Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what’s seen by that eye is in the hands of the photographer. Many historic or iconic photos are carefully taken, creating images that stick with us forever. But when you go to see these places yourself, reality sets in…
1. Pyramids of Giza
The pyramids are one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Unfortunately, in the modern world, capitalism has to have its way. This is a photo of the pyramids from a nearby KFC.
2. Central Park
Anyone who has walked the streets of New York City can tell you that the view from the ground is dominated by massive buildings. It’s not until you get an aerial shot of Central Park that you understand how thoroughly urbanization has confined nature.
3. Leaning Tower of Pisa
Beautiful on the outside, the inside of the Leaning Tower hasn’t been updated much since construction. It’s largely hollow, and there’s no handrails on the staircases leading to the top.
4. The Great Wall of China
It’s the most famous fortification in history, but the photos of it you’ve seen most often are carefully selected. Large swaths of the wall haven’t stood the test of time and are rundown and broken.
5. The Las Vegas Strip
At night it’s bigger than life with beautiful neon lights, but during the day it just looks hokey.
6. The Alamo
Remember the Alamo… if you can find it! Is it a piece of American history or a tourist trap? Is there a difference?
7. The Little Mermaid Statue
Copenhagen’s famous statue is, like the Alamo, little more than a tourist attraction these days, which makes it a constant target of vandalism. What’s more, the statue is a lot smaller than most believe thanks to widely-publicized close-up shots.
8. Ryugyong Hotel
North Korea’s famous one-hundred-and-five floor building has been under construction for ages, Despite a very sleek face on the outside, the inside remains almost entirely unfinished.
9. The White House
As part of Washington, D.C., it makes sense that the nation’s most important building would be surrounded by other buildings… yet few photos show just how close it is to everything else.
10. The Mona Lisa
Good luck finding the famous painting. It seems so minuscule at The Louvre, occupying the massive wall all on its own.
11. The Statue of Liberty
The standing space inside of the Statue of Liberty’s head is actually quite small. It’s basically just the crown, despite how it’s been depicted in movies and television.
12. The Forbidden City
Used to house Chinese emperors for nearly five-hundred years, there’s nothing forbidden about these ninety-plus buildings these days. The Forbidden City now serves as a museum, and the seclusion it once had is long gone. It sits in the shadows of today’s tall buildings.