16 MONUMENTS YOUR CHILD SHOULD SEE BEFORE THEY'RE 16
1. EMPIRE STATE BULIDING
New York, USA
This building is an NYC icon. Ride one of the 73 lifts to the top and children can use the telescopes to see right across Manhattan. But beware – the Empire State’s lightning rod is struck around 23 times every year.
2. TAJ MAHAL
The most famous mausoleum in India, the Taj Mahal (meaning ‘crown of the palace’) is a 73-metre-tall landmark made of solid white marble. Roam through the gardens and past the reflective pool to see the mosque and other burial chambers.
3. THE KREMLIN
This garish, candy-coloured fortress is in fact Moscow’s most visited tourist attraction. Cathedral Square is the centre of the famous landmark, featuring three cathedrals, the Patriarch’s Palace, and the Ivan the Great Bell Tower complex, while the armoury is a trove of Russian treasures.
4. STATUE OF LIBERTY
New York, USA
Located on Liberty Island, this towering female form commemorates the American Declaration of Independence. There are two ways to go inside the statue: by visiting the pedestal or climbing all the way up to her crown; be sure to book ahead as access sells out weeks in advance.
5. EIFFEL TOWER
Originally intended to stand for only 20 years as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, the Eiffel Tower has become one of the most enduring symbols of France and the Industrial Age. You can still walk up to the second floor, climbing 704 steps, then take the lift all the way to the top for an incredible 360-degree view of Paris.
6. BIG BEN
Big Ben was originally the nickname of this famous clock’s Great Bell, so make sure you’re there when it chimes. The tower stands at almost 100 metres tall and each clock dial is seven metres in diameter.
7. THE WHITE HOUSE
Washington DC, USA
Roosevelt, Nixon, Clinton, Obama and Trump... 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue may be their home, but it’s also a buzzing political centre. The White House receives up to 30,000 visitors and 65,000 paper letters each week. Plus, it’s the only private residence of a head of state that the public can visit for free.
8. THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA
The Tower of Pisa is famous for its prominent tilt to one side, which occurred due to unstable subsoil during its construction. Remember to get that iconic ‘Pisa pose’ as the kids hold the tower up!
9. THE COLOSSEUM
The largest amphitheatre ever built, the Colosseum is the one of the Ancient Romans’ greatest architectural feats, completed in AD80 under Emperor Titus. Book a guided audio tour to discover its fascinating history, from hosting gladiatorial games and public spectacles, to mock naval battles, animal hunts and even gruesome executions.
10. ANGKOR WAT
This 12th-century temple complex is the largest religious monument in the world, spanning 162.6 hectares. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and children still love the fact that ‘Tomb Raider’ was filmed there.
11. BURJ KHALIFA
As the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa has 160 floors and stands at a whopping 828.9 metres high. A trip to the top is not for the faint of heart!
12. THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA
The longest structure ever built by humans, The Great Wall of China was originally built to protect against attacks and invasions from the north. There are three main areas to experience it in Beijing. After the most recent geological survey in 2012, it’s now believed the wall once stretched 21,196 kilometres.
13. GIZA PYRAMID COMPLEX
Of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one still in existence. The pyramids were the tallest structures in the world until 1300. Their 73-metre-long guard, the Great Sphinx, bears the face of a human and the body of a lion.
14. BUCKINGHAM PALACE
Buckingham Palace has been the official London residence of Britain’s monarchs since 1837. Be sure to check out the Changing the Guard and, if you’re there at the right time of year, you might be lucky enough to take a tour through some of the palace’s 775 decadent rooms.
15. PETRONAS TOWERS
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Standing at 452 metres above the ground, these twin skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur’s city centre are connected by the world’s highest two-storey bridge. The buildings, which held the title of tallest in the world between 1998 and 2004, are a landmark of the metropolis.
16. ARC DE TRIOMPHE
This mighty triumphal arch was constructed under the orders of Emperor Napoleon and completed 20 years later in 1836. See if the kids can spot the names of the 128 battles fought by the first French Republic and the Empire, written on the walls, and enjoy one of Paris’ best views from the top terrace.
Other monuments and buildings to visit include:
• Sydney Opera House, Australia
• The Gherkin (30 St Mary Axe), London, UK
• Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany
• St Basil’s Cathedral, Moscow, Russia
• London Eye, London, UK
• Windmills at Kinderdijk, Netherlands
• Big Buddha, Phuket, Thailand
• Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
• Marina Bay Sands, Singapore.
This article appeared in volume 9 of Five Star Kids magazine. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.