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9 Crystal Palace Subway
Tourists might not know that beneath a section of London’s A212 lies a beautifully designed Victorian gem. Built over 150 years ago, the Crystal Palace Subway in south London has been closed to passengers since 1954. The underground heritage site features pillars from white & orange bricks & a spectacular vaulted walkway entrance. In the past the station brought passengers to the Crystal Palace, once one of the world’s largest glass structures. Despite its underground location, the Victorian gem is a source of pride for Londoners aware of its existence. The Friends of Crystal Palace group has raised thousands of pounds & secured planning permits to secure the vaulted structure being re-opened for public viewing.
8 Empire State Building’s Viewing Platform
Those visiting New York City’s Empire State Building can enjoy a stunning view of Manhattan on the observation deck located on the 86th floor. Some go even higher to the 102nd floor & marvel at the Big Apple from behind sturdy windows. Yet there’s a secret observation deck located on the 103rd floor, only accessible to a select few, which may prove a challenge.
7 Hall of Records
South Dakota’s Mount Rushmore is undoubtedly among the United States’ most famous landmarks. Standing 5,725 feet above sea level & featuring 60-foot sculptures of the heads of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt & Abraham Lincoln. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum designed the monument & oversaw its execution from 1927 to 1941, aided by his son, Lincoln Borglum. Borglum had a much larger vision for Mount Rushmore & wanted the massive sculpture to include significant moments in American history & the presidents to be depicted from head to waist.
6 Station in Trafalgar Square
Hidden in plain sight in London’s Trafalgar Square is Britain’s smallest station. 1926 was a difficult year for those in the capital. The small station had a phone line, directly connected to Scotland Yard. Whenever it was used, the outside lamp would blink thereby alerting that a situation was unfolding.
5 Leonardo da Vinci’s Statue
A massive 60-foot bronze statue of Leonardo da Vinci welcomes fliers to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport. While renovating the monument in 2008, workers were stunned to find it had been keeping a secret for 46 years. Half way up the structure, they discovered a latch which opened a secret compartment.
4 Statue of Liberty’s Torch
A gift from the people of France to the people of the United States, the Statue of Liberty towers over Liberty Island in New York Harbor. The copper colossus measures roughly 151 feet from the base to the torch & was built by with a design provided by French sculptor. Those who visit the Liberty today will find that they can’t climb higher than the crown.
3 Corridor in Florence
In Florence there’s a passage-way measuring over half a mile that stretches across Ponte Vecchio, connecting the Pitti Palace to the Uffizi Gallery. Dating back to 1565 it was commissioned by Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici to celebrate the wedding of his son Francesco to Joanna of Austria. It’s known as the Vasari Corridor, after Giorgio Vasari it’s designer.
2 Michelangelo’s Secret Room
In 1975, at the Basilico di San Lorenzo in Florence, a discovery was made that would thrill those enamored with Renaissance art. Paolo Dal Poggeto, director of the Medici Chapels museum at the time, was trying to establish a new exit route for visitors when he found a trapdoor hidden under a wardrobe in the Medici room. Dal Poggeto opened the trapdoor & discovered a rectangular room hidden beneath the Medici Chapel which had been used to store coal. The room was cleared & cleaned. When the coal dust, mud & mold faded away, drawings, graffiti, words & calculations began to emerge. He was later allowed by the Medici to continue his work on the monuments located in the very chapel under which, he’d been hiding. There’s debate among scholars as to which & how many of the drawing were actually authored by Michelangelo.
1 Gustave Eiffel’s Apartment
Without a doubt the top of Paris’ Eiffel Tower is the best place that tourists can visit in order to take in the panoramic wonders of the French capital. For more than 40 years since its completion in 1889, the massive iron clad tower would be the World’s tallest man-made structure. Initially, there was a huge backlash from the artistic community as they felt that the ‘monstrous’ monument would dominate the city & cast a shadow over other notable Parisian landmarks such as the Arc de Triumphe, the Louvre or the Notre Dame.