Thursday, September 20, 2012

Contest answers: European monuments

First of all, I'd like to thank all participants of my European monuments contest for giving it a shot.  

The winner, correctly identifying 9 of the 10 monuments is Hermann! Congratulations! cough you're European cough cough

The next contest will need to be less Europe-focused, agreed.  But for now, here are the answers to the contest, which was based on my visit to Parque Europa in Madrid a few weekends ago:

1. Part of the Berlin Wall

Berlin, Germany
The Berlin Wall was a wall built by the German Democratic Republic that separated West Berlin from East Berlin and the rest of Germany.  Construction of the wall began in August of 1961 and it stayed up until 1989.

2. Belém Tower

Lisbon, Portugal
I actually saw the real Belém Tower in person when I visited Lisbon in 2010. Built in the 16th century, the tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

3. Puerta de Alcalá

Madrid, Spain
I got my picture taken with the Puerta de Alcalá statue because it's a big landmark in Madrid, and I love Alcalá street.  I was only able to recognize and name this monument thanks to the fact that I've lived in Madrid for two years.  Otherwise, I think it's a lesser-known monument throughout Europe.

4. Manneken Pis

Brussels, Belgium
"Manneken pis" is Marols (a Dutch dialect) for "Little man pee".  On this fountain there is a young boy peeing into the water, though he's very tiny in my picture.  Here's a close-up of the real fountain:

Manneken Pis
Source:, user: Myrabella

5. Eiffel Tower

Paris, France
I got to visit the Eiffel Tower when I went to Paris this summer.  I think it's probably the most widely-known of these ten monuments.

6. David (Michelangelo)

Florence, Italy
The original statue of David now resides in the Accademia Gallery in Florence, while a replica is in the public square in Florence where the original once stood.

7. Atomium

Brussels, Belgium
I had never seen or heard of this monument before, but it was built for the 1958 Brussels World's Fair.  The Atomium is in the shape of an iron crystal unit cell, magnified 168 billion times.  In the real monument, you can go inside some of the spheres, which offer panoramic views of Brussels.

8. The Little Mermaid

Copenhagen, Denmark
This statue in Copenhagen was based on Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, "The Little Mermaid".  It was finished in August of 1913, and has since become a major tourist attraction.

9. Tower Bridge

London, England
London's Tower Bridge (not to be confused with London Bridge) was built from 1886-1894 over the Thames River.  Its name comes from the Tower of London, which is very close to the Tower Bridge.

10. Brandenburg Gate

Berlin, Germany
Brandenburg Gate was once a city gate, through which one needed to pass in order to enter Berlin.  The monument was restored from 2000 - 2002 after having suffered much damage during WWII.
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