Explore Iconic Structures in 3D

These structures have become symbols of their locations

By Google Arts & Culture

The Alhambra (2019-08-02/2019-08-02) by Dimitry B

A lot of buildings, monuments and bridges are recognizable enough to make it onto a postcard for their home city. However, some are so iconic they’ve come to represent not only their metropolitan area, but their country too. 

Top Euro Greece ParthenonLIFE Photo Collection

From the Parthenon in Athens to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, these architectural wonders have become truly emblematic of their locations. To celebrate these spectacular sights, we’re taking a look at some of the most magnificent. 

The Parthenon

Think of Athens and one of the first images to pop into your head will probably be that of the Parthenon. The most prominent structure in the Acropolis complex, the Parthenon was built in the mid-5th century BC as a sanctuary for the goddess Athena. In the 6th century AD, it was turned into a church and, during the Ottoman rule of Greece in the late 15th century, it became a mosque.

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The building is one of the most important surviving structures from the classical period. Partially destroyed by exploding ammunition stores in 1687, the Parthenon was further damaged in the early 1800s when British aristocrat Lord Elgin removed many of the remaining marbles. Despite these historic scars, the building remains one of the architectural highlights of Greece.  

The Alhambra (2020-11-27/2020-11-27) by Vidar Nordii Mathisen

The Alhambra

In a country with more than its fair share of incredible architecture, the Alhambra stands out as one of the most iconic attractions. Construction was started way back in 1238 by Muhammad I Ibn al-Ahmar, the founder of the Emirate of Granada.  Additions, renovations and adjustments have been made over the years, resulting in a building that’s completely unique and culturally priceless.

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When you look at the Alhambra, it’s easy to see the Islamic, Christian and Spanish influences in its design. Made up of a citadel, numerous palaces, gardens, a church, mosque, fortified structures and even its own water supply, the huge complex has everything you’d need to comfortably sit out even the longest of sieges. 

Christ the Redeemer by LaiQuocAnhSanctuary of Christ the Redeemer

Christ the Redeemer

Built around 700 years after work on the Alhambra began, Christ the Redeemer has become incredibly famous in a very short space of time. Designed by Frenchman Paul Landowski, the statue was constructed between 1922 and 1931. The sculpture itself is 30 meters high and is perched at the top of the 700-meter Corcovado Mountain, overlooking Rio de Janeiro. 

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Christ the Redeemer

In the years since it was built, the Art Deco sculpture has become emblematic of both Rio and Brazil. In fact, there are few sights in the country that are as instantly recognizable, or as instantly evocative, as this open-armed Christ. In 2007, this impressive landmark was named one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.

Golden Gate Bridge Construction (1933) by San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public LibraryItalian American Museum of Los Angeles

The Golden Gate Bridge

One of the most famous bridges in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge links the city of San Francisco to Marin County. Designed by Joseph Strauss in 1917, the bridge is 1.7 miles long and carries around 120,000 cars per day. Its iconic color is now officially known as ‘International Orange’ and, like Christ the Redeemer, it’s been named as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. 

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Golden Gate Bridge

The complex bridge took around 4 years to finish, becoming the longest suspension bridge in the world at the time on completion. Today, the bridge serves both as an essential crossing point and as an integral part of the San Francisco skyline. 

Earth Observations taken by the Expedition 13 crew (2006-08-06)NASA

Learn more about the Golden Gate Bridge here

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