94% of people can't name these famous architectural achievements! Can you?

By: Craig
Image: Shutterstock

About This Quiz

Great architecture stands the test of time, achieves milestones in engineering and is rarely forgotten. These famous architectural achievements are found throughout the world. How many do you think you can name from their image? Give it a try. You might do better than you think!

The Eiffel Tower was constructed for the World Fair, held in Paris in 1889. In fact, it was the main exhibition at the event. It was also built to showcase France to the world and celebrate 100 years since the French Revolution. Although Gustav Eiffel is credited with designing the tower, it was actually Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier who made the original drawings. The tower itself is constructed from wrought iron.

The Empire State Building was officially opened in 1931 by President Herbert Hoover with the flick of a switch which turned on the lights while he sat in Washington. It had taken 3,400 men a mere 410 days to complete. Including the cost of the land on which it stands, the overall cost of construction totaled $40,948,900. There are over 6,514 windows, 1,872 steps and 73 elevators in the building. And believe it or not, it has its own zip code.

Easily the most recognized structure in Australia, the Sydney Opera House sits on Bennelong Point in Sydney harbor. It was completed in 1973 and took 16 years to finish at a cost of $AU 102,000,000. It was the brainchild of Danish architect Jørn Utzon and was built by Australian construction firm, M R Hornibrook. More than two million people watch cultural activities in the building each year.

One of the most recognizable buildings in India, the Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan, a Mughal emperor. He did so as he wanted somewhere to keep the remains of his beloved wife who had died while giving birth to their 14th child. The building took 20 years to complete and was constructed out of white marble. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.

This skyscraper, designed in the Art Deco style by William Van Alen, was initially built in a race to be the tallest building in the world. On its completion, it was, but for only 11 months until the Empire State Building surpassed it. Construction on the building started in 1928. Over 3.8 million bricks and close to 400,000 rivets were used during its construction. It was opened to the public on May 27, 1930. In a survey of engineers, architects, and others in the building industry carried out by the Skyscraper Museum in 2005, over 90 percent of those surveyed chose the Chrysler Building as their favorite design.

Another design by Frank Lloyd Wright, the greatest-ever American architect, Fallingwater was constructed between 1936 and 1939. Incredibly, parts of it were built over a waterfall that stands 30 feet tall. In 1966, it was proclaimed as a National Historic Landmark. It is also known as the Kaufmann Residence.

The Colosseum is one of the foremost tourist attractions in Rome. It was commissioned in around AD 70 by Roman emperor Vespasian and completed in AD 80 when it was opened by his son, Titus. The opening was nothing short of spectacular with 100 days of festivities, including gladiator and animal fights. Although 2/3 of the theatre was destroyed over time following the fall of the Roman empire, over 3.9 million people visit the site annually.

Officially the tallest building in the world at 823m, the Burj Khalifa was officially opened in 2010, although it was completed a year earlier after five years of construction. The building holds other records as well. These include the highest occupied office space, highest observation deck and the longest traveling elevator in the world. The Burj Khalifa was designed by Adrian Smith.

Construction on the Leaning Tower of Pisa began in 1173. It was completed over 200 years later, in 1399. It is thought it was designed by a few architects, including Bonanno Pisano, Gherardo di Gherardo, Giovanni Pisano, Giovanni di Simone and Tommaso Pisano. The tower leans as it was built on soft ground. In fact, by the time the second floor was completed, it had already started to lean. Other buildings in Pisa have the same problem, such as the bell towers of the St. Michele dei Scalzi, and St. Nicole churches.

The construction of St Peter's Basilica started in 1506 under Pope Julius II and was only completed in 1615 under Pope Paul V. Not only is the building an impressive structure, it is filled with priceless Renaissance art, including Michelangelo’s Pietà and the statue of St. Longinus.

Hagia Sophia is a beautiful cathedral found in Instanbul in Turkey. In its time it has acted as a church, mosque and now a museum. The building was built between 532 to 537 AD under the instruction of Justinian I, a Byzantium Emporer. The structure itself is noted for its massive dome which is 105 feet wide. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.

Designed by world-renowned architect Antoni Gaudí,​ Sagrada Familia is a massive Roman Catholic Church in Barcelona, Spain. Despite the fact that its construction began in 1882, it remains unfinished. However, it certainly is still worth the visit. Incredibly, construction only passed the halfway point in 2010, although it should be finished by 2026.

Built in the 5th century BC, the Parthenon sits on top of a hill overlooking the city of Athens. It was built as a worship place for the Greek god, Athena. It was designed by two architects Ictinus and Callicrates who were helped by sculptor Phidias. Although the temple was partly destroyed in the 1600s, a fair amount remains and it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world.

The multi-colored St Basil's Cathedral in Moscow is one of the most famous attractions in the city. It was built on the instructions of Ivan the Terrible and completed in 1560. Legend says that once completed, Ivan blinded builders Barma and Postnik Yakovlev so they could never make anything to compare again. This is simply folklore. The building's full name is "The Cathedral of the Intercession of the Virgin by the Moat."

With its distinctive triangular design, the Flatiron building was the brainchild of architect Daniel Burnham. It was completed in 1902, taking only four months to finish once the steel framing had been assembled. At its narrowest, it only measures six feet across. The elevators in the building used to be water powered.

One of the best-preserved examples of Roman architecture, construction of the Pantheon was finished in around AD 126 during the rule of Hadrian. Its main purpose was as a temple. In fact, the word Pantheon means 'honor all God's'. One of the greatest things about the building is the massive dome with a hole in the middle. It is the largest unsupported dome found in the world, a true testament to Roman engineering.

When it comes to hotel luxury, none can be compared to the Burj Al Arab. It officially opened in 1999 and is the third tallest building in the world. Other than unprecedented luxury, the hotel boasts an underwater restaurant, a Skyview bar and many other incredible facilities.

The impressive Arc de Triomphe stands at the end of one of the most famous avenues in the world, the Champs-Élysées. It was completed in 1836 having been commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1806 as a legacy to his army. Although Napoleon never saw the structure, his remains were carried under it in 1840 before he was laid to rest in the chapel of the Hôtel des Invalides.

One of the most famous landmarks in London, people often think Big Ben is the name of the tower holding the famous clock. It actually isn't. That tower is called The Elizabeth Tower. Big Ben is the nickname of the bell inside which goes by the official name of the Great Bell.

The Seagram building is situated on Park Avenue in New York. It was designed by Mies van der Rohe and stands 38-stories tall. The building itself is set back from the street which creates a massive plaza. It was completed in 1958 and was van der Rohe's first attempt at designing an office building.

This is the official residence of the Queen of England. In fact, this has been the home of the Royal Family since 1837 although currently, the Queen also stays at times in Windsor. Buckingham Palace consists of 775 rooms. Of these, 19 are state rooms. There are also 52 rooms for the Royal Family and 188 bedrooms for staff.

With its unique shape which tapers towards the sky but remains wide at the base, 30 St. Mary Axe stands out in the London skyline. Situated in the financial district, it is 41 stories high and affords 45,000 square meters of office space. It also has a 360-degree view of London.

The Space Needle, an observation tower in Seattle, was completed in 1962. It stands 605 feet tall with the observation deck 520 feet off the ground. Fancy eating at 500 feet? Well, you can at Sky City, a restaurant in the Needle. There is even a banqueting facility 100 feet off the ground. The Space Needle can handle winds of up to 200 mph. For every 10 mph the wind speed increases, the building sways by 1 degree.

After the destruction of the Twin Towers in Manhattan, New York, following a terrorist attack in 2001, plans were drawn up for a new building to replace them and forever remember their legacy and the atrocities committed. The One World Trade Centre was completed and officially opened in 2015. At 546m tall, it is the tallest building in the western hemisphere. It was designed by David Childs and houses the 9/11 memorial and museum.

St. Paul's Cathedral is probably the most famous church in the United Kingdom. Although four buildings have stood on this site over history, this current building was designed by Sir Christopher Wren after the great fire of London destroyed the previous one. It was constructed over a 35-year period and was completed in 1710. Charles and Diana were married here and Diana's funeral service also took place at St. Paul's.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Palace of Versailles is found around 12 miles from the center of Paris and remains one of the top tourist attractions in the city. For a period of 100 years, it was the seat of power in France with the kings of the country having their court in Versailles. It was first constructed in 1624 as a hunting lodge and grew from there. It has 2,300 rooms and is around 63,154 m2 in size.

Dedicated to the American people, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis was completed in 1965, making it the tallest monument in the United States as well as the tallest arch in the world. It was constructed totally out of steel and remains a very popular tourist destination in the city. It was designed by Eero Saarinen.

Designed by Swiss architect, Le Corbusier, Villa Savoye is a thoroughly modern looking building. But it really isn't. It was designed in 1929! Le Corbusier himself said, 'The house is a box in the air...' And it is truly something to behold. This fabulous structure on the outskirts of Paris is open to the public for daily tours.

Architect Antoni Gaudí designed many buildings found in Barcelona. The Casa Mila is one of them. Thanks to its rough stone finish, it is often called 'La Pedrera,​' which means open quarry. It was built over a period of four years and finished in 1910. In 1984, Casa Mira was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Walt Disney Concert Hall is the home of the LA Philarmonic Orchestra. The building itself, designed by Frank Gehry, is particularly strange looking with a variety of shapes, angles, and other peculiarities. This helps afford it incredible acoustics. The Walt Disney Concert Hall was completed in 2003.

This tower, located in Toronto, is 553.33 meters tall. As one of Canada's biggest tourist attractions, the tower features glass elevators that take visitors to the top of this landmark in just 52 seconds! Once at the top, four observation posts afford incredible views of the city and on a clear day, up to 100 miles away. It also houses two restaurants and the world's highest cellar. The tower was designed by J. Andrews, W. Zerafa, M. Housden and E.R. Baldwin and was completed in 1976.

The incredible architectural designs of Antoni Gaudí are found all over Barcelona and Casa Batllo is certainly no exception. This building, with its modernist design, is truly something to behold. It was not built from scratch using a Gaudi design but was actually remodelled in 1904 by the architect. Casa Batllo is known locally as the 'House of Bones'.

One of the world's greatest tourist attractions, the Sistine Chapel was built between 1473 and 1484 on the orders of then Pope Sixtus IV. Today it is only used on special occasions, although tours are held daily for visitors. Some of the greatest Renaissance artists decorated the chapel, including Michaelangelo, Perugino, Botticelli, Rosselli, Pinturicchio, Signorelli, and Ghirlandaio. The ceiling, painted by Michelangelo took four years to complete.

The National Stadium in Beijing was built for the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It was designed by a few parties, including artist Ai Weiwei and architects Jacques Herzog, Stefan Marbach and Pierre de Meuron. It is known as the 'Bird's Nest'.

A must-see attraction in Beijing, the Forbidden City once housed the emperors of both the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) Dynasties. It is the largest ancient palace on earth and has 9999 rooms, all filled with cultural artifacts. The Forbidden City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. Over 14 million people visit here each year.

The fifth tallest building in Asia, Taipei 101 stands 508 meters tall and offices reach to 438 meters. Construction on the building began in 1999 and was completed in 2004. It includes eight stories with each slightly larger than the one below it, making the building look like a pagoda.

Serving as the official residence of the President of Russia, who lives in the Grand Kremlin Palace, the Kremlin, which roughly translated means Citadel, has its origins in the Middle Ages. In fact, the word Kremlin was first recorded in the 1300s. The Kremlin itself has changed over time and in 1917, became the seat of Communist power after the Russian Revolution.

An ancient structure, construction on the Cologne Cathedral started in 1248. It took centuries to complete until under the insistence of King Friedrich Wilhelm IV, both the north and south towers were finally finished between 1842 and 1880. During the WW II, the cathedral took damage from Allied bombing but was never fully destroyed. This gothic masterpiece is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The Lloyd's Building is situated in the heart of the financial district in London. It is home to one of the biggest insurance companies in the country, Lloyds. The building was opened in 1986 by none other than the Queen of England, Elizabeth II. Architects used the entrance of the company's former head office in the design of this new building.

Situated in the canal city of Venice, the very first church built on the site of St Mark's Basilica originated in around AD 900. The current building is filled with beautiful mosaics, over 85,000 square feet of them. It is also home to over 500 columns. Many of the ancient artifacts found within St.​ Mark's were raided during the Crusades of the Middle Ages.

One of the most recognizable sites on the Chicago Skyline, the John Hancock Center stands 463.9 meters tall although it is only occupied to a point 321 meters off the ground. It has 100 floors. Construction on 'Big John,' as it is affectionately known, started in 1965 and reached completion in 1969. Visitors to the center are treated to panoramic 360-degree views, including those of four different states as on a clear day, you can see up to 80 miles away.

Commonly known as the Sears Tower, this famous landmark in Chicago is 442m high and consists of 108 floors. It is the second tallest building in America and was completed in 1973. Each year one million people visit the tower and stand on the observation deck to see the incredible views it offers of the city.

One of the most famous hotels in the 'Big Apple,' the Waldorf Astoria is situated in central Manhattan. This is a large hotel with 1,413 rooms, including single, double and mini-suites. During its time, the Waldorf has seen its fair share of celebrities, including Marilyn Munroe, who stayed in the hotel for a period, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor and many more.

Pretty much everyone knows the White House. The residence of the President of the United States, the building was constructed in from 1792 to 1800 after George Washington laid the cornerstone. He was not the first president to live here, however. That honor went to John Adams and his wife. Although it has been extended over the years, it currently consists of 132 rooms. The name 'White House' was given to the building in 1901 by Theodore Roosevelt.

The Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris is a famous tourist attraction and a noted piece of gothic architecture. Although work on the building began in the 12th century, it took more than 300 years to complete. Notre Dame means 'Our Lady.'

Set in the Loire Valley in France, the Chateau de Chambord was originally a hunting lodge built in the early 1500s. Soon, however, King Francis decided to build a castle in its place. And what a castle it is! Chambord has 400 rooms and over 80 staircases and stands on grounds over 5,000 hectares in size! It truly is spectacular as the 700,000 people who visit it annually will attest.

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Bahai Temple lies in the city of Haifa, Israel, nestled below Mount Carmel. The temple is noted for its beautiful dome construction which stands above 19 terraced gardens. Similar domed places of worship are found throughout the world as part of the Bahai faith.

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