Throughout the centuries, monuments have served as milestones of cultural, political, and religious significance, standing the test of time to become some of the most recognizable and awe-inspiring destinations to visit. From the United States’ Statue of Liberty, to Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, these monuments — whether they are found in Asia, Europe, or another corner of the world — seem to get imprinted in our minds, as if they’ve always been there, embodying a mix of beauty, history, and grandeur from their respective areas. Here, we’ve gathered some of the most recognizable monuments around the world.

The Great Wall of China 

At 13,000 miles long and winding across Northern China, the Great Wall is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world. Built over two millenniums ago as a defense from invading Mongol hordes and European forces, the Wall was used more effectively for communication and transportation than as a border. The Great Wall has undoubtedly become a symbol of strength, an impressive feat of architecture that has developed into one of the most iconic landmarks of the country.

The Statue of Liberty 

America’s beloved Statue of Liberty, standing at 305 feet tall, is perhaps one of the most recognizable monuments of all. This colossal statue, made of copper and mounted on a steel frame, was a gift from France and France was in honor of the friendship between the countries. She is resplendent in her famous greenish-blue hue, clutching a torch with one arm and a tablet engraved with the date of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in the other hand.

The Eiffel Tower 

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world, a frame of iron lattice soaring at almost a thousand feet high making it the tallest structure in Paris. During its construction in 1889, it sparked so much controversy amongst Paris’ citizens that a petition to dismantle it was signed by more than 300,000 people. But like its neighbors, the tower still stands, now considered one of the most famous monuments in the world, serving as a much-loved tourist frequented destination.

The Taj Mahal 

The Taj Mahal is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable monuments in the world, a marvel of Islamic architecture situated in the Indian city of Agra. Built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his beloved wife, the structure of the Taj Mahal is comprised of white marble that shines in the sunlight and is surrounded by lush green gardens and reflecting pools. The serene beauty of this palace makes it one of the most visited destinations in India.

The Great Pyramid of Giza 

Since its construction almost 5,000 years ago, the Pyramids of Giza have become a symbol of ancient Egypt. The Great Pyramid, the largest of the three, is 455 feet tall and is the only surviving one of the original Seven Wonders of the World. It stands as a mysterious stone reminder of ancient engineering techniques, and its imposing structure has been inspiring viewers for centuries.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa 

The 196-foot tall Leaning Tower of Pisa is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world, looming over the city of Pisa despite the fact that it leans and has been doing so since its construction in the 12th century. The tower, which was conceived as a bell tower for the nearby cathedral, began to flex its frozen muscles when it reached the third floor, pulling the structure off of its original vertical course. It’s leaned ever since and is a beloved attraction, drawing thousands of visitors every year.

Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln 

Memorial is one of America’s most beloved and recognizable monuments. Located in the nation’s capital, the memorial is a tribute to the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. Inside sits a larger-than-life statue of the former president, flanked by a set of fluted Doric columns and two large inscriptions of Lincoln’s most famous speeches.

The Parthenon 

Situated at the top of the Acropolis in Athens, the Parthenon is one of the most famous monuments in the world. This ancient temple was built in the 5th century BC in honor of the goddess Athena and served as a monument to Athenian pride and power, with its many spectacular sculptures ranging from enormous statues of Athena herself to intricate architectural details of the friezes depicting ancient Greek myths. In addition, the building serves as a symbol of democracy, as it was here that the Greek citizens of Athens gathered to debate the issues of their day.

The Brandenburg Gate 

Located in the heart of Berlin, Germany, the Brandenburg Gate has become one of the most recognizable monuments in the world. Originally constructed in 1791 as a symbol of peace, the monument is comprised of a set of twelve Doric columns and features the Quadriga, a Greek chariot carrying a figure of victory, at the top. The monument has survived two World Wars, and today is a highly popular destination for locals as well as tourists, symbolizing peace and renewal.

These are just a few of the most recognizable monuments around the world. From the Great Wall of China to America’s Statue of Liberty, these monuments stand as proud testaments to mankind’s ingenuity, strength, and a frequently inspiring sense of grandeur. Despite the turbulent history that lies behind many of these monuments, they still serve to remind us of the beauty and complexity of the world and its inhabitants.