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Approfondissez vos connaissances de certains des monuments les plus connus au monde avec cette sélection d'anecdotes les concernant.

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How many pyramids are there on the plateau of Giza? What are their names ? What do they represent?

There are three pyramids on the plateau of Giza. Most of the time, pyramids were the graves of Egyptian pharaohs that is why the three pyramids of Giza are named after the pharaoh buried inside : Cheops or Khufu, Khafre or Chephren and Menkaura.

What is the Sphinx of Giza famous for?

The Pyramid of Khufu, or Pyramid of Cheops or the Great Pyramid of Giza, is the tallest pyramid in the world, reaching 137m nowadays. It is also the oldest one and so the first of the Seven Wonders of the World listed by the Ancient Greeks. It's the only one of them to remain largely intact.

Why is the bridge of San Francisco named Golden Gate?

Because of the name of the strait that the bridge spans, the Golden Gate Strait. It's an American in 1846, captain and topographical engineer of the US Army who chose this name because the strait reminded him a Turkish harbor in Istanbul, named Golden Horn.

What is Abu Simbel famous for?

The site of Abu Simbel is well known for the two temples it contains, carved into a mountainside. They were built by the very famous pharaoh Ramsesses II represented on the four colossal statues at the entrance. The temples were designed in such way that on two days of the year, October 22 and February 22, the light would shine on the inner sanctuary, lighting up three statues including one of the pharaoh.

What are the new 7 wonders of the world?

The Great Wall of China, Petra, Coliseum, Chichen Itza, Machu Picchu, Taj Mahal, Christ the Redeemer
Those New Seven Wonders were appointed after a controversial worldwide vote whose results were published on July 7, 2007

What was the purpose of the Acropolis of Athens?

The Acropolis served firstly to provide sacred grounds dedicated to Athena, the city's matron deity. It also played host to festivals, cults and historically significant events. It is today an architectural masterpiece and the Parthenon especially is famous for its columns and pediments (triangular structures above the columns depicting two key scenes of Athena's life).

What are the 7 wonders of the modern world?

Empire State Building, Itaipu Dam, CN Tower, Panama Canal, Channel Tunnel, Netherlands North Sea Protection Works, Golden Gate Bridge
Those monuments were chosen by the American Society of Civil Engineers in order to recognize and celebrate monumental engineering and construction feats of the 20th century.

How many people can the Coliseum in Rome accommodate? What is its purpose?

About 50,000 spectators so more than twice the Madison Square Garden. Festivals as well as games could last up to 100 days in the Coliseum and it was also used by the Ancient Romans to have miniature ship naval battles inside the Coliseum as a way of entertainment. For that, the monument was completely flooded.

What does the name "Stonehenge" mean? What is this site famous for?

This name means "hanging stones". This megalithic site, composed of many heavy standing stones arranged with a very precise placement, has still a lot of secrets for archeologists. Three main theories are considered : it could be a sacred cemetery or a site where were practiced funerary rites ; it could also be a place of worship for the distinct civilizations that succeeded each other on this territory including Celtic people ; finally, astronomers noticed that stones were arranged in order to highlight and observe astronomical phenomena's. In the same way, a proven explanation on the means used to move the stones (some of them weigh up to 50 tons) is to be found.

What is the story of the construction of Taj Mahal?

The legend would say that Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, to honor his wife after she died, giving birth to their 14th child. He would have killed the wife of his architect to show him the pain he felt himself and so forcing the architect to design and build a monument on par with the love he had for his wife. After the architect finished the construction, the Emperor would have blinded him to prevent him from rebuilding such a wonder somewhere else.

What is Borobudur famous for?

This temple is the biggest Buddhist monument in the world. It measures 123 m on each side and some constructions inside reach 34 m of height. It took around 1.6 million of volcanic rock to build it.

On the entrance of St Mark's square there are two columns and above them two statues, representing a winged lion and a saint flooring a dragon. What do those statues embody?

The winged lion is nowadays the symbol of Venice and the saint flooring the dragon is St Theodore, the patron saint of the city. It is also said that the executions in the city used to take place between those two columns and that's why nowadays venetians avoid passing between them.

What does the name "Alhambra" mean in Arabic and why was this monument given that name?

Alhambra, "Al-Hamra" in Arabic, means "the Red one". The monument was given that name because of the colour of its walls at sunset.

Why is the Tower of Pisa leaning?

Many reasons were given to explain that and two major attempts to straigthen up the Tower of Pisa occured in the last 30 years. Firstly it was said that the nature of the ground was the main cause but then it appeared that the foundations themselves were not stable and that since the beginning of the construction of the Tower that took nearly 200 years in part because of that. Those foundations were then strengthened with steel and pillars and nowadays the Tower of Pisa is slowly standing up straight but some say that it is just a matter of time before she finds a new balance and starts again to lean.

What is the official name of Big Ben's tower in London?

It used to be St Stephen's Tower but is now the Elizabeth tower as it was renamed in honor of the Queen in 2012. Big Ben is specifically the name of the biggest bell that gives the hours. By extension it is now the common name of the tower and the famous clock tower.

Which dynasties did live inside the Forbidden City in Beijing (also called Imperial Palace)?

The Ming dynasty until 1644 and the Qing dynasty up to 1911, when emperors stopped ruling China.

How was Machu Picchu discovered?

The sacred city of Machu Picchu rises at 2400 m and is surrounded by mountains that can reach 5500 m. Spanish conquistadors didn't know about the existence of this monument when they settled in the region of Cuzco. It is only in 1911 that Machu Picchu was discovered.

How and when was the Great Wall of China built?

The construction of the Great Wall of China lasted for a very long time and, even if in the 5t century BC some fortifications already existed, it's between the 14th and the 17th century that are built 5650 km of the great wall. Nowadays its total length is estimated by various studies between 6700 km and 8850 km. However, a recent study in 2012 demonstrates that if we take into account the footings and the sections of the wall that have disappeared, the total length of the wall would be more than 21 000 km.

What is the Neuschwanstein castle famous for?

This castle combined modernity and dream, comfort and innovation, beauty and engineering. It was built by Louis II, Prince of Bavaria, on a rocky peak at 1800 m of height at the foot of the Alpes mountains. The inside is decorated with mural paintings representing medieval tales, legends and love stories. Behind the medieval general appearance of the castle, the latest technology was in operation and every comfort was ensured : hot air central heating, running water, telephones etc.. The large window panes are also a special features of this castle.

What does "Kiyomizu-dera" mean? What is this site famous for?

This name means literally "Pure Water Temple" and comes from the fall's pure water present on the site. Kiyomizu-dera is well known for the several constructions of varied forms and especially for its wooden stage that stands out from its main hall, 12 meters above the hillside below, offering a great view of the city of Kyoto.

What are the 7 wonders of the ancient world?

The Colossus of Rhodes, the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Lightouse of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. This list was established by the Ancient Greeks to report the most notable sites in their known world.

How high is the tallest tower of the world?

828 m.
It's the height of Burj Khalifa, a tower built in Dubai between 2004 and 2010. This building has 163 floors which is also a world record.