Travelling the world and seeing the sights within it can sometimes leave us marvelling at nature, creative artists and feats of architecture.
Certain sights can leave a lasting impression on us while others are great as a photo souvenir to show were we have been on out travels.
In looking in particular at the statues of the world, we take a look at 9 iconic statues that are definitely worth seeing on your travels.
1. The Thinker, Paris
A gift to the city of Paris in 1906, Auguste Rodin created the bronzed male statue originally in a smaller scale back in 1881 as part of The Gates of Hell artwork he created.
Originally conceived and named The Poet, The Thinker was said to represent Dante, author of the Divine Comedy.
The sculpture encompasses a being with a tortured body, a damned soul while still using his mind and utilise poetry to rise above it all.
It wasn’t until 1888, where The Thinker was shown on its own, thus becoming a stand-alone art piece.
In 1904, the statue was scaled up and placed in front of the Pantheon. In 1922 it was relocated and placed outside in the gardens of the Musée Rodin.
There are many casts of this wonderful sculpture worldwide, however many are not thought to have been from the same original cast production.
If your wandering the streets of Paris, and are visiting the Eiffel Tower, then the Thinker statue is only a thirty-minute walk away.
We highly recommend taking the stroll among the Parisian streets to find and gaze upon this sculpture. Who know it may even leave you ‘thinking’ yourself.
2. Christ the Redeemer, Rio De Janerio
The Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, is probably one of the most recognisable statues in the world.
A collaboration by French Sculpter, Paul Landowski and Brazilian Engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, this iconic statue was constructed between 1922 to 1931.
Another sculptor by the name of Gheorge Leonida, carefully fashioned the face and the attention to detail is simply mesmerising to look upon.
This gigantic sculpture is made from reinforced concrete and soapstone as it believed the materials were much easier to use as well as having longevity over time.
A symbol of Christianity across the world, the statue is 30 metres high, sits atop an 8 metre pedestal and has an arm width of 28 metres wide, making it a spectacle to see up close.
Located in the Tijuca Forest National Park, the statue sits atop the 700-metre peak of Corcovado Mountain and overlooks Rio de Janiero.
A cultural icon both to the city and Brazil, this accomplishment of sculpting and engineering is now listed as one of the ‘New 7 Wonders of the World’.
3. Statue of Liberty, New York
A gift of friendship from France to the United States, The Statue of Liberty is known around the world as a universal symbol of democracy and freedom.
Designed by French sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and its metal framework by Gustave Eiffel, the same Gustave Eiffel who is known for the iconic Eiffel Tower, the statue was a welcoming sight as immigrants arrived into New York.
Dedicated on 28 October 1886, it wasn’t until 1924 when the statue became a National Monument.
Lady Liberty is actually a robed Roman liberty goddess who holds a torch in her right hand above her head. In her left hand she carries a tabula ansata (tablet with dovetail handles) with the roman numerals of JULY IV MDCCLXXVI.
This date July 4, 1776 is also known for the U.S. Declaration of Indepencence.
At her feet, lies a broken chain which only further symbolises the right to freedom and democracy.
Since 1933, the National Park Service has been attentive to the Statue of Liberty’s needs as well as offering visitors to Liberty Island the chance to explore the statue up close.
Unfortunately those looking to see the view from the torch will be disappointed as there has been a public ban in place since 1916. However with access to the pedestal and the crown, tourists are able to see great views of New York City and gain an insight into Lady Liberty herself.
4. The Little Mermaid, Copenhagen
Based on a fairytale of The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson, the statue by the same name has become an icon for Copenhagen.
The sculpture was created by Edvard Erikson and can be found on a rock at the waterside of Langelinie pier.
The mermaid is 1.25 metres tall and weighs an impressive 175 kilograms. Created from bronze and granite the statue represents the mermaid from Hans Christian Anderson’s fairytale who gave up her life as a mermaid for love to live with the handsome prince on land.
The statue was unveiled on 23 August 1913 as a gift to the city of Copenhagen from Danish brewer Carl Jacobson.
It is believed Jacobson fell in love with the ballet of the story so commission Erikson to create it based on the prima ballerina Ellen Price who danced the role in 1909 at the Royal Theatre.
Over the years the Little Mermaid statue has suffered at the hands of vandals, from head decapitation, to being knocked off her base and paint thrown over it in the name of protests, yet the city has lovingly restored it and it is representation of the unyielding strength the statue offers Copenhagen.
5. David Statue, Florence, Italy
Who knew the story of one of the world’s most iconic statues David, began life as a marble stone block that travelled to Florence by boat and lay waiting until the 15th century for Italian artist Michelangelo, to create one of his great masterpieces?
Known as a Renaissance sculpture, the statue of David was created between 1501 and 1504. The statue depicts a man standing nude and is said to symbolise the Biblical hero of David.
Standing 5.17 metres tall, David is a much loved subject in Florence amongst artists. He is said to also represent the defence of the civil liberties in Florence, when it was threatened by more powerful states.
Unveiled on September 08, 1504, in a public square, Piazza della Signoria, outside the Palazzo Vecchio, David remained there until 1873.
The statue was then moved to the Galleria dell’Accademia, where it has remained and welcomes hundreds of thousands of tourists every year.
Bit of Trivia – During World War II, David was entombed in brick to help protect the statue against aerial attacks.
6. Great Sphinx of Giza, Egypt
Known as the oldest monumental sculpture in Egypt, the Great Sphinx of Giza is said to have been constructed by ancient Egyptians during the reign of Pharaoh Khafre.
The Sphinx depicts a mythical creature with the body of a lion and the head of human and measures 73 metres long, 20.21 metres high and 19 metres wide.
A national symbol of Egypt, tourists have come from all over the world to marvel at this achievement in architecture.
It’s amazing to think that back then, the ancient Egyptians created a sculpture that has stood the test of time out of limestone bedrock.
In 1931, the Egyptian government arranged for engineers to repair the head of the Sphinx, due to erosion damage to its headdress in 1926. Further repairs have since been done during the 1980s and 1990s.
7. Moai, Easter Island
On Easter Island, in the Southern Pacific Ocean, giant stone statues emerge out of the sea.
Carved between 1250 and 1500 by the Rapu Nui people, the Moai statues are beloved to be the living faces of sacred ancestors.
They instantly draw you in with their large heads and small bodies, each ranging in different sizes, from 10 metres tall to 86 tonnes in weight.
Between 1722 and 1868, the Moai statues fell into disarray. By 1868, none of the statues remained upright.
It wasn’t until 1955 to 1978 that William Mulloy, an American archaeologist undertook the massive task to restore the Moai to their former glory.
His work saw the Rapa Nui National Park and its Moai included in the 1972 UN convention regarding the protection of the world’s cultural and natural heritage. From this in 1994, the site is now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
It really is amazing to think that the Rapu Nui people managed to create and move these mammoth statues without the use of the equipment we use today, it’s truly extraordinary.
8. The Motherland Calls, Volgograd
The tallest statue of a woman in the world, The Motherland Calls, was designed by structural engineer Nikolai Nikitin and sculptor Yevgeny Vuchetich between 1959 and 1967.
Located in Volgograd, Russia, the statue is an impressive 85 metres high and depicts a woman stepping forward holding a raised sword in her right hand with her left hand stretched out in calling gesture.
The calling gesture represents the Motherland calling on its people to stand against the enemy and continue to fight against them.
An accomplishment in design and engineering for the statue’s posture is different from many others due to a fluid motion. The stance was created by using a mix of wire ropes and pre-stressed concrete which is a solution Nikitin has used before in a previous work of his.
The Motherland is also known for commemorating the Battle of Stalingrad.
9. The Terrace of the Lions, Delos Island, Greece
In the country of Greece, lies the island of Delos, which is known as one of the most important historical, archaeological and mythological sites.
Here stand the Terrace of Lions, thought to guard the site of where the Greek sun god Apollo was born.
Built by the Naxos people around 600 BCE, the original 12 statues are said to also inspire a sense of great power to visitors who make the journey to Apollo’s shrine.
Bit of Trivia – Those that visit Delos can still stroll by the original location of the Lions, however the lions on display are not the real ones, they were replaced with marble ones. The originals were moved to a nearby museum to protect them against the elements and from going missing.
Only five lions survived the elements and can now be seen in the Archaeological Museum of Delos, which was included in the World’S Cultural Heritage list of Cultural Landscapes and Archaeological Remains (1990) under the protection of UNESCO.
Have you seen any of these iconic statues?
Let us know by leaving us a comment on facebook.