Fun facts about famous landmarks: Europe
Break out the selfie stick: these famous landmarks make for prime photo opportunities. They also make for some interesting stories. Read on to wow your fellow travelers with little-known facts about some well-known spots during your travels. Then dust off your shoulders as you’re crowned travel guru and lord of fun facts. You're welcome.
P.S.: We were joking about the selfie sticks…sort of.
Vienna Opera House
You can watch the opera for free! Outside the Opera House, the performance is projected for all to enjoy.
The Prague Castle is the largest castle complex in the world, and contains architecture spanning from Gothic to Renaissance eras.
The Sedlec Ossuary is decorated with the bones of anywhere from 40,000 to 70,000 humans.
Tower of London
At least six ravens are kept at the tower at all times, under the superstition that the tower will crumble and harm will befall the nation if they leave. They’re also super friendly and adorable.
Before the palace was built on the site, James I planted a mulberry garden on the land to raise silkworms.
Big Ben is leaning nine inches to the northwest.
Once the Bankside Power Station, the building was transformed into the Tate Modern museum, free to the public.
The Eiffel Tower is covered with over 50 miles of electric cables, and consumes as much electricity as a small village.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon, but he never lived to see the completed work.
If you looked at all 35,000 works of art in the Louvre for 60 seconds, it would take you 64 days to see them all.
The Palace of Versailles has a total of 2,153 windows, 1,200 fireplaces, 700 rooms and over 67 staircases. Can you spot them all?
Originally built as a train station, the Musée d’Orsay now houses the largest collection of impressionist art in the world.
Once upon a dream, Neuschwanstein was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park.
President John F. Kennedy delivered his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” from the steps of Rathaus Schöneberg.
A man once escaped East Germany by staging a photo shoot at Checkpoint Charlie.
600,000 barrels of Hofbräuhaus beer were used to persuade the king of Sweden to not destroy Munich in 1632. Legend says the attached note read: “We cool bro?”
Santorini’s Red Beach
Because it is situated in the caldera of an erupted volcano, Santorini is one of the few places with white, black and red sand beaches.
The iconic white pillars of the Parthenon were once multi-colored.
National Archeological Museum of Athens
The museum contains artifacts dating back to 6800 BC, during the neolithic era. AKA “The New Stone Age”.
There are 20,000 residents densely populating the Jordaan neighborhood, but the count used to be five times as many.
The Rijksmuseum houses one million objects, but only 8,000 are on display at one time.
Heineken was the first European beer imported to the US following the end of the Prohibition. Thanks, Holland!
Anne Frank House
The “Secret Annex” remained hidden as it was surrounded on all sides by other buildings, all of which have since been removed.
Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher soar anywhere from 390 to 702 feet high above the water.
“Blarney” means persuasive elegance. If you kiss the Blarney Stone, it is said that you are given “the Gift of Gab”.
It is unknown whether the prehistoric cliff fort was built in a half-circle, or if half of the circle fort fell into the sea.
The hollow interior of the Storehouse is designed to also be the world’s largest pint glass.
Occasionally, the Colosseum was flooded to perform miniature sea battles in the arena.
The Galleria dell’Accademia houses Michelangelo’s David, which stands 17 feet tall and weighs over six tons. Read more here.
Cats are the local animal at Cinque Terre, and they can often be found lounging about the five villages.
The shapes of inhabitants just before their death are still visible due to the casting they left behind.
Capri’s Blue Grotto
Entrance to the Blue Grotto sea cave can only happen at low tide, when a meter-high opening is available for a rowboat to pass through.
Using his factory for employment, Oskar Schindler saved the lives of around 1,200 Jews during WWII.
Wieliczka Salt Mine
There’s a full-size ballroom in this underground city, complete with chandeliers and ornate facades.
The Edinburgh Castle is built atop an extinct volcano, where humans have lived for thousands of years.
The Royal Mile is actually more than a mile by 107 yards.
The space under the bridges created vaults, originally intended for storage, that were soon occupied by death and debauchery. Read more here!
The Sagrada Familia has been under construction since 1882. When it is completed, it will have taken significantly longer to build than the Egyptian pyramids.
The bench that winds around Park Güell is so comfortable because Gaudi had a workman drop his pants and sit in a plaster. His anatomical curves were recorded to create the ergonomic design.
Plaza de Toros
Plaza de Toros Las Ventas is the third-largest bullring in the world.
Royal Palace (Madrid)
The Royal Palace has almost 1.5 million square feet of space, making it the largest palace in Europe.