10 Most Curious Replicas of Famous Landmarks
1White House Replica (McLean, Virginia - US)
The 12,000 square foot White House replica is scaled-down from the original's 40,000, but includes the iconic Truman Balcony, Lincoln dining room, and Oval Office. The asking price for this presidential mansion is $4.65 million.
While the exterior bears a striking resemblance to the real thing, the interior has a few goodies not found at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. A climate-controlled wine cellar, a party room for 100 and a private movie theater make this house more of an elite getaway than a diplomatic meeting place.
The house was built for a New Zealand-educated, Vietnamese engineer who immigrated to America after earning his PhD. The owner asked not to be named to maintain his privacy.
It took seven years to create the replica house – two years for historical architect Robert Burns to scale down the blueprints of the original White House, three years to build and an additional two years after the family moved in to finish the detailing work. Everything in the house is custom-made and every window frame is decorated with the same ornamentation of the real White House. It sits on 1.6 acres, with enough room for a helicopter to land in the yard.
2Replica of Mount Rushmore (Chongqing, China)
During those years, China was in a long and particularly bloody war with Japan. According to the website Dale in China, the Chinese government built the park to honor the Americans who helped defeat Japan.
3Stonehenge Replica (Maryhill, Washington, US)
The altar stone is placed to be aligned with sunrise on the Summer Solstice. Hill, a Quaker, was informed that the original Stonehenge had been used as a sacrificial site, and thus constructed the replica as a reminder that humanity is still being sacrificed to the god of war.
4London's Tower Bridge Replica (Suzhou, China)
To the untrained eye, visitors to Suzhou in the east of China may well believe they have ended up 9,000km away by mistake. The city in the Jiangsu province now boasts its very own – almost identical – version of London's most iconic bridge. All that differs between the two replicas is that the Chinese version lacks a raising mechanism to allow boats to pass underneath. Also, the Chinese model has twice as many towers as the original version spanning the River Thames.
5Taj Mahal Replica (Bangladesh)
Unlike the original, work on the building took only five years. Ahsanullah Moni, a wealthy Bangladeshi film-maker, announced his "Copycat version of Taj Mahal" project in December 2008. The project cost about $56 million.
This caused complaints from Indian officials. "You can't just go and copy historical monuments," an official of Indian High Commission in Dhaka told the press, but according to Ms. Moni, he built a replica of the Taj Mahal so that the poor of his nation can realize their dream of seeing neighboring India's famed monument.
6Parthenon Replica (Nashville, Tennessee, US)
Today, the Parthenon functions as an art museum and stands as the centerpiece of Centennial Park, a large public park just west of downtown Nashville. The building is a full-scale replica of the Athenian original. Since the building is complete and its decorations were polychromed (painted in colors) as close to the presumed original as possible, this replica of the original Parthenon serves as a monument to what is considered the pinnacle of classical architecture.
Nashville's moniker, the "Athens of the South," influenced the choice of the building as the centerpiece of the 1897 fair. A number of buildings at the Exposition were based on ancient originals, however the Parthenon was the only one that was an exact reproduction.
Also, Alan LeQuire's 1990 re-creation of the Athena Parthenos statue is the focus of the Parthenon just as it was in ancient Greece.
7The Statue of Liberty Replica (Odaiba, Japan)
8Leaning Tower of Niles (Illinois, US)
The tower is situated at 6300 W. Touhy Avenue and it is a 1/2 size copy of the original tower in Pisa, Italy, which - since a pact established in 1991, is Niles' sister city.
Some speculate that part of the motivation to construct the tower was to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. A $1.2 million renovation of the Leaning Tower of Niles was started in 1995 by Mayor Nicholas Blase and the Board of Trustees, and was completed in 1996, improving the structure, façade and the Plaza area.
9Alpine Village Hallstatt (Guangdong China)
Every detail of the original Hallstatt village, a UNESCO protected heritage gem in Austria, has been copied in a replica situated one hour outside of Huizhou in Guangdong Province. China Minmetals Corporation announced their $940 million plan to re-create the secluded hamlet in June 2011 and just one year later, the place was open to visitors.
10Château de Maisons Replica (Beijing, China)
Its symmetrical facade and soaring slate roof were crafted using the historic blueprints, 10,000 photographs and the same white Chantilly stone. Yet its proprietor, a Beijing real estate developer named Zhang Yuchen, wanted more. He added a manicured sculpture garden and two wings, copying the palace at Fontainebleau.
The building cost $50 million and now contains a hotel as well as a seminar center.
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