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The Truth Behind 5 Of The World's Most Famous Buildings

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The Independent / The Balance

Empire State Building

If you have traveled to the Big Apple, then you have definitely seen the towering giant that is the Empire State Building. It was built specifically in a world-wide race to construct the largest building, and was even being redesigned as it was being constructed!

It took a total of 20 months to finish, which was a record in the early 1930's. The world's tallest building for 40 years was unveiled by President Hoover, when he symbolically flipped the switch on the skyscraper's lights.

The spire was added in part to win the competition for largest building, and it replaced the original design of a blimp docking station. The idea was for it to be an easy way for top business executives to get around, but was found to be too difficult to manage.

Big Ben

The most visited destination in the UK, Big Ben has been keeping time in England capital since 1858. However, you're probably taking pictures of the wrong attraction.

Big Ben is actually the name of the 16 ton bell that sits inside the tower, and chimes every 15 minutes throughout the day. The name comes from Sir Benjamin Hall, who oversaw the rebuilding of the Houses of Parliament after the great Fire of 1834.

The clock itself is also massive. Each of the dials is 23 feet in length, and each face on every side of the tower has 312 panes of glass, 1,248 altogether. And you thought your grandfather clock was hard to clean!

Ever wonder what the Latin inscription said? It reads "Oh Lord, keep safe our Queen Victoria the First." The tower, commonly referred to as the "Clock Tower", was actually renamed Elizabeth Tower after the present Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Keeping it all in the royals!

Share if you learned something about one of these amazing monuments!

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