10 Fascinating Elevators

1Santa Justa Lift (Portugal)

The Santa Justa Lift ( Elevador de Santa Justa or do Carmo), is a lift in the city of Lisbon at Santa Justa Street. It connects downtown streets with the uphill Carmo Square.

The Santa Justa Lift was designed by Raul Mesnier de Ponsard. Construction began in 1900 and was finished in 1902; originally powered by steam, it was converted to electrical operation in 1907.
The iron lift is 45 metres tall and is decorated in neogothic style, with a different pattern on each storey. The top storey is reached by helicoidal staircases and has a terrace that offers views ofLisbon Castle, the Rossio Square and the Baixa neighbourhood. There are two elevator booths. Each booth has a wooden interior and accommodates 24 people. The lift has become a tourist attraction in Lisbon as, among the urban lifts in Lisbon, Santa Justa is the only vertical one.

2The Gateway Arch (Missouri)

One of the "must sees" of St. Louis, Missouri, is the Gateway Arch. To go to the top of the Arch, passengers in groups of five enter an egg-shaped compartment containing five seats and a flat floor. Eight compartments are linked to form a train. These compartments individually retain an appropriate level by periodically rotating every 5 degrees, which allows them to maintain the correct orientation while the entire train follows curved tracks up one leg of the arch. The trip to the top of the Arch takes four minutes, and the trip back down takes three minutes. The car doors have narrow glass panes, allowing passengers to see the interior stairways and structure of the Arch during the trip.

3Hammetschwand Elevator (Switzerland)

Europe's highest exterior elevator is the Hammetschwand Lift located in Switzerland. It connects a spectacular rock path with the lookout point Hammetschwand on the Burgenstock plateau overlooking Lake Lucerne. It whisks passengers 153 meters up to the summit of the Hammetschwand in less than one minute. At its time it had a speed of one meter per second and one could enjoy nearly three minutes of travel. Its cab consisted of wood fitted with a zinc sheet and could carry 8 passengers. During the upgrade of 1935 the speed was increased to 2.7 meters per second and the cab was replaced with one of a light metal construction. It was not only the highest public external elevator of Europe, but also the fastest elevator of the world.

4Lacerda Elevator (Brazil)

Connecting the old and the new part of Salvador, and allowing access to more than 30,000 people a day at a cost of r$0.05 per 38 second ride; this elevator reaches a height of 72 meters. Like the elevator in Lisbon, this striking construction transports the public from one level of the town to the next, at the same time providing a perfect view of the bay coastline below.

5Taipei 101 (Taiwan)

The world's fastest elevator is installed at Taipei 101. The Taipei 101 is 1667-ft., 101-storey building and has 67 elevator units, including two that service the 89th-floor observation deck and qualify as the world's fastest. These rockets skyward at a peak speed of 3,314 ft. per minute (fpm), more than 800 fpm faster than the previous record holder in Japan's Yokohama Landmark Tower. By comparison, an airline pilot normally maintains a climb, or descent rate, of no more than 1000 fpm.

6Bailong Elevator (China)

This controversial 326 metre high elevator takes you up the side of one of the many enormous cliffs in Zhangjiajie, China. It is claimed to be the highest and heaviest outdoor elevator in the world. The Bailong Elevator has set three Guinness World Records - world's tallest full-exposure outdoor elevator, world's tallest double-deck sightseeing elevator and world's fastest passenger traffic elevator with biggest carrying capacity. However, the future of this elevator is uncertain as officials claim that the elevator is causing environmental issues.

7Louvre Elevator (France)

At the push of a button, the elevator inside the Louvre, Paris, rises to the occasion. Sometimes sticking with technology like hydraulics is better, and this lift proves it. That's not all, a slide-out walkway appears once the circular platform comes to a rest for guests to board/disembark.

8Eiffel Tower (France)

Due to the shape of the Eiffel Tower's curved legs, the addition of elevators was at first seen as too difficult a job by many engineers. Nothing like it had been attempted. These days there are duo-lift elevators running up and down each of the four legs, one of those legs selfishly reserved for customers of the restaurant at the top of the tower.

9Luxor Inclinator Elevator (Nevada)

In Las Vegas, Nevada, at the Luxor Hotel, is the Inclinator. The shape of this casino is a pyramid. Therefore, the elevator travels up the side of the pyramid at a 39 degree angle. Although people refer to this "inclined elevator" as an inclinator, this is incorrect. An inclinator is a stairlift developed by Inclinator Company of America many years ago. Therefore the Luxor installation is just Otis Elevator's version of a generic "Inclined Elevator".

10Oregon City Municipal Elevator (Oregon)

This one is unique because it's the only outdoor municipal elevator in the United States. What's more, there are only four in the whole world. The elevator connects two neighborhoods in Oregon City; people used to rely on stairways built into the cliffs until the first elevator was made in 1915. That one was water-powered and it took three minutes for a one-way ride. The new (and current) elevator was dedicated in 1955. The observation deck at the top lets viewers check out views of Willamette Falls, the Oregon City Bridge and the Abernethy Bridge.