Top Ten Towers

Top Ten Towers

  1. Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

           The Eiffel Tower is a puddle iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Built in 1889, it has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The tower is the tallest building in Paris and the most-visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch to the 1889 World’s Fair. The tower stands 324 m (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-story building. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. However, due to the addition, in 1957, of the antenna atop the Eiffel Tower, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building. Not including broadcast antennas, it is the 2nd tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct. The tower has three levels for visitors. Tickets can be purchased to ascend, by stairs or lift, to the first and second levels. The walk from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. The third and highest level is accessible only by elevator. Both the first and second levels feature restaurants.
    Links: Top Ten French Attractions, Top Ten Worlds Fairs,,
  2. Space Needle, Seattle, Washington, USA

           The Space Needle is a tower in Seattle, Washington and is a major landmark of the Pacific Northwest region of the US. Located at the Seattle Center, it was built for the 1962 World’s Fair, during which time nearly 20,000 people a day used the elevators, with over 2.3 million visitors in all for the World Fair. The Space Needle is 605 feet (184 m) high at its highest point and 138 feet (42 m) wide at its widest point and weighs 9,550 tons. When it was completed it was the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River. It is built to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour (89 m/s) and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitude, which would protect the structure against an earthquake as powerful as the 1700 Cascadia earthquake. The tower also has 25 lightning rods on its roof to prevent lightning damage. The Space Needle features an observation deck at 520 feet (160 m), and a gift shop with the rotating SkyCity restaurant at 500 feet (150 m). From the top of the Needle, one can see not only the Downtown Seattle skyline, but also the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay and surrounding islands. Photographs of the Seattle skyline often show the Space Needle in a prominent position, even appearing to tower above the rest of the city’s skyscrapers, as well as Mount Rainier in the background. This occurs because the tower, which is equivalent in height to a 60-story building, stands more than a kilometer northwest of most downtown skyscrapers. Visitors can reach the top of the Space Needle via elevators that travel at 10 miles per hour (4.5 m/s). The trip takes 43 seconds, and some tourists wait in hour-long lines in order to ascend to the top of the tower. On windy days, the elevators are slowed down to a speed of 5 miles per hour (2.2 m/s). The Space Needle was designated a historic landmark on April 19, 1999 by the City’s Landmarks Preservation Board.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions,,
  3. Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE

           Burj Khalifa is a skyscraper in Dubai, UAE, and is currently the tallest structure in the world, at 829.84 m (2,723 ft). Construction began on September 21, 2004, with the exterior of the structure completed on October 1, 2009. The building officially opened on January 4, 2010, and is part of the new 2 square km (490-acre) flagship development called Downtown Dubai at the ‘First Interchange’ along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai’s main business district. The tower’s architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago, with Adrian Smith as chief architect, and Bill Baker as chief structural engineer. The primary contractor was Samsung C&T of South Korea. The total cost for the project was about US$1.5 billion; and for the entire “Downtown Dubai” development, US$20 billion. In March 2009, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman of the project’s developer, Emaar Properties, said office space pricing at Burj Khalifa reached US$4,000 per sq ft (over US$43,000 per m²) and the Armani Residences, also in Burj Khalifa, sold for US$3,500 per sq ft (over US$37,500 per m²). The project’s completion coincided with the global financial crisis of 2007–2010, and with vast overbuilding in the country, led to high vacancies and foreclosures. With Dubai mired in debt from its huge ambitions, the government was forced to seek multibillion dollar bailouts from its oil rich neighbor Abu Dhabi. Subsequently, in a surprise move at its opening ceremony, the tower was renamed Burj Khalifa, said to honor the UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his crucial support. Due to the slumping demand in Dubai’s property market, the rents in the Burj Khalifa plummeted 40% some ten months after its opening. Out of 900 apartments in the tower, around 825 were still empty at that time.
    Links: Top Ten UAE Attractions, Top Ten Pictures of Lightning,,
  4. CN Tower, Ontario, Canada

           The CN Tower is a communications and observation tower in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Standing 553.33 meters (1,815.4 ft) tall, it was completed in 1976, becoming the world’s tallest free-standing structure and world’s tallest tower at the time. It held both records for 34 years until the completion of Burj Khalifa and Canton Tower. It remains the tallest free-standing structure in the Western Hemisphere, a signature icon of Toronto’s skyline, and a symbol of Canada, attracting more than two million international visitors annually. Its name “CN” originally referred to Canadian National, the railway company that built the tower. Following the railway’s decision to divest non-core freight railway assets, prior to the company’s privatization in 1995, it transferred the tower to the Canada Lands Company, a federal Crown corporation responsible for real estate development. Since the name CN Tower became common in daily usage, the abbreviation was eventually expanded to Canadian National Tower or Canada’s National Tower. However, neither of these names is commonly used. In 1995, the CN Tower was declared one of the modern Seven Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. It also belongs to the World Federation of Great Towers, where it holds 2nd place ranking.
    Links: Top Ten Canadian Attractions, Top Ten Lightning Pictures,,
  5. Auckland Sky Tower, New Zealand

           The Sky Tower is an observation and telecommunications tower located on the corner of Victoria and Federal Streets in the Auckland CBD, Auckland City, New Zealand. It is 328 m (1,076 ft) tall, as measured from ground level to the top of the mast, making it the tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere. Due to its shape and height, especially when compared to the next tallest structures, it has become an iconic structure in Auckland’s skyline.
    Links: Top Ten New Zealand Attractions,,
  6. Canton Tower, Guangdong, China

           Canton Tower, formerly Guangzhou TV astronomical and Sightseeing Tower, is an observation tower in the Haizhu District of Guangzhou, historically known as Canton or Kwangchow, Guangdong, China. Topping out of the tower was in 2009 and it became operational on September 29, 2010 for the 2010 Asian Games. The tower briefly held the title of tallest completed tower in the world, replacing the CN Tower, before being surpassed by the Tokyo Sky Tree in 2011. It is the tallest structure in China, the 7th tallest structure in the world, and the 3rd tallest freestanding structure in the world. It is named after “Canton,” the traditional European name of the city.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions,,
  7. Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

           The Petronas Towers are skyscrapers and twin towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. According to the CTBUH’s official definition and ranking, they were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 until surpassed by Taipei 101, but remain the tallest twin buildings in the world ever built. The building is the landmark of Kuala Lumpur with nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower.
    Links: Top Ten Malaysian Attractions,,
  8. Sydney Tower, Australia

           Sydney Tower Eye is Sydney’s tallest free-standing structure and the 2nd tallest in Australia (with the Q1 building on the Gold Coast being the tallest). It is also the 2nd tallest observation tower in the Southern Hemisphere (after Auckland’s Sky Tower, though Sydney Tower Eye’s main observation deck is almost 50 m (164 ft) higher than that of Auckland’s Sky Tower). The Sydney Tower Eye is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers. The tower stands 309 m (1,014 ft) above the Sydney CBD, being located at 100 Market Street, between Pitt and Castlereagh Streets. It is accessible from the Pitt Street Mall, and sits upon Centrepoint (to which the tower is often referred), an office and shopping center development. The tower is open to the public, and is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in the city, being visible from a number of vantage points throughout town and from adjoining suburbs. While AMP managed the Centrepoint shopping center, the tower was officially referred to as “AMP Tower.” After the Westfield Group took over ownership of Centrepoint in December 2001, the name was changed to Sydney Tower. In 2011, Merlin Entertainments acquired the rights to operate the tower and its name was changed to the Sydney Tower Eye. Whilst the Shopping center at the base of the tower is run by the Westfield Group the tower itself is part of Merlin Entertainments.
    Links: Top Ten Australian Attractions,,
  9. Menara KL, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

           The Kuala Lumpur Tower is a tall tower located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Its construction was finished in 1995. It is used for communication purposes and features an antenna that reaches 421 m (1,381 ft). The rest of the tower below has a stairwell and an elevator to reach the upper area, which also contains a revolving restaurant, providing diners a panoramic view of the city. Races are organized yearly where participants race up the stairs to the top. The tower also acts as the Islamic falak observatory to observe the crescent moon which marks the beginning of Muslim month of Ramadhan, Syawal and Zulhijjah, to celebrate fasting month of Ramadhan, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Aidiladha. The tower is the landmark of Kuala Lumpur with nearby Petronas Towers.
    Links: Top Ten Malaysian Attractions,
  10. Empire State Building, New York, USA

           The Empire State Building is a 102-story landmark skyscraper and American cultural icon in New York City at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and West 34th Street. It has a roof height of 1,250 feet (381 m), and with its antenna spire included, it stands a total of 1,454 ft (443.2 m) high. Its name is derived from the nickname for New York, the Empire State. It stood as the world’s tallest building for 40 years, from its completion in 1931 until construction of the World Trade Center’s North Tower was completed in 1972. Following the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001, the Empire State Building once again became the tallest building in New York. The Empire State Building was the tallest structure in the world for more than 40 years. Work on the building was finished in 1931. While it is no longer the tallest, it is probably the most famous. People from around the world visit its 86th floor observatory to see New York from high above. The Empire State Building is designed in the distinctive Art Deco style, and has been named by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World. The Empire State Building is currently the 3rd tallest skyscraper in the US (after the Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower, both in Chicago), and the 15th tallest in the world. It is also the 4th tallest freestanding structure in the Americas. The Empire State Building is currently undergoing a $550 million renovation, with $120 million spent in an effort to transform the building into a more energy efficient and eco-friendly structure. Receiving a gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating in September 2011, the Empire State Building is the tallest LEED certified building in the US.
    Links: Top Ten US AttractionsTop Ten Works of Art by Andy WarholTop 100 Films,
  11. Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth, England

           Spinnaker Tower is a 170 m (560 ft)–high landmark tower in Portsmouth, England. It is the centerpiece of the redevelopment of Portsmouth Harbour, which was supported by a National Lottery grant. Its shape was chosen by Portsmouth residents from a selection of concepts. The tower, designed by local firm HGP Architects and the engineering consultants Scott Wilson and built by Mowlem, reflects Portsmouth’s maritime history by being modeled after a sail. After several years of delays and cost overruns, it was opened on October 18, 2005.
    Links: Top Ten English Attractions,,
  12. Berliner Fernsehturm, Berlin, Germany

           The Fernsehturm is a television tower in the city center of Berlin, Germany. Close to Alexanderplatz and part of the World Federation of Great Towers (WFGT), the tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the former German Democratic Republic administration who intended it as a symbol of Berlin, which it remains today, as it is easily visible throughout the central and some suburban districts of Berlin. With its height of 368 meters, it is the tallest structure in Germany.
    Links: Top Ten German Attractions,,
  13. Bonus: Žižkov Television Tower, Czech Republic

           The Žižkov Television Tower is a unique transmitter tower built in Prague between 1985 and 1992. Designed by architect Václav Aulický and structural engineer Jiří Kozák, it stands high above the city’s traditional skyline from its position on top of a hill in the district of Žižkov, from which it takes its name.
    Links: Top Ten Czech Republic Attractions,,
  14. Bonus: Bayterek Tower, Astana, Kazakhstan

           Bayterek is a monument and observation tower in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. A tourist attraction popular with foreign visitors and native Kazakhs alike, it is a common symbol of the city, epitomizing its elevation in 1997 to the status of capital of the country.
    Links: Top Ten Kazakhstani Attractions,,
  15. Bonus: Juche Tower, Pyongyang, North Korea

           The Juche Tower, officially the Tower of the Juche Idea, is a monument in Pyongyang, North Korea. The tower is named after the principle of Juche, developed by Kim Il Sung as a blend of autarky, self-reliance, nationalism, isolationism, Korean traditionalism and Marxism-Leninism. Completed in 1982, it is sited on the eastern bank of the River Taedong, directly opposite Kim Il Sung Square which is situated on the other side of the river. It was made to commemorate Kim Il Sung’s 70th birthday. Kim Jong-il is officially credited as the tower’s designer; however, interviews with former North Korean officials contradict this assertion. The 170 m (560 ft) structure is a four sided tapering 150 m (490 ft) spire (the tallest in granite) containing 25,550 blocks (365 × 70, one for each day of Kim Il Sung’s life, excluding supplementary days), dressed in white stone with seventy dividers and capped with a 20 m (66 ft) high, 45 ton, illuminated metal torch. It is possible to ascend the tower and there are wide views over Pyongyang from the viewing platform just below the torch. In the base of the tower there are reception rooms where videos explaining the tower’s ideological importance are sometimes shown. It is presumed to be modeled on the Washington Monument, which it surpasses in height by less than a meter. The Juche tower is the second tallest monumental column in the world after the San Jacinto Monument, which is 2.9 m (9.5 ft) taller. Associated with the tower is a 30 m (98 ft) high statue consisting of three figures, one with a hammer, one with a sickle and one with a writing brush (an idealized worker, a peasant and a “working intellectual,” inspired by the Russian Worker and Kolkhoz Woman statue. The combination of symbols recalls the flag of the Workers’ Party of Korea). There are six smaller groups, each 10 m (33 ft) high, symbolizing other aspects of Kim Il Sung’s ideology. Also close to the tower is a wall of 82 friendship plaques, apparently from foreign supporters. Around the tower there are also pavilions and water features. It is claimed that the tower has become a popular site for North Koreans. Pyongyang, the capital, often experiences power shortages; however, the Juche Tower is always brightly lit to preserve symbolic strength. A number of North Korean support groups, as well as the Gabonese president and North Korea ally Omar Bongo, have supported the construction of the tower and are awarded plaques on the base of the tower.
    Links: Top Ten North Korean Attractions,,
  16. Bonus: Avaz Twist Tower, Bosnia and Herzegovina

           The Avaz Twist Tower is a skyscraper in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and at 172 m is the tallest skyscraper in Balkans. It is the new headquarter for Avaz, a Bosnia and Herzegovina newspaper company. The tower is located in the Marijin Dvor district, Sarajevo’s business district.
    Links: Top Ten Bosnia and Herzegovinian Attractions,,
  17. Bonus: Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy

           The Leaning Tower of Pisa is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa. It is situated behind the Cathedral and is the 3rd oldest structure in Pisa’s Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo) after the Cathedral and the Baptistry. The height of the tower is 55.86 m (183.3 ft.) from the ground on the low side and 56.70 m (186 ft.) on the high side. The width of the walls at the base is 4.09 m (13.4 ft.) and at the top 2.48 m (8.1 ft.). Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons. The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the 7th floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase. Prior to restoration work performed between 1990 and 2001, the tower leaned at an angle of 5.5 degrees, but the tower now leans at about 4 degrees. This means that the top of the tower is displaced horizontally 3.9 m (12 ft. 10 in) from where it would be if the structure were perfectly vertical.
    Links: Top Ten Italian Attractions, Top Ten Bell Towers, Top Ten Bells, Top Ten Squares,,
  18. Bonus: Tokyo Tower, Japan

           Tokyo Tower is a communications and observation tower located in Shiba Park, Minato, Tokyo, Japan. At 332.5 m (1,091 ft), it is the 2nd tallest artificial structure in Japan. The structure is an Eiffel Tower-inspired lattice tower that is painted white and international orange to comply with air safety regulations. Built in 1958, the tower’s main sources of revenue are tourism and antenna leasing. Over 150 million people have visited the tower since its opening. FootTown, a 4-storey building located directly under the tower, houses museums, restaurants and shops. Departing from here, guests can visit two observation decks. The 2-storey Main Observatory is located at 150 meters (490 ft), while the smaller Special Observatory reaches a height of 250 meters (820 ft). The tower acts as a support structure for an antenna. Originally intended for television broadcasting, radio antennas were installed in 1961 and the tower is now used to broadcast signals for Japanese media outlets such as NHK, TBS and Fuji TV. Japan’s planned digital television transition by July 2011 is problematic, however. Tokyo Tower’s current height is not high enough to adequately support complete terrestrial digital broadcasting to the area. A taller digital broadcasting tower, known as Tokyo Sky Tree, is currently planned to open in 2012.
    Links: Top Ten Japanese Attractions,,
  19. Bonus: Yellow Crane Tower, Wuhan, China

    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions,
  20. Bonus: Cairo Tower, Egypt

           The Cairo Tower is a free-standing concrete tower located in Cairo, Egypt. At 187 m (614 ft), it has been the tallest structure in Egypt and North Africa for 50 years. It was the tallest structure in Africa for 10 years, until 1971 when it was surpassed by Hillbrow Tower in South Africa. One of Cairo’s well-known landmarks, it stands in the Zamalek district on Gezira Island in the River Nile, close to Downtown Cairo.
    Links: Top Ten Egyptian Attractions,,,
  21. Bonus: Liaoning Broadcasting Tower, Shenyang, China

           The Liaoning Broadcast and Television Tower is a tall free-standing structure used for communication. It was built in 1989 in Shenyang, China and is 305.5 m (1002 ft) tall. Within the “disk” of the tower, accessible through an elevator, there is an in-door observation deck, rotating restaurant and a small bar. On the top of the disk is an outdoor observation deck.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions,,
  22. Bonus: Ostankino Tower, Moscow, Russia

           Ostankino Tower is a free-standing television and radio tower in Moscow, Russia. Standing 540 m (1,770 ft) tall, Ostankino was designed by Nikolai Nikitin. It is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers, currently the tallest in Europe and 4th tallest in the world. The tower was the first free-standing structure to exceed 500 m (1,600 ft) in height. The tower was constructed to mark the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. It is named after the Ostankino district of Moscow in which it is located. Construction began in 1963 and was completed in 1967. Extensive use of pre-stressed concrete resulted in a simple and sturdy structure. It surpassed the Empire State Building to become the tallest free-standing structure in the world. It held this record for nine years until the CN Tower was completed in Toronto, Canada in 1976, which surpassed its height by 13 m (43 ft). The Ostankino Tower remained the 2nd tallest freestanding structure in the world for another 31 years until the Burj Khalifa surpassed both it and the CN Tower in height in 2007. The height of the tower has been surpassed by Canton Tower in Guangzhou and is expected to be surpassed by One World Trade Center in New York City, Abraj Al Bait Towers in Mecca, Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, India Tower in Mumbai and Tokyo Sky Tree in Tokyo (all under construction). Towers taller than 300 meters were built in Kiev, Tashkent, Almaty, Riga, Berlin, Vilnius, Tallinn, Yerevan, St. Petersburg and Baku. The Ostankino Tower has remained the tallest free-standing structure in Europe for 42 years. The Russia Tower, a proposed 612-metre (2,008 ft) mixed-use skyscraper planned for the Moscow International Business Centre, was originally expected to exceed the Ostankino Tower’s height. The project has been suspended due to financial difficulties and it remains unclear if construction will resume. A 1994 plan to increase the tower’s height to 561 meters by adding an antenna was not implemented for lack of funding.
    Links: Top Ten Russian Attractions, Top Ten Pictures of Lightning,,
  23. Bonus: Kobe Port Tower, Japan

           Kobe Port Tower, a hyperboloid structure, is a 108 m high lattice tower in the port city of Kobe, Japan. Kobe Port Tower has an observation deck at a height of 90.28 meters. The red steel Port Tower offers a spectacular sight of the bay area and the surrounding area. The construction of the Kobe Port Tower was completed in 1963 and it looks like the Sydney Tower. The unusual design with scaffolding cover at the top is liked by tourists all over the world. The massive tower decorated with lights all over presents a unique sight at night. Tourists can visit the Kobe Tower from 9 in the morning to 8 in the evening until August. The hours of the port tower in the month of December are extended to 9 pm. However in the month of February when the place experiences its winters, the closing time is narrowed to 6 in the evening. The Port Tower is open all days of the week and all days of the year. An entrance fee of 600 yen is charged for entering the tower.
    Links: Top Ten Japanese Attractions,,
  24. Bonus: Montreal Tower, Canada

           The Tower of Montreal is incorporated into the base of the Montreal Olympic Stadium. It is the tallest inclined tower in the world at 175 m (574 ft).
    Links: Top Ten Canadian Attractions,,
  25. Bonus: Oriental Pearl Tower, Shanghai, China

           The Oriental Pearl Tower is a TV tower in Shanghai, China. Its location at the tip of Lujiazui in the Pudong district, by the side of Huangpu River, opposite of The Bund makes it a distinct landmark in the area. It was designed by the Shanghai Modern Architectural Design Co. Ltd. Principal designers are Jiang Huan Chen, Lin Benlin and Zhang Xiulin. Construction began in 1990 and the tower was completed in 1994. At 468 m (1,535 ft) high, it was the tallest structure in China (excluding Taiwan) from 1994–2007, when it was surpassed by the Shanghai World Financial Center. The Oriental Pearl Tower belongs to the World Federation of Great Towers. On July 7, 2007, Oriental Pearl Tower was host to the Chinese Live Earth concert.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions,,
  26. Bonus: Tashkent Tower, Tashkent, Uzbekistan

           The Tashkent Television Tower is a 375 m (1,230 ft) high tower, located in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Construction started in 1978 and it began operation 6 years later, on January 15, 1985. It was the 3rd tallest tower in the world from 1985 to 1991. It is of a vertical cantilever structure, and is constructed out of steel. Its architectural design is a product of the Terxiev, Tsarucov & Semashko firm. The tower has an observation deck located 97 meters (318 ft) above the ground. It is the tallest structure in Central Asia. It also belongs to the World Federation of Great Towers, ranking as the 8th tallest.
    Links: Top Ten Uzbekistani Attractions,,
  27. Bonus: John Hancock Center, Chicago, USA

           John Hancock Center at 875 North Michigan Avenue in the Streeterville area of Chicago, Illinois, is a 100-story, 1,127-foot (344 m) tall skyscraper, constructed under the supervision of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, with chief designer Bruce Graham and structural engineer Fazlur Khan. When the building topped out on May 6, 1968, it was the tallest building in the world outside New York City. It is currently the 4th tallest building in Chicago and the 6th tallest in the US, after the Willis Tower, the Empire State Building, the Bank of America Tower, the Trump Tower Chicago, and the Aon Center. When measured to the top of its antenna masts, it stands at 1,506 ft (459 m). The building is home to offices and restaurants, as well as about 700 condominiums and contains the 3rd highest residence in the world, after the Trump Tower also in Chicago and the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. This skyscraper was named for John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, a developer and original tenant of the building. The 95th floor has long been home to a restaurant, the latest tenant being “The Signature Room on the 95th Floor.” While patrons dine, they can look out at Chicago and Lake Michigan. John Hancock Center’s Observatory attraction competes with the Willis Tower’s Skydeck across town. John Hancock Center is in the heart of Michigan Avenue, a prime tourist hotspot in Chicago, while the Willis Tower is in the financial district. John Hancock Observatory is complete with full 360° views of the city, up to four states and over 80 miles. The Observatory has Chicago’s only open-air SkyWalk and also features a free multimedia tour in six languages, narrated by actor David Schwimmer. From January to March, starting in 2011, the Observatory will also offer what the building management claims to be the world’s highest ice skating rink, using a synthetic surface that will enable the use of standard ice skates at normal room temperature. The 44th floor sky lobby also features America’s highest indoor swimming pool.
    Links: Top Ten American US Attractions, Top Ten Pictures of Lightning,,
  28. Bonus: Stratosphere, Las Vegas, USA

           Stratosphere Las Vegas is a tower, hotel, and casino located on the Las Vegas Strip, Nevada, US. Its tower is also the tallest observation tower, and the 5th tallest structure, in the US, as well as being the tallest structure in Las Vegas. It is owned by Whitehall Street Real Estate Funds, an affiliate of Goldman, Sachs & Co who purchased American Casino & Entertainment Properties which includes the Stratosphere along with three other properties. The sale closed on February 21, 2008 for US$1.3 billion. The property’s signature attraction is the 1,149 ft (350.2 m) Stratosphere Tower, the tallest freestanding observation tower in the US, and the 2nd tallest in the Western Hemisphere, surpassed only by the CN Tower in Toronto, Ontario. The hotel is a separate building with 24 stories, 2,427 rooms and an 80,000 sq ft (7,400 square m) casino. The Stratosphere is the northernmost of the major Strip casinos and the only one actually in the City of Las Vegas, as the rest of the Strip south of Sahara Avenue is in the unincorporated townships of Paradise and Winchester.
    Links: Top Ten US Attractions, Top Ten Casinos, Top Ten North American Casinos,,
  29. Torre Agbar, Barcelona, Spain

           The Torre Agbar is a 38-storey tower located between Avinguda Diagonal and Carrer Badajoz, near Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, which marks the gateway to the new technological district of Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain. It was designed by French architect Jean Nouvel in association with the Spanish firm B720 Arquitectos and built by Grupo ACS. The Torre Agbar is located in the Poblenou neighborhood of Barcelona and is named after its owners, the Agbar Group, a holding company whose interests include the Barcelona water company Aigües de Barcelona. The tower measures a total of 50,693 square m, of which 30,000 are offices, 3,210 technical facilities, 8,132 services, including an auditorium, and 9,132 square m for parking. It opened in June 2005 and was officially opened by the King of Spain on September 16, 2005 and at a cost of 130 million euro. It is one of examples of High-tech architecture in the city. The building is owned by the multinational group Agbar which has its corporate headquarters in the building and that takes up most of the floors, renting the remainder. The Agbar Tower was acquired in March 2010 for 165 million euro, after reaching an agreement with its former owner, the investment group Azurelau. Azurelau previously had bought the property in mid-2007.
    Links: Top Ten Spanish Attractions, Top Ten Barcelona Attractions,
  30. Bonus: Söder Torn

           Söder Torn is a highrise building at Fatburstrappan 18 by Fatbursparken on Södermalm in Stockholm. The building was originally designed to be 40 floors, but when it was finished in 1997 it was only 86 m tall and contained 24 floors of flats. Söder Torn is, shared with Skatteskrapan, the tallest residential building in Stockholm. The building was originally designed by Danish architect Henning Larsen, but he left the project in protest of the compromises made during the planning.
    Links: Top Ten Swedish Attractions,,
  31. Bonus: Hassan Tower, Rabat, Morocco

           Hassan Tower or Tour Hassan is the minaret of an incomplete mosque in Rabat, Morocco. Begun in 1195 AD, the tower was intended to be the largest minaret in the world along with the mosque, also intended to be the world’s largest. In 1199, Sultan Yacoub al-Mansour died and construction on the mosque stopped. The tower only reached 44 m (140 ft), about half of its intended 86 m (260 ft) height. The rest of the mosque was also left incomplete, with only the beginnings of several walls and 200 columns being constructed. The tower, made of red sandstone, along with the remains of the mosque and the modern Mausoleum of Mohammed V, forms an important historical and tourist complex in Rabat. Instead of stairs, the tower is ascended by ramps. The minaret’s ramps would have allowed the muezzin to ride a horse to the top of the tower to issue the call to prayer.
    Links: Top Ten Moroccan Attractions, Top Ten Mosques, Top Ten Minarets,,
  32. Shukhov Radio Tower, Russia

           The Shukhov radio tower, also known as the Shabolovka tower, is a broadcasting tower in Moscow designed by Vladimir Shukhov. The 160 meter high free-standing steel structure was built in the period 1920–1922, during the Russian Civil War. It is a hyperboloid structure (hyperbolic steel gridshell). Due to its lattice structure, the steel shell of the Shukhov Tower experiences minimum wind load (the main hazard for high-rising buildings). The tower sections are single-cavity hyperboloids of rotation made of straight beams, the ends of which rest against circular foundations. The tower is located a few kilometers south of the Moscow Kremlin, but is not accessible to tourists.
    Links: Top Ten Russian Attractions,,
  33. Crystal Tower, Recife, Brazil

    Links: Top Ten Brazilian Attractions, 
  34. Tower of the Winds, Athens, Greece

           The Tower of the Winds, also called horologion (timepiece), is an octagonal Pentelic marble clock tower on the Roman agora in Athens. The structure features a combination of sundials, a water clock and a wind vane. It was supposedly built by Andronicus of Cyrrhus around 50 BC, but according to other sources might have been constructed in the 2nd century BC before the rest of the forum.
    Links: Top Ten Greek Attractions, Top Ten Clock Towers, Top Ten Friezes,,
  35. Links: Top 100 Monuments, Top Ten Tower Concepts,,

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