What makes a country top of the world when it comes to a monument? Is it height, significance, age, history? It all comes down to personal opinion and taste, and what you want to get out of your holiday.
As soon as all 32 nations qualified for Brazil these are the questions we started asking ourselves, and we’ve come up with our top 5 for our Alternative World Cup. Tell us what you think.
Christ the Redeemer, Brazil
We just had to start with the hosts didn’t we? In 2014, it’s all about Brazil so what better place to start. Christ the Redeemer stands magnificently on the 700 metre high Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro. The statue itself is 40 metres in height and is one of the most recognised monuments anywhere in the world. As a symbol of peace it sits high above the city with an outstretched arm span of 28 metres from fingertip to fingertip.
There is a small chapel at the base which can fit about 150 people – there’s no doubt the queues will be massive come the summer.
Mount Rushmore, United States
Ok, we’ve gone a little on a limb here. When picking monuments in the USA you’d probably think firstly of the Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty, even the Hoover Dam. Would some old faces carved into the rock be your first choice? Maybe not, but it’s spectacular nonetheless and is deserving of its place on the list. The 3 million visitors every year would probably agree too.
The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore, depicting the heads of four US presidents – George Washington (1732 – 1799), Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919), and Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865). It was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln (both of Danish-American descent).
The memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota took 400 people to carve between October 1927 – 1941. It deserves its place on the list.
The Colosseum, Italy
Enough said really. The Romans are arguably the most famous civilisation ever, with the Colosseum one of the jewels in the crown of their rich and vast history. Construction started in 70AD and didn’t come to a conclusion until 80AD. While time has left huge parts of the original structure in ruin, it’s still a magnificent sight to behold.
The Pyramid of the Sun, Mexico
As one of the largest structures in Mexico, the Pyramid of the Sun is truly spectacular. While it might not look as pretty or mythical as the likes of Machu Picchu in Peru we think it is an absolute must-see for any budding tourist. When it comes to the World Cup of monuments, it’s up there for us!
The pyramid itself was created around 200AD, but it wasn’t until 1971 when the caves beneath the structure were first uncovered. At the end of this tunnel like cave is a set of chambers in the shape of a clover leaf thought to be the scene for many fire and water rituals, as well as supposedly the “womb”. It’s believed that it is through this womb where the first humans came into the world. A monument boasting such a place surely deserves to be in the final!
Sagrada Familia, Spain
It might not be finished, but it can still compete for a place in the final of our alternative World Cup. The mercurial Lionel Messi of the architecture world Antoni Gaudi took on the construction of the cathedral in the Eixample district of Barcelona a year after construction started. Gaudi discarded the original plans and went his own maverick way spending most of his life on the design and construction.
Gaudi died in 1926 before he could complete his masterpiece. Construction slowed down but then picked up in the 1950s. The provisional date for completion is now set to be 2026 – the centenary of his death.
Which of our top five monuments would be your world cup finalist?[imagebrowser id=11]