10 famous sights with flaws that few people know about
Even the most famous buildings and monuments have flaws.
People travel around the world to look at historical buildings and monuments – symbols of the country. We ask ourselves the question when we look at the Egyptian pyramids: how is this possible? We do not even think that human hands make the sights that have become an integral part of the guidebooks. It is hard for us to believe that sculptors and architects could have made such stupid mistakes.
We have collected 10 known sights that were inaccurate in their construction for you. Of course, that does not make them any worse.
The Great Pyramid of Cheops (Egypt)
The pyramids in Giza are the last of the Seven Wonders of the World that have survived to this day. If you look closely at the pyramid of Cheops, the largest of them, you can see that it has 8 faces instead of four. Concave edges are almost imperceptible from the Earth, but they are perfectly visible on satellite images.
Many believe that it is a structural defect of a design: the Egyptian engineers could not correctly calculate the distribution of weight of structures. Others argue that it is an intentional step to improve the stability of the main facet by strengthening it with a small internal tilt on each side.
This question can be added to the piggy bank of multiple pyramid riddles, which are difficult to find answers to.
The Taj Mahal in Agra, India
The famous Taj Mahal is a model of eternal beauty in India. This magnificent monument, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for its beautiful carving, laconic design and, most importantly, perfect symmetry. However, is everything as symmetrical as it seems at first sight?
The tomb of Mumtaza Mahal, wife of Emperor Shah Jahan, is located in the central room. When you enter it, you will find something strange: the tomb of Emperor Shah Jahan is almost adjoined to his beloved’s grave. It feels as if she was squeezed just to fit in this place, thus completely breaking the symmetry of the room. A perfectionist would go mad.
The son of Padishah Aurangzeb did it. Being a faithful Muslim, he gave the order to arrange his father’s grave as required by the Koran: towards Mecca, to the right of his wife’s tomb.
Washington Monument (USA)
You probably know this monument well, but you may not even mean that the obelisk is actually two-color.
Architect Robert Mills designed the statue in the 1830s. The first stage of construction took place in the 40s, but the finances ended and disagreements arose – construction of the monument was suspended in 1856. The U.S. government resumed the project only about 25 years later.
Unfortunately, the quarry that was used to mine the marble slabs for the Washington Memorial was closed by then, and the builders had to use another one. The government finished the monument with slabs of a different shade instead of tearing down the first third of the famous obelisk and starting over. The result was a two-colour monument to George Washington.
Monument 4 corners (USA)
The Four Corners Monument marks the intersection of four states: Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. Tourists from all over America and the world come here to find themselves in four states at the same time for many years. However, the problem is that the monument is not quite accurate.
The state crossing point is at 109’3 degrees west longitude and 37 degrees north latitude, according to Congress. But Chandler Robbins, a surveyor who was hired in 1875 to find this coordinate, missed 500 meters east of where he needed to be. This is where the monument was built.
The National Survey of America stood up to the specialist in 2009, noting that Robbins had access to a very primitive technology, so he miraculously discovered the location at the time.
The border between the states was officially set at the site of the monument with the words: “In geodesy, monuments decide!”
Lions at the base of the Nelson Column (UK)
The watch lions that appeared at the base of the Nelson Column in London’s Trafalgar Square in 1867 have rather unusual paws. The fact that they were modeled by the sculptor Edwin Landseer with the usual cat’s paws, as samples of lions were not available.
Sydney Opera House, Australia
We often associate Australia with two things: a kangaroo, of course, and the majestic white Sydney Opera House. Danish architect Jorn Utzon designed the bizarre shape of the building in 1957. Its design was revolutionary at the time, but the conservative government of New South Wales did not allocate funds for its construction.
Disappointed Jorn left the project and gave it to the local architects. They completely changed the interior layout, making the auditorium for the opera very small and the concert hall too large.
It was called an “acoustic disaster” despite the fact that the building is world-famous and is one of the main attractions of the continent. A survey of musicians, critics and spectators at the Sydney Opera House recognized the theatre has the worst acoustics among 20 others.
Palace of Versailles, France
Most tourists rush to Versailles, the former residence of the French kings. The pearl of the suburbs is the Palace of Versailles, which was built by King Louis XIV in the 17th century.
The majestic building originally consisted of 700 rooms and 67 stairways. However, most surprisingly, there were no toilets in the palace.
It was really a big problem when everything in Versailles, from the gardens to the royal chambers, was open to the public. The royal family and the courtiers had their needs met wherever they had to. The palace and gardens started smelling like a cesspool.
The toilets appeared in the palace only in 1768.
Mount Rushmore, USA
The faces of American presidents carved out in the mountains are admirable to us (try carving a face out of the mountain). However, not everyone was happy with the work. Indigenous people of Indian tribe Lakota considered it very offensive when sculptor Gutzon Borglum created a giant composition on their sacred land – in the very center of Black Hills mountain massif.
Nevertheless, the US government does not care much about it – such a masterpiece will definitely last for many centuries.
The Alley of Fame in Hollywood
Anyone who comes to Los Angeles hurry to see the world-famous Alley of Fame. But in fact, it looks more like the Alley of Fail: at least 5 celebrity names were spelled incorrectly. If Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Dick Van Dyke hurried to correct the flaws in their names, some stupid misprints remain on the Alley of Fame today.
Merian Cooper, author of “King Kong” (1933), immortalized as “Meriam”, the name of the opera star Lotte Lehmann is written “Lottie”. We believe these are the most expensive misprints in the world.
Built in the early 20th century, the Honest Abe Memorial perpetuates some of his most famous words. Specifically, the ones he could not pronounce. The 16th President of the United States, in his second inaugural speech: “With high hope for the future…” It would seem that when words are carved in stone, there is no room for error. However, the engraver managed to write EUTURE instead of FUTURE.
The misprint was easily corrected since the capital F and E differ only in one line, but you can still notice the previous error. If you look at the northern wall of the memorial, you will see that a stone of slightly different color disguises the lower line of the letter E.
Read more about one of the most famous circuses in the world in our article Why is Piccadilly circus so famous?