50 Seriously Amazing And Weird Places You Never Knew Existed
By Sarah Norman | September 19, 2023
Actual Curved 3-Story House Sits in the Rezydent Shopping Center in Downtown Sopot, Poland
If the human imagination can dream it, architects and builders can construct it! From the humble to the extravagant, there is no limit to the uniqueness and creativity of buildings found around the world. In this collection of photographs, we explore some of the coolest, strangest, and most spectacular architecture in the world.
This house is amazing! The curves are real on this three story house in Sopot, Poland, which means it was probably an tremendous challenge for the builders, engineers, and architects that designed the building, which has become known as The Crooked House. Not surprisingly, the Crooked House is the number one most photographed building in all of Poland and is an Instagrammers dream.
A Spectacular On the Water Stage Built for the 2002 Bregenz Performing Arts Festival in Austria
They’re so extra! The Bregenz Festival “Opera on the Lake”, which began in Austria in 1946, has earned a reputation for building some of the most spectacular and elaborate stages ever constructed…and they float on Lake Constance. This photograph shows the set for Guiseppe Verdi’s “A Masked Ball” which was performed for crowds of 6,800 people a night during the 2002 theatrical season. The Bregenz Festival has performed many of the world’s best loved operas, all on huge, over-the-top stage sets. As you can imagine, there are challenges to constructing stage sets of this size and complexity…and outdoors ON WATER…yet the festival continues to outdo itself year after year.
The Mysterious Stonehenge as Seen in 1867
Even in 1867, the strange stone monoliths on England’s Salisbury Plain, attracted visitors. Stonehenge, a prehistoric monument, consists of a ring of giant boulders standing about 13 feet high and weighing approximately 25 tons. Although researchers and archaeologists have learned much about Stonehenge since this photograph was taken, there are still more questions than answers. Why was the monument erected? How were the stones quarried and transported? How long did it take to built Stonehenge?
The Central Social Institution in Prague is Home to the World's Largest Vertical Letter File
This was the first search engine! The Central Social Institution of Prague housed the world’s largest collection of files and documents. To accommodate this must information, the offices were built with floor to ceiling file drawers, ten feet long and covering more than 4000 square feet of space. In fact, there are more than 3000 drawers. To be able to more quickly locate and extract files, electrical operator desks were added. A person only needed to sit in the desk and use a hand control to zoom to the correct drawer. Even the drawers were designed to open and close electrically, as this photo from 1937 shows.
Dracula's Castle Sits up on a Hill in Romania, 1929
Right at the border of Transylvania and Wallachia in Romania is Bran Castle, which is otherwise known as Dracula’s Castle. It is not, however, the home of the fictional Count Dracula…he is a merely a literary character. In fact, Bram Stoker, the author of “Dracula” described his fictional count’s castle as crumbling…not at all like Bran Castle. Bran Castle, however, has been linked to Vlad the Impaler, a real-life person who may have served as the inspiration for the fictional vampire. Vlad the Impaler was a vicious, sadistic, psychopath who killed hundreds of people…often by impaling them on sharpened sticks.
Brains For Sale? Not Really, but Their Brain Sandwich was Delicious, St. Louis 1978
It was a running joke among residents of St. Louis that, if they did something stupid, someone would hand them a quarter and tell them to go to Choteau Avenue to pick up a brain. This sign didn’t point to a restaurant for zombies, but it did serve a delicious brain sandwich that patrons seemed to love. This photograph was taken in the 1970s. Since then, this building has been torn down and a hospital stands at the site today. No idea if that hospital specializes in brain surgery!
A Stone-Carved House Shows the Handiwork of a 15th Century Romanian Monk
Step aside, Fred Flintstone, this stone house was built in the 15th century…long after Fred’s caveman days. Carved from a single giant boulder, the dwelling was the spiritual home of a medieval monk in Romania. As the Three Little Pigs can tell you, stone is an excellent building material because it is so durable and strong, but it is time consuming and difficult to work with. Carving out an entire house from a rock face must have taken quite a long time for this monk.
A Gorgeous Painted Row of Books is actually the Kansas City Public Library Parking Garage
No, this isn’t a bookshelf for giants. It is the exterior of the parking garage for the Kansas City Public Library’s Central Branch. The parking garage’s façade is covered in signboard and painted to look like a row of books on a giant bookshelf. The parking garage was built in 2006 because there was a need for additional parking near the library. The library directors sought suggestions from the public on ways to make the parking garage more aesthetically pleasing. Everyone involved fell in love with the book shelf idea. On the 25-feet tall book spines, visitors can see the names of classic literary works, including “Fahrenheit 451”, “The Lord of the Rings”, “Charlotte’s Web,” and “Romeo and Juliet.”
A Splendid Baroque Chapel Inside of the Church of Santo Domingo, Puebla, Mexico
The exterior of the Templo de Santo Domingo in Puebla, Mexico, certainly doesn’t give a hint of the splendid baroque chapel that is found inside. The Capilla del Rosario, or the Rosary Chapel, was constructed between 1650 and 1690 and added to the Santo Domingo Church that was built nearly 200 years before. The Rosary Chapel was the first Mexican chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Ornate and gilded, the Rosary Chapel is covered with paintings, reliefs, and sculptures. Light bathes the chapel from above and illuminates all the gold leaf in the room, making the place glow in warmth and majesty.
The Grand Staircase Copper King Mansion, 1884 Butte, Montana
The Copper King Mansion in Butte, Montana, was built by William Andrew Clark in 1884. Clark was one of Montana’s three Copper Kings…land barons who acquired tremendous wealth in Montana’s copper industry. The Three Copper Kings all tried to outdo each other in overt displays of wealth, including their personal homes. Clark’s home was a 34-room home with fresco painted ceilings, gas and electric chandeliers, imported wood parquets, and stained glass windows. It was designed in the Romanesque Revival styles. One of the home’s highlights is the Grand Staircase featuring hand-carved, imported wood.
The Old Cincinnati Public Library Bathed in Natural Light Back in 1874
Built in 1874, the Cincinnati Public Library looked a lot like the marvelous library in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” with five levels of bookshelves, cast iron spiral staircases, and checkerboard marble floors. Skylights, ample windows, and an atrium bathed the interior of the library in natural light. Sadly, this beautiful old library no longer stands. In the 1920s, the building has begun to show its age and was running out of room to store the library’s collection of books. A new, modern library was built in Cincinnati in 1955 and this stately only building was torn down and the site turned into a parking garage.
Jedburgh Abbey, One of Six Abbeys Featured on Scotland’s Borders Abbeys Way Walk
This ruined Augustinian abbey, Jedburgh Abbey, is one of six abbeys featured on Scotland’s Borders Abbeys Way Walk, a popular tourist tour. Jedburgh Abbey, just ten miles from the English border, was built in the 12th century It originally housed a priory and was later elevated to the status of monastery. After William Wallace of “Braveheart” fame defeated the Earl of Surrey in 1297, the English retaliated by pillaging the Jedburgh Abbey, but Robert the Bruce of Scotland continues to patronize the church to prove to the English that his faith was as unwavering as the Abbey itself.
The 14-story Neo-Gothic Pabst Building in Milwaukee was the City's First Skyscraper Built in 1891
The first skyscraper in Milwaukee, the 14-story neo-gothic Pabst Building, was constructed in 1891 by the owner of Pabst Brewing Company, Frederick Pabst. When it was completed, the Pabst Building was the tallest building in Milwaukee, a title it held for only four years when the Milwaukee City Hall was built. Frederick Pabst was known to involve himself in various civic projects, like the construction of the Pabst Building. He built the Pabst Theater, an opera house, in 1895, and helped to organize the Wisconsin National Bank. The Pabst Building was demolished in 1981.
The Famed Street Nicknamed "Newspaper Row" Boston, Massachusetts in 1906
From the late 1800s to the 1940s, many of Boston’s newspapers were located in close proximity to each other in a district that Bostonians nicknamed Newspaper Row. The Boston Globe, the Boston Post, the Associated Press, the Boston Journal, the Boston Herald, and many others set up shop along Washington Street, Hawley Street, and Milk Street. Prior to television and radio, newspapers were the only means of getting world news and Bostonians would crown Newspaper Row to get the latest news. In addition to printing newspapers, most of the publishers had large chalk boards in their windows and would write on them the latest updates they received on the telegraph wires.
A Foggy View of the New York City Skyline, 1920s
Even in the 1920s, New York City was home to many of the world’s biggest skyscrapers. After World War I, the United States enjoyed a building boom in many of its major cities, including New York. There was a huge increase in the number of skyscrapers between 1925 and 1931. In addition to the number of skyscrapers built in the 1920s, the height of the buildings also dramatically increased, from an average of 40 stories to 70 stories. This photographs shows how the new, tall skyscrapers poked through the low-hanging clouds.
Old Vennel Off High Street Glasgow - Thomas Annan 1868
The Scottish photographer, Thomas Annan, was the first photographer to feature the decrepit living conditions and houses of the poor. In 1866, he was commissioned by The City Improvement Trust to photograph the inner city of Glasgow. In an act of Parliament, many of the slums were slated for demolition and the City Improvement Trust sought to record and document the poorer areas of the city. The result was a series of haunting photographs, Annan titled, “Old Vennel Off High Street, Glasgow.” This photograph is one of the series.
One of 36 bridges in Central Park, New York
The jewel of Manhattan, Central Park in New York City’s Upper West Side boasts a total of 36 bridges, such as this beauty seen here. More than 40 million visitors per year visit the park to enjoy the green space, wooded areas, ponds, and bridges. In fact, Central Park is the most visited urban park in the country. Central Park, which covers about 843 acres, is an icon of New York City and one of the most photographed and filmed locations in the world. The numerous bridges, like this one, area among the more popular spots of photo opps.
Pierpont Morgan Library and Museum, New York City
The private, personal collection of J.P. Morgan’s library was donated to create the Pierpont Morgan Library in 1906, later renamed the Morgan Library and Museum, in New York City. The research library became a public institution in 1924, as per J.P. Morgan’s will. The building, designed by Charles McKim, housed an impressive collection of books, many of them rare, as well as prints, drawings, and paintings. In 1966, the library was named a New York City landmark and a National Historic Landmark.
Rockefeller Center, New York, 1939
On Fifth Avenue in New York City is a 19-building complex sprawling over 22 acres that was built by John D. Rockefeller between 1931 and 1933. In the middle of the complex is the sunken square known as Rockefeller Plaza. This is the location of Radio City Music Hall and the skating rink. Overlooking the skating rink is the gilded statue, Prometheus, which was created by Paul Manship in 1934. Prometheus, in Greek mythology brought fire to mankind.
Ruins of Persepolis in Iran, 1923
The ruins of Persepolis in Iran date back to 515 BC yet it demonstrates the ability of master builders. The site features limestone structures including the Persepolitan Stairway, a dual, symmetrical staircase on the Great Wall. The 111 steps have low risers so visiting dignitaries could maintain a regal gait as they climbed them. The top of the stairway opens into a small terrace situated opposite of The Gate of All Nations, shown in this photograph.
Suburbia Breaks Out in San Francisco, California, 1967
Ah, suburbia! There used to be just rural and urban settings but a midway point between the two, suburbs, was created to allow city dwellers to sprawl beyond city limits and for rural dwellers to move closer to the cities. One thing that arose from suburbia was conformity. Here we see rows of cookie-cutter houses that were a common theme in suburbs across the nation. Conformity extended to cars, pets, and lifestyle, too. In fact, one of the attractions of life in the early suburbs was the opportunity to live just like everyone else. That began to change in the 1970 when more people sought unique and personal styles.
Singer House, Also Widely Known as the House of Books, is an Art Nouveau Construction 1904, Saint Petersburg, Russia
The Russian division of the Singer Sewing Machine Company built this stunning art nouveau building in Saint Petersburg in 1904 to be the headquarters for the company. The original plan was to build a skyscraper resembling the Singer Company’s New York City building but there is a building code in Saint Petersburg that states that no building can be taller than the Winter Palace. Pavel Suzor, the building’s architect, instead designed this unique building that is so much cooler than a skyscraper. In 1919, the building was given to the Petrograd State Publishing House and became a large bookstore, earning the nickname “The House of Books.”
Telephone Tower in Stockholm Connected about 5000 Telephone Lines from 1897-1913
Stockholm’s telephone company constructed this massive metal tower in 1887 to channel all of the city’s 5,500 telephone lines from one central location. To make the structure more aesthetically pleasing, the telephone company hired an architect, Fritz Eckert, to add some special touches. He designed the structure’s four turrets. The metal grid works stood more than 260 feet tall and functioned until 1913 when the telephone company started using underground telephone lines. In 1952, the metal tower was heavily damaged in a fire and the entire structure was torn down the following year.
A Catholic Church Built into the Rocks is Located in Sedona, Arizona
Tucked in Arizona’s vibrant red rock formations is the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a Catholic church jutting up from the stunning desert rocks. Local rancher and artist, Marguerite Brunswig Staude, inspired by the recently-constructed Empire State Building, was to build a church. She originally planned to build in Budapest, Hungary, in partnership with famed architect, Frank Lloyd Wright’s son, Lloyd Wright, but those plans were derailed with World War II started. Staude then decided to build the church in her own community. She selected a location in the Coconino National Forest and hired Richard Hein to design the building. The chapel was opened in 1956.
The Cologne Cathedral Amidst the Ruins, 1944
During bombing runs, invading pilots used the Cologne Cathedral as a reference point for their aerial attacks. The surrounding neighborhoods were almost completely destroyed in the bombings, but the cathedral stood tall. Most of the pilots and airmen later said that they purposely avoided bombing the cathedral because of its beauty and cultural significant. Although the church took as many as fourteen hits, it remained sturdy. When the war was over, repairs were made to the Cologne Cathedral, which was constructed between 1248 and 1473. The church was as good as new again by 1956.
The Hollywoodland Sign was First Erected in 1923 to Promote a Housing Development Not Hollywood
The famous Hollywood sign was not built to pay homage to Tinsel Town, but to promote a housing development that was supposed to be built in the 1920s in the Hollywood Hills. The original plan was to take down the sign after the housing development was built, but during the Golden Age of Hollywood, the sign became an icon of the California movie industry, so the sign stayed in place, minus the “land” portion. Each letter in the Hollywood sign is 44-feet tall, plenty large enough for it to be seen from a number of locations around Hollywood.
The Before and After of the Famous Las Vegas Strip, 1940 Vs. 2017
Sin City sure has changed a lot in only 75-plus years! The first casino on Highway 91 was the Pair-O-Dice Club, which opened in 1931, but the first casino and hotel resort was the 63-room El Rancho Vegas, which first opened its doors in 1941. After that, more and more hotels, casinos, and resorts popped up along Las Vegas Highway. Vegas businessman, Guy McAfee, who previously worked as a Los Angeles police officer, is credited with naming the area the Vegas Strip. He took the name from Sunset Strip in his hometown.
A Photo of San Francisco After the Earthquake of 1906 Resembles a War Zone
When the city of San Francisco was rocked by a 7.9 earthquake in 1906, it decimated the California city and its residents. The majority of the buildings in the city received some damage or was completely destroyed. Fires broke out and raced unchecked through the ruins, destroying more than 500 city blocks. News reports of the day claim that the quake and fires killed about 700 residents, but experts now believe that that total may be as high as 3000. More than 200,000 people were homeless as a result of the destruction. The great earthquake helped to bring attention to building practices in earthquake zones.
The Breathtaking View From 7,500 Feet Over New York City
In this aerial nighttime view of New York City, we can see that the City That Never Sleeps looks wide away! Every block and every street is illuminated by street lights and building signs giving the city a vibrancy and life around the clock. That dark patch in the middle is Central Park. Many of the walkways through the park are not lit at night so we only see the winding light trails of a few of the major paths of the park.
Times Square Building in 1943, Continues to be One of the Most Photographed Places in the Big Apple
Even though this image of Times Square, taken in 1943, is missing the crowds of tourists that we see there today, it still featured the Time Square Building, One Times Square, as the backdrop. Originally built to house the New York Times newspaper in 1905, the 25-story building is one of the most photographed places in the Big Apple. It is the setting for New York’s massive New Year’s Eve celebration every year when thousands of visitors pack Times Square to watch the ball drop at midnight.
The Shoe House in Pennsylvania Built for Publicity Stunt Becomes Advantageous for the Haines Shoe Company
Built as a publicity stunt for the Haines Shoe Company, the Shoe House of Pennsylvania, constructed in 1948, took advantage of the “tourist trap” trend that popped up as automobile ownership increased and post-WWII prosperity allowed families to take road trips. Twenty-five feet tall, the structure has a living room and kitchen in the heel, two bedrooms in the ankle, and a soda shop in the arch. Today, the Haines Shoe House is open for tours and welcomes visitors who want to channel their favorite nursery rhyme character, the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe.
The 3,000 Men who Helped Build the 810 ft. High Chase Manhattan Bank in New York Line Up for the Photo in August 1964
It took an army of men to build David Rockefeller’s Chase Manhattan Bank building in the early 1960s. The patriarch of the wealthy and powerful Rockefeller family of New York, David Rockefeller, spearheaded the construction project because so many banks had moved their headquarters to midtown. The Chase Manhattan Bank building is unique in that its glass exterior reflected sunlight. The structure is also asymmetrical with the central core and elevator shafts built off-center to allow for a wide corridor of office cubicles and a clerical pool. A huge construction feat, more than 3000 men worked on the building.
A Chapel in a Treehouse Built in 1669 is Still Being Used Today
In a small village in France, a stately old oak tree…that witnessed the Black Death, the Hundred Years War, the reign of King Louis IX, and the French Revolution…has a unique tree house chapel nestled in its branches. The Chene Chapelle, or Oak Chapel, was tree was struck by lightning in the 1600s and a resulting fire hollowed out a large portion of the tree’s interior. The local priest believed this was a divine sign that the tree should be turned into a place of worship. A spiral staircase circling the tree’s trunk takes worshipers into one of two sanctuaries, the Notre Dame de la Paix or the Chambre de l’Ermite. The tree is beginning to show its age and the Oak Chapel has been reinforced for safety.
Damage from a Boulder that Rolled through a House in Italy
The power of nature! When a giant boulder from the hilltop above dislodged and came crashing down, it didn’t let anything get in its way. That includes this barn in Ronchi de Termeno, Italy. The barn was utterly smashed by the enormous rock that rolled but, fortunately, no one was hurt in the 2014 incident. The boulder even left a huge divot in its wake as a testament to how heavy and powerful it was. What this photo doesn’t show is that a second boulder narrowly missed the farmhouse next to the barn.
A Secluded Home on a Remote Island in Iceland
Iceland is a place of rugged isolation with barren, windswept landscapes. The Icelandic people are as hearty as the countryside. Living in a home as desolate and secluded as this one may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but to the Icelandic, this home looks like heaven on earth. And Iceland is a small country…only about 39,000 square miles…so, even though this home looks like it is in the middle of nowhere, it is probably in close proximity to some village or town.
An Abandoned ''Pirate Tower'' Stands Empty on Victoria Beach Laguna
Sadly, this cool tower on California’s Laguna Beach is not really a pirate hideout. Instead, this structure, known as La Tour, the word tower in French, was constructed in 1926 by California State Senator William Edward Brown as a way for his family to get from their summer home down the cliff to the beach below. The tower was built using poured concrete and is anchored to the cliff face. A wooden spiral staircase is housed inside, with plenty of windows to let in the natural light.
The Sümela Monastery in Turkey Stands Carved Out of a Cliff
A Greek Orthodox Church, the Sumela Monastery is 3,900 feet high on the steep cliff face in the Pontic Mountains of Turkey. The church, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is much revered in Turkey and is considered a place of great importance. Unfortunately, a rock slid on September 22, 2015, forced the monastery to close to the public. Engineers are working to ensure that the cliff structure is safe before the monastery reopens. The anticipated reopening is slated for late 2018.
The Medieval Ruins of Dunluce Castle Rest on Top of Mermaids Cave in Northern Ireland
Now in ruins, the Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland was built precariously close to the cliffs on an outcropping into the sea. Steep cliff walls dropping into the sea nearly surround the castle. According to a local legend, a large portion of the kitchen suddenly crashed into the sea below one day. The kitchen boy survived because he happened to be sitting on a stool in the one corner of the kitchen that didn’t collapse. This may be an exaggeration, however, as an intact kitchen can still be seen next to the manor house.
Amphitheater of Acropolis in Athens, Greece
The ancient Amphitheater at Acropolis was built in 161 AD by Herodes Atticus and was originally designed as a three-story, sloped venue with a wooden roof built from cedar of Lebanon wood. More than 5,000 people could crowd into the theatre to watch comedies, tragedies or musical concerts. The theatre was destroyed by Heruli in 267 AD and left in a state of ruins. It was renovated in 1950 and is a popular tourist attraction.
An 800-year-old Church Located in Borgund, Norway
This unusual Norwegian building was constructed by connecting vertical wooden boards, called staves, hence the name Borgund Stave Church. Although it was built between 1180 and 1250 AD, portions of the church were added on later. The construction of the church is really quite unique. The four corner post of the church are linked together using ground sills and the whole thing sits on a stone foundation. The stave walls are connected by a tongue and groove system.
An Abandoned "Dr. Suess" House Tucked Deep in the Alaskan Wilderness
Dubbed a Dr. Seuss house, this odd looking structure in Alaska was so named because it reminded people of the whimsical, nonsensical drawings of the wonderful Dr. Seuss. This building looks like it could be home to a family of Whos from Whoville or, perhaps even Thing 1 and Thing 2 from “The Cat in the Hat”. Dr. Seuss, the pen name of Theodore Geisel, illustrated all 44 of the children’s books that he penned.
Construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway Bridge in Mountain Creek British Columbia, 1880-1890
The deep gorges and steep cliffs of the Canadian Rockies make it a challenge for railroad track construction. As a solution, bridges like this one, built high in the mountains are needed. A complex network of wooden trusses hold the tracks up. This bridge was built in late 1800s and it took a large work crew of brave and talented builders to span the gap between mountain ridges with solidly-built trusses. You can even see the work crew in this photograph, standing along the tracks.
An Incredible 16th Century Italian fireplace
We don’t know if this fireplace is cool or frightening. It is different and unique, though. For homeowners who want to make a statement in their homes, a signature fireplace is one way to create a stunning focal point. Still fireplaces should be cozy and romantic, as well as functional, so we cannot picture anyone wanting to cuddle up with a significant other and a bottle of wine in front of this fireplace.
Belvedere Castle, Central Park, Built in 1869
Belvedere Castle in New York’s Central Park is often considered to be a folly building…one that was constructed for show and not for function. Built in 1869, the Belvedere Castle has an observation deck, a tower, and various exhibit rooms. The style is a combination of the Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles and was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux.
This Fred Flinstone Looking House is Luxurious and Real, Portugal
Talk about making good use of your surroundings, when the homeowners started to build this house in Portugal, they decided not to clear the huge boulders from the land. Instead, the architect incorporated the massive rocks into the construction of the house. It is a totally modern home, despite looking like it is from the Fred Flintstone days, with a swimming pool, fireplace, and all the modern amenities.
The Smallest City Hall in America, Located in Maskell, Nebraska
Long before the tiny house craze, there was the tiny city hall in Maskell, Nebraska. There isn’t much in Maskell…a Lutheran church and a few houses. The last census report says the town’s population is about 50 people. Still, Maskell has one big claim to fame…it is home to the smallest city hall in the United States. The tiny 10-foot by 12-foot structure might not look like much, but all the major decisions affecting the residents of Maskell are run out of this tiny city hall.
The Famous Longaberger Basket Company's Headquarters, Newark, Ohio
The Longaberger Family, known for their cute, but expensive baskets that were sold via in-home parties, constructed their seven-story company headquarters in Newark, Ohio, to resemble one of their iconic baskets in 1997. Sadly, styles change and taste evolve and the Longaberger basket sales were in a decline. The company closed in earlier this year and the giant basket building was put up for sale. It sold in early 2018, presumably to a basket lover.
The Amazing Prambanan Temples in Indonesia, 2013
Indonesia’s Prambanana Temple complex is the largest of its kind dedicated to Shiva. Built in the 10th century, the trio of temples sits at the center of concentric squares and is adorned with artwork and reliefs showing the epic of Ramayana. The temples have sustained considerable damage over the years due to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and war. The temples were rediscovered in the 17th century and efforts have been underway since to restore the temples to their original glory without altering the historical authenticity and cultural integrity of the buildings.
The Gathering Place of Ancient Rome, The Roman Forum, Rome, Italy
For centuries, the Roman Forum was the center of everyday life for the people of ancient Rome. It was the location of important buildings and events. Political speeches, public trials, and gladiator matches took place at the Roman Forum. The Roman Forum was once considered the most important meeting place in the world. Although most of the site is in ruins today, it still receives more than 4.5 million annual visitors and is the location of ongoing archaeological excavations.
A Symbol of the Cold War, The Construction of the Berlin wall, 1961
When Germany was divided into East and West Germany, the city of Berlin became problematic. West Berlin became a geographical “loophole” for East Germans who wanted to escape the Communist East and flee to the democratic West. The East Germans settled on a solution to the problem. Overnight on August 13, 1961, workers erected the Berlin Wall, totally surrounding West Berlin. Guards posted at various points along the wall made sure that no one climbed across. The Berlin Wall became a Cold War symbol. It was torn down on November 9, 1989.