain – The tallest monument in Europe is situated near the Spanish capital city of Madrid. The Cruz de los Caidos is a Catholic basilica and the crowning glory is the mighty 150 meter high (492 feet) cross that stands atop the structure. The cross can be seen from 20 miles away and the complex, which was built between 1940 and 1958, sits within Mediterranean parkland that covers some 3,360 acres (13.6 km2) about 29 miles from Madrid.
6. Victory Monument, Moscow, Russia – Within Victory Park in Moscow stands the Victory Monument which was unveiled in 1995. Standing at 141.8 m (462 ft) high, the monument symbolizes the 1,418 days and nights of wartime during World War II. The stone obelisk features a statue of St George slaying a dragon at the base and a statue of Nike, the Goddess of Victory, stands atop the monument.
7. Pyramid of Khufu, Giza, Egypt – The oldest monument in the world is the Pyramid of Khufu which dates back to 2532 C. Also called the Great Pyramid of Giza, this is the oldest of the great pyramids and one of the original Seven Wonders of the World. Constructed as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu, the pyramid stands at 139 meters (455 feet) tall.
This list would have looked a little different had the long-running Crazy Horse Memorial in Thunderhead Mountain in South Dakota, USA been completed. Under construction since 1948, this monument to an Oglala Lakota warrior is expected to be completed by the year 2020. And if/when it is completed it will be the biggest monument in the world… watch this space!
By Julie Bowman