Landmarks of the World: Our Top 5 Choices
There are many spectacular natural and man-made landmarks existing around the world and with so many, is was difficult to narrow down our choices to only 5. Enjoy below the descriptions of some incredible destinations.
1. The Colosseum of Rome
The Flavian Amphitheatre is more commonly known as the Colosseum of Rome and is the largest amphitheatre ever built. Historically, it played the role of super host to countless gladiator games. It was here that humans, trained in the art of combat, fought against each other while encircled by rows of up to 50,000 spectators. The Colosseum appears in many movies and is the subject of numerous stories, including those in history books and in pop culture.
There are at least six types gladiators who entertained Rome's Colosseum crowds and there are more than two dozen types of gladiators in total, all categorized by their style of fighting and by their choice of weapons used to fight with.
Related Article: Types of Gladiators
It was also within this amphitheatre that evolved the sport of damnatio ad bestias, where criminals and prisoners of war were publicly executed. These unlaws were trapped onto the game floor with wild animals which then used claws, teeth and horns to slay their human targets.
Sometime after the 5th Century, the site was no longer used for spectator sports and the amphitheatre was eventually abandoned. Parts of the building were later converted to suit a variety of needs, including the arena floor being used as a cemetery. Upon learning of the Colosseum Cemetery, some might pause to ponder where the human remains of the cemetery might these days remain.
Today, the Colosseum of Rome is used as a tourist attraction and welcomes visitors from far and wide.
2. The Caldera of Santorini
When some people think of Greece, they might recall its historic philosophers, its crumbling ruins of ancient architecture, or perhaps its awe-inspiring locations, such as the Caldera of Santorini. This Greek caldera is embedded into an island. Its landscape was formed by the solidifying remains of molten lava that once flowed from an erupting volcano.
The caldera is an amazing wonder of nature and parts of its slope provide home to a town called Oia, where the scenery is absolutely breathtaking and provides a perfect backdrop for Santorini's Blue Domed Churches.
The Caldera of Santorini and its entire island is resplendent with bell towers and over 600 temples, making it a preferred destination for tourists, festivals, weddings and religious events.
In general, there is a romantic aspect associated with the islands of Greece. Their breathtaking views make islands, like those home to the Caldera of Santorini, ideal locations for filming movies such as the 1989 film adaptation of Shirley Valentine. The island's water-side Villas also give inspiration to films such as the stage musical Mama Mia! The 2008 film adaptation of Momma Mia! is a resurrection of the original stage musical, but while the story pretends to unfold on a Greek island location, it is in reality filmed in Croatia, on an 35-square-mile island island called Vis; This alternate landscape to Greece is an assuring reminder that the beauty of Nature exists everywhere.
3. The Great Wall of China
As measured in miles, the Great Wall of China is one of the largest landmarks on Earth. The wall is 13,170.6956 miles long (21,196.18 km) and, with the aid of magnification, is one of the most easily seen structures from space. The wall was built as protection against intruders and was formed over the course of many centuries by connecting together a series of defensive structures and kingdom walls.
Related Article: Great Wall of China
Before all these protection systems merged, each system stood and operated as a Silo Nation, securing its inhabitants against the threat of nearby neighbours.
"United We Stand, Divided We Fall"
- John Dickinson -
Over time, the individual kingdoms saw the value of uniting against the larger threat of Northern invaders. Hence the Great Wall of China represents, in many ways, a gigantic structure of division between its neighbours and also represents a formidable structure of unification against outside forces.
The wall is approximately 2,500 years old and many of its sections have now either crumbled down or disintegrated away.
To learn more about the rich history of China's Great Wall, I encourage you to visit the official web site of the National Geographic Society.
4. The Falls of Victoria
Nestled between Zimbabwe and Zambia of southern Africa, the Falls of Victoria spills into the Zambezi River and is featured as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Its name was appointed by David Livingstone, a Scottish explorer who wished to dedicate the Falls to Queen Victoria.
Despite the name catching on with many, those more local and intimate with the Falls usually call it by the original Lozi name of Mosi-oa-Tunya, meaning "The Smoke That Thunders." The Falls of Victoria is alternatively called by its Tonga name of Shungu Namutitima, meaning for "Boiling Water."
There are some waterfalls that are wider than those in Zimbabwe and there are also some falls that are taller. However, there are none that are both wider and taller at the same time, resulting in the Falls of Victoria being considered the largest waterfall sites in the world.
Not all citizens and tourists have the opportunity to visit the site of a natural waterfall. Luckily for those living near Times Square in the United States, many can visit simulated versions of it, including the Virtual Waterfall in Times Square. This New York based digital fall is an updated version of an original 1948 waterfall sign that was perched upon the building of the Bond Men’s Wear store. The sign was later retrofitted to advertise for Pepsi Cola.
5. The Parks of Disneyland
Located in the United States and originally unveiled during the summer of 1995, Disneyland changed its name to the Parks of Disneyland to reflects its expansion. The theme parks are perhaps some of the most accessible and inclusive world landmarks of all time. They form a rare fabric of entertainment that meets the interests of children more so than it does the adults.
Though considered a tourist attraction largely for the young, a large percentage of Disneyland's adult visitors are thrilled with the opportunity to interact with life-sized versions of the Disney images they see on the television screen.
The influence of Disney entertainment ripples throughout many cultures in the forms of music and of famous icons such as Mickey Mouse. The popular belief is that Mickey Mouse was invented by Mr. Walt Disney, however strong evidence points to an artist named Ub Iwerks as being the true creator. Walt may not have been the founder of all Disney content, but his vision was certainly a perpetuator of them.
The Parks of Disneyland offer immersive entertainment that can only be paralleled by Las Vegas, the adult-centric entertainment landmark of Nevada, USA. The Disney site offers magical structures, theme rides, musical entertainment, life-sized characters and much more. To learn more please visit the Official Disneyland Web Site and be prepared to be entertained.