25 Most Famous Statues In The World

By Susan Dorling | 2020 Guide

The major difference between the man today and early man is his command over the construction of majestic infrastructure, which has now become an art.

Beautiful buildings and statues are structures that represent civilizations, like the Roman Empire. Statues are used often to pay tribute to powerful people or as a memorial for events and wars.

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The magnificent craftsmanship and the attention to detail is something to be pondered over, thousands of statues have been made but only a few have weathered the influence of time and are well known. In this article, I have added 25 of the most famous statues on the world.

To know more about these amazing works of art, keep reading!

1. Statue of Liberty , New York

  • Location: United States
  • Designer: Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi
  • Year: 1886
  • Height: 93 m
  • Weight: 225 tons

The Statue of Liberty consists of a woman, wearing a sheet and holding a torch in one raised hand and the declaration of Independence in the other.

The Statue of Liberty was a project that involved two countries, the United States and France. It was supposed to commemorate the strong friendship ties between the citizens of both nations. The beautiful sculpture was crafted by Frederic Auguste Bartholdi from sheets of hammered copper. The frame of the statue was designed by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel, the man behind the Eiffel Tower.

The Statue of Liberty was erected atop a pedestal designed in America on a small Island in Upper New York Bay, which is now commonly known as Liberty Island. The island was dedicated to Grover Cleveland, who was the President of The United States of America.

Today the Statue of Liberty is a prominent symbol of democracy and freedom, and it is one of the world’s most largely recognized landmarks. The base of the Statue of Liberty’s Pedestal actually compromises of exhibits about the history of the Statue, including the original 1886 torch.

The entire Statue was actually constructed in France, and it was completed in the year 1885. The disassembled parts were then shipped to America, where it was again assembled by American workers; however, the Pedestal was made in America.

The torch has gone through many modifications, and it was converted to electric power in the year 1916, and then again, it was redesigned in the middle of the 1980s. The Statue was added to UNESCO’S World Heritage List in the year 1984.

2. Christ The Redeemer, Rio De Janeiro

  • Location: Brazil
  • Designer: Paul Landowski
  • Year: 1931
  • Height: 38 m
  • Weight: 635 metric tons

Christ the Redeemer is one of the most famous and recognizable monuments in the world. The Statue, as evident by its name, is a huge concrete version of Jesus Christ, and it sits atop the Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.

The outer shell of the statue is covered with about six million soapstone tiles. Some say that the workers wrote notes on the inner side of those tiles, which means that the glorious Statue might be full of hidden messages and notes.

The original design of the Statue was much different from the one seen today. Initially, the designers agreed that the Statue of Christ would be holding a globe in one hand and across, on the other hand, rather than just two open arms.

A fun fact, the Statue was not actually made in Brazil. It was actually created in French by Paul Landowski, who was a French sculptor, and he made the Statue in pieces of clay. Those pieces were then later shipped to Brazil and were then remade with reinforced concrete by Heitor da Silva Costa who was a Brazilian engineer and Albert Caquot, who was a French engineer.

It took nine years to construct the Statue, the construction began in 1922, and the statue was finally completed in the year 1931 and cost about $250,000. Each year about 2 million people visit to see the Statue. Most visitors in a single day were a huge 14000 in the year 2011, during Easter. In 2007, the Statue was voted one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

3. The Motherland Calls, Russia

  • Location: Russia
  • Designer: Yevgeny Vuchetich
  • Year: 1967
  • Height: 85 metres
  • Weight: 8,000 tons

The Motherland Calls is a 172-foot high statue of a female figure with wings, holding a sword aloft. The Statue is actually a memorial for the men who lost their lives in the Battle of Stalingrad and the ones who came back to serve their country.

The Motherland calls are actually one of the most historic places in all of Russia and is definitely a mesmerizing sight to behold. The Statue has contributed greatly to the political identity of Russia. In the year 1942, German soldiers, during the Battle of Stalingrad, attacked the current day Mamayev Kurgan Park in Russia. This step was taken in order to take control of Russia. The Battle itself was very bloody, and it lasted for about five months and three weeks, with non-stop warfare, air raids, and combat fighting. Many mothers lost their sons, and the country was left weeping. The Battle did end with Russia winning, but many lives were lost.

The Statue was designed by Yevgeny Vuchetich, who was a famous sculptor in collaboration with a structural engineer known as Nikolai Nikitin after the Battle of Stalingrad was over. In the year 1967, this Statue was considered to be the tallest statue in the world, and it is still the tallest Statue in Europe plus the tallest Statue of a woman in the world.

The Statue was constructed when the world viewed Russia as a feeble state, and their remarks were buried in the sand as soon as The Motherland Calls were erected. The Statue was finally unveiled to the public on the 15th October 1967.

4. Little Mermaid, Denmark

  • Location: Denmark
  • Designer: Edvard Eriksen
  • Year: 1913
  • Weight: 385 lb
  • Height: 1.25 metres

Everyone knows about the Disney movie, The Little Mermaid, which was based on a story written in the year 1836 by the famous writer Hans Christian Andersen’s story. The story is about a mermaid who falls in love with a human prince, and in order to walk on the earth, she exchanges her lovely voice for legs, and in the end, the prince marries her. The real wasn’t as happy.

The Little Mermaid statue was constructed in the year 1909 by the founder of Carlsberg beer, Carl Jacobsen. He attended a ballet that was based on the Little Mermaid, and this inspired him to create the lovely Statue of a mermaid sitting alone on a rock. The Statue was crafted by Edvard Eriksen, who was a famous Danish sculptor.

The Little Mermaid statue was unveiled to the public in the year 1913 in August. The date was then commemorated as the birthday of the mermaid. This Statue is actually the most famous tourist attraction in Denmark, and it is also one of the most popularly photographed statues across the globe.

The Statue of the Little Mermaid that sits on the rock is actually a copy; the original Statue is kept by the heirs of the sculptor at a location that is unknown. In the year 1961, the mermaid’s hair was dyed red and knickers, and a bra was painted on her.

A fun fact:

The Statue is based on different women. The head of the statue was sculpted after the ballerina Ellen Price and the body of the statue was modeled after Eline Eriksen, the wife of the sculptor. This is because the model was not comfortable in posing naked.

5. The Great Sphinx Of Giza, Egypt

  • Location: Egypt
  • Designer: –
  • Year: –
  • Height: 240 feet
  • Weight: 200 tons

The Great Sphinx of Giza is one of the most famous and instantly recognizable statues associated with ancient Egypt. The Statue consists of a recumbent lion with the head of an Egyptian king; all this is carved in limestone, which is situated on the Giza plateau. It was most likely constructed in the reign of King Khafre during the era of the Old Kingdom of Egypt. Some historians and scholars claim that the Statue was created by Djedefre, who was the brother of Khafre, and he tried to usurp the throne after the death of King Khufu, who was the creator of the Great Pyramid.

Many other professors, scholars, and historians from outside the field have said that the Sphinx is much older than the fourth dynasty mainstream Egyptology continually insists on.

The Statue was never called the Sphinx by the ancient Egyptians. The word Sphinx is actually Greek, and so it was applied to this beautiful Egyptian Statue at Giza, through the translation of shesep-ankh which was an Egyptian word for the piece as well as other representations of other royal figures.

It is also quite possible that this marvelous sculpture reminded the Greek of their own mythological Sphinx, like the one famous in the tale of Oedipus, which had the head of a woman and the body of a beast.

The Statue is rather old, and it soon did begin to fade into the sand. There are inscriptions on a slab between the paws of the Great Sphinx in which is made of pink granite, that tell the story of how the Statue was saved from the sands of time.

6. Spring Temple Buddha, China

  • Location: China
  • Designer: –
  • Year: 2008
  • Height: 153 metres
  • Weight: 1,000 tonnes

This amazing Statue of the Budha was actually the tallest Statue in the world up until the year 2018, and it has been listed in the Guinness World Records. The beautiful sculpture depicts the Vairocana Buddha and is about 420 feet tall. The Statue stands on three different structures, a large lotus pedestal, a diamond seat as well as a Sumeru Seat., all of which are altogether a staggering 208 meters in total height.

Even after being the Tallest Statue in the world once, this glorious Statue is not that well known and is hidden away in a remote part of the Henan province in China. There are often only a handful of tourists present there all day, and the number of western tourists is even lower.

The Statue itself is huge and is made up of 108 kilograms of gold, 15,00 tonnes of steel, and about 3,300 tonnes of copper alloy. In order to reach the Statue, one has to climb two sets of stairs, each with 365 steps. And, once inside the lower building, there are even more stairs. It can be stated that in total, there are about 1000 stairs. If it sounds like too much of a climb, a minibus can take you up for a small price.

The construction of the Budha statue began after the Bamiyan Buddhas were destroyed in Afghanistan by the Taliban in the year 2001, which was highly condemned by the authorities of China. The Statue was finally completed in the year 2008. Later the Semuru seat, as well as the Diamond seat, was added to the Statue, and finally, the stairs were built. The two buildings are still not internally fully constructed, and the delay might be the small number of visitors.

7. The Thinker, Paris

  • Location: France
  • Designer: Auguste Rodin
  • Year: 1902
  • Height: 1.89 m
  • Weight: 30 kilos

The Thinker is a beautiful statue that was crafted by one of the most famous sculptors in the world, Auguste Rodin. The circumstance surrounding the creation of this exquisite piece has been a subject of debate between artists and historians for years.

The Thinker is actually a large statue of a naked man who is sitting on a rock, his back is hunched forward, chin rests on his hand, brows furrowed and his mouth is thrust into knuckles. He observes the twisted figures of those suffering in circles of hell below.

The statues created by Auguste Rodin were so lifelike and perfect that most people believed that he formed the statues over real bodies. The artists had to work very hard in order to prove the claims wrong; his life was filled with scandal. The man had poor eyesight, but he still somehow managed to create magnificent pieces.

Initially, the artist was hired to construct the gates of the French Ministry of Fine Arts, and the Statue of The Thinker was supposed to be a part of it, but somehow the project did not go as planned, and The Thinker became one of the most loved pieces in the history of art.

There are actually many duplicates of The Thinker, and they can be seen in several museums, and one is even erected beside the grave of Auguste Rodin. The Thinker was originally known as The Poet. The artist first showcased rough modeling of the Statue in an annual exhibition of French Art, then following a public petition, the government of France bought the Statue and installed it outside the Pantheon in the year 1906 as a present to the city of Paris.

8. The Statue of Unity, India

  • Location: India
  • Designer: Ram V. Sutar
  • Year: 2013
  • Height: 182 m
  • Weight: 2,000 tons

The Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi unveiled the Statue of Unity on the 143rs birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai, who was the first home minister of India and is credited with uniting the 562 princely states in India before the partition in 1947.

The Statue is of Sardar Patek, who towers the mighty Narmada river while wearing a traditional dhoti and shawl. He looks upon the world as a commanding yet unfazed, humble, and brave leader.

The construction of the huge Statue began in the year 2014, and the government of India spent about 3.050 crores on the project.

The Statue of Unity is actually taller than the Spring Temple Buddha by about 29 meters and the Statue of Liberty by 89 meters. The height of the base of the glorious Statue is about 58 meters in total. The Statue itself is situated on a river island known as the Sandhu Bet on the Narmada River, and it faces the Narmada Dam.

The entire Statue was built by about 3,000 workers, which included 3oo engineers from Larsen and Toubro, and it took about three and a half years to build. For the Statue, approximately 129 tonnes of iron implements were gathered from 100 million farmers in 169,000 villages across India.

The Statue was crafted by Ram V Sutar, who is a Padma Bhushan recipient, and the intricate bronze work was done by a Chinese foundry known as the Jiangxi Toqine Company. The Statue is said to change its color in about a century and turn green due to an aging process. The bronze color will be oxidized into green.

9. Venus de Milo, Paris

  • Location: France
  • Designer: Alexandros of Antioch
  • Year:  ‎Between 130 and 100 BC
  • Height: 6 ft 8 
  • Weight: –

For most people, the mystery of the Venus de Milo resides in her missing arms, but there is actually much more to the beautiful Statue than that which meets the eye.

It is believed that this Statue with Grecian heritage depicts the Greek Goddess of beauty and love, who was often rendered half-naked. However, the Greeks would have then called this deity Aphrodite. The Statue was actually found by Yorgos Kentrotas, who was a farmer in the year 1820 among the ruins of an ancient city present on the island of Milos, which was previously known as Melos.

Alexandros, who was a sculptor of the Hellenistic period, is thought to have crafted the masterpiece between 130 and 100 B.C. The inscription on the slab on which the Statue rests was actually lost about two centuries ago.

Many have even gone as far as to claim that the Statue is not actually of Venus or Aphrodite, but of a sea goddess called Amphitrite was specifically adored on Milos. Others have proposed that the Statue is of a prostitute or Victory. Her missing arms are maybe the pieces of the puzzle that are needed in order to understand the whole picture completely and who she actually is. The identity of the Statue is still a matter of heated debate.

The farmer who found the Statue did actually find remains of her arms as well, but when the Venus de Milo was reassembled, her arms were discarded for having a rougher appearance. Many believe that the difference in finish does not mean that the arms were not hers, but the original plinth, as well as the arms, never made it to Paris in 1820.

10. The Statues Of Mount Nemrut, Turkey

  • Location: Turkey
  • Designer: –
  • Year: 62 B.C
  • Height: –
  • Weight: –

Mount Nemrut is the monumental resting place of the King of the Kingdom of Commagene, King Antiochus I. The place is actually one of the fascinating ancient places in Turkey. It is also an archaeological site that holds many mysteries. The place is considered the 8th Wonder of the Ancient World.

The ancient site is popular for its ancient tomb and temple complex, which houses several massive statues of Persian as well as Greek Gods. The beautiful site was constructed by the King in 62 B.C and today is thought to be the most important monument of the Kingdom of Commagene.

King Antiochus I, who was the ruler of the Commagene Kingdom from 70 B.C to 36B.C, is popularly known for creating a royal cult for the worship of himself and for this he is more often than not depicted in the company of Eastern as well as Greek deities with whom he is believed to have been closely connected with.

The Monarch chose this specific location because he wanted the complex to be close to God; he wanted to be remembered as the ruler who built such a beautiful religious sanctuary. The place is also referred to as the Throne of the Gods, and it consists of three terraces on the north, east, and west sides, all of them are surrounded by magnificent colossal statues of Persian and Greek gods, including ones of Zeus and Apollo.

Over the centuries, the wonderful statues have lost their heads due to frequent earthquakes in the region or have even become iconoclasm. Many historians and experts believe that the statues once stood as high as 30 feet, and their creation was clearly inspired by Persian and Greek art, as the kingdom of Commagene was situated between the two great civilizations.

11. The Manneken Pis, Belgium

  • Location: Belgium
  • Designer: Jerôme Duquesnoy
  • Year: 1388
  • Height: 30 cm
  • Weight: –

The Mnnelan Pis is a beautiful statue which was designed in the year 1388 and is one of the most representative as well as loved symbols of Brussels, initially serving as the means by which the people in Brussels received water.

The small bronze statue measures about 30 cm, and it depicts a small naked boy urinating into the basin of a fountain. It is situated in the old part of town, between rue Chene and the rue de L’Etuve. The Statue is so important that there were attempts to steal it by many armed forces through the years until an ex-convict finally succeeded in the year 1871. Unfortunately, the beautiful masterpiece was broken into 11 pieces, but then those pieces were welded together, and the Statue has since been maintained. On the base of the Statue, the original, as well as the date of fabrication and restoration, has been carved.

There have been many stories about the origin of the Statue. Some claim the little boy put out a fire via his tinkle, thus saving the city from burning to ashes. Some also believe that during a battle in Ransbeke, a toddler was hung from a tree in a basket in order to bring luck to troops while they fought against the enemies, and from there, the two-year-old urinated on the enemy troops, and they lost the war.

Unlike most statues, the Mannekin Pis actually owns several outfits of about 1000 in total. The governor gave the little boy his first tunic in the year 1698. The Statue can be seen adorning different outfits from time to time like an Elvis or a bullfighter costume.

12. Moai, Easter Island

  • Location: Eastern Island
  • Designer: –
  • Year: –
  • Height: 70 feet
  • Weight: 14 tons

The humongous stone statues of Easter Island have been a subject of mystery among explorers, researchers, and the entire world for centuries, but now experts think that they have cracked the case: why the statues are where they were.

The Eastern Island heads are known as Moai. In the year 1722, Jacob Roggeveen, who was a Dutch explorer, landed on a small island located in the Pacific Ocean. As he arrived there on Eastern Sunday, so he names the Island Easter Island. On the Rapa Bui, the explorers were shocked to find massive stone carvings known as Moai. These beautiful statues have amazed visitors ever since.

The mystery of the Moai actually begins with the people who built them. The fact that the Rapa Nui was even ever inhabited is shocking. The Island is now a part of Chile, but it’s about 2,300 miles away from the coast of South America. The place is about 1,100 miles away from the nearest island, and it’s really hard to believe that Polynesian people got into their canoes are rowed their way across hundreds of miles of open ocean, landed here, and managed to build a civilization.

There are actually approximately 900 monumental statues all over the Island. About half of these were found in the Rano Raraku stone quarry, where the volcanic stuff that was used to build them was located. The average size of the Moai is about 13 feet in height, and it weighs around 14 tons, but at least one unfinished one has been located, which is said to have been 70 feet tall upon completion.

13. Olmec colossal heads, Mexico

  • Location: Mexico
  • Designer: –
  • Year: –
  • Height: 10 feet tall
  • Weight: 40 tons

The Olmec culture was part of the Mexican heritage and thrived along the Gulf Coast of Mexico from about 1200 to 400 B.C. The dynasty is best known today for its carved colossal heads. The Olmecs were actually super important early Mesoamerican civilizations, which had a huge influence on later civilizations such as the Maya and The Aztecs.

The Olmec’s colossal sculpted heads show the face and the head of a man wearing a helmet with distinctively indigenous features. Most of the heads are actually taller than the average human adult. The largest colossal head was found at La Cobata, it is about 10 feet tall and weighs around 40 tons.

Most of the heads are flattened at the back and are not carved all the way around, which means that they were made to be viewed from the sides as well as the front. Traces of plaster have been found on some of the heads, which shows that maybe at one point in time, these colossal heads were painted.

Ten colossal heads have been discovered in San Lorenzo, two at Tres Zapotes, four a La Venta, and one at Cobata-17 in total. Nobody really knows the exact reason for the creation of the colossal heads, it’s just been lost with time, but over the years, historians have come up with several theories. Their massive size immediately represents that they were gods, but this theory has been discounted as, in general, the gods in the Mesoamerican era were depicted much more gruesome than humans.

Some claim that the helmets that the colossal heads wear may represent rulers, and each colossal face has distinctive looks and personalities, suggesting individuals of great importance and power.

14. David Statue, Italy

  • Location: Italy
  • Designer: Michelangelo
  • Year: 1501
  • Height: 17 feet tall
  • Weight: 2,000 pounds

David, by Michelangelo, is one of the most famous statues in Florence, and even in the world. The artist was commissioned to create David in 1501 by the Arte Della Lana, who was actually responsible for the decoration as well as the upkeep of the Cathedral in Florence.

Traditionally David was portrayed after his victory, winning against Goliath. But the artist broke away from the traditional way in which David was represented. He did not present the viewers with a winner, the giant’s head at his feet and the all-powerful sword in his hand, but depicts the young man before the battle: perhaps caught in the moment where he learns that his people are not so sure, and he sees Goliath mocking and jeering them.

David not only embodies the politics of Renaissance Florence, the technical virtuosity of Greek sculpture, the aesthetics of High Renaissance art but also has become one of the most recognized works of Renaissance sculpture, becoming a symbol of both youthful human beauty as well as strength.

The beautiful stands about 17 feet tall and weighs more than 2,000 pounds, yet it is made from just one block of white marble. The block of marble from which the statue of David was crafted was worked on by Donatello over half a century earlier. It’s said that there was an issue with the marble block and so the project was never completed. The statues left arm was damaged when a protestor threw a chair at it in the year 1527.

Queen Victoria, in the year 1857, was so repelled by the nudity of the statue that she ordered that the genitals of the statue should be covered with a fig leaf before being displayed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

15. The Leshan Giant Buddha, China

  • Location: China
  • Designer: –
  • Year: 8th century A.D
  • Weight: –
  • Height: 71 meters

The magnificent Leshan Giant Buddha added to the list as UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the Mount Emei in the year 1996. The stone Buddha was crafted in the 8th century A.D. out of the hillside of Xijuo Peak. The Leshan Buddha is actually one of the tallest statues in the world, and it stands tall at 71 meters, which is 18 meters taller than the Bamyan Buddhas located in Afghanistan.

The construction of the Big Buddha was thought of by Haitong, who was a Chinese Monk; he believed that the statue would help calm down the turbulent waters of the Dudu River, Min River, and Dudu River that plagued the shipping vessels that traveled down the river.

His plans were not just a part of some weird superstition; the rubble carried away from the cliff would be most likely deposited in the river, which will help to alter the currents as well as calm the water. The man went to a lot of places in order to come up with the funds to create the masterpiece, and once he was back, the local government came and threatened. The ambitious and passionate monk is said to have scratched out his very own eyes to showcase sincerity and piety.

The first time the Giant Buddha was constructed was in the year 713 AB in the Tang Dynasty. The monk, unfortunately, died when the Giant Buddha cultivated to shoulders, and the construction was halted due to insufficient funds. A couple of years later, Sichuan Jiedushi sponsored, and the work was again started on the construction of the Giant Buddha. The Giant Buddha was finally completed in 803 in the Tang Dynasty after three generations of workers worked hard on it.

16. The Terrace of the Lions, Delos Island, Greece

  • Location: Greece
  • Designer: –
  • Year: 3,000 B.C
  • Weight: –
  • Height: –

The Terrace of Lions on Delos is an amazing place that dates about to about 3,000 B.C. It is situated north of the sanctuary of Apollo and overlooks the Sacred Lake, and it was dedicated to Apollo in 600 B.B. by the people of Naxos.

The statues are crafted out of coarse granite Naxian marble. These beautiful statues are thought to be one of the earliest examples of wonderful monumental Naxian sculpture. These lions were actually a gift to that specific Island of Delos from Naxox, who dominated commerce in the Cyclades during the larger part of the 7th and 8th century B.C.

Today, the marble lions can be viewed at a museum, but they have been replaced by replicas: a row of the exact copies of the lion statues, standing on the modern rectangular pedestals in Delos on the terrace.

In the early days, it is thought that the lions were present on pedestals, which were placed directly on the ground. The place was excavated between 1904 to 1906, and many of the statues were found in their original places, in accordance with experts and historians. The statues stood parallel to one another and were separated by a distance of about 3.2 to 3.5 meters.

The terrace actually compromises of a row of nine to twelve lions carved out of marble, with their mouths as if roaring or snarling, which were meant to provide protection to the sanctuaries and to give a feeling of divine fear among those who came to worship there. There used to be 16 lions in the early days. Now only seven remain. The white statues are a beautiful sight to behold.

17. Pieta, Italy

  • Location: Italy
  • Designer: Michelangelo Buonarroti
  • Year: 1499 AD
  • Dimension: 174 cm × 195 cm

Pieta is a beautiful structure that depicts Mary, who cradles the lifeless body of Jesus after his crucifixion. The beautiful religious culture was crafted by Michelangelo Buonarroti, who was a famous Italian Renaissance sculpture. Pieta is considered to be one of the greatest works of art to date, and it was completed in the year 1499 AD.

The statue was actually carved using Carrara marble, which is a high-quality marble quarried in the city of Carrara, which is now present in Tuscany, Italy. The general shape of the whole statue is triangular.

The strange thing about the statue is that the proportions of Jesus and Mary are a little off; the statue of Jesus is a lot smaller in comparison to a normal-sized woman. On the figure of Jesus, one can see small nail marks where he was nailed to the cross along with a wound on his side where he was stabbed during his crucifixion, according to the New Testament.

One of the most interesting things about this statue is that Mary is depicted as a very young woman considering her song was about 33 years old at the time of his crucifixion, plus the look on Mary’s face is not that of a grieving mother but rather serene.

Pieta is the only work of Michaelangelo that he signed, the signature is present on the chest of Mary. In the year 1972, Pieta was actually attacked by a Hungarian geologist, and the statue received 12 blows, later the man was sent to a mental institution and was released after two years, and he was then deported.

18. Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C

  • Location: United States of America
  • Designer: Clark Mills
  • Year: 1917
  • Height: 19 Feet
  • Weight: 120 tons

The Lincoln Memorial is one of America’s most loved American Monuments: it attars about a million visitors each year.

Getting the Lincoln Memorial constructed was not that easy, creating a fitting tribute to the president that ended slavery, began immediately after his assassination in the year 1865. The Lincoln Monument Association was formed and began to seek craftsmen to do the job, but construction was delayed until 1914, most of the architectural elements of the memorial were completed in the year 1917, but the memorial was not opened to the public till 1922.

In the early days of the planning, sculptor Clark Mills was hired to dream up a design, but Congress was not really prepared for his vision for the tribute, which involved a collection of 36 bronze figures and a 12-foot likeness of Lincoln signing the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Lincoln Memorial was finally brought to life through a collaboration of several artisans and designers. The statue was designed by Daniel Chester and was produced by the Piccirilli Brothers, who were a family of Tuscan marble carvers.

The Italian Piccirilli’s injected some Roman influence into the statue, modeling the pillars upon which the president rests his arms on fasces, the bundle of wood which is a symbol of power for centuries.

This statue was actually the second design which was submitted by the French, just two years before the beginning of the Washington project, the French proposed a bronze statue of Lincoln to the association. The piece depicted the president upright with his hands joining at the waist, and his head tilted downwards. The base of that statue was designed by Bacon. The statue is still present on the grounds of the Nebraska State Capital.

19. Apollo and Daphne, Italy

  • Location: Italy
  • Designer: Gian Lorenzo Bernini
  • Year: 1622-1625
  • Dimenions: 243 cm

This beautiful sculpture was created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and was inspired by a story from the book I of Ovid’s Metamorphosis, which recounts how one day Apollo, who is the God of Light and Poetry was teasing a cupid who was yielding an arrow, saying that he was too young to handle such a dangerous weapon. The Cupid got angry and pricked Apollo with one of his arrows, and the God fell madly in love with Daphne, who was passing by the river. Daphne was, unfortunately, quite devoted to the goddess Diana and had taken an oath never to marry and to remain a virgin as long as she lived.

When Apollo, lust stricken, tried to persuade the dame, she ran away in panic, calling the God of the river, her father, to help her. She was then transformed into a laurel tree. Apollo then declared that if Daphne couldn’t be his wife, she would at least be his tree. So, for this reason, Apollo imbued the tree with eternal youth and adopted a laurel leaf crown, which then later became the symbol of Roman emperors or Olympic victors.

The statue is carved by hand and presents both a partially nude woman who tries to run away from her pursuer. Her tilted and uplifted face is slightly vague, and she transforms into a tree right before the God Apollo, Daphne’s arms are also raised and outstretched. Just behind her is Apollo, who is madly in love with Daphne and is struck by her beauty, and he tries to run after her without any success.

The beautiful statue was created in 1622-1625 and showcases masterful craftsmanship by Bernini as he magnificently recreates the apex of the story of Daphne and Apollo.

20. Tian Tan Buddha, Hong Kong

  • Location: Hong Kong
  • Designer: –
  • Year: 1979
  • Weight: 250 metric tons
  • Height: 34 meters

This beautiful statue is also known as The Big Buddha, and compromises of a large bronze statue located in a remote part of the Lantau Island in the Po Lin Monastery. The place has been a major tourist attraction since it opened up to the public in 1993 and is actually the second largest Buddha in the world.

Buddhism was a religion that was introduced in China during the Eastern Han period, and along with it came many statues of Buddha. The arts of the Buddhist prospered for years, peaking and enlightening many people all over the world.

The Po Lin Monastery, in the year 1979, was given land on which they could build a statue of their own; the monks were then invited to visit the mainland. The monks were inspired by the statues they had seen before and ultimately committed themselves to build a statue in Hong Kong.

Tian Tan is one of China’s five largest Buddha statues, and it weighs more than 250 metric tons plus is about 34 meters in height. The Giant Buddha was made up of 202 bronze pieces with a steel framework that helps to support it.

The statue is meant to symbolize a harmonious relationship between nature and man, and it took about a dozen years to complete. In order to get near the bronze statue, you need to climb 268 steps that lie before it. You won’t just be able to get up close and personal with the Buddha but also have an amazing view of the sea as well as the mountains.

A fun fact:

There is a relic inside The Giant Buddha that is rumored to hold the cremated remains of Gautama Buddha.


  • Location: Italy
  • Designer: Gian Lorenzo Bernini
  • Year: 1652
  • Height: 150 cm
  • Weight: –

This beautiful state is made up of white marble and was crafted by the famous sculptor, Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The statue was commissioned by a Venetian Cardinal, and it was finally completed in the year 1652. The statue can today be seen in Santa Maria Della Vittoria church in Italy. The statue depicts Saint Teresa of Avila and is considered a masterpiece among Roman Baroque sculptures.

The statue depicts a scene that Saint Teresa wrote in her autobiography. In which she said that an angel pierced her heart multiple times using a fire tipped spear. She believed that this act sent her into a spiritual rapture.

Saint Theresa was a nun, writer and mystic of Spanish origin during the Counter-Reformation. Some experts claim that during her youth, the saint was spoiled and wilful, and she chose to enter the Carmelite sisterhood and not marry a wealthy hidalgo. She did this because she thought that being a nun would allow her more freedom.

Bernini’s masterpiece shows the artist at his best, and he thought of this piece to be his most beautiful. There have been many arguments around the erotic nature of the statue, but for Bernini to showcase the saint in such a way would be condemned, and he would have been declared a heretic at that day and age. Hence most experts believe that the angle strikes an arrow into the heart of Saint Theresa, and the look on her face is ecstasy, which is a mystical experience for her.

The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa is not just a statue but a complete environment. Bernini, after creating the statue, went on to create a veritable stage set complete with sculpted audience members.

22. The Terracotta Army

  • Location: China
  • Designer: Ancient Chinese Workers
  • Year: 246 – 208 B.C
  • Height: 5,11 and 6 feet…
  • Weight: 300-400 Pounds

The Terracotta is a collection of statues depicting the Qin Shi Huang army, who was the first emperor of China. These sculptures are a form of burial art that was buried in the old days, along with the people of influence in ancient China. The entire army of statues was buried with the Emperor of China to protect them in the afterlife.

There are about eight thousand statues buried with the Emperor. The rulers of China were obsessed with a bug known as the elixir of life; the Terra Cotta Warriors were a major part of this quest. It is said that it took about 700,000 workers to mold arms, legs, heads, and torsos, etc., which were then put together. Most of the statues are about 5 feet 11 inches tall, but some soldiers are as tall as 6 foot 7 inches.

The soldiers were buried with bronze weapons with chromium coating that helped to ensure they stayed protected in the ground for thousands of years. The site where these statues were discovered was labeled a UNESCO world heritage site in the year 1987.

It’s shocking to see that each one of the soldiers has distinct facial features, with more than 8,000 statues; the craftsmanship is impressive. The life-size does not just include soldiers, but horses, chariots and archers, etc. The restoration of the figures revealed that they were created using molds and an assembly line type construction. Most of the hands of the soldiers are identical, but right different molds were used to craft their heads, and afterward, distinctive facial features were added using clay.

23. Augustus Prima Porta

  • Location: Italy
  • Designer: –
  • Year: 27 AD
  • Height: 2.08 Meteres
  • Weight: 1000 kg

Augustus was the Emperor of the Roman Empire, and one of his most famous portraits is the so-called Augustus of Primaporta, which was found in 1863 in Italy. The statue isn’t just a mere image of the Emperor, but it also helps tell a story about the power and ideology of the Roman Ruler. The statue foretells the two-century peace period that Augustus initiated, which is called the Pax Romana.

In this statue, the Emperor wears his military uniform and stands in a relaxed pose, and only one leg bears the weight. The right arm of the statue is outstretched, showcasing that the Ruler is talking to his troops. The viewer immediately understands the Emperor’s power as a military conqueror and the leader of the army.

So the message is clear, Augustus was a prominent military leader, an excellent orator, and had the youthful and perfect body of a Greek Athlete. The hidden messages in the statue do not end there; the work of art contains even more symbolism. Just beside the right leg of the Emperor is a cupid who can be seen riding a dolphin. The dolphin is a symbol of the Emperor’s naval victories over Cleopatra and Mark Antony in 31 BCE at the Battle of Actium. This Battle is what made him that sole Ruler of the Roman Empire. The Cupid riding the dolphin also showcases that Augustus had descended from the gods.

The statue of Augustus is not just a simple tribute to the powerful Roman Emperor but also an example of the way that ancients used the art for propagandistic purposes. The statue expresses the Emperor’s connection to the past, his role as the bringer of the Roman Peace, and his connection to the gods.

24. Antony Gormley, The Angel of the North

  • Location: Low Eighton, Gateshead
  • Designer: Antony Gormley
  • Year: 1998
  • Height: 20 meters
  • Weight: 200 Tonnes

The Angel of the North is an important part of the identity of Gateshead’s, just like the Statue of Liberty represents Ney York City. The statue was opened to the public in the year 1998, so this sculpture is pretty new compared to other statues in the list, but that does not mean it’s not famous.

The Angel of North is a masterpiece designed by the internationally renowned sculptor Antony Gormley, and it was not appreciated by the public when it was first made. But with time, people came around and accepted the beautiful statue. It is thought that the Angel of the North is the biggest statue of an Angel in the world. The wingspan of the statue if about 54 meters, which is much bigger than that of a Boeing 767 jet, and it’s almost the same as a jumbo jet. The sculptor is about 20 meters in height, which is the same as a five-story building or four double-decker buses. The Angel weighs around 200 tonnes, each wing weights 50 tonnes and the body is about 100 tonnes.

It is believed that the statue is not going anywhere anytime soon and that it will last about a century from now. The statue is tall, and with huge wings, it can be easily thrown back by the wind, but due to its brilliant design, it can withstand winds of more than 100 miles per hour. There are massive 20-meter deep concrete piles that help the statue to stay upright and not topple over. It cost about 800,000 Pounds to construct the Angel of the North.

25. Christ of the Abyss, Mediterranean Sea

  • Location: Meditteranean Sea
  • Designer: Guido Galletti
  • Year: 1954
  • Height: 8 1/2 Feet
  • Weight: 260 kg

The Christ of the Abyss is a bronze statue of Jesus Christ that weighs about 4000 pounds and is eight and a half feet tall. The statue is situated about six miles northeast of the KeyLargo Cut near Dry Rocks, in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State. The Christ statue is one of the most famous statues in the world and among the most visited underwater sites on earth.

The Christ of the Abyss owes its existence to Duilio Marcante, a legendary Italian diver, who came up with the idea of an underwater statue while he was mourning the death of his friend, Dario Gonzatti. The man was one of the pioneers of Scuba diving; unfortunately, he was killed during a dive in the year 1947.

As a tribute to Gonzatti, Guido Galletti created the beautiful bronze statue of Jesus Christ. The massive statue was placed under the sea in the year 1954 in August, and it was blessed by Pope Pius XII.

The statue is so famous that it has become a major part of popular culture. It has been featured in many movies, music videos, and tv series such as in the Netflix Orginal Series Bloodline, and the picture of the statue was used as cover art, both for God Lives Underwater’s debut album Empty and BT’s Ima.

The statue is open to the public, and you can scuba diver or snorkel to take a close look at the amazing statue of Jesus Christ. There were other copies made of this statue; one exists off the coast of St. George’s Grenada, and the other was presented to the Underwater Society of America in New York in the year 1962.

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