City skylines are probably one of the most beautiful things about the modern world. A hodge podge of historic and contemporary architecture, cities that in many cases, have entwined themselves around the rolling natural landscape they’re built upon – creating a unique vista not to be found anywhere else in the world. Many of the iconic skylines we’ve come to know and love are also home to some of the worlds most famous landmarks.
But what if these famous landmarks were removed, would we recognise the cities they call home as easily? Would you know it’s Paris without the Eiffel Tower? What about Cairo without the Pyramids? Well, we wanted to find out, so we set to work “removing” landmarks from city skylines, and we have to say… it was much more difficult than we thought!
Why not test your own geographical knowledge below?…
What about here?
Recognise this one?
Have you been here before?
Does this look familiar?
How about this one?
Need a clue?
You know this one, right?
You’ll definitely kick yourself if you don’t get this one…
And this one.
What about here?
It’s on the tip of your tongue, right?
This is a hard one…
How many of these skylines did you guess?
Find out below which cities had their landmarks removed and give yourself a huge, well deserved pat on the back!
Use the sliders to see the original —>
Berlin – Berliner Fernsehturm
The missing landmark from this skyline is the Berliner Fernsehturm.
The Berliner Fernsehturm opened to the public in 1969 after construction began in 1965. This famous landmark was constructed by the German Democratic Republic and was designed to show East Germany’s Communist power.
Including its antenna, the building sits at 368 meters high. It’s currently the tallest building in Germany and the 3rd tallest in Europe.
The Berliner Fernsehturm has a viewing gallery that sits at 203m and a revolving restaurant at 207m – that’s right, a revolving restaurant!
Cairo – Pyramids of Giza
The missing landmark from this skyline is the Pyramids of Giza.
It’s not quite clear when the pyramids were constructed; however, Egyptologists believe that the pyramid took 10 – 20-years to complete, with the building concluding in 2560 BC. Egyptologists state that the Great Pyramid of Giza (the largest of the 3 pyramids) was built as a tomb. The Great Pyramid of Giza was the largest manmade structure in the world until the Lincoln Cathedral was built in 1311 AD.
The Pyramids of Giza are the oldest Seven Wonders of the Ancient Worlds landmarks, and are the only Seven Wonders landmarks that remain largely intact.
Cape Town – Table Mountain
The missing landmark from this skyline is Table Mountain.
This landmark got its name from its unusual mountain top. Most mountains are pointed at its peak, but this landmark in Cape Town is a flat-top mountain. Although it’s different from most, this is what has led it to stand out, and therefore creates a beautiful and unusual skyline.
Table Mountain is 3, 563 ft above sea level and has a cable car that runs up to 62 ft beneath the mountain’s highest point. So, if you don’t fancy hiking this mountain, there is an easy way to take in the breathtaking views.
The first recorded ascent of Table Mountain was in 1503, by hiker António de Saldanha. Antonio used the most direct and easiest route for his ascent up the mountain. For those planning a trip, this route is called Platteklip Gorge (“Flat Stone George”).
Dubai – Burj Khalifa
The missing landmark from this skyline is the Burj Khalifa.
The Burj Khalifa, also known as Burj Dubai, is a skyscraper in Dubai. But, this isn’t just a skyscraper, oh, no. This is the tallest structure and building in the world since it was topped out in 2009. The Burj Khalifa sits at 830m to the tip, which is three times higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
It was a $1.5 billion project, and the 12,000 international workers logged a whopping 22 billion man-hours to build it. The time and effort used to build this skyscraper amounted to a 200-storey building, 160 of which are habited.
Johannesburg – Ponte City Apartments
The missing landmark from this skyline is Ponte City apartments.
Ponte City apartments is a skyscraper situated in Johannesburg, South Africa. The skyscraper was built in 1975 and sits at 185 meters to the tip. The building comprises 54 floors which are all habited, and 8 lifts that are situated in various locations throughout the skyscraper.
Ponte City apartments is the tallest residential building in Africa. It was designed with an open centre which brings additional light into every apartment. Aside from being the tallest residential building, Ponte City apartments also has a neon sign that runs around the top of the building. This sign is used for advertising; Coca Cola up until 2000, and now advertises South Africa’s popular phone network company, Vodacom. This neon sign is the largest in the southern hemisphere.
Kuala Lumpur – Petronas Towers
The missing landmark in this skyline is the Petronas Towers. And no, they’re not something from Harry Potter, but named after the company that owns them – Petroliam Nasional. Not quite as exciting.
Petronas Towers are twin skyscrapers situated in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. From 1998 to 2004, Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world.
The Petronas Towers sit 451.9 meters tall, with the highest floor sitting at 375 meters. 88 floors make up these skyscrapers; 5 of which are underground.
What’s unusual about these skyscrapers is that they’re joined together. On the 41st and 42nd floor a 58-meter double-decker bridge joins the two together. The Sky Bridge sits at 175 meters above ground level. So for those that like a bit of a thrill, Petronas Towers is definitely worth a visit.
London – The Gherkin
The missing landmark in this skyline is The Gherkin in London.
Construction for The Gherkin began in 2001. The building was completed in December of 2003, and its official opening was April 2004.
Situated on St Mary Axe in the financial district The Gherkin sits at 180 meters tall. The Gherkin was designed by architects Norman Foster and Ken Shuttleworth.
The Gherkin is home to various businesses that rent out office space; however, you can also find fine dining restaurants, fast food, street food, and bars towards the top of the building. Enjoy your favourite food with 360-degree panoramic views.
Paris – Eiffel Tower
The missing landmark in this skyline is the Eiffel Tower in France.
Construction of the Eiffel Tower began in 1887 and was completed in 1889. The Eiffel Tower was built at the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair. It was designed and built by Gustave Eiffel, and was named after him.
The Eiffel Tower sits at 324 meters to the tip and was the tallest man-made structure in the world – until the Chrysler Building in New York was completed in 1930. Today, it’s the second tallest freestanding structure in France, following Millau Viaduct. It’s definitely one of the most well-known structures, and is the most-visited paid monument in the world.
Rio de Janeiro – Christ the Redeemer
The missing landmark in this skyline is Christ the Redeemer.
Christ the Redeemer is an Art Deco statue of Jesus Christ. The statue was created by Paul Landowski, a French sculptor, and built by Heitor da Silva Costa, a Brazilian engineer.
Construction of Christ the Redeemer began in 1922, with work completing in 1931. The statue sits at 38 meters high, and his arms span 28 meters. The statue is placed to overlook Rio de Janeiro.
To get to the statue, tourists would have to climb over 200 steps. In 2002 escalators and panoramic elevators were installed to increase the amount of tourists visiting Rio de Janeiro and the statue.
San Francisco – Golden Gate Bridge
The missing landmark in this skyline is the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
The Golden Gate Bridge connects San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. A mile-long suspension bridge that is used by a whopping 112,000 vehicles every day.
Construction for the bridge began in January 1933 and took just over 4 years to build; construction ended in April 1937. Before the bridge was built, the only way to cross the Pacific Ocean was via ferry which took 20 – 30-minutes and cost $1 per vehicle. The price was later reduced to compete with the suspension bridge’s cost of $0.50.
Shanghai – Oriental Pearl Tower
The missing landmark in this skyline is the Oriental Pearl Tower.
Construction for the Oriental Pearl Tower began in 1991 and was completed in 1995. The tower has 14 floors with the top floor sitting at 1, 152ft. The total height of the tower is 1, 536ft and was China’s tallest building between 1994 and 2007 when the Shanghai World Financial Centre was built.
The Oriental Pearl Tower has 15 observation levels; the highest sits at 1, 148ft and is known as the Space Module. The lower observation levels are called Sightseeing Floor and Space City, and sit at 863ft and 295ft. At 876ft you’ll find a revolving restaurant. The tower also holds a 20-room hotel, outside observation platform, exhibition facilities, and a small shopping centre.
Singapore – City Marina Bay Sands
The missing landmark in this skyline is the City Marina Bay Sands.
The City Marina Bay Sands is a resort that fronts the Marina Bay in Downtown Core, Singapore. The City Marina Bay Sands is the most expensive standalone casino in the world.
The resort opened in 2010 and it’s believed to have cost $8 billion.
City Marina Bay Sands isn’t just a 500-table, 1600-slot machine casino. This resort has a 2, 561-room hotel, a museum, a mall containing prestige brands, exhibition/convention rooms, celebrity chef restaurants, an infinity swimming pool, plus much more.
Sydney – Sydney Opera House
The missing landmark in this skyline is the Sydney Opera House.
The most recognisable and distinctive buildings in the world, the Sydney Opera House is a multi-venue performing arts centre.
Construction of the Sydney Opera House began in 1959 and was open to the public in 1973, making this one of the longest construction timescales in our list.
233 designs were submitted for the creation of the Opera House in a competition in 1956. The final design for the building came from Jorn Utzon from Denmark where he received £5,000 for winning. The design of the Sydney Opera House cost $7 million to construct and needed 10, 000 construction workers to complete.
Tokyo – Mount Fuji
The missing landmark in this skyline is Mt Fuji.
Mt Fuji is Japan’s tallest mountain. Its peak sits at 3, 776 meters and has been a pilgrimage site for centuries. The mountain is a part of the Three Holy Mountains which also consists of Mount Tate and Mount Haku.
Mt Fuji is considered an active volcano with its last recorded eruption being in December 1707. It is believed that the age of this mountain is over 100,000-years old, and the first ascent of Mt Fuji was in 663 AD.
Toronto – CN Tower
The missing landmark in this skyline is the CN Tower.
The CN Tower is located in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, and is a communications and observation tower. The construction for this tower concluded in 1976. It was then that the CN Tower was named the tallest free-standing structure in the world. As we’ve learnt from earlier images, the CN Tower lost its tallest building status in 2007 to the Burj Khalifa.
The CN Tower sits at 553 meters in height and consists of 147 floors. The top floor of the CN Tower sits at 446.5 meters (1, 464.9ft).
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