15 little-known facts about the world’s sights that will make you see them from a different angle
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It would seem impossible to hide or conceal any information in the age of modern technology. This is especially true for historical monuments, which are also popular tourist sites. However, as practice shows, even those sights that are known almost to everyone on the planet, hide a lot of secrets. Here are 15 little-known facts about the famous tourist sites, which will change the opinion about them.
1. The Great Sphinx: buried for centuries under the sands
The Sphinx is one of the most popular attractions among Egyptian structures on the Giza plateau. However, humanity may not have had this unique historical monument. And all because it was mostly covered with sands. Having studied the historical sources and the Sphinx itself, the scientists came to the conclusion that this process did not stop at least since the 14th century BC. However the construction was periodically dug out and it was started at the times of Tutmosis IV and Ramses II. After the excavations the ancient Greeks and the Romans were engaged, the Italian specialists were able to clear the Sphinx on the shoulders in 1817, and the work was completely finished only by 1925.
2. Fallen Angel Fountain in Madrid: the mystical height of the location
The mystical fountain from Madrid, which has the telling name Fuente del Angel Caido (“Fallen Angel”), is a statue of Lucifer cast down from heaven. And it would seem that there is nothing original except the choice of the character for the sculpture, because it is the only one in Europe that depicts the devil. Except that there are enthusiasts who have found another feature of the fountain: it turns out that Lucifer is located at the original mark of 666 meters above sea level. Fun fact: The author of the fountain, Ricardo Bellver, depicted Lucifer as a young, handsome young man with wings. That is why visitors to Buen Retiro Park, where the sculpture is located, often confuse the devil with Cupid.
3. Temple of Abu Simbel: a little-known crossing
Monument of Ancient Egypt Abu Simbel Temple is a large-scale structure with a long history – monolithic and seemingly indestructible. Except that this impression did not stop the temple at all. from moving. Few people know, but in the sixties the structure was cut into separate blocks and moved about 200 meters away, and then it was reassembled. This difficult process was conceived and carried out for a practical purpose – it was necessary to save a unique historical monument from flooding due to the construction of the Aswan Dam.
4. The White House: preserving the traces of war
Most people know the White House as the residence of American presidents. However, in addition to information about the first persons of the state, the building keeps the memory of the battles that took place on this territory. Thus, in 1814, during the War of American Independence, the British army actively shelled the city, including the White House. Modern restorers decided not to remove these traces, so even today you can see the prints of the fire caused by the fighting of 200 years ago.
5. NASA’s “Vertical Assembly Building”: has its own clouds
“NASA’s Vertical Assembly Building is located at Cape Canaveral, and is designed for the final manning of spacecraft and launch vehicles. However, it has another special feature: the structure is one-story, but it’s also very tall and large, so it literally has its own weather. It turns out that when a cyclone comes to this part of Florida, real rain clouds gather under the ceiling of the structure.
6. The Great Wall of China: a source of local income
The Great Wall of China, it turns out, is not only being destroyed by time, but also by the Chinese themselves. /Photo: travellingtati.com
It has long been known that the Great Wall of China is slowly deteriorating. But it turns out that it is not only time that has a detrimental effect, but humans as well. The local population regularly collects bricks from the Great Wall of China. And this negligent attitude is explained by the banal mercantile. They either use the stone they collect to build their own homes or sell it.
7. St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome: built at the expense of sinners
St. Peter’s Cathedral (or the Basilica) in Rome is one of the most famous religious buildings. But the circumstances of its construction are not known to everyone. It’s hard to imagine, but the main investors in its construction were sinners. The thing is that St. Peter’s Basilica was built at the expense of finances received from the sale of indulgences – special documents certifying the remission of sins. Such documents were given by priests to those who repented of their sins for a certain fee.
8. The Leaning Tower of Pisa: It Will Fall Yet, If Not Restored
Perhaps everyone knows about the phenomenon of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, although it was not originally conceived as such: researchers are of the opinion that a mistake was made while laying the foundation. However, these inaccuracies in the construction of the building made themselves felt: at some point it needed restoration, because there was a real danger of collapse. The work lasted for more than ten years, and the world-famous site was saved – the building has been restored to the same position in which it was in 1838. According to the conclusions of the restorers, the Leaning Tower of Pisa will remain stable for at least two hundred years.
9. Mount Everest: the pinnacle of digitalization in the literal sense
To get to the top of the highest mountain on the planet takes a lot of time, effort and money. However, the amazing experience of conquering the highest point of the Earth is unforgettable and definitely worth it. And most importantly, it is quite realistic to share this feat right away: it turns out that Everest has excellent 3G and 4G high-speed Internet. A few years earlier, a satellite connection was also installed, but it remains unstable.
10. The U.S. Supreme Court building: a play on words and sports activities for judges
Besides the White House, there is at least one other government building in America that has several original features. We are talking about the Supreme Court of the United States: on its territory there is its own basketball court, which is located directly above the courtroom. The very name of the institution is also of interest. The fact is that in English the word “court” has two meanings at once: “court” and a sports court. So the locals gave the basketball court in the building an ironic nickname, “The Highest Court”.
11. the island of Itsukushima: the ban on births and deaths
The Japanese, despite their advanced development in innovative technology, still observe religious dogma and honor centuries-old traditions. However, some of them may seem frankly strange. For example, on the island of Itsukushima, in Hiroshima Prefecture, it is strictly forbidden to have children or to die. The reason for this strange decision has its origins in religion: in this way the Japanese seek to preserve the sanctity of the Temple, the Shinto shrine after which they named the island.
Big Ben: the Coin is a Sign of the Accuracy of the Clock
The precision of London’s Big Ben mechanism is legendary. But not everyone knows how it is achieved, though it is not easy to believe – it is too original a method. It turns out that the necessary effect is achieved thanks. to the British penny. The correctness of the movement is achieved by placing a coin on the top of the pendulum – this influences the length of the clock and the frequency of oscillations. If one penny is added or removed, the rate of the pendulum will change by 0.4 seconds per day.
13. Stonehenge: hello from historians of the past
The practice of archaeological excavation has been known for a long time, but far from always technology has been able to extract as much information as possible from the monuments found. Therefore some sites have been the object of study for many years. A notable example of this is the legendary Stonehenge: in 1923 a member of an expedition discovered a bottle of port underneath the world famous monument. It was discovered that another archaeologist had left it there in 1802, with a note of greetings to his colleagues from the future.
14. Piazza Torre Argentine: a murder scene “sheltered” by cats
The square of Torre Argentine is first of all famous for being the place where one of the most famous Roman governors, Julius Caesar, was killed. However, now all that is left of it are just ruins, which are being actively excavated and studied by archaeologists over the past century. But this did not prevent this place to find a new purpose. Today Torre Argentin is home to hundreds of stray cats who have chosen it and made it their “sanctuary”.
15. The Eiffel Tower: actually it’s colorful
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is so popular that it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t know what it looks like. And most of us are sure not only of its appearance, but also of its color. And in fact, it’s not so simple: it turns out that the Eiffel Tower is painted in three different shades at once. The reason for using such a gradient is an attempt to neutralize the effect of the atmospheric perspective of the sky over Paris. That’s why the upper part of the tower is painted in a lighter golden shade and the lower part in a darker one.
15 little-known facts about the seven wonders of the world that would surprise anyone
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Everyone has probably heard of the Seven Wonders of the World. It includes architectural sights that were created at different times and really impressed the world. Few of these amazing structures have survived to our time. And although all seven wonders of the world are widely known, there are a lot of little-known facts about them.
1. List of “Wonders”
The list of “wonders” was originally designed to showcase the most impressive sights and structures in the world. Although there have been many such lists over the years, the original one was known as the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. These seven wonders were based on guidebooks used by Greek travelers.
2. Geographical limitations.
All seven wonders were located around the Mediterranean Sea and Mesopotamia (because of the limited distances people could travel in those days). These include the Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, and the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus.
3. Sun, Moon and five planets
The number “seven” was probably chosen because the Greeks believed it represented perfection. However, some scholars have suggested that the number seven also reflects the fact that there were 5 known planets at the time, and if you add the Sun and Moon to them, you get seven.
4. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
The existence of one of the seven ancient wonders is in question. Since the Hanging Gardens in Babylon would have been very difficult to irrigate and there are no direct references to them in ancient literature, many modern scholars consider stories about this beautiful place to be mere fiction.
5. The Great Pyramid of Giza.
The only ancient wonder that still exists is the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is also known as the Pyramid of Cheops.
6. Taj Mahal
The second most famous list of wonders includes those created during the Middle Ages. Unlike ancient wonders, there is no consensus today as to what to place on this list. The most common medieval wonders are the Catacombs of Kom el-Shukafa, the Colosseum, the Great Wall of China, St. Sophia’s Cathedral, the Tower of Pisa, the Porcelain Tower in Nanjing, and Stonehenge. They also sometimes include the Cairo Citadel, Cluny Abbey, Ili Cathedral, and the Taj Mahal.
7. From the nineteenth century.
It is unlikely, however, that these lists actually originated in the Middle Ages, since the concept of “medieval world” did not appear until the Enlightenment, and the concept of the Middle Ages did not become popular until the sixteenth century. It is assumed that most of the “medieval” lists were created by writers in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
8. “7 Wonders” by ASCE.
There are also modern lists of “miracles.” One of the most popular was compiled by the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1994. It included “the greatest civil engineering achievements of the 20th century” such as the Eurotunnel, the CN Tower, the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Itaipu Dam, the Delta and Seidersee Projects, and the Panama Canal.
9. “CNN’s 7 Wonders.
To make things even more confusing, CNN’s list of “Seven Natural Wonders of the World” is as follows: the aurora borealis, Grand Canyon, Great Barrier Reef, Rio de Janeiro Harbor, Mount Everest, Paricutin Volcano and Victoria Falls.
10. New7Wonders of Nature Global Survey
New7Wonders of Nature is a 2007-2011 project to compile a list of 7 wonders of nature based on a global survey. Those who want to see them all need to go to all of the following places: Iguazu Falls, Hạlong Bay, Jeju Islands, Puerto Princesa Underground River, Table Mountain, Komodo Island and Amazon Rainforest.
11. “7 Wonders” by CEDAM International
In 1989, the diving organization CEDAM International published its “Seven Wonders of the Underwater World” list. It included the reefs of Palau, the Belize Barrier Reef, the Great Barrier Reef, deep sea cracks, the Galapagos Islands, Lake Baikal, and the Red Sea.
12. “Seven Wonders” by Deborah Cadbury
“Seven Wonders of the Industrial World” is a popular book by British author Deborah Cadbury. The list has become the standard for engineering achievements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It includes the Great Eastern steamship, the Bell Rock Lighthouse, the Brooklyn Bridge, the London Sewerage System, the First Transcontinental Railroad, the Panama Canal, and the Hoover Dam.
13. “7 Wonders” from Astronomy Magazine
In 1999, Astronomy magazine decided that we shouldn’t limit ourselves to Earth and presented a list of “Seven Wonders of the Solar System.” The list included Saturn’s moon Enceladus, Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, the asteroid belt, the surface of the Sun, Earth’s oceans, Saturn’s rings, and Mount Olympus on Mars.
14. The Eighth Wonder of the World
It’s interesting that miracles can even be human. Wrestler Andre the Giant was often advertised as the eighth wonder of the world because of his enormous height of 224 cm and weight of 240 kg.
15. “Uncle Scrooge’s 7 Wonders
As you can easily see, the list of wonders can be quite controversial. Some lists even include people or concepts. Even fictional characters, such as King Kong, have been advertised as “come see the eighth wonder of the world.”